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Alt=Series titles over a coastal scene
Genre Crime drama
Format Serial drama
Created by Chris Chibnall
Written by
  • Chris Chibnall
  • Louise Fox
Directed by
Composer(s) Ólafur Arnalds
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 8
Executive producer(s)
  • Jane Featherstone
  • Chris Chibnall
Producer(s) Richard Stokes
Cinematography Matt Gray
Running time 44–46 minutes
Production company(s) Kudos Film and Television
Original channel ITV
Original run 4 March 2013 (2013-03-04) – present

Broadchurch is a British television crime drama created and written by Chris Chibnall, broadcast on ITV and produced by Kudos. It stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman. Casting was announced in June 2012, with filming commencing in Clevedon in August as well as in West Bay in Bridport.[1] It premiered on 4 March 2013 at 9:00pm on ITV.[2] In January 2013, the series was acquired by BBC America, where it was shown in the United States beginning August 7, 2013.

Set on the Dorset coast, it centres on the death of an eleven-year-old boy, and the search for his murderer by detectives Alec Hardy (Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Colman).[3][4][5][6] Its first series achieved high ratings for ITV, winning critical acclaim, while also generating a large amount of publicity around the "whodunit" mystery. After the first series ended, ITV announced that Broadchurch would return for a second series.[7]

The Fox Broadcasting Network announced that they would produce a remake of Broadchurch for US audiences to air in the 2014–15 season, called Gracepoint. Once again, David Tennant has been cast as the lead detective, this time named Emmett Carver.[8][9]


Series creator Chris Chibnall described the project as a labour of love; he had always wanted to create a big ensemble drama exploring how a death might affect a community set in the area where he had lived for the last decade. The location of the series was partly inspired by the fact that he lived near the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.[10] Though he came up with the idea for and started plotting out Broadchurch in 2003,[11][12] he did not complete it at that time. It was not until 2011 that he was inspired by a recent experience writing for a US show to take up Broadchurch once more, finishing the script for the first episode and asking ITV drama commissioner Laura Mackie to read it later that same year. Soon afterwards, she approved production.[13] The series was filmed between August and November 2012, predominantly on the Jurassic Coast at West Bay in Dorset, with the town of Clevedon just outside Bristol doubling as the fictional town of Broadchurch, with interior scenes of the police station shot in studios in Bristol.[13][14]

The secrecy surrounding the conclusion of the first series was well-noted. Olivia Colman confirmed in an interview with Graham Norton that only four cast members knew the identity of the murderer during filming.

The complete series of Broadchurch was released by Acorn Media UK on 20 May 2013.[15]

While ITV originally commissioned only one series, and creator Chris Chibnall said "nothing about [Broadchurch] was devised as a big ITV returning banker" [16] Chibnall originally created Broadchurch to be a trilogy, planned to run for three series;[17] in a Royal Television Society Q&A in November 2013 he discussed how Broadchurch series one was written to work both as a self-contained drama and as the first of a trilogy, as the second and third series being commissioned was dependent on how successful the first was.[12]

The final episode of series 1 finished with a caption reading "Broadchurch Will Return". In April 2013 ITV confirmed that Broadchurch had been commissioned for a second series to begin production in 2014.[7][18] On 12 May 2014, ITV announced that David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan and Arthur Darvill would all be returning,[19] to be joined by new cast members Charlotte Rampling, Eve Myles, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, James D'Arcy and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.[20] Broadchurch series 2 will be filmed in and around Dorset and North Somerset starting in late May 2014.[21]


  • Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (David Tennant) – Alec is an experienced detective from the city who has recently arrived in Broadchurch, wanting a quiet life after a scandal-tinged work history
  • Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) – Ellie is a local detective with a personal connection to Danny's murder, having been friendly with the Latimer family for a number of years.
  • Beth Latimer (Jodie Whittaker) – Beth is Danny's and Chloe's mother, and Mark's wife. She is completely overwhelmed by Danny's death, and struggles to trust her husband.
  • Mark Latimer (Andrew Buchan) – Mark is Danny's and Chloe's father, and Beth's husband. He is a plumber. After Danny's death, he began desperately grieving for his son, becoming determined to find the killer. His alibi is called into question when he is unable to account for his whereabouts on the night of Danny's death.
  • Tom Miller (Adam Wilson) – Tom is Ellie and Joe's elder son, and said to be Danny's best friend, though Tom denies this. He is a pupil in the final year of primary school.
  • Chloe Latimer (Charlotte Beaumont) – Chloe is Beth's and Mark's 15-year old daughter. She is a student currently studying for her GCSEs. Chloe is overwhelmed by her brother's sudden death, but her relationship with an older boy, Dean, is another source of stress.
  • Oliver "Olly" Stevens (Jonathan Bailey) – Olly is Ellie's nephew and a budding reporter for the Broadchurch Echo.

Series 2 confirmed cast members include; Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, James D'Arcy & Eve Myles


Series 1 (2013)[edit]

# Title Directed by Written by Original airdate
1 "Episode 1.1" James Strong Chris Chibnall 4 March 2013 (2013-03-04)
The quiet seaside town of Broadchurch is rocked by the murder of eleven year old boy Danny Latimer. DS Ellie Miller is put out when Superintendent Jenkinson hires DI Alec Hardy to head up the investigation. Having known the Latimer family quite well for some years, Ellie has to deal with her own personal struggles, as well as with those people whose lives have been destroyed by Danny's death. Ellie's nephew and budding reporter Olly tries to squeeze information out of the police and local personnel in order to better his own career. Things soon become tense between Ellie and Alec when Olly manages to extract information from her for his press report. Journalist supremo Karen tries to persuade her boss Len to allow her to get an exclusive on the death. With onlookers, journalists and police all trying to get to the bottom of Danny's death, many in the town become suspects. Ellie's son Tom struggles to keep a secret from his mother, and suddenly decides to wipe both his mobile phone and computer to remove evidence.
2 "Episode 1.2" James Strong Chris Chibnall 11 March 2013 (2013-03-11)
The investigation into Danny's death continues, but takes an unlikely turn when his father, Mark becomes a serious suspect, after his alibi fails to prove his whereabouts, and incriminating evidence of fingerprints and blood found at a summer house up on the cliffs seems to be evidence against him. It is not clear what he is trying to hide. Meanwhile, Danny's mother, Beth, breaks down after an eye-opening experience in the supermarket, and she confides in the Reverend Paul Coates that she is three months pregnant. Coates sees it as his duty to try to comfort the community. Ellie and Alec are soon at odds when a surprise witness comes forward with information surrounding Danny's death. Danny's sister Chloe has to think fast when forensics find cocaine in her room, and a stash of £500 under Danny's bed. Attempting to remove suspicion from her boyfriend Dean, she reveals that hotel owner Becca has been dealing drugs for some time. However, in order to keep her licence to run the hotel, she agrees to provide information. Danny's missing skateboard, which was caught on CCTV at 3am with him riding it is at Susan's, stashed away in her caravan. Danny's sister Chloe liaises with her boyfriend Dean about the possibility of his drug-dealing activities getting out. Newsagent Jack reveals that he saw Danny having an argument with a postman on the day of his death, and suggests that the postman may have information.
3 "Episode 1.3" Euros Lyn Chris Chibnall 18 March 2013 (2013-03-18)
Mark is hauled into the police station for questioning, after being unable to account for his whereabouts on the night of Danny's death. That is, however, until Ellie is rocked, when she discovers his true alibi: he was meeting hotel owner Becca for illicit sex. As she confides in the Reverend Paul Coates, Steve approaches her with a message from beyond the grave, and information that Danny (Oskar McNamara) was killed in a fishing boat. Meanwhile, Susan denies all knowledge of Mark ever repairing a burst pipe at the house up on the cliffs, and Ellie's son Tom (Adam Wilson) is brought in for questioning. Karen sheds some light on Alec's past, and reveals her true reason for being in Broadchurch: she wants to discover the truth about Danny's killer first. Nigel struggles to provide an alibi for himself on the night of Danny's death, while Beth uncovers the extent of Mark's lies. When the boat is found burning out at sea, questions are raised as to who the owner could be.
4 "Episode 1.4" Euros Lyn Chris Chibnall 25 March 2013 (2013-03-25)
Echo journalist Olly uncovers information about newsagent Jack, including the secret that he was jailed for sexually assaulting a minor before he lived in Broadchurch. Meanwhile, Maggie discovers a photo of Susan in her archive, where Susan is listed as Elaine Jones, throwing suspicion on a possible double life; Nige confronts Susan, telling her to keep quiet about what happened. Does he know more than he is letting on? Beth finds comfort in Steve's information, but Alec believes he is a fake, and warns him to stay away from the Latimer family. After a pleasant dinner with Ellie and Joe, Alec heads home, only to pass out on his bathroom floor, and to be found by hotel owner Becca. Distraught by the lack of national press coverage, Beth and Mark are persuaded into getting news of Danny's murder into the newspapers by journalist Karen, only for the idea to completely backfire and result in an invasion of national press arriving on their doorstep. The Reverend Paul Coates acts suspiciously when questioned by Alec and Ellie, but the shock revelation arrives when Nigel informs Mark that he saw Jack and Olly fighting, after he revealed his sex conviction to the police. Then Jack arrives to try and convince Mark and Beth that is he is not the killer.
5 "Episode 1.5" Euros Lyn Chris Chibnall 1 April 2013 (2013-04-01)
Jack struggles as his situation becomes more and more grave after his past criminal record hits the newspapers. Everyone in Broadchurch is forced to choose sides about whether to believe Jack's or the press's story. Alec and Ellie struggle to contain the national press, while Ellie's own emotions bubble up. Unknowingly, Ellie's son Tom is thrown into possible danger after he catches the eye of Susan, and Mark becomes aware of Chloe's antics with her boyfriend Dean. Olly and Karen have sex. Jack reveals that he had an affair with a 15-year-old girl, for which he was imprisoned. They eventually got married when he came out of jail, and had a son together, who died at 6 in a car crash. At the end of the episode Jack commits suicide by jumping off the same cliff where Danny's body was found.
6 "Episode 1.6" James Strong Louise Fox
Chris Chibnall
8 April 2013 (2013-04-08)
The citizens of Broadchurch deal with the aftermath of Jack's suicide. Meanwhile, files are piling up at the police station, and with no fresh leads or witnesses the case is becoming stale. Hardy is stunned when he's told to scale back resources and feels his hope of catching Danny's killer is slipping away. Susan and Nigel seem to share a secret since he offers her money to remain silent. At the Broadchurch Echo, Maggie grows determined to solve a mystery that has taken a very personal turn for her. Susan is arrested after she sympathized with Tom and gave him Danny's skateboard she had been keeping in her mobilehome. Hardy's health is going down and he collapses.
7 "Episode 1.7" James Strong Chris Chibnall 15 April 2013 (2013-04-15)
Following his collapse, Hardy awakens in the hospital and continues with the investigation, despite the growing concerns, suspicions and outrage of those around him, especially Ellie. With Susan in custody, they commence questioning and she reveals, eventually, that she saw Nigel place Danny's body on the beach. The Reverend Paul Coates tells Hardy that Tom and Danny were not getting along and gives him the smashed laptop that he recovered from the boy. Meanwhile, Maggie and Olly plot to get the scoop on Hardy's health issues and attempt to dig into his past. At dinner, Dean reveals to the Latimers that Danny had been going with Nigel and him to the farm some evenings to catch animals. He was under the impression that Mark knew and had condoned this. It is revealed that Susan knows Nigel to be her lost son, and the story involving her family is explained. Hardy agrees to an exclusive interview and, to the Echo writers' surprise, reveals the painful and complete story surrounding his past and the failed Sanbrook case. The two interviewers are left speechless and with much more respect for Hardy.
8 "Episode 1.8" James Strong Chris Chibnall 22 April 2013 (2013-04-22)
DS Miller's husband Joe confesses to strangling Danny after the boy threatened to expose the inappropriate attachment he was nurturing with the boy. The Latimer family are able to hold the funeral for Danny, in which beacons are set alight across the nearby bays in memory of the boy. Following the final episode in a special 'YouTube' video, the family hold a wake for Danny, where Olly turns down a job at the Herald and Alec speaks to Karen White who had tried to get an exclusive out of him on the investigation. The video ends with 'Broadchurch will return'.


The series launched to 6.15 million viewers with a 25.2% share, with an extra 716k (4.4%) switching on to watch on +1. It won its time-slot beating Mayday and Embarrassing Bodies.[22] The second episode continued to perform well pulling in 5.78 million viewers with a 23.2%, with an extra 606k (3.7%) watched on +1. It once again won its competitive time slot beating Embarrassing Bodies and BBC One's Shetland.[23] The third episode climbed to its biggest audience so far pulling in 7.30 million viewers with a 30.9% share, adding an extra 241,000 (1.1%) on +1. Once again it won its time slot.[24] The fourth episode continued to a massive audience, pulling in 6.88 million viewers with 28.1% share, and further 308k (1.79%) watched on +1.[25] The fifth episode climbed in the ratings from the previous week to help give ITV a win over BBC One, overnight data revealed.[26] The fifth episode attracted 6.29 million viewers (24.5%) at 9pm. A further 310,000 tuned in on ITV+1.[26] The sixth episode climbed once again in the ratings, overnight data revealed.[27] The penultimate episode won an audience of 6.93 million (27.7%) on ITV at 9pm, with 342,000 (1.9%) tuning in on ITV+1.[28]

Summary of episode ratings
Episode Date Official ITV rating[29]
Weekly rank[29] ^1 Share (%) Official ITV HD rating[30]
Official ITV +1 rating
Total ITV viewers (millions)
Episode 1 4 March 2013 7.43 6 25.2[22] 0.73 0.91 9.07
Episode 2 11 March 2013 7.38 6 23.2[23] 0.70 0.92 9.01
Episode 3 18 March 2013 8.29 5 30.9[24] 0.94 0.42 9.65
Episode 4 25 March 2013 8.03 8 22.3[25] 0.88 0.50 9.42
Episode 5 1 April 2013 7.38 6 24.5[26] 0.91 0.52 8.81
Episode 6 8 April 2013 7.58 7 27.7[27] 0.85 0.52 8.95
Episode 7 15 April 2013 7.84 6 28.9[28] 1.17 0.55 9.56
Episode 8 22 April 2013 8.63 3 34.2[31] 1.26 0.58 10.47

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Nominee(s) Result
Freesat Awards Best British TV Programme or Series Broadchurch Won
Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Mini-Series Broadchurch Nominated
Outstanding Actor in a Mini-Series David Tennant Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Mini-Series Olivia Colman Nominated
TV Choice Awards[32] Best New Drama Broadchurch Won
Best Actor David Tennant Won
Best Actress Olivia Colman Nominated
Satellite Awards Actress In A Drama Series Olivia Colman Nominated
National TV Awards[33] Drama Broadchurch Nominated
Radio Times TV Detective David Tennant Nominated
Radio Times TV Detective Olivia Colman Nominated
South Bank Sky Arts Award[34] TV Drama Broadchurch Won
Broadcast Awards[35] Best Drama Series or Serial Broadchurch Won
International Programme Sales Broadchurch Won
Broadcasting Press Guild Television and Radio Awards[36] Best Drama Series Broadchurch Won
Best Writer Chris Chibnall Won
Best Actor David Tennant Nominated
Best Actress Olivia Colman Won
Royal Television Society Awards[37] Drama Serial Broadchurch Won
Writer — Drama Chris Chibnall Nominated
Actor — Female Olivia Colman Won
TRIC Awards[38] Crime Programme of the Year Broadchurch Won
BAFTA Craft Awards[39] Director — Fiction/Entertainment James Strong Nominated
Writer — Drama Chris Chibnall Nominated
Editing — Fiction Mike Jones Nominated
Original Television Music Olafur Arnalds Won
Production Design Catrin Meredydd Nominated
Peabody Award[40] Area of Excellence Broadchurch Won
2014 Televisual Bulldog Awards[41][42] Drama Serial Broadchurch Won
Best in Show Broadchurch Won
Music Broadchurch Won
Cinematography Broadchurch Nominated
2014 British Academy Television Awards Drama Series Broadchurch Won
Leading Actress Olivia Colman Won
Supporting Actor David Bradley Won
Radio Times Audience Award Broadchurch Nominated
2014 Television Critics Association Awards[43] Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials Broadchurch Pending

Home media[edit]

Broadchurch: The Complete 1st Season was released on DVD format on 1 April 2014 in the US. The three-disc set will contain all eight episodes, as well as bonus features such as "Broadchurch: Behind the Scenes" and Deleted Scenes.[44]

American adaptation[edit]

Further information: Gracepoint


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  38. ^ "The Television and Radio Industries Club — The TRIC Awards 2014 - Winners". Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
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  41. ^ "Televisual Bulldog Awards 2004: The Winners". Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
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  43. ^ "‘Good Wife,’ ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘True Detective’ Lead TCA Award Nominees". Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
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External links[edit]