AFTER David Tennant and Olivia Colman graced our screens on Monday night, I believe I heard a collective sigh of relief across the nation.

Back for a final third season, Broadchurch, a show that gripped viewers with its whodunnit structure, returned to our TVs in fine form.

Despite a disappointing second series that left many deflated - following the same storyline as season one but this time taking place in the courtroom - Monday night's offering looked promising.

DI Alec Hardy (Tennant) and DC Ellie Miller (Colman) have a new case to solve in their small Dorset community. Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh, from Coronation Street fame) is the victim of a sexual assault.

Processing the shock of what has happened whilst slowly piecing together what she remembers, DI Hardy and DC Miller nonetheless manage to ascertain that the crime was committed at her friend Cath's 50th birthday party a few nights previous.

The first episode takes a steady pace as the detectives attempt to piece together what happened. The audience are also introduced to old and new characters within the community.

Beth Latimer (Jodie Whittaker) is attempting to move on with her life, finding new purpose in a job which uses her harrowing experience to help women in need.

Trish's best friend and colleague Cath (Sarah Parish) brings another well respected actress to the fore, who is likely to feature prominently. Married to high school sweetheart Jim, eagle eyed viewers may have spotted cracks in their long-held marriage. The store where Cath and Trish work is owned by Ed, played by Lenny Henry.

The first episode has successfully set up encouraging signs of a good season to come. Shining a light on the sensitive subject of violence again women, it's an issue in need of positive portrayals.

Broadchurch writer, Chris Chibnall, said: "We've spent the time since the series was last on air researching and developing this story. Myself and script executive Samantha Hoyle have worked closely with support organisations in the Dorset area who work with victims of sexual assault.

"These extraordinary people have advised us every step of the way: from storylining, to scripts, on set during production and through the post production process."

The second episode will air on Monday night at 9pm on ITV.