pick of the week


The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

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.

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