The third series of ‘Broadchurch’ finally came to its crashing conclusion last night, tying off a drama that had surpassed all expectations, particularly after the disappointment that was the second.
The search for Trish Winterman’s attacker at her best friend’s birthday party has turned into something much bigger, a compassionate exploration of the secret fears, hopeless loves and unending frustrations of the inhabitants of a small town.
While the scenes following the detectives racing against time to crack the case have been faultless, the surprise in this series has been the amount of passion, warmth and even perfectly-timed humour in the moments in between.
For our money, here are our 10 best scenes from Series 3...
1. Trish and Cath
The moment when Trish confessed to her pal Cath that she’d slept with the latter’s husband Jim. Remarkable for Cath’s humiliation, disguised as contempt for her friend, and her husband’s “lowered standards”.
“I never knew the smell of mildew turned him on.”
2. Detective Hardy and Kate Harford
Hardy learning that his young officer Kate Harford might have inadvertently compromised the whole investigation through not letting on her connection with a central suspect.
“If we find out that Trish’s attacker has any connection to you, this will never stand up in court, and you will have to answer not only to me, not only to the Chief Super, but the women he’s attacked. et out now.”
3. Mark Latimer and Joe Miller
The moment when troubled Mark Latimer finally sat down with his son’s killer Joe Miller and realised there was no redemption to be found.
“I can’t live with what you’ve done, but I’m not strong enough to make you pay. It’s pathetic, isn’t it?”
4. Miller, Hardy and a Deli
That moment in the investigation that took Miller and Hardy to a delicatessen. While they were questioning the caterer about his movements on the night of the party, they were offered some of his lovely food. “Oh, yes ple....” started Miller. “No,” said Hardy.
5. Alec Hardy goes Liam Neeson
Hardy takes a lesson out of Liam Neeson’s book, reminding the boys who upset his daughter who’s boss.
“I spend my life dealing with murderers and brutal thugs and I get the better of them, so don’t for a minute think I’ll break a sweat dealing with you”
6. Ellie Miller’s moment with Leo Humphries
Hardy grilled one grisly suspect, “What’s the matter wi’ you? Have you no shame?” but the real contempt was left to DS Ellie Miller, her initial impatience with Leo Humphries translated into disgust and finally undisguised horror at his thought processes. “It’s not sex,” she bellowed at him.
7. ‘You’ll go to jail... and make mine a 99 Flake’
The moment when Hardy and Miller were forced to queue up outside an icecream van to discuss the validity of Leo’s alibi with his on-off girlfriend. As her answers popped out far too quickly and smoothly, Ellie Miller cheerfully informed her that everything was fine, but yes, she would be going to jail if she lied in court. Perjury, you see. More smiles. Priceless.
“... very straightforward, just says, if you’re lying you’ll go to prison for perjury.”
8. Old school, new media
The moment when old-school newspaper editor Maggie Radcliffe finally got to fire herself from her own paper - sort of - in defence of integrity over audiences. “As the Americans say, screw you, petal,” she calmly informed her erstwhile employer, with a gesticulatory finger for clarification.
9. Women together
The incredibly moving scene in the penultimate episode when all the town’s womenfolk came together in defiance of fear brought on by an unknown serial attacker. With mobile phone candles in the wind, it was a scene eerily reminiscent of when the residents came together in the first series, all that time ago, to remember Danny Latimer, but this time there was hope.
10. Has Hardy gone soft?
Finally, Alec Hardy sees the error of his ways, much to Miller’s confusion... “I’ve been too nice to people, Miller, it does no good.”
Catch up with ‘Broadchurch’ on ITV Player.