Pretty good drama

I know little about the hierarchy at work among those for whom the vulgar charm of the theatre and the cheap whimsy of television is somehow an acceptable career choice.

Good actors with well-known roles and industry awards, I suppose, despite ownership of that most minor of gifts (being able to act), must sit somewhere near the top.

The matter came to my attention recently when someone I'm sure was English actor Simon Rouse (Superintendent Jack Meadows from The Bill) turned up on TV One's latest English import Broadchurch.

Would Rouse, whose Wikipedia page is just 14 lines long, be required to bow to David Tennant (Detective Inspector Alec Hardy in Broadchurch), whose Wikipedia page has whole chapters and a list of awards?

And where would Olivia Colman (Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller in Broadchurch) fit in, with her medium size Wiki page, but her two Baftas and her work on Peep Show and Green Wing?

Only God knows.

But the issue must have come to the fore as the players danced and sashayed their way to Bridport (a Dorset, England, town about the size of Oamaru) and Clevedon (a Dorset, England, town slightly bigger than Oamaru) to begin filming Broadchurch.

Broadchurch, of course, is a new eight-episode crime drama set on the Dorset coast, centring on the death of an 11-year-old boy, and the search for his murderer by detectives Hardy and Miller.

The show achieved high ratings on its release in the United Kingdom, and won critical acclaim.

It premieres on TV One on Sunday.

And it's pretty good.

It begins with a forewarning through a dream of what is soon to come: the death of little Danny, whose body ends up on a Dorset beach.

We are introduced to the town of Broadchurch through a quite exceptional, apparently single-take tracking shot, that follows the father of the dead boy as he takes a turn through the main street.

It is a small town where everybody knows everybody else.

We meet Detective Sergeant Miller, who has returned from leave expecting a promotion, only to find it has been given to Detective Hardy.

And guess what?

Detective Hardy is clearly a troubled copper.

Also, nobody mentions he used to be Doctor Who.

We learn Hardy came to Broadchurch after a murder case he worked, a case he assures his boss he came from ''completely exonerated''.

Miller is a local - but why is her son deleting texts from, and computer files relating to, the dead boy?

And where was Danny's plumber father on the night of the murder; was he really ''on a job''?

Well worth a look on Sunday nights to find out.

- Charles Loughrey

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