The following is a guest post.
Quite an eventful episode this week, eh? Susan Wright (or is it Elaine?) proved that she’s not just a secretive loner, but actually a scary witch who’s not shy about making violent threats. Watch your back, Editor Maggie!
Profiteers have descended upon the Latimer household and it’s mostly down to the family going against police advice. Frustrated with the slow progress on the case, they finally agree to cooperate with manipulative London journalist Karen White, allowing her to do a human interest piece on Beth and Danny. Now they have the paparazzi following them around town and even crawling over their garden walls.
Psychic Steve Connelly convinced Beth Latimer that he should be included in the inner circle of the investigation. He had told the police a boat was involved in Danny’s murder and a boat with traces of Danny’s hair was found on fire in the bay.
However, Steve was quickly exposed by the police as having a criminal past including theft and fraud, was escorted from the Latimer’s property and received a stern warning from DI Hardy that returning would land him prison.
But what’s really trending in this halfway point episode is that the actors with Doctor Who connections are coming to the fore. What does this assemblage mean and could Broadchurch possibly be a village lost in the time vortex?
David Bradley who portrays newsagent Jack Marshall will soon be appearing on television screens as William Hartnell, the first ever Doctor, in the upcoming movie, An Adventure of Space and Time.
I’m sure Jack wishes he could jump in the TARDIS and leave Broadchurch behind right about now. Cub reporter Oliver has uncovered Jack’s conviction for underage sex years ago which he failed to report when questioned by the police. He is apparently a keen photographer and is the leader of the village’s Sea Brigade, an organization for young boys – all hallmark stereotypical activities of pedophiles.
Jack shows up at the Latimer home to plead his case. He tells them that even though people will say that he murdered their son, he is innocent. But despite his protestations, Jack returns home where we find him burning incriminating photos he has taken of our young victim.
Let’s move on to recent Doctor Who alumnus, Arthur Darvill. As Rory Williams, Darvill played a husband so devoted to his wife Amy that he followed her across universes and watched over her for 2000 years in the Pandorica. He’s the kind of man whose adoration actually makes you swoon a bit.
However, as Rev. Paul Coates, we assume, at least at this point, that the vicar’s allegiance is to God. He attracts police attention when he is one of the folks in town without a corroborated alibi. In an informal interview with Hardy and Miller, we learn that Paul suffers from insomnia, that he volunteered with the IT Club Danny attended and that you get a perfect view of the Latimer house from his window.
No Weeping Angels to contend with yet, but surely there’s some suspicious statuary in his church. Regardless, I suspect this is just the beginning of the interrogation of Paul Coates.
Of course we have the most obvious Doctor transplant, David Tennant, who played the 10th regeneration of the Time Lord. There definitely is a quirkiness, an enthusiasm for their mission and a definite dark, damaged side that both DI Hardy and the Doctor share.
DI Hardy’s mystery illness could be signaling his preparation for regeneration into Matt Smith and if you squint really hard, the Broadchurch police station sort of resembles the TARDIS – doesn’t it?
In the end, both the Doctor and Alec Hardy may be baffled by human interactions and conventions, but I think the Doctor’s fondness for Earthlings makes him a bit more diplomatic about it.
Even Olivia Colman (DS Ellie Miller) appeared, however briefly, in the inaugural 11th Doctor episode, The Eleventh Hour, as a coma patient who is possessed by Prisoner Zero.
In addition, you’ll find a lot of Doctor Who alums behind the scenes of Broadchurch as well. Show creator and writer Chris Chibnall has written half a dozen Time Lord episodes since 2007 including The Power of Three, the one with all those blinking black cubes. Broadchurch’s directors Euros Lyn and James Strong have directed over twenty Who episodes between them.
I’d like to think all these Doctor Who cast and crew members gathering together on another series is more than coincidence, but considering the number of actors who’ve appeared on Doctor Who or related projects over the years, statistically this is bound to happen once in a while.
But when Danny Latimer’s killer is finally revealed to be a Dalek or we learn that DS Miller was under the influence of a Dream Lord and everyone in Broadchurch is actually an alien, I’ll be back to say I told you so.
Carmen is an American wife and mother of two college students who live away from home. With her yellow lab Malcolm by her side, she watches and writes about British television for her own blog Everything I Know about the UK I Learned from the BBC. Read more of Carmen’s posts here.