Broadchurch : Season 1

Season #: 1, 2, 3
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 275 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 275

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User Reviews

  1. May 2, 2017
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. By now I have no doubt that many of my closest friends and companions know I am a huge fan of British television shows and all things of similar status. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy television shows from every nook and cranny, just that I happen to have acquired a particular fondness for many of the recurring actors between BBC network dramas and typical British soaps. The subject of course of this particular blog post is none other than the first of the would-be and will-be trilogy, Broadchurch. It is not in fact about either a big church or even a church at all, but rather the name of a quaint Wessex town where devious cases are brought to life.

    If you’ve seen or know anything about Doctor Who then no doubt you’ll see several familiar faces in both the Tenth Doctor and Rory Pond (I jest of course, it’s Williams), or rather David Tennant and Arthur Darvill. This is no Hamlet and certainly no Legends of Tomorrow, and yet both of these high caliber actors find themselves similarly in specific and terrific roles alongside many other talent castmates- look no further than Olivia Colman. You may be wondering why it is I am just now bringing up the series, and it’s actually quite timely I’ll have you know. The third series of Broadchurch started a little bit shy of a month ago and I’ve been rewatching the first two as both preparation and penance for when the third is finally available to me.

    First things first, allow me to tell you several of my favorite items and themes from the show- they’re probably not quite what you would expect. The first series has some amazingly emotional and believable moments and none have been hammered home more vividly than anytime the scene just sort of pans out and allows the sweeping musical score to roll in. It is in these moments that silent revelations take place, new clues develop, and all sorts of emotional deliveries are given without a single word having to be spoken. In essence, it’s genius. Musical scores have always been and will always continue to be some of the best ways to convey ironically silent messages through sights and sounds.

    My second point of interest is the scenery and vivid imagery presented throughout the series- it honestly helps sell the story and plot lines more than even the best deliveries on the part of Tennant or Colman. You cannot develop a good story or film or television piece without apt usage of scenery in conjunction with metaphor and imagery. Many things are as unspoken as with musical scores and evidently people do like to see aesthetically enthralling or pleasurable images as well- who would’ve thunk it. There are countless moments- some of which take place in conjunction with sweeping musical melodies or melancholy camera panning, where the show just pans to something that offers the viewer their own off-screen revelations or makes something equally exciting known. Those are the moments we live for.

    The third and perhaps most obvious and equally important aspect of the show is that the acting is phenomenally handled and sold whether it be simple investigative scenes or brilliantly heartbreaking revelations regarding murder. The first and even second series follow along the same familiar narrative lines, and yet there is still so much room for the injection of ample amounts of backstory and tragic character development outside of those two well-tread case lines. I never got tired of progressing the plot of the first series particularly, nor did the slight deviations into side characters or the main scenes steal any of the drama or tension away from the murder investigation processes themselves. Truly, I echo many viewers’ and critics’ sentiment that this could be many of the involved actors’ finest work to date.
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  2. Oct 10, 2016
    10
    I don't know what it is about Englisg directors and actors, they are just fabulous. The acting is solo superb you totally forget it's a movie, it's so real. So well done, no holes in the movie, everything blends and makes sense and the acting is just insanely believable. Please watch. I hope they do more of this.
  3. Oct 3, 2016
    8
    Awesome. I finished season 1 and was really impressed, especially with episode 7. The finale was a letdown, but the rest was great. I don't think I'll watch season 2, but Broadchurch is very well made
  4. Jul 17, 2016
    8
    I thoroughly enjoyed these eight episodes. The only real negative is that the majority of the season was spent exploring red herrings and seemed disjointed from what we see in the finale.
  5. Jun 16, 2016
    10
    Broadchurch goes straight to my top five favourite television series of-all-time list. Broadchurch is brilliant. The plot, the story, the themes, the locations, the acting, the dialogue, the timing, the drama, the suspense, the mystery, the characters, the case... all of it - brilliant!
  6. Apr 16, 2016
    9
    Anything that takes time to be cured and later be prepared, braised, savored and then consumed. This would be the series for you. The best dramas are always the ones you'd easily connect to. You'd probably be guessing who, why and what did they do to commit the crime in every episode. If you are intrigued with what you are reading so far, this would be a series worth spending time watching.
  7. Jan 13, 2016
    8
    A fresh,new thrilling series with what at first seems like a simple plot bur later it turns out to be one of the finest english series from the recent series. All the Actors have played their part very well and the Cinematography ist stunning.
  8. Jan 9, 2016
    9
    I wasn't expecting much when I first started watching this but boy was I wrong! The writing is very good and the series keeps you guessing until the very end. Would highly recommend watching this show.
  9. Sep 3, 2015
    10
    I went into this show doubting I would like it after struggling to watch most cop/detective shows. After the first episode it was clear that the acting is phenomenal, and they had a thrilling story to tell. They excel at keeping us entertained throughout the season while only inching closer to the reveal of the killer. I loved every minute of the show, and I would recommend this to anyoneI went into this show doubting I would like it after struggling to watch most cop/detective shows. After the first episode it was clear that the acting is phenomenal, and they had a thrilling story to tell. They excel at keeping us entertained throughout the season while only inching closer to the reveal of the killer. I loved every minute of the show, and I would recommend this to anyone and everyone. Expand
  10. Aug 9, 2015
    5
    It's a very average show. The actors are good, the location is unusual and interesting, but the plot is almost laughable in how predictable it is. Not terrible, but far from great.
  11. Feb 25, 2015
    9
    Fantastic show and truly well done. Great plot and very well acted. The ending was sort of so-so but that doesn't really take away much from the show.
  12. Feb 5, 2015
    10
    Broadchurch is one of the best dramas I have ever seen. For me, it wasn't the mistery of the murder that got my interest, but the human emotions. The characters, their drama, their pain, their coping with the loss of a child. No one is entirely innocent there. They are good people (well, except for the one that murdered Danny), but they made mistakes and learn to live with them. The entireBroadchurch is one of the best dramas I have ever seen. For me, it wasn't the mistery of the murder that got my interest, but the human emotions. The characters, their drama, their pain, their coping with the loss of a child. No one is entirely innocent there. They are good people (well, except for the one that murdered Danny), but they made mistakes and learn to live with them. The entire cast was spectacular, but the two leads, Colman and Tennant just shone! They bring the best out of each other and as a team, they are gold!
    What is more to say about this show? Brilliant drama, magnificent acting and filming, the music was beautifully haunting and the story, well...gripping. A beautifully made drama. Of course, it's all about taste, some would not like this genre, but I was fascinated!
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  13. Jan 4, 2015
    8
    A great debut series for the show. It's atmosphere and direction is great and can keep you interested all the way through of seeing all aspects pr an investigative murder from the press to the church to the towns people to the family and of course to the police department. The story does seem to confuse itseld a little i find with the whole spiritual side of stuff or supernatural but stillA great debut series for the show. It's atmosphere and direction is great and can keep you interested all the way through of seeing all aspects pr an investigative murder from the press to the church to the towns people to the family and of course to the police department. The story does seem to confuse itseld a little i find with the whole spiritual side of stuff or supernatural but still a great watch. Brilliant acting from David Tennant alongside Olivia Colman, both roles are played with care and grit. Expand
  14. Jan 2, 2015
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Contrived. Red herrings, implausible plot twists, melodramatic acting, annoying piano recital musical score. Against the backdrop of ham-handed moral lessons of the week. And the none too-subtle tapping into the insecurities of a certain male demographic that all the world's burdens ultimately weigh on their shoulders and their female counterpart isn't quite qualified to handle the job, even if he takes ill. The case wasn't solved as much as the murderer turned himself in, in a fashion more annoying than shocking. His reason, which tapped into the theme of pedophilia running throughout the first season, seemed force fit, a cheap final plot twist. Expand
  15. Dec 20, 2014
    10
    I just started watching Broadchurch last night on Netflix, David Tennant is ever so amazing as he was in Doctor Who. Along side with Olivia Colman, they make the perfect duo for a terrific British Crime Drama. Thank you BBC for yet another amazing Crime Drama! You never fail to impress me. (:
  16. Nov 10, 2014
    9
    Broadchurch is a slow-burning mystery that is rich in drama and character study. The acting is fine in all areas and the twists are very well executed. Also, credits for the people associated with the score and the cinematgraphy. This show is a must watch for all viewers.
  17. Oct 18, 2014
    3
    I don't know. All episodes were good but I'm deceived by the end.
    I feel like they could have chosen any secondary character for the killer role.
    It's just, "we have chosen him because i wanted to". It's not like when you discover him you say "omg YES how could i not see this !". I was more like "ok, with that structure you can make anybody a killer. There is no link between the killer
    I don't know. All episodes were good but I'm deceived by the end.
    I feel like they could have chosen any secondary character for the killer role.
    It's just, "we have chosen him because i wanted to". It's not like when you discover him you say "omg YES how could i not see this !". I was more like "ok, with that structure you can make anybody a killer. There is no link between the killer and the first 5 or 6 episodes.

    Plot surprising, yes, but not for the good reasons to my mind. Surprising because "Why the **** him ?? Just no point..."
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  18. Oct 11, 2014
    10
    This was a great and I wish I saw it earlier. This was way better than The Killing. The story is laid out perfectly and it goes along smoothly. Each episode is very intense and extremely emotional. The writing and direction are top notch. I'm really glad the season was only 8 episodes. No filler whatsoever. As the story went darker and sadder, the viewer is just moved emotionally. You feelThis was a great and I wish I saw it earlier. This was way better than The Killing. The story is laid out perfectly and it goes along smoothly. Each episode is very intense and extremely emotional. The writing and direction are top notch. I'm really glad the season was only 8 episodes. No filler whatsoever. As the story went darker and sadder, the viewer is just moved emotionally. You feel for the family, the town, the people. It's that emotional of a show. The show is simple, yet complex. Character development is fantastic and the characters are enjoyable to watch. David Tennant is just amazing in the show. His acting is incredible. The rest of the cast is also fantastic. The style and direction of each episode reflects the show perfectly. I fell in love with the show with the first episode and it was amazing for the whole season. It did not stumble like some shows near the end of the season. One of the best things about the show was the use of beautiful beach shots and haunting score. Most shows do not sure the score to their advantage. The dark and absorbing score allowed certain scenes to have more intensity. It was beautiful to hear. The show was amazing from start to finish. The writers developed an interesting and intense story. They also brought real emotions to the viewers. All in all, one of the best shows of 2013. Expand
  19. Jul 4, 2014
    10
    I have just finished watching this drama at one sitting. A brilliant cast, , an excellent british crime-drama .
    keeps you on the edge of your seat for the entire film. The locations for this film are beautiful
  20. Jun 15, 2014
    9
    Broadchurch is a slow-burning mystery that is rich in drama and character study. The acting is fine in all areas and the twists are very well executed. Also, credits for the people associated with the score and the cinematgraphy. This show is a must watch for all viewers.
  21. May 25, 2014
    7
    I really enjoyed this series. Some fantastic acting and a gripping story. I think I would have liked it more had there been more episodes to develop the characters further.
  22. Mar 23, 2014
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Pedophilia is of course not funny but the British obsession with it is indeed a joke. In the outwardly charming hamlet of Broadchurch, everybody is a closet pedophile, a suspected pedophile, or married to a pedophile. This is not an exaggeration. The series ends on a jarring and offensively religious-sanctimonious note, which I probably should have seen coming given the inclusion of the especially annoying clairvoyant character who pops in every so often bearing messages from the dead child. And what is up with that anti-abortion propaganda? We are told that an unwanted pregnancy is God giving you not what you want, but what you need. Rubbish. Expand
  23. Feb 9, 2014
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. While the eight episodes were entirely enjoyable, you only need watch the first and the last....everything in between is irrelevant and beside the point. Really... Expand
  24. Jan 13, 2014
    10
    Spectacular performance by David Tennant and Olivia Colman. Such a gripping and satisfying plot. Hopefully Fox's remake of this show will be just as thrilling.
  25. Dec 30, 2013
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The rave reviews received by this show are undeserved and incomprehensible. David Tennant is a bore and the police work non-existent. The program completely fails to deal with the reality of cell phones and computers. Er…the final episode finally gets around to downloading emails from the server of the murdered boy's supposed best friend--something that would have been routine in any normal police investigation. Also routine would have been the collection of all the computers that might have contained messages from the victim. The boy's missing cell phone was live and could have easily been tracked. &c. &c. Most of the main characters committed crimes that were ignored by the police during the investigation. Red herrings abound, but most of them cheats. I could go on and on. It was a really badly written story which hardly anyone noticed. What is wrong with everyone?? Use your brains! Expand
  26. Dec 26, 2013
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Nine hours of my life I will never get back.......David Tennant mumbles his way throughout the entire series.....filled with visual gimmicks and cheap red herring devices......facile "lessons" ...."how could you NOT know"......filled with one dimensional characters, mouthing unbelievable dialogue......I wanted to retch at the conclusion when the perp explained his actions by saying he was in love with an 11 year old boy......still not enough?.....the torch lighting ceremony at the end was simply a kick in the groin for anyone who has not been lobotomized. Chris should stick to writing Dr. Who episodes......Rave reviews from the critics led me to this series.....that won't happen again......I fell much like the murdered 11 year old boy.....used and abused......and now there is a SECOND season?.....unbelievable! Expand
  27. Dec 20, 2013
    1
    Seriously, where are all the high scoring coming from? People, have you seen The Killing or Broen/Bron? This one tries hard to be good and atmospheric but I could not for a second believe neither the feelings of characters nor the setting itself. Shallow! Very disappointed
  28. Dec 2, 2013
    10
    The best crime procedural I have ever seen and nothing really comes close.

    It stands head and shoulders above shows like the Killing and Top of the Lake. As some others have said, imagine the very best elements from the very best episode of Law and Order. Now add in serious character development, a materially more complex and compelling protagonist, and a finale that is at once
    The best crime procedural I have ever seen and nothing really comes close.

    It stands head and shoulders above shows like the Killing and Top of the Lake.

    As some others have said, imagine the very best elements from the very best episode of Law and Order. Now add in serious character development, a materially more complex and compelling protagonist, and a finale that is at once profoundly upsetting and deeply moving and you have one of the best seasons of television ever. Period.
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  29. Nov 11, 2013
    10
    If you are a fan of the crime drama genre I have to recommend this to you. This show is so much more intense than American crime dramas. Unlike American shows the entire season of Broadchurch focuses on one murder. The depth of drama that this show goes into is unlike anything I have watched before. The show takes you on a rollercoaster journey of suspense and suspicion. I think I hadIf you are a fan of the crime drama genre I have to recommend this to you. This show is so much more intense than American crime dramas. Unlike American shows the entire season of Broadchurch focuses on one murder. The depth of drama that this show goes into is unlike anything I have watched before. The show takes you on a rollercoaster journey of suspense and suspicion. I think I had about six of seven different suspects while watching and in the end I was totally surprised by the ending. The acting and writing are both topnotch in this British drama, and the Doctor is the head detective. Expand
  30. Nov 9, 2013
    9
    Absolutely gripping from start to finish. Although the plot doesn't have many twists and turns it keeps you guessing from start to finish. David Tennant is phenomenal and on note throughout amongst some other brilliant performances. It will keep you guessing all the way to the end!
Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Aug 20, 2013
    90
    As a murder mystery, Broadchurch is satisfyingly complex (even if the accents may take some getting used to). As an exploration of grief it is even better, with Ms. Whittaker and Ms. Colman pointing the way. But in its long, slow unfolding Broadchurch is most magnificent in another sense--as an elegy for the happy innocence of ignorance.
  2. Reviewed by: Rick Porter
    Aug 8, 2013
    90
    Broadchurch doesn't come with many stylistic flourishes--it's a pretty straightforward crime story. But the care given to its characters and the damage the crime inflicts on the town make it one of the best scripted series of the summer.
  3. 60
    Broadchurch excels at showing the awkward moments between the briskly delivered plot points, and the small details of voice and gesture that define communities in mourning (or guilty panic), and it has the good sense not to overdo anything.... And yet there's something fundamentally unsatisfying about the whole thing, as smart and intricately structured as it is--and it has nothing whatsoever to do with any writing or acting or filmmaking issues, and everything to do with the fact that we've just been to this particular narrative well too many times in 2013.