Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Bay—new ITV crime drama set in Charlie Fox’s home town

A new six-part crime drama series started this week in the UK on ITV. Set in Morecambe and called The Bay, it stars Morven Christie as a Detective Sergeant, Lisa, who is assigned as Family Liaison Officer when fifteen-year-old twins go missing in the seaside town. Her job is to support the family and be on the inside for the police investigators.

As soon as the distraught father, Sean (played by Jonas Armstrong) arrives home, however, she discovers that he’s the bloke with whom she had a quickie while on a girls’ pub crawl the night before. Much complication ensues.

Morven Christe in ITV's The Bay

Morven Christie’s recent TV credits include Grantchester, Agatha Christie’s Ordeal By Innocence, and The A Word. Jonas Armstrong’s recent outings include Ripper StreetTroy: Fall of a City, and Line of Duty. The work of playwright and screenwriter, Daragh Carville, The Bay has been mooted as ‘Broadchurch in Morecambe’—which I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t yet got around to watching.

I confess, though, that I do quite like TV dramas where one story is told over a number of instalments. You do seem to get more depth to the characters and, ultimately, more sympathy for the victim—and in some cases for the perpetrator as well.

Of course, I’m equally a fan of TV series made up of standalone stories—more like the way a book series is structured. At least if you miss one, you can still follow what’s happening in the next episode. Although, now we’re in the age of catch-up and box set TV, that’s not as much of a consideration anymore.

When it came to The Bay, one of the reasons I was keen to see it was because I lived around that area for many years, and briefly in Morecambe itself. The drone camera footage of the area was particularly effective, I thought. Apart from one climactic scene on the sands, they did seem to manage to pick filming times when the tide was up, which always makes the place look better! Even the famous statue of Eric Morecambe made a brief cameo appearance.

Stunning drone camera shots like this one are now well within the budget of most TV shows.

The other reason, of course, was that the first two books in the Charlie Fox series, KILLER INSTINCT and RIOT ACT, both take place around Morecambe and Lancaster. Indeed, the first scene in KILLER INSTINCT is outside an ageing Morecambe hotel right on the prom. I took a real building and renamed it the Adelphi—soon to be refurbished as the New Adelphi nightclub. The original was knocked down years ago.

I still find the area fascinating and full of dramas of its own, so it’s wonderful to see it playing such a major role in a new TV drama. And even though I had to bite my tongue at some of the decisions she made, I look forward to seeing how DS Lisa Armstrong manages to extract herself from the tangled web she’s unwittingly woven.

As for Charlie Fox, she fought her way out. What else did you expect?

Sorry, I couldn't resist!

This week’s Word of the Week is gaslighting, which is a term I’d heard but not clearly understood. It means to psychologically manipulate someone to the extent that they begin to doubt their own sanity. The term has only come into common usage in recent years but originates from the 1938 stage play ‘Gaslight’ by Patrick Hamilton. In the play—and two later film adaptations—a man dims the gaslights in his home and then persuades his wife that she is imagining the change.

May 2
NOIR AT THE BAR NEWCASTLE—the Town Wall pub, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5HX
Doors open 19:00

Organised by the inimitable Vic Watson, the line-up is Neil Broadfoot, Mik Brown, Ashley Erwin, Derek Farrell, Jónína Leósdóttir, Gytha Lodge, Judith O’Reilly, Zoë Sharp, Lilja Sigurðardóttir, plus a wildcard chosen on the night.

May 9-12
Friday, May 10, 13:40-14:30 Contemporary Issues: Reflecting How We Live Candy DenmanPaul GitshamCara HunterAmanda RobsonZoë Sharp (Participating Moderator)
Saturday, May 11, 11:20-12:10 Ten Year Stretch: The CrimeFest Short Story Anthology Peter GuttridgeCaro RamsayZoë SharpMichael Stanley (Stan Trollip), Kate Ellis (Participating Moderator)
Sunday, May 12, 09:30-10:20 The Indie Alternative Beate BoekerAdam CroftBarry FaulknerLynn FlorkiewiczZoë Sharp (Participating Moderator)


  1. My wife claims I've been gaslit for years. It must be that halo of odor I wear so well...

  2. lol, EvKa. Just as long as you don't stand too near an open fire...

  3. If you hadn't posted that promo for Charlie's "Riot Act" and "Killer Instinct" I would have for you. Take you opportunities when they present themselves...but not necessarily of the pub crawling sort. :)