Warning: contains spoilers for The Bay episode one.
Who killed Dylan Meredith? At the end of The Bay episode one, cockle pickers discovered the 15-year-old’s corpse wrapped in fishing nets and washed up on Morecambe beach. How did he die? Who was responsible? Join us as we Blu Tack photocopied pictures of the major suspects so far up on our evidence wall…
Played by Jonas Armstrong (Robin Hood, Line Of Duty)
Shaun is currently the chief suspect in Dylan’s murder (if indeed, he was murdered. Cause of death has yet to be established).
Grounds for suspicion: Dylan and his step-father had a fractious relationship involving loud arguments and possibly violence—at least, Social Services deemed it appropriate to get involved when Dylan was injured in what his family says was a cycling accident.
Means, motive, opportunity? Shaun has all three. Dylan’s body washed up on the beach among fishing nets and Shaun works on a trawler and has yet to account for an hour of his time on the night the twins disappeared. Add to that the performative display of grief made on the beach (indicative of a guilty conscience?) and the fact that he’s dishonest (having cheated on his wife with DS Armstrong on the night the twins disappeared), and was called “bad news” by the twins’ biological father.
Did he do it? Depending on what it is, unlikely seeing as he’s been arrested so early, unless that’s a double bluff on the part of The Bay.
Played by Ciaran Griffiths (The Bill, Shameless)
Lee is the twins’ biological father who, if you believe their mother Jess, walked out on the family when the children were five and didn’t bother to contact them since then. The way he tells it, Jess started seeing Shaun Meredith (above) while still married to him and was responsible for splitting the family up.
Grounds for suspicion: First and foremost, actor Griffiths isn’t listed on the IMDb entry for The Bay, which could just be an admin error or could be a deliberate choice so that snooping viewers can’t see how many episodes he’s due to appear in and thereby deduce his overall significance to the plot. (That said, Chanel Cresswell, who plays the twins’ mother, is also left off the IMDb page and we can be sure that she’ll be in all six eps)
Means, motive, opportunity? The first is impossible to know at this stage, but as for motive: judging from his voluntary police interview, Lee clearly has an axe to grind against Jess for leaving him for Shaun, whom he describes as being “bad news”. Could he have taken the twins as an act of revenge?
Did he do it? It’s far too early to tell.
Played by Darci Shaw
Holly is Dylan’s twin sister, and went missing with him after attending a night at Morecambe Youth Club. While his body was seen washed up on the beach, she is still missing.
Grounds for suspicion: All we’ve seen of fifteen-year-old Holly is a brief scene as she and Dylan argued on their way into the youth club on the night they disappeared. She was concealing something from him and refusing to talk, and was also carrying a full-looking rucksack. Could she have been planning to run away without telling Dylan?
Means, motive, opportunity? If we’re talking about Dylan’s (still unconfirmed) murder, then Holly would have had the latter, being the last person we know to have seen him, but means and motive? Who could say. Perhaps his death was accidental. Jess said that her twins were close and got on well, even sharing a room into their teenage years.
Played by Adam Long (Happy Valley, Bancroft)
Vincent is the young builder who invites DS Armstrong’s teenage daughter Abbie to tour the disused amusement park.
Grounds for suspicion: he appears to be sexually interested in underage girls. Despite Abbie not being in school uniform when he met her due to her school suspension, she’s clearly young and he showed little restraint in pursuing her. Could he also have targeted Holly Meredith?
Means, motive, opportunity: at this point, who can say. Abbie did return home after whatever happened in that amusement arcade building site, but she was gone for hours.
Did he do it? Again, it’s far too early to call.
Played by Daniel Ryan (Home Fires, Mount Pleasant)
Detective Inspector Manning is DS Armstrong’s boss, and the senior investigating officer in the twins’ disappearance.
Grounds for suspicion: so far, none save for the fact that this is a TV crime drama, and, to quote Line Of Duty creator quoting football manager Brian Clough, “If a player is not interfering with play then he shouldn’t be on the pitch.” The DI having done in Dylan would be a twist plenty of crime shows wouldn’t turn their noses up at. Also, he was very keen for Armstrong to arrest Shaun Meredith on the beach. Could he be hoping to frame the step-dad?
Means, motive, opportunity: all still to be confirmed, but as a senior police officer, Manning would certainly be in a position to cover his tracks.
Did he do it? A fiver says yes, he did.
Played by Chanel Cresswell (This Is England, This Is England 90)
Jess Meredith, currently pregnant with her fifth child, and third by Shaun Meredith, mother to the twins.
Grounds for suspicion: None at all. Jess seems to be absolutely distraught about the disappearance of her twins, and broken about the confirmed death of son Dylan. Except… there was that one moment in which Jess told Shaun “I hope you were where you said you were, cos if you weren’t…” Is there even the slightest chance that she’s involved in a cover-up with Shaun?
Means, motive, opportunity: As their mother, she had intimate access to the twins, therefore opportunity. The blood discovered on a bedsheet in the Meredith house may well be younger daughter Kelly’s menstrual blood, as she claims, but what if it isn’t? As for means and motive, that’s a double no.
Did she do it? No, there’s no hint and that would be a story too cruel, surely?
Nick, a fisherman who works with Shaun and Ryan, played by Matthew McNulty.
Ryan, uncle to the twins, Jess’ brother and colleague of Shaun and Nick.
Krzysztof, who works with Shaun, Ryan and Nick on the fishing boat.
Margaret Meredith, grandmother to the twins.
Abbie Armstrong, daughter of DS Lisa Armstrong.
Rob Armstrong, son of DS Lisa Armstrong.
Sam, the teenager ignoring Abbie at school.
Who it definitely isn’t:
DC Med, DS Armstrong’s new shadow. Not only does he feel like a goodie, with a three-week-old baby, he just wouldn’t have had time.
DS Lisa Armstrong. This isn’t going to be one of those done to death ‘the cop did it!’ shockers.
Come back after next week’s episode for more rampant speculation!