Broadchurch, Series Three. Television Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Cast: David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan, Carolyn Pickles, Arthur Darvill, Julie Hesmondhaigh, Lenny Henry, Sarah Parish, Charlie Higson, Charlotte Beaumont, Adam Wilson, Matthew Gravelle, Joe Sims, Jim Howick, Hannah Rae, Peter De Jersey, Mark Bazeley, Georgina Campbell, Sebastian Armesto, Georgina Campbell, Hannah Millward, Chris Mason, Roy Hudd, Richard Hope, Josetta Simon, Kelly Gough, Sahana Harrison, Becky Brunning, Deon Lee-Williams.

It is a town where secrets seem to thrive, where deceit and falseness flourish in the darkness and where without the sense of light that emanates from certain people, the community would falter and die. Broadchurch has been a television goldmine for the last few years and one that won’t easily shuffle off into the twilight.

The acting throughout series three cannot be faulted, the dividing line between the characters well documented and presented and perhaps none more so that between Jodie Whittaker’s Beth Latimer and Andrew Buchan as ****** Latimer. Although perhaps seen as a secondary storyline to the main investigation into the rape of Trish Winterman but nonetheless carried an important reminder of what bound the three series together. The secrets and lies that bind any community together, arguably more so than any truths or feelings of goodwill, the fallout from the murder of their son tearing them apart and seeping through the town like a desolate cloud.

It is in those secrets that we keep from each other that make us vulnerable, the inability to talk through even the most unwanted thought, a reminder of the way we cannot talk about the nature of the taboo, it is the fear that drives the elephant in any room to the depths of conversation and prohibits any type of reconciliation. In this, both Ms. Whittaker and Mr. Buchan deserve great respect.

The story though is about Trish Winterman and those in her life, the loves, the casual and the violent, each one a possible suspect and thanks to the way that Chris Chibnall has worked the entire plot line out over the last few years, it was not a leap of the imagination to believe that anybody in the town could have committed such a heinous act, that any man was a suspect.

A lot was heaped upon the shoulders of Julie Hesmondhaigh, David Tennant, Olivia Colman and some of suspects that featured in the story line, to accurately portray the victim, the officers in charge and the men who would even have such a thought. Much praise must go to Ms. Hesmondhaigh and in particular Lenny Henry for the way they conducted themselves throughout the eight part series.

Broadchurch may have finished but surely it will be a long time before the three series long story line will fade in the memory of those who watched it; intelligent and sympathetically written scripts that were not afraid to go into particular detail of the worst of crimes against children or women, the taboo in some respects, broken, dealt with and treated with subtle and appropriate thought and retrospection. Chris Chibnall over the three series has acted as the superb front runner for a television series with true and abiding talent.

Ian D. Hall