BROADCHURCH: A Who's Who Of Characters Old And New
As Broadchurch returns to TV screens in the UK and Ireland, viewers might be finding it hard to remember who is who and who did what in the last episode. And to confuse the issue further, a whole lot of new faces have turned up. Here's a quick run down of who's who and what they've been up to so far.
Alec Hardy (David Tennant)
Who is he: The detective who led the hunt for the killer of Danny Latimer and arrested Joe Miller for the murder of Danny Latimer. Hardy came to Broadchurch following his failure on his previous case at Sandbrook.
Last seen: Losing his job due to a heart condition that could kill him at any time
Now: Hardy remains in Broadchurch, moving out of the hotel and into a bright blue waterside cottage. He is shortly going into hospital for his life-saving heart procedure, and is confident that he will see Joe Miller imprisoned for Danny’s murder. His reasons for remaining in town following the close of the case become clear when he receives a call for help someone called Claire Ripley who turns out to be a key witness in Hardy’s last case in Sandbrook. He has been providing unofficial witness protection to Claire since the case collapsed and the accused, Claire’s husband Lee Ashworth, walked free. Now, Hardy realises, Lee is in town and is coming after them both. However, he hopes this will give him the opportunity to finally close the Sandbrook case.
Whether Hardy remains in the police is unclear. He is no longer working as a Detective Inspector, but Olly Stevens refers to him as ‘not on active duty’, implying that he has taken enforced leave rather than a dismissal.
Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman)
Who is she: The detective sergeant who also worked on the Danny Latimer case. Before that she was a close friend of the victim’s family. Ellie is Joe Miller’s wife and mother to Tom and Fred.
Last seen: Ellie learned that her husband Joe was Danny’s killer. With her life in tatters she was planning to leave Broadchurch
Now: Ellie has transferred across to the Devon force where she works in the traffic division. She is raising Fred alone; however Tom refuses to have anything to do with her and has stayed in Broadchurch with Ellie’s sister. Of all of those affected by Danny’s murder, she is the one who has lost everything and is the most isolated. Ellie is receiving counselling and pinned many of her hopes of a reconciliation with Tom on Joe pleading guilty. She is reluctantly drawn into Hardy’s plan to continue to provide protection for Claire and to draw out the culprit and close the Sandbrook case. On her return to Broadchurch Ellie must face the hatred of her former friend Beth Latimer who believes that she could have prevented Danny’s death.
Ellie considers herself guilty for allowing the events to happen behind her back.
Joe Miller (Matthew Gravelle)
Who is he: Joe, husband to Ellie and father to Tom and Fred, is the killer of Danny Latimer.
Last seen: Joe confessed the murder to Alec Hardy claiming that he was meeting Danny in secret and struggling with his feelings for the boy. He has been on remand awaiting trial
Now: The pivotal moment in the first episode was Joe changing his plea to Not Guilty, meaning that the case will now go to trial and the residents of Broadchurch must relive the terrible events of Danny’s death instead of laying them to rest. Joe has a legal team who are prepared to do all that it takes to secure his release, starting with the exhumation of Danny’s body for further forensic analysis.
While on remand, Joe has been receiving visits from Paul Coates
Beth Latimer (Jodie Whittaker)
Who is she: Wife to Mark and mother of Chloe and murder victim Danny. She used to work in the town’s tourist information office.
Last seen: Saying her final goodbyes to her son after his funeral, Beth seemed content that his killer was behind bars and was looking forward to the arrival of her new baby
Now: Heavily pregnant Beth thought that her biggest concern was readying the tub for her water birth until Joe Miller’s change of plea. Now she and the rest of her family must relive the terrible events all over again as the case goes to trial and they have already witnessed the exhumation of Danny’s body.
Beth finds it impossible to forgive Ellie Miller for her part in the case, unconvinced that Ellie did not know what Joe was up to. However, there is also something that Beth doesn’t know...
Mark Latimer (Andrew Buchan)
Who is he: Husband of Beth and father to Chloe and Danny. Mark runs his own plumbing business. He had a fling with Becca Fisher on the night that Danny was killed.
Last seen: With his family saying goodbye to Danny and preparing for a new arrival and the recovery of his relationship with Beth following his affair
Now: Mark is devastated by the turn of events that saw Joe’s case going to trial and was left broken when he witnessed Danny’s body being exhumed to collect further evidence.
In an uncomfortable parallel to Joe’s clandestine meetings with Danny, Mark has also started meeting Tom Miller in, of all places, Susan Wright’s abandoned caravan to play video games. Is this just a secret lads’ club that Mark wants to keep quiet because of Beth’s hatred of the Millers, or is history about to repeat itself?
Chloe Latimer (Charlotte Beaumont)
Who is she: Beth and Mark’s daughter and sister to Danny. Chloe occasionally helps Becca out at the hotel.
Last seen: At her brother’s funeral. Shortly before, Chloe introduced her boyfriend Dean to the family, though he has yet to appear in the new series. It was Chloe who encouraged Becca to provide an alibi for her dad.
Now: As the rest of her family, Chloe is devastated by Joe’s change of plea, though she continues to give as much support to Beth as she can ahead of the birth of the baby. Chloe has noticed that Mark doesn’t seem to like being around the house as much lately.
Nige Carter (Joe Sims)
Who is he: Mark’s apprentice and closest friend. Nige lives locally with his mum.
Last seen: Nige was devastated to learn that he was adopted and that his real mum was Susan Wright and his dad an convicted murderer who abused and killed one of his sisters. He threatened Susan until she left town after he told police that she had witnessed him carrying Danny's body onto the beach.
Now: Nige continues to support the Latimers as much as possible, both in their preparations for the new baby and around Joe’s trial.
Previously Nige provided an unconvincing alibi for Mark on the night of Danny’s death. Once again he rather shakily covers for Mark again when he is absent spending time with Tom. Does Nige know about the arrangement or is he just assuming that Mark is straying from the marital bed again.
Paul Coates (Arthur Darvill)
Who is he: The town vicar, Paul was also revealed as a recovering alcoholic
Last seen: Leading the funeral service for Danny. Paul also seemed to be growing close to Becca Fisher
Now: Paul is still the town vicar and he and Becca are in a relationship. Paul has also been secretly visiting Joe in jail to offer him spiritual guidance but is keen to keep this arrangement from everyone else. He begged Joe to reconsider his plea.
Maggie Radcliffe (Carolyn Pickles)
Who is she: The owner and editor of the local newspaper, the Broadchurch Echo
Last seen: Hearing Hardy’s account of what happened in Sandbrook
Now: Still running the Echo and training her protégé Olly Stevens. It is Maggie who approached her old friend Joceyln Knight QC to beg her to take on the Latimers’ case.
Olly Stevens (Jonathan Bailey)
Who is he: Junior reporter at the Broadchurch Echo. Olly is also Ellie’s nephew
Last seen: Hearing Hardy’s account of what happened in Sandbrook.
Now: Olly’s tweet about the murder brought the national press to town and his exposure of Jack Marshall led indirectly to the newsagent’s suicide. His experience of the ruthlessness of the national press led him to curb his ambitions and stay in town, where he supports his mother who has addiction issues.
Lucy Stevens (Tanya Franks)
Who is she: Olly’s mum and Ellie’s sister. Lucy has a history of debt through her addictions and is always coming to Ellie for money
Last seen: She gave Ellie a crucial piece of evidence (in exchange for a large loan) regarding her late night sighting of a man disposing of clothing
Now: Lucy seems to have cleaned up her act now that she is acting as Tom’s guardian, although she isn’t past a cash bet with Olly over Paul and Becca’s relationship. She doesn’t seem to have informed Olly that she was a witness in the murder case and he is curious as to why she thinks she might have to testify
Tom Miller (Adam Wilson)
Who is he: Ellie and Joe’s eldest son and brother to Fred. Tom was also believed to be Danny’s best friend although they had actually fallen out and Tom had sent threatening texts and emails
Last seen: Learning that his father was Danny’s killer
Now: Tom refuses to have anything to do with Ellie, believing that she set Joe up as the murderer. He refused to leave Broadchurch with her and now lives with his aunt Lucy and cousin Olly.
Tom has started meeting Mark Latimer to play computer games in the caravan once used by Susan Wright. He says Susan gave him the keys when she invited him round to help her with her dog, Vince.
Becca Fisher (Simone McAullay)
Who is she: An Australian who runs the local hotel alone after her ex abandoned her
Last seen: After news of her affair with Mark broke, Becca was seen growing closer to Paul Coates, who also gave her financial advice on running her hotel.
Now: Becca is still managing the hotel and has started a relationship with Paul. She has no idea that Paul has been visiting Joe in prison.
We’re also introduced to some new characters. Here’s what we know about them so far:
Claire Ripley (Eve Myles)
Claire is the wife of the main suspect in the Sandbrook case who gave Alec Hardy valuable evidence leading to the arrest of Lee Ashworth.When the case collapsed and Lee walked free, Hardy realised that he had put Claire in danger and has been protecting her ever since.
Sharon Bishop (Marianne Jean-Baptiste)
A London based QC who is engaged to act for Joe Miller in his trial. Sharon will stop at nothing in her quest to have Joe released and is already picking holes in Hardy’s case. As Joe confessed readily at the time, she is hoping that the evidence will be flawed. There are hints that Sharon has something to prove and may have failed to win a previous case.
Jocelyn Knight (Charlotte Rampling)
A former QC and a friend of Maggie Radcliffe, Broadchurch resident Jocelyn is persuaded to act for the prosecution in the trial of Joe Miller. She is a former mentor to Joe’s QC, Sharon Bishop
Abby Thompson (Phoebe Waller-Bridge)
A London-based barrister who is horrified when her client Joe Miller changes his plea to not guilty in the dock. Her boss is Sharon Bishop whom she persuades to take on Joe’s defence.
Lee Ashworth (James D'Arcy)
Hardy knows that Lee is responsible for the abduction and murders in Sandbrook, but after the loss of a crucial piece of evidence the trial collapsed and Lee was freed. Lee is targeting Hardy, and broke into his home searching for the whereabouts of his estranged wife Claire. Lee stood on the hill above the churchyard watching Hardy as Danny’s body was exhumed.
Broadchurch continues on Monday 12th January at 9pm on ITV in the UK and at 10pm on TV3 in Ireland.