Exclusive: First images of Nicola Walker and Stephen Mangan in The Split series 2

Two years on, Abi Morgan's divorce drama is about to return to the BBC

The Split - series 2 images

Nicola Walker and Stephen Mangan return in series two of The Split – and judging by these first-look images released exclusively to RadioTimes.com, there’s a lot of unresolved tension in Hannah and Nathan’s marriage.

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One preview image, above, shows Nathan Defoe (Mangan) standing by the Thames with his arms tightly crossed. A few feet away from him is wife Hannah Defoe (Walker), fiddling with her watch. Neither is looking at the other…

The Split hit our screens in spring 2018 and introduced us to the Defoes, a family of divorce lawyers. Matriarch Ruth Defoe (Deborah Findlay) was boss of the family-run law firm, working with daughter Nina (Annabel Scholey); her high-achieving daughter Hannah had just moved to rival law firm Noble & Hale, while third daughter Rose (Fiona Button) was working as a nanny and figuring out what she wanted in life.

Things were also getting pretty complicated in their personal lives, with the devastating revelation that Nathan had cheated on Hannah and told a bunch of lies. In the middle of all this, Hannah reconnected with ex-boyfriend (and colleague) Christie (Barry Atsma) and was forced to confront her own feelings and sense of betrayal.

Then there was the reappearance of estranged (dying) dad Oscar (Anthony Head), and Rose’s agonies over whether to marry her fiancé, and Oscar’s death, and Nina’s kleptomania, and Ruth’s dishonesty, and lots and lots of family secrets and blowout rows.

Despite all that, this first-look image from series two suggests that all the Defoe women are on speaking terms as they stride across the Millennium Bridge by St Paul’s Cathedral:

The Split - series 2 images

According to the BBC’s synopsis, “Now the Defoes are back, at newly merged law firm Noble Hale Defoe, and as former rivals now find themselves on the same side of the table, Hannah’s latest case is set to put NHD firmly on the map.

“Locked into an aggressive NDA by her controlling husband Richie Hansen (Ben Bailey Smith) when she was young and naive, Fi Hansen (Donna Air), one half of the UK’s most powerful celebrity couples, now wants out of her marriage. Hiring Hannah to help prepare to leave her dangerously coercive and manipulative partner, their divorce is set to be all the things the press love: public and messy.

“As the curtain is pulled back from the glossy veneer of their meticulously constructed public image, the pain that lies behind Brand Hansen is slowly revealed and Hannah must invest more than just her billable hours in helping Fi reclaim her life.”

As for that “passionate affair” with Christie, Hannah now feels trapped as she struggles to forgive Nathan while hiding the secret of her own infidelity.

“Meanwhile, Rose and James return from their honeymoon with ambitions to start their own family and Nina teeters on the edge, as the consequences of her erratic behaviour finally catch up with her,” the BBC reveals. “With the merger now complete, Ruth forced out from her role as head of the family firm, must search for a new purpose in life. And, as Hannah fights one of the most public cases of her professional career, the fight to save her own marriage is a deep, intensely, private battle.”

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The Split is coming to BBC One in February 2020