‘Broadchurch’ interview: Producer Richard Stokes chats about Season 2

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The second season of Broadchurch is out on DVD and Blu-ray this week.

Season 2 concluded in the UK last month and saw Eve Myles, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, James D’Arcy and Phoebe Waller-Bridge join the cast, alongside returning Season 1 stars David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan and Arthur Darvill.

> Order Season 2 on DVD on Amazon.

It was recently confirmed that Tennant and Colman will both return for a third season.

CultBox caught up with producer Richard Stokes for a chat…


Which moments in Season 2 are you most proud of?

“To be honest, getting to the end. It was a mammoth shoot across 115 days in 5 different places – West Bay, Exeter, Bristol, Reading and Longcross studios. The sheer logistics involved for that size show with that cast were huge.

“So on the last day of filming I did feel about six inches taller driving home. The last day shooting in Exeter (which was used for the Wessex Crown Court atrium) we had three units shooting, cranes, sky-cam, a cast and crew of over 200 – there was a spontaneous ovation when we called wrap on that day.”


Broadchurch 2 5 David Tennant


What were the most challenging scenes to shoot?

“There were a few tricky scenes – some for safety – Charlotte Rampling in a boat, anything on the cliffs, but hardest of all was trying to police the paps when we were out in public.

“The first couple of days in Clevedon were horrendous and all our time was taken in trying to get photographers to leave us alone. We were paranoid about story beats being leaked.”


Are there any little Easter eggs or in-jokes that fans should look out for when rewatching Season 2 on DVD?

“I don’t think so. A standby art director may have slipped in something to one of the props that refers back to a previous show or series but if so, I wasn’t aware. I was too busy chasing away the photographers.”


Are there hints in Season 2 about the focus of Season 3 that fans should look out for when rewatching? (Like the mentions of Sandbrook in Season 1.)

“As you can imagine from the planning and scripting of Series 2 after Series 1, I won’t answer that question either way.”


Broadchurch 2 5


Was the reaction to Season 2 what you’d expected?

“Yes, it was. In fact we were delighted with the critical response to the first episode and the viewer numbers were extraordinary.

“As people began to question the legal case we expected opinion to then divide into those excited by the continuation of the story and those who were a little frustrated by it. Chris wanted to tell that legal story, of truth vs justice, and some fans who wanted a completely new story were always going to turn against it.”


After Season 1, was there ever any talk of using Broadchurch as an anthology format and launching a whole new mystery (as in Fargo, True Detective, BBC One’s The Missing) or was a continuation of Season 1’s story always the plan?

“Chris wanted to tell the next part of the story for all those characters. It was always about Hardy and Miller, the Latimers and the trial of Joe.”


Had it always been planned from the start that Joe would be found not guilty? When shooting the finale, were alternate endings shot to keep the surprise?

“Yes, a handful of people knew that would be the final outcome. In terms of different endings it’s hard enough to schedule the material that will be used let alone shooting extra material but for that scene yes, we did shoot an alternative.”


Broadchurch 2 6 Meera Syal


Many of Season 2’s storylines hinted at further developments still to come – Paul’s dark past, Paul & Becca’s relationship, Jocelyn & Sharon teaming up, Susan’s illness – was it a struggle trying to fit everything in at times with so many returning characters or were plot threads deliberately set up to be resolved in the future?

“There was so much story in series 2, so many characters. Some percolated through as priorities when the scripts went through their drafts and some stories were trimmed in the edit for pacing reasons, but for the stories started in Series 2 we always wanted some kind of resolution in Series 2.”


Season 2 was presumably set at some point in early 2014. Is a time jump likely when we return to Broadchurch?

“You’ll have to wait and see.”


Is the focus of the third season likely to return to a single main mystery?

“You’ll have to wait and see.”


Broadchurch 3


Have you heard anything about a possible new season of Law & Order: UK? Your final episode of Season 8 certainly hinted at a future with the arrival of Sharon Small’s character.

“I don’t know what’s happening with Law & Order:UK. The viewing figures of the last series and a half meant the axe could always fall. That last episode introduced Sharon’s character and a lot of people would like to see it continue. Having said that, one of the reasons I called the ep ‘Repeat to Fade’ is I suspected it may be the last.”


You produced 19 episodes of Torchwood in the first two seasons. Eve Myles and John Barrowman have spoken in many recent interviews about how keen they are to do more Torchwood and have hinted that something (even if it’s audio stories) could happen this year. Would you like to be involved in Torchwood again?

“I loved doing that show. It was hard work and a long shoot and I was away from home, but we made some fun stuff. I look back on it very fondly, but that’s Torchwood to me – something I look back on. If it does happen again in some form – it will be without me. I can enjoy it from a distance as a fan.”


> Order Season 2 on DVD on Amazon.

Are you looking forward to Season 2? Let us know below…