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Why David is top of the cops

By Jane Graham

We've got used to seeing the battered, bloody cadavers of young women being cut up in the autopsy room on crime dramas, and though it rankles a tad after the 50th corpse, some shows are so compelling I must admit, I keep watching anyway.

Intrigue, fear, grim-faced cops haunted by their failed marriages – crime and TV go together like Ant 'n' Dec. But this week we saw a different approach to the cop show – how touching and thought-provoking to view the beautifully written and supremely acted Broadchurch.

No stomach-churning close-ups of broken bodies, no flashbacks of brutal attacks – the first episode wasn't even about cops, but about pain and loss and parents' inability to cope with the slow-motion assault on their senses triggered by the news of a child's death. Created by the team behind the equally haunting Busby Babes drama United, this sets a new bar for grown-up TV thrillers. It even comes with a free, extra-grizzled David Tennant. Bravo.

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