Broadchurch Season One – ITV

There’s no denying it. Broadchurch cemented a beloved heroine/sweetheart/goddess into the nation’s psyche. Not that Olivia Colman hasn’t had other notable turns, even this year (Accused, TwentyTwelve). Maybe it was the coupling of her and that other well-established beloved, David Tennant. Maybe it was because Broadchurch was the best thing to come from ITV since Downton Abbey, even though it also ostensibly belonged on the BBC.

The murder of an eleven-year-old Danny Latimer leads to dense webs of lies and mystery in a quiet, coastal Dorset town, bringing DS Hardy (Tennant) to the scene to work with Danny’s best friend’s mum (a classic case of small-town degrees of separation), plus a band of over-inquisitive journalists and shifty townsfolk.

Packed with more material than most eight episode orders would usually attempt to cram in, the only sacrifice that Broadchurch made was not to award Pauline Quirke’s nuanced performance as the distrustful caravan-dwelling Susan more airtime.