Thomason replaces former lead actress Morven Christie, who announced her departure at the end of last season
However, fans of the show will be introduced to a new lead in the upcoming series as Morven Christie (DS Armstrong) is replaced with Marsha Thomason as DS Jenn Townsend.
So, who else is in The Bay series three, what can viewers expect – and when is it on TV? This is what you need to know.
The Bay series three cast
Marsha Thomason as DS Jenn Townsend
Cobra star Marsha Thomason plays lead role DS Jenn Townsend, a family liaison officer.
Thomason has also been cast in U.S. television series Las Vegas, TV series The Good Doctor and Disney’s The Haunted Mansion which starred Eddie Murphy.
The actress previously told BT TV that starring in The Bay is the “best role I have ever played”.
“It gave me the opportunity to be in almost every scene and to follow Jenn in her work life and in her personal life,” she added.
Speaking of her character, Thomason said: “My life was mirroring Jenn’s really; I was joining an established team and I was nervous…She really cares about the people she works with; she cares about the families. And she’s just good at it. She’s found her calling.”
Daniel Ryan as DI Tony Manning
Daniel Ryan will return to The Bay as Detective Inspector Tony Manning, who leads the detective team.
Manning attempts to keep his professional life and complicated family life separate, though this becomes increasingly difficult in series three.
Ryan’s most recent work includes roles in ITV’s Vera, as well as Mount Pleasant.
Erin Shanagher as DS Karen Hobson
Shanagher reprises her role as DS Hobson, who in series three works closely with DS Townsend in solving a case related to the unexplained death of a young boxer.
In the new series, Shanagher also had to learn sign language since her character has to communicate with a deaf member of the deceased person’s family, played by Nadeem Islam.
Talking about the opportunity to learn sign language, Shanagher said: “What an incredible gift to be able to learn something so incredible.
“Nadeem was always interested and supportive and encouraging, and funny! He was amazing at, between takes, discussing what works for him and for the scenes. The communication throughout was incredible. It was a real privilege.
“Initially, when I learned I was going to do it, I was absolutely thrilled. Then came the fear of ‘this is so important. I have to do this right.’”
Rina Mahoney as Mariam Rahman
Mahoney joins the cast as the mother of the Rahman family, who has lost her son Raif following the death of her husband.
Mariam is grief stricken and has turned to alcohol as a means of relieving her pain.
Mahoney has previously starred in ITV’s Vera and is set to star in 2022 movie, A Banquet.
For her role as Mariam, she said her character has several different sides to her personality which the grief of losing one of her three sons exacerbates.
“As an actor, it was great fun because you got to play all these different emotions. Of course, no one would want to be there in reality,” Mahoney said of her role.
Michael Karim as Adnan Rahman
Following the success of ITV’s The Tower, Michael Karim joined the cast of The Bay for series three.
He has also previously starred in Jekyll and Hyde (2015), The Rook (2019) and Inspector Lewis (2006).
His character is the brother of the deceased, and has been expected to be the man of the house since his father died.
“As you see during the series, he tries to do his best – when Saif is murdered he tries to be there for his mum and help out where he can, but because the relationship is so strained at that point his mum takes out her frustrations on him,” he said of his character’s storyline.
“Playing an Asian family, it’s really refreshing that the story isn’t just focused on the fact that you’re Asian,” he added.
Nadeem Islam as Jamal Rahman
Nadeem Islam is best known for his roles in Small World (2014), Deaf Funny (2017) and Almost (2020).
Nadeem is deaf as is his character, something the actor feels passionately about being scripted more into mainstream programmes.
“As I developed the character, I could see how his relationship developed with his family. Being deaf, he didn’t have speech and it was difficult for him to hear and be involved with family life, so that’s why he became so withdrawn and isolated,” Nadeem said of his role.
“He certainly didn’t want to be seen as a black sheep but was very much isolated because he was unable to communicate.”
Also reprising their roles for the series are Thomas Law (The Worlds End, A Cinderella Story) and Andrew Dowbiggin (Cobra, Coronation Street).
What happens in The Bay series 3?
Series three sees DS Jenn Townsend join the Morecambe team as the family liaison officer, and she is quickly thrown in at the deep end as a body is found on day one of her new job.
Following the suspicious death of aspiring young boxer, Saif Rahman, she is assigned to assist his grieving family and understand the events leading up to his death.
She is assisted in her investigation by DS Hobson and the two work well together, as Hobson learns to communicate with Saif’s deaf brother Jamal.
Aside from work, DS Townsend is trying to settle her blended family into their new town and routine. When new information about the case comes to light, her family life and career soon cross paths.
Meanwhile, DI Tony Manning is trying to get to know his new colleague while coping with his own personal battles and complicated family life.
When an alibi given by the deceased’s family is proven to be untrue, the case becomes increasingly difficult as trust and communication breaks down.
Why did Morven Christie leave The Bay?
Christie departed from her role as the lead character ahead of season three, and was replaced by Marsha Thomason.
At the time, the producers released a statement which read: “The show’s producers thank Morven for her brilliant contribution to The Bay and wish her every success for the future.
“While the DNA of the show remains the same, the change of lead offers up the exciting opportunity to place a new character at the centre of the drama and explore the world of Morecambe from a fresh perspective.”
The show’s executive producer Catherine Oldfield added that she and series writer Daragh Carville “always felt that there were so many brilliant stories to be told in the world of The Bay so, after Morven decided to leave the show, we got straight to work finding a new lead actor.”
There appears to be no bad blood between Christie and the producers given that she left on her own terms.
The actress posted to her Instagram: “Bye Lisa. You were a gift. Thank you Daragh Carville, thank you beloved @leehavenjones for bringing me in, and biggest love EVER to the crew who had my back and have my heart.”
When is The Bay series three on TV?
Season three premieres on ITV at 9pm on Wednesday, 12 January. Each episode will then air weekly on Wednesdays.
You can catch up on seasons one and two of the series on BritBox.