Broadchurch: a shocking finale
Along with millions of others last night, I sat down and watched the final episode of Broadchurch.
The difference was, though, I was at a live screening of the show at Bridport, in the town where much of the series was made. More details of that here.
It was a shocking denouement, with no real winners, but (I thought) plenty of hope, right at the end.
Broadchurch has made a great impact on my part of Dorset, and very much for the good. Writer Chris Chibnall has been embraced as 'one of our own', and we are grateful to him and his team for creating such an intelligent, beautifully-acted and shot series. It's gripped the nation, and rightly so.
In the hands of others, the storyline of this last series, in particular, could have been very tacky. But it was handled with extreme sensitivity and we didn't feel bad for wanting to know who 'did' it. We wanted justice for Trish.
I didn't correctly identify the culprit (I thought it was Trish's husband, played by Charlie Higson) but I was so glad it wasn't Lenny Henry, my Open University and Comic Relief hero.
Everyone points to the chemistry between David Tennant and Olivia Colman as Hardy and Miller. Their relationship has developed into a thing of beauty, with some real comedy gold along the way. But Broadchurch was never just about the two at the top. It was about the community, the people that populate that community, and their relationships with one another during dark days.
I work at Bridport Electric Palace, where the live finale was shown, and was lucky enough to host the Q&A afterwards, with Chris Chibnall, executive producer Jane Featherstone, Julie Hesmondhalgh who was Trish, Andrew Buchan who played Mark Latimer and Arthur Darvill who took the role of the Rev Paul Coates.
It was a very special task and the warmth and passion that came from the panel was palpable. I met Julie just before we went on stage and, instantly, was touched by a kind soul just radiating humanity. It was wonderful to hear her announce that she is becoming a patron of Dorset Rape Crisis, after liaising so closely with them and the Sexual Abuse Referral Centre in researching her role.
And when I introduced myself at the Q&A as being the former editor of the local newspaper in a previous life, her face lit up as she said: "Ooh, the real Maggie."
I told Chris Chibnall I liked his portrayal of a local newspaper editor with a social conscience.
'Ah, but do you have your own vlog?' he said.
And I was able to reply, without a word of a lie, that, well, actually, I have an award-winning blog. And if I had been in Maggie's position ten years on (I started this blog a decade ago), then having my own YouTube vlog would be exactly something I would have considered.
I say that after reading the otherwise splendid review today in the Telegraph, whose correspondent says: 'The sole other weak point of this finale was local newspaper editor Maggie Radcliffe (Carolyn Pickles) launching her own YouTube vlog - an attempt to be technologically topical which convinced precisely nobody.'
However, I digress.
Broadchurch has been an emotional roller coaster for a massive audience, from near and far, and also for the cast and crew. We hope you enjoyed seeing our special part of Dorset (we did) and if you're ever visiting West Bay, please stay away from the edge and the base of our cliffs (we do).
That's about it.
Love Maddie x