It’s been a dark two year gap since we left Broadchurch, but, finally, the award-winning series is returning for a third and final series. The last time we saw Detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman), they were driving child murderer and Ellie’s ex-husband Joe (Matthew Gravelle) out of the seaside town, after he escaped justice with a not guilty verdict for Danny Latimer’s murder. Many fans are perplexed what Chibnall and his team have in store next for the series after seemingly tying up plot threads, but they are back with a completely new storyline, and many new characters.
The trailer, released in early January, shows glimpses of a new storyline, surrounding a sexual assault at a party. This is completely different direction to the themes that have previously been addressed, and hints that new characters will be central to the series. They include screen legend Sir Lenny Henry, Sarah Parish (W1A), and BAFTA-winner Georgina Campbell (One of Us). These additions will be critical to the new series, and being of such outstanding caliber, we are in for a treat. Although the buzz around these actors are high, I’m most excited to see Julie Hesmondhalgh take on the role of Trish, the victim of the sexual assault.
Hesmondhalgh is best known for her long-running role as Hayley in Coronation Street, so is well versed in dealing with sensitive issues such as the one this series is hinged on. The move away from the case of Danny Latimer seems like a good choice, with the core case of Series 2 focusing on a very similar murder, which dragged out the series. This fresh storyline it will reinvigorate and refresh not only the plot, but also the returning characters that we will be familiar with.
I have been an avid fan of the series since it first started, and I want to see in this series a bit of character development within David Tennant’s character. Although the audience of the show has had an incite into his personal life, his divorce and a mysteriously absent daughter, his hard exterior has merely been scraped at. I would love for Ellie Miller to finally remove the mask on his character. This would provide nice closure and character arc for Broadchurch, a ‘happy ending’ of sorts for DI Hardy and DS Miller.
Broadchurch returns tomorrow, Monday 27th February.