TV TIMES magazine talks to David Tennant about playing DI Alec Hardy in ITV’s new seaside-set crime drama, Broadchurch (Monday, March 4).

How would you describe the drama?
“It’s really emotive. It’s the worst possible thing isn’t it, the death of a child. So every scene is charged with that and the repercussions. It’s not a murder mystery in the sense that all we’re doing is whittling down the suspects – it’s also about how the death of a child touches everyone in that small community.’ 

You shadowed some London police officers to research the role. How was that?
“The coppers I spoke to have worked on some high-profile cases and it was eye-opening to hear things from the other side about stories you’ve read in the news. It would be indiscreet to say too much, but it was fascinating. It was also comforting in a way, because you often hear about police officers under investigation for not taking their job particularly seriously. To meet murder squad officers and realise how devoted and brilliant they actually are was quite an education.”

What about your character Hardy?
“He’s not without some secrets and troubles which is why he ended up here on the coast.” 

How would you describe his relationship with DS Miller (Olivia Colman)?
“They’re the Cagney and Lacey of the West Country. Ellie believes Hardy got the job that should have been hers. They’re an unlikely crime-fighting duo – very ill matched. Hardy’s from a big city and finds all this small-town policing tiresome.”

Do you know whodunit at the end?
“No, we have a different theory every day. We’ve been assured that nobody in the cast knows, but I can’t help thinking that’s a double-bluff and the person who’s the killer has been told. But then, of course, it could me and I could be triple-bluffing you!’