Jonathan Pope, a somewhat boorish and tactless television producer, is drafted in by head of department Nancy to make a success of 'Echo Beach', a new soap opera set around a West Country surfing community. Jonathan is full of ideas but less receptive to those of the existing team of staff writers and does not make a good first impression with them.
It is Jonathan's birthday but he insists that he should carry on working. The writing team rather wish that he would not and Nancy is getting to the stage where she hopes that 'Echo Beach' will fail purely so that she can give Jonathan his marching orders.
After Gillian, one of the more vocal of the script-writers, is mugged, Jonathan insists on going with her to the local police station, thus demonstrating his kindlier side. He realizes that he should make more efforts to become friends with the team and moves into their office. They all rather wish that he had not.
Jonathan quits 'Echo Beach' in disgust after Nancy refuses to pay for a table for the team at the TV Quick awards. This leaves Sam in charge and in something of a mess. Not only do Martine McCutcheon and Jason Donovan refuse to play a saucy nude scene but the budget has been slashed, making it impossible to film the thrilling explosion which will hopefully beat 'Eastenders' in the Most Spectacular Scene at the awards.
In an effort to get the cast members to bring more inspiration and self-motivation to their characters Jonathan spreads a rumour to the effect that Hugo Speer, who plays Mark Penwarden in 'Echo Beach' is thinking of resigning. Unfortunately for Jonathan it is no rumour. Hugo really does want to quit!
Intrigue is in the air when Jonathan sees Sam kissing one of the actors from 'Echo Beach' - which one he is not sure but he is determined to find out. Meanwhile, Sam's romantic notions are having a bizarre effect on her contributions to the scripts - to the consternation of her colleagues.
When Mel announces that she has secured the services of Ewan McGregor to guest in an episode of 'Echo Beach' Jonathan orders a complete re-write of the planned episode in order to accommodate the star, annoying all in the process. Nancy, of course, takes the greatest pleasure by breaking the news to him that Ewan is not coming after all.
Following a complaint from the Christian Viewers' Association about an overly sexy scene in 'Echo Beach' Nancy invites their representatives to meet the team to express their views. Tom, censured by Jonathan for being too flirtatious with Kelly, determines to prove that he has depth by writing a highly emotional scene. Will this impress the C.V.A?
When Nancy gives her opinion that the writers are too old and out of touch with the young audience at which she is pitching 'Echo Beach' and tells Jonathan that one of them should get the sack, they go to ridiculous lengths to save their jobs.
Nancy organizes a trip to the Cornish setting for 'Echo Beach' in the hopes that the staff will get a better feel for the place. Sam is unhappy that Jonathan has brought the actress Sarah Manners along for the trip and she is making unsubtle hints about appearing in the programme. A professional jealousy ensues.
After failing to make it with Sam, Jonathan being Jonathan tries to cut his losses by claiming that it was she who made a drunken pass at him. Worse, somebody has leaked the supposed twist about buried treasure being discovered in the sands to the press and Nancy turns up breathing fire and demanding another twist ending - like killing off Fin.
'Echo Beach' has not been a success. Its ratings have dipped and it is thousands of pounds over budget. If, and it is a big 'if', there is to be a second series, Jonathan's one hope of cutting costs is not to renew the contract of one of the leads. But which one will he sacrifice?