Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Beyond The TARDIS Broadchurch: The End is Where it Begins review by DJ Forrest

Broadchurch Series 2

In and Out the Sparkling Bluebells

In the first series of Broadchurch written and created by Chris Chibnall, the search for the murderer of Danny Latimer was on, and thanks to the lack of spoilers, which helped to keep the suspense of the series going, we never discovered the true identity of the killer till the very end.  Many of us who watched the series unfold had drawn our own conclusions; mine had always been a toss up between Joe Miller and his son Tom.

So when Joe Miller, husband of DS Ellie Miller was caught with Danny’s phone in his hand at the end of the last series that was pretty much the end of the story.  How could either officer continue after this?  Ellie had kicked the crap out of her husband while in police custody and D.I. Hardy who was suffering from heart arrhythmia long before he came to Broadchurch was practically at death’s door. 

So when talk of a new series of Broadchurch was being put together, and that both Olivia Colman and David Tennant were returning to their roles I had to wonder just how this was possible, given where we’d left off. 

At one point during a chase scene, in the first series, we’d seen Alex Hardy collapse in a boat yard clutching his chest and almost gasping his last, with Ellie pleading with him to ‘not die’, which to any Whovian watching would instantly think of the scene from ‘Stolen Earth’.  So how was it possible that Tennant could return to face another day as a police officer?

Simples run the second series where the first series left off.

Joe Miller is in court where as far as his brief is concerned, he will be pleading guilty.  However as soon as the court is in session and he takes his stand, he surprises everyone in the room including the Latimer’s, Ellie Miller, Alex Hardy, and practically the entire town of Broadchurch that he’s ‘Not Guilty.’ 

But we knew that right? 

Joe was never going to go down without a fight, after all, we still had to discover what all the secrets were that folks were hiding in the first series, and where better than a courtroom full of Press. 

Jocelyn Knight after much persuasion from certain quarters took up the case against Joe Miller but already she was having second thoughts when their first hurdle to undermine the entire case was at the fault of D.S. Miller, for the beating of her husband while in police custody.  And later in court when D.I. Hardy was called to give evidence, he didn’t get off free either, as allowing Ellie to attack Joe saw his confession from Joe Miller scrubbed from the court evidence.  This was going to be a long drawn out process, where every member who had been interviewed by the police and every person who had a guilty secret to keep within the town would be airing their dirty laundry in public.

The wonderful thing about a story such as Broadchurch is that you’re not going to be ‘bogged’ down by just court proceedings for the series, there is another story, another case to answer. 

The Sandbrook case.

Before D.I. Hardy took on the murder case in Broadchurch, he was involved in another case, that of two missing girls in Sandbrook.  A pendant was stolen while in the possession of the DS working on the case with him, Hardy’s wife.  Determined not to let his troubled relationship with his wife become the property of the national press and to protect his own daughter from learning the truth, he took the blame for his wife who was at that time having an affair.  This information he finally admitted to the Broadchurch News group covering the Danny Latimer story.  However, Hardy kept back one piece of information…

Claire Riley has been hiding away in a property in Broadchurch for several months while Alex Hardy has been investigating the death of Danny Latimer.  Claire is as far as we can see, Alex Hardy’s secret. 

As far as Hardy is concerned, the murderer of the two missing girls, 12 year old Pippa and 19 year old Lisa Newberry, who is still missing is none other than their neighbour, Lee Ashworth.  Although Ashworth’s wife, Claire Riley (Eve Myles) had given him a solid alibi, when Hardy managed to get the truth from Claire, Lee Ashworth was arrested.  Claire agreed to testify, but fearing for her safety was hidden away in a sort of unofficial witness protection program in Broadchurch.

When Lee Ashworth is released, he tracks his wife to Broadchurch.  Ashworth knows that Hardy has an idea where his wife is and he plans to find her.  He breaks into Hardy’s rented accommodation and takes some interesting paperwork, such as the hospital procedure paperwork.  The pressure is on to keep Claire safe but Hardy’s unaware at that point just how close Ashworth is and at every turn during the Latimer trial, Hardy sees Ashworth watching him. During a face to face confrontation Hardy agrees a meeting but only if Claire Riley, agrees.  Hardy sets up the meeting, but an arranged meeting, with Ellie out in the road and Hardy out in the kitchen, the lounge of Ellie’s old house bugged and filmed, what could possibly go wrong?

There are an array of familiar faces in the series, some from the first series and more from the new, but one face from the first season is no longer with us in the second and that is Susan Brown who played Beth Latimer’s mum in the first.  Beth mentions in the second episode that her mother died after the upset of her grandson’s death.  That may have been mentioned in the first series but I can’t remember.

It’ll be interesting to see how the story pans out after the second episode of the second series; I’m enjoying it so far, but for me it’s the heady cast of Torchwood and Who actors that keeps me focused.  It’s like a sci fi convention of stars but playing far from the Time Lord genre as possible.  There are no bog monsters to battle with the flick of a sonic, nor are there the grinding sounds of the arrival of the mad man in a blue box, just the sick D.I. with a head full of secrets and a body full of pills to keep him from collapsing before the end of the series.  Will he make it to his procedure, or will he keel over before the last hurdle?   I’m as keen as the next fan to see the outcome of the story, and whether or not Alex Hardy gets his man or woman, and justice is finally served in Broadchurch. 

And what is it about those sparkling bluebells???


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