Broadchurch has been a huge success for ITV. Now its proving to be a hit all over again for Acorn Media.
Following the huge success of the DVD release the company is proud to release the Blu-ray Special Edition, featuring never before seen deleted scenes and exclusive audio commentaries with contributions from stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman, writer Chris Chibnall, director James Strong and producer Richard Stokes.
To celebrate the release Acorn Media have put together ten things learned from listening to the Broadchurch Blu-ray Commentaries.
1. People came up with lots amazing theories for whodunit…
As David Tennant recalls: “One of the joys of that was the theories people would come up with for the crime. That first shot of Danny with blood dripping off his hand… Somebody came up with the notion that tractor fuel is red, which… proved that he’d been siphoning the petrol.”
Writer Chris Chibnall discusses the same theory and others with Olivia Colman, he says: “A few theories I thought were much better. Next year we’ll be crowd-sourcing the plot.”
2. Olivia Colman comes in for plenty of good-natured ribbing from Tennant and the rest of the team…
He laughs, when discussing the chemistry with his co-star: “It helps that we don’t get on. I find her loathsome, if I never have to see that woman again…”
Producer Richard Stokes joins in, adding: “It helps that she’s the most difficult person in the industry to work with.”
Tennant chimes in: “Difficult, very difficult.”
There’s a real warmth among the whole cast and crew though. As writer Chris Chibnall states: “There was a real family atmosphere on this. I know everybody says that on every show, but there was on this.”
3. Tennant and Colman nearly made a sitcom together 10 years before Broadchurch…
He explains their fateful “nearly” project: “We’d done a reading of a sitcom that a friend of mine wrote. Had that gone ahead, we’d have been husband and wife. [But] lots of creatives came and said they didn’t want to make it.”
Richard Stokes, acting as one of the creatives, says: “Who are these people? They have no future.”
4. The cast and the crew didn’t know the killer’s identity at the outset and didn’t find out until shortly before filming the final episode…
Tennant explains: “We were as in the dark as the audience. I was playing a police officer who didn’t know who’d done it. If you know what’s coming, it’s hard not to play a sense of that. We started filming the last block before we got the final script through. I was reading it in a car back to London, Olivia was reading it on a train, we were having feverish text messages.”
Richard Stokes adds: “The crew and the rest of the cast bought into not knowing. Chris came down to tell everybody. We were shooting episode five, they said we don’t want to know the end until we get the script. They enjoyed the not knowing.”
One ITV executive didn’t know who’d done it until they delivered the final episode not long before transmission.
5. Was Broadchurch boosted by the Olympic effect?
Tennant says: “The human desire to be surprised is stronger than the human desire to find out what your Christmas present is.”
Stokes posits one theory: “We were helped by the Olympics factor, save the surprise, it was a real joy in not knowing what’s going to happen. Even with Twitter, the whole rise of social media, there was a genuine collective desire.”
Tennant adds: “It was a huge fear for us, the secrets would be blown.”
Director James Strong believes the old-fashioned transmission, rather than the box set-era binge viewing helped: “The fact that it was on every week, the fact that they had to wait for the next show, [helped].”
6. ITV was supportive to the point of letting the show’s producers dictate how the end credits worked…
Richard Stokes: “We went back to ITV and said rather than the normal white on black credits, can we have a picture? [And] please don’t squeeze [the credits], like you normally do.” ITV complied with the request…
Oh, and as writer Chris later reveals about the last episode: “They moved the News At Ten for us.”
7. Writer Chris Chibnall panicked a mere 15 minutes before the final episode was due to air…
“The quarter of an hour before it went out was the most terrified I’ve ever been. [Executive producer Jane Featherstone and he] texted each other, I’d talked to the press all day, we texted each other I said ‘I think I’ve got it wrong. I think we’ve done the wrong ending. I think the whole country is going to hunt me out. It was 20 minutes of hell. Five minutes into act two, [I thought] ‘whoa, maybe it’s all right’. There was just a moment where I thought ‘people really care about this ending, I’ve messed it up.’”
8. EastEnders was an unlikely inspiration…
Writer Chris Chibnall reveals that the discovery of the identity of the father of Michelle’s baby in the 1980s was an inspiration for how they revealed the identity of the killer, especially when it came to how they edited it, as did a walk that he took while on a recce for locations.
And the final scene? Chibnall reveals that was “slightly nicked from Field Of Dreams”.
9. Much of Broadchurch was filmed without rehearsals…
To keep the authenticity of the characters’ behaviour and reactions to the unfolding drama, much of it was shot without rehearsal, much of the footage used was from the first take.
The pivotal scene involving Olivia Colman and the killer was shot in this way and, as director James Strong says: “It was no rehearsal, first take. 95 per cent [of that scene] is all the first take.”
“For the violence [in that scene],” Colman notes, I rehearsed with the stunt man, [the killer] rehearsed with a stunt man. We didn’t see each other [before]. It was all filmed in sequence. Neither of us knew what the other would do. He was padded up as much as possible, I went to let rip and lost it. I kicked him without thinking I was going to hurt him. I was just really loving this bit. You never get to kick a human. [After laughter] That didn’t sound good, did it.”
The killer was even hurt during this scene: “I saw him holding his back. I did hurt him a bit, I missed the padding.”
10. Broadchurch will return…
The end credits revealed a surprise. As Chibnall concludes: “Our favourite thing was we kept it secret that we were coming back for a second series and had a plan.”
Colman adds: “That was fun, you just sent a text saying watch the end.”
Chibnall: “Broadchurch will return [as it says it on the screen]… Yeah, it’s just like James Bond. We’re going to come back and do some more, aren’t we Olivia and James?”
They both cheer…
Title: Broadchurch Blu-ray Special Edition Release Date: November the 4th, RRP: £24.99.