TV & Movies

The Bay showrunner opens up about new detective lead: It was a big change

The Bay: Lisa and Manning interview forensic accountant

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The Bay is returning for season three after the dramatic events of series two in early 2021. As the ITV drama does return though, fans are going to have to get used to not seeing DS Lisa Armstrong (played by Morven Christie) in the seaside town as she has left the series. But the show must go on and this time, there’s a new face in Morecambe to take Lisa’s place.

Lisa Armstrong had a turbulent time on the show, having been demoted from her position at the end of series one but then helping to crack the case in the second season.

Nevertheless, Lisa was in need of a fresh start, especially following the rocky road she was on with husband Andy (Joe Absolom).

So Lisa decided to leave the town with her children but more details could be expected to be revealed in the premiere episode of series three.

With actress Christie out of the picture, it did raise a few questions in terms of the show’s future.

But speaking to press, including Express.co.uk, screenwriter Daragh Carville opened up on seeing the positives of a change in lead actress.

He said: “Obviously, it was a big change. When we learned that Morvenn was moving on, that was a huge kind of shift.

“And personally, I felt it was very sad because she’s so brilliant in the show. She brought so much to that character and I love writing for her and for Lisa.

“But at the same time, it was kind of an opportunity to sort of reinvent things and to kind of refresh the show and to see what else you know we could do with this world with these stories.”

With a new character comes a new focus and other potential storylines to explore, Darragh explained.

“Lisa was very much rooted in the world of The Bay. That’s where she sort of lived her whole life.

“So I knew our new character should be not like that, she shouldn’t be rooted there.

“And there’s something about that sort of quality of, you know, when you get a new job or you go to a new school, the kind of nerves that involves, I think everybody can relate to that.

“So Jen, she’s really different from Lisa.

“There’s a combination of toughness and sensitivity but Jen is kind of empathetic to a fault.

“And I think she does find it harder to kind of distinct, to leave work at work.

“She’s got a family of her own and she’s in a new relationship and she’s moved to this new place, she got a new job so there’s a lot of reinvention going on.”

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Prior to joining the cast of The Bay, actress Marsha Thomason played Eve in the CBS drama Magnum PI.

Some of her other roles have been in Lost, Las Vegas, Playing the Field, General Hospital and NCIS Los Angeles.  

She was also Francine Bridge in the Sky series Cobra and Diana Berrigan in White Collar for five years.

According to her IMDB page, Thomas is going to be in the film The Extraordinary Farewell which is currently in pre-production.

She will make her first appearance in The Bay in the premiere episode of series three.

The synopsis for episode one of the ITV series reads: “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.”

The Bay season 3 premieres on Wednesday, January 12, at 9pm on ITV.

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