The two series had virtually the same narrative until the end, with the killer in Broadchurch being DS Ellie Miller's husband, and in Gracepoint Ellie's son. I didn't think Broadchurch had the more meaningful and original ending at the time, but I've changed my mind. The cop's spouse as killer is something I don't recall seeing before and it's really stayed with me - and the second season picks right up on this, with a stunner of its own: Joe Miller is pleading not guilty to the crime he confessed to.
This sets up what will no doubt be a powerful part of this second season, the battle in the courtroom and among lawyers over Joe and his plea. Charlotte Rampling on hand - or brought in - to play the Crown Prosecutor is a great addition, promising some compelling drama in the trial and its attendant machinations.
But that's just part of this second season, which also brings us back to DI Hardy's previous case, the shadow of which loomed large over his investigation into the death of Danny. It looks as if we'll get to see much more about this case now - including Hardy clean shaven in a flash back - which is welcome indeed, as this looks to be a riveting story, too.
And, we learn that there's apparently more to the story of Danny's death than we saw last season, as well. Although it's not likely that Joe confessed to save someone else - though you never really know for sure, in this age of cinematic unreliable flashbacks - there's more of this story here to be told, with parts by who knows what familiar and unfamiliar characters in this cursed town, which should make for a harrowingly winning season.
Broadchurch has a brooding, almost symphonic pace in a discordant key, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing how it plays out.
See also Gracepoint Debuts: Deja Vu with a Vengeance ... Gracepoint Finale: Satisfying and More Realistic in the End
And see also Broadchurch: Powerful Viewing ... Broadchurch 1.2: Brooding Excellence ... Broadchurch 1.3: The Spy ... Broadchurch 1.4: The Unusual Suspects ... Broadchurch 1.5: Good Loving and Almost Loving ... Broadchurch 1.6: "A Break from Being Sad" ... Broadchurch 1.7: Missing Links ... Broadchurch Season 1 Finale: "Lying Next to the Murderer"