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Recap: Broadchurch series 1

It’s almost time to put on our Sunday best and worship at the altar of Broadchurch once more, as one of the UK’s best crime drama in years returns to our screens. We’ve already told you why we’re so excited about series two of Broadchurch and even given you a glimpse of the latest trailer – but before we get too carried away with things to come, let’s remind ourselves just what it was that made us fall in love with the Dorset-set whodunnit the first time round with a little recap of what happened, shall we?


Broadchurch series 1 cast

Broadchurch series 1 opened with the shocking discovery of the body of eleven year-old Danny Latimer at the base of the cliffs in Broadchurch, with the initial episode unfurling in a kaleidoscopic display of grief and emotion as the close knit community react to the tragic news.

We were introduced to local DI Ellie Miller (Peep Show’s Olivia Colman), who, as well as understanding the community’s grief as part of it herself, also had a personal connection with the family of young Danny. Assisting Miller with the investigation is surly, new-to-the-area DI Alec Hardy (played by an oddly unshaven David Tennant). The pair’s frosty relationship was to set the underlying tone for the rest of the series.

Every small town has its secrets and Broadchurch is no different. As the death of Danny is proven to have been in very suspicious circumstances indeed, the rest of the series unravelled a cast of even more suspicious characters. From the local vicar to the strange newspaper seller with a murky history of associating with the Sea Brigade boys, the series played on the stereotypes held by not only the residents of Broadchurch, but by the nation as a whole. Mid-series, we were treated to the kind of red herrings you’d expect to see from this kind of crime drama, such as when Danny’s father’s alibi falls through. But it turns out he was only having an affair. So the oddball newspaper seller must have done it. Surely?!

A last minute dramatic twist in the finale revealed the true identity of the murderer – none other than the husband of case detective, DI Miller. The devastation felt by the residents of Broadchurch at the revelation was to be reflected across Britain as nine million viewers angrily screwed up their betting slips.

Series 2 follows the aftermath of this revelation. How will DI Miller cope with the reactions of the community? What new case will shock the residents of Broadchurch? And more importantly, will we guess whodunnit this time…?

Don’t miss our pick of the best Netflix shows and gripping books perfect for Broadchurch fans.

Steve Charnock

Steve Charnock is a freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. But *always* forgets to write his mum a birthday card.

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1 Comment

    I am so excited for the return of this – great recap! I read Erin Kelly’s novel before I watched Series One, this time round I’m doing it the other way round. I will watch, read the short stories and then hopefully there will be a full length novel again. Preferably still by Erin, who captured the ambience of the series perfectly.

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