|Air date||4 March 2013|
|Written by||Chris Chibnall|
|Directed by||James Strong|
The quiet seaside town of Broadchurch is left shocked and lost for words by the murder of local schoolboy 11-year-old Danny Latimer. DI Alec Hardy and DS Ellie Miller begin their investigation of the murder.
It's nighttime in the seaside Dorset town of Broadchurch, and a boy is seen standing at the top of a cliff with blood dripping from his hands. Beth Latimer wakes late to find her family already up and having breakfast. She notices her son Danny’s lunch is still on the counter in the kitchen. As her husband Mark Latimer heads off to work, he greets people on his way, including Ellie Miller and her family, who have just returned from a three-week holiday in Florida. Eventually Mark is picked up by his colleague Nige Carter, who asks him what he did the night before. Mark refuses to tell.
Back at work with the Wessex police, Ellie learns from her boss CS Elaine Jenkinson that the job she was promised has gone to DI Alec Hardy, a detective infamous for his work on the Sandbrook murders. Hardy is out investigating a siphoning of diesel from a tractor when he gets the message that the Coastguard has reported something by the shore. Beth learns that Danny has not turned up at his school's sports day, and calls Jack Marshall who tells her Danny did not show up for his paper round. At the beach under the Harbour Cliffs, Alec and Ellie meet for the first time over the body of Danny Latimer. Beth arrives at the beach and notices the body has the same shoes as Danny, before she is dragged away by the police.
SOCO Brian Young informs Alec and Ellie that there are no signs Danny fell, but was probably placed on the beach so it would appear he had an accident. Oliver Stevens, Ellie’s nephew and journalist for the Broadchurch Echo, tries to squeeze information from them. Alec and Ellie inform the Latimer family the dead boy is Danny. Mark goes with Ellie to the Broadchurch Cottage Hospital and confirms that the body is Danny's.
Alec and Miller question Jack, the local news vendor who assumed Danny was sick for his paper round. At the pier CS Jenkinson questions if Alec is the right for the job after Sandbrook; he tells her he is. The pathologist reveals that the cause of Danny’s death was asphyxiation. He was strangled, most likely by a man with large hands, and was facing his killer when he died. Later, Olly Stevens sees Danny’s sister, Chloe Latimer, with her boyfriend Dean Thomas, put a stuffed toy at the beach and guesses that the identity of the victim is Daniel Latimer. He tweets this information.
In London, Daily Herald journalist Karen White convinces her boss, Len Danvers, to let her go to Broadchurch to follow the case. Alec Hardy is staying at The Traders Hotel, and owner Becca Fisher informs him two people want to talk to him; Olly Stevens has been brought there by his editor Maggie Radcliffe to apologize. At home, Ellie tells her son, Danny’s friend, Tom Miller, about Danny’s death. Tom then deletes texts from Danny on his phone and all files on his laptop.
At the police station, DI Alec Hardy is preparing to go to a media briefing. Ellie shows him CCTV footage from the night Danny died; Danny was not kidnapped, but snuck out in the middle of night with his skateboard. The skateboard was not at the crime scene nor at the Latimer home. Later, at the media briefing, DI Alec Hardy sends a message to the killer and the community: "We will catch whoever did this.”
- Daniel Latimer dies in this episode.
- In Chris Chibnall’s first draft of the episode the last scene was Tom Miller deleting files from his computer. They changed it to Alec Hardy’s speech, feeling it would provide a stronger ending, and better a cliffhanger.
- Alec Hardy and Ellie Miller are talking about the investigations near the harbor. Ellie wonders why Alec was so silent during a questioning; Alec tells Ellie he thought she asked good questions.
- Chloe Latimer is home with Beth and Mark Latimer and Liz Roper. She convinces her parents to let her go out to buy milk at the shop; she says she needs some fresh air.
- Beth Latimer is looking outside through as window in her house.
- Ellie checks in on Tom Miller as while is sleeping, after she leaves Tom opens his eyes revealing he was only pretending to sleep.
- Ellie arrives home in the middle of the night; Tom is sitting on the stairs. Ellie asks why he still is up, and Tom asks her to tell him what is happening.