BBC3 drama Clique will return for a second series

Jess Brittain's university drama will be back on our screens to tell a brand-new story about Holly McStay's encounter with a clique of boys

Synnove Karlsen as Holly in Clique Series 1

BBC3 university drama Clique will return for a second series, the BBC has confirmed.

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Created by Skins writer Jess Brittain, and partly based on her own experiences, the first series of the drama followed Holly (Synnove Karlsen) and Georgia (Aisling Franciosi), two best friends who are drawn into a leading group of girls, with Sherlock star Louise Brealey at the helm. The story – told from Holly’s perspective – started out as a tale of friendship threatened by ambition but soon developed into a high-stakes mystery thriller.

The show went out with quite the bang as Holly finally got to the bottom of what had been happening at Solasta Finance. And her own story turned out to be a LOT more complicated than we thought, with a face from the young Edinburgh University student’s past coming back to haunt her.

The tense finale left us with plenty of unanswered questions, the most important of which was, ‘Is that really the end of the story?’ The closing moments of episode six saw Holly and Millie – aka Rachel – reunited in some manner of facility in Edinburgh. The pair exchanged hellos and as Holly smiled at her murderous ex best friend (played by Rachel Hurd-Wood) we wondered if their story was really over?

Well, the answer is no, because Rachel will still be keeping an eye on Holly in series two – albeit from behind the glass of the secure unit she’s still being held in.

What’s going to happen in Clique series two?

Series two finds Holly living in a house share with Louise (Sophia Brown) and some younger student activists, while trying to put the past behind her.  However, the events of last year haven’t been easily forgotten and everyone’s eager to talk to her about what happened.

A new clique of smart and magnetic young men take an interest in her, and it’s not long before she finds herself heading down another rabbit hole. Led by charismatic, good-looking Jack, this band of “libertarian, freewheeling renegades” have a no-nonsense attitude to what they see as a patronising university administration.

And when the group becomes embroiled in a campus-wide scandal, Holly will be torn between the kinship she feels with them and the unnerving sense that something darker is at play. Do the clique boys represent the provocative fight-back response of fed-up youth, or are their politics hiding a more personal, insidious danger?

Looking back at series one, we’d imagine it’s a bit of the former and a LOT of the latter.

Clique Series 1 - BBC
The original all-girl Clique (BBC)

It’s not yet clear whether Aisling Franciosi (who played Georgia), Ella Rae-Smith (who played Phoebe) or Louise Brealey (who played disgraced lecturer Jude McDermid) will be reprising their roles in series two.

“I do feel, actually, that my character had sort of run its course on that”, Brealey told RadioTimes.com last year. “I feel like I had such a great, well, journey, I’m trying to think of a less clichéd way of putting it. But you know, there’s a woman that begins as an absolute ballbreaker and ends in bits, and I’m not entirely sure how challenging another season would be for me.”

She was keen on the idea of a second series, though. “I definitely think they should do it again. I thought it was really fun, and I thought both the directors were brilliant. And all the young, beautiful girls were all flippin’ marvellous, weren’t they?”

Louise Brealey (Getty Images)
Louise Brealey (Getty Images)

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Clique back for a second series” said Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama. “Jess’ forensic exploration of female friendship and ambition struck a huge chord with the BBC3 audience in series one and we were all excited to see her go further in series two as she shifts focus from young women to a clique of young men.”

“Our unique heroine Holly McStay will return, pitting her wits against a mysterious male clique, and the sinister events which follow in their wake”, said Bryan Elsley, Executive Producer for Balloon Entertainment.

“I’m so excited to return to Holly’s intense, loyal and dangerous world,” said creator, writer and executive producer Brittain. “Clique is a show with female friendship as its heart, but a new clique of unknowable young men is definitely taking us to some new and interesting places.”

Filming on the new series – which consists of six 45-minute episodes – will begin in Edinburgh in February 2018.

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Can’t remember what happened in Clique series one? Check out our episode-by-episode breakdowns!