Broadchurch returns: First thoughts

by | Jan 5, 2015 | All, Reviews

I’ll admit that I’ve found the return of Broadchurch frustrating. As soon as that title card ran at the end of series one, informing us ‘Broadchurch will return’ I’ve felt a little short changed. I’ve got over the fact we’re getting a second now but I still have my frustrations.

For a while now, I’ve been privileged enough to be privy to before transmission previews that allow me to get reviews written ready for transmission and it helps me to promote programmes on social media I think my followers will enjoy. I remember viewing the very first episode of Broadchurch and how excited I was about it. I showed restraint I didn’t know I had, not taking to twitter and shouting things in violent CAPITAL LETTERS. I was instantly hooked. I was hooked so much that I stopped previewing it so I could be on the page as the rest of the country and enjoy the ride. My affection for the show grew with each twist and turn but as the credits rolled on that final episode, instead of the sense of fulfilment I was hoping for, I felt utterly deflated.

I was lucky enough to speak with writer Chris Chibnall during his rollercoaster ride, and he told me that the series was designed to be a one story arch, so when the news it’ll be returning I felt immediately conned. My feelings for this second series changed again recently because, as much as I enjoyed the first series, I think the show has started to think too highly of itself. We know nothing about this new series. Obviously its huge success means that this second outing doesn’t warrant any of my tweets to convince people to watch it.. they will regardless. I can only hope/assume that the plans for this unplanned second series are so secretive because it’s too good to let anyone see it before ITV pushes play.

All of the above was written pre-9pm………………………………..

Just after 9pm, and since it now my default setting to head to twitter I posted the following:

The first episode was by no means awful. The last truly awful first episode of an ITV drama in recent memory was Chasing Shadows, in fact just typing the title has caused a shiver. Perhaps the worst thing I can say about this opener is that it was…. well, a little dull. If we’re focusing on the positives, I still think David Tennant and Olivia Colman are superb in their respective roles and I liked seeing how the Latimers were coping with life aftter Danny,but putting them and Olivia’s distracting orange jacket aside, it was a rather dull opener given ITV’s hype. I’m not sure what they were so keen to conceal from us all. Annoyingly the first episode focused on Joe Miller,who I still don’t find overly menacing, pleading ‘not guilty’ at his court hearing. I’ll admit I smiled as all those Broadchurch residents I’d grown to like last year gathered in the courtroom for the tense moment, but aside from that I found it all a bit too laboured.

Then there’s David Tennant who appears to be hiding the woman from Torchwood in his beautiful cottage because she’d testified against her husband in the Sandbrook murder case that Tennant’s character was in charge of before his move to Broadchurch. Are you following?  The episode didn’t show near the same amount of promise that the original opener showed and I think it’s a shame that now when we discuss the series as a whole it’ll be a conversation of two halves.  I can’t see me being as involved, engrossed or as immersed in these ‘new’ stories as I was with the original. It’s important to say that I’m writing this after just sat down and viewed the first episode. I’m sure given the time my feelings of disappointment will ease over time, and I will watch the remaining episodes as I’m still a fan of the original but, I guess I just feel that this second series didn’t really need to happen. It’s a worrying and frustrating current trend that broadcasters want their successful shows back. Not because they have anywhere to go but because they’re obviously so desperate for a show to repeat its initial success. I just hope that I won’t be writing the same thing about the second series of my beloved Happy Valley later in the year.

Broadchurch Continues Monday at 9.00pm on ITV.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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