21/02/2017 12:21 GMT | Updated 22/02/2018 05:12 GMT

Why Broadchurch Is Ready To Reclaim The Drama Crown


The first series of Broadchurch had the nation on the edge of their seats. It was one of those televisual treats which sneaks up on you and before you know it, your life is consumed and the next episode cannot come quick enough.

When the trailers first appeared, there was intrigue as it focused on the murder of a child and how it would affect a close-knit rural community.

The death of 11-year-old Danny Latimer felt all the more shocking as everyone in the coastal town, including some of the police officers investigating, knew the victim and, one-by-one, they all seemed to have their time in the spotlight as a suspect.

At the time, David Tennant was best known as being the tenth Doctor Who, in which he was generally quite frenetic. Now, he was the archetypal moody TV detective and, on paper, it could have been that Broadchurch would be a 'throwaway' Sunday evening drama that would satisfy rather than enthral.

The casting of Olivia Colman as Tennant's detective partner made all the difference. She made it all seem real and with a cast that was mainly made up of relatively unknown actors, you gradually felt that you were being pulled into the heart of their community.

Of course, the script of Chris Chibnall was everything as viewers bought into his masterpiece. Broadchurch rightly went on to win a host of awards and the emotions that viewers felt as the final twist and sting in the tale hit home was palpable.

Of course, when it was announced that there would be a second series, the expectation was already at fever pitch. How could they top what came before? Could Broadchurch actually get even better?

Well, it seems that 'difficult second album syndrome' had a hand in what was produced. The bar had been set so high, that it could've been the fact that whatever came next might have spoiled the party a little.

This is not to say that the second series was poor in any way, just a little disappointing compared to what came before. The courtroom drama angle seemed to make it just another crime drama after the first series had put Broadchurch head and shoulders above many of its rivals.

Redemption is on its way though. The trailers for series three are looking incredible and with Julie Hesmondhalgh on board and the addition of Sir Lenny Henry, who has shown that he can be quite brilliant in serious roles, you know that the acting is going to be, once again, exemplary.

The producers of Broadchurch had enough credit with viewers that there wasn't too much of a backlash as the second series failed to live up to expectations.

Now, they are in a position to place Broadchurch back at the top of the drama tree as it feels the right time to return to the Dorset town. It would be no surprise if, over the coming weeks, that the words 'unmissable' and 'essential viewing' are mentioned in most reviews that are written and that the ITV drama wins big when awards season comes again.