Chris Chibnall defends Broadchurch

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 5 March 2015
David Tennant and Olivia Coleman in Broadchurch

Olivia Colman and David Tennant as DS Ellie Miller and DI Alec Hardy

Chris Chibnall, the writer of 'Broadchurch', has insisted he "stands by" the court scenes in the ITV show - which received much criticism from legal figures - and revealed they hired "experienced" members of the legal profession to work with them on the series

'Broadchurch' writer Chris Chibnall "stands by" the court scenes.

Critics of the ITV show have claimed the legal parts of the show's second series - which saw Joe Miller (Matthew Gravelle) be tried for the murder of Daniel Latimer (Oskar McNamara) - were flawed but Chris has insisted they received advice from "experienced" members of the legal profession throughout filming.

He said: "Alongside a respected police adviser from the first series, we brought on highly qualified, experienced and practising members of the legal profession.

"We asked them: if Danny's murder were to come to court, how would this trial proceed? How would you prosecute this case? How would you defend this case? What are the possible outcomes?

"The shape and detail of the series was based on their responses. As I wrote, all three advisers (legal and police) were continually consulted. They read and gave notes on every script."

Chris also believes the focus of the show - which also stars Olivia Colman and David Tennant - should be on the "emotional impact" of the court hearing on the families involved and wanted to spend more time addressing those issues.

Writing for The Guardian newspaper, he added: "'Broadchurch' has always been about the impact of crime, on all those affected... It would also mean taking a different approach to legal drama: favouring the experience and point of view of the victim's family.

"So court scenes would only be one component. We'd only show fragments from the court; we wouldn't depict every witness, objection, legal argument, or cross-examination. Instead, we'd spend as much time with the emotional fallout in the entrances and corridors of the court, as in the courtroom itself...

"Our advisers gave us accurate, exemplary guidance, while also understanding that this was a drama. They're happy with the results, and proud to be the advisers on the series. We all stand by our decisions."

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