When is Strike back on TV?

The JK Rowling BBC mystery series is set to return – but probably not for a few years

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Another case is wrapped up in the final episode of Strike: Career of Evil, with Tom Burke’s private eye finally unmasking the man who’s been stalking him while sidekick Robin (Holliday Grainger) takes some drastic risks to save a little girl.

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But at the end of the hour, viewers will still be left with one nagging mystery – when will Strike be back on TV?

After all, JK Rowling (writing as Robert Galbraith) has only published three novels starring the titular detective, all of which have now been adapted by the BBC. The author is currently working on a fourth novel called Lethal White.

With that in mind, then, Strike might be put on the shelf for a while, with lead actor Tom Burke suggesting they might not even start work on new episodes until 2019 – the Sherlock approach, we’ll call it.

“I don’t think it would [film] until the year after this year,” star Tom Burke told RadioTimes.com of the series’ future, while his co-star Holliday Grainger confirmed that there were no plans for the series to create other mysteries outside of Rowling’s planned novels.

“I think they’ve always been quite clear that they’d never want to write one without basing it on the book,” she told us.

“It is all about Jo’s writing, and the characters are all about what Jo’s written. No, you’ve got to wait.

“It’s kind of great, because you don’t get that [usually],” she went on.

“So often you have to sign on for seven years of six months of work with dates clearly put before you go in for an audition, or go in for a final audition, or whatever.

“This was like: the books aren’t written yet. So it’s like, ‘When you and Tom can do it. Whenever you’re free. When we’re all free and when we want to, let’s make this.’ It feels quite liberating in terms of that.

“And I think both Strike and Robin are such clear and understandable characters, and Tom and I had such fun doing it. I think it will hopefully be quite fun and quite easy to slip into.”

Even if there is a bit of a break before the next series, the future for Strike looks rosy, with Burke believing the BBC could listen to fan complaints over the relatively short adaptations of the lengthy novels.

“[The producers are] very happy with it but interestingly enough, the one thing they do feel in terms of, if we do more, is it maybe can be spaced out a bit more, we can fit a bit more in, that maybe that’s where to go next in terms of maybe the next book,” Burke said.

“I don’t know anything about the next book but I think some people do and they feel like it could be a four part one.”

Holliday Grainger and Tom Burke, BBC Pictures, SL
Holliday Grainger and Tom Burke, BBC Pictures, SL

And after that, Grainger says the crime-solving pair could be back for many more mysteries over the years.

“I can’t remember how many I’m contracted for,” she said. “But I think there was an idea that there might be seven written. But I don’t know if that’s a ‘definite’ or a ‘might’.

“They’re pretty spread out unless Jo just doesn’t sleep ever. But she’s pretty busy.”

So there you have it – if we’re willing to wait, there might be more Strike coming than you can shake a stick at. Just try not to feel too bad if we don’t see them this side of 2020.

Interviews by Susanna Lazarus

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Strike: Career of Evil concludes on BBC1 on Sunday 4th March at 9pm