Review: The new series of ITV crime drama The Bay is great to dive into - just watch out for the dead bodies

I’ll tell you what seems to be the in thing in fitness these days – wild swimming. Visit any body of water and you’ll find people squeezing themselves into wetsuits or shivering in the folds of one of those enormous coats with a towel on the inside and a waterproof on the outside.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 5:00 pm

The big problem, as anyone who watched The Bay (ITV, Weds, 9pm) this week will tell you, is that you may be unfortunate enough to front crawl straight into a dead body.

After the shocking opening to this third series of the hit whodunnit, there have been some major changes, the most obvious being the absence of DS Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie), who has gone to the big city and one of those mysterious police organisations known only by an acronym.

Her replacement, DS Jenn Townsend (Marsha Thomason) is all eager to please, but her colleagues seem unimpressed, while after taking the wind out of the sails of irate taxi driver, she immediately blows into the latest investigation.

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Marsha Thomason joined the cast of ITV crime drama The Bay this week

A solid enough crime drama, the real star of The Bay is the location – Morecambe Bay itself. Threateningly grey one moment, dancing with a glittering light the next.

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But that’s the joy of The Bay – it gives you a host of suspects and lets you theorise to your heart’s content, taking you into the investigation alongside Jenn.

It’s so well-tooled, and having got to a third series everyone involved – directors, writers, cast – know exactly what they’re doing.

You can relax and surrender yourself to the ebb and flow of the drama. So come on, dive in.

Rules of the Game (BBC1, Tues/Weds, 9pm, all episodes on iPlayer) was an intriguing drama for the first three eps, full of interesting things to say about women and work, but lost its way at the end.

Digging For Britain (BBC2, Tues, 8pm) has unearthed some incredible stuff – a massive Roman mosaic, a huge marine fossil – and is always an absorbing watch. Worth catching on iPlayer.