Marsha Thomason The Bay

OPINION: The Bay’s Marsha Thomason as DS Jenn Townsend is EXACTLY what series needed

We can't be the only ones with a crush?

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When Morven Christie announced she was leaving The Bay, some viewers worried the ITV series wouldn’t be the same again – that is until Marsha Thomason stepped in.

Actress Morven played the lead role of DS Lisa Armstrong in the first two series of the show – from 2019 to 2020.

And viewers loved her.

In fact, it was hard to imagine The Bay without her.

But Marsha Thomason has proved to be EXACTLY what the third series needed.

No offence, Morven!

Marsha Thomason The Bay ITV
Marsha Thomason as DS Townsend in series three of The Bay (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: The Bay series three on ITV1: How many episodes is it, what’s it about and what happened to DS Lisa Armstrong?

Marsha Thomason The Bay ITV1 – she just fits!

Honestly, it’s hard to imagine Marsha Thomason NOT being in The Bay now.

She made the role her own within nanoseconds.

We call that blatant scene stealing.

Although The Bay is successful largely due to its ensemble cast, the lead role HAS to be likeable and engaging.

And Marsha’s DS Jenn Townsend is definitely both.

Marsha Thomason as DS Jenn Townsend

DS Jenn Townsend arrived with a bang – quite literally – when she had a car accident on her first day on the job.

She’s new in town, having moved to Morecambe Bay to be nearer her boyfriend.

There’ll be no spoilers here, but there’s clearly something more going on.

Jenn is running away from something in her past.

She’s brilliant at her job, though.

DS Jenn Townsend really, really cares.

She’s just, let’s say, a bit warmer than her predecessor Lisa Armstrong.

And we’re pretty sure she wouldn’t have sex with a witness down an alley (sorry, Lisa, but we had to go there!).

Jenn’s pores seep empathy.

Frankly I want someone in my (not immediate) family to be killed just so I can meet her.

I would tell her anything – even the pin to my credit card.

Basically, Jenn is so relatable – we totally understand her new girl anxieties.

She’s the sort of woman we’d want to go down the pub with at the end of a long day.

We’re waiting by the phone…

DS Jenn Townsend The Bay
Marsha Thomason The Bay ITV: DS Jenn Townsend immerses herself into the Rahman family (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: Who did The Bay actor Barry Sloane play in Hollyoaks and who is he married to?

Marsha Thomason The Bay ITV – she elevates the series

It’s hard to believe The Bay is Marsha Thomason’s first leading role in the UK.

She’s been in the US for way too long, and I want her back for good.

Marsha portrayed Sally in Pie in the Sky, Jacqui Richards in Where the Heart is, and Shazza Pearce in Playing the Field before trying her luck in the States.

Unsurprisingly, she found fame, and has appeared in the likes of Lost, Magnum P.I., Cobra and NCIS: Los Angeles.

But it’s unlikely she’ll get a meaty, nuanced role like DS Jenn Townsend in the US.

Marsha has elevated The Bay on ITV with her performance.

While some series start to get formulaic and dull as years go by, The Bay has just become a LOT more interesting.

And The Bay viewers seem to agree.

The Bay cast
The Bay series three has been elevated by the presence of newcomer Marsha as DS Jenn (Credit: ITV1)

The Bay on ITV1 – viewers reaction to Marsha Thomason as DS Jenn Townsend

The Bay viewers LOVE Marsha Thomason as DS Jenn Thomason.

One fan tweeted: “Series three of The Bay… Wow. Was skeptical about the absence of Morv Christie but @Marsha_Thomason was incredible. Brilliant TV.”

Another said: “Loving @Marsha_Thomason already. I think she’s working brilliantly with @ErinShanagher who also delivers fantastic chemistry on screen.”

A third added: “So glad to see The Bay back on TV last night. Brilliant start for @Marsha_Thomason, and @_DanielRyan brill as ever.”

“Great to see Marsha Thomason in #TheBay on #ITV,” said another. “Class actor.”

Will Marsha Thomason star in series four of The Bay?

Marsha looks a shoe in for series four of The Bay.

Talking recently about a possible fourth series, Marsha revealed she’s hopeful that there’s a future for DS Townsend…

She said: “I had such a good time shooting it.

“We were shooting it through COVID, which obviously makes everything so difficult.

“And yet we still managed, with our masks, to have a great time…

“Hopefully we’ll get us a fourth series, and hopefully we won’t have to wear masks!”

She then added: “I would [come back]. I cannot say enough, I enjoyed this job immensely and this role.”

Like her character, Marsha changed her life dramatically to take on the role of DS Jenn Townsend.

She had to uproot her life in Los Angeles and bring her daughter Tallulah Anaïs Sykes to set in order to make The Bay fit with her schedule.

Her eight-year-old daughter joined her school classes in Los Angeles virtually from the UK, which made for some tricky time adjustments.

“I do think, if we get to do a fourth series, it’s going to be far more challenging,” admitted the 46-year-old actress.

“That’s this job and you just figure it out. It does get harder when you start a family.”

The Bay continues on Wednesdays at 9pm on ITV1. Or the entire series is available to binge on the ITV Hub.

What do you think of Marsha Thomason in The Bay series three so far? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

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