Category Archives: The Bay

The Bay season 4: ITV confirms start of production

ITV has confirmed series four of The Bay has started production.

Furthermore, the channel has also released early plotlines.

The fourth series sees Marsha Thomason reprise her role as Morecambe CID’s Family Liaison Officer, DS Jenn Townsend. Marsha stars alongside series regulars Daniel Ryan, Erin Shanagher, Thomas Law and Andrew Dowbiggin. The series also sees the return of Barry Sloane, Georgia Scholes, David Carpenter and Emme Haynes.
In terms of plot, ITV says: “When young mum of four, Beth Metcalf, dies in what seems to be a targeted attack, Morecambe’s MIU team are called to the scene. Jenn immediately realises this shattered family will need every support available to them.  Bereft husband Dean finds himself at sea. Numb from shock and completely unprepared for being the sole carer to his four children he struggles at every turn – unable to process what’s happened.
“As Jenn, Manning, and the team dig deeper into the case, they discover secrets and lies lurk beneath every surface.
Joining the new series as guest cast are Joe Armstrong as Dean Metcalf. Claire Goose joins playing Chris Fischer’s ex-wife Jacqui, along with Ian Puleston-Davies, Karl Davies and Christopher Coghill. Tom Taylor, Eloise Thomas, Will Oldfield and Ella Smith will star as the Metcalf’s four children.

More news as we get it.


ITV confirms The Bay has been recommissioned

ITV procedural The Bay is getting a fourth series, following the success of series three’s reboot.

The third series saw Marsha Thomason join as Morecambe CID’s new Family Liaison Officer, DS Jenn Townsend, alongside regular cast Daniel Ryan, Erin Shanagher, Thomas Law and Andrew Dowbiggin.

ITV’s head of drama, Polly Hill, says: “I’m delighted that we will be returning to Morecambe for another series of The Bay.

“Marsha Thomason delivered a brilliant performance as DS Jenn Townsend, and it will be exciting to see where Daragh takes her character in series four.” 

Filming begins later this year on the new series with further casting news to be announced. 

The Bay: Why has Morven Christie quit the show?

Series two of ITV crime drama, The Bay, is edging towards its climax.

The series stars Morven Christie as Family Liaison Officer (FLO) Lisa Armstrong, but Christie shocked fans earlier this week when the channel announced that she would not be returning for the already commissioned third series.

Marsha Thomason will join the regular cast as Morecambe CID’s new FLO, DS Jenn Townsend, following Christie’s decision to leave the show. 

Morven Christie in The Bay (Credit: ITV)

Executive producer Catherine Oldfield said: “Daragh [Carville] and I couldn’t be more delighted by the audience response to The Bay. That ITV have recommissioned the show is fantastic and to get a talent as bright and brilliant as Marsha to lead the new series is beyond exciting.  We can’t wait to get back to Morecambe to start filming again in that beautiful part of the world.”

But the question on everyone’s lips is: why did Morven Christie leave The Bay?

Could this be a clue as to why Morven Christie left The Bay?

On her Instagram account, Morven paid tribute to co-star Taheen Modak, whose charater – DC Med Kharim – was killed off in episode four.

Christie captioned the image of her co-star: “Day one til the end. So honoured to have spent my 2 seasons on The Bay with this guy, from fresh out of college to smashing it like an old pro.

“My partner, my pal, this big souled lil king.

“They should never have let you go, but that’s for another day. Now you get to go build your kingdom -and I’m right behind you pal. We did it.”

Could this be a clue as to why Christie quit the show, that she was unhappy writers killed off her co-star’s character? It’s unlikely but her comments certainly

What did the producers say?

In a statement, the producers of the show said: “The show’s producers thank Morven for her brilliant contribution to The Bay and wish her every success for the future. 

“While the DNA of the show remains the same, the change of lead offers up the exciting opportunity to place a new character at the centre of the drama and explore the world of Morecambe from a fresh perspective.”

We contacted Morven’s reps for comment.


REVIEW The Bay (S2 E5/6)

The penultimate episode of the second series of The Bay really focused on family issues – the of the Lisa and her relationship with her errant ex, Andy, the Marshbrooks, and the relationship between DI Tony Manning and his wife.

The Bay has always tried to strike the balance between the family drama and the case investigation, and for the most part it’s managed to maintain a good balance between the two. However, here there was a definite shift towards the families – the fractures, the rivalries and the unresolved and unaired feelings.

Lisa and Andy were getting closer, but there was always the sneaking suspicion that he was still a leopard who hadn’t changed his sports. And by the end of this episode, it looked for all the world that his old ways were coming to the fore. Movingly, we also saw the end of DI Ryan’s marriage, and he didn’t take this break-up well – he ended up in a pub after his wife told him that there was no way back and drank himself into a stupor.

The Marshbrooks and the Bradwells, too, had a reckoning of sorts. Some people will be screaming “about time, too” because their saga has been a protracted one, with plenty of red herrings and dead ends.

At the end of episode four, Madeleine was revealed as the mystery woman Stephen Marshbrook was illicitly meeting at the local hotel, and she dropped the bombshell that she was Oliver’s birth mother. We saw in this episode how Rose was coping with the news. Of course, she knew about Madeleine but was determined to keep hold of Oliver, as was patriarch, Bill.

Later, Bill was revealed to be Company Secretary of Breakwater, the dodgy property firm that looked as though it was a front for producing drugs and laundering money. The MD of the company – and the man who Bill signed the contracts with – had actually died some years before. This made Bill Bradwell this episode’s red herring – he looked for all the world to be involved somehow.

It was later revealed that Bill signed that contract because the family business was going under and he needed the money – whoever was offering it to him.

He innocent. Culpable yes, but innocent.

(It should also be mentioned that Ryan was rumbled during the interview with Bill because he was using evidence illegally procured (remember a few episodes back when he said to hell with it and took a look at the memory stick Lyn had given them?). Ryan, who got a kicking from the visiting Manchester police, now needed a witness to come forward to officially corroborating this evidence to make it stick.)

But soon there was a break in the case (thank god). A random traffic offence picked up the man who shot Stephen Marshbrook. Game on.

It all went by in whirl, and the anticipation of finding out what had really happened hung heavy in the air. Finally, the Marshbrooks were off the hook. A model family they were not, but did one of them kill one of their own? It’s a likely no.

So who’s to blame? Who hired the killer that we saw sitting in police detention at the end of the episode? We’ll find out next week…

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.





The Bay: Morven Christie quits ITV crime drama, Marsha Thomason hired as replacement

Morven Christie has quit ITV crime drama, The Bay.

The 39-year-old actress will not reprise her role in series three, which is expected to start filming this spring.

Marsha Thomason will join the regular cast as Morecambe CID’s new Family Liaison Officer, DS Jenn Townsend.

DS Townsend is immediately thrown into the deep end when a body is found in the bay on her first day in the job. She must get under the skin of a grieving and complicated family if she has any chance of solving the premature death of an aspiring young boxer. While she’s eager to give the family answers, she also needs to prove herself as the team’s newest recruit. The pressure is multiplied when her new blended family struggle to settle in Morecambe, proving to Jenn that a fresh start might not be as simple as moving to a different town.

Reprising their roles are Daniel Ryan, Erin Shanagher, Thomas Law and Andrew Dowbiggin.


REVIEW The Bay (S2 E4/6)

We’re into the final three episodes of the British crime drama, so where are.

Stephen Marshbrook, a local lawyer, was assassinated on his doorstep in front of his young son, Oliver, during a family barbecue. The shooter had tattoos and had links to Eastern Europe. The Marshbrook, meanwhile, family is full of secrets – his father Bill and brother Mark were had burnt papers purporting to a deal with the Breakwater property company at the barbecue. Breakwater has been found to be a front for some dodgy properties.

The deceased has also been revealed to be a philanderer who was meeting women behind his wife Rose’s back in a hotel.

At the end of the last episode, we saw Med investigate some Breakwater leads on his own. His probing led to a hit-and-run accident, where the driver – just to make sure he had finished the job – ran Med over again. The big question was: did Med survive?

Sadly, he did not and the emotion of the incident was very well handled. We really got to see what losing a colleague and a friend was all about, and the whole team was both dumbfounded, shocked and distraught at the young FLO’s death. However, looking at the choice to kill off Med from an objective angle, it was an interesting development. Lisa and Med had a close, but quite a territorial relationship – Med was the young upstart, Lisa is the main woman. As a character, Med has been more or less used to make Lisa look good, so his death means that Lisa can now be that top dog on the team.

Another development in this episode saw the emergence of a team from Manchester come to Morecambe to investigate Med’s death. The home team were tasked with concentrating on the Marshbrook case, while they would attempt to find out what happened to Med. And, as you would’ve guessed, the two teams look headed for a clash – especially as the Manchester lot began to question Morecambe’s operational processes (and with good reason – how many times have you asked during The Bay why only one or two characters seem to be doing everything?)

We also got to see who the mystery woman who had been meeting Stephen Marshbrook at the hotel: it was a woman called Madeleine, who claimed to be Oliver’s birth mother.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3 out of 5.




REVIEW The Bay (S2 E3/6)

With episode three of this pedestrian British crime, we’re approaching the half-way stage of the series, and the hope was that it would begin to really get going.

Thanks to a purely join-the-dots plot – which investigated the assassination of Morecambe lawyer Stephen Marshbrook – and some added-on domestic strife for lead character, family liaison office Lisa Armstrong means that it seems to be following a well-worn and well-trodden path.

But, there’s a mystery to solve – that of the murder of Stephen Marshbrook – so series two of The Bay is just about worth watching.

We know that the Marshbrook family is dodgy in some way and there are certainly skeletons in their closets. That much has been heavily signposted so far, and in this third episode we get more on their fractured relationships. Stephen was a bit of a sod and philanderer, according to sister-in-law Stella, while her husband and Stephen’s brother Mark isn’t a happy chappy because he was passed up for promotion and had his suspicions about Stephen. Then there are the children – it turns out Jamie didn’t get on with this dad and wasn’t actually travelling when the murder took place (he disappeared before the end of the episode), while estranged daughter Grace revealed the real reason she ran away (she took the rap for her brother and was cast out).

So the Marshbrook sage bubbles on, and i have to say it’s a bit… average, really.

The really big development in this episode was Breakwater – a property project that the Marshbrooks were involved in. Thanks to some digging by Med he found out that this ‘company’ was selling properties for way more than what they’re worth. And when he did some more digging – actually visiting some of these properties – he seemed to touch a nerve.

So much so, an unknown assailant ran him over… then ran him over again to finish the job. So who did this? Was he part of a larger group of people in cahoots with the Marshbrooks or working against them?

And will Med survive?

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3 out of 5.



REVIEW The Bay (S2 E2/6)

Here we go then for episode two of The Bay (if you’re in the UK and want to binge it all, you can do so on the ITV Hub), a series that wasn’t an obvious choice for a second run.

We saw in the opening episode family liaison officer Lisa Armstrong investigate a new case, that of the assassination-style murder of lawyer and family man Stephen Marshbrook.

It was pretty obvious that as Lisa and the team looked into the Marshbrooks and their family firm, the more simmering rivalries and secrets they would find. And so it proved.

However, things began with Lisa trying to tactfully glean more information from Marshbrook’s young son Oliver, still in shock after witnessing his father’s murder. He managed to reveal a new clue – there was a boy on a bike watching the house as the so-called delivery man shot Marshbrook on his doorstep. Except it wasn’t a boy. Thanks to some CCTV footage, the team established that it was a young girl on a bike who had taken the murder weapon and dumped it.

When they caught up with her, she turned out to be a teenage foster kid, and a sassy one at that.

Elsewhere, one of the staff at Marshbrook’s came forward with a memory stick with all of Stephen’s work files on. However, after a procedurally dodgy look at what was on there by DI Manning, it was established some were missing. And when sister-in-law Stella told Lisa that Stephen Marshbrook’s wife had had it hard with Stephen and inferred he was regularly playing away, it was game on.

And then at the end of the episode the team found out that Marhsbrook had hired another lawyer to go through the firm’s accounts on the down-low because he suspected a member of his family was stealing, it was definitely game on.

In fact, this The Bay really is a series of ‘and thens’, sometimes punctuated by Lisa’s homelife woes (she and her teenage kids were dealing with the return of her ex and their father, Andy, who wanted to be a part of their lives again). We saw bouts of questioning of suspects by Lisa (who had, it seemed, suddenly reclaimed her rightful spot as family liaison officer of choice), and of course, she got everything pretty much right when her colleagues and even bosses didn’t.

Her questioning techniques seem to centre around matey chats with suspects or people connected to the case, asking them sneaky questions and whenever they say something leading, responding by “what did you mean by that?”

It is hugely formulaic and join-the-dots and, at the moment, entirely predictable, but The Bay is still strangely engaging – the seaside setting, Morven Christie’s lead performance, the folksy northernness and the deeper conspiracy at play all add up to a solid watch.

However, it’s safe to say it’s best to go in with low expectations, switch off and enjoy it for what it is.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3 out of 5.


REVIEW The Bay (S2 E1/6)

If I’m being totally honest, I really didn’t think the world needed another series of The Bay, ITV’s tale of family liaison officer Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie) based in the north-England seaside town of Morecambe.

It’s not to say series one was bad, but its central premise (that Armstrong had had a one-off sexual dalliance with the prime suspect in a double-murder case that she had kept quiet about) was one procedural stretch too far.

So a second series was a surprise, but here we are.

All that being said, this second run certainly started in explosive and violent fashion.

At a family barbecue to celebrate Bill Bradwell’s retirement (played by James Cosmo), daughter Rose (Sharon Small) and son-in-law Stephen (Stephen Tompkinson) got things going in the garden. With guests enjoying the balmy weather and the coastal setting, there was a knock on the door. The Marshbrook’s young son Oliver opened the door, where a delivery man asked specifically for Stephen. When he came to the door, the delivery man pulled out a gun fitted with a silencer and pulled the trigger.

So the question is this: who would assassinate a seemingly normal man, from a normal family?

(It’s an odd thing to hire an actor of Tompkinson’s experience and status and then kill him off within the first five minutes, so I’m guessing he will pop up in flashbacks.)

On the case straight away is the family liaison team of Lisa and Med (Taheen Modak), but because of events from the last series, Lisa is sidelined and not trusted. However, as we all could probably guess, she begins to get more and more involved in the case and challenge Med’s inexperience. Alongside the case, we see Lisa’s chaotic home life (she’s had to downgrade and move house) and meet her two teenage children (who got into all sorts of predictable trouble in series one), and then her estranged ex-partner turns up out of the blue.

However, it’s the case that is taking up all of Lisa’s time and energy (again).

The Marshbrooks run a family solicitor firm, once headed up by Bill, and now staffed by Stephen and Rose, with Rose’s brother Mark (Shetland’s Steve Robertson) also working there (but not a partner). Stephen and Rose have two more kids, including estranged Grace.

So what’s going with this family? And was a there a case that they were involved with that has now come back to haunt them? (It certainly seemed that way when company papers were found in the barbecue. Did Stephen and/or Bill want to get rid of something?)

There are a lot of characters here and it feels like this series is going to wring every last drop of suspicion out of them. That’s fine, but at the moment the question is this: has episode one done enough to want us to process all of them, become emotionally invested in this story and see it through to the end?

I think it has, and a good-old whodunit may be just what we need at the moment.

Paul Hirons

Rating: 3 out of 5.


Series two of The Bay airs in the UK on ITV, with all episodes available on ITV Hub

ITV announces transmission date for season two of The Bay

Series two of British crime drama The Bay now has a transmission date.

The series, which stars Morven Christie as a police family liaison officer, is only just around the corner.

After dealing with the repercussions of her actions from last year, DC Lisa Armstrong is given the opportunity to step up when asked to assist a murder investigation in Morecambe. 

A new case involving a shocking murder within a loving family brings Lisa unexpectedly back into the front line. She must get under the skin of a new family and prove her worth; to her colleagues, to her family and to herself.

Also set to join the cast for series two is Joe Absolom, James Cosmo, Stephen Tomkinson, Sharon Small, Sunetra Sarker, Owen McDonnell, Steven Robertson, Amy James-Kelly, Kerrie Taylor, Wendy Kweh, Julia Haworth and Jack Archer.

The Bay (series two): From Wednesday 20th January, 9pm, ITV