"There are practical challenges to shooting a high profile drama, such as Broadchurch, through the summer months. When many of your established locations are situated in the midst of what is an incredibly popular tourist attraction, it’s necessary to try and navigate around a shoot day being impacted by sun bathers, coach parties and ice cream queues!"
"Broadchurch has become a significant part of West Bay’s attractions - along with the beautiful cliffs, beach and harbour. It was fantastic to be received by the residents and business owners of West Bay, and indeed the visiting tourists, with such warm support but we always have to give careful consideration to our approach when working in and around the public."
"We were incredibly lucky with the weather. There was one memorable scene where we had to weight a picnic blanket to the grass to avoid it flying off in the wind! In a new addition to the physical perspectives of Broadchurch, we worked with a drone camera this series. When working with a bit of kit such as this you’re reliant on perfect weather conditions. We managed to fly our drone up and down the coast and achieve some amazing images of the iconic cliffs, the bay and the rolling Dorset Hills."
Dan Winch (Indian Summers II, What We did On Our Holiday) is the producer. It is directed by Paul Andrew Williams (The Eichmann Show, Murdered By My Boyfriend), Daniel Nettheim (Doctor Who, Humans, Line Of Duty) and Lewis Arnold (Banana, Prey, Humans).
Here is what he had to say.
It's been an extraordinary journey: from tiny beginnings inspired by a walk in 2011 along the Jurassic Coast where I live, to a global success in 180 territories, with two international remakes, a novel adaptation and Broadchurch walking tours that take a similar route to my first walk. It's been quite a ride. We've kept a lot of secrets, had a lot of fun and hopefully given people another reason to stay in on Monday nights.
The world we live in now feels some distance from the world I was writing about when we started. The state of the country and its preoccupations are different. Each story has deliberately tackled a new area. For the final story, Ellie Miller and Alec Hardy conduct a new investigation, into a serious sexual assault.
We've spent the time since the series was last on air researching and developing this story. Myself and Script Executive Samantha Hoyle have worked closely with support organisations in the Dorset area who work with victims of sexual assault. We've spent time with the amazing support workers who run referral centres. We've developed relationships with and talked in depth with Independent Sexual Violence Advisors, as well as police who investigate these crimes, and survivors of these crimes. These extraordinary people have advised us every step of the way: from storylining, to scripts, on set during production (some of our advisors even appear in one sequence later on in the series) and through the post production process.
I wanted to tell this story because these crimes are increasing. Recorded sexual offences have been increasing year on year for the past decade: the most recent annual statistics showed an increase of 41% in reported rapes, compared to the previous year. Representations of, and attitudes to, sex have become more oppositional and confrontational. Sexualised images are all around, access to porn is easier and seemingly more common. It's an issue for couples, for parents and families, for individuals and for communities. And amidst all this, the gender divide often feels more polarised than it has in decades.
To explore this, I needed to call on DS Ellie Miller and DI Alec Hardy one last time. This story begins three years after we were last in Broadchurch. Lives have moved on. Some people have left, some have arrived - and there's a new case to test this old partnership. There are new suspects, new revelations and fresh truths to be confronted in the lives of Broadchurch's residents.
You can expect to meet old friends, and new faces. You'll see more of Broadchurch than ever before: new locations, and more extraordinary Dorset landscape.
What hasn't changed is the amazing array of acting talent in the show. Our cast, led by the incomparable Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Jodie Whittaker and Andy Buchan, are joined by a host of brilliant new recruits: including Julie Hesmondhalgh, Sarah Parish, Lenny Henry, Mark Bazeley, Georgina Campbell, Charlie Higson and Roy Hudd.
Broadchurch has been a life-changing experience for me, and for many of us who make it. It's been a strange, mad honour to experience the passion of audiences for this story and these characters. It's been wonderful to film in (and showcase) the South West of England -- the people of Bridport, West Bay and Clevedon have done us proud across all three series. But all good stories come to an end. I hope this one has enough twists and turns, laughter and tears to go out in style.
Paul Andrew Williams
Director of Photography
Make-Up and Hair Designer
Kelly Valentine Hendry
David Tennant admits that Alec Hardy is a role he will miss, along with his much loved co-stars in Broadchurch.
"It is sad to think we will never return to this world and to these characters because I feel so fondly towards them but I will always feel proud to be associated with this show," he says.
"There is a massive personal legacy having worked on this show… we all feel like we have been doing something very special and that we are all a part of each other’s lives now so I’ll miss seeing people every day but hopefully I will see them fairly regularly. I will certainly miss Chris’ scripts but I look forward to watching them elsewhere and I hope it won't be the last time we will work together."
David explains how he felt reading the opening episode of series three for the first time: "That it was clearly very beautifully researched and realised and that it was touching and intriguing; a page turner and funny in places but gripping to read. That it was the same world but telling a different type of story and a sense that Chris Chibnall has been able to very fully realise this world again and that it was somewhere you were very happy to be back in."
So, where do we find Hardy at the beginning of this series?
"It's a few years down the line and some stuff has happened in the interim which we will find out as the series unfolds. At the end of series two we didn’t know if he was getting in the cab or not… turns out he did but he has found his way back to Broadchurch and has found his way to be working with Ellie again and although he is never entirely happy with his lot he realises that this is probably where he is meant to be and that Ellie is the closest thing he has to a best friend."
"So there is a sort of acceptance to him, he is not railing against the world in quite the same way. What he ends up railing against is the perpetrator of this crime and that becomes, as it always has been, his focus, and his focus then becomes trying to understand the person who would commit this crime, trying to get inside their skin and that is something that he struggles with initially. That has been an interesting conflict to play, Hardy trying to come to terms with what sort of man would do this and almost feeling ashamed for his own gender which has been a very interesting take that Chris has afforded him this series."
"And the relationship between Hardy and his daughter, Daisy, is a bigger part of this series, and of who he is, why he is trying to do what he is trying to do and it gives him a different perspective on things…it makes him all the more keenly aware of the idea that there may be a threat to women in the community, which is something he feels all the more acutely through Daisy’s presence. He is trying to be a dad and it is not something he has a lot of practice at - he is a decent bloke it just doesn’t necessarily come so naturally to him."
David himself was also affected by the research he undertook for the role this series and the people who advised the production throughout.
"Chris Chibnall’s research has been incredible. He has been working on this since the end of series two and I think what is particularly affecting about this is we are presenting something that is very difficult, an awful event in someone’s life and you have to present it realistically, accurately and sensitively and Chris’s genius on this is that he has almost forensically gone about looking at what the support systems are in this country, how they work and the amazing work that they do with victims of sexual assault and I think he represents that and bears witness to that in the script. We were hugely affected by meeting some of the women who meet victims and who help them and care for them and see the processes that do exist in a hugely underfunded set of services. The humanity there and the care of the people who work at Rape Crisis and those organisations has been humbling and something I hope we bear witness to appropriately in the show."
A highlight for David was working with the new cast members which included actors such as Julie Hesmondhalgh, Sir Lenny Henry and Sarah Parish.
"That’s always been such a joyous part of it. Olivia and I get the privilege of working with everyone because of the way it is structured. We will interview everyone that the case touches so we have this extraordinary treat of working with this range of brilliant actors and quite different types of actors who are equally brilliant and unique. On this series there are some old friends of mine from other jobs and some people I had not met before and we have been thrilled with them all."
What is it about that partnership between Ellie and Hardy that has made audiences love watching them?
"It’s hard to be objective about something that you are that close to and I wouldn’t pretend to know why things necessarily work. I suppose Olivia Colman is a pretty significant part of it, she certainly has been for me, getting to work with her for all of these years and having had such a great time with her professionally but also having such a laugh, it has been such a joy to be part of that partnership."
"I don’t know what 'chemistry' is though. It seems to be an intangible thing so I don’t know how one quantifies it and obviously I am delighted if people think we have it on screen… it’s not really for me to say but I think certainly Chris wrote two characters that made perfect sense and worked very well together and Olivia certainly brought Ellie to vivid life from the first moment she opened her mouth so I have been quite lucky to be on their coattails I suspect."
What will David miss the most about not filming Broadchurch anymore?
"I will miss our trips to the coast. West Bay and the Jurassic coastline I will definitely need to visit because there is something very special about that place and it is an extraordinary part of the country."
Olivia Colman is sure the chemistry between Ellie and Hardy is down to her and David Tennant being such good chums.
"Chris Chibnall has written them brilliantly. They are really good mates - possibly each other’s only mate. They need each other and it is quite funny, a bit like watching the old Hinge and Bracket; like old ladies always having a go at each other."
"It feels like they have been friends for longer than they have, the way they bicker but they clearly deeply respect each other and would staunchly defend each other against other people. I think it makes people feel quite secure in watching their friendship. Maybe it just makes them laugh at how horrible they are to each other even though they clearly love each other."
"It really helps that David and I get on so well. You can sort of tell that Hardy and Ellie like being together because David and I like spending time together, it makes it much easier. I will miss working with David, if we could stand next to each other on set every day I would be so happy. We giggle, he is never late, knows all of his lines… he is a dream person to work with."
Olivia explains what is happening in Ellie's life when we return to Broadchurch.
"We discover that her dad is living with her after her mum has passed, but I think she is finding family quite annoying. She is on her own so her dad’s help is great but her son… it’s not easy at the best of times for a teenager but he knows what his dad was put away for, so it's pretty hard and he is becoming a bit of a pain in the backside. So it’s all quite trying for Ellie and I think it is probably quite nice for her to be at work."
And Ellie’s relationship with Beth has moved on as well...
"It’s amazing, that friendship, considering what happened. They just really need each other. They can’t bear what’s happened but it is a miracle that Beth is still able to love Ellie, it makes her an incredible person. It’s not Ellie’s fault and she knows that. They look after each other as well."
"I am so pleased they’re friends because I know Jodie and I found it really hard hating each other last series."
Olivia loves the fact that she and David get to interrogate all the guest stars.
"We get spoiled because we get to sit opposite everybody, all these brilliant actors, and get front row seats to some amazing performances. Like Julie Hesmondhalgh who is brilliant in this."
Speaking of that role she continues: "Knowing that every moment of everyday there is someone reliving something like that. The bravery of Trish… the bravery of that woman is so fantastic to show. That there are people who want to help you and who offer their time and protection and love. If you have the bravery to ask for help it is all there. That is a great thing to show people. Speak out, don’t let anyone get away with this."
Olivia explains that the subject matter of this series is one that is very important to her.
"I had done some research previously for other jobs and I feel quite passionate about Refuge, domestic violence against women and children, and Tender which is the charity that hopes to teach people when they are young how to avoid situations when they get older. So I have become passionate about all of these issues… violence against each other and that ties in with sexual assault obviously. I’m really pleased to be a part of this story and it’s amazing how people don’t know how common this is. People need to know, I think."
"I met the representatives from the local organisations, who helped Chris (Chibnall) with his research, when they came to set and there were a couple of women in particular who were our advisors who were just incredible. We had a policewoman and a woman from Dorset Rape Crisis who were amazing and it was really humbling, what they do I know I couldn’t do but I am in awe of them. Thank God they are there. I hope they are happy that we have shown what they do because they are so poorly funded it’s going to be a shock to people when they realise that these people are volunteering to do the hardest of jobs. There’s no applause or awards show for them."
"We have to do whatever it takes to stop this happening. We need to put everything we can into teaching and helping people to repair the damage. People have a right to be themselves and not to feel scared."
Julie Hesmondhalgh is attracted to roles that have something to say about the world and the character of Trish Winterman in Broadchurch series three is one she is proud to portray.
"I am very interested in politics and social justice so it’s exciting for me, as an actor, to be a part of stories that have something important to say. I feel confident in the research that went into Broadchurch and the integrity of the piece, that its heart was in the right place and am proud to be part of it."
Julie admits she felt both excited and nervous joining the cast of such an established drama.
"I was apprehensive because it’s a difficult thing when you move over from being a fan of something to actually being a part of it and getting the right balance of being very happy to be there and being a little bit of a competition winner! But it was a really exciting phone call to get and especially when I heard the subject matter and what my story would be and how and they were dealing with that storyline."
"I was very interested in where it was going to go. I wanted to know what was going to happen to Trish. I was very aware, as a woman, that rape and serious sexual assault on TV can be very badly handled and the shoehorning in of it as entertainment is a thorny issue. But from the very start Chris (Chibnall) said to me that the main objective was to show how things have changed for people who have experienced sexual assault… the belief that you are telling the truth and you will be treated with dignity and respect. And whatever people say about it, and choose to take away from it, I think that is a really important thing to try and get across."
"Also I think it is really interesting that they have cast someone like me who is quite an ordinary looking, middle aged woman to be someone who has been through this as opposed to it being sexualised in any way, because of course it is not an act of sex but one of violence, control and abuse."
Julie adds: "Yes, it’s about getting the right balance of saying important things and seeing things in a sensitive and respectful way but it is a thriller at the end of the day and a whodunnit and a new investigation for Ellie and Hardy and that is at the heart of it. That is always the heart of it, their relationship and grappling with this horrible world we live in against the beautiful backdrop of where they are."
Describing her character, Trish Winterman, Julie says: "She is a very ordinary woman, she has been married for quite a long time to Ian (Charlie Higson) who is a teacher and in the last 12 months he had an affair with a younger teacher at school and when she found out she kicked him out. He wanted another go but she was having none of it."
"They have a daughter together, Leah and she lives with Trish at home and they are very close and have a really good relationship. She works in the farm shop with her best friend Cath (Sarah Parish) and Ed (Sir Lenny Henry) is the manager there and she is coming into her own. She is going out a lot, she has had all of her hair cut off and dyed it that colour we call ‘divorcee burgundy'… it's a new start and she is actually just beginning to really enjoy life again and feel sexy in her body, feel like a woman in the world again. So when this happens it absolutely pulls the rug from under her feet and makes her suddenly start feeling afraid to be alone. It is quite painful to see because I think she is a very relatable character and she is absolutely traumatised by what has happened to her."
What research did Julie personally undertake?
"I read some books and first hand experiences of women who have been through quite violent stranger attacks which seemed important to me because whoever it ends up being in the programme Trish doesn’t know who has done this to her at the beginning. Then there was this series of documentaries that I watched which were really interesting, The Detectives was one of them and then there was one that was specifically about the Manchester rape centre which was the first one of its kind to be set up in the country and just having women courageously agree to be interviewed and filmed as they were going through the whole process… that was really helpful for me, to find out about the huge variety of women and men that this happens to. In the Manchester centre the youngest person that they dealt with had come in as a victim, a person who had experienced rape was a nine month old baby and the oldest a 90 year old woman so it is not confined to young women out on the town on a Saturday night. The women from Dorset Rape Crisis were amazing too."
What was the best thing about filming Broadchurch last year?
"Well it was absolutely wonderful being down in Dorset, really beautiful and I had a period of time in the summer when I was down a lot and I had a little caravan on the beach. I used to walk over the cliffs to West Bay to work in the morning and in the middle of summer it was absolutely lovely. It doesn't get any better than that!"
Andy Buchan admits he got goosebumps when reading the script for the first episode in the new series of Broadchurch.
"It is a very delicate subject and one which I think Chris (Chibnall) has approached with complete respect," he says. " I believe he has been researching it for a year or more, chatting to police and many relevant organisations in and around where it is set, and it shows in all of the detail and the scripts."
"Total hats off to Chris because he has such an incredible eye for not just good dialogue but brilliant dialogue and once you get caught up in it, it is a real challenge and privilege as an actor. I think he also had a fire in his gut to make series three the best yet."
"As a cast we all felt extremely focused and we all had an appetite to get it right. Because there are so many other series out there that are not dropping the ball we couldn’t risk being at ease in any way. It is just really important that we attack it with real commitment, drive and focus and try and make the story as real as we possibly could. I think, as with every series of Broadchurch, the cast approach it almost like stepping into a great unknown, you’re not quite sure where you are about to go but you know it may be quite an unpleasant journey..."
Andy describes the state his character Mark Latimer is in when we return to Broadchurch.
"Mark is in a very dark place and is still battling with a lot of anger and depression. I think of all of the stages of grief, he is certainly nowhere near acceptance. Seeing Joe Miller walk free at the end of the last series was a very difficult pill for him to swallow."
"So he is in a huge emotional rut and I think the rest of the town have somehow managed to come to terms with it and move on and Mark hasn’t. He wants answers. And he has so many questions. It’s very slowly taking its toll on his and Beth’s relationship and that in itself is disintegrating. He is not in a good place at all. Chronologically things have definitely taken a turn for the worst since the last series for Mark."
How hard was it for Andy to go back to that emotional place?
"I watched series one and two back again because there are so many shades of grief that you don’t just want to repeat what has come before. And I chatted a lot to Paul Andrew Williams, the director, and he mentioned there should be a Mark that we haven’t seen before, particularly as the series progresses. He is a very fragile, weak and quite lost character. All of his relationships with people are fractured and are quite difficult. He is very angry and bitter inside and without intending to it feels like he has distanced himself from the whole town."
"In series one there was this 'act before you speak' side to Mark, this bubbling, seething intensity that wanted to attack and certainly with this series there is just a real brittle weakness to him. Even in the moment Mark is expecting to get angry he can’t quite always reach there because the fire has gone out and he doesn’t know which path to take. So he is about to go on a very conflicting journey and it takes a huge toll on his family."
Talking about the most challenging part of filming this final series, Andy says: "The hardest thing is always getting it right and being truthful and honest. Such a simple thing to say but when Jodie and I were presented with these characters way, way back I said it then and I’ll say it again, you can’t tiptoe around this subject matter, you have to go in and treat it with maximum respect and try to hit the emotions as accurately as you possibly can because there may be people out there who are going through this who will watch it back and think it’s not truthful. There’s not a day when you can turn up on set feeling comfortable or at ease with it. I think that was always going to be the hardest part and making his journey as real as possible."
How does it feel to have been involved in the Broadchurch trilogy?
"I don’t think it has sunk in. There was the complete shock at the end of series one when it aired and it seemed to go down well but throughout the rest I don’t think it enters my head really. Maybe it will in five or ten years but certainly from the inside looking out you are not totally aware of it."
"They’re such a good hearted, humble and very down to earth bunch of people working on this show that the atmosphere on set was never one of look how good the series is doing but more of what’s the next scene we all have and best of luck and I can't stress enough just how much focus and appetite we all had to get this series right."
And Andy will miss the locations that have become part of the Broadchurch phenomenon.
"I think I would take a holiday in Dorset every 10 minutes if I could. It is a spectacular part of the world. From the scenery to the people, the whole package down there is spot on. The staff at the hotels we stayed in were the nicest I have ever come across and they made the whole thing a complete joy so yeah, I would love to go back there at the earliest opportunity."
Jodie Whittaker admits her first reaction to reading Chris Chibnall's scripts for series three was terror - at the lines she had to learn!
"I was absolutely terrified because for the first time in Broadchurch Beth has a job that required me to have a practical and literal knowledge," says Jodie. "David (Tennant) and Olivia (Colman) have carried the grown up speak throughout this entire series and have had pages and pages of police vocabulary and terminology and then for the first time I have similar dialogue."
"In Beth's first meeting with Julie Hesmondhalgh’s character I have to explain what my role is to her and what that entails and that is the first time I have ever had to do dialogue like that with Beth. I’ve always had emotional speeches or conversation with Ellie about the case… it’s always been a personal thing whereas this was Beth suddenly stepping into the shoes of being supportive for somebody else and it was brilliant but felt very different. It was great to come back into a different time and space and have a different relationship with other characters as well."
When we return to Broadchurch for series three Beth is working as an ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor). Talking about her character Jodie explains: “The difference between Beth and Mark (played by Andy Buchan) is that Beth wants to use what happened to Danny… particularly for her daughters, she doesn’t want it to be an end for their life. So for her all of this knowledge and understanding of betrayal, cruelty, grief and hurt could either manifest in a way that eats her up or be put to something and she decides to put that energy into this work and whilst it can never be wholly positive, to turn some part of the feeling of it into a positive."
"So she is nervous because she has not been doing the job of an ISVA for very long but it is certainly a very different Beth that you see in this series. The grief of Danny is a part of every day for her but in a way that she is able to get up and out of bed on these days, rather than like in series one and two."
"She is never going to move forward. There isn’t going to be light, the light gets switched off and stays off after what happened but the thing for Beth is to keep trying rather than give in to it which is the difference between her and Mark at the beginning. Your life is never going to get any better but it could destroy everything or you could put all of your energies into trying to keep things together. So for Beth this job is a huge thing, because it is entering into a world of listening to other people’s pain. And this is exactly the kind of life I think Beth would choose. It’s nice to be playing someone you can invest in and not feel panicked about to make it work."
For Jodie having access to people working in the same field as her character Beth, was invaluable.
She explains: "Beth is not an experienced ISVA, she is new to that world as was I, so the women I spoke with for my research, who were fantastic and had been doing it for years and years, they were helpful because they talked about how the job first effected them."
"They helped me understand on a day-to-day level what their job is but also how you learn to emotionally separate your life as much as you can because for Beth she is still trying to learn how to separate work and life. She hasn’t mastered it yet and still finds it very hard to go home and not let it affect her day whereas talking to the more experienced ISVA, they were fantastic at explaining that is the job and it inevitably rubs off on you but eventually you learn coping mechanisms but Beth hasn’t actually learned them yet."
"I think that is realistic for Beth, she makes mistakes and she is learning as she goes and she feels frustrated that she can’t do more and I think that is absolutely true to who she is."
The hardest thing that Jodie filmed this series was her final scene with on-screen husband Andy Buchan.
"The last scene Andy and I shot together, which wasn't their final scene in the story but just the last one we shot together, was really emotional because he is amazing and has been personally and professionally a really great person in my life. When so much has happened to our characters Beth and Mark have really good chemistry particularly considering our relationship had to be full of friction. To play not quite getting on or understanding each other you actually need a lot of chemistry and because we are such good friends it was great. Acting opposite someone who, take-to-take blows your mind, particularly when you have to do a big or hard scene, it’s really brilliant and it felt like 'wow, this is the last time we will do this together'.''
And her favourite days were when the whole team was together on location.
"I love being in Dorset. It’s a brilliant place to be and film. The community is so great, we take over the beach car park there which must be incredibly irritating but the local businesses and people are nothing but lovely so it’s a great environment and you don’t feel like you are battling against anything. It was like being on a school trip!"
Having grown up in a community Sir Lenny Henry admits he is fascinated by Broadchurch and the way it involves the audience as a community.
Sir Lenny explains: "I am from Dudley which back in the day was definitely a community but you know, anybody who lives on any kind of estate or in a little village will understand and empathise with what Chris Chibnall and his creative partners are trying to do with Broadchurch. It is this idea of telling a story through many eyes and many experiences and many vantage points. I think that’s very clever."
"What is great about Broadchurch is that it is about that community, yes there is a central crisis and tragedy but it is the way the community responds as a group that makes the series different from other shows. The community reacts and make it their business to get involved with what’s going on. It’s very much the show asking the audience what would you do in this situation. Which is why I think it’s fascinating."
So how did Sir Lenny feel about joining the cast of Broadchurch?
"I am a huge fan of Broadchurch. When the offer came through I don’t think they even got to the end of ‘Broad-‘, they didn’t get to the ‘d’ I just said yes, yes whatever it is. YES! And so then I met the director and we had a philosophical conversation about Broadchurch and the kind of bloke Ed is and how he fitted into the community. It was, for me, a no-brainer. Of course I want to be in Broadchurch."
Talking about his character, Sir Lenny Henry continues: "Ed Burnett is a widower who runs the farm shop and I think he is pretty much the only black guy within a 40-mile radius. He is short tempered and irritable but we don’t know much about him. He has been in the Broadchurch area for the past 10 or so years but, as with all of these seaside places, he is still seen as an outsider."
"He’s loyal to his staff and expects them to be loyal too. He doesn’t take any crap from anybody and he is not scared to stick up for himself. So Ed is very much the man who calls it when he sees it. He likes his staff but he works them pretty hard. He is a good boss but a strict boss."
He says the role follows the dramatic direction in which his acting career is moving.
"Interestingly I have been doing more drama since 2009 when I did Othello at the West Yorkshire playhouse and at the Trafalgar Studios in London. I have actually been doing more drama than comedy and it is sort of the kind of thing I want to be doing more of. When I have conversations with my agent now we don’t talk too much about comedy anymore but more how can I do things that are dramatic and moving and have a strong underpinning of humour and I think what is great about this part is that it is a serious role but there are humorous elements to it."
What was the first day on set like for Sir Lenny Henry?
"You know what? Every single day on the set was amazing because I was made to feel welcome by everybody, whether it was David and Olivia or Jodie or Andy, everybody made it their business to make me feel like I was welcome."
"The first night I arrived at the hotel, the key cast were having supper and without even taking a breath I was invited to sit down and join in so I was made to feel welcome immediately. So it was a lovely job."
"They have all been so supportive. Even if you have had to do mean stuff on set, they have been supportive and 'huggy', and they’re very into doughnuts... so if it had been a tough day suddenly all of these doughnuts would arrive and the crew would have to jump in. Everyone is incredibly friendly and kind; it’s been a great experience for me."
Sir Lenny found the backstage detecting a new thing for him as an actor...
"With most TV dramas you know what the entire story is before you start filming but on Broadchurch so many people, including myself, started this without knowing how it ends up and so there was a real detective vibe going on behind the scenes. We would be in make-up or costume going ‘have you read what happens next? What happens to me?’ ‘Why am I wearing these trousers? Why is there mud on these trousers?’"
"You’re constantly trying to glean information from every member of backstage staff, the caterers, the costume people, the stunt people… you’re just trying to find out what happens next week! The crew are usually two weeks ahead of the cast. It’s very frustrating. Constant bribes of cake and drinks at the bar being bought for people who might know more than anybody else."
So, how will Sir Lenny Henry cope when people press him for the Broadchurch secrets?
"I’ll be like ‘from my cold, dead hands!’ I will be like the vault, it’s all in the vault – I am not allowed to say anything."
Sarah Parish says she quickly grasped exactly who her character was in the new series of Broadchurch.
"I have known 'Caths' in my life. I grew up with them and I have known them over the years," she says. "Cath is an interesting character. She is the kind of girl that you would have really wanted to be friends with at school She was very popular, good looking, good at sports and all the boys liked her."
"She was one of those girls who looked like she had an awful lot going for her when she was younger and it turns out that she stayed in the same town, married the local jock, the good-looking guy as expected but things haven’t quite gone the way she would have liked them to. I think she would have seen herself running her own business with her husband and living in a great big house somewhere just outside London. So life is a little bit of a disappointment for Cath I think."
In series three Cath and her best friend Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh) work at the farm shop together.
Explains Sarah: "Cath and Trish have been friends for a very long time and they get on very well. But underneath Cath thinks that she is a bit better than Trish. Trish is one of those friends that Cath can boss about a bit and tell her what to do and Trish goes along with that so it is not an equal relationship. I think Cath sometimes feels a bit sorry for Trish but they get on well."
"I really enjoyed my scenes with Julie. I had never worked with her before and she was such a nice woman and so very good in this series. We got on well and so I really enjoyed doing my scenes with her. They were so well written and emotional and they really stretched us both, that was my favourite part of filming."
Sarah also enjoyed revisiting an area of the country very familiar to her to film the series.
"I am from Somerset so it is sort of my neck of the woods. We were filming near Bridport and Yeovil (my hometown) is about 15 miles from there. It was very nostalgic to be back around that area. I was filming two jobs at the same time; Broadchurch down in West Bay and I would then drive up to Bristol to do Trollied. I would literally have to drive past my old home and all of the places I have loved for years so it was quite cathartic as my dad passed away a couple of years ago and my mum now lives near my sister in Hertfordshire so I don’t have a home there anymore."
Sarah says being the new girl wasn't a problem on Broadchurch.
"I have now worked with David (Tennant) five times! We did Blackpool together, Dr. Who, a one off called Recovery, now Broadchurch and I've just finished doing a film with him which his wife produced called You, Me and Him."
"But when you get to my age being a newbie is all right really because generally when you turn up at read-throughs you are probably going to know most of the people there. Broadchurch was like a big reunion for a lot of people and there were people I hadn’t seen for ages and people I had worked with once or twice so it was lovely."
But working without a full set of scripts from the start was a new thing for Sarah... and one she liked.
"I had never worked like that before but it’s good and really interesting if you don’t know what's going to happen down the line. You will play a scene with blissful naivety and there is no edge to it as you really don’t know if your character has done anything! It was very exciting for the cast every time they released a script, waiting to see what happens and to see if anything you thought would happen did happen - it was a bit like being in the drama for real..."
Georgina Campbell found that getting scripts one at a time as filming was in progress actually helped her in the role of DC Katie Harford.
"It was unusual, normally I would have read all the scripts and have my character mapped out, but this was a lot more natural as I was put in the same position as my character. None of us in the show knew who did it, none of us knew what had really happened so we're all slowly finding out, which makes everything a little more organic on camera which is really exciting - especially playing a detective!"
"Everyone was coming up with wild theories, we were actually picking up clues and hints as we filmed which is a great way of getting into your character. On set everyone would be talking about what they'd read the previous night and what has happened - it is almost like getting to be an audience member of the show!"
Georgina hadn't played a detective before but she had help on hand.
"My dad actually worked for the police so I got to speak to him about the role. Over the years I have heard a lot about his work and I know the stresses involved, the long hours and how much work they put in so that was very helpful."
"I did also, for research purposes, watch a few documentaries and also during our rehearsals a former police woman, who is an adviser on the show, came in to speak with us. She could tell us exactly how things work, exactly what would happen in different circumstances when dealing with a serious sexual assault."
Talking about her character, Georgina explains: "Katie Harford is a young detective recently qualified, who hasn't quite finished her training. She is new to the job and new to Broadchurch and excited to have been brought in to work with DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller.”
"Katie is a fresh vibrant new police officer on the scene trying to crack the case. She definitely has very strong opinions, I think you have to in that kind of work but I think her problem is she is quite young so she's not had the experience that Hardy and Miller have but wants to be treated with the same respect and do what she wants to do. She is very head strong and has her own ideas about leads and following clues and finding out who's done what. She has great energy but sometimes due to her lack of experience it is slightly misplaced. I found the role quite challenging which I enjoyed, Katie is a different character than I normally play, she was less accessible to me."
Georgina admits landing the role was a 'pinch me' moment.
"It is such a prestigious show and one on which, having watched the first two series, I got completely hooked. I was over the moon when I found out I'd got the role but it was quite daunting to begin with. So fantastic to get the chance to work with amazing actors at the top of their game. Just seeing how David and Olivia work together, what they do on set, how they bring the text alive I really enjoyed it and learnt so much."
"And I loved filming in the West Country. West Bay is a lovely place and it seems like Broadchurch is such a massive part of their culture now; everyone is really interested in filming, they are very supportive and it's a great atmosphere."
And the drama has another new supporter.
"My mum is a very new Broadchurch fan," explains Georgina. "When I got this job and was over the moon, I called my mum to say I'm going to be in Broadchurch and she had a very lacklustre response. It turns out she hadn't seen it so I bought her the first series which she watched in two days and then we watched the second series immediately and now absolutely loves it and has become a massive fan. She's great she doesn't want to know anything about the third series, doesn't want the story ruined so all the secrets are safe!"
DI Alec Hardy
DS Ellie Miller
DC Katie Harford
Vicar Paul Coates
Sir Lenny Henry
THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS, DON'T READ FROM THIS POINT.
Ellie and Hardy are called out to attend to a woman who has reported a serious sexual assault. They take the woman – Trish Winterman - to the SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre) where she is examined. There’s no doubt she’s been raped – but where, and when, and by whom?
Hardy and Ellie tell Trish that an ISVA, (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) will be in touch soon. This person will help and guide her through the legal and investigative process that will now unfold around her.
Working on a clue found at Trish’s house, Hardy and Ellie discover the crime scene and call in SOCO to gather evidence. But it is an unusual and difficult crime scene - will they find anything useful?
The initial forensics report confirms Hardy and Ellie’s earlier suspicions – this was not an opportunistic attack, it was planned. Hardy concludes that they have a serious sexual predator at large in the town, someone who may strike again.
Ellie and Hardy start to investigate Trish’s life. Who are her friends and family? The men in her life? They meet her ex-husband Ian, her best friend’s husband Jim, and Lucas, a local cab driver. All of them were in the area when the attack took place.
Ellie and Hardy need Trish to give her main video interview, which will be relied on in court if the case goes that far, but she is still in trauma.
They need to move the investigation forward quickly as there is a predator on the loose. Trish’s ISVA tells Hardy and Ellie that she doesn’t think Trish is ready, but Hardy decides they should go ahead.
But it is too soon – they do get more information, but Trish brings the interview to a premature end when they ask her a question that she is not prepared to answer.
Trish, for her own reasons, doesn’t want to.
There are lots of men to eliminate from the enquiry, and Broadchurch CID are slowly making their way through the painstaking process of interviewing witnesses and collecting statements. They start to uncover inconsistencies and lies – and previously hidden connections between Trish and some suspects.
Trish receives an unnerving gift from an anonymous sender.
Don't forget Broadchurch begins Monday 27 February 2017 at 21:00 on STV / ITV.