ITV’s murder-mystery is set to return for a second season, after the show’s season finale ended with more questions than answers about the fate of Detective Superintendent Elizabeth Bancroft (Broadchurch’s Sarah Parish).
Here’s everything you need to know about Bancroft season two…
When is Bancroft season two on TV?
CONFIRMED: Bancroft will return on Wednesday 1st January 2020 at 9pm on ITV. The three-part drama continues on 2nd and 3rd January.
Is there a trailer for Bancroft season two?
Yes! There’s this brief teaser trailer:
What will happen in series 2?
As ITV puts it:
“The new series opens with Bancroft at the height of her career. The drama focuses on her continuing success and her enhanced reputation as a ‘good cop’.
“However, her success comes at a price. She’s isolated and estranged from her beloved son, Joe (Adam Long), facing increasing pressure as a result of her dangerous pact with crime boss Daanish Kamara (Ryan McKen) and is forever under the watchful eye of Superintendent Cliff Walker (Adrian Edmondson) who strongly believe she’s corrupt and should be exposed as such.
“When Joe is implicated in a disturbing double murder case, Bancroft’s personal and professional life come crashing down around her. She is determined to protect her son, but in doing so finds herself up against a chilling new antagonist. With threats closing in from all sides, the repercussions of her past actions will come back to haunt her in ways she could never have expected.”
We’ll also be finding out more about Elizabeth Bancroft and how she became the woman she is today: an antiheroine who has got away with multiple murders, a psychopath, a narcissist, a talented police officer and leader, and a mother who loves her son but hurts him too.
“I couldn’t hate someone I created,” writer and creator Kate Brooke told RadioTimes.com. “I don’t think you can create an antihero and hate them. I think you have to create an antihero and love them. It doesn’t mean that I forgive her. It doesn’t mean that I excuse her. I think it’s very important not to excuse her or to give her excuses for becoming the person she’s become.”
And Brooke sees Bancroft as a very different creature from Killing Eve’s psychopath, Villanelle, who has also been a big TV hit.
“I think Killing Eve is great, but I don’t think that they’re the same kind of characters,” she explained. “The thing about Bancroft is that she lives with society… She is an incredibly functioning character. I’m interested in a sociopath who lives and breathes amongst us, and walks amongst us.”
She added: “What she isn’t, is living outside society like Villanelle is. And also, I think she feels guilt. She isn’t someone who just mirrors emotions in that classic psychopath way. She loves her son. She does feel elements of guilt, but she is able to move on… In season two, we’ve looked more into what makes psychopaths, and we’ve given ourselves more time to think about that. We’ve brought her mother in.”
In series two we’ll meet her mother, Carol Bancroft, played by Francesca Annis…
Series one focused on the unsolved 1990 murder of Laura Fraser, and Elizabeth Bancroft’s involvement in the case. As we explain in our comprehensive series one recap, DS Katherine Stevens (Faye Marsay) slowly came to realise that her boss Bancroft was Laura’s killer – so Bancroft shot her in the head. At the end of series finale Katherine was left in a coma.
On the reaction to the drama two years ago, Sarah Parish told RadioTimes.com: “There were a lot of very angry people on Twitter after the first series. As with most police things, the baddie gets caught – but she just got away with it. She just got away with it! And she keeps getting away with it. So yeah, there were a lot of angry people out there, and they will continue to be pretty blood angry.”
Adam Long is back as her grown-up son Joe Bancroft, while Adrian Edmondson returns as Cliff Walker. Charles Babalola returns as DS Andy Bevan, Ryan McKen is drugs boss Daanish Kamara, and Shameem Ahmad is back as Daanish’s estranged mum Mrs Kamara.
Charlotte Hope joins the cast as Joe’s fiancé Annabel Connors, David Avery plays Detective Superintendent Jake Harper, and Jacqueline Boatswain plays Chief Constable Frances Holland.
As we pick up the story a couple of years later, it remains to be seen whether Faye Marsay could return as DS Katherine Stevens. Last time we saw her she was in a hospital bed, barely clinging to life.
Where is Bancroft filmed?
Bancroft is set in a fictional English town, but is actually filmed in Greater Manchester. While series one was mainly shot in the former mill town of Bolton, series two used its bigger budget to expand into more locations.
“We weren’t in Bolton as much, actually,” Sarah Parish said. “We were more in and around Manchester. We had a lot of stuff out in the country. I love going up here, because I’ve filmed so much stuff up in Manchester, so it’s like going home, really.”
And in the new series, she added, “There’s a hunting lodge which was a great location to shoot in, and all sorts of dark stuff happens there.”
Writer Kate Brooke told us: “I think that one of the things I would hope, between season 1 and season 2, is that we’ve really opened up the world. There are many more locations now in season two… we still use Bolton, but we’ve really taken it out into the countryside around. I just think it works brilliantly as British noir. You film it in the middle of winter, it’s quite bleak.”
The gruesome murder at the start of series two was also filmed in a particularly lovely mansion near Bolton, while a “huge sequence” set in a cellar gives us a dose of “psychological gothic”.