Broadchurch is an eight-part ITV drama that began tonight. It's a small-town seaside resort murder mystery that kicks off with a boy found dead at the foot of a cliff. Apparently the town will become torn apart by both the police investigation and the feeding fenzy of the national media. A community besieged; and there will be casualties before the guilty are discovered. It sounds worth following, if you like conventional passions heaped on and on until you scream. I personally prefer drama that doesn't tax me so much. Something more restrained. I don't want to see stuff that gives me more raw emotion in one hour than I have so far seen in my whole lifetime. I suspect that this will. It won't be controlled and Scandinavian.
But certainly I enjoyed the location shots. I immediately recognised West Bay near Bridport, and could find these among my own shots:
The boy was found beneath those cliffs above. Or was it below these cliffs near Burton Bradstock?
A watchful and faintly sinister cigarette-smoking lady lives in one of them caravans on the beach, m'dears! Now surely this modern round building at West Bay is the 'Police Headquarters'?
You see, it's worth blitzing little seaside towns, just in case they ever show up in a TV series!
Anyway, I gave Broadchurch half and hour, then turned over to BBC2 to watch the second half of a soothing documentary on the Flying Scotsman. But I did switch back in time to see the closing sequence of Broadchurch, where the detective inspector is making a TV appeal for information, and several stressed-out characters are reacting, including that cigarette-smoking lady, who clearly Knows Something.
This will be a drama full of twists and turns and red herrings, but I suspect it will basically be about Someone wanting Something that Someone Else has: the classic interplay between the haves and the have-nots. The boy's death may turn out to be a side-issue, resulting from his seeing or hearing something he simply didn't understand. There. You hardly need to watch the other seven episodes. But I suppose I'd better dip into them, just to see whether I'm right!
You know, we could all fall victim to someone jealous of what we have. It need not be money. The poorest person can have something that can drive another into a murderous mood of blind jealousy. It could be children, when the envious one is childless; a good loving man, when the envious one has nobody; constant success, when the envious one has constant bad luck; the love and respect of the community, when the envious one is a reviled outcast. It's natural to consider only money, but these other things really mean so much more; and because they do, every person who has such treasure is at risk. We don't think of that. I'm sure that the last episode of Broadchurch will reveal that the person behind the unfolding tragedies was casually maimed by life, felt unfairly disadvantaged, and lashed out in their hurt. And nobody saw it coming.