David Tennant: “Why remake Broadchurch? Everyone’s seen it already”

Ahead of series two, the man otherwise known as DI Alec Hardy talks about Gracepoint and the French remake

Broadchurch returns tonight. Have you heard? Despite the fact it first went out back in 2013, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was only yesterday. Indeed, David Tennant has barely escaped the murder mystery drama, filming the American remake Gracepoint in the interim. 

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“I thought ‘this is a novelty!” Tennant told RadioTimes.com, but admitted he found the transatlantic clash disconcerting. “It’s unusual in that it’s the same but different. As I finished up in Canada, the first script for Broadchurch series two arrived. I read it and thought this is fantastically clever and brilliant and thrilling, but completely disorientating. It suddenly felt like I was in an entirely different world, just being with those people and that version of that character. I thought I’m going to have to put that down until I’m on the plane home, because it’s more distracting than I thought it would be.”

Gracepoint has since been cancelled, but DI Alec Hardy’s global tour might not be over yet. Tennant can pull off an American accent, but how is his French? Yes, Broadchurch á la Français is in the offing, but with the original English series already a huge success across the Channel, the question is: why?

“It will be interesting because Broadchurch broadcast in primetime in France and was a big hit. In America, it was sought out by television aficionados and it developed a very loyal audience, which is wonderful, but certainly not a huge viewership. But in France it was primetime so you’re like: why are you remaking it, everyone’s seen it already?’

But Tennant concedes the French version will be its own animal. 

“I know for a fact they’ve done something very clever in the first episode, according to Chris Chibnall, which is very good and sets things off in a different direction.”

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‘Something clever’? Thanks David. You’re as informative as always.