ITV crime drama Broadchurch has been named the best TV show of 2013 by Radio Times critics.
Starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman at the head of an ensemble cast, the drama follows the story of a police investigation into the murder of a schoolboy in a small Dorset coastal town. Described by the series creator Chris Chibnall as “a labour of love”, the beautifully crafted whodunit captured the imagination of the nation as almost every character became a suspect across eight rollercoaster weeks.
Both a critical and popular hit, the show attracted around nine million viewers an episode on ITV – and after being shown on BBC America will be remade for a US audience, with Tennant reprising his starring role as troubled DI Alec Hardy. A second series of Broadchurch is expected on ITV in 2014.
Last year the critics choice was won by Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman crime drama Sherlock, which returns to television on New Year’s Day.
“The death of event TV has been greatly exaggerated,” said Tim Glanfield, editor of RadioTimes.com & digital products. “Broadchurch drew the nation into a collective hysteria every Monday night for eight weeks, as who killed Danny Latimer became the talking point in the press, pubs, front rooms and factories up and down the country.
“A brilliant piece of homegrown drama with an exquisite cast of actors, Broadchurch is a fantastic example of British TV at its very best.”
In second place was French chiller, The Returned. An intelligent take on the undead, which intrigued Channel 4 viewers with its uniquely atmospheric story against the backdrop of the French Alps. It pushed another C4 show, excellent fly-on-the-wall documentary Educating Yorkshire, into third place.
Other shows to make it into the top ten included The Great British Bake Off and Jane Campion drama Top of the Lake, as well as Homeland, Toast of London – and US cult mega-hit Breaking Bad, the only show not to have been screened in full on British TV to make the top ten.