Broadchurch Series 2: The characters that make it work

Contains spoilers!

The Murder Room marketer Graeme Williams takes another look at hit crime series Broadchurch as it enters its second season, and at some of our new favourite characters.



Episode 2 of the new series of Broadchurch certainly kept us guessing, with its fresh host of twists and turns. But now we’ve had time to catch our breath, and the story is finding its pace and its themes, I thought it was time we started looking at some of the best characters so far. And you won’t find Hardy and Miller here. Why? Because we thought saying ‘they’re brilliant’ would be a bit redundant . . .


Olly Stevens
You don’t have to like a character for them to be good (in fact, sometimes we prefer it that way!). We’ve watched Olly grow over the past season and a bit, but in S2, we feel he has found his footing as, well, a bit of a knob. He’s the next generation of journalist making his mark by bringing journalism in this little town kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century. But old-school Broadchurch journalism (embodied by his boss, Maggie Radcliffe) has every right to kick and scream with his constant tweeting, blogging, complete disregard for journalistic integrity and his near-ghoulish relish over the more gruesome, awful aspects of the case. If anyone could benefit from a quick punch in the face, it’s Olly.

Sharon Bishop
Having arrived in Broadchurch to lead the defence team, we started to see another side of Bishop this episode with her heartfelt phone call to persons unknown – another classic Broadchurch example that everyone (in Broadchurch, as in real life) is fighting their own private battles. For us Londoners, she holds up an interesting mirror to ourselves whenever we leave the safe, grey confines of the M25 with her complaints about coffee, wi-fi and hotel service. Let’s just say that it’s uncomfortably familiar. But she’s there to do a job, and a necessary one, and though she’s begun this series as something closer to the ‘villain’ end of the spectrum, digging up bodies, asking hard questions and putting our heroes in a bad light, perhaps as new information starts to surface this season, she may not be so misguided after all . . .

Lee Ashworth
There’s not much to say yet about new killer-not-killer Lee Ashworth, most of his work being confined to texting and watching from afar. But he warrants a mention for the final scenes of episode 2. James D’Arcy (also currently doing a star turn in Marvel’s Agent Carter as Jarvis, the butler) absolutely nailed it with his reaction to seeing his wife for the first time after she’s accused him of murder. He almost turns to stone at the sight of her, taking on an animal stillness as though afraid that the wrong move will have her darting back into the bushes, never to be seen again. Is he an intense, brooding sort, capable of killing? Or a man driven to the edge by the terrible circumstances that Hardy has brought down on him? Time will tell, and James D’Arcy is the man to sell it to us.


Go on, crime fans! Tell us about your favourite character down in the comments. And once you’re done, check out Little, Brown’s official Broadchurch short stories. Written to be read after each episode, they contain completely new material. More time with the characters, more time in Broadchurch – and it’s written in collaboration with the series creator!

Who has piqued your interest most in Season 2 so far? Let us know in the comments section below.