A hot morning in July and the Dorset town of Broadchurch, is bracing itself for the tourist season, when Danny Latimer, an 11 year old schoolboy, goes missing. His mother, Beth, frantically starts to search for him while her best friend, Ellie Miller, a local police officer, arrives at work to discover that the promotion she thought was hers has gone to D.I Alec Hardy, an outsider with a reputation for failure. When Danny's body is found beneath the picturesque cliffs that dominate the town, opposites collide. Both Miller and Hardy are determined to solve the mystery... of Danny's murder, Ellie perhaps too sensitive to the people in her community; Alec as efficient as he is blunt. When news of the crime spreads through the town, a chain reaction begins which will put Broadchurch under a national spotlight, pulling the town, its residents and its secrets, apart. Special Features: Broadchurch: Behind the Scenes Cast Filmographies Picture Gallery Subtitles [show more]
"Just one more episode."
"Just one more episode."
That's the feeling you get each time you finish watching an instalment of Broadchurch, the new ITV drama series just released on DVD. A whodunnit spread across eight episodes, the show tracks the hunt for the killer of an eleven-year-old boy, Danny Latimer, in a close-knit seaside town.
At the same time as detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) try to discover who murdered the young boy, they end up uncovering a host of other sordid secrets about the town's inhabitants, as well as revealing some surprising home truths that affect their own personal lives.
It might sound like a tall order to stretch a single murder investigation across an entire series - the last time I can remember it working as well as this was the US series Murder One, many moons ago - but the writer of Broadchurch, Chris Chibnall, makes the story endlessly compelling by populating the sleepy west-country seaside town with such interesting and three-dimensional characters.
Whether it's the grieving Latimer family (who are also caught in a web of complex romantic relationships), the young vicar who holds sway over the locals, the creepy newsagent who runs the sea scouts, or the apparently charming hotelier who is struggling to make ends meet, you'll quickly find yourself getting caught in the web of personal relationships that permeates the town of Broadchurch, and enjoying the show as much for its soap-opera subplots as for the central mystery.
And when Chibnall throws a group of journalists into the mix - a couple of sympathetic types from the local rag, and one headline-hunting cutthroat from a national tabloid - it allows him to also cover thought-provoking topics revolving around journalistic ethics and media manipulation.
Combining all of these different story strands with the police-procedural elements - including a secondary mystery about an old case that Hardy, the new-guy-in-town, failed to solve in his previous placement - the show weaves everything into a rich tapestry that's utterly captivating.
The best way I can think of to explain the power of the show is that when watching it on DVD, it's only when you get up from the sofa to change discs that you realise you've just been spending the last three hours watching the programme - even if you only intended to sit down for a quick 45 minutes. The only other show to have had that effect on me in recent years was 24, and that's pretty prestigious company to be in, especially for such an unassuming and parochial show as this one.
It's that parochial nature, however, that proves to be one of Broadchurch's greatest assets. It deliberately avoids the kind of big-city clichés that get trotted out in most London-based or US-set crime dramas, instead opting to create a far more believable world filled with genuine, relatable characters rather than hoary old caricatures.
The show is also unafraid to relieve the tension with occasional moments of humour that are again rooted in the characters first and foremost - especially when it comes to the burgeoning professional relationship between the optimistic Miller and her grumpy boss, Hardy.
Put all of these elements together and you have a show that's totally compelling television, and which will grab you from the very first moment and not let go until the closing credits of the final chapter. If you're willing to truly engage with a well-written and original drama - and you're prepared for some long evenings glued to your telly - then take the plunge and buy a copy of Broadchurch immediately.
But be prepared to find yourself constantly uttering that inevitable phrase:
"just one more episode..."
You watch with shock and anitcipation as the village of Broadchurch goes through a murder investigation.
The acting is phenominal and the storyline is extraordinary. It is not to miss
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. The death of a young boy sparks a complex murder investigation that puts a entire town, its residents and its secrets under a national spotlight, in the gripping drama BROADCHURCH. Local police officer Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) is begrudgingly teamed up with shady newcomer D.I. Alec Hardy (David Tennant) on the tense case. And it's not long before she is forced to look at her own community in a whole new, disturbing, light. Age Rating 15
The complete first series of the ITV crime drama starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman. When the body of an eleven-year-old boy is discovered at the foot of the cliffs that dominate the Dorset town of Broadchurch, two police officers with contrasting approaches are assigned to the case. Broadchurch resident DS Ellie Miller (Colman) is a friend of the boy's mother, Beth (Jodie Whittaker), and treads carefully to avoid spreading panic in the community. In contrast, outsider DI Alec Hardy (Tennant) is all business. Will either of them be able to get to the bottom of the mysterious murder?