Mystery and drama. Two words that perfectly sum up the first season of the British television show Broadchurch. First airing in 2013, Broadchurch’s first season is only eight episodes long. It is intriguing, and there are twists and turns in every episode.
Without giving too much away, the first season tells the story of Detective Inspector Alec Hardy, played by David Tennant (Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), and Detective Ellie Miller, played by Olivia Colman (Bethan in Locke) as they try to solve the murder of a local eleven year old boy. Over the course of the season, you are never entirely sure who the guilty party actually is. Every episode you think it is someone else, and when the truth is revealed, you never see it coming. There is illness and betrayal. Tragic pasts and saddening truths. Every character is fleshed out and given some sort of story, that is made believable by the incredible cast.
The entire cast of the is phenomenal, and the emotions flow through the screen. Sometimes it can be hard to remember that the events in the show aren’t actually happening. Tennant portrays a character with a mysterious past who can sometimes come off as emotionless. The performance he delivers is extraordinary and deeply touching. Alongside Tennant is Olivia Colman who clearly exhibits the emotions felt by someone who is a large part of a small town community. Her grief and compassion make her the opposite of her crime fighting partner and the pain she feels is tangible. Jodie Whittaker (Sam in Attack the Block) plays the Beth Latimer, the mother of the murdered child. Whittaker gives a tear jerking performance as she creates the sorrow, pain, and grief of a bereaved mother. Andrew Buchan (Fishwick in Nowhere Boy) portrays the bereaved father and husband with so much conviction that you are swept into the story even more. Not to mention Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams in Doctor Who), who proves his skill in the role of the small town priest. Even, Matthew Gravelle (Thomas in Son of God) shows his skill in his smaller role as Joe Miller. And, David Bradley (Argus Filtch in Harry Potter) continues to prove his great skill as an actor in the heart wrenching role of Jack Marshall.
The cinematography of this show is exquisite. The techniques used are some of the best and most creative ones that I have seen in television. Using the rear view mirror of a car to show what is happening, instead of filming the scene head-on is something I never would have thought of doing. The cinematography combined with the moving score, draw you in and captivate your imagination. You feel for the characters and the story, acting, cinematography, and music all combine to make you cry, laugh, gasp, and sometimes even want to throw something at your screen.
In all honesty streaming from Netflix was a bit challenging due to the fact that I had things to do, but I very well would have binge watched it if I could. Between viewings I would ponder what twists might appear in the next episode, and went through the list of characters in my head trying to figure out who the murder was. The show has an almost addictive quality to it. But, THIS SHOW IS NOT FOR KIDS. I wouldn’t recommend this show for anyone younger than 14 or 15. There is some subject matter that could be difficult for children to grasp and understand.
Over all I give season one of Broadchurch an 8/10 stars. I only give it an eight because there are times when it is hard to understand what is being said due to thick Scottish accents and a fast pace of speech.