Even the cast of The Bay weren’t clued up on the big twist in the season two premiere (Picture: ITV)
Warning: spoilers ahead for The Bay season two episode one.
The Bay season two has gripped its audience right from the get-go, launching with an enthralling episode that sees police detective Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie) and her colleagues delve deeply into the case of a vicious, cold-blooded murder.
In the new instalment of the ITV crime drama, viewers are introduced to Morecambe residents Rose and Stephen Marshbrook (Sharon Small and Stephen Tompkinson) and their son Oliver (Leo Ashton), who are hosting a retirement party for Rose’s father, Bill Bradwell (James Cosmo).
While Stephen busies himself trying to get the barbecue going, Oliver beckons his father to the front door to accept a delivery that’s just arrived.
When Stephen answers the door, politely confirming his identity to the mailman, he is shot point-blank in the head, the only witness to the crime being his 10-year-old son.
Although The Bay fans would have been aware that a murder was going to take place, it likely came as quite a shock that an actor as well-known as Stephen would meet his demise in the first few minutes of the season premiere.
During a recent conversation with Metro.co.uk, Sharon said that she thinks it was a ‘nice twist getting a really well-known actor to play’ the role.
No one is safe (Picture: Ben Blackall)
The actor expressed her belief that viewers would probably assume Stephen would ‘be in [the series] for a long time’, which ‘ups the shock factor’ of the moment.
‘If that happens in the first five or 10 minutes of a six-episode drama, you know you’re in for an emotional ride,’ she said.
‘I probably made an assumption that because it was a character that was in for quite a short time, I wouldn’t have expected it to be someone like Stephen.’
What’s more, Sharon revealed that neither she nor other members of The Bay cast knew Stephen was playing the role until the day they filmed the scenes.
Oliver (Leo Ashton) witnesses the murder take place (Picture: Ben Blackall)
‘It was all very hush hush, we didn’t know until the day that Stephen was playing it, she recollected.
‘They didn’t put his name in the call sheet or anything. So they kept it a surprise from us as well.’
If The Bay is prepared to kill off one of its biggest names straight away, what other twists and turns could be left in store for its audience?
‘They’ll know straight up if you’re prepared to kill Stephen Tomkinson first, if you’re prepared to kill someone like him off really quickly, then they can kill any of us,’ Sharon warned.
‘Anyone can die. Don’t get secure, don’t get comfy.’
Looking back on her experience of filming The Bay in the winter of 2019, Sharon praised her on-screen son for how ‘seriously’ he took his performance.
The Law & Order: UK star explained to Metro.co.uk that Leo ‘did a good job of really switching, compartmentalising and focusing’, while still being able to let go and have fun in between takes.
The Bay returns next Wednesday at 9pm on ITV and is available to watch on ITV Player.