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Detective Inspector Alec Hardy is an experienced detective who recently arrived in Broadchurch, wanting a quiet life due to his scandal-tinged work history. He has difficulty dealing with Danny Latimer's murder because of his involvement in the failed Sandbrook murder case. He is the ex-husband of Tess Henchard and the father of Daisy Hardy.


In series 1, he led the investigation into the murder of Danny Latimer, having just arrived at Broadchurch. He also took the blame for a case failing previously in Sandbrook because key evidence was stolen from the car of his wife Tess Henchard. He is known to suffer from severe heart arrhythmia, of which he did not inform his superiors, until which Ellie Miller became aware and referred him to the Chief Medical Officer. Recently a pacemaker was successfully implanted and his health has improved. He has had an up and down friendship with his colleague DS Ellie Miller, whom he recruited to help him solve the Sandbrook case.

Between series 2 and 3, Hardy tries unsuccessfully to reunite his family in Sandbrook. After Daisy gets in trouble and starts fighting with Tess, Hardy moves back to Broadchurch, bringing her with him. He admits to her that he knows he's meant to live there.

In Series 3, Hardy and Miller are investigating the sexual assault of Trish Winterman at Axehampton during Cath Atwood's 50th birthday party.

Personal life and personality[]

Hardy is from Scotland which is evidenced by his accent and confirmed by Ellie Miller on one instance. Hardy has a heart disease which he keeps secret at first to continue on active duty. By the end of series one this secret is exposed and he temporarily has to step down. In series two he has surgery for a pacemaker and thus can return to his former job.

Throughout the series he is shown to be a skilled detective with a high level of dedication to the cases he is assigned. This dedication however proves to be a double-edged sword, as he borders to an unhealthy amount of obsession to solve cases which greatly affects his mental well-being. Furthermore, he can be overtly rude and short-tempered towards colleagues who nickname him "shit-face" in return behind his back.

His manner of detective work initially clashes hardly with his closest colleague, Ellie Miller, and the two are commonly arguing on how to proceed during investigations. However, as the series progresses the two learn to trust each other and begin to combine their individual strengths.

Given the fact that Hardy puts his work first most of the time, he has very poor social skills. Although it is clear from his reaction to Trish Winterman's assault and his drive to get justice for the Sandbrook and Danny Latimer cases that he has a deep sense of empathy towards victims, he struggles to express this and comes across as cold and uncaring.

He covered for his ex-wife when she made a crucial mistake during the Sandbrook case, thus ruining his career. He claims that this was to stop his daughter from having to know that about her mother, and also that it would have ruined Tess' career. This shows his dedication to and love for his family.

He doesn't like being addressed by his first name (the exception being his ex-wife) and return usually calls Miller by her last name even when invited to her house for dinner. The estranged relationship with his teenage daughter visibly saddens him yet he acts uncomfortable and awkward when trying to remain in contact; it is only at the end of series 3 that he gains more confidence as a father. His few romantic advances since his divorce are also shown to be clumsy and nervous.


Series 1 Series 2 Series 3