This week’s Netflix pick is the binge-worthy British crime drama “Broadchurch.” Former “Doctor Who” star David Tennant trades in his sonic screwdriver for a police badge in his starring role as Detective Inspector Alec Hardy. Alongside Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller, who is portrayed by Olivia Colman, Hardy investigates the shocking case that turns a small beach town upside down.
The town of Broadchurch is a small and unassuming community along the British coast in Dorset. Everyone in Broadchurch knows everyone. However, when eleven-year-old Danny Latimer is found dead on the beach early one morning, the citizens of Broadchurch are all too quick to start pointing fingers at one another. With the town in complete disarray, the local police force is faced with its most difficult case to date.
Enter DI Alec Hardy to the rescue. The lanky and irritable Scottish detective has just transferred to the Broadchurch station from Sandbrook, where he was blamed for his station’s failure to solve the murder of two young girls. DS Ellie Miller is shocked upon return from vacation to discover that Hardy has taken the promotion that she was promised. However, their animosities must be set aside as the two detectives work together to figure out who murdered Danny Latimer.
Meanwhile, a subplot focuses on the effect of Danny’s murder on the Latimer family. Already bearing the burden of a marriage that is falling apart, Mark and Beth Latimer struggle to hold their family together. Chloe, Danny’s fifteen-year-old sister, is lost in the shuffle as everything that she knows collapses around her.
Chloe Latimer is not the only young person in Broadchurch who is struggling to hold onto his or her identity. Olly Stevens is a fresh-faced journalist for the Broadchurch Echo. In his eyes, the Latimer case is, in a twisted sense, one of the most exciting things to happen in Broadchurch in quite a long time. With the mysterious case comes a lot of media attention, and Olly is quick to jump at the chance to further his career. However, he is conflicted by the fact that he is the nephew of Ellie Miller, the very detective who is working the case.
Olly Stevens is perhaps the only member of the Broadchurch community who is happy for the media attention. Residents are driven mad by the intrusion on their privacy. Personal stories are dragged out of the garbage can and aired out for the entire nation to see. The people of Broadchurch are quick to learn that not everyone is who they have always appeared to be.
The winner of multiple British Academy Television Awards, “Broadchurch” is the kind of program that leaves viewers begging for more. Chris Chibnall’s writing shines through the realistic repercussions of a mysterious murder on a close-knit community. Through deep characterization and intense plots, viewers will feel as if they, too, are members of the Broadchurch community as they seek the answer to the ultimate question: Who killed Danny Latimer?