I'm dedicating today’s WCW post to an incredible (fictional) woman: DS Ellie Miller of Wessex Police, brilliantly portrayed by Olivia Colman on Broadchurch.
When we watched the first season of Broadchurch, I was surprisingly more obsessed with Ellie Miller than I was with Alec Hardy (I didn't fall in love with David Tennant until I started season two). She is the strong, multi-faceted female character we all need in our lives.
Ellie is a mother, but she's also a career woman with ambitions. She was the one gunning for Hardy’s position (and was furious when he was brought in instead) and, as she pointed out a handful of times in the third season, she worked hard to get to where she is today, to be treated with respect and equality as a woman in a mostly male police force.
She's obviously smart and observant, and it's telling that the notoriously grumpy Hardy looks to her for help and support. Their relationship is similar to my favourite Doctor/Companion relationship in that she gives him grief when he's being rude, and she harbours no attraction to him (again, I wonder if she can see his face because damn, David) so there's no awkward sexual tension. Plus sometimes she gets sassy, and I love it.
For all her cold clinical view of a case, Ellie is still an emotional creature. I say it all the time, but her reaction at the end of season one is absolutely heartbreaking and so realistic. During the rape investigation, she's appropriately horrified and disgusted by the suspects, even breaking down when they finally find out whodunit because she's so invested in helping the victims. And you don’t want to mess with Ellie: she might seem sweet but when her buttons are pushed, she can be terrifying.
I also like that Ellie is constantly eating - or, at least, trying to eat before her boss interrupts her - because it makes her seem a lot more down to earth and relatable, because yeah, I like food too. And can I just talk about how Ellie, unlike stereotypical cops on American shows, is too classy to just shove a doughnut in her mouth and call it a day? Nah, our girl snacks on a Scotch egg which is amazing on so many levels.
So while I’ll mostly miss seeing David Tennant rant in his Scottish accent, I’ll also really miss watching Olivia Colman deliver such a nuanced performance. But I guess I’ll just have to watch all the other things she’s done (next on my list: The Night Manager).