Broadchurch

KMInfinity
Site Admin
Joined: March 17th, 2008, 1:09 am

August 9th, 2013, 2:21 am #1

Not sure if this will need a thread but since I really liked it...

The first series achieved overwhelming ratings for ITV in England, with critical acclaim and huge publicity around the "whodunit" mystery. It's been renewed by ITV.

The story in the premiere was a bit predictable since we need the setup and the intro to so many characters. But I gotta say, compared to The Killing, I was totally invested in the poor kid Danny's death, the family, the community, the police. I even teared up TWICE. The emotional punches from several scenes were strong, and felt earned even despite that 'early premiere episode' mode.

I always adore David Tennant, so I may have lost objectivity. :P He was more stoic, more 'haunted' and reserved as DI Alec Hardy than in Dr. Who. As The Doctor I am used to his mobile, expressive face, his nearly-over-the-top exuberance, he vitality. Here he is definitely subdued, with a dark past, a bit of a mystery concerning whatever happened in Sandbrook.

I really liked the characters, especially DS Miller, just returned from maternity leave, and Danny's parents. I LOVED Arthur Darvill as Rory in #11's Whoverse and expect I will like seeing him as the Vicar.

Lots of brief intros of folks around the community, which already feels very 'real' to me.
“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!” — The Doctor, S2E2
Quote
Like
Share

Dax
Site Admin
Joined: March 16th, 2008, 3:48 pm

August 9th, 2013, 6:58 pm #2

Getting a re-air tonight.

I've also decided to (while I have Netflix) run through the two seasons/six shows of Sherlock, because I know I missed out on that...

And I'll watch my dvds of Luther 1 & 2 before 3 airs on BBC-A on four nights in a row in early September...

Fox is fast-tracking an American remake of Broadchurch already... unlike so many of these others (Homeland, The Killing, The Bridge, House of Cards, Low Winter Sun), here's one where I could say I HAVE seen 'the original', first.
Quote
Like
Share

bilki
Site Admin
Joined: March 19th, 2008, 3:46 pm

August 10th, 2013, 4:44 am #3

Just finished watching tonight's re-airing. While there was a sense of been-there-done-that (The Killing, Top of the Lake), I enjoyed it quite a bit. Surprised by how strongly some of the emotional scenes resonated with me. The mother was heart-breaking, and seeing the female detective crying through many of the early scenes tugged at me, too. Really enjoyed Olivia Colman! Don't think I've seen her before.

Cool to see David Bradley (Walder Frey) and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams).

Intrigued by the reporter angle. Oliver, the ambitious, young reporter trying to make a name for himself. And, the lady reporter who comes to town to see what she can dig up. People are using this boy's death to their own advantage.

This is going to be one of those shows where I'm gonna be tempted to snoop around and see if I can find anything out, since it's already aired in the UK.
Last edited by bilki on August 10th, 2013, 4:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

KMInfinity
Site Admin
Joined: March 17th, 2008, 1:09 am

August 10th, 2013, 5:35 am #4

I haven't seen Colman before either but she has a great reputation and fans in England.

And obviously, Walder is the killer. lol

I skimmed the TWoP thread that was active when Broadchurch was airing in England (very carefully avoiding spoilers) and people say the first episode was slow but then the series overall was excellent. Consensus that it was better than The killing, which it was compared to a lot.
“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!” — The Doctor, S2E2
Quote
Like
Share

Dax
Site Admin
Joined: March 16th, 2008, 3:48 pm

August 10th, 2013, 5:58 am #5

Sepinwall for KMI, A- review... >> "You don't understand," Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller insists as she stares at a murdered child on the beach of the sleepy town she calls home. "I know that boy!"

Miller is one of the two heroes of "Broadchurch," a British crime series making its BBC America debut tonight at 10 p.m. Played by Olivia Colman, she's a Broadchurch lifer. She knows everyone in town, and assumes she knows everything around them; it's not possible that any of her friends or neighbors could be a killer. And yet as her partner and boss, new transplant Alec Hardy (David Tennant) keeps reminding her, anyone can become a killer, and the sandy corpse of young Danny Latimer is proof of that.

It's a simple conflict, and "Broadchurch" for the most part is a simple series. Over the course of eight episodes, we follow the Latimer case from its terrible beginning to its complicated ending, as Hardy teaches Miller about all the secrets her friends and neighbors have been keeping. The writing by Chris Chibnall is lean and spare, and the directing (most of it by James Strong) takes advantage of the seaside vistas without calling attention to itself. Other than an interesting minor subplot about a phone company technician who claims to be a psychic, this is as straightforward a mystery series as you can imagine.

It's also about as devastating as you can imagine, precisely because of that simplicity.

Chibnall (who's written for "Doctor Who," "Torchwood" and "Law & Order: UK," among others) sets up an elegant conflict between the sweet, optimistic Miller and the damaged, misanthropic Hardy that transcends cliche because each of them feels like a specific person beyond their respective philosophies. Similarly, Danny's parents Beth (Jodie Whittaker) and Mark (Andrew Buchan) aren't just collateral damage, but complicated adults with problems that the tragedy either exacerbates or puts into perspective.

The case proceeds in a linear fashion, with one significant suspect at a time, but unlike "The Killing" (even in its much-improved third season), Chibnall doesn't expect either the cops or his audience to automatically believe this latest suspect must be the killer. People have many reasons for lying to the police, and Hardy and Miller seem to spend as much time trying to prove that someone couldn't have killed Danny as they do finding evidence that they did it.

The no-frills approach at times threatens to make "Broadchurch" seem generic in its early going. I watched the series after several of my colleagues, and when I told them I found it unremarkable after the first few hours, they told me, "Just wait. You'll see it." They were right. Chibnall, Strong and company are doing a very deliberate, gradual build to something here, and the plain approach makes the moments of discovery all the more painful.

"Broadchurch" is a police procedural, and an effective one, but what renders it special is the way it tracks the ways that physical and emotional violence haunts everyone in the town. Several of the citizens, it turns out, moved to Broadchurch to escape a dark past that the investigation unfortunately digs up. Beth Latimer is so consumed with grief that she reaches out to a mother who's been through a similar ordeal, hoping against hope that this woman will say the magic words that will make her pain go away.

The performances are excellent throughout, with the two cops and the two parents deserving every moment spent on them. Tennant has the flashier part, spitting his words out in a thick Scottish burr and seeming on the verge of collapse in every scene. Colman's role is trickier, and ultimately more powerful, because Miller is still naive and innocent when the case begins, and something very different when it ends and she's learned all there is to know about her hometown. Both of them, and Whittaker and Buchan — and David Bradley, known in the States as nasty Walder Frey on "Game of Thrones," and here plays an elderly news vendor — do work that I'd slot comfortably beside the top American performances of the moment.

One of the case's many suspects declares, "Death; once it's got its claws into you, it never lets go." This is a fact that slowly and painfully dawns on the people of Broadchurch, and this is a miniseries that will have you in its grip long after it's done.

---

NOTE: Same spoiler rule as usual applies to a foreign import: if it hasn't aired yet in America, it's a spoiler. So for those of you who've seen the whole series, don't give away whodunnit, how, why or anything else. I'll be doing another post when the series concludes in eight weeks so we can all discuss that together.

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watchi ... sqHEjrl.99
Quote
Like
Share

KMInfinity
Site Admin
Joined: March 17th, 2008, 1:09 am

August 10th, 2013, 6:08 am #6

Well that sounds positively great! thanks Dax. Fits very well with what I've gleaned. I liked that it was eight episodes, lean and focused.

I do wonder how it will work as a second series if it is specific to Broadchurch. Hardy and Miller assigned to a new town? Can't peek because the Brit news would prolly include spoilers.
“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!” — The Doctor, S2E2
Quote
Like
Share

Dax
Site Admin
Joined: March 16th, 2008, 3:48 pm

August 10th, 2013, 9:30 pm #7

Watched the first one. I like it. Sad. Very sad.

They're skipping a week between #s 4 & 5 on 9/4 (for Luther)... Kinda fun that it's on Wednesday nights, as is The Bridge (and Big Brother, continuing the alliteration..), and both of the mystery series will conclude on 10/2. EDIT - Good, doesn't look like they're skipping a week any more... 9/25 conclusion, then.

Last edited by Dax on August 20th, 2013, 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

KMInfinity
Site Admin
Joined: March 17th, 2008, 1:09 am

August 11th, 2013, 2:49 pm #8

Yeah the emotional impact made up for the cliche beginning. Effectively made the point that any cliche situation isn't, when it's YOU.
“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!” — The Doctor, S2E2
Quote
Like
Share

Dax
Site Admin
Joined: March 16th, 2008, 3:48 pm

August 11th, 2013, 5:20 pm #9

We have seen that set-up many, many times now. Execution still matters. This was good.

Going back to Twin Peaks... Sarah on the phone, the sounds she makes... the empty seat in the classroom (which The Killing later lifted, almost exactly)...
Quote
Like
Share

KMInfinity
Site Admin
Joined: March 17th, 2008, 1:09 am

August 16th, 2013, 10:31 pm #10

I liked the second episode even better. Lots of threads spun, with lots of various possibilities opening up. I especially like the tension Miller is under as she tries to be good-neighbor community lover and also an effective 'tec. Tennant is excellent as Hardy, despite portraying a role very much against his strength. I really liked Darvill as the minister, and the way it's developing. I hope they look at issues of faith and church a little more sympathetically and complexly than usual lately. (Which means I already hope he isn't the killer.)

There were a lot of subtle, powerful scenes. My favorites included the hotel owner, the minister, and the older businessman and their discussion; and also the scene on the beach with the daughter and her boyfriend, who played that with just the right touch of frustration.

The show is giving a lot of people on TWoP a chance to dis on the Killing all over again. lol
“You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!” — The Doctor, S2E2
Quote
Like
Share