There was a neat little letter in the Guardian this week suggesting that Broadchurch fans disappointed with series 2 might consider switching to Spiral series 5. Having finally caught up with this week’s episodes of both, I reckon she has a point.
What Broadchurch series 1 did really well was to establish a town, make us believe in a whole range of people. Series 2 is devoted to rushing the main characters through a series of escalating crises, while they run around like headless chickens. A senior police officer, going off the rails in his own time while nobody gives a damn? Really? The point where I switched off was where the script takes David Tennant and Olivia Colman into a hotel bedroom. the booking;’s been mixed up, so all they can offer is a double bed. Deeply embarrassing in every possible way.
Spiral at least has a sense of the power structures at work in the judiciary and the police, a detailed context in which people work. Yes, it jumps madly around between its different characters, and there’s a few too many coincidences and neat links, but it keeps moving for the full two hours, and its made by people who care. So I’ll keep watching this till the end, and i don’t care what happens in Broadchurch.