The Broadchurch Effect

From David Tennant's bid to break the States to Olivia Colman's blossoming CV, here's what the cast of Chris Chibnall's ITV drama have been up to in the last 12 months...

It’s been twelve months since Chris Chibnall’s Broadchurch captured the attention of the telly-viewing public with its tense and twisted whodunnit set in the sleepy coastal town of Dorset. Pulling in millions of viewers over eight weeks before captivating America and beyond, it’s little wonder that the talented cast have enjoyed an annus mirabilis. 


A year on and Olivia Colman’s something of a national treasure with Baftas coming out of her ears and a CV teeming with juicy roles, meanwhile her co-star David Tennant is off in British Columbia shooting the US remake Gracepoint with Breaking Bad actress Anna Gunn.

And it’s not just the drama’s headliners who are experiencing what we like to term “the Broadchurch effect”. Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan – who played murdered Danny Latimer’s grieving parents – have plenty to grin about, and even those playing minor characters have enjoyed plenty of screentime over the last 12 months. As we gear up for the much-hyped second series, here are Broadchurch’s biggest winners so far…

Highlights since Broadchurch: 

The Politician’s Husband (BBC2), The Escape Artist (BBC1), The Day of the Doctor (BBC1), Richard II (Royal Shakespeare Theatre and The Barbican), Postman Pat: The Movie (film), What We Did on Our Holiday (film), Gracepoint (FOX Network)

David Tennant has barely been absent from screens since his turn as troubled DI Alec Hardy. From leading BBC dramas The Politician’s Husband and The Escape Artist to delighting fans in Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary, The Day of the Doctor, he has never been more prominent on British television screens. Ever the chameleon, he took to the stage to great acclaim as Shakespeare’s doomed monarch and lent his voice to Postman Pat: The Movie. After one failed attempt at front his own US show in ill-fated pilot Rex is Not Your Lawyer, the lasting legacy of Broadchurch on Tennant’s career will – hopefully – be his impact across the pond when he stars as Hardy’s American equivalent Detective Emmett Carver in Gracepoint, the US remake of Broadchurch set to hit screens next year.

Highlights since Broadchurch: 

The Suspicions of Mr Wicher (ITV), Run (C4), The Thirteenth Tale (BBC2), The 7:39 (BBC1), Rev (BBC2), The Secrets (BBC1), Cuban Fury (film), Locke (film), The Lobster (film), London Road (film), Pudsey the Dog: the Movie (film)

Olivia Colman became something of a national treasure thanks to her award-winning portrayal of DS Ellie Miller. And boy has she kept the momentum going. With spells on BBC, ITV and Channel 4, it seems like every time you turn on the telly, there she is. But no one’s sick of her – how could you be? From a penniless single mother to a vicar’s wife, her versatility has earned her a permanent spot in the nation’s affections. And with two films in the pipeline – Pudsey the Dog and the Musical Road – plus BBC1 series The Secrets, it looks like we’ll be seeing plenty more of her in the coming year.

Highlights since Broadchurch: 

The Assets (ABC), The Smoke (Sky1), Hello Carter (film), Black Sea (film), Get Santa (film) 

Pre-Broadchurch Jodie Whittaker was a familiar face on TV screens but in the last 12 months she’s graduated to leading lady, heading up Sky1’s firefighting drama The Smoke. Cold War spy thriller The Assets on ABC could have made her name in America, if it hadn’t been pulled after just two episodes, but any disappointment on Whittaker’s part will soon be forgotten with leading roles opposite Jude Law in Black Sea and Jim Broadbent in Get Santa. 2013 was certainly a year sprinkled with a pinch of Broadchurch fairy dust.

Highlights since Broadchurch:

The Honourable Woman (BBC2), The Great Fire (ITV), Having You (film), Still Life (film), The Curse of the Buxom Strumpet (film)

Like his co-star, Andrew has experienced something of a Broadchurch career boost with two exciting television projects on the horizon, starring opposite Hollywood actress Maggie Gyllenhaal in BBC2’s The Honourable Woman before heading up ITV’s stellar cast for upcoming series The Great Fire. Since playing Mark Latimer, Buchan has also been a star of the silver screen, appearing with Anna Friel in Having You and Eddie Marsan in Still Life, with the delayed Curse of the Buxom Strumpet (co-starring Ian McKellen and Gillian Anderson) next to be released.

Name: Charlotte Beaumont
Played: Chloe Latimer
Highlights since Broadchurch: 

Coming Up: Sink or Swim (C4), Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This (ITV), Jupiter Ascending (film)

Charlotte Beaumont’s budding career picked up plenty of momentum thanks to her spell in Broadchurch. Following her breakthrough role playing Chloe, sister of murdered youngster Danny Latimer, she appeared as Una Stubbs’ granddaughter in Sink or Swim, part of Channel 4’s annual Coming Up Season, before starring as David Threlfall’s daughter in ITV drama Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This which aired last Monday. Hollywood’s also been on the phone, with the Wachowski siblings snapping her up to play Sean Bean’s daughter in their latest offering, Jupiter Ascending, where she’ll be able to count Eddie Redmayne, Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum among her A-list co-stars. Not bad for a 17-year-old…

Highlights since Broadchurch: 

W1A (BBC2), Doctor Who series eight (BBC1), Testament of Youth (film), Othello (National Theatre), American Psycho (Almeida Theatre)

As Broadchurch Echo jounrnalist Olly, he may have had less to do than the Latimer family, but 25-year-old Jonathan Bailey has gone on to enjoy a jam-packed year. The established stage star portrayed Cassio in Othello before starring alongside Matt Smith in American Psycho and, perhaps at the bidding of the former Doctor, is set to make a guest appearance later this year alongside Peter Capaldi in episode five of the new series of Doctor Who. More recently, he’s popped up in John Morton’s Twenty Twelve follow-up W1A and is currently filming Testament of Youth with Hayley Atwell, Dominic West and Colin Morgan.

Highlights since Broadchurch: 

Mount Pleasant (Sky Living), An Adventure in Space and Time (BBC2), The Strain (FX)

David Bradley hardly needed Broadchurch to boost his career, although it hasn’t hurt. Since then we’ve seen the veteran actor in series three of Mount Pleasant and playing first Doctor William Hartnell in Mark Gatiss’s Doctor Who homage Adventure in Space and Time – both roles he had in the bag before playing tragic newsagent owner Jack Marshall. But his biggest role post-Broadchurch comes in the form of vampire hunter Professor Abraham Setrakian in a new American drama from Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro, with a script by Lost showrunner Carlton Cuse – a project bound to make an impact in the States when it airs this July.