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David Tennant in Broadchurch

Files are piling up at the police station but, with no fresh leads or witnesses, the case is stalling and morale is low. Hardy is stunned when he's told to scale back resources and feels his hope of catching Danny's killer is slipping away. However, at the Broadchurch Echo, Maggie grows determined to solve a mystery that has taken a very personal turn for her. How will her efforts affect the official investigation?

The strain of the apparently stalled investigation into the murder of 11-year-old Danny Latimer is taking a dramatic toll on DI Alec Hardy. He’s been denounced in the national press as “the Worst Cop in Britain” and whatever it is that ails him seems to be getting worse.

It’s eight weeks since Danny’s body was discovered on Broadchurch beach and autumn has arrived. There are signs that the community wants to move on and even Danny’s family are tentatively putting the bricks of their shattered lives back into place. It’s good to see the Latimers smiling again, but the effort is huge. Their son’s killer is still out there, somewhere.



It’s eight weeks since Danny’s death, summer is turning to autumn and the town is poised to pay its respects. Unfortunately it’s not to Danny; with the crime still unsolved his body can’t be released, much to the distress of his family. Instead it’s the funeral of Jack Marshall, the newsagent and Sea Brigade leader who was hounded to his death by the community in which he rebuilt his life after his own tragedies. Ironically, the church is packed with many of those who were baying for his blood only recently, and it falls to the Reverend Paul Coates (Arthur Darvill) to remind the town how they failed Jack, and Danny too.

It’s a week of rediscovery and repositioning. There is much gazing into mirrors as key figures try to work out what has become of their lives and how they have changed since those catastrophic events at the start of the summer. Olly (Jonathan Bailey) is troubled by his part in Jack’s death and even more so when Karen (Vicky McClure) turns up on the day of the funeral like the Black Crow of Death to remind him of his own culpability. Mark and Beth (Andrew Buchan and Jodie Whittaker) are looking ahead now, but their first steps back into normality only too painfully remind them that normality is something they might never have again. Mark finds the headline page of a newspaper crumpled in a grate, his son’s death now yesterday’s news, good only as kindling. Chloe (Charlotte Beaumont) can’t stand the pitying gazes of her school friends and turns to boyfriend Dean (Jacob Anderson) who, far from being the bad egg that he’s been portrayed as for the last few weeks, actually turns out to be a sensitive farm boy who has created for her a place of respite. “I need a break from being the dead boy’s sister,” she explains to her frantic parents who have driven cross country to find her. Mark was certain that Chloe would be fine. “How can you ever say that now?” Beth berates him. Her guard will never be down around her daughter and her remaining family ever again.


Poor Beth is still seeking answers and closure. In desperation she begs Karen to arrange a meeting with one of the parents from the Sandbrook murders. If she wanted a sign that there will be light at the end of the tunnel, sadly she isn’t going to find it here. She meets Cate (Amanda Drew) in a roadside café, far from the soft focus golden haze of Broadchurch, this meeting is drab, grey with car headlights melting by along the road outside. Cate has no reassurances for Beth. DI Hardy is the worst man for the job, she says, and failed her daughter through his incompetence. It’s a raw and honest scene, as Kate recounts her bleak and hopeless days, divorced, her daughter dead, the killer still walking free. Everything is pointless, whatever she does, the worst that can happen has already happened, so she drinks, cries, sleeps, and watches mindless TV. “My life got stolen that day,” she declares to a horrified Beth who can see a similar abyss opening up in front of her. She has a choice now: she can continue to let events consume her or she can fight back and move on with her life.

All is not good for detectives Hardy and Miller. With the investigation not turning up results, resources are being cut. At the church gate before Jack’s funeral, they scrutinise the mourners, assuming that one of these people will be the killer. Hardy (David Tennant) fixes the unpleasant Susan with an icy glare, but the main focus of his suspicion is levelled at Paul Coates, especially after the latter’s inflammatory sermon. Hardy has been trailing Paul and made his own discoveries and jumped to conclusions. There’s an inevitable locking of horns as faith and suspicion clash, and while Hardy delights in humiliating Paul, it is the vicar that comes out top as their philosophies collide. Still, Hardy has his own problems. His estranged daughter is apparently not returning his calls, his mystery illness seems to be getting worse and the press have singled him out as The Worst Cop In Britain. We find him tortured by a nightmare, with four of his suspects, Steve Connolly, Nige Carter, Paul Coates and Mark Latimer, lined up on the shoreline before mountainous waves – that fear of water again – that leaves him gasping in pain and fumbling for his pills. Ellie (Olivia Colman) finds even more that she is forced to see her friends as suspects and she hates what she is becoming. Even husband Joe (Matthew Gravelle) has noticed how distant she is has been. Yet she misses her own son’s suspicious behaviour and Joe’s protectiveness of the boy, both right under her nose as she focuses on the case. Tom (Adam Wilson) has claimed that he actually hated Danny and his worry over the computer files has spilled over so that he takes drastic action to destroy evidence. You do question his judgement though – surely a copper’s son wouldn’t wander off to a caravan park with a stranger, not with a child murderer still on the loose. Meanwhile Joe, Ellie’s perfect house husband, is starting to exude …what? Menace? Something subtly sinister, anyway: he resents Hardy hovering around the boy and his jokey comments to Ellie about whom she suspects are almost as weighted as his dinner table questioning of Hardy over the likelihood of catching the killer.

So, while the police wrestle with their own personal demons it is the press that do the actual detective work in this episode. Veteran journalist Maggie (Carolyn Pickles) turns up enough about Susan Wright (Pauline Quirke) to set events into motion to trigger the latter’s arrest. What Susan hoped to achieve by sending Tom home with Danny’s skateboard isn’t clear, yet she made that choice as soon as she learned who Tom’s mother was. Her arrest also gave her erstwhile collaborator Nige (Joe Sims) the opportunity to strike back at her through something she loves, also showing, for his part, a complete disregard for life.

As the police close in on their latest suspect and bring her into custody, the Latimers are trying to make a fresh start. They pull their fractured family back together and dare to laugh and have fun and even look towards a future. Is this a sign that a corner has at last been turned by the town and Broadchurch can settle back to something like routine? But events at the hut indicate that the police still don’t have the right person. The fleeing figure is an adult, possibly male, strong and physically fit enough to knock Ellie aside twice, outrun Hardy and to scale a chain fence. The episode ends in chaos and it looks for now that Ellie might be forced to move forward from this on her own.

David Tennant in Broadchurch

David Tennant in Broadchurch

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