Broadchurch, the new ITV1 show has an unlikely star in the leading role; the Dorset coastline. The 8 part hybrid drama, starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman, is a cocktail of stories that all interwine cleverly to create a drama that is both fascinating and full of suspense. Broad church is not for the faint hearted, as the character driven thriller is full of emotion, and is a veritable roller coaster ride of thrills and spills and intrigue.
Chris Chibnall, best known for writing both Doctor Who and spin off Torchwood, is the man behind Broadchurch, and even with such stars on board such as Tennant, Colman, Andrew Buchan, Arthur Darvill and Jodie Whittaker, he has gone to great pains to ensure the Dorset scenery plays a vital role in the show.
He himself describes Broadchurch as being a love letter to the famous Jurassic Coast as key landmarks in west Dorset are used in the telling of the various stories. Chris worked very hard to ensure that the landscape is very much a part of the stories and not merely a pretty backdrop to set them against, and the sea, the beach and the cliffs are all very much a part of the drama itself, and living here himself he has the insight to show it off at its best.
Filming took place in many of the well known locations along Dorset’s coastline, including Eype, Freshwater nr Burton Bradstock and West Bay. The latter is where the dirty and bloodied body of local boy Danny Latimer is first discovered. David Tennant takes the role of DI Alec Hardy, a big fish trapped in a Dorset backwater and he has said that once you have visited the area you will want to return time and time again for a holiday.
Olivia Colman, whose character is DS Ellie Miller, agrees with Tennant’s views, and has said that being on a cliff at Bridport in glorious sunshine during the first week they filmed there was simply amazing and idyllic.