Critical Condition: Broadchurch

Broadchurch (TVNZ 1, 8.30 Sundays)

“So, back to Broadchurch, for the third – and final – time. A traumatised woman turns up in the night at the police station in town. A single tear rolls from a faraway blue eye down her cheek. Her name is Trish and she has been raped. DS Ellie Miller and DI Alec Hardy (Olivia Colman and David Tennant) arrive; they’re on the case. It’s what Chris Chibnall’s Broadchurch needed – a new case – after the second series … Miller’s and Hardy’s responses to the case are different. For her, it is as a woman as well as a detective. This is more than just a case to be solved. ‘She’s been raped!’ she snaps, when Hardy gives her a hard time for giving Trish her own mobile number. It’s brilliant by both Colman and Tennant again, a portrait of a close working relationship that is at times tetchy, at others bordering on close friendship, but always convincing and so very human.” — The Guardian.

Broadchurch is back on fine form, finally. After an implausible second series that struggled to deliver sensitive storylines with subtlety, Chris Chibnall’s popular drama has returned to its best … Chibnall has bid goodbye to his part-court drama, part-detective, part-soap hybrid, and returned to the classic ‘whodunnit?’. Former Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh (above) plays a rape victim, Trish, with great emotional fragility.” — The i.

“It was a visceral, vanity-free performance from Hesmondhalgh, who has said she welcomed the chance to play a rape victim who wasn’t young and attractive, like so many screen portrayals. This enforced the point that rape isn’t about sex – it’s about power and violence. Her turn was tough to watch but brought the horror vividly to life. The police procedures were well-researched and reassuringly thorough.” — The Telegraph.

“Tennant and Colman could not be bettered either. Last time out they looked unsure and half-hearted, as if both suspected that revisiting Broadchurch was a mistake. This time, they are determined to wipe away that failure. Acting of such intensity is a rare sight. This drama could be a disaster again — but the cast will do everything possible to turn it into a triumph. And that makes Broadchurch III too intriguing to miss.” — The Daily Mail.

“This story felt fresh and after the ludicrous liberties taken with the legal process by the show in 2015, the attention to procedural detail at the sexual assault referral centre was both impressive and, at least to me, new. Broadchurch III got it off to a solid and possibly wisely understated start.” — The Times.

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