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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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This one caught the imagination with me and a lot of people I know and it was refreshing to hear people discussing a British drama series rather than the latest American boxset. Dorset's Jurassic coast provided the stunning backdrop for a classic whodunnit that kept you guessing almost to the end. David Tennant and Colman are superb and versatile actors who teamed up perfectly as the two detectives on the hunt for the murderer of local boy Danny Latimer whose body was found mysteriously placed on the beach one morning.

For Ellie Miller (Colman) things are made more difficult as she knows the Latimer family well and her son was Danny's best friend whilst the taciturn Alec Hardy (Tennant) new in town has to face his own demons having been accused of botching a similar case elsewhere, a fact that is known by a dogged national journalist. His transfer to Broadchurch is meant to be a respite for him as he also faces health problems but his timing could not have been worse with the town in turmoil.

This is a very watchable series set in the town where the sun never seems to stop shining but is shaken to the core as secrets about its tight knit community are slowly revealed. Lies are told and accusations made at anyone and everyone from the local vicar to the sea cadet master and the reclusive lady (Pauline Quirke) and her dog living in a caravan by the sea. If I had one criticism it would be its pace with seemingly little happening in the early episodes but it's a slow burner that reaps rewards as tall tales are unravelled and the killer finally flushed out (it wasn't Vince the dog). It's not heavy on action, just people and nobody does sad like Colman or grumpy like Tennant in this classy coastal mystery.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 April 2013
ITV drama is truly excelling itself with this production. Firstly, the cast is top class, with superlative acting. Notably, Jodie Whittaker as the bereaved mother Beth is completely believable and gives a haunting performance of what it is like to be told your son has been found dead. During the first episode, I had had tears streaming down my face throughout much of it, which is very unusual for me. In a later episode, she talks to another mother who has been through a similar experience and their conversation is deeply moving, jerkingly honest and as a demonstration of the high quality of the writing, delves into despair, depression, feeling utterly alone and lost in a way so rarely seen on TV.

The plot keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat. I am not actually particularly keen on who dunnits but this is so, so much more. It covers a broad spectrum of important subjects: marital infidelity is explored in a very real and refreshing way; the effect of loss and tragedy on a marriage and on siblings; how we react to the word "sex offender" as a blanket concept rather than thinking about the huge range of offences it covers. How quickly a fearful community can become a lynch mob with scant evidence. Most accurately, it demonstrates the role of the Press in our society: how exaggeration and emotive words used only to sell papers can distort the facts with tragic effect; how young reporters are exploited and how their ambition to excel is abused by unscrupulous editors; and how easily we do believe what we read.

Andrew Buchan, (Cranford, The Fixer, & the brilliant Party Animals and Garrow's Law), one of the very finest actors of our age in my opinion, is sublime as always. To appreciate fully his skill it is worth watching his other work to recognise the range and subtlety of his ability in this. He could so easily have fallen into over-acting in this role, but he is a master of his craft and it is a great privilege to watch him.

Olivia Colman is wonderful, and no wonder Meryl Streep called her "divinely gifted". She is perfectly cast and her various roles in the Police, as a wife, as a mother and as a friend is so cleverly and interestingly explored.

I could go on: David Tennant is fascinating and compelling as the detective; David Bradley as the newsagent is truly memorable and keeps the balance of suspicion and sympathy perfectly; Pauline Quirke is so wonderfully sinister that I don't think I'll think of her in the same way ever again.

The direction is beautifully and excitingly executed: from the claustophobic scenes in the Lattimer's house to the wide sweep of the beaches and cliffs, even to the horror of what is encapsulated in one of the vehicles, to the scenes of Beth running in different contexts, it is quite simply one of the finest productions I have ever seen.
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on 17 June 2013
We had missed this when it was shown on TV but friends encouraged us to try & see it so when it became available on DVD we ordered it - what a good decision.
It was brilliant - and no advertising!
The `extra's' were well worth seeing too so we got a really good understanding of how the production came about & how the actors and crew were taken through the process - what an innovative way of creating a series - which produced a spectacular TV experience.
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on 12 March 2014
Superbly crafted mystery. Beautifully filmed, exploiting splendid Dorset coastal setting. Consummate acting.
Compelling plot. Complex and absorbing to the end.
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'Broadchurch' was definitely a compelling drama and one of the best shown so far this year. Well acted across the board, a story that kept you guessing and a conclusion that was touching and struck just the right note. Dramas like this make you realise that British TV can be every bit as good as their American counterparts.

So why not five stars? I think that eight episodes was too many. Even though the suspense was evenly spread, I felt it was dragged out just a little too much and maybe six episodes might have been better. Still, this was very good TV and I think that several awards might well be forthcoming.
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on 11 January 2015
Amazing, so gritty and true to life, I had felt a bit jaded about watching yet another cop drama; as most cop shows have very similar story-lines................but this had a brilliant twist at the end and also the acting was much more life-like than most cop dramas where private lives subsume the detective storyline, in this case reactions were human, realistic and often bland, as is life. Pure brilliance with excellent casting, beautiful scenery and an impeccable cast and production list. The child actors are all also worth looking out for in the future.
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on 7 December 2013
Could not stop watching until all episodes were finished.Every person could be under suspicion and had to wait until
The end to discover the guilty person
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on 1 May 2014
this series has a very good reputation and to be honest I was ecpecting it to be overated as most things are but very gripping, very clever at keeping you guessing i have two more episodes to go and I have no idea, which I usually work things out early on, this program really does through curve balls and make you asks questions, leaving you to beleive all people would kill given the correct circumstances which i appreciate is a frightening concept but great for a drama.
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on 9 March 2015
This first series is excellent, with some interesting characters and twists to the plot. Not everything works well, but it is fiction and written to keep you guessing. The sort of series you want to watch the next instalment rather than wait until tomorrow. Compelling viewing, would of hated to watch it on TV when you had to wait a week between episodes.
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It's rare these days for an eight-part drama to focus on a single story. Today's TV crime series are usually shorter and faster-moving without the slow build and complicated back-stories and sub-plots of Broadchurch, which is what makes this stand out from the crowd.

Brilliantly acted - I usually find David Tennant hammy and over-the-top, but his performance here is astonishingly good - and exceptionally well-written, Broadchurch tells the story of the murder of a young boy from the perspective of a number of inhabitants of a small seaside town on the south west coast. Everyone has their secrets and suspicions grow among neighbours, as the community starts to fall apart.

I have to say that I did guess who the killer was going to be at some point during the penultimate episode, probably more through luck than judgement, but this didn't spoil my enjoyment of this series.

One word of warning: I watched this almost all in one sitting, and it's probably not best viewed this way as it's a very intense, often harrowing drama and watching it all in one go is pretty draining emotionally. There is very little relief from the grief and tension, so I'd recommend watching it as it was meant to be watched, one episode at a time with a few days' gap in between (if you can stand the suspense, that is)!
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