Broadchurch Mark 1 was one of the best pieces of television I have ever seen. Fantastically ingenious plot, truly brilliant performances, I was completely hooked.
I had only one fear when Mark 2 began – that the court scenes would not be authentic.
It is the bugbear for many of us who know the system as it is, purists if not pedants.
How often has really good legal drama been ruined for us by childishly silly mistakes?
The wrong language or a complete disregard of ethical conduct. Procedural nonsense. All predicated on putting the demands of drama before simple authenticity. You can practically hear the tears of the legal advisor as they have been ignored, yet again. At least, where experienced trial counsel have been employed to advise. As they should be on a project of this scale.
Sadly, legal nonsense has now infected Broadchurch. Charlotte Rampling is a very fine actress and I can well see her as a senior silk doing the business. But please! Interviewing the witnesses even by accident, even coaching them, is not on, even in these liberated days. Worse, opening the fact of a confession, which was later ruled inadmissible without the obvious discharge of a jury is daft. Defence Counsel certainly sounded good in court, slowing down her questions very well, but their relevance and admissibily stretched a point. And we don’t tell the jury personal details on the lines of ‘I am a Mum, too.’ Not sure about the Judge yet.
But does it really matter? The out of court plot is as compelling as ever and the quality of acting superb. Olivia Coleman has become absolutely top class and David Tennant is now a major actor. Their chemistry is excellent.
If only they had tried a little harder with the Law…
Nigel Pascoe QC