WARNING: this post contains spoilers for all three seasons of Broadchurch.
ITV and BBC America are taking us back to Broadchurch one last time. BBC America has posted the first official video teaser for the third season of the small-town crime series.
The teaser is a mere 10 seconds, giving only glimpses of major cast members in a standard thriller trailer cut, but it’s enough to start turning the speculation gears. The cast, at least, remains star-studded. David Tennant and Olivia Colman will return as Detective Alec Hardy and Detective Ellie Miller, respectively. Tennant’s Hardy continues to shine without words via his penetrating melancholic stare which conveys his world-weariness and cynicism about small towns.
Ellie’s son Tom (Adam Wilson) will also be back. The grieving Latimer parents Beth and Mark, played by Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan, are still around, as is Arthur Darvill’s vicar Paul Coates. These characters were crucial to Broadchurch‘s first season, where the murder of Danny Latimer threw suspicion upon all of them (by Alec Hardy, not so much Ellie Miller) as key suspects in the investigation.
Digital Spy also confirmed the return of Matthew Gravelle as Joe Miller, the murderer of Danny Latimer. Given that Season 3 will be focusing on a new criminal investigation, this character’s return is likely a way to tie up the loose ends from the show’s first two seasons, which heavily focused on Danny’s murder and Joe’s subsequent trial.
Season 3 will introduce new characters to the town of Broadchurch as well. Trish Winterman, portrayed by Coronation Street veteran Julie Hesmondhalgh, is a character shrouded in mystery, but Radio Times reports that this season of the show is featuring an investigation into a sexual assault as well as outsider scrutiny of Broadchurch.
— Broadchurch (@BroadchurchTV) May 23, 2016
It might be easy to assume that Julie will be the victim of the assault, but whether that’s true, and how it will play into the beach-side town’s perception by others, remains inconclusive. (ITV is being notoriously cagey on details, adding to the sense of mystery surrounding the show.) Regardless, Digital Spy notes that Chibnall and the producers of Broadchurch worked with Dorset-based organizations focused on sexual assault in producing this season of the show, which should contribute to the show’s authenticity in dealing with crimes of this nature.
This emphasis on a new investigation should bring the show back to its character-driven procedural roots, a sentiment echoed by Arthur Darvill when talking to Digital Spy.
“I loved the second series of Broadchurch – I think it was really necessary to tell that part of the story – but I think this series has more of the feel of the first series,” he said.
Radio Times reported earlier on more new cast members for Season 3, including Sarah Parish (whom American TV viewers may know as Levicy Hatfield in History Channel’s miniseries event Hatfields & McCoys) and Mark Bazeley, whose work includes video games and television series as well as a role in The Bourne Ultimatum.
The biggest star joining Broadchurch this season is Sir Lenny Henry, the multi-faceted entertainer-comedian-musician-writer who also co-founded Comic Relief. Henry’s wide variety of roles throughout his career proves that whatever kind of character the show provides for him, he is sure to captivate audiences with his performance.
Head writer Chris Chibnall stated in the ITV press release that Broadchurch Season 3 will be the final season for the series.
“We have one last story to tell, featuring both familiar faces and new characters,” he said. “I hope it’s a compelling and emotional farewell to a world and show that means so much to me.”
The final season, spanning eight episodes as usual, should provide appropriate closure for all of the remaining Season 1 characters after the emotionally devastating events surrounding Danny’s murder—events that also served as the backbone for Broadchurch‘s American remake Gracepoint.
The timing is fortuitous, as it has been widely reported that Chibnall will be taking over head writing duties for Doctor Who from Steven Moffat after that show’s 10th season airs in 2017. Wrapping up Broadchurch with Season 3 will free up Chibnall to give Doctor Who his fullest attention.
Expect freshly pensive shots of Dorset when Broadchurch returns sometime in 2017.
[Featured Image by ITV]