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Broadchurch series 3 review

Episodes: 8

Premiered: 2017

Duration: 45 min

Set three years after Broadchurch‘s second series, this final chapter follows Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) as they investigate the rape of a woman called Trish (Coronation Street‘s Julie Hesmondhalgh) in the small Dorset community of Broadchurch. Meanwhile, the ramifications of young Danny’s death from the first series are still felt by many in the once-sleepy coastal Dorset town.

Here’s Steve Charnock’s episode-by-episode Broadchurch series 3 review.

Broadchurch series 3 episode 1 review

WARNING: spoilers for Broadchurch series 3 episode 1 below. Still catching up? Read our series 2 recap here.

When ITV unveiled Broadchurch back in March 2013, a few of the bosses had hopes it might do quite well. Those who’d worked on the series’ production expected some favourable reviews and good viewing figures too. Behind the scenes, they knew they’d made a solid, realistic and gripping crime drama. What they didn’t realise is they’d come up with a HUGE smash hit that would regularly draw in over ten million viewers a week, spawn a US remake and capture the public imagination in an almost unprecedented manner.

Four years on, and after an ever so slightly disappointing follow-up second series, we find ourselves back on the Dorset coast, investigating another shocking crime in what looks set to be the final chapter in Broadchurch‘s history. The murder of little Danny Latimer still casts a shadow over the place, but people are slowly moving on. New faces are being drawn into their own nightmares, though – not least of all farm shop worker Trish Winterman, played in devastating fashion by Coronation Street’s Julie Hesmondhalgh. The chirpy face of Hayley Cropper gone, Trish is the focal point of this first episode and the pivot of the eight episode series.

We open not with a body on a beach this time around, but with a battered and bruised woman making a telephone call. Disorientated and in shock, Trish calls the police to report a serious and violent sexual assault. She tells DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) that’s she’s been struck over the back of the head with a blunt object, tied up and raped. Her attacker? She didn’t see. The ever-bickering Hardy and Miller soon uncover the scene of the crime. And some potentially vital clues at that scene. They also discover that the list of suspects could be as many as FIFTY. Well, this is Broadchurch, after all…

This first episode, as you might expect, mostly serves to lay out the plot for us. But it also reacquaints us with some familiar faces so ties with the past aren’t entirely severed. Newcomers to the series need not panic, though. Subtle exposition clues the more casual viewer in to what’s happened previously in Broadchurch. Trish’s case worker is Beth Latimer (Jodie Whitaker), Danny’s still-grieving mum. Danny’s dad Mark (Andrew Buchan) is still in town too – only a squeak more stable than he was the last time we saw him. Will he find himself drawn into the mire of this new case?

As for new faces? Well, it looks as though we’re being drip fed them slowly. Roy Hudd turns up as Ellie’s dad. Plus we met Trish’s friend Cath Atwood (played by Sarah Parish) and her unwelcoming husband – and Trish’s employer (Sir Lenny Henry). Plus, obviously, a couple of seriously shady sorts who skulk in the bushes looking pretty darn suspicious… We’ll no doubt hear and see more from that lot (as well as a whole host of other shady folk) as the Monday evenings pass.

One criticism that the second season faced was a certain lack of accuracy with its police – and specifically court – procedures. But this time around, no such critique can be made. The fine line between realism and entertainment, in this first episode at least, is perfectly tread.

There’s a quiet assurance and patience about this opener. The kind of confidence that comes from a programme with form. Reviews for series two may not have matched those for Broadchurch’s maiden outing, but with a new grounded, believable and gripping case, we’ve got a good feeling about series three.

Just don’t ask us to guess whodunit!

Did you tune in for Broadchurch series 3 episode 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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

Read Steve’s Broadchurch series 3 episode 2 review here.

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
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.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

5 Comments

    Am I the only one who has problems with this Series? I tuned out very quickly to Series 1, found the acting overdone, weird, strange responses and very annoying responses, not at all life like. I suppose Tennant saved it from being a complete washout, but he certainly didn’t stretch his acting abilities in this series. His sidekick was off the planet… Broadchurch could learn a thing or two from the Nordic Noir TV, such as The Killing, The Bridge etc. At present this series is stuck between ‘OTT weirdness’ and ‘crime noir’.

    Totally agree. Ep 3 got worse. Obviously written by a man – no woman on earth would put herself through a re-enactment knowing she may have to do the same verbally in court. Acting too unnatural. I wasn’t moved at all what a shame after all the hype.

    This first episode of Broadchurch (3) was beautifully paced and well acted, especially by Julie Hesmondhalgh as the woman ‘raped near water’. Of course, this being a TV series, DS Ellie Miller gives the raped woman her home phone number! The pace is the winner though. The writer and director have fully understood that even in this fast multi-tasking technological world viewers don’t need scenes to change every five seconds, volume to be high, and sound FX to almost drown out the actors. We are instead drawn in to an emotionally charged story that (almost) moves at the pace of life. In fact, my only negative comment is aimed at the truly annoying rushed credits and voice over trail for the next programme. Luckily, I had recorded it, so I could pause the actor credits in silence and allow the impact of this excellent production stay with me for a while longer.

    I loved it ,thought it was handled very well ,and looking forward to next week

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Broadchurch series 3 episode 2 review

WARNING: spoilers for Broadchurch series 3 episode 2 below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s episode 1 review here.

Last week saw the return of one of ITV’s most successful ever crime dramas, Broadchurch. Back for a third and final run, the sleepy coastal Dorset town of the title has again been rocked by a violent crime. This time a brutal sexual assault. David Tennant’s Hardy and Olivia Colman’s Miller are looking to solve the mystery of who raped local farm shop worker Trish Winterman, excellently played with studied fragility and understatement by Julie Hesmondhalgh. And as bleak and harrowing as the maiden episode was, we can’t help but be glad it’s back on our screens.

If the opener’s main job was to introduce us to the new cast of characters and outline the crime that DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller are going to be investigating (and that we’ll be investigating vicariously through them), episode two’s job was to lay out the list of suspects for us. Or at least, as many as the fifty-odd minutes running time would allow. And boy, oh boy, is that list starting to grow.

We already had our suspicions about a few locals from last week. But now? The list of potential perpetrators is a lengthy one. It’s almost easier to ask who isn’t acting suspiciously at this point, but since you’re here and we take our job of recapping Broadchurch seriously, let’s run through who episode two has flagged up as smelling a little fishy. But just remember – red herrings smell fishy too…

Ian Winterman – a seemingly affable if easily flustered man. Trish’s husband initially appeared to be happy to help with the investigation, but it didn’t take Hardy and Miller long to get under his skin and pretty soon he was a gibbering, sweating mess. And one who refused to provide a DNA test for them too.

broadchurch series 3 episode 2

Jim Atwood – the husband of Trish’s friend and colleague Cath. We know him as the shifty mechanic from episode one with the condoms that match the one found at the crime scene. He raised an Alec Hardy eyebrow when he stuttered over an explanation as to why he had a whole reel of the same fishing twine found on Trish’s wrists on a shelf at his garage.

Leo Humphries – a 23-year-old looking after his dad’s fishing net firm. A cocky kid and one with plenty of twine access, he also questions the detectives about his need to cooperate. A definite ‘line’ of enquiry (sorry).

Ed Burnett – Trish’s unsympathetic boss. We learned towards the end of the episode that this particular suspect is, in fact, the father of confident new recruit DC Katie Harford. Ambitious and straight-talking, would Harford obfuscate evidence to protect her old man?

Clive Lucas – a shady young taxi driver we caught a glimpse of last week. Hardy and Miller both take an instant dislike to him and he’s clearly telling porkies, but could the cab driver be Trish’s attacker? Surely that would be far too clichéd. Even Lucas makes a reference to it. “So you’ve come to question the cabbie, eh?” he asks rather cheekily. We later learn that he’d had his advances rejected by Trish.

Ellie Miller’s son Tom – okay, okay – so we’re sure the writers wouldn’t do that to DS Miller. They wouldn’t make her husband a killer and then her son a rapist. But the plot thread concerning his exclusion from school for sharing porn seems oddly out of place so far. Our early tip? Could Tom or a school friend of his be into violent pornography, it gets out of hand and that becomes a theme of the series? It’s just a thought. Nothing wrong with speculating. Especially at this early stage.

Away from the cavalcade of suspects, Trish meets and bonds with her her new sexual assault response case worker, Beth Latimer. It quickly becomes clear that a symbiotic kind of relationship might exist between the pair, where each can help the other out with their respective trauma. Beth is already coping quite well since the death of her son Danny – the crux of the first two series. Her husband Mark, though? After seeing Danny’s killer walk away a free man, his rage seems to be getting out of control. Will he get his life back on track or will a hunger for vengeance steer him further from it?

The end of the episode took a turn for the unexpected when Trish’s filmed police interview was stopped prematurely. The victim (or ‘client’) became unhappy answering questions about her sex life and the various partners she’d had recently. Is she hiding something? Is she not as reliable a witness as we all thought? Or is it just embarrassment or stress getting the better of her? If it wasn’t before, then surely it will next week. The credits rolled just after we saw Trish receive a threatening text to ‘shut up or else’…

Did you tune in for Broadchurch series 3 episode 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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

Read Steve’s Broadchurch series 3 episode 3 review here.

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
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.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

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Broadchurch series 3 episode 3 review

WARNING: spoilers for Broadchurch series 3 episode 3 below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s episode 2 review here.

So, then. We’re onto week three of the third and final series of Broadchurch and we’re just as clueless as we were three weeks ago. Who attacked Trish Winterman? We’re none the wiser here. But, hey – it wouldn’t be much fun if we’d all worked it out this early, would it? Like Miller and Hardy, we have our suspicions. And so, we imagine, do you. But what exactly did we learn from episode three? Let’s recap and reflect…

‘You know what’s been bothering me about this case? It makes me ashamed to be a man’, David Tennant’s DI Hardy opines at one point. And you can understand his point. Not only are he and DS Miller investigating a stomach-churningly violent sexual crime committed by a man, their only way of doing so is by quizzing a series of shifty and generally quite unpleasant-seeming malefolk. Pretty much all of whom are lying about one thing or another.

Let’s start with Trish’s husband, Ian. The two are separated and we already know that they had a set-to at the party. He admits to Jim Atwood that he’d lied to the police. And that he’d blacked out drunk at the party. Does this rule him out? Or rule him firmly in? And what was all that about Ian asking Leo Humphries – the salesman at the fishing net firm – to clear his laptop’s hard drive? What was on there? Something that might well be doing the rounds on mobile phones in the local school too?

broadchurch series 3 episode 3

Speaking of Jim, his wife – and Trish’s friend – Cath comes right out and asks him if he knows anything about the attack. Was he – or any of his friends – behind it? A strange thing for a wife to ask her husband, surely? He professed his innocence, of course. But it was less than convincing. The local mechanic is about as suspicious as it gets. Remember that box of condoms of his from the first episode? Quite.

Our duo of detectives quiz Trish’s boss Ed and Clive Lucas again. The cabbie admits lying in their last interview and we find out that he’s a bit of a philanderer. Not only that, but he has a history. A female passenger made a complaint about his inappropriate conduct. We also see there’s a connection between him and Jim towards the end of the episode. Is Lucas one of Jim’s ‘friends’ that Cath is unsure about?

The story of Miller’s teenage son and his mucky movies rose its ugly head again. Porn, indeed… What kind of terrible fifteen-year-old lad watches porn on his mobile phone, eh? Well, only about 99% of them. At a conservative guess. So when Ellie’s son Tom keenly shows his friend (who we learn is Lucas’ stepson) the clip that got them excluded, why was he so repulsed? Is the video clip related to the case somehow? Perhaps Ian and Leo might know about that.

So far, so intriguing. The only nagging thing at the moment is that our main suspects for this vicious sexual assault are all veering dangerously close to being stereotypes, aren’t they? There’s the taxi driver, the black man and jealous alcoholic (soon to be) ex-husband. Are the writers being lazy here? Or are they playing with the idea of the archetypal ‘rapist’? We’re imagining the latter.

As we reached the end of this episode, we were still none the wiser of who’s to blame. One of the closing images sees DC Harford proudly unveiling her whiteboard list of party attendees to Hardy and Miller. And it’s an intimidating sight. They’ve got five more episodes to whittle that huge list of names down to just one.

broadchurch series 3 episode 3

But which name will it be? Who do you think was behind Trish’s attack?

A few theories we’re playing with? Okay. Cath’s party was at a rented venue. With significantly more men than women in attendance. Might there have been a swinging element to proceedings? Seems a long shot, but Broadchurch is a town with a seedy underbelly. Might there be a connection with this and the pornographic videos?

Also, that extra fare that Lucas picked up. The ‘grateful’ passenger? Could it have been Reverend Coates? He seems a little disillusioned with the church and townspeople of late. Surely he couldn’t be involved? Could he?

For the moment, we’re still sticking with our theory of it being Tom Miller’s friend. But we’re highly likely to change our minds in the coming weeks…

Did you tune in for Broadchurch series 3 episode 3? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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

Read Steve’s Broadchurch series 3 episode 4 review here.

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
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.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

2 Comments

    Whatever’s happened in the previous episodes, the last two series have ended on images of a community drawing together—first to light Danny’s beacons, then to oust his killer.

    I also have my doubts about the vicar – he is not all he pretends to be I think – but hey I was convinced he was the guilty party in series one!

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Broadchurch series 3 episode 4 review

WARNING: spoilers for Broadchurch series 3 episode 4 below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s episode 3 review here.

So, then. We’ve reached the halfway stage of this tense and dramatic final season of everyone’s favourite south coast whodunit. After the onslaught of suspects thrown at us in the first three episodes, the number of new potential offenders is slacking off. In fact, this week’s Broadchurch only introduced one new shady type. Just one! Fans of the show will know that’s some serious restraint being shown…

Who is this new line of inquiry? Well, it’s recently released local rapist Aaron Mayford (played with impressive sliminess by Olivia Colman’s Peep Show co-star Jim Howick); a short, bearded and thoroughly unpleasant creep out on parole with a serious fondness for unsettling women. As we saw when he turned the tables on by the surveilling DC Katie Harford by jumping in her car and harassing her.

broadchurch series 3 episode 4

Before we met the unlikeable Mayford, we followed Trish as she revisited the scene of her attack. Hardy and Miller tailed her as she desperately tried to remember what happened that night. In a gut-wrenching moment, we watched as Trish walked up to the exact spot where she was raped and she laid down to try and help recall any details. The trauma was genuinely quite affecting – we sense a BAFTA might well be destined for Julie Hesmondhalgh’s mantlepiece. And the technique worked – Trish remembered the smell of booze on her attacker’s breath. And that there was a light nearby. Was it from a camera phone? Was her ordeal recorded…? Might these two memories help our detectives with the case?

As for our already pretty lengthy list of suspects, some we only caught glimpses of, others were grilled a little more. We learned that Trish’s boss Ed Burnett may have a little bit of a crush on her. We also saw Trish’s estranged husband Ian fretting over something saved on Trish’s laptop. The man’s shiftiness on the subject of hard drives is enough to make you wonder if he wasn’t a radio DJ in the seventies.

Oh, that threatening anonymous text sent to Trish? We discover came from Sarah, Ian’s new girlfriend. She sent it before hearing about what had happened, though. At least, that’s her story, anyway.

broadchurch series 3 episode 4

Jim Atwood is well and truly put in the spotlight when his DNA matches up with that taken from Trish. But, we learn, it was him that Trish slept with on the morning of her attack. His wife Cath – Trish’s colleague and friend – already described her and Jim’s marriage to Hardy and Miller as ‘loveless’. That said, she doesn’t know about his infidelity. And, curiously, mentions to Miller and Hardy that she can’t account for her other half’s whereabouts at the time of Trish’s rape. Almost as if she’s planting a seed of doubt in their minds about him…

Away from the case, we saw Mark Latimer buy some information about the whereabouts of a certain Joe Miller. He tries to round up a posse of one in Rev. Coates, but gets short shrift from the young vicar. Any vengeance scheme may be a lone mission it seems.

In a much-needed moment of comic relief, Alec goes a date. His social awkwardness is almost matched by that of his pretty, nervous new love interest. And his chance bumping into Ellie on the way back from the restaurant provides a nice little laugh out loud moment.

broadchurch series 3 episode 4

Another week, another intriguing episode of Broadchurch. Though there was one bum note played. What was with that oddly impromptu game of football on the beach? It was like a five-a-side game specially organised to pit various suspects up against each other. Miller and Hardy were in attendance and then Trish walked over. It was like Sport Relief had organised a charity police line-up. It was very strange and not a little jarring. Still, it’s always nice to see bibs in a brooding crime drama, isn’t it?

Anyway… We’re now 50% of the way through proceedings. We’re nowhere near finding out the culprit or what really happened to Trish that night, though. But let’s revel in that uncertainty, eh? After all, it’ll be another four weeks until all is revealed…

C’mon, tell us. What’s your hunch?

Did you tune in for Broadchurch series 3 episode 4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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

Read Steve’s Broadchurch series 3 episode 5 review here.

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
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.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

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Broadchurch series 3 episode 5 review

WARNING: spoilers for Broadchurch series 3 episode 5 below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s episode 4 review here.

So, then. It looks as though Broadchurch has a serial rapist. Just when we all thought the place couldn’t get any more sinister. Despite its stunning locale and sunny veneer, this – thankfully – fictional Dorset town really is one seriously dark place. We can’t imagine taking a holiday there. To a little seaside place fuelled by chips, candy floss and ceaselessly horrible violent crime. It’s basically Midsomer-on-Sea, isn’t it?

Trish’s attack wasn’t an isolated incident – we found that out at the end of episode four. A local woman called Laura Benson was also physically and sexually assaulted two years ago, walking back from a party. Not only that, but news of another similar historic rape came Hardy and Miller’s way this week, this time via Beth Latimer’s boss at the Sexual Assault Response Association, senior social worker Sahana Harrison. One of her former clients had confessed to experiencing an assault that fits the MO of Trish and Laura’s attacker exactly. The threat of it happening again is now very real.

On to that already enormous list of suspects and it doesn’t get any shorter. In fact, episode five gave us even more. An entire football team more to be exact! Yup, that’s right. A football sock believed to have been used to gag Trish was found in the grounds of Axehampton House – one matching those worn by a local football team that Leo Humphries, the cocky lad who runs his old man’s fishing net firm, plays for. Leo’s already been questioned by Miller and Hardy and so has his terrible liar of a girlfriend. There’s something extremely fishy about him, pun entirely intended.

broadchurch series 3 episode 5

Back to the more recognisable cast faces and it’s kind of weird that three of our main suspects are played by comic actors, isn’t it? The Fast Show’s Charlie Higson, Comic Relief’s Sir Lenny Henry and Horrible Histories’ Jim Howick. They’re all fine actors, of course. But three funny types playing straight does sometimes leave you waiting for punchlines that, obviously, aren’t coming. Each of their characters – Ian Winterman, Ed Burnett and Aaron Mayford – mired themselves further into the bog of suspicion this week…

Mayford’s alibi fell apart in a particularly tense and gripping interview scene, but Hardy, Miller and Harford had to release him on bail anyway (leading Hardy to drily lament, “just because he’s an a*sehole, that doesn’t make him a rapist.”). Ed showed violent tendencies by giving Trish’s secret lover Jim Atwood a good hiding and – at the end of the episode – Ian let himself into estranged wife Trish’s house late at night without her knowing. Which is particularly creepy. Is he there for the laptop? Or Trish?

Away from the case and we learn what we’d suspected for a little while – DI Alec Hardy’s daughter Daisy’s had some explicit photos leaked and her life’s being made difficult because of it. Will this plot thread tie into Tom Miller’s expulsion for watching pornography? And is it all connected to the case somehow? Are the attacks being filmed? Is there a blackmail angle? We’re now 62.5% into this final series of Broadchurch and we’re still pretty much none the wiser…

broadchurch series 3 episode 5

Mark Latimer is continuing his one man revenge mission, upping the ante from planning to action. He’s tracked down his son’s killer Joe Miller and has pitched up outside his work. We’re assuming that he’s not just there for a catch-up and chat. Judging by the tools he decided to pack before setting off, anyway. Hammers and Stanley knives don’t often make for pleasant conversational aids. Will he go through with his plan? We all want Miller to face justice, but at what cost? There are some dastardly types in Broadchurch, but Mark isn’t one of them. If he goes to town on his child’s killer, where does that leave him?

Back on the case and what else did we learn from this week’s visit to Broadchurch? Well, all three rapes happened during the summer months. Could our man be a seasonal worker? We discovered that a lot of our suspects know each other slightly better than we thought they might. And are starting to point the finger amongst themselves. Leo knows Clive, Clive knows Jim, Jim knows Ed, Ed knows Ian and no one much cares for each other. Threats and thumps abound this week.

And as for Trish, the victim of all this? Well, it doesn’t get any better for her. She decided to tell Cath about her fling with Jim. And that really, really didn’t go down well with her (now former) friend. And, of course, there’s the little matter of a man breaking into her house in the middle of the night…

Did you tune in for Broadchurch series 3 episode 5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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

Read Steve’s Broadchurch series 3 episode 6 review here.

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
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.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

3 Comments

    There is a definite link between the explicit material on the teenagers phones, hardey’s daughter and the Danny latimer case And therefore this case. The vicar is the link and I believe Danny latimer was close to telling ellie’s husband and that’s why he was killed. I don’t think ellie’s husband was really responsible for Danny’s death and that is what Beth latimer’s husband will find out. The link to the rapes on the map are churches in think?

    I’m really enjoying Broadchurch……………Sinister Seaside town, Sexual undertones, Seedy Suspects, Strange vicar, Stressed relationships, Secret liaisons , Sordid pasts, Sad story……………….what more could we want ?

    Absolutely fantastic. I still can’t work out who it might be. This is so well written and acting is superb!

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Broadchurch series 3 episode 6 review

WARNING: spoilers for Broadchurch series 3 episode 6 below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s episode 5 review here.

Broadchurch is a dark programme, we all know that. Its maiden series dealt with the death of a child. And the current one involves a brutal sexual assault. Little House on the Prairie it ain’t. But this episode – the sixth of eight – even by its own standards was particularly dark. It was sharply focused on just two men. One a potential rapist, the other a grieving father on the edge. By the end of the hour, one of them would be dead…

We opened with Mark Latimer awaking in bed. He’s next to his estranged wife Beth. Have they rekindled things? He gets out of bed and walks to Danny’s room. But it isn’t empty. Danny is in there, playing a computer game. We realise it’s a dream. When Mark wakes up, he’s in a van. Parked up outside Joe Miller’s place of work. He’s out for revenge.

When he finally comes face to face with his son’s killer though, he can’t go through with any violent fantasy he may have been having. He makes Miller tell him exactly what happened to his boy and then, broken and depressed, he wanders off. He puts in a worrying phone call to his daughter Chloe, tell her he loves her and the family and before the credits roll, He gives up and surrenders himself to the English Channel in a truly heart-breaking and ethereal scene. Olivia Colman and David Tennant get plenty of credit for their acting in Broadchurch, but Andrew Buchan’s performance as Mark – particularly here – is a real marvel of understated beauty. A perfect portrayal of loss.

Broadchurch series 3 episode 6

Onto the main plot and we kick off with some whittling down of the suspects. That enormous whiteboard full of mens’ names is now, thankfully, a little cleaner. Of the sixty-five men who attended Cath Atwood’s party at Axehampton House (which is actually Bridehead House in West Dorset, for all you country house fans out there), forty-two have now been discounted. That leaves ‘just’ thirteen suspects.

Their ‘primary focus’? Ed Burnett (Sir Lenny Henry). They first arrest him for his Lennox Lewis impression at Atwood Autos, but then further arrest him in connection with Trish’s attack. Why? Well, the circumstantial evidence implicating him is overwhelming. The anonymously creepy card Trish received in the flowers? It matched up with those found in a pack in his office. The vegetables he sent her? Wrapped with the same twine used to tie her up. He also has grass and mud stains on the suit jacket he wore to the party and some more of that all-incriminating twine balled up in his pocket.

The two detectives got the team to dig around on Ed’s phone too. Turns out he’s a keen amateur photographer. Only he’s got over five thousand pictures of Trish stored on there. The only conclusion that can be drawn? Ed has ‘an unhealthy interest’ in Trish. That and his mobile has an impressive amount of data storage.

Broadchurch series 3 episode 6

After Ed’s arrest, Ellie Miller gives a statement to the press, which is screened on ITV News. Now, this being Broadchurch, the entire town watched simultaneously andindividually. All while looking either concerned, shifty or both. And each with a very similar thousand yard stare going on.

In other news, Ian stole Trish’s laptop, got Leo to wipe it and as such wasn’t too concerned when our two crimefighters dropped by the school to seize it from him. Ellie discovers Tom’s stolen his phone back and downloaded pornography again and decides to smash it up for him. Along with his laptop (might she have destroyed evidence by doing so? We reckon she just might have done, y’know…). A ball of rage this week, she also railed against DI Harford for her not disclosing that she’s Ed Burnett’s daughter…

Which got us to thinking. A rollicking? That’s not really enough, is it? In real life, Harford would most likely have got her marching orders for that. And you know who else would have been sacked for gross misconduct this week? Beth. Her treatment of Meera, the historic rape victim, was awful. Harassing, blaming and showing no cultural or general sensitivity, there should really be two extra people in the queue at the Broadchurch Job Centre next week. Although admittedly that would be rather unfair on Beth in light of what happened to her husband at the end of the episode.

Broadchurch series 3 episode 6

So, then. A sad episode that leads into perhaps an even sadder penultimate one next week. The Latimers are going to be devastated in next Monday’s episode. Meanwhile, who really believes that Ed did it? C’mon… So we’re probably no closer to finding the man responsible for the string of horrific attacks. But we will eventually. Won’t we?

Who else gets a feeling that the final Broadchurch in a fortnight’s time is going to be a real doozy?

Did you tune in for Broadchurch series 3 episode 6? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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

Read Steve’s Broadchurch series 3 episode 7 review here.

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
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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Broadchurch series 3 episode 7 review

WARNING: spoilers for Broadchurch series 3 episode 7 below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s episode 6 review here.

Well, it looks as though we may have overreacted just ever so slightly in our recap of last week’s Broadchurch. We were put through a pretty emotional mill and left to think that Mark Latimer had taken his own life at the end there. But luckily for him – and our general sanity – he survived his suicide attempt. We know the series is dark, but it’s also got a heart. That would surely have been a step too far for the Latimer family.

We all sympathise with the haunted figure of the grieving father and when Beth and Chloe scold Mark while he recovers in hospital, you just want to shout at them for being so unkind. But emotions are rarely one dimensional and they almost always affect other people. Pretty soon you’re left agreeing with Mark’s wife… His all-encompassing grief is selfish. These are complex emotions we’re being asked to work through and deal with here.

Broadchurch series 3 episode 7

The show’s creator Chris Chibnall isn’t afraid to explore themes and make points with Broadchurch. With a show so revered, he takes a chance doing so too. An intricate but straightforward whodunit would please most fans – yet he chooses to investigate social issues in his writing. Some with dignity and insight, like with the Latimer’s lives after their son was killed. Some he handles with a little heavy-handedness, as with the preachy lecture on journalistic standards he opines through the mouthpiece of local newspaper editor Maggie Radcliffe. He has her railing against ‘clickbait’ with a vaguely embarrassing rant that, while somewhat accurate, feels a little lightweight and forced after the organic and genuinely emotional scenes involving the Latimers.

Towards the end of the episode, a show of strength and unity in the town is a genuinely touching moment, as Trish’s daughter Leah rallies round to organise a mass beacon lighting that showed that the women’s townsfolk wouldn’t be cowed by the attacker’s actions, but instead would come together to support and look out for each other. Echoes here of the end of the first series suggesting the power of the community and ground level action.

We were finally treated to that scene we knew was coming this week as well. When his daughter decides to leave town, Alec loses the plot and threatens the callous teenage boys behind her harassment. And talk about sound bites for fans… He went full Scottish Liam Neeson on them, didn’t he?! “I’m a father! I will find you, and I will cut your tiny little c*cks off!” It was quite rousing.

Broadchurch series 3 episode 7

All this and we’re yet to discuss the case at hand. This week was episode seven – the penultimate instalment ever of Broadchurch. There’s now only one fifty minute slice of it left. And dear, oh dear, have they got a lot of loose ends to tie up. That said – a few of the more intricate strands were laced together here…

Ed Burnett was released on bail. He has a temper and an obsession with Trish, but there wasn’t enough evidence to hold him on. Plus, c’mon – he clearly didn’t do it, did he?

Also arguably discounted are Trish’s husband, Ian Winterman, and the young lad who works for his dad’s fishing line company, Leo Humphries. That whole ‘laptop’ saga turned out to be Ian having Leo install spyware so he could watch Trish. Weird, but not illegal.

There are now just two main suspects. The theatrical villain that is cab driver Clive Lucas with his keyring trophy of Trish, continual lies and lack of alibi. And episode seven’s main suspect – Jim Atwood…

Broadchurch series 3 episode 7

The local mechanic can be placed at the scene of two of the attacks. He has a poor attitude towards women and there’s anecdotal evidence of a violent approach towards sex. Plus there are the condoms purchased on the evening of Trish’s assault. As well as, again, the lack of alibi. Mind you, his wife Cath’s ‘spa weekends’ could well have been obfuscation on her part to fit him up for the attacks, couldn’t they? What? A programme like this is enough to make anyone paranoid.

We were left, in true Broadchurch style, on a cliffhanger. An email came in that seems to wrap up the case. We all know it won’t quite be as simple as that though, don’t we? Will it be creepy cabbie Clive? ‘Ladies man’ Jim (*shudder*), soppy voyeur husband Ian? Or is someone else responsible? You must have a theory by now. We want to hear it. C’mon… whodunit?

Did you tune in for Broadchurch series 3 episode 7? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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

Read Steve’s Broadchurch series 3 episode 8 review here.

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
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.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

Join the discussion

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.

Broadchurch series 3 episode 8 review

WARNING: spoilers for Broadchurch series 3 episode 8 below. Still catching up? Read Steve’s episode 7 review here.

So, then. After some four hundred plus minutes, four thousand plus suspects and probably four million plus theories each, we finally know what happened that fateful night over at Axehampton House. Look, we’re not going to brag and say ‘we told we so’, okay? Partly because we’re classier than that. And also, partly, because we didn’t call it exactly right. But if you remember our episode two and three recaps, you’ll recall our early call – ‘Tom Miller’s friend’, Michael Lucas…

And what do you know? We were right! Okay, okay. So we only really got it right via a technicality. The real bad guy of the third and final series of Broadchurch turned out to the young lad in charge of the fishing line company, Leo Humphries. The smarmy twine-flogger groomed cabbie Clive Lucas’ impressionable and quiet sixteen-year-old son Michael, eventually co-opting him into his grim hobby and forcing him to attack Trish.

Broadchurch series 3 episode 8

At the beginning of the last ever episode, it was revealed that the DNA match so tensely cliff-hung last week turned out to be a match for Clive Lucas. But anyone who remembers The Simpsons episode ‘Who Shot Mr. Burns?’ will know that an early DNA revealing in a whodunit might just turn out to be from an unlikely source… A child of the suspect. Down in Dorset, Clive and Michael Lucas filled in for Homer and Maggie Simpson.

A full search of Leo’s office uncovered a mobile phone registered in his name with footage of not only Trish’s attack, but of the other two women that had come forward. A conveniently full and frank confession from Humphries filled in the black for detective duo Hardy and Miller – if only criminals in real life were quite so helpful, eh?

Conventions and stereotypes have been flipped on their head all series. We begun with the violent sexual assault of an older, not particularly conventionally attractive woman (no offence, Julie Hesmondhalgh…). The idea being that, as DS Miller later says, ‘rape is about power and control, not sex.’ We were then presented with some usual suspects in a case, including The Husband, The Sex-Mad Philanderer, The Taxi Driver, The Convicted Rapist. And in the end? It turned out to be the young, handsome lad with the good job and pretty girlfriend.

Broadchurch series 3 episode 8

Back with the Latimers and a change of pace. A scene showing Beth telling her estranged husband that she loved him but that they would never get back together was truly heartbreaking. Time, maturity, honesty and no lack of realism have been afforded to the Latimer’s grim portrait of grief and loss over these three series, and it’s a credit to the cast and the show’s writers.

We ended Broadchurch with, it has to be said, a slightly cringeworthy moment when the whole town turned out to witnessed the dejected vicar’s final sermon in a scene that was as embarrassing as it was unrealistic. Still, thankfully the very final shot of the series had us eavesdropping on a chat between Hardy and Miller. He’d decided to stay down south and carry on working with Ellie. Something she couldn’t help but smile at. And something that, unfortunately, we’re going to just have to imagine for ourselves…

Did you tune in for Broadchurch series 3 episode 8? Let us know your thoughts on the series in the comments below!

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

Steve Charnock
Steve Charnock
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.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

1 Comment

    I feel rather cheated by this third season – there were simply no clues provided to enable the reader to identify the rapists. It’s fair enough to have several suspects, several red herrings and a glacial pace but , please, give the viewer some way to exercise their intelligence to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff.

    I cannot recall any clue given to suggest a connection between the two characters involved in the rape of Trish. What was the explanation for the taxi driver having all the trophies in his drawer? Why did twine boy’s girlfriend just disappear from the series when she could have provided some clues to the viewer? What was the point of the long story about Mark Latimer and his search for his son’s alleged killer – it had nothing to do with this season’s crime and threw no new light on the old one.

    What was the point of the vicar character? Just to give the smarmy sermon at the end? And why would Trish so happily accept back her creepy husband who had spied on her? It was a disappointing, fake-feeling ending.

    As ever, the acting was superb – particularly David Tennant, Olivia Colman and Andrew Buchan. However, overall, I must rank this series below the level of the very best of crime dramas such as Unforgotten, Happy Valley, The Missing and River.

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