CHRISTOPHER STEVENS: Back to the seaside with a bang, and a most unexpected murder

The Bay

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Targeted: The Truth About Disability Hate Crime 

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There ought to be a word for the plot twist where big-name actors get killed off at the start of a drama — like Jessica Raine being shoved from a window in Line Of Duty, or Christopher Eccleston getting murdered with a potato peeler in Fortitude.

It’s not so much a cameo, more a cheerio, and it happened again as The Bay (ITV) returned. No sooner did you think to yourself, ‘Brilliant, Stephen Tompkinson, he’s always good,’ than his character had been shot in the head — and twice more in the chest for emphasis.

He left behind a strong cast, including Sharon Small as his widow and James Cosmo as her father. But the star is Morven Christie, as disgraced detective and single mother Lisa Armstrong.

Family liaison officer Lisa was demoted in The Bay’s first series, after having sex with a suspect and destroying CCTV evidence to cover up her embarrassment.

No sooner did you think to yourself, ‘Brilliant, Stephen Tompkinson (right), he’s always good,’ than his character in The Bay (ITV) had been shot in the head — and twice more in the chest for emphasis

No sooner did you think to yourself, ‘Brilliant, Stephen Tompkinson (right), he’s always good,’ than his character in The Bay (ITV) had been shot in the head — and twice more in the chest for emphasis

No sooner did you think to yourself, ‘Brilliant, Stephen Tompkinson (right), he’s always good,’ than his character in The Bay (ITV) had been shot in the head — and twice more in the chest for emphasis

None of her colleagues seems to mind about her lies or her attempts to pervert the course of justice. But some of them, especially the blokes, are scandalised about the knee-trembler.

Her punishment is to see her incompetent trainee, Med (Taheen Modak), promoted over her head. She was also fined, forcing her to sell her house and move into a B&B on Morecambe seafront with her teenage children. 

I’d forgotten how horrible that pair are — the son listens to death metal music at volumes that make the walls shake, and the daughter is only happy when she’s winding everyone up.

To complete this happy family scene, the creep who has been watching them from the cab of his van, chain-smoking roll-ups, turns out to be Lisa’s ex-husband, Andy (Joe Absolom).

The mistake that The Bay made first time round was to suppose that Lisa’s domestic problems were more interesting than the hunt for a missing child. 

It’s hard to sympathise with a character who puts her own worries above that kind of investigation.

This time round, the balance is better. The only witness to that doorstep murder is the victim’s 11-year-old son, and it will take all Lisa’s skill and intuition to get the boy to open up. Meanwhile, half the family are hiding reasons to want Dad dead.

Christie is at her best when she’s playing emotionally intelligent women with an instinctive insight into other people’s feelings, as she has in The A Word and Grantchester. It looks like this return visit to the seaside will be worth the trip.

The insight into other people’s feelings was almost too much to bear, as a series of interviewees revealed the brutal bullying and cruelty that mar their daily lives, in Targeted: The Truth About Disability Hate Crime (BBC2)

The insight into other people’s feelings was almost too much to bear, as a series of interviewees revealed the brutal bullying and cruelty that mar their daily lives, in Targeted: The Truth About Disability Hate Crime (BBC2)

The insight into other people’s feelings was almost too much to bear, as a series of interviewees revealed the brutal bullying and cruelty that mar their daily lives, in Targeted: The Truth About Disability Hate Crime (BBC2)

The insight into other people’s feelings was almost too much to bear, as a series of interviewees revealed the brutal bullying and cruelty that mar their daily lives, in Targeted: The Truth About Disability Hate Crime (BBC2).

Andrea, who is four feet tall, described how she has become scared to go out alone after a thug kicked her in the head, apparently for a dare. She suffered a fractured skull and a perforated eardrum. 

Elaine, who lost her sight as an adult, has been repeatedly mugged. What upset her most, though, was the attack on her guide dog by a woman who accused the animal of spreading coronavirus.

This wasn’t so much a documentary as a series of witness statements from people who have been mocked, beaten up and even driven from their homes, for no reason other than their disabilities.

It’s an ugly truth that is not addressed often enough. As Hannah, a young woman with cerebral palsy, pointed out, there are not nearly enough role models on TV and social media with disabilities. That has to change.

Link hienalouca.com

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