As it re­turns for a third and fi­nal series, Broadchurch in­tro­duces a brand new case for its de­tec­tive duo. Crimescene goes be­hind the scenes with the cast at the sea­side shoot for the shock­ing con­clu­sion to a land­mark TV drama.


A spe­cial eight-page fea­ture on the fi­nal series, in­clud­ing a lo­ca­tion re­port by the beach.

The sun is beat­ing down dur­ing a sum­mer heat­wave, driv­ing tourists to the ar­ti­san ice cream van on West Bay’s seafront. Fam­i­lies stroll along the prom­e­nade, turn­ing their faces to­wards the sun­shine and ad­mir­ing the tow­er­ing sand­stone cliffs that form the back­drop to this stun­ning stretch of Dorset coast. Close to this tableau of Bri­tons at leisure, how­ever, is a hive of bustling ac­tiv­ity. A stone’s throw from the cen­tre of the pretty fish­ing vil­lage is Broadchurch HQ, a col­lec­tion of trail­ers in a car park where the mak­ers and stars of the ITV hit drama are busy­ing them­selves with film­ing the third and fi­nal series of the twisty crime thriller.

Crime Scene has been in­vited on set to in­ter­view Broadchurch’s ac­tors and to drink in a stretch of World Her­itage coast­line that il­lus­trates the show’s cen­tral para­dox of ter­ri­ble things hap­pen­ing in an idyl­lic set­ting. When Broadchurch de­buted in 2013, in­ves­ti­gat­ing the ef­fect on a ru­ral com­mu­nity of the mur­der of an 11-year-old boy, Danny La­timer, it was a sen­sa­tion. Creator Chris Chib­nall had wo­ven a dark and com­plex tale heav­ily in­flu­enced by Scandi Noir dra­mas like The Killing, fea­tur­ing com­pelling cops, char­ac­ters whose lives over­lap in sur­pris­ing ways, an evoca­tive land­scape and haunt­ing mu­sic – in this case by an ac­tual Scan­di­na­vian, Ice­landic composer Óla­fur Ar­nalds.

To­day, we spot Broadchurch lo­ca­tions all around us, bathed in sum­mer sun. DI Alec Hardy’s wa­ter­side cot­tage can be glimpsed in the dis­tance; the stretch of shin­gle beach where Danny La­timer’s body lay in Series 1; the East Pier, where char­ac­ters meet betwixt sea and cliffs; the mod­ern seafront apart­ment block called

The Folly, which does duty as the po­lice precinct ex­te­rior.

As the third series pro­gresses on air dur­ing March, it’s clear that Chib­nall has left be­hind Series 2’s Sand­brook sub­plot and de­vel­op­ments in the La­timer case – crit­i­cised by some view­ers – and re­freshed the series. Three years have passed since the events of the last sea­son, and Hardy (David Ten­nant) and DS El­lie Miller (Olivia Col­man) have been re­united on the Wes­sex Po­lice Force to in­ves­ti­gate the rape of shop worker Tr­ish Win­ter­man (Julie Hes­mond­halgh). At the same time we’re re­minded of past hor­rors by the pres­ence of fa­mil­iar Broadchurch char­ac­ters: be­reaved par­ents Beth and Mark La­timer (Jodie Whit­taker and An­drew Buchan), vicar Paul Coates (Arthur Darvill) and lo­cal news­pa­per editor Mag­gie Rad­cliffe (Carolyn Pick­les). Fresh blood has ar­rived in the form of new lo­cals played by Lenny Henry, Sarah Parish, Mark Baze­ley and Char­lie Hig­son.

Work­ing to­gether

Ten­nant says he’s de­lighted Hardy and Miller are tack­ling a fresh case be­cause it makes Broadchurch 3 “the same but dif­fer­ent” com­pared to the pre­vi­ous series. “What’s been in­ter­est­ing for Olivia and me is sud­denly we’re two cop­pers do­ing a job,” muses Ten­nant. “We’re start­ing from the out­side work­ing into a case, whereas with Series 1 and 2 there was a much more per­sonal con­nec­tion for the char­ac­ters.”

Hardy is dam­aged as a re­sult of poor life choices and Miller be­cause her hus­band, Joe Miller, turned out to be Danny La­timer’s mur­derer. But in a more pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment, this pair of flawed cop­pers have grown closer over the years; their ini­tial an­tag­o­nism has mel­lowed into a kind of brusque af­fec­tion that Ten­nant and Col­man ex­e­cute beau­ti­fully.

“They don’t seem to have many friends apart from each other,” says Ten­nant of the de­tec­tive duo. “They be­come this weird lit­tle sort of sup­port group for each other, this cranky old mar­ried cou­ple who clearly have a deep af­fec­tion and need for each other, al­though they would never ex­press it that way. It was just lovely to re­turn to these char­ac­ters and find them in a dif­fer­ent part of their life.”

Could Hardy and Miller’s re­la­tion­ship spill over into ro­mance, though? “No!” Ten­nant splut­ters. “That’s not their bag.” In place of ro­mance, we’ve seen Hardy try­ing to forge a bet­ter re­la­tion­ship with his daugh­ter, Daisy (Han­nah Rae).

To­day Crime Scene is meet­ing Julie Hes­mond­halgh in the Broadchurch din­ing trailer. Look­ing like a trendy ur­ban mum in Doc Martens and turned-up jeans, she is in ebul­lient mood – in con­trast to the trau­ma­tised Tr­ish. The Corona­tion Street vet­eran ad­mits it was hard to shake off the feel­ing that land­ing a part in Broadchurch was like win­ning the Lottery. “In the first episode I was a lit­tle bit over­whelmed by it all, and we did a photo shoot the other day and it was like be­ing in Madame Tus­sauds, with Lenny and David and Olivia,” con­fesses Hes­mond­halgh with a chuckle. “I felt like: what the hell am I do­ing here?!”

Hav­ing fa­mously played a trans­gen­der char­ac­ter in Corona­tion Street, taken a role in Rus­sell T. Davies’ out-there gay drama Cu­cum­ber and played the mother of a real-life mur­der vic­tim in Black Roses: The Killing of So­phie Lan­caster, Hes­mond­halgh

has been at­tracted to is­sue-led pieces. She sees Tr­ish’s or­deal in a sim­i­lar vein. As a re­sult, the ac­tor en­sured she had a long con­ver­sa­tion with Chib­nall be­fore ac­cept­ing the part. “There’s been a lot of dis­cus­sion about the tele­vis­ing of sex­ual vi­o­lence and the way it’s be­come al­most nor­malised in our cul­ture now, and putting your face to that is some­thing I had to think about,” she says. “I needed to know that it was go­ing to be han­dled in a sen­si­tive way.”

Hes­mond­halgh says that she even had to deal with her own “in­ter­nalised misog­yny” in ac­cept­ing that Tr­ish would be tar­geted by a rapist. “Even the fact it’s me that’s been cast as the vic­tim is an in­ter­est­ing thing – as an or­di­nary-look­ing mid­dle-aged wo­man as op­posed to the clas­sic young girl be­ing chased through the woods.”

De­spite play­ing such a heavy role deal­ing with the sub­ject mat­ter of sex­ual vi­o­lence, Hes­mond­halgh bats away any ques­tions about the per­sonal toll it might be tak­ing on her. “You can’t go, ‘Oh, it’s been so hard for me act­ing this part and putting my­self through this’, when peo­ple are ac­tu­ally go­ing through it,” she says. “The hard­est thing is the re­spon­si­bil­ity you feel – you’re rep­re­sent­ing some­thing that peo­ple have gone through for real and you want to show that in the truest way you can.”

Test­ing topic

Chib­nall chose a rape case not only be­cause an­other mur­der would be im­plau­si­ble in such a small com­mu­nity, but as a way of high­light­ing the growth in re­ported cases of sex­ual vi­o­lence against women. Of­fi­cial fig­ures last au­tumn re­vealed that the num­ber of re­ported rapes had in­creased by 123 per­cent since 2011-12, but the con­vic­tion rate had fallen. The rise has co­in­cided with a shift in the po­lice’s ap­proach to vic­tims to­wards a more em­pathic re­sponse – il­lus­trated starkly in the first episode of Broadchurch’s third series when new DC Katie Har­ford

(Ge­orgina Camp­bell) in­curs Hardy and Miller’s dis­dain by ask­ing whether Tr­ish’s story of rape could be be­lieved. It il­lus­trates that not ev­ery cop will nec­es­sar­ily be on the same page when it comes to re­ports of sex­ual vi­o­lence.

Ten­nant ex­plains that the rape case cre­ates high drama be­cause it puts the cops at log­ger­heads dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. “There’s a con­flict in the very na­ture of ex­am­in­ing a case like this,” he ex­plains. “The in­ter­face of all your ev­i­dence is also some­one who’s been deeply trau­ma­tised. You have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to them as hu­man be­ings, but as a po­lice of­fi­cer you have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to get to the truth of the sit­u­a­tion and the clock’s tick­ing – and that very prob­lem is some­thing Hardy and El­lie re­act dif­fer­ently to. It’s full of com­pli­ca­tions.”

Also on set to­day is Sarah Parish, a fa­mil­iar face from series such as Cut­ting It, Mistresses, At­lantis, Trol­lied and W1A. She’s play­ing Cath At­wood, Tr­ish’s for­mer school­mate and fel­low till worker at the farm shop. Tr­ish was raped in the grounds of the party venue for Cath’s 50th birth­day party, so it’s not out of the ques­tion that one of the guests might be the ag­gres­sor.

It tran­spires that Parish knows both West Bay and the lo­cal ac­cent well – she grew up just 20 miles up the road in Yeovil, Som­er­set. “No­body re­alises I’m from the West Coun­try, be­cause there’s no de­mand for the ac­cent,” chuck­les Parish. “But I spent a lot of time in West Bay as a child, and we used to walk along the coast­line around here a lot.”

To­day Parish and Hes­mond­halgh are film­ing a scene in Cath’s back gar­den in West Bay in which they dis­cuss their fraught friend­ship. Beyond that, Parish can’t say a word about what hap­pens. She hasn’t even told her hus­band, Sus­pects ac­tor James Mur­ray, who did it. Plot de­tails are a well guarded se­cret: Parish re­veals that cast mem­bers’ names are printed on ev­ery page of their scripts to pre­vent them be­ing sold; scripts have a fake ti­tle and au­thor’s name and have been pro­tected on­line with in­di­vid­ual pass­words; al­ter­na­tive end­ings have been in­cluded.

When Crime Scene catches up with pro­ducer Dan Winch in West Bay, he prom­ises that this sea­son will de­liver plenty of clo­sure for fans. “It would be wrong of us to not ad­dress and leave what has hap­pened pre­vi­ously en­tirely; there will be fit­ting con­clu­sions and end­ings, as well as ad­dress­ing of Series 1 and 2 by na­ture of the fact that we’re try­ing to bring all our strands of the series to a fi­nal fin­ish,” he says. “We are very def­i­nite about the fact it will be the fi­nal one.”

As for whether it could per­haps come back in, say, 10 years’ time, creator Chris Chib­nall has de­clined to com­ment, on the in­trigu­ing grounds that it might give too much away about the Series 3 end­ing. It means that along with fi­nally get­ting clo­sure on Broadchurch’s var­i­ous tragedies, view­ers are likely to be grat­i­fied with a sur­pris­ing and shock­ing fi­nale to this bench­mark-set­ting drama.

Broadchurch Series 3 is on ITV.

We’re try­ing to bring all our strands of the series to a fi­nal fin­ish

Jim and Cath At­wood (Sarah Parish) have been mar­ried for 30 years.

Mark Baze­ley plays Jim At­wood, who runs the lo­cal garage.

Miller (Olivia Col­man) and Hardy (David Ten­nant) un­cover more se­crets in series 3.

There are fa­mil­iar faces and new ones as Broadchurch re­turns for a third series.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.