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The making of Broadchurch

Chapter Text

Things were getting quiet in the Dorset town of Broadchurch. The residents had come to terms with what had happened, the trial was over of the case of murdered schoolboy Danny Latimer and the person responsible had been found not guilty and been sentenced instead by those involved, his wife for one and had been banished to live in Sheffield, not that Ellie Miller thought the northern city deserved to have him but at short notice, it was all Paul Coates could arrange where someone was willing to take him.

After the trial, Ellie Miller had gone back to the family home, made up with Beth Latimer and got her old job back at Broadchurch Police Station, minus her grumpy old boss, where he had got to, no-one knew but she had been refused the promotion, under the circumstances and the job had already gone to another female officer from Exeter, DI Diane Carter and Ellie hated her more than she had done Hardy. That was three months ago, it was now approaching July, almost a year since Danny's death and his parents and their friends were planning a celebration of his short life by having a 'Fun' day on the beach and it had attracted a lot of attention.

Famous personalities had agreed to give their time to entertain the expected crowds along with a famous band and two female singers to appear in the evening and all proceeds were going to local charities. So two days before all this was due to start, a niggling feeling came over Alec Hardy in his new office at another division in the South Mercia Police Force when he saw the event advertised and decided he would take the weekend off and take his daughter Daisy down.

So he had called Becca Fisher who still had some rooms but Daisy had backed out just as he made the booking so he decided to go on his own. He left his new apartment just outside Sandbrook and made the journey down arriving late Friday afternoon and booked into the hotel.

''Hello Alec, can't stay away then?'' Becca asked as he signed the register.

''Thought I would just come and check it out, see how the town had moved on, no harm in that is there?''

''Does Ellie know you're back?''

''Should she? Why would she be bothered I'm back? She's getting on with her life. What about you and the vicar?''

''Big mistake, we broke up when I found out he had been visiting Joe Miller, I mean I know it was his job but maybe he was the reason Joe changed his mind?''

''Maybe. Right, I'll go find my room then, see you at dinner?''

''Oh by the way, you might be interested to know that I was talking to Maggie and she's heard rumours a TV producer is interested in making a programme about Danny's death and the investigation.''

''Seriously? Can't they leave the town alone to get on with things? Even I had the decency to leave town after the trial fiasco.''

''Well nothing's for certain and if they do, I'm sure they'll consult with Ellie and the new DI that took over from you. I heard she was not pleased when you hauled in that woman about the Sandbrook murders and interviewed her with Ellie, then let South Mercia Police haul her off. Is that where you went?''

''I'm not admitting to anything, how do I know you've not taken up with Olly Stevens?''

Becca laughed. ''I don't baby snatch Detective Inspector Hardy. You did get re-instated then?''

''Yes, I seemed to have redeemed myself with solving two cases and they took me back. I've just come down to pay my respects and show my support to the Latimers, I'll be gone on Sunday night.''

So Saturday was a roaring success, people came from all over the country and the beach was packed, the food vendors couldn't keep up and the local businesses had flourished. Alec had sought out Ellie and her two boys and spent the afternoon on the beach with them even though it wasn't his 'Thing' listening to entertainers and loud music blaring. Kids were going around all dressed up with collecting buckets and he was upset he'd given twice when two young girls insisted he gave them something each.

Ellie had told him to stop complaining and Tom had laughed. They had met up with the Latimers later in the day and Beth thanked him for attending. Afterwards, Ellie invited him back to her house and they ordered a takeaway.

''So how's the new DI then?'' Alec asked, picking at his food.

''Ok, she's just as much a misery as you were. Why don't you come back?''

''To carry on making you miserable? You'd really want that?''

''I don't work very well with other women, it brings out the worst in me.''

''I could have told you working with any DI brings out the worst in you Miller. I heard something interesting from Becca Fisher when I checked in. She said Maggie had told her some idiotic producer or whatever wanted to make a TV programme, about what happened here.''

''Really, I don't know anything about it, no-one has said anything to me. I'd best look into it then. If that's true, they'll have to consult with Mark and Beth and with us. They'll need permits from the town council to film here, how long do you think they've been planning that then?''

''How would I know Miller? You're the one that lives here now. Is that blue chalet still empty?''

''You're not serious are you? You hated it there.''

''Only because it was next to the river and now I've got justice for Pippa and Lisa, I could live with it. I might see about a transfer back.''

While everyone had been celebrating Danny's life on Broadchurch beach, Rose Tyler, stepdaughter of the President of the Vitex Corporation and head of Torchwood had been contemplating an offer for a part in a new eight part drama series set in a small Dorset town about a young boy who had been murdered there. Rose had left Torchwood after only six months of being on Pete's world and had enrolled at drama school, inspired by her favourite actor in both universes and had already appeared in several films, nothing spectacular and several TV series and one-off plays.

While she had her own place in a better area of London, when she wasn't filming somewhere, she loved spending time with her family and her young step brother but she had been disappointed she had never got to play opposite the actor who she had followed since she could remember him in a TV series about a detective in a northern seaside resort though she had briefly met him at awards ceremonies when he actually handed one to her for a best supporting actress award and when he had shaken her hand and kissed her cheek, she hadn't washed her face or her hand for a week and had the photo framed.

She had narrowly missed out on a role playing opposite him a few years back about a man with a young family whose wife had died but she had gone on to become successful non the less and now, she only had to accept this latest part as she had already been chosen, it being said she was perfect to star in a detective drama series after her last role, the only thing she wasn't so sure about was the leading actor.

Emmett Carver was also considering the latest role offered to him by an British company wanting him to appear in a British production which was too similar for his liking to his last role, having spent five months in Canada on a small island, he'd only had two months off and was enjoying being able to shave his beard off again, well when he felt like it anyway and wondered why it hadn't been offered to the Scottish actor he'd heard could be his double but he supposed the said actor may have other commitments. He also noted that the similarities were intentional, until he learned it was going to be written by the same writer and the production company was the counterpart to the one he had just worked for.

He thought it might actually all come together quite well and since was hardly known in Great Britain, now was his chance to remedy that. The actually cinch though was the leading lady, Rose Tyler herself, that was worth the risk of travelling thousands of miles and spending three months or so filming opposite her. She was young, she was smart and very attractive and he had heard she had a 'Thing' for his Scottish counterpart. Well if he wasn't available since he was apparently already married, it was Emmett Carver's gain and the other actor's loss.


So getting back to his new place of work, Alec Hardy went in to see his boss.

''I'd like to transfer back to Broadchurch.''

''Really? I thought you couldn't wait to get away from there?''

''Something's come up and I know the DI who replaced me can't wait to get out of there since she didn't want to go there in the first place so what about it?''

''Why the sudden interest Alec?''

''I have my reasons and you didn't want me here to start with, so I heard. What about a swap?''

''I'd have to talk to Jenkinson about it, see if she actually wants you back.''

''Well since DS Miller complains more about my replacement at every opportunity than she did when I was there, I think the CS there will be only too happy to oblige. So will you do it?''

Two weeks later, Alec was leaving his apartment of only a few months, never really settling there and had got his blue chalet back, well sort of. His worst fears had come true and the film production company was coming to town and the owner of the chalet had been asked if they could rent it for a few days filming, offering to pay for Alec to be put up at a hotel a few yards away for the duration and it would only be for two days at the most on two different occasions when filming called for scenes there.

Now it was becoming more apparent to him the lead character in this ridiculous drama was going to be based on him and pitied the actor who was going to play the part. It was still all quite hush-hush, he had only got to know as his chalet was being used for filming. So the town saw the arrival of a fleet of hire vans at the end of August but pre-production staff had already arrived in the town, securing accommodation for the stars and supporting cast, renting empty buildings including the old offices of The Broadchurch Echo, which was being renamed The Broadchurch Journal and Becca Fisher had been approached to film inside the hotel and use the exterior which pleased her since the two leading actors had been booked in under assumed names as it was all being kept quiet.

Emmett Carver had been sent his travel plans, he was to arrive two days before filming commenced and rehearsals were being rushed but he was looking forward to being able to practice his English accent but just before he set off, he was dismayed to find out he would have to use a Scottish one, one he hadn't prepared for so Alec Hardy had found himself being contacted to meet with the actor and coach him since the production company couldn't get hold of another native speaker.

Alec had been amused to say the least and reluctantly agreed but that was the only co-operation he was going to give, big American TV star or not, especially when he learned the actor actually looked like him, well slightly Alec thought when they eventually met but he still thought they could have got that Scottish one to play the part and save him the trouble. He still didn't know who was going to play the part of Miller though he imagined there must be an actress somewhere that looked like her.

A week before everyone else was meant to arrive and just two days before Emmett Carver was due to arrive, Alec and Ellie were sitting in his old office discussing it since the chief had put them in charge of seeing nothing went wrong, especially as they were using the exterior of the station and had been told the name on everything was going to be changed, including their sign. The production company had everything in hand, to change signs, do the filming and change them back and since a lot of filming was being done in another town, there would be a minimum of fuss.

''I can't believe how everything's been arranged for this,'' Ellie mentioned as they were looking through the plans. ''And you have to teach someone how to talk with a Scottish accent? You're a fine one to teach anyone Alec, you always mumble your way through everything.''

''Thanks for that Miller, that's a real ego booster. It wasn't my idea but since they are compensating me for throwing me out of my chalet, they thought they may as well ask me to coach that actor as well. That will be my contribution to the events, if he thinks I'm giving him lessons on being a detective, he can think again.''

Ellie smiled. ''So who is he then?''

''How would I know? He's coming to town early, I meet him at The Traders tomorrow night. I heard that actress who's playing the part of you arrives a few days later. Any ideas?''

''Well there are a few I'd like it to be, Rose Tyler for one.''

''Her? Talk about boosting someone's ego.''

''Thanks for that Alec, there's nothing wrong with wishful thinking. I bet the part goes to someone we've never even heard of. Who do you want to play the part of you?''

''Someone with a Scottish accent so I don't have to teach that American actor to talk like me, now that's wishful thinking Miller.''