David Tennant Gets Another Go on Broadchurch

Patrick Redmond/ITV/Kudos/BBC America

After taking a brief detour to star in Gracepoint, the American version of the hit U.K. murder mystery Broadchurch, David Tennant returns to the original for a second go. The former Doctor Who star and upcoming villain Purple Man in A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Netflix’s Marvel Comics adaptation, tells us what’s on the docket for the new season, which premieres Wednesday, March 4.

Viewers were led to believe your character, Detective Inspector Alec Hardy, and fellow cop Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) wouldn’t return for a second season, since the murder of young Danny Latimer was solved and Hardy was near death. What happened?

Broadchurch was very much conceived as a one-off, though we knew more than we let on. [Laughs] Halfway through Season 1, Chris Chibnall, the show’s creator, told us he had an idea for a further story.

Which is a good thing, since the series has become a global sensation.

I never thought it’d have a life on the other side of the world. It’s being remade in many countries. I’m working on my Icelandic!

Are you disappointed that Gracepoint didn’t take off?

I’m not. It would have been lovely if we had reached more of an audience, but I think the viewers who did come for the ride were moved and intrigued. Hopefully it will pique their interest and BBC America will get a new audience.

Where do we find Hardy and Miller when the second season opens?

They are both in desperate places. Hardy’s off the force and very sick. We’ll discover early on why he’s still hanging around Broadchurch. Miller is a cop in another town and she’s trying, unsuccessfully, to hold her family together. She’s living with the terrible consequences of her husband Joe’s [Matthew Gravelle] arrest [for Danny’s murder].

Do we learn more about the Sandbrook case, the unsolved murders of two young girls that haunted Hardy last season?

Yes. Hardy still has those demons. And the chickens will come home to roost!

Broadchurch, Season premiere March 4, 10/9c, BBC America