If The Missing gets a third series, it will return without its beloved French detective Julien Baptiste, the show’s writers have revealed.
Tchéky Karyo has played the character for two gripping series of the BBC1 drama.
However, if a third series of the show were to be made, writers Harry and Jack Williams have said that it would feature a completely different detective.
Explaining why they wouldn’t bring back Baptiste, the writers explained that they felt “hemmed” in by the series’ reliance on jumping between multiple time periods.
“If we ever did The Missing again it would probably be without Baptiste,” they said. “The Missing was about the missing period of time between these events and losing someone and finding them. I think we sort of hemmed ourselves in time-wise.”
They concluded, “If we did The Missing again it would be a brand new story and world.”
The BBC drama would not be the first series to continue without its lead character, with anthology series such as Fargo and True Detective regularly resetting with brand new casts and stories.
However, while Baptiste won’t be returning to The Missing, the character does have his own spin-off series starting on BBC1 in February 2019.
In the new drama – called, simply, Baptiste – the detective is brought in to investigate the disappearance of a sex worker in Amsterdam. The show is yet to air, but the writers have revealed they already have ideas for future instalments.
“As we were doing series one we were like, ‘God, we’d love to tell more stories,’” they said. “The story this unpacks has a lot for Tchéky still to explore and when we talked about it we were like, ‘Oh, that could be good.’ And before we knew it we had a rough idea of what season two and three could be, which hardly ever happens.
“Normally we finish a series and never want to do it again and then we can’t think of anything. We do have the ideas [for Baptiste], but it’s not up to us.”
Although they have lots of thoughts for a second and third series, the writing duo conceded that that doesn’t mean the show will necessarily be renewed.
“This series begins and ends in and of itself. So if everyone hates it and no one watches it, it can end. If this is the last one, there’s no cliffhanger. It doesn’t depend on continuing.”
Baptiste begins on Sunday 17th February at 9pm on BBC1