I always worry about the second season of a television series, especially when the first seems like a closed book. There are a multitude of potential pitfalls that series regularly find when reopening a story or telling a new one with the same characters or adding new characters, etc. I am not the only one who feels this way either – the term “sophomore slump” did not originate with television, but is certainly used with it now.
This isn’t something I really want to dwell on for a thousand words (put another way, expect this to be short), but the second season of “Broadchurch” seems to be doing a stunning job with the season two transition. In fact, they’re firing on all cylinders. There will be slight spoilers below. You’ve been warned.
First, and most importantly, the producers of “Broadchurch” have managed to reopen the old, seemingly closed, story from the first season in fine fashion. We are now getting an interesting trial about the death of Danny Latimer and the supposed guilt of Joe Miller. I really didn’t think it would be possible to discuss that case again in any sort of way that would make me excited to see it return, but I was wrong. Getting Joe Miller’s confession excluded now seems like a complete no-brainer, but it has reinvigorated that storyline.
Second, there is this year’s new case, which is actually an old case, the case that led Hardy (David Tennant) coming to the town in the first place. While as an audience we didn’t have any real insight into Hardy’s previous high-profile experience and the issues that came out of it, we knew in season one that something had happened in Hardy’s recent police past to cause him some problems. Exploring that in season two makes sense – it was one of those unanswered things last year that never really needed to be explored but makes for interesting telling. Keeping it current in the new season by bringing in characters from that case also works. We have gotten a few flashbacks to what happened prior to the events of season one, but “Broadchurch” hasn’t been mired in them. To spend an extensive amount of time there would be, potentially, very difficult.
Finally, there’s number three, the addition of new characters. Fans of “Doctor Who” already loved the fact that Arthur Darvill was working with David Tennant and now bringing on Eve Myles of “Torchwood” fame only helps the “Who” synergy. Plus, Claire’s husband, Lee, is played by James D’Arcy whom many on this side of the pond just saw on “Marvel’s Agent Carter” as Edwin Jarvis. The additions of those two and Charlotte Rampling and Marianne Jean-Baptiste on the respective legal sides of the case enhance what was already a solid cast. These are characters who could easily have their own show but don’t feel out of place here in any way.
I am, naturally, worried about “Broadchurch” sticking the landing in season two and have avoided all spoilers about what is yet to come. The first season wrapped up so well and I think the story to this point in season two has only gotten better that it all makes me rather concerned about whether or not they’ll be able to keep it going. .
Time will tell, and when we do get a finale I imagine I’ll be back to talk more about it and, perhaps, dig a little deeper into it.
photo creidt: © ITV/Kudos