On the Jurassic coast of Britain lies a charming, tight-knit little town called Broadchurch. But in the opening scenes of the BBC’s series of the same name, we learn that this town is not as blissful as one might think. After a visually gripping sequence of what appears to be a young boy committing a midnight suicide, the town of Broadchurch is re-introduced as an endearing, everyone-knows-everyone kind of community. But the community has been touched by death, and the a hellish wave of accusations that is about to engulf the citizens begins with the arrival of Alec Hardy, a well-seasoned detective sergeant played by none other than popular British actor David Tennant. Hardy is brought in for a number of reasons. The first is that Broadchurch has never dealt with a murder before. The second is that Hardy just abandoned a highly public case in Sandbrook and needs a place to lie low. The third is that detective sergeant Ellie Miller of Broadchurch is just coming back from a break and needs some help. The relationship between these two main characters is tense to say the least. Hardy operates systematically while investigating, and Miller can’t help but take her personal relationships with the suspects into account. Miller’s son was best friends with the victim, and from the moment we get that information, the tangled web of relationships slowly begins to unravel, with Alec Hardy tugging at the loose end.
If you’re looking for a relaxing series, this is not the show for you. But if you’re into mystery-thrillers with minimalistic cinematography and West Country accents, look no further. The delicacy with which the story unfolds is intriguing, the honesty of the acting is arresting, and the scenery is intoxicating. The oddness and awkwardness of some sequences are reminiscent of Twin Peaks, although it doesn’t go so far into the characters’ idiosyncrasies, at least not yet. After the end of series one, I was unsettled, left knee-deep in a pool of uneasiness, desperate to dive further but uncertain of what I might find. Regardless of my desires, series two of Broadchurch is not yet available to stream on any Covenant-approved websites. It began airing on BBC America on March 4th, though, and I’m looking forward to the day I can add it to my Netflix queue.