Entertainment One is exciting fans with the release of “Broadchurch: The Complete Second Season” this week on Bluray.
In the town of Broadchurch, Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) are both reeling with the arrest of Miller’s husband, Joe, for the murder of young Danny Latimer. As they gather in the courtroom to hear Joe plead guilty, they are all shocked to the core when instead he pleads “not guilty.” When asked why, the killer’s reply puts the town of Broadchurch on notice that all secrets will be revealed.
As the trial is set into motion, so is a previous case that Hardy is secretly still working on. A young girl is found murdered and a second young woman missing with Hardy hiding Claire Ashworth (Eve Myles), believing she can make husband Lee (James D’Arcy) talk about what really happened to the two girls. All of this has been hard on Hardy, who is becoming more and more ill.
The Latimer’s hire Barrister Jocelyn Knight (Charlotte Rampling) to prosecute the case against Joe Miller (Matthew Gravelle), whose defense attorney, QC Sharon Bishop (Marianne Baptiste), is vicious to the core. Just as centered on the case is Junior Barrister Abby Thompson (Phoebe Bridge).
Beth Latimer (Jodie Whittaker) and husband Mark (Andrew Buchan) continue to fight for Danny and with a new child coming. Their anger continues to boil toward one-time friend and neighbor Ellie Miller. That doesn’t stop the secrets from within their family from boiling over into the courtroom. All of this fuels Bishop’s dramatic flare in the courtroom with her “what-ifs” and “isn’t it possible” scenarios that keep Knight jumping to put out one fire after another.
One by one the secrets are revealed as the police and those involved in the case get on the witness stand while Miller sits silently watching it all unwind before him. Hardy and Miller try to let the law work and at the same time continue to look into the Gillespie girls murders. It all comes down to the jury and what they believe.
In a shocking turn, Hardy and Miller know they must stay the course if they, and Broadchurch, are to heal.
Tennant never fails to disappoint his role of Alec Hardy, and once again proves why he is a beloved actor worldwide. Moving past iconic roles such as “Blackpool,” “Dr. Who,” the role in “Spies of Warsaw” and “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” this character in “Broadchurch” is just genius. A character of intensity and at the same time driven by an anger to bring evil to justice, he sometimes walks the line between what is right and what is necessary.
Colman as Miller gives an amazing performance of a woman who comes to terms with a husband she cannot defend, and a job that will save her. Each episode is almost heartbreaking watching the character of Miller try to keep her family together, find her place in the neighborhood where the family of the young murdered boy lived, and focus on finding the murder of the Gillespie girls. Even when she cracks on the witness stand, her anger isn’t unjustified, but how do you separate emotions of home life and professional life? Colman is truly riveting to watch.
Myles as Claire is a whack job from beginning to end, but wow, what a whack job! Her games keep the discovery of what truly happened to the Gillespie girls coming and going. I give Miller and Hardy credit for not smacking her around a bit. D’Arcy as Lee portrays a man who can’t seem to stay away from his wife — no matter the cost. I truly enjoyed his performance all the way to the end!
Whitaker and Buchan as the parents of Danny Latimer are so hard to watch at times. Dealing with the death of their young son, there are so many secrets still left to be told about this family. Finishing out the story, these two actors show grace where other people might not.
Rampling as Barrister Knight started out as a tough nut to crack. Refusing repeatedly to take the case, her reasons become clear and does the magnificent job Rampling does portraying this lovely woman — or perhaps I’m just a Rampling fan from way back. Either way, it’s a job so very well done. Baptiste as Bishop is just a woman with the biggest chip on her shoulder, and she uses that to plead the case of Joe Miller. Bridge as Thompson definitely has a mouth on her with empathy not being one of her strong suits.
Gravelle as Miller has the least amount of lines, yet has an impact that is strong. In each courtroom scene he is a silent fixture behind a glass wall, but in that silence he speaks volumes.
Other cast members include: Jonathan Bailey as Ollie Stevens, Carolyn Pickles as Maggie Radcliffe, Arthur Darvill as Rev. Coates, Adam Wilson as Tom Miller, Joe Sims as Nige Carter, Charlotte Beaumont as Chloe Latimer, Simone McAully as Becca Fisher, Pauline Quirke as Susan Wright and William Andrews as Ben Haywood.
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TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Broadchurch: The Complete Second Season” four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. It’s not surprising that this series is a BAFTA winner as well as the highest-rated drama on British television.
The cast meshes so well together and shows what a truly talented ensemble can do with an intense storyline. Even the set and scenery add to the story with the ocean cliff being a constant reminder of what has come to Broadchurch.
The DVD includes “The Making of Broadchurch,” cast and crew interviews, behind the scene featurettes and deleted scenes. With more than 480 minutes of viewing time, this drama has been called a bona fide national obsession, and I couldn’t agree more!
In the end — secrets could destroy the entire town!