I am a huge Doctor Who fan and, of course, the Tenth Doctor will always be one of my favorites. I also watch a LOT of shows and it's hard to keep up sometimes with just those so I had heard David Tennant was in a show called Broadchurch but I did not watch it at that time. Then, I heard David Tennant was going to be in an American version of Broadchurch called Gracepoint. Still, I did not have a chance to watch a new show.
I eventually caught up on my shows, had a little downtime from work, and decided to watch Gracepoint (at this point, the whole first season had wrapped up). I was intrigued, captivated, and basically addicted and binge watching Gracepoint and I thought it was really good. When I did a search to see when the second season would start, I found out there wouldn't be a second season and I was like WHY???? I couldn't understand it because I thought it had been a great first season. Out of curiosity, I did a search on Broadchurch to see if there would be a second season of it and, sure enough, I saw that the second season was only a few weeks from beginning. I decided to go ahead and watch the first season of Broadchurch, thinking to myself that I already know the story but I needed to connect with the new characters before the second season began. I was totally wrong about already knowing what was going to happen.
For comparison purposes, Gracepoint would be a really good, juicy hamburger while Broadchurch would be a mouth-watering, delicious filet mignon. I was so impressed with Broadchurch and the actors, but not only that. The storyline was different in ways that totally made more sense to me and just worked SO much better! I now know why Gracepoint didn't get a second season.
There was almost word-for-word exact scripts between the two but the writers/producers/whoever tweaked the Americanized version for reasons completely unknown to me. If you have not watched either show and plan on it, don't read any further because I have major spoilers below.
Here's some examples. In Gracepoint, Mark did not like/was jealous of Paul, the reverend, because Paul and Beth had a high school fling and it kind of seemed like Paul was still interested in Beth. In Broadchurch, that is not the case at all and Mark sought out Paul's help and advise, even suggested Paul be Mark and Beth's marriage counselor.
Another example: The way Danny dies is different between the two shows. In Gracepoint, Tom follows his dad and while trying to protect Danny from his dad as Danny is running away from Joe, he accidentally hits Danny with an oar, killing him. In Broadchurch, Tom is not anywhere near the crime scene; Joe strangles Danny with his bare hands.
Some character personalities are also different. Let's take the reporter from the big city newspaper. In Gracepoint, it was Renee; Broadchurch, Karen. I loathed Renee. She seemed like what we all picture reporters to be: soulless and willing to do anything and destroy anyone for a story. Karen on the other hand, I found her to be caring, compassionate and driven for the family.
Another character who differed so dramatically between the two shows would be Susan Wright. In Gracepoint, she was creepy all right, but her character also seemed to be mentally impaired. Susan in Broadchurch is definitely not at all mentally impaired and she is scary as hell.
I'm not sure why the writers changed these things in the Americanized version but after watching both of them, Broadchurch is hands down the better show and I can't get enough of it. I keep reading negative reviews about it, such as David Tennant's Scottish accent has gotten thicker and that there are errors in the way the court proceedings are being presented.
First off, David Tennant is Scottish and I could listen to him talk all day long. He could read the phone book and I'd be enthralled. Second of all, it's a TV SHOW, not a documentary on how the British court system works. Do I care? Not at all. At this point, I just want to know if the jury found Joe Miller guilty or not guilty. I just finished watching Season 2, Episode 7, and it left me on the edge of my seat, totally hanging until next week to hear the verdict!
So, if you're one of those complaining about Season 2 of Broadchurch, please be my guest to go watch Season 1 of Gracepoint. You'll be a lot more grateful for Broadchurch after you do.