Broadchurch Series Three, Episode Eight ~ Review

The Broadchurch finale was so spectacularly packed with the unexpected, twists, turns and yet as the plot unfolded I was aware that I had fleetingly considered the configuration. Although I hadn’t counted on grooming and the fact that one of the culprits would have no shame whatsoever. This series has been incredible, it’s been full of well-crafted scripts with excellent casting and it’s gone out on a high. I would love a fourth series, even though I know it’s not going to happen.

My highlights can be found in the video below, I felt that a unique ending deserved a unique (unique for my blog, anyway!) send-off…

As I bid a fond farewell to my favourite on-screen double-act, I thank Chris Chibnall for exceptional work. I thank the cast and crew for a quality television programme and David Tennant, I’d like to just thank, generally (I’m sure I speak for many!!).

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Broadchurch Series Three, Episode Seven ~ Review

The penultimate episode of Broadchurch and I am first to admit that I still don’t know who the culprit is (or culprits!) and I’m not even going to hedge my bets. I am completely clueless on this one, just possibly leaning towards it being more than one perpetrator. So what do we know as we head towards the final instalment? Plus, hands up if you’re going to miss this amazing drama? (I’m holding both of my hands up!!).

Mark’s alive! ~ At the end of the previous episode the nation held their breath when Mark (Andrew Buchan) attempted suicide. I think I knew in my heart that he would survive, but it was touch and go and a hospital stint was the result of his cry for help. It seems to have put more weight onto Beth’s (Jodie Whittaker) shoulders though and she is insisting that he sees a professional to break down his grief. I’m sure all will not be resolved for the Latimers by the time the series wraps up, but perhaps they’ll have made positive steps.

Ed in the clear? ~ I got the impression that Ed (Lenny Henry) was being removed from the spotlight this week, he has declared that he has feelings for Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh) and seems to think that his behaviour i.e. taking photographs of the object of his affections without her knowing, is perfectly OK. I feel he can’t be entirely blameless but if he didn’t do it, then will Trish find out just how creepy her boss is?

Cath makes peace ~ Cath (Sarah Parish) obviously feels that the detaining of her husband, Jim (Mark Bazeley) may be warranted when she goes on a search of his possessions and finds his magazines. The discovery of condoms in his car glove compartment seem to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and she is on the phone to Trish pretty swiftly. First of all asking if her rapist used a condom and then apologising to her. Cath suspects her husband, that’s for sure!

Ian comes clean ~ Ian (Charlie Higson) admits that he had spyware installed on Trish’s laptop so that he could check up on her. Another ‘stalker’ (even if it is her husband) who claims that he is still in love with her. Trish certainly seems to attract ’em doesn’t she? Who installed the spyware? Leo (Chris Mason) of course, tying up that little mystery, in a fashion.

Clive’s collection ~ To finish the episode on Clive’s (Sebastian Armesto) wife finds a drawer full of bits and pieces that appear to belong to women. There’s a keyring photograph of Trish and her daughter which puts him in the frame. He’s none too pleased when he finds out that his wife has tapped into this secret, either. However, he’s a taxi driver, is he just a hoarder of belongings that are left behind in his cab? I’m playing devil’s advocate!

Broadchurch, Series Three Episode Six ~ Review

Broadchurch is edging ever closer to its conclusion and it’s the first time that I think I know who might have done it. However, I am also of the mind that it’s not going to be as easy as all that to wrap this up and I could be being led up the garden path. There were also heart breaking scenes this episode… Highlights to follow:

Ed in the frame ~ Ed (Lenny Henry) is in the frame for the rape, especially once news reaches Hardy (David Tennant) and Miller (Olivia Colman) that he has beaten up Jim (Mark Bazeley). What materialises thereafter (after I’ve already made up my mind that he’s the culprit) is that he has been stalking Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh) and the photographs he has come to light. However, is he really capable of rape as well or merely a stalker? Which is bad enough in itself…

Cath & Jim on the move ~ Cath (Sarah Parish) and Jim are making plans to move away and start again. Cath’s visit to see Trish to give her the news is met with a frosty reception and marching orders. I think it’s safe to say that friendship is most definitely over with. Does that put Jim fully out of the frame for the crimes?

Naughty Tom! ~ Tom (Adam Wilson) is not only caught out with porn on his mobile phone, much to the horror of his mum, but she also decides that the best way forward is to break the device. That’ll teach you a lesson, Tom! The link to the taxi driver and his son is also made, so that door is obviously not closed yet.

Divorce for the Latimers? ~ Mark (Andrew Buchan) and Beth (Jodie Whittaker) are still going through their rough patch. As Mark takes off to find Joe Miller (Matthew Gravelle) and finally get some answers, Beth tells Chloe (Charlotte Beaumont) that she is going to ask him for a divorce. It appears that Mark’s behaviours has been causing the rift in their marriage, and his behaviour is due to his preoccupation with what happened to their son.

Melancholy Mark ~ Mark’s trip to see Joe is fruitful in as much as he comes away with the confession he has been hankering after. However, Mark’s ability to cope with what he had expected to hear versus the grief he carries deep within leads him to a suicide attempt. The filming of this is quite something, deeply moving and powerful.

Broadchurch, Series Three Episode Five ~ Review

Broadchurch is completely baking my noodle now! Who should I be pointing the finger at? Violence seemed to be the order of the day in this instalment though and I’m even more confused than I was before!! Here are just a few highlights (there were many!):

Photo Credits: ITV

Aaron’s arrested ~ Aaron (Jim Howick) whom we were introduced to last week and who managed to creep me out, was arrested, surprise surprise! I think he’s a red herring though… Plus he’s soon been bailed!

Hardy’s daughter ~ Daisy (Hannah Rae) has been a silly girl and her phone has not only been commandeered but the naughty photo she has on it has been located and circulated. Sounds as if someone knew that photo existed though? Anyway, there is clearly more to this story and I’m wondering how it fits in with the main rape storyline. Hardy (David Tennant) is very lenient on her though.

Trish tells ~ Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh) tells Jim (Mark Bazeley) in no uncertain terms that she has to tell Cath (Sarah Parish) about their one morning stand. Cath has seemed quite nonchalant about the fact that Jim has had a few extra-marital flings, but the revelation from her best friend is rather too much for her to stomach. Not only does she make a cruel dig about the reason why a rapist would choose her, she makes threats to her doghouse-bound husband. Watch this space, Cath is clearly not a woman to be trifled with.

Taxi Driver torment ~ Clive (Sebastian Armesto)  takes great delight in being called to collect Jim as his recovery vehicle ironically breaks down. However, his amusement soon turns to fear when the mechanic turns on him, all but throttling him to death. I’d say this possibly shows that Jim is still not out of the frame, but then neither is Clive! Especially after the way he was shown to treat his wife. Not a nice piece of work!

Ed’s handy with his fists ~ Cath has a frank conversation with Ed (Lenny Henry) while she’s on her break at work. Asking him if he would fancy her if he didn’t know her. Awkward! However, the fact that he has taken a shine to Trish appears to materialise during the exchange. He plays it down, they move on, but with Ed having discovered that Jim has slept with Trish, there is a backlash. Following Jim’s violent outburst towards Clive, we then see Ed beating Jim to a pulp. Is this laden with red herrings or are we to draw a conclusion from this? Confused is the word!

 

 

 

 

Broadchurch Series Three, Episode Four ~ Review

Broadchurch is building its final storyline up achingly slowly and this week saw Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh) revisit the scene of the crime! It doesn’t shy away from tackling the grit of the topic, David Tennant still hasn’t smiled either! I still maintain that Hardy is one of my favourite characters that Tennant has played. Here are my highlights of this exciting instalment:

Reliving it ~ Trish relives the night of the fateful party and we get an insight into the set-up too. A great flashback scene which shows Ian (Charlie Higson) to be in the drunken state that he had already declared to Jim (Mark Bazeley) that he had been in. The party itself isn’t that harrowing, however when Trish is outside and lies down on the grass, listening to the flowing water – as much as she can recall floods back. Smells in particular seem to trigger thoughts of the night she’d rather forget.

What’s on that laptop? ~ We discovered who was behind the rogue text message, Ian’s partner has been thrown into the mix. However, what is on that laptop that he wants cleared? I can’t stop linking him to the rape – and the laptop debacle is adding to my suspicions.

Broken marriage ~ I expect that the Latimers’ marriage is not supposed to be linked in with this plot at all, it’s just a continuation of life in Broadchurch. I find I am extremely interested in what led them to split up, though. Was it only Danny’s death – come on, I’m nosey, tell me more!

Fishing Net ~ Games on the beach bring to light that the net they are using is the same as the fishing net that Miller (Olivia Colman) and Hardy have already taken samples of. Is that opening up more possibilities? I immediately suspected Ed (Lenny Henry) once that little nugget of information cropped up, but I have no particular reason for pointing the finger at him. Brainstorm moment!

Suspect ruled out (or is he) ~ There is finally a lead and it’s Jim who is confronted as a result of some of the tests that have been carried out. This appears to be a dead end when he reveals that he was the man Trish slept with the morning of the party. His and Cath’s (Sarah Parish) marriage is not a marriage in the true sense of the word, so he’s been getting his kicks elsewhere. However, this provides an alibi yet doesn’t rule him out I my mind, easy to say that the results are thus because he was with the victim during the morning of the attack.

 

Broadchurch Series Three, Episode Three ~ Review

Broadchurch is still messing with my mind, Julie Hesmondhalgh is still banging her performance well and truly out of the park and taking her brilliance up another notch every episode. David Tennant is still floating my boat as Hardy, I think he has to be one of my favourite characters from among Tennant’s long and varied credits. Are we any closer to finding out whodunit? Nah! Here’s the highlights…

Arthur Darvill as Rev. Paul Coates

Rev. Paul Coates ~ I neglected to mention his reappearance last week but he’s back and looking decidedly shifty again. Even though I highly doubt he is at all responsible for this crime. I feel he will be supporting Trish (Hesmondhalgh) somewhere down the line, though. Or maybe one of the suspects will knock on his door?

Mystery text ~ We’re still no clearer on the identity of the mystery texter who made their displeasure known to Trish in last week’s episode. She’s still not saying who she slept with on the morning that the attack took place on, either. So I am now convinced that there is something sordid going on, there. Has to be a married man… On the subject of texting, rather inappropriately, her daughter let’s her dad, Ian (Charlie Higson) know that his ex has been raped, and she does that via text message!

Mucky mobiles ~ While we’re on the topic of the mobile phone, we have another addition to the mix with Tom Miller (Adam Wilson) aka Ellie’s (Olivia Colman) son and his mate looking at porn on their mobile phones. Naughty boys! What’s going to come out of this little plot twist?

Ian was blotto ~ Having received the news of his estranged wife’s rape, Ian pops round to see Jim (Mark Bazeley) and tells him that he blacked out from over-indulgence in the abundance of alcohol that was on offer at the party. Now, am I on my own here in thinking that he might be setting himself up with an alibi. Funny that he is declaring that he woke up in the same place as the rape took place though. Another red herring?

Cathartic for Beth? ~ As Beth (Jodie Whittaker) continues her ‘therapeutic’ or supportive role for Trish (not sure it’s a truly therapeutic one as she’s not a qualified Counsellor) I’ve started to wonder why Beth has undertaken the role. Is it because it’s cathartic for her after Danny’s death and the stress of the ensuing trial? I’m not sure how helpful Beth is going to be as time marches on in this investigation.

 

Broadchurch Series Three, Episode Two ~ Review

Broadchurch episode two – the highlight of Monday! It’s still holding my interest and yet more twists have occurred in the plot. I have never taken so much enjoyment in watching a programme that puts the audience through the emotional wringer, but I am a glutton for punishment where this nugget is concerned. Here are the highlights:

Beth (Josie Whittaker) and Mark (Andrew Buchan)

The Latimers ~ Beth and Mark are still playing a prominent part in this series, Beth (Jodie Whittaker) is underway with her liaison work with Trish (Julie Hesmondhalgh) and is being put under pressure by Miller (Olivia Colman) so that information can be released to the public. In the meantime, Beth and Mark (Andrew Buchan) seem to have been having vast difficulties in their relationship and there seems to be more to explore there. I like the fact that they are in the third series, it keeps some consistency to the residents of the area.

Trish’s tryst ~ Trish is still struggling to come to terms with what’s happened to her and Hesmondhalgh is giving the performance of her career as she plays out the emotions of the rape victim. Her husband from whom she is separated comes into the equation. Ian (Charlie Higson) is already in the frame by the looks of it, especially as he was at the party after which the rape had occurred. However, the plot twist is that Trish had been having consentual sex on the morning of the party. She won’t say who with!

What’s Jim hiding? ~ Jim (Mark Bazeley) has a finger pointing directly at him when it comes to the prime target for carrying out this crime. He has condoms in the car that are the same as those found at the scene. He also has an interest in fishing and appears to be a shady character. However, is this too much evidence for so soon in the programme? Is he covering for someone else? Are those his condoms? So many questions. As it’s Mark Bazeley we’re talking about I’d also like to know if he’d be keen to do a third series of Home Fires if it were to transpire…!

The net is closing in ~ Miller and Hardy (David Tennant) take a trip to a local fishing suppliers to obtain samples of fishing net and line. They are not met with a co-operative manger, Leo (Chris Mason) and it planted a seed that maybe he has something to do with it? Although this is the problem with a programme of this nature, I suspect everybody! Hopefully the samples that they eventually came away with will be a match to the fibres that were found on Trish’s person. It will be a much longer process if it didn’t come from the local supplier!

Text Torment ~ The text message at the close of the episode which Trish received and quaked in her boots at the sight of, tends to suggest that she knows her attacker. There is no name associated with the number. Or, is this text from the man she slept with whom she won’t name? Is the man in fact, Jim? Therefore making the attacker someone else? Too many questions and there’s always a cliff hanger!

 

 

 

Broadchurch Series Three, Episode One ~ Review

Broadchurch is back for a third series! One of the best programmes on television, ever – in my opinion and more than makes up for ITV’s distinct lack of really decent and engaging dramas. The fact it’s the final series doesn’t fill me with as much glee, I will feel the loss keenly. Here are a few highlights (although to pick a few is an almost impossible task!):

Julie Hesmondhalgh ~ The lady needs no other tagline than her own name, this actress is the perfect choice for such an integral role. Playing rape victim, Trish Winterman, Hesmondhalgh gave an extraordinary and highly emotive performance. She is renowned for playing out harrowing scenes from her Coronation Street days and this character is far removed from Hayley Cropper. I can’t wait to see how this unfolds and I feel confident that we haven’t seen the half of what Hesmondhalgh has to offer in this new role, yet.

Miller & Hardy ~ The duo de force are back to investigate this new case and both Olivia Colman and David Tennant are as compelling to watch as ever. The subtlety with which Tennant plays Hardy is engaging for me, always has been, Hardys determination simmers beneath the surface. Whereas Miller is her usual quirky self with her home life nipping at her heels. Best investigating team on telly!

broadchurch

New faces ~ In addition to Trish, there are some new faces who inevitably crop up with a new case. Sarah Parish is one of my favourite additions, she plays Trish’s friend, Cath. Cath’s husband, Ian (Mark Bazeley) looks like he’s being set up as the culprit at the moment. However, the obvious suspect is rarely the one who ends up having done it. We’ll see…

Blast from the past ~ Beth Latimer (Jodie Whittaker) is back! This time she’s part of the rape crisis team and the contact for Trish. I’ll be interested to see how much of the original series one case if revisited. Is Danny going to be integrated into this new story?

Summary ~ What a dramatic start to the new series, the scene was set in a visually distressing way but the maximum impact it had on me commanded my attention from the outset. If you get a feeling that “this is going to be good” and no words have been spoken yet, then the formula is spot on. Remarkable progress is made in tracking the location of Trish’s rape and uncovering the facts. I feel absorbed in the story and I’m already pointing the finger. Broadchurch is BACK!

Photo Credits: ITV

Spotlight On… Julie Hesmondhalgh

She played Roy Cropper’s wife, Hayley in Coronation Street for 15 years and departed in 2014. Since leaving, Julie Hesmondhalgh has moved on to play a multitude of joyous roles and I had the great pleasure of watching her in her latest project, playing terminal Cancer patient, Vivian in ‘Wit’ at The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.  I caught up with Julie to find out what ever happened to Hayley’s famous anorak and all sorts of other gossip!

The most important things I want to know first is, did you get to keep Hayley’s famous coat from Corrie?
Yes. I’m waiting for the right opportunity to auction it for charity, but till then I have it.
How does it feel now that you’ve left Hayley behind, do you miss The Street, at all?
I’ve honestly not looked back!  It’s been 25 months now and 30 jobs.  I loved Hayley, I loved the cobbles, I loved all my mates there (I still do) but it’s been such a lovely rich time for me, work wise, I’ve loved it.
You’ve taken a step into theatre work, now and speaking from experience, you’re doing an amazing job – what was your opinion of your latest character in Wit?
I was very nervous about playing someone so tough and isolated, so in her head and not her heart.  I was nervous of the accent (American), the last moment of nudity, of shaving my hair off, of being on stage for the whole 100 minutes…it was probably the most challenging role of my life, but I loved every minute. Vivian in Wit is such an interesting woman, and a female protagonist you see very rarely in culture: a lone wolf, in love only with her work (and even then in quite a dry and joyless way)…I loved playing her. And the ending was incredibly exciting and redemptive and joyful, after all my worrying.
Did you find the role challenging and draining or have you found that playing a character with terminal Cancer comes as second nature having played the storyline in Corrie?
Vivian literally could not have been more different from Hayley, in her relationships, her priorities and her approach to life and death, so it was really different. A lot of people asked me if I found it draining but not at all… as I say, the ending left me high as a kite!
Did you do any research for your role of Vivian in Wit?
Loads.  Medically, academically, in every way. I had to study the life and poetry of John Donne and the anatomy of Ovarian cancer, and I had a lot of lines to learn.  I started in April last year.
What are the main differences you’re experiencing between working on in front of the camera and working on stage?
I love both. I love the immediacy and seat-of-the-pants terror of theatre, as well as the world of going in to rehearsals and collaborating, and meeting the audience in the bar after the show. I love the world of theatre. But telly is always such a great experience. Always brilliant crews, make up, runners, extras, catering, drivers…it’s a little gang.  It always breaks my heart when a job ends. They practically had to carry me off the Cucumber set on the last day. I love radio as well.  I’ve done loads this last year and it’s a real joy. I’ve not had a job I’ve not loved.  I’ve been so lucky.
Is there a role that you have an ambition to play?
No, I love new writing the best, so I don’t know what the next one is.
Staying with the theatre related questions, is there a particular Director you’d like to work with or a specific theatre you’d like to play?
I’d love to work with Katie Mitchell.  I’d love to do something at the Everyman…and The National of course.  I did a play upstairs at the Royal Court last year with Vicky Featherstone and that was a dream come true.  I loved it there.  The people I met in that bar!  But I love Manchester the best.
I’m loving your performance in Happy Valley, what was that like to film and how did you enjoy working with Kevin Doyle from Downton Abbey?
Oh, I hardly do anything in Happy Valley but it was such an honour to be offered a part in it and to work with Sally Wainwright and with lovely Kevin. We have some great rows coming up and had a right laugh. Our screen kids were wonderful too.
Would you take a part in another soap opera in the future or do you feel you’ve done your ‘bit’?
I think so! I think I’d be hard pressed to find a part like Hayley again.
What drew you to an acting career in the first place?
A series of fortunate events.  A primary school teacher, Mrs Mulderigg, who saw something in me and encouraged me to do English Speaking Board exams, which set me on the path. Then some great teachers at secondary school, then the most inspirational teacher at FE College who made us feel like it was possible to be from Accrington and to be an actor.  He opened up a whole world of possibility for us and scores of us from that course went on to Drama schools (there were 5 of us at LAMDA at the same time!) and loads of us are still acting. Seeing loads of theatre with school and college made me fall in love with it all, particularly seeing stuff at the Royal Exchange.
What projects have you got coming up now that you’ve finished your run in Wit?
I’m running an Intergenerational Masterclass at the Exchange next week, I have some radio in the pipeline and a BIG telly in the summer that I can’t tell you about yet! Watch this space.
Favourite Things (give me your first reaction to these questions, please):
Favourite memory from Corrie?
Probably Amsterdam at the start of it all, or Blackpool towards the end, when it felt so precious and special.
Favourite co-star?
David Neilson of course!
Favourite childhood memory?
Big walks with my Mum and Dad on a Sunday in the Lancashire countryside.
Favourite song?
Reach by S Club 7 (a family classic)
Favourite way to spend your time off?
On a windy beach with my family and my dog, walking towards a cafe where they sell big mugs of tea.
I’d like to thank Julie for sparing the time to chat with me, she really is an inspirational lady!

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