A new eight part ITV ensemble drama series, Broadchurch, led by David Tennant, Olivia Colman and Vicky McClure will explore what happens to a small community when it suddenly becomes the focus of a major event and is subjected to the full glare of the media spotlight.
Broadchurch will also feature an amazing array of British acting talent including Jodie Whittaker as Beth, Andrew Buchan as Mark, Will Mellor playing Stephen Turner and Arthur Darvill as the town priest Paul Coates.
Bloodied and dirty, Danny Price has been found dead on an idyllic beach, surrounded by rocks and a jutting cliff-face from where he may have fallen. Whilst his death remains unresolved, the picturesque coastal town of Broadchurch is at the heart of a major police investigation and a national media frenzy.
Written and created by Chris Chibnall, whose previous work includes United, Torchwood, Law & Order: UK and Doctor Who, Broadchurch is a story Chris has wanted to tell for some time.
“Broadchurch focuses on a small British community which finds itself at the eye of a storm. In the wake of one boy’s death, the residents of Broadchurch come under scrutiny and suspicion,” said Chris. “It’s a story of scale and intimacy, as the lives of the characters are laid bare,” he added.
The sadness of losing a child consumes Danny’s family, Beth and Mark Price (Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan), their daughter 15 year old Lara and Beth’s mum, Liz as they attempt to cope with their grief. Understandably they struggle to cope with the unwarranted attention heaped upon them. Devastated by their loss, they struggle to relate to their friends, neighbours, the church, the press, and the police.
David Tennant takes the role of DI Alec Hardy; an out-of-town, newly promoted police detective who takes the job local girl DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) believes should have been hers.
Ellie has to find reserves of patience and toughness to negotiate a professional relationship with the difficult and unyielding Hardy. Yet as the drama progresses, Hardy’s own secrets are laid bare.
Ellie is also emotionally involved with this case. Ellie’s son Tom was the dead boy’s best friend and she’s known Danny all his young life. How could she not be drawn in? But Hardy’s clinical methods force Ellie to see the community she grew up in through a different prism.
One by one the community of Broadchurch are drawn into the police enquiry. Local hoteliers and business people are implicated as the effects of a death in the community begins to impact on their hard-earned livelihoods. But can the town survive such a seismic shock during its economically crucial summer months? As the case drags on, the whole town will come under pressure: personal, economic, professional and emotional.
Broadchurch has been commissioned for ITV1 by drama commissioning team, Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes.
“Broadchurch tells the story of a small community and the devastating emotional repercussions for everyone caught up in the mysterious death of a young boy,” said Laura. “It’s not a ‘whodunit’ or a traditional police drama. Chris Chibnall’s superb scripts have attracted a stellar cast,” she added.
James Strong (United, Downton Abbey, Silent Witness, Doctor Who) will direct the first two episodes and episodes seven and eight of the series. Richard Stokes (Silk, Law & Order: UK, Torchwood) will produce the drama and Jane Featherstone (The Hour, Life on Mars, Law & Order: UK) will executive produce with Chris Chibnall.
The drama will be filmed on location in Portishead near Bristol and Dorset and filming begins from mid August and will continue until the end of November.
“We’re proud to have cast an outstanding array of Britain’s finest performers to appear in Broadchurch,” said executive producer Jane Featherstone. “The drama is a snapshot of modern Britain. Its community represents a microcosm of life as we know it with the character of Ellie part of the fabric of Broadchurch. She’s lived amidst the people in this coastal town all her life so when the fabric begins to tear it’s Ellie who will feel the impact the hardest,” added Jane.