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Broadchurch is back with a bang


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With a two-year hiatus, and a failed US reboot, under its wing ITV crime drama Broadchurch could simply be crushed under the weight of expectation for series two.

BroadchurchSeries one drew in 8 million viewers and became a national talking point, with the culprit shrouded in mystery right until the last minute. With the crime all but solved, where could the drama take its next steps without becoming predictable?

Fortunately last night’s first instalment reignited the flame, weaving a web of intrigue, questions, puzzles, secrets and tension.

Writer Chris Chibnall has taken some obvious risks switching the show’s formula from a ‘who-dunnit’ to a ‘did-he-do-it’ as the aftermath of the first series is emotionally played out.

The story begins a few months after the events of series one. Ellie Miller is working in Devon and returns to hear her husband’s plea, and David Tennant is on top form again as DI Alec Hardy, who is still as dour and in ill-health as in the last series, and still living in Broadchurch.

From this episode it is clear that this series will deal with the past as much as the present, with a new focus on ‘Sandbrook’ - the scene of the previous, and as it turns out scarier, murder that still haunts DI Hardy. We see Hardy secretly harbouring a witness to what happened there, Claire (played by Eve Myles), who is in danger from a child-killing subject. With her having been in Broadchurch since Hardy’s arrival, she is the key to unlocking a potentially interesting new aspect of the story.

With two mentions of ‘secrets’ the episode hints that there is still much more to learn about the inhabitants of this Welsh town.

Chibnall’s secret games are also still in place, keeping the whole thing a mystery. It has transpired that not only did the writer ask the cast members to not reveal any plot secrets from the series, it has been reported that he asked them to sign non-disclosure agreements and Arthur Davill, who plays Reverend Paul Coates, admitted that the cast haven’t seen the second series in full!

While it is unlikely to have the impact of the first series, this episode proved an intelligent and thoughtful continuation of a story that had the nation gripped. Now a mix of courtroom and psychological drama, as the tagline states, ‘the end is where it begins’ couldn’t be more true.

Broadchurch looks set to be explosive, exploring grief and a town that is much more sinister than we thought.

Series two of Broadchurch continues on ITV at 9pm on Mondays.

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