Without question this is one of the best series that ITV had made in a long time. From the stellar cast to the sublime writing by Chris Chibnall it has me hooked. I’m writing as the fifth episode has been shown with three to go so if you haven’t seen the first five you may want to look away now – there be spoilers ahead.
The first thing that attracted me to the show was the cast as I love David Tennant and Olivia Colman’s work. Man-crush for Mr Tennant aside he is perfectly underplaying the role of Alec Hardy a man with a difficult past alongside the wonderful Colman as Ellie Miller. The two have a great chemistry and the warming up of their friendship is really well written and performed. Colman is always brilliant and it’s her humanity (and crying) in the show that makes it feel almost real in the way it comes across.
Andrew Buchan and Jodie Whittaker as the Latimers, parents of the murdered boy Danny, are compelling and heartbreaking in their portrayals of the bereaved couple. While there are numerous other great actors in the show including Pauline Quirke as the nasty Susan and Arthur Darvill as Reverend Coates, it is the performance of David Bradley that has been the highlight of the show so far. His slow release and underplaying of such a tortured character is spellbinding and you find yourself on his side despite his past. It was clear that the end of the episode was going to end that way but his conversation with Mark about his own loss of a son was one of the best performances I’ve seen in a long time.
Bradley is now best known for his role as Argus Filch in the Harry Potter movies but I remember his role as Geordie’s (Daniel Craig) dad in Our Friends in the North. He was a nasty piece of work as an alcoholic and physical abusive man, but again he was mesmerizing in his performance. He is one of our underrated character actors and his performance in the fifth episode of Broadchurch as the persecuted paedophile Jack Marshall was outstanding. As the truth of his story was revealed there was no over-the-top shouting and flailing of arms, instead you saw a deep sadness and loss I him that pulled you in as a viewer. He deserves recognition when awards are being dished out.
Whodunit? No idea, and I doubt a second series would be possible because of the nature of the show, but I can’t wait to see how the story unravels over the next three episodes. I just hope that the ending is as rewarding as the build up has been.