The Bay returns for another gripping series

Wednesday: The Bay; (ITV, 9pm)

Tuesday, 19th January 2021, 5:00 pm
DC Lisa Armstrong returns with DI Tony Manning and some new, and old, characters
DC Lisa Armstrong returns with DI Tony Manning and some new, and old, characters

Bleak landscapes, huge cloudy skies and murder – yes, we’re returning to Morecambe for the second series of The Bay.

But had the world been more normal during the past 12 months, we’d already have caught up with family liaison officer DS Lisa Armstrong and her colleagues.

The sophomore run was commissioned immediately after the first episodes aired in early 2019; the show’s relatively high ratings meant it was a hit and ITV knew they wanted more. Filming took place later that year, with a proposed transmission date in 2020.

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“I am delighted with the audience response to The Bay,” said ITV’s head of drama Polly Hill at the time. “It’s very real and beautifully made by everyone involved, and as a result it held an audience of seven million across six weeks. I think that audience will enjoy seeing where writer Daragh Carville takes Lisa and the team, when they return with a new case.”

Executive producer Catherine Oldfield added: “We are so thrilled that The Bay found such a large audience and that the fantastic world and characters brought to life by Daragh will be returning to ITV. It was an incredible production, shot in a beautiful location and thanks to ITV’s belief in the story we wanted to tell, we get to do it all over again.”

However, when Covid-19 struck, it was decided to keep back some of the handful of new programmes already in the can and spread them out through the following months, rather than broadcasting them when originally intended and be forced to fill in later with repeats.

But, as they say, better late than never – Morven Christie is back in the lead role, ably supported by Daniel Ryan as Lisa’s boss, DI Tony Manning.

The last time we saw them, he was less than impressed by her behaviour, having discovered she’d covered up something crucial to a case. As a result, he felt he had no alternative but to suspend her. When we catch up with them again, she’s back in the fold, but has been relegated to carrying out menial tasks while watching her former protege Med rise through the ranks. But Lisa gets a chance to prove her worth again when a new case involving the murder of a much-loved member of a close-knit family rocks Morecambe’s residents.

“Daragh’s created a fantastic story looking at another aspect of Morecambe life and I couldn’t be more delighted about the brilliant cast that are joining Morven, Dan and the Bay team to bring it to life,” says Oldfield.

Carville himself remarks: “I’m absolutely delighted to be returning to the world of The Bay and picking up Lisa’s story as she faces massive new challenges both at work and at home. We are welcoming back our fantastic core team from series one while also welcoming a brilliant cast of new faces.”

Watch out for Stephen Tompkinson, Joe Absolom, Sharon Small, James Cosmo and Sunetra Sarker among the impressive supporting cast.

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