Update: American fans of Broadchurch, the great British whodunit starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman as detectives Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller, have finally got a date for the third and final season on BBC America: June 28 at 10 p.m. ET.
Meanwhile, the series finale is set to air in the U.K. on April 17.
You may be tempted to use your own sleuthing skills to get a hint of what’s in store for us — just a little tease greater than the 11-second promo BBC America released back in December. But a word from experience: don’t. You could find yourself reading a perfectly lovely, vague article from a British paper about a premiere screening that abruptly inserts paparazzi photos of a cast member filming what anyone would consider a huge spoiler from later in the run.
So that you don’t suffer the same fate we did (gasping and shouting before aborting the mission), here’s what we can safely preview for you, to tide you over.
The Plot: The series picks up three years after the events of the Season 2 finale, as Hardy and Miller begin work on a new case: We learn in the opening scene, above, that a woman named Trish (Happy Valley‘s Julie Hesmondhalgh) has been sexually assaulted. She is unable to identify her attacker. Watch the full trailer below.
Creator Chris Chibnall, who once again penned all eight episodes of the season, had the counsel of the Shores (Dorset’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre) and Dorset Rape Crisis throughout the writing process. For Tennant, it’s a return to the serious subject matter of Netflix’s Jessica Jones, in which his character, Kilgrave, used mind control to force Krysten Ritter’s titular heroine into a sexual relationship.
“The two characters are obviously coming from very different standpoints,” Tennant told Yahoo TV while filming Broadchurch last summer. “So far Hardy is trying to come to terms with the psychology of someone who would commit a crime like that; Kilgrave can’t really understand what he’s done wrong. I think it’s interesting that this is an area that we want to tell stories about at the moment. I think it’s something that society is having a war with itself about. As a society, we are being a bit more honest about how we’ve not really dealt with these issues in the past and how a bit of redressing needs to be done in terms of how we deal with gender politics and sexual politics as well. I think Jessica Jones inspired some very interesting arguments and debates, and I hope that Broadchurch will do the same, but from a very different type of storytelling, I think.”
The Characters: There will be familiar faces, including Beth and Mark Latimer (Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan), Vicar Paul Coates (Arthur Darvill), newspaper editor Maggie Radcliffe (Carolyn Pickles), and Ellie’s son Tom (Adam Wilson). “There is a bold new crime story which forces us to ask whether the town has a crack running through it caused by Danny Latimer’s death; is this new crime somehow the long-term legacy of that dark moment?” executive producer Jane Featherstone says in a U.K. press kit. “Our central characters must contend with this possibility as they battle to make hope, friendship and love triumph over fear and suspicion, as a host of new suspects present themselves.”
Yes, as Colman jokes in the set visit above, “It turns out there are people in this town that we haven’t met before.” That includes Sir Lenny Henry’s Ed, the owner of the farm shop where Hesmondhalgh’s Trish works. (Sarah Parish, Georgina Campbell, Charlie Higson, and Mark Bazeley also co-star.)
Note: Don’t even try to pump Tennant for a clue about the big reveal. Absolute Radio already tried to have Uri Geller read his mind remotely from Israel during The Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show.
Hardy’s Health: Three years after his heart surgery, there’s (probably) no need to worry. “The ticker’s tickin’ away. The pacemaker’s working,” Tennant says in the interview below. “There’s a stressful eight weeks ahead of him, you’ll have to see.”
Seasons 1 and 2 of Broadchurch are streaming on Netflix. Season 3 will premiere on BBC America later in 2017.
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