July 11, 2024   David   Articles, Press Archive, The Jetty

Cast and creatives discuss the series for BBC iPlayer and BBC One, which asks big questions about sexual morality, identity and memory, in the places that Me Too has left behind.

When a fire tears through a property in a scenic Lancashire lake town, Detective Ember Manning (Jenna Coleman) must work out how it connects to a podcast journalist investigating a missing person cold case, and an illicit relationship between a man in his twenties and two underage girls.

But as Ember gets close to the truth, it threatens to destroy her life – forcing her to re-evaluate everything she thought she knew about her past, present and the town she’s always called home. As much a coming-of-age story as a detective thriller, The Jetty asks big questions about sexual morality, identity and memory, in the places that Me Too has left behind.

The Jetty (4 x 60’) is made by Firebird Pictures, one of BBC Studios’ owned production labels. It was created and written by Cat Jones, directed by Marialy Rivas (Young & Wild, Perry Mason, Princesita), and produced by Natasha Romaniuk. The executive producers are Elizabeth Kilgarriff, Cat Jones, Sarah Wyatt, Marialy Rivas, Jenna Coleman and Jo McClellan for the BBC. BBC Studios are handling international distribution.

Interview with Jenna Coleman

Ember Manning

Please tell us about The Jetty?

The Jetty is a story about Ember Manning, a mum who becomes a detective. She’s investigating a case which becomes very personal to her. It’s a very character, human and relationship-driven drama that’s wrapped up as a detective thriller. There are a lot of elements and various threads to this story, but the heart of it is about the missing case of Amy Knightley and the case of Miranda Ashby. More crucially, it asks probing questions about identity, sexual boundaries, sexual politics, toxic culture and the awakening of oneself.

How would you describe Ember?

Ember is quite prickly, stubborn, proud and free-willed. She’s also very warm and loyal. And I also think she’s really funny. Cat Jones’ writing of her is very sardonic, dry, and she’s not easily impressed. In the series she’s going through an awakening and really finding herself. Her husband, who she was with from a very young age, died a year before the series starts, so she’s going through this new kind of re-discovering of herself.

What journey does Ember go on across the series?

Throughout the series, Ember is really propelled forward towards the truth, towards the answers, towards the case – but as she’s moving forward trying to solve the case, her past is always catching up with her. The more she unravels of the case, the more she has to re- examine and re-define her own past, and in doing so her own past relationships and her own identity.

Can you describe the key relationships your character has in the show?

Ember has a great relationship with her daughter Hannah, played by Ruby Stokes, that we tried to create as a bit of a sisterly friendship. Ember had her daughter when she was a teenager, so they’re not too far apart in age and there’s a lovely, really interesting dynamic there. Her relationship with her side-kick Hitch, played by Archie Renaux, is really fun. I loved filming those scenes with him. She’s quite challenging of Hitch and calls him out all the time, so there’s this constant banter and back-and-forth between them. Ember gives him a lot of tough love. Her relationship with her deceased husband is interesting, and a key focus of the show, as Ember spends the series reframing her relationship with him, putting a new lens on it in retrospect.

What are The Jetty’s main themes?

There’s a really interesting visual theme across the series of reflections and mirrors, which reflects the fact that so much of Ember’s journey is being forced to look inward. So much of the show is about water and echoes, memories and reflection. The themes of the show are really echoed by the setting of the lake.