Broadchurch series 2 - review: Sandbrook takes centre stage as drama continues to diminish

Episode five: Elsewhere Joe Miller’s trial was rumbling on interminably

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Still awake at the back? Fans of subplots were spoilt rotten in this latest instalment of Chris Chibnall’s diminishing crime drama, which is currently going off on more tangents than an A Level geometry textbook.

For the rest of us it’s still a patient wait for any significant development in the trial of Joe ‘actually I didn’t do it after all’ Miller. Hopefully by series three it will all have been resolved and we can spend eight weeks watching DI Hardy miserably creosote a fence or something. I’m not holding my breath.

There were no great revelations this week as DIs Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) tramped through endless Visit Dorset backdrops grumpily asking each other questions to which they (and we) don’t have the answer.

However it’s Sandbrook rather than Broadchurch that’s occupying their thoughts, despite Hardy’s plea to Miller not to ‘get pulled into’ the case, even though it was him that pulled her into it in the first place and keeps asking for her help to solve it. Gee thanks, Alec.

 

With her husband in the dock and her weird son continuing to insist on having nothing to do with his mum (and being weird), Ellie threw herself into solving the Sandbrook case, at one point transforming Hardy’s humble abode into a CSI investigation room.

Suspicion this week fell on father of the murdered Pippa, Ricky Gillespie (played with Droopy Dog-faced menace by the excellently cranky Shaun Dooley), as his estranged wife revealed he was squiring a bridesmaid the night of the murder, and not with her after all. Said bridesmaid denied any such squiring leaving Ricky without an alibi the night his daughter was killed.

Elsewhere Joe Miller’s trial was rumbling on interminably. Susan Wright (Pauline Quirke) returned to tell us what we already know (that she saw son Nige drag the body on to the beach), and Nige got up into the witness box to tell us what we already know (‘Oi, what? No I never. It weren’t me, oh my god, etc’).

Rival barristers Jocelyn and Sharon sparred over a past grievance, Ricky gave Lee Ashworth a leathering, Sharon got tough with Reverend Coates and then visited her jailbird son, who’d received a pasting of his own. Why this is relevant is anyone’s guess. Jocelyn still can’t see very well, Hardy still doesn’t feel very well and all of it was, well, all very well.

It amounted to a hill of beans. Apart from the grim revelation that missing babysitter Lisa Newbury might have ended up in an agricultural furnace, we ended up exactly where we were at the end of episode four, scratching our heads, unsure of what to focus on.

At the heart of the excellent first series was one question – who killed Danny Latimer? Try summing up this series in four simple words.

Read more: Grace Dent on TV - Broadchurch is actually just EastEnders, shot in sweeping Scandi style

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