BROADCHURCH
Olivia Colman and David Tennant and DIs Miller and Hardy in BroadchurchITV

Broadchurch is basically Britain's version of True Detective - a dark and beautifully-shot crime drama with wonderful acting from its two leads (but one in particular), only with Matthew McConaughey's cosmic ramblings replaced with Olivia Colman's tried and tested knack for looking unfathomably sad.

It has been nearly two years since it first gripped the nation, and tonight (5 January) series two promises to do the same as we return to the sleepy Dorset town to unearth even more of its dark secrets.

A second series was inevitable given the huge success of Chris Chibnall's murder mystery; inevitable, but not exactly logical. How exactly can such a series continue without devolving into the formulaic approach of shows it served as a refreshing break from?

Before the murder of Danny Latimer, the idyllic seaside town of Broadchurch only ever concerned itself with idyllic seaside town crimes: littering, mild vandalism, tourists standing on things they shouldn't be standing on, etc.

Part of the show's appeal was in seeing the quiet, unassuming locals torn apart by grief, suspicion and media scrutiny. That appeal won't be easily replicated.

The assumption when series one ended with the promise of a return was that it would concern a new mystery and another murder. The fear was that suddenly the setting would become littered with criminals, and before long we'd have another Midsomer – a place with an out-of-whack murderer-to-milkman ratio.

Those fears have been alleviated as ITV has offered up a look at the new series. Nobody has seen the first episode (there were no advanced screenings for press) so the true nature of the show's new direction isn't known – but the trailer tells us plenty.

WARNING: Spoilers for series one follow...

Most of the cast are returning, including lead detectives Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) and the parents of murdered boy Danny, Beth Latimer (Jodie Whittaker) and Mark (Andrew Buchan).

This would indicate the Latimers' heavy involvement in whatever unfolds, and that we'll see the fallout of Ellie discovering that her husband Joe (Matthew Gravelle, not confirmed to return) murdered Danny Latimer.

Show creator Chibnall has said little about the new series and plot details have been kept secret even from the cast (they filmed multiple endings too so only a handful know what happens), but he has said that series two will feature a "very different story".

The Radio Times might also have found evidence from the trailer that the new series may focus on the Sandbrook case that ruined Detective Hardy's career when a crucial piece of evidence went missing (a piece of evidence apparently seen in the trailer).

Series two trailers have also carried the line, "The end is where it begins," indicating further that it will pick very shortly after where series one left us.

Our guess? Series two will concern the trial of Joe Miller for Danny's murder, where Detective Hardy's police work will be called into question due to his past mistakes.

This would mean a new series about two cases we already know of, eliminating the fear of a new murder mystery but still keeping that series one intrigue alive. It certainly has our hopes up that Broadchurch will continue to cut its own path as Britain's number one crime drama.

Broadchurch airs tonight on ITV1 at 9pm.