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Series: Broadchurch
Broadchurch is a 2013 8-part ITV Detective Drama, starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman. In the eponymous town, 11-year old boy Danny Lattimer is found dead. Recently arrived DI Alec Hardy (Tennant) leads the investigation, with the assistance of DS Ellie Miller (Colman) - despite her resentment that Hardy got the promotion that she felt was rightfully hers while on holiday. As they dig into the goings on at the apparently quiet seaside town, a lot of skeletons start falling out of closets.

Behind the scenes, the show seems to be a bit of an unofficial Doctor Who reunion - in addition to Tennant, the show also features Arthur Darvill (Rory) and several others (including Colman) who have guest starred on Doctor Who, and is written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Euros Lyn.

A huge hit for ITV - it has been renewed for a second season. Fox has announced an American adaptation of the series, titled Gracepoint, that will air in 2014. David Tennant has been confirmed to reprise the role of the lead detective alongside Anna Gunn as his partner, with Michael Pena, Nick Nolte, and Jacki Weaver among the supporting cast.

Tropes assocciated with Broadchurch

  • Accidental Murder: The killer never intended to murder Danny at all.
  • Acquitted Too Late: Jack Marshall, after initially being accused of killing Danny, is cleared as a suspect after he commits suicide.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: Susan.
  • Big Secret: EVERYONE, including Hardy. Danny has 500 in cash hidden in his bedroom, his sister has cocaine in hers and had a boyfriend who was dating a minor, his Dad was having an affair, his Mom is pregnant...
  • Bonding Over Missing Children: Mark and Jack
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Chloe seems to be this (although the death of her brother is at least a partial cause).
  • British Accents: Most of the cast have a West Country burr, while Tennant uses his real Scottish accent for Hardy (which gets VERY thick when he gets angry)
  • British Newspapers: The main one featured is the fictional Daily Herald (although the font and logo from the front page are extremely similar to the Daily Express)
  • Buddy Cop Show: Hardy and Ellie have shades of this, albeit not played for laughs - they initially hate each other (Hardy thinks she's basically incompetent, Ellie thinks he stole her promotion) but start to warm to each other as the investigation goes on. By the end of the first season, they're close friends, but neither are cops any longer.
  • Butt Monkey: Pete, the officer assigned to watch the Latimer family who has quite a few scenes at his expense.
  • Dies Wide Open: As revealed in the season finale.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Did anyone seriously think Ellie's husband, Joe, was the killer before the first season's finale?
    • Foreshadowing: the key elements are there: Joe is very curious about the state of the investigation, asks several leading questions of Ellie that push the investigation away from him, and does his best to stay out of the spotlight unlike every other character in the show. He also behaves more and more (subtly) erratic as the show goes on.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: Standard for a mystery about a murder, but the case is stymied several times by people believing that their own secrets are much worse than being suspected of murder. This very nearly drives Hardy to distraction, as every single time he points out that they are trying to catch a killer and don't care about anything else.
  • Driven to Suicide: Two examples here. First is Jack Marshall, who commits suicide following a reveal about a past conviction.
    • The other is in relation to Susan, who was unaware that her former husband was abusing both of their daughters. One of the daughters ran away and was murdered by the father when she tried to report the abuse, and her husband hung himself in his cell ten months after he was caught.
  • Downer Ending: Oh yeah.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Latimers, once you dig beneath the surface. Every member has a secret that they're keeping from everyone else.
    • To a wider extent, the entire town: while much is made at the beginning of the show of the closeness of the community, it's revealed and reinforced several times that no one really knows anyone else. Everyone has secrets.
  • Ending Memorial Service: After the funeral, the town lights a bonfire on the cliff overlooking the beach where Danny's body was found. To Beth's surprise, other bonfires are lit all along the coast and countryside in commemoration.
  • English Rose: Karen describes Beth as this to her boss in a bid to make him more interested in the story.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect: An entire town full of them!
  • Foreshadowing: When Detective Miller tells Susan Wright
    Miller: That man? Under your own house? How could you not know?
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Ellie and Hardy fall into this naturally, though without any real threat of harm.
    • Later subverted into Bad Cop/Worse Cop, when Ellie threatens Susan not only with charging her with obstruction of justice, but also with putting down her dog.
      • And inverted in the finale, when questioning Joe: Hardy is calm, collected and relieved to have the case behind him, Ellie tries to beat her murderous husband to death.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Beth.
  • Happily Married: Ellie rejects the advances of a coworker because she's already happily married.
  • Hot for Teacher/Hot for Student: Jack and his music pupil - he was jailed for sleeping with her one month below the age of consent and later married her after he got out of prison.
  • Infant Immortality: Given that the first series was about the death of an 11-year-old child, it's safe to say this trope is pretty much averted.
  • I See Dead People: One of the last scenes of the first season has Beth seeing the ghost of Danny during the memorial on the beach.
  • I Wished You Were Dead: Tom Miller said pretty much these exact words during a fight with Danny and spent most of the series trying to cover up the evidence of the fight.
  • Kill the Cutie: Danny Latimer.
  • Last Name Basis: Hardy prefers this form of address for himself and others.
  • Married to the Job: Hardy implies this about himself when Ellie asks about the reason for his divorce. The truth is more complicated (and more heartbreaking).
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Steve is either a brilliant con artist who did the research and is great at doing cold readings, or he's a genuine psychic.
  • Meaningful Echo: "How could you not know?"
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: Focusing on the "woman" part of the syndrome rather than the "white." When the Lattimer family wants to know why Danny's murder has received almost no media attention, Karen tells them that it's because Danny was a boy—if he had been a girl, there would be reporters swarming all over the town. Karen suggests getting around this by making Beth the "white woman victim" who would be the focus of media sympathy.
  • Mistaken Identity: Susan claims to have seen Nige on the beach on the night of Danny's murder, when in fact she saw Joe Miller. To be fair, from a distance they do look similar.
  • Off on a Technicality: How the Sandbrook killer avoided prison, much to Hardy's shame.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: DS Miller is appropriately freaked out when Hardy calls her "Ellie".
  • The Oner: The opening episode features a 90 second-long tracking shot following Mark as he walks through town; it does a great job of introducing characters and the small-town atmosphere.
  • Parental Abandonment: Turns out Susan/Elaine is Nige's estranged mother.
    • She didn't actually abandon him, though - he was taken away from her by the authorities.
  • Parental Hypocrisy: Chloe isn't too impressed at her Dad for complaining about her relationship with 17-year-old Dean, which is a mirror of Mark and Beth's at that age (minus the pregnancy as she gleefully notes)
  • Pedo Hunt: Jack Marshall is the subject of one, after his conviction for underage sex makes the press (minus some salient details)
  • Pedophile Priest: Averted, thank god.
  • Phony Psychic: Steve seems like this at first, because that's exactly what he is. To "prove" himself he mentions a detail from Hardy's past, but we later learn that Hardy fabricated this detail in order to protect his wife, meaning that Steve must have heard it somewhere.
  • Police Are Useless: After Hardy asks for them to be kept under police surveillance, Susan manages to leave the village unnoticed, and Nige manages to lose them after running through an alley.
    • Of course, Nige is soon caught the next day.
    • And, of course, as Hardy explains to Ollie about the Sandbrook killer case, after key evidence was secured by his wife/work colleague, instead of returning to the station, they stopped off at a hotel for a drink, resulting in the evidence being stolen by local yobs.
  • Precision F-Strike: Miller to Hardy, after he collapses while they are both chasing a suspect ("Don't you fucking die on me!").
    • Also Miller, also to Hardy, after he tells her who killed Danny.
  • Red Herring: Most of the suspects and their whereabouts are accounted for, but a couple of things are deliberately meant to be misleading and are never explained: the argument Jack witnessed between Danny and the postman, and the power outage the night of the murder.
  • Sexy Priest: the Rev. Paul.
  • Silent Scapegoat: Hardy takes the blame for allowing the Sandbrook killer to walk, even though it was actually a DS working under him who had screwed up. The reason he took the blame was because the DS in question was his wife, she'd allowed evidence to be compromised because she had been meeting her lover, and Hardy didn't want his daughter to know about her mother's infidelity.
  • Take That: To the Daily Mail, it's the last newspaper Ollie applies for.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Beth and Mark had Chloe when Beth was 15 and Mark was 17
  • Teens Are Short: Chloe is a full head shorter than her (not-particularly tall) mother.
  • The Vicar: A subversion - Rev. Paul Coates is actually trendy (rather than just thinking he is), and teaches computer skills at the local school.
  • Vomiting Cop: Ellie almost becomes this after The Reveal.
  • You Do Not Have to Say Anything: The standard British caution is used when Mark is arrested for obstructing the enquiry.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Mark had an affair with Becca and they had sex that night.
    • Also Hardy's wife, who was investigating the Sandbrook killer case having an affair with another colleague working on the same case. It resulted in the killer walking free.
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