RICHARD ORD: Giving Broadchurch a break

David Tennant and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch. Copyright of ITV.
David Tennant and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch. Copyright of ITV.

TO the annoyance of my wife, I had pinpointed the child-murderer in the first series of the TV drama Broadchurch by the end of episode two.

It was easy really. I deduced that as just about everyone appeared to be under suspicion, the twist was probably going to be that it would be least-likely character wot done it.

The doting dad and husband of the investigating officer looked to me like the least-likely child-killer on screen. And I was spot on.

I don’t know which gave me the greater pleasure: getting it right or annoying the wife. Probably the former, since it’s so rare. The latter I do all the time without any conscious effort. Me just being there, is usually enough to annoy my missus.

The second series of Broadchurch is once again the talk of TV, but not as a case of who did the crime like in the first series (annoyingly, the writers appear to be working overtime to make my brilliant prediction a wrong one) but because of perceived inaccuracies.

TV inaccuracies are my wife’s stock-in-trade. Particularly when babies are involved.

“There’s no way that’s a new-born baby,” she’ll say when an actress playing the part of a mother cradles her supposed newborn. “That child’s at least three months old.”

And so it was that on Broadchurch, a child was born on-screen looking not a day under three months old.

But my wife wasn’t the only one. Twitter exploded with indignity over this and an expanding list of other Broadchurch ‘inaccuracies.’ It even made the national news agenda!

“Can’t Broadchurch Get Anything Right?” bellowed one national newspaper.

Now I love a blooper as much as the next man. Remember that Stormtrooper in Star Wars banging his head on a door frame in the Death Star?

Or what about James Bond’s car disappearing down an alley on two wheels, only to emerge on its other two wheels? They are classics.

Broadchurch’s bloopers aren’t in the same league, yet everyone’s moaning.

The oversize baby is a typical gripe. While it is clearly not a newborn baby, do viewers really expect the TV crew to pay for a pregnant woman to give birth in real life (and on cue) on the studio set?

Apparently yes.

But the complaints don’t end there. What about this one that had viewers in a tizzy?

In one scene, David Tennant, who plays the lead character, is seen discussing his food order with a waiter in Nando’s.

Twitter went mad: “You don’t get table service at Nando’s” … and the headlines raged again.

What’s wrong with everyone? It’s not real, it’s entertainment.

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells was even fuming about the intricacies of court proceedings that failed to be followed. Someone even complained that the judge’s wig was the wrong size!

What finally tipped me over the edge were the complainants who kicked off on spotting the make-up of the jury and court staff.

Fans, apparently, were bleating that you would be highly unlikely to see such a diverse courtroom – with a female Asian judge, a black woman defence counsel and a white female prosecution counsel.

The statistics were reeled out: “In 2010, 35% of barristers were women, and 10% were from ethnic minorities. Meanwhile in 2011, 22% of judges were women and 5% were from ethnic minorities.

“That makes the diversity likelihood of the Broadchurch trial a one in 7,000 occurrence.”

It’s either a slow news month or Britain is turning into nitpickers’ paradise.

Here’s one big blooper they missed. What are the chances of a child murder case being investigated by a copper who is the double of the 10th Doctor Who … and no-one even mentioning it?

If miserable viewers can’t suspend disbelief for a moment they want to keep their mouths shut or switch off TV dramas altogether and stick to true-life documentaries like Ross Kemp’s Extreme World and EastEnders.