pick of the week
Friday, 8.30pm, ABC1 Gather ’ round — murder night on ABC1 just got interesting again. Which is not to say Broadchurch, an eight-part drama series starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman, is not heartbreaking. When the body of 11-year-old Danny Latimer (Oskar McNamara) is found at the bottom of a cliff in Dorset, his mother Beth (Jodie Whittaker) breaks the police cordon in incredibly authentic grief and anguish. For once Tennant plays an unlikable man. DI Alec Hardy is a fumbling out-of-town detective with a reputation for case mismanagement. He has been given the job DS Ellie Miller (Colman) was promised, in some unexplained internal police coup. Naturally, there is conflict from their first minute together. Things are especially difficult for Ellie because in small-town Broadchurch she knows the family and has known the victim since he was a baby. When her nephew, an ambitious young journalist, sees the sister of the deceased placing a toy near the murder scene, he tweets the victim’s name before the family or the police are ready. Ellie begins to see her community through the prism of Alec’s cold objectivity while he has issues of his own. A thoroughly engaging mystery series with strong characters, set in a beautiful yet somehow grim place.