Broadchurch Series Two. My Review of episode One. Minor spoilers only. Monday nights at 9pm. BBC One or channel number 101 on Virgin Media TV. Catch-up on BBC i-player

Broadchurch Series Two

Notes and dialogue on first watching.

So we open with bluebells but it was just a dream.  David Tennant as Detective Inspector Alec Hardy is still living in Broadchurch or by the sea.  In an extra cool little blue cabin.  Do Detectives ever live anywhere other than somewhere supremely cool.  By the sea.  Naturally.

Scene with eponymous Journalists.  On the beach.

So the murderer’s only visitor is a Priest.  In the visitor’s room.  That’s unusual.

Olivia Coleman is the eponymously demoted Traffic Cop/ Policewoman now.

Me I am just waiting ( and hoping) for the appearance of Charlotte Rampling.

Uh oh.
So I am back to my original suspect then.  Plus I did think he was the father of Katie’s baby.

Nb.  When Starey eyed Detctive Inspector Alec Hardy is getting interviewed (improbably) on the beach he mentions that there has been a cliff fall recently. Yes-the Journalists say.

So Olivia as Policewoman (ex-Detective Superintendent) Ellie Miller and the mysterious Claire who we presume to be Alex’s wife are both weeping and girl-ified.  Being barked/ shouted at and squired around by Alec.

So Claire is not Alec’s wife.

Charlotte Rampling on the beach to Katie’s husband:
“I have not practised in years,, I’m not that person any more,I can’t help you..”
Uh huh.  Look all the cliché speech is done now.  So we will expect to see you marching back purposely with a sheaf of papers in: five, four, three, two, one..Any time now really.

Please. ‘Cause you can break up the monotony of Broadchurch-I know you can Charlotte.
Someone has to.

Oh no.  Now we have a new suspect…

Policewoman Ellie Miller and Detective Inspector Alec Hardy:
Her:
I found a letter with a bluebell”
Him:
“What do yo mean, a bluebell?”
Her:
“A bluebell..”

Ellie Miller to Alec:
“What makes you think he killed  those girls?”

Cue to flashback: we see a crying husband and wife (of the dead girls).

Then the camera pans to Lee Hollingsworth (the suspect) he is lounging on his patio, smoking.
His wife on a armchair nearby.  In  hideous flowered jumpsuit. Oh yes.  He is extremely suspicious on the basis of just this tableaux.  Apparently.

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Review

So as rather surprisingly revealed even before the first episode in a preview I read, Broadchurch two has no new murder in it.  Strictly speaking then this this series is an epilogue or continuation of the first series.

Describing it as two might be a bit of an over-representation of what a second series is expected to be.  Perhaps.  Although i guess they can call it whatever they like.  Broadhchurch continued may not have quite the same ring to it as a title.  Still the viewer cannot help but feel a bit short changed like this is more like budget Broadchurch.  In that they saved on a bundle of something, Work, plotting , Dead body even.  Autopsy and all that jazz.

However wait, is that an exhumation I see before me,.  In barely a blink of a plodding and non- procedural eye.

Oh well. I guess we just go with the flow.  Me I always found Broadchurch seriously underwhelming. Different for a while.  Yet it seemed to collapse under the weight of it’s own (over) pretensions.  Plus nobody lately seems capable of filming the English countryside in truly a horror way.

I know it is possible.  Ben Wheatly can do it.  Sightseers did it.  Created horror in the crisp daylight. Maybe even sun.  But recent English murder mysteries have if anything too much sunlight.  Too much view.

The rest of the drama depends for its dramatic weight upon the characters.  Who do not always come up to spec./ specification.  Of anything. Other than overblown officially eccentric characters, morose or just not that interesting.

Added to that is the odd distance felt from the characters themselves, with only dialogue and various facial grimaces and occasional widely staring eyes.  To go on.  We are not privy to their inner lives. Any of them.

Beyond seeing Olivia Coleman cry and rant furiously.  All a welcome relief actually.  As some interesting action and a touch of depth.  But everyone else pretty much is flat or one to two dimensional.

Yes, I know, DetectiveInspector Alec Hardy is all shouty because he has a back-story.  Plus I forgot he is there in Broadchurch because he works there.  As a Policeman and famously was promoted over Ellie Miller.

I do like Olivia Coleman as an actress.  She was brilliant (as was Paddy Constantine) in Tyrannosaurus.  I did enjoy the expected and formulaic coupling up of Detective Inspector Alec Hardy and Policewoman Ellie Miller, Off on a quest.  Together again. with obviously Ellie Miller re-energised again.   As Alec asks for her help.  Yey.

 Off they go, Ellie Miller moaning, nicely spiteful and spitting with anger.  Over everything.  But we all know of course that the once demoted Detective now working as traffic Cop or Port Authority guard for Sarah Lund in The Killing: will always come back.  To solve that damned case.

Quite often the unsolved  or discredited (in some way) case that resulted in that Detective’s downfall.

Career-wise.  Socially.  The whole caboodle.  Usually said Detective has been driven to drink.  but mostly only if he is male.  Which past-time they will perform coolly of course.  In a down at heel but well stocked bar.  With their coterie of acquaintances.  But I digress.  Particularly since Ellie MIller hasn’t done any of the above.

I did find myself trying to remember some characters in Broadchurch was as well as exactly who died.  In Broadchurch One.  The appearance of a character from Eastender’s sister from that soap opera threw me for a while.

Although all the main central characters are all clear.  The re-appearance of the rather creepy caravan which created a sinister atmosphere of the happening within: was a familiar element of Broadchurch.

That caravan.  The keys.  I remember now.  So is this scene as innocent as it seems?  I wonder.

Broadchurch two looks like a re-examination of the original murder case along with the legal procedural of the Court case of the murderer.  Or so we thought.

Then the rather tiresome inclusion of Alec’s old case that has resurfaced.  with the unlikely tale of the doleful Claire and her unofficial protection. Like that would really happen.

Oh yes and dried flowers in cards.  Bluebells.  What a long time it is since I have seen a dried flower. I think I remember similar flowers as presents.  From what seems like a dim and distant dream of another age.

A nice touch was the dried flowers I felt. Not so much the overlaid visions of bluebell fields in the beginning.  A little bit overflowery in all as an image.  Ah yes, the bluebells.  We are meant to be taking all this seriously.  There will be bluebell clues . mark my words.

So I will patiently watch Broadchurch Two mainly to support a new British production, which is rare, of a murder mystery.  Where I do wonder whether we removed the admittedly beautiful and important character if you like: which is the scenery itself.  Just what would Broadchurch be like?  Better or worse.  I wonder.  Still, there is Charlotte Rampling and Marianne Jean-Baptiste  who look set to do battle with a variety of legal weapons.

The main characters ware all watch-able.  The action fairly bumbles along.  And the cliffs are high, high as the sky and made of burnt yellow.  Just like the sand.

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Footnotes.

Charlotte Rampling’s character has eyelashes like two feathered and fringed mating butterflies. Thing is.  When will we see her eyes.  But when you do they are letterboxes of bright blue.

***

Marianne Jean-Baptiste is known for her role in the American series Without A Trace.

***

So I have not seen the second episode of Broadchurch Two.  I had not felt like it.  And I don’t often write in negatives.

I have recorded Broadchurch Two.  Possibly will catch up with it later.  Meanwhile:

Silent Witness is looking strangely good.

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