TV FEATURE: BROADCHURCH

(My wife and I have pretty much given up on American television.  With the amount of quality British and European programming available via Netflix and the BBC iPlay App, we find it impossible to watch the supermodel bullshit you see on US TV.  You know what?  Cops don’t need to be supermodels in every fucking show.  Also, the ‘win it for the good guys’ predictable endings of every US show is simply boring, and quite impossible to watch when you’ve seen so much good international TV.  Over the next few months, we want to highlight some of these great shows that are now easier than ever to access here in North America. I have just finished a good binge-watch of Broadchurch.  Below is a basic outline to the show, but I do not want to give anything away here that might spoil your enjoying this incredible show.  I will say this though, as much as the first season is awesome, the second season is out-of-control brilliant.  David Tennant is by far one of the greatest British actors of all time.  Nobody plays an angry old fuck better than that guy.  If you’ve got a weekend to kill, binge watch the shit out of this show.  Season one is available on Netflix, while Season two can be purchased via iTunes for only $21.99.  This show kicks the shit out of anything American television has to offer. – FATS)

Broadchurch is a British television crime drama broadcast on ITV. It was created and written by Chris Chibnall and produced by Kudos Film and Television, Shine America, and Imaginary Friends. The first series focused on the death of an 11-year-old boy and the impact of grief, mutual suspicion, and media attention on the town. Series one premiered on 4 March 2013. Filming for series two began in late May 2014, concluded on 12 October 2014, and began its ITV broadcast on 5 January 2015. Series three was confirmed on 23 February 2015, immediately following the series two finale.

Broadchurch series one focused on the search for the boy’s murderer by detectives Alec Hardy (played by David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (played by Olivia Colman). Chibnall was inspired by the Jurassic Coast of Britain to set his crime drama in a fictional, close-knit small town in Dorset. Much of the tone of the series was inspired by the music of Ólafur Arnalds, who also composed the soundtrack for the programme. Writing on spec, he convinced ITV to green-light the series in the autumn of 2011. Auditions soon followed, although some actors were offered roles directly. Principal photography began in August 2012, with location shooting occurring primarily in the towns and villages in Dorset, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire and the city of Bristol. The production went to great lengths to keep secret the identity of the murderer. Cast and crew was nominated for many awards for series one, winning several British Academy Television (BAFTA) Awards and a BAFTA Craft Award.

Broadchurch creator and writer Chris Chibnall described the project as a labour of love. He conceived Broadchurch about 2003 while working on his first series, Born and Bred. The concept was for Broadchurch to explore how a child’s murder affects a small, close-knit local community, and how the characters react to the media attention and the mutual suspicion that arises.

The series’ location was partly inspired by the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, where Chibnall lived. Chibnall says that he initially did not have a location in mind for the series. But work-related issues made setting the show in Dorset appealing. From 2006 to 2011, Chibnall had spent most of his time traveling about the UK and Ireland, working on Torchwood, Law & Order: UK, and Camelot. Setting the show in Dorset meant Chibnall would not have to spend time away from his home and family. Chibnall’s decision to set the show on the Jurassic Coast also helped him generate more ideas for the show and tighten the writing. For example, Dorset’s most famous native son, poet and author Thomas Hardy, lent his last name to one of the main characters (DI Alec Hardy). Hardy’s use of the term “Wessex” was used to name the fictional Wessex Police, and character Jack Marshall reads the Hardy novel Jude the Obscure.

The series’ name also came from the Dorset setting. Chibnall invented the name “Broadchurch” based on two towns in Dorset: “I thought a lot about the literary heritage of this county. In true Thomas Hardy style I came up with a compound location name of Broadchurch combining the West Dorset hamlets of Broadoak and Whitchurch.”

Broadchurch Official Trailer