Characters in Broadchurch

By John Ruberry

A few days ago I finished watching season three of Broadchurch, a British mystery series which is broadcast in the United Kingdom on ITV–and here on BBC America–starring David Tennant as Detective Inspector Alec Hardy and Olivia Colman as Detective Inspector Ellie Miller.

Tennant of course is best known as the Tenth Doctor–and the second one of after its revival–in Doctor Who. Except for the first half of the “Tooth and Claw” episode, Tennant uses an English accent as the Doctor, here his natural Scottish accent is utilized for his Hardy character. One of the supporting characters in Broadchurch is Jodie Whittaker, who will accede to the Doctor’s role in the next Christmas episode of Doctor Who and become the first female Doctor, to the horror of some longtime fans, including the founder of the blog you are reading now.

The creator–and sole screenplay writer, save for one episode that he had a co-writer for–of Broadchurch is Chris Chibnall, who has been executive producer of Doctor Who since last year and who will be showrunner for the feminized edition next season. Chibnall was a co-producer and screenwriter for Torchwood, the sexualized “grown-up” spinoff of Doctor Who.

The fictional town of Broadchurch is where this particular show is set, it sits on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset in southwestern England. Broadchurch is a tightly knit–perhaps too much so–small town that, in season one, is wracked by the murder of 11-year-old Danny Latimer (Oskar McNamara). Whittaker portrays his mother, Beth, and Andrew Buchan plays his father, Mark. The suspects are numerous and there are plenty of plot twists to keep you on the edge of your couch for all eight episodes. Season two, which also consists of eight episodes, splits time between being a courtroom drama and the re-opening of the investigation of a murder and disappearance in Sandbrook, which presumably is near Broadchurch. The botched handling of that investigation is what led Hardy to take the DI position in Broadchurch, which Miller assumed was already hers.

In the third season, which is said to be the final one, Hardy after time away from Broadchurch, returns and again is teamed with Miller. Their relationship has always been tense–but by this time they carry on like elderly spouses, albeit there is no physical side of it. When Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh) calls the police a few days after being raped at the 50th birthday party of a friend and co-worker, Hardy and Miller oversee another investigation that tears the town apart. This season is just six episodes long.

There are many fabulous performances in Broadchurch, beginning of course with Tennant and Colman, but also by Hesmondhalgh, Eva Myles (Gwen Cooper in Torchwood), David Bradley (Walder Frey in Game of Thrones and the new First Doctor in Doctor Who), Arthur Darvill (a onetime Doctor Who companion), who portrays a vicar attempting to heal the town of its wounds while preaching to mostly empty pews, as well as Carolyn Pickles. She plays a rarity–an honest journalist searching for the truth who goes out of her way not to hurt anyone.

I didn’t include Whittaker in that list, but perhaps not much was asked for her by directors of Broadchurch, although as the mother of a murdered child, that doesn’t make very much sense. Based on what I saw in the program, all the performers listed in the previous paragraph would have been better choices as the Thirteenth Doctor, not that I would expect Tennant to return to Doctor Who. My choice would have been Bradley as the next–the first shall be the latest–Doctor. But perhaps a septuagenarian as a lead character in a classic television show is too broad of a bridge to cross for our youth-worshipping culture to cross.

All three seasons are top-notch, but I’ll give my nod to the first one, which was re-done as Gracepoint for Fox in the United States. I haven’t seen that one and from what I’ve heard, it isn’t worth my time or yours, despite Tennant reprising his role as Hardy and Chibnall’s involvement.

Broadchurch is available on DVD, on Amazon, and Xfinity On Demand. Seasons one and two can be viewed on Netflix.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The problem with having a life is I’m constantly becoming the last Doctor Who fan to see stuff like this:

With the War Doctor , the Unit series and the River Song series we are now in full new series Doctor Who mode at Big Finish.

I can’t wait to see a Tom Baker Crossover here.

This was going to be my lead Friday post but not even tennant’s return as the Doctor is bigger news than San Bernadino

The penultimate in my series of Reviews of the Matt Smith Doctor Who years

Summary: The Doctor relives the worst day of his existence, will his future selves convince him to do something he will regret forever.

Plot: While planning a day out with Clara the TARDIS is grabbed by Unit for help with a mystery by Royal Command of Queen Elizabeth the first. Upon arriving he is greeted with a Gallfreyian painting of the last day of the time war, he remissness back to his days as the War Doctor (see Night of the Doctor mini episode) on that Day the War Doctor decides he’s had enough of the Time War declaring No More. He steals the ultimate weapons with the intention of destroying Daleks and Time Lords alike to end the war but the weapons has developed a conscience and that conscience appears as Rose Tyler as the Bad Wolf. He suggests he doesn’t want to survive the destruction he is planning she replies that will be his punishment and challenges him to see what destroying Gallfrey will do to his future, what kind of man it will make him, she opens a time rift to the future which promptly produces a Fez…

Meanwhile back in the present the Doctor opens the letter from Elizabeth I which declares a deadly danger has come to her kingdom and when the time is right he is to be made curator to the undergallery. He remembers back to his time as the 10th doctor picnicking with a young Elizabeth where he proposes marriage, after she accepts he produces a machines that goes “ding” and confidently pronounces her a Zygon in disguise right up until his horse converts into a Zygon and chases him them, they are separated and after a dramatic confrontation with a rabbit he finds two Elizabeths. Before he can deduce which is real a time rift opens up and out pops…a fez.

Back in the present the 11th Doctor finds a group of broken statues to be analyzed by his biggest fan in Unit. After he grabs a Fez he spot on display Kate Stewart shows him a group of paintings with glass shattered as if something came out, all these paintings are landscapes but used to have figures in them, as they continue to the next room suddenly a time rift opens, he vaguely remembers it tosses his Fez through and then Leaps through the rift….

landing in front of the 10th doctor and the two Elizabeth the 1sts. After some snappy patter the rift starts getting active and they advise the two Elizabeths to run in opposite directions. He can hear Clara & Kate through the rift and tests it’s two way capacity by throwing his Fez through it. it doesn’t arrive back but seconds later…

…the war doctor appears to the horror of both of them. He is looking for the Doctor and after some snappy patter are confronted by the Queen’s guards. They are in the process of convincing them Clara is a witch about to hex them when an Elizabeth turns up and at the 11th Doctor’s suggestion has them thrown in the Tower where Kate Stewart is…

…meanwhile as Kate Stewart takes Clara to the Black Archive in the tower looking for a message planted by the Doctor. back in the undergallery Osgood discovers that the place is crawling with Zygons barely escaping from her double Clara discovers Kate has been replaced as well but manages to get the code from the planted message and escapes to where the three doctors are using Captain Jack’s vortex manipulator.

In the past the Doctor’s discover the Zygon’s are planning to invade earth by hiding in 3D painting when the time is right and have captured the black tower, Kate Stewart is freed by the Osgood and is determined to destroy the weaponry there before the Zygons can use it to conquer earth. Will the Doctors & Clara be able to stop the Zygon Invasion, the Destruction of London and will these actions cause the War Doctor to finally decide to destroy Gallfrey and end the time war?

———————————–

Writing: Steven Moffat’s story reads like the type of story a Doctor Who fan would write if he wanted a multi Doctor Story. The dialogue is snappy and the interactions between the doctors are clever. The inclusion of Osgood complete with 4th Doctor Scarf is a brilliant stroke as is the inclusion of the curator at the end, however I see no reason why the rest of the doctors couldn’t have been included in the big climax scene as it would not have added much time to the show, nor why they could have not been included in the epilogue, but these are 50th anniversary quibbles and these don’t reflect on the quality of the episode itself which is VERY well done. I particularly like the last ten minutes but I don’t want to spoil it.

Acting: Lots of strong performances, by the regular cast, David Tennant seems to be having a lot of fun, John Hurt is so good that you can believe he has been playing the Doctor forever but the single best performance is Billie Piper who absolutely owns her role. The Curator at the end steals his scene, but that’s just his nature.

Ultimate Anniversary Moment: “No sir Thirteen!”

Memorable Moments: I wasn’t expecting that, you’re basically just a rabbit, I’m not judging you, Timey Wimey?, Breath that could stun a horse, weak and feeble woman, sorry about the Dalek, Bad wolf girl I could kiss you , Who nose.

Really cool moment: The Daleks on detecting the Doctor stop killing time lords En Masse to go after him…very bad move

Oddities: Shouldn’t the time lords only be acquainted with Doctors one through War doctor (8 1/2) How do they recognize the ones after him?

Pet Peeves: If the Daleks are that obsessed with the Doctor couldn’t he have led them away from Gallfrey simply by showing up elsewhere? How does the Doctor’s interaction with the General in Arcadia effect the actions of Rassilon & the high counsel. How would the Zygons know about what happened to the Sycorax?

Great Quote(s):

War Doctor: Don’t sit on that!
The (Bad Wolf) Moment: Why not?
War Doctor: Because it’s not a chair, it’s the most dangerous weapon in the universe.
The (Bad Wolf) Moment: Why can’t it be both?

********************************************
10th Doctor: It was the horse. I’m going to be King. Run!

******************************************
10th Doctor: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Oh, very clever. Whatever you’ve got planned, forget it. I’m the Doctor. I’m nine hundred and four years old. I’m from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I am the Oncoming Storm, the Bringer of Darkness, and you are basically just a rabbit, aren’t you? Okay, carry on. Just a general warning.

*******************************************

10th Doctor: What are you doing here? I’m busy.
11th Doctor: Oh, busy. I see. Is that what we’re calling it, eh? Eh? Hello, ladies.
10th Doctor: Don’t start.
11th Doctor: Listen, what you get up to in the privacy of your own regeneration is your business.
10th Doctor: One of them is a Zygon.
11th Doctor: Urgh. I’m not judging you.

*************************************************

War Doctor: You’re me? Both of you?
10th Doctor: Yep.
War Doctor: Even that one?
11th Doctor: Yes!
War Doctor: You’re my future selves?
10th & 11th Doctor: Yes!
War Doctor: Am I having a midlife crisis? Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They’re scientific instruments, not water pistols.

**************************************************
Clara: Hang on. Three of you in one cell, and none of you thought to try the door?

**************************************************

10th Doctor: Ow! The desktop is glitching.
War Doctor: Three of us from different time zones. It’s trying to compensate.
11th Doctor: Hey, look. The round things.
10th Doctor: I love the round things.
11th Doctor: What are the round things?
10th Doctor: No idea.

*************************************************

11th Doctor: Alien technology plus human stupidity. Trust me, it’s unbeatable.

***************
11th Doctor: Hello, hello, Gallifrey High Command, this is the Doctor speaking.
10th Doctor: Hello! Also the Doctor. Can you hear me?
War Doctor: Also the Doctor, standing ready.
GENERAL: Dear God, three of them. All my worst nightmares at once.

**************************************
General: I didn’t know when I was well off. All twelve of them!
12th Doctor: No, sir. All thirteen!

****************************************************************

11th Doctor: I could be a curator. I’d be great at curating. I’d be the Great Curator. I could retire and do that. I could retire and be the curator of this place.
Curator (elderly 4th Doctor): You know, I really think you might.
11th Doctor: I never forget a face.
Curator (elderly 4th Doctor): I know you don’t. And in years to come, you might find yourself revisiting a few. But just the old favourites, eh?

Final Verdict: 5 Stars, could it have been a better 50th anniversary episode? Yes. Was it not as good as the fiveish Doctors? Yes. but is it a spectacular story in it’s own right? Without a question.

Ranking of Season 1st of 16 Frankly if it wasn’t the BEST episode of the season it would be a failure.

1. The Day of the Doctor
2. The Bells of St. John
3. The Crimson Horror
4. The Power of three
5. The Name of the Doctor
6. The Snowmen
7. Nightmare in Silver
8. The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe
9. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
10. Journey to the Centre of the Tardis
11. Cold War
12. A Town Called Mercy
13. Asylum of the Daleks
14. The Rings of Akhaten
15. Hide
16. The Angels Take Manhattan

Ranking in Matt Smith Era to this point (top 10 shown) 1st but again if a multi doctor story that’s the 50th anniversary isn’t the best of the era it would almost be a failure

1. Day of the Doctor
2. The Bells of St. John
3. Let’s Kill Hitler
4. The Girl who waited
5. The Doctor’s Wife
6. The Pandorica Opens
7. A Good Man Goes to War
8. The Eleventh Hour
9. The Big Bang
10. The Crimson Horror

Summary:  Can the forgotten heroes of ages past gain their rightful due?

 

Plot:  Peter Davison , Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy find themselves getting more and more concerned as the filming dates for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special comes ever closed ad they’re not called.    Their repeated calls to Stephen Moffat offices go unanswered and they are driving their families up the wall.  Finally with time running short they decide along  to act with Paul McGann (schedule permitting) to do something about it as Tom Baker is caught in a time eddy.  But if they can’t get Stephen Moffat  to change his minds can they someone sneak onto the set and get themselves in the episode without getting caught and thrown off the set?

 

Writing:  Peter Davison story is simply fantastic poking fun at all the idioms of both Doctor Who and the fleeting attention of fame.  The genius of the story is that while Doctor Who fans   a person who has never seen the show can easily understand the plot and the comedy.  It both respects and lampoons all the people involved.   The perspective of dealing with the fans on a daily basis really make a huge difference

 

Acting:   Davison Baker and McCoy all pull it off brilliantly McGann in a smaller role work very well.  John Barrowman who was also disappointed in not making the 50th has a great atypical part.  The number of cameos from not only those involved in the show but the  great and famous from Olivia Colman to Peter Jackson are all excellent but my favorites are the families particular  Colin Baker wife who is just hilarious.  Russell T Davies & Steven Moffat

Anniversary:  Do I really have to say it?

 

Great Moments:  The Dream sequence, playing with toys,  don’t tell anyone, celery and ice cream, I’ve locked all the doors,  Autographs That’s the making of Documentary,  Russell’s call.

 

Oddities:    If you look at the Shroud Scene in this picture and in the actual special they sure look alike, (and one of the shrouded Zygons in the actual special is suspiciously short.)

 

Pet Peeves:   Why are John Barrowman CD’s legal tender to get into the Doctor Who Experience?

 

Great Quote(s)

Jenna Louise Colman:  You were always my mon’s favorite…pause, camera moves forward then back to her  You were always my favorite

****************************

Janet Fielding: Your dreaming Pete, they’re not going to call you Pete, They don’t want you Pete, they don’t want any of you Pete, Get up and walk the dog.

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Colin Baker: Oh you’re in the hobbit I didn’t know

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Peter Davison: this is not some flash in the pan 500 million dollars picture, this is important!

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Final Verdict:  Five Stars and easily of the 4 50th anniversary specials including the big finish , the Night of the Doctor and the Day of the Doctor the best of the batch.  Simply

If we were to rank this in the Doctor who specials of the Matt smith Era, it would be first.

We really can’t rank this as a Doctor Who episode but If we were to rank this in the Doctor Who episodes of the Matt Smith Era it would be 1st.  If I did rank it as an episode in the Matt Smith era it would be just behind Let’s Kill Hitler at 3rd.

Oh just watch it now

To non geeks it is just another birth announcement. Actor David Tennant and his girlfriend Georgia Moffett (daughter of actor Peter Davison) are parents of their first child together.

However if you are a Doctor Who Geek you could put it this way…

The Daughter of the 5th Doctor who played the Daughter of the 10th doctor started dating the 10th doctor and has given birth to her first child, who is also the child of the Tenth Doctor.

That makes this kid, the Grandchild of the 5th doctor, the child of the 10th doctor the son of the daughter of the 10th doctor who played the daughter of the 10th doctor making kid the grandchild of the 10th doctor as well as the child of the 10th doctor who is of course the same person as the 5th doctor. And of course since the Doctor kid’s mother is the doctor’s daughter that makes the kid the sister of the doctor’s daughter since he is the doctor’s kid who is also his mother. And of course since she the 5th doctors daughter went to school with the 6th doctor’s daughter we could make it sound even more complicated than this if we wanted to.

Yeah I know it doesn’t mean anything but all I could think of when I heard about it was that old song, I’m my own Grandpa.

Starting at 6 a.m. this morning BBC America is once again having a marathon of Dr. Who.

They are advertising it as all of season five starting at 9 a.m. but they are actually starting with the last David Tennant Story The end of time to include the regeneration and the story behind it.

My review of the entire Series 5 starts with The Eleventh Hour and continues through The Beast Below, Victory of the Daleks, The Time of Angels, Flesh and Stone, The Vampires of Venice, Amy’s Choice, The Hungry Earth, Cold Blood, Vincent and the Doctor, The Lodger, The Pandorica Opens, and The Big Bang.

Of course if you want NEW stories there is always Big Finish as the Telegraph has reported:

The Tardis has landed in late-Sixties Soviet Russia. The Doctor and his companion are on the trail of an alien weapon that has fallen into the hands of the Soviets. They are in a speeding van being chased across a frozen lake. Just as they seem doomed the van is beamed aboard a space ship.

There is, however, no Matt Smith or Karen Gillan here. In fact, there is no frozen lake, no van and no spaceship, for I am in a recording studio and late-Eighties Dr Who Sylvester McCoy, and his companion Ace, played by Sophie Aldred, are conjuring the scene in a soundproofed booth.

Dr Who may have been successfully resurrected on television in 2005, but it had already reappeared six years earlier in the shape of audio plays released on CD, a format that has been thriving ever since. Big Finish Productions has created more than 180 plays featuring “classic doctors”, as the pre-2005 Doctors are known.

And if you want them in America you can get them mail order from Mike’s Comics along with figures, books and all the Doctor Who stuff you will ever want, just in time for Christmas!

My review of the Big Finish Doctor Who adventure #25 Colditz featuring Sylvester McCoy as the 7th Doctor Sophie Aldred as Ace and future 10th Doctor David Tennant as Feldwebel Kurtz is available at Amazon.com here.

It was a first rate adventure but the most interesting Character is played by Tracy Childs as Klein. Her interaction with the Doctor just cries out for a sequel.

As always you can pick up the episode at Mike’s Comics and you can listen to a preview here.

The explosion for the democratic party would blow out the windows of the Massachusetts political scene as sure as David Tennant’s regeneration into Matt Smith blew out the windows of the Tardis.

Of course the proper regeneration video to use would be the Tony Blair one.

Can this actually be? We will find out tonight if we need someone to make a Ted Kennedy/Scott Brown regeneration video for youtube. Here’s hoping.

The BBC decided to wise up concerning the Dr. Who special The end of Time.

Instead of a 3-6 month delay causing fans to play with proxy servers and or post copy after copy on youtube etc just so people outside of England could watch it, they scheduled it on BBC America with only an 18 hour delay from the base broadcast.

Incidentally as this will be the last story of the 10th doctor played by David Tennant and the introduction of the 11th doctor played by Matt Smith, this is a good choice for an entry point to the series.

If you read this blog at all you know I’m a big doctor who fan but being a graybeard I had no problem waiting till tonight to see the show, my 18 year old son being 18 thought otherwise so of course he watched using a proxy server and of course I watched it with him and of course my wife watched it when he offered to replay it.

I like it a lot more than The Nerd Blog did but from reading his review that wasn’t hard. (I disagree with him on the specials, I enjoyed them all even though Waters of Mars had a huge hole in it.) He had some points concerning the plot and the Masters “powers” but I very much liked the ending and am willing to withhold judgment until I see part two next week.

There was one thing however that annoyed me:

I presume it was meant as a plot device but the climatic moment of the show comes during a worldwide broadcast where president Obama is about to release his plan to end the worldwide recession. It’s a theme throughout the show.

I don’t know how long ago this was written, but the idea of a bunch of brits waiting for Barack Obama to save them strikes me as condescending to them. If I was a British subject I’d be insulted.

There is every probability that this was written just after his election and that Russell T. Davies was and/or is a member of the hopey-changey Obamacult. I suspect British actors are even farther left than Hollywood so it would be no surprise. It is also possible that he is making fun of said cult but I doubt it.

Alas the shooting schedule and the filming didn’t account for the crash and burn of international opinion of the president, it gives the episode an anachronistic quality will make many conservatives laugh at the reminder of those foolish messianic days.

My personal reaction was to think of this:

If you want to watch it to see what I mean, tune into BBC America tonight at 9 p.m. The two previous Doctor Who Specials: Planet of the Dead and Waters of Mars will be showed immediately before starting at 6:30 EST.

Since Rich has finished his last story and hasn’t started his next story yet and we need a change of pace to get my mind off of all of the stupid stuff we’ve had to deal with today.

So lets have a fun poll that has (almost) nothing political about it:

The Ron Paul thing BTW is a running gag and the only thing from Charles worth emulating these days