If you’re in a bit of a rush reading this and are slightly concerned that you might not have time to read our full review of the first episode of ITV1’s newest weekly crime drama The Bay, then don’t fret. We’ll help you out with a quick five-word review upfront…
It’s basically a Morecambe Broadchurch.
Now get going and do whatever it is you need to do to. You can come back and read the rest of this write-up later.
It really is worth addressing the rather obvious comparisons between The Bay and Broadchurch nice and early. So let’s get it on the record and out of the way. here are some noteworthy similarities between the two, including:
● A picturesque but chilly-looking seaside setting
● Children going missing
● Bodies washing up on beaches
● Chalk n’ cheese police detectives
● Suspicious parents
● Police figures sharing secrets with suspects
● A mounting cast of shifty characters
● Troublesome teenage offspring
● The distinct sense of upcoming twists and turns
Grantchester’s Morven Christie is DS Lisa Armstrong here, a no-nonsense Morecambe-based detective assigned to work as a Family Liaison Officer with the Meredith family when their 15-year-old twins Holly and Dylan go missing.
Of course, this is a TV crime drama, so Armstrong is lumbered with a rookie partner she’s tasked with having to ‘show the ropes’. He’s an awkward but earnest type that wants to do his best but ultimately serves to do little but irritate our lead investigator. Though we’re sure that DC Ahmed ‘Med’ Kharim (TV newcomer Taheen Modak) will prove himself more and more useful as the show plays out.
Accompanying the missing children plot is a moral dilemma straight out of the Jeremy Kyle playbook – Lisa knows the father in the biblical sense. In fact, the pair bashed bibles only the night before. On the very evening that his children went missing, fisherman Sean Meredith (Robin Hood’s Jonas Armstrong) and Lisa enjoyed a family liaison of their own down a back alley. Something both quickly come to regret.
Does Lisa ‘fess up nice and early and save herself a whole heap of trouble? Of course not. She keeps schtum about her fisherman friend and decides instead to try and cover it all up, manipulate things, tamper with CCTV evidence and risk chucking away her career. As you do.
Lisa has more in common with the missing children’s mother Jess Meredith (This is England‘s excellent BAFTA-winning Chanel Cresswell) than just a taste in men. She also has a pair of teenage children that go to the same school as the twins: straight-A student Rob (Art Parkinson) and acid-tongued Abbie (Imogen King) – the latter getting the lion’s share of the funny lines in Wednesday night’s debut episode. We look forward to more of those from her in the coming weeks.
As we opened by saying, early signs are very much that this is a ‘Morecambe Broadchurch’. But look beyond the clear resemblance and there’s much more to The Bay than just a whiff of Colman n’ Tennant in a Lancashire setting. It looks like Being Human‘s award-winning screenwriter Daragh Carville – on writing duties here – might well have a hit on his hands.
Early signs are rather promising indeed.
What did you make of The Bay episode 1? Share your thoughts with us below in the comments…