Ever since its announcement last year, Broadchurch has been on many people’s radars as one to watch. With a positively all-star cast and some great minds behind the camera too, for a long time it’s looked like ITV’s ace in the hole.
Finally Broadchurch breaks cover this evening and thankfully it’s lived up to the expectation. Dark, painful and emotionally arresting, Broadchurch is the first production that can be realistically be crowned as ‘The British Killing’.
It’s a crown that British drama has been aching to achieve ever since Sarah Lund and her woolly jumpers became a smash hit on BBC Four and all the cool kids started watching these dark and atmospheric dramas. Over the last couple of years, the home grown dramas from the big channels have been moving in this direction, with the BBC even getting in Killing director Birger Larsen in to direct last year’s one off ‘Murder’.
With Broadchurch, ITV have hit the nail on the head, making a drama that not only evokes the spirit of the Danish marvel, but can quite easily sit alongside it and not look embarrassed.
Broadchurch sees us following the shockwaves made by the murder of a child in a quiet seaside town. From the police investigation, to the devastating effect on the parents to the shocked residents, Broadchurch is looking at all the destruction created by a horrific event in a way that most other dramas gloss over in a matter of minutes.
This is something that The Killing, and Nordic noir in general, has become so masterful at. Its character’s don’t get over loss over the course of a single episode like they seem to in many American procedurals; they struggle to pick up the pieces for the rest of the series. This down to earth reality makes the drama far more touching and, well, dramatic as the events are much more relatable. A death bites far closer to the bone when you can almost feel the reality of the situation.
Broadchurch captures this essence as beautifully as The Killing did, delivering a heart-breaking show that makes every parent’s nightmare almost too real to handle. This is backed up with a phenomenal cast. David Tennant once again shows why he’s one of Britain’s finest actors, with Olivia Coleman and Jodie Whittaker supreme throughout the show. Somehow this amazing collection is even better in action than it is on paper.
Broadchurch is drama absolutely at its best and a must see, magnificently poignant throughout and rightfully positioned as the crowning jewel in ITV’s growing collection of fantastic drama.
Broadchurch is on tonight on ITV at 9pm.