The Bay (TV series)
|Created by||Daragh Carville|
|Written by||Daragh Carville|
|Directed by||Lee Haven Jones|
(series 1, episodes 1–3)
(series 1, episodes 4–6, series 2 episodes 1–3)
(series 2, episodes 4–6) 
|Theme music composer||Samuel Sim|
|Opening theme||The Bay - Samuel Sim (Feat. Storme)|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||12|
|Executive producer||Catherine Oldfield|
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Production company||Tall Story Pictures|
|Distributor||ITV Studios Global Entertainment|
|Original release||20 March 2019 –|
The Bay is an ITV crime drama series produced by Tall Story Pictures and distributed worldwide by ITV Studios Global Entertainment that first aired in March 2019. Morven Christie plays a detective sergeant family liaison officer called in on an investigation into missing twins from a family living in Morecambe. The name of the series derives from Morecambe Bay, which is on the west coast of England in the county of Lancashire.
The first series received an average of 7.2 million views across the six episodes. A second series of six episodes was confirmed on 4 May 2019 and it was originally planned for it to be broadcast mid-2020 but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was pushed back to early 2021 when in January of that year all six episodes were immediately made available on the ITV Hub receiving an average of 7.9 million views.
A third series will begin filming in summer 2021. Christie decided to leave the show following production on the second series. On 15 February 2021, Marsha Thomason was cast as the new lead, DS Jenn Townsend.
- Morven Christie as DS/DC Lisa Armstrong (Series 1–2)
- Lindsey Coulson as Penny Armstrong
- Imogen King as Abbie Armstrong
- Simon Manyonda as DS Alexander Stewart
- Daniel Ryan as DI Anthony 'Tony' Manning
- Art Parkinson as Rob Armstrong
- Taheen Modak as DC/DS Ahmed 'Med' Kharim (Series 1 -2)
- Erin Shanagher as Sergeant/DS Karen Hobson
- Andrew Dowbiggin as DS James Clarke
- Adam Hussain as Josh Nubhai
Series 1 (2019)
- Jonas Armstrong as Sean Meredith
- Matthew McNulty as Nick Mooney
- Chanel Cresswell as Jess Meredith
- Tracie Bennett as Margaret Foley
- Adam Long as Vincent Chapman/Victor Cook
- Philip Hill-Pearson as Ryan Foley
- Martina Laird as Bernie Ward
- Richard Huw as Tom Hayes
- Jordan Mifsúd as Krzysztof Babakowski
- Ellie Duckles as Hanna Babakowski
- Ciaran Griffiths as Lee Ward
- Louis Greatorex as Sam Hesketh
- Roger Barclay as Councillor Hesketh
- Darci Shaw as Holly Meredith
- Noah Valentine as Dylan Meredith
- Lucy Hillyard as Kelly Meredith
- Liam McCheyne as Jake Meredith
Series 2 (2021)
- Joe Absolom as Andy Warren
- James Cosmo as Bill Bradwell
- Stephen Tompkinson as Stephen Marshbrook
- Sharon Small as Rose Marshbrook
- Amy James-Kelly as Grace Marshbrook
- Jack Archer as Jamie Marshbrook
- Steven Robertson as Mark Bradwell
- Sunetra Sarker as Stella Bradwell
- Steven Elder as DCI Pearson
- Thomas Law as DC Eddie Martin
- Arian Nik as Theo Anvari
- Wendy Kweh as Lyn Chee
- Sian Breckin as Madeline Hookway
- Kerrie Taylor as Ellen Manning
- Zaraah Abrahams as DS Emma Ryan
- Jade Greyul as Lateesha Kharim
- Owen McDonnell as Frank Mercer
Series 3 (TBA)
- Marsha Thomason as DS Jen Townsend
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||6||20 March 2019||24 April 2019|
|2||6||20 January 2021||24 February 2021|
Series 1 (2019)
Detective Sergeant Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie) is the mother of two children and working for the fictional West Lancashire Police Service as a Family Liaison Officer (FLO). She is called out on the case of two missing children only to find the married stepfather of the twins is someone with whom she had sex in an alley behind a pub on the night the twins disappeared whilst out on a friend's hen do. As an FLO, Armstrong is trained not to become emotionally involved with cases she is working on, but her sexual encounter with Sean (Jonas Armstrong) threatens to compromise the investigation. Although she can prove that he is not responsible for their disappearance, Armstrong deletes the CCTV footage of them having sex rather than coming clean and admitting to the one-night stand and providing Sean with an alibi.
|Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.K. viewers|
|1||1||Lee Haven Jones||Daragh Carville||20 March 2019||7.43|
|After a girls' night out, Detective Sergeant Lisa Armstrong returns to work the day after, investigating the disappearance of the Meredith twins, Dylan and Holly. The case turns complicated for her after she discovers that the stepfather, Sean Meredith, is the man with whom she had a one-night stand the previous night. After learning from the twin's biological father, Lee Ward, that Meredith unexpectedly entered their lives, the police make him their primary suspect and subsequently place him under arrest after berating Armstrong. The police also stress that he lacks an alibi for almost an hour of the night of the twins' disappearance, but they can't hold him further without any evidence. Dylan's body washes up at the beach and is later identified by his family.|
|2||2||Lee Haven Jones||Daragh Carville||27 March 2019||7.40|
|With the Meredith family reeling from Dylan's death and Sean's arrest, Lisa is charged with finding his alibi and makes a game-changing discovery. This notably includes that Sean Meredith had actually been over at a friend's house, where he supposedly had a sexual encounter with the wife of Babakowski. The discovery gives Sean an alibi for the night of the twins' disappearance and he is released on bail. The investigation turns to Nick Mooney, who was seen in the background of a picture at the youth club in a confrontation with Dylan Meredith. Mooney arrives at the Meredith residence, where Armstrong and Med attempt to calm the twins' grieving parents. Mooney attempts to escape but is subsequently arrested by Armstrong. Despite evidence that he was present at the youth club, the police don't have anything that ties him to the Meredith twins' disappearance. At the same beach where Dylan's body was found, Holly's bag is also discovered washed up. Sean Meredith takes matters into his own hands, in regards to Nick Mooney.|
|3||3||Lee Haven Jones||Daragh Carville||3 April 2019||7.23|
|When main suspect Nick goes missing, Lisa is concerned about Sean's possible involvement. The investigation turns to an £8,000 loan that Sean's brother Ryan gave to his family to pay for their debt, and the police take DNA samples from them and Ryan. Holly's bag is revealed to contain bags of cash, train tickets and clothing, indicating she had possibly planned to run away. In a boathouse, Sean, Ryan and Krzysztof attempt to question Nick Mooney about Holly's whereabouts, but he refuses to talk, telling Sean that he made a promise not to tell anyone. Stu heads to the train station to investigate the ticket lead, where he discovers that Holly met another man outside after having bought tickets, though only his torso is visible in the CCTV footage. The police triangulate Holly's phone after it's revealed that she had tried to call the police. The location near the beach reveals a blood spill and is sent in for testing. The results, as presented by Manning to Armstrong, reveal traces from Holly under Dylan's fingernails. Mooney is freed and dropped off outside the hospital in a critical condition.|
|4||4||Robert Quinn||Daragh Carville||10 April 2019||6.81|
|With Nick seriously injured in hospital, Lisa furiously seeks out Sean, who admits that he abducted Nick to question him about Holly. He stresses that Nick knows something about Holly but is unwilling to tell what it is. Further investigation around a neighbourhood places the twins together with an unknown third man, whom the police later suspect could be Ryan. Sean turns himself in for the abduction of Nick Mooney but is also questioned about Ryan's temper by Manning and Stuart. Ryan and Krzysztof are arrested after Sean and Hanna's respective revelations regarding Nick Mooney's abduction. After Mooney wakes up, he sings a song from a summer camp he once attended, now abandoned, prompting the police to search the camp for Holly. Armstrong finds her alive in the basement of one of the camp's buildings.|
|5||5||Robert Quinn||Kate O'Riordan & Daragh Carville||17 April 2019||6.82|
|Holly Meredith is treated at the hospital and is later brought to a hotel for a temporary stay. However, she soon escapes in an attempt to meet up with her boyfriend, but she is brought back by the police. The investigation goes back to Mooney, who eventually admits that he knew that Dylan was dead and that Holly had contacted him after Dylan's death. Mooney is then temporarily arrested for having perverted the course of justice. Despite being urged to tell the truth, Holly denies having planned to leave for Manchester with her so far unknown boyfriend. She also reveals to her mother that she's pregnant. Holly also confessed to having killed Dylan, but the police are still in doubt. Abbie has a terrifying experience with Vincent and narrowly escapes with help from Sam. Med begins his own investigation into the missing CCTV footage from The Royal. He sees the original footage and confronts Lisa about it, and she admits to having deleted evidence. She later explains it to Manning and is suspended and removed from the Meredith case.|
|6||6||Robert Quinn||Daragh Carville||24 April 2019||7.52|
|Having been suspended from the police, Lisa Armstrong decides to look after her family more. Knowing Abbie isn't at home, she takes a risk by calling the station to find out where Abbie was seen possibly dealing with drugs. Armstrong finds Abbie in the West End and brings her daughter to safety. Abbie opens up about her dealings with Vincent, which Lisa asks Med to investigate. Vincent is revealed to be a notorious drug smuggler whose real name is Victor Cook. His connection also ties in with Sean and Ryan Meredith's drug dealings and how they earned money. Despite cooperating initially, Sean then refuses to talk to anyone but Lisa. An anonymous tip leads the police to Councillor Hesketh's office. Lisa visits Sam to return the money he originally had given Abbie to pay back Wilko and Vincent. Noticing his hands shaking and his shoes matching the suspect's, Sam decides to come clean. It's revealed that he had punched Dylan, and made him fall back and hit his head, resulting in his death. He makes it clear it was an accident. Lisa is praised by Manning for her assistance, and she later talks to Sean, who gives up the names of the gang who provided the drugs. Despite this, she is still suspended until further notice.|
Series 2 (2021)
Lisa's suspension is over but she has been demoted, whilst Med has been promoted. A solicitor is shot on his doorstep. The team investigate. To complicate Lisa's life further, her ex-husband Andy (Joe Absolom) reappears in Morecambe.
|Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.K. viewers|
|7||1||Robert Quinn||Daragh Carville||20 January 2021||7.86|
|After dealing with the consequences of the case involving the missing twins from last year, the now Detective Constable Lisa Armstrong is brought back into the fold to assist with the murder investigation in Morecambe of prominent solicitor Stephen Marshbrook. Marshbrook was murdered at his own doorstep with his 10-year-old son Oliver being the sole witness. Facing trauma from his experience, Oliver is too traumatised to talk, and is looked after by social care. The investigation turns to the family law firm, in which Lisa suspects everything is not as it seems. Early clues including CCTV footage, point the police in the direction of a black van with stolen vehicle number plates. Eventually recovering from his trauma, Oliver draws a tattoo depicting a bird with two heads which he saw the killer have on his arm. Abbie gets a job at a local restaurant, and Lisa's ex-husband Andy, reappears in Morecambe.|
|8||2||Robert Quinn||Daragh Carville||27 January 2021||7.85|
|Lisa is determined to ignore her ex-husband Andy's unexpected arrival the night before and throws herself into the case, uncovering a significant lead from her sole eyewitness. Oliver reveals he saw a boy on a bike leaving the scene before the shooting happened. The alleged boy, is later revealed to actually be a girl, Cassie, who was tasked with delivering the gun and retrieve it afterwards. When brought in, she refuses to give up information while also berating the police. Lisa and her children attempt to shield themselves from her ex-husband, but he manages to talk to Rob and a reluctant Abbie. The investigation reveals that Stephen Marshbrook had hired an accountant, Chris McGregor, to investigate some suspicious transactions. McGregor also reveals that Marshbrook had suspected it was someone in his own family who was responsible.|
|9||3||Robert Quinn||Daragh Carville||3 February 2021||7.79|
|As the team press on with the investigation, Lisa and Med dig deeper into the family and discover not all relationships with the victim were amicable. Lisa reluctantly lets her ex-husband Andy back into her's and her children's lives, with protest from her mother. Questioning of Cassie finally leads to her revealing that she never met the man who had asked her to deliver the gun, and that she had received the orders over the phone. With family recollections of Stephen Marshbrook doesn't line up, Lisa returns to question the distant daughter, Grace, who notably reveals she took the blame for a car theft that Jamie actually had committed, and that she had been ordered to do by her father to protect Jamie's record. Med investigate unused housing properties after a lead discovered by Lisa. They all share a common owner, Breakwater, which one construction worker reveals no knowledge of, other than orders to barricade a building's windows. Simultaneously as Lisa, Bill Bradwell and Rose Marshbrook discover that Jamie has gone missing, Med is hit by a vehicle and left seriously injured.|
|10||4||Julia Ford||Daragh Carville||10 February 2021||7.96|
|Paramedics declare Med dead on scene, and Manning places Lisa in charge as family liaison to the Marshbrook family. The team are forced to accept the help of a new unit from the Greater Manchester Police, who conducts their own investigation into Med's death while the team continues the investigation into the Marshbrook case. The team's investigation dig deeper into who the mystery woman Stephen Marshbrook met at a hotel, with members conducting a surveillance operation until she shows up. The mystery woman turns out to be Madeleine Hookway, who reveals that Oliver is her son. The investigation further uncovers that Hookway had been discredited as a terrible mother, and that Stephen had taken care of Oliver's birth certificate. Jamie Marshbrook also turns up again, explaining his and his boyfriend's absence as that they needed time away from Morecambe. Jamie is also questioned about his apparent presence in Morecambe despite the claim he was still abroad until Stephen's death.|
|11||5||Julia Ford||Sally Tatchell||17 February 2021||7.92|
|Bill Bradwell is brought in for questioning regarding Breakwater Development and Comber Development, in which deals with, he claims to have signed knowing what they regarded. Manning confronts Bradwell with papers signed by him that acknowledges Liam Spoldon as Breakwater's CEO, despite the fact that the real Spoldon died sixteen years ago. Bradwell's expresses disapproval of how the papers were obtained, causing his attorney to end the questioning. Bradwell then tells the family that the law firm was in trouble and he had to take desperate measures to save it. He also explains that he kept Mark out of the loop to save him. In a desperate attempt to legally clarify the document's usage from Lyn Chee's flash drive, Lisa attempts to convince her to testify anonymously about the documents, but she refuses. Rob's friend, Josh, confesses that he has feelings for him. Manning attempts to drink away his sorrow, due to his wife wanting a divorce; and the man with the distinctive tattoo is arrested in Manchester.|
|12||6||Julia Ford||Daragh Carville||24 February 2021||8.38|
|The Russian, Viktor Zima, admits to killing Stephen. He further explains that he was paid by a man in his 20s-40s in a bar. Further investigation reveals that said man is Frank Mercer, who, along with Grace, Rose and Mark Marshbrook, are brought in for further questioning. The questions pointed towards Mark are how he knew Frank, in which he reveals that Mercer was bad towards him during their school years. Likewise is said by Frank, until he is confronted with the evidence that shows him paying Zima for the hit on Stephen Marshbrook. Grace reveals that she got her job at the scrapyard via Rose, who had put in a good word with Mercer. Rose reveals that she was having an affair with Mercer, but that she never would leave Stephen. She also explains that Frank had ideas of them and Oliver moving away, something she brands as a fantasy on his side. Mercer admits to the ideas during his own questioning, and adds that he had urged Rose to break up with Stephen, something she didn't want. While Mercer is charged for ordering the hit on Stephen, Rose is issued a caution after admitting to have made the suspicious transactions at Bradwell and Marshbrook. After some convincing, she decides to testify regarding the company's documents. Lisa's mother, Penny, makes a discovery about her ex-husband Andy, which she confronts him about. It's revealed that he had remarried and fathered another child after moving away from Morecambe. But instead of being willing to explain it to Rob and Abbie, he decides to leave Morecambe.|
The series has been labelled the "Northern Broadchurch", or the "New Broadchurch" after a similar British crime drama called Broadchurch starring Olivia Colman and David Tennant. The writer of the series, Daragh Carville, is originally from Northern Ireland, but wanted to set something in where he now lives.
I wanted to write something that's set where I have lived for the last 10 years. It's an interesting place and beautiful but it's also a place with problems. It's suffered a great deal with austerity.
The series was shot in and around Morecambe, particularly on the beaches and in the Winter Gardens, where writer Daragh Carville, stated that the people of Morecambe took quite an interest in the show and were keen to see that they, and their town, were not misrepresented on screen. Other scenes were also shot in Manchester, Whitehaven and Grange-over-Sands.
Series 1 (2019)
The Daily Telegraph rated the first and second episodes in the series with three stars out of five, and whilst acknowledging the lead character's portrayal, described the series as "Lancashire's riposte to/total rip-off of Broadchurch". The Independent also awarded it three stars out of five, labelling the series as having texture, but that the characterisation of the conundrum faced by DS Armstrong as being "cold". The Guardian was more positive and gave it four stars out of five stating "Suspects and police officers with shared secrets? Check. Information wilfully withheld by the writer? Check. Will you be hooked? Check."
Katrina Williams, writing in the Glasgow Guardian highlighted the high standard of production amidst the formulaic setting of the crime drama and noted that "I wasn't desperate for the next episode, but the first episode still managed to strike my interest".
Series 2 (2021)
Dominic Maxwell reviewing for The Times gave the first episode of the second series four stars out of five commenting that the episode was "a solid, finely crafted detective thriller" and it "could just be the downbeat yet propulsive distraction we need right now". Rachel Sigee reviewing for i also gave it four stars praising Christie and suggesting "This engrossing first episode scattered enough clues [...] to set up an intriguing thriller". Anita Singh reviewing for The Daily Telegraph rated the first episode three stars out of five calling it "a refreshing return for this bracing seaside cop show", while Sean O'Grady for The Independent was more critical commenting that "though the actors put in some commendable performances, they are all lumbered with carelessly constructed, barely two-dimensional characters" and gave it two stars.
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- "The Bay review — Morecambe: where guest stars go to die". The Times.
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- "The Bay review: A major character is killed off five minutes into the show's cliche-ridden return, 20 January 2021". The Independent.