Broadchurch series two: all the rumours, hints and clues

What do we know about the return of the ITV drama? Very little. But what can we speculate on? A fair bit...

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We’ve already rounded-up everything we consider a dead cert when it comes to Broadchurch series two. But now for the juicy stuff – the rumour mill which has been churning ever since the return of the ITV drama was first announced nearly two years ago.

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With the script a closely guarded secret – and even character names kept firmly under wraps until recent weeks – we’ve had little to go off, but ever since new images, teasers and trailers began rolling in, we’ve had our thinking caps on. Here’s what we’ve come up with…

Sandbrook

Until the first trailer was released back in December, the “very different story” creator Chris Chibnall had talked of remained a mystery. But the new footage gave us a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it glimpse of a young girl wearing a pendant – a crucial piece of evidence that went missing during a disastrous case at Sandbrook, overseen by David Tennant’s DI Alec Hardy before he came to Broadchurch. Add to that Olivia Colman’s character DS Ellie Miller asking questions about “the night those girls disappeared” and we’ve put two and two together and decided this new series will focus on the mistakes that all but ruined Hardy’s career. 

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Justice for Danny?

The series two trailer also suggested we might see some of Joe Miller’s trial. Remember him? The husband of Ellie and the man behind Danny’s untimely demise? New scenes showed the Latimer family – Mark (Andrew Buchan), Beth (Jodie Whittaker) and Chloe (Charlotte Beaumont) – huddled in the midst of a media scrum (above). Could they be on the way to the courtroom?

The graveyard

The above would link nicely with scenes the cast were spotted shooting inside a graveyard – a setting that also features (briefly) in the trailer. During filming earlier this year, speculation pointed at the possibility of Danny’s grave being exhumed to collect evidence ahead of Joe’s trial.

Is James D’Arcy playing a baddie?

The murder of Danny isn’t expected to be the sole focus of this second series. “Grief is not our driving emotion this year,” Chibnall confirmed to Radio Times – so, does a reinvestigation of Sandbrook await? If it does, could James D’Arcy’s mysterious character Lee be the’ “baddie” of this series? He’s shaping up nicely as a potential suspect, seen telling Hardy, “I want my life back” before being pushed to the ground by a mystery assailant. Someone is clearly on his tail…

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Jocelyn Knight

While the bulk of the new characters remain a mystery, a stealthy clue planted by Chibnall alludes to the identity of Jocelyn Knight (played by Charlotte Rampling). In Erin Kelly’s Broadchurch novel, Danny is seen arguing with the postman:

“Around a quarter to eight, on a Wednesday morning. Up past Jocelyn Knight’s house. On the road leading up to the clifftops, near Linton Hill.” 

As a resident of Broadchurch near the site of Danny’s heated conversation – a plot thread never tied up – could Jocelyn have been involved in Danny’s death? Or is it possible she has new information? She’s seen on the beach with Mark and Beth Latimer near the spot Danny was found – is she imparting new evidence to his grieving parents? We can but speculate…

Bluebells

The cliffs are back, but this time with a sprinkling of bluebells. The violet flowers have stood out as a central motif ahead of this new series, appearing in both promotional stills and the trailer. But what are they all about?

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Bluebells appear twice in the minute-long teaser, dried out inside a piece of paper held by Ellie (above), as well as populating a woodland area explored by a mystery stroller as the caption “new secrets” floats across the screen. Their significance is another clue yet to be unravelled – do they signify the site of a crime, or are they a crucial piece of evidence?

Pregnant Beth

The end is where it begins, according to the early teaser trailers aired on ITV last year. But judging by glimpses of Jodie Whittaker during filming – and early footage of the new series – her character Beth is heavily pregnant by the time we re-join the coastal community. So, simple maths would suggest we’re jumping forward around six months for at least some of the second season, although whether it will operate within one time frame or more remains to be seen.

The blue chalet

While absent from any promotional stills or footage, this curious home is said to be the key to the drama’s return. “That house holds lots – if not all – of the secrets,” Chibnall told The Mail on Sunday. “You will first see it in the first minute of episode one.” A short distance from where Danny’s body was found, could the blue house hold extra clues to his murder? Or is it part of Broadchurch’s next chapter? It sounds like impatient viewers won’t have long to wait after the opening credits. 

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Broadchurch returns to ITV on Monday 5th January at 9:00pm