Based on the hugely popular novels by Malorie Blackman, Noughts + Crosses is set in a parallel United Kingdom – known as Albion – where white people (known as “Noughts”) are governed by a ruling black class (“Crosses”).
Set against this backdrop is the budding romance between the well-to-do Cross girl Sephy and her Nought friend Callum, a passionate affair that leads them both into terrible danger.
Though the six-part series is airing on Thursday nights at 9pm on BBC One, it’s also been available in its entirety on iPlayer since the first episode premiered on 5th March.
Will there be a season two? Here’s everything we know so far… but beware, because spoilers for the entire first season follow!
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Will there be a Noughts + Crosses season 2?
The BBC is yet to officially order a follow-up to the Noughts + Crosses, but there’s certainly plenty of source material to be mined if they did want to continue adapting Blackman’s books (more on that below).
Is a second series looking likely? The bad news is that the show didn’t have the strongest launch figures, with an overnight audience of 2.5 million watching the first episode on BBC One – down on the slot average of 3.1m.
However, Noughts + Crosses appealed strongly to younger viewers, scoring a 13.3 per cent share of the 16-34 year-old demographic. This could help its future prospects, especially if its iPlayer figures are healthy – very possible given the show appeals to a younger audience more used to watching TV on demand.
Noughts + Crosses season 2 release date: When will it return?
Filming for the first season began in South Africa in November 2018, with the series launching 16 months later.
Ordinarily then, it might be feasible for a second season to be commissioned and start filming by the end of 2020, eyeing an early 2022 air-date (or possibly even sooner).
However, TV and film production is currently in limbo due to the coronavirus pandemic and rules around social distancing, which would inevitably delay filming of any new Noughts + Crosses episodes, even if pre-production were able to be carried out remotely.
Noughts + Crosses books: What happens next?
The first season of Noughts + Crosses adapts the 2001 novel of the same name, with 2004’s Knife Edge being the next book in the series.
Three more books then follow – Checkmate (2005), Double Cross (2008) and Crossfire (2019), with one final entry in the series – Endgame – in the works.
Though you might expect season two of the TV show to adapt Knife Edge, the climax to the first season of Noughts + Crosses appears to diverge from the first book’s storyline, which could have big ramifications for what follows.
Noughts + Crosses (the book) ends with Callum being executed after his relationship with Sephy, and the fact that she is carrying his child, is exposed.
Noughts + Crosses (the TV series) ends with the two lovers both still alive, but on the run. Given that Knife Edge sees both Sephy and Callum’s brother Jude still reeling from his death, it’s hard to see how the BBC could bring a faithful adaptation of that book to the screen with Callum still in the picture.
So is TV show going to have Callum stick around and forge its own path going forward? It’s possible, but comments by Malorie Blackman seem to suggest that this isn’t the plan.
Just need to clarify something. The TV series doesn’t reach the end of the first N+C book. It only tells three-quarters of the story. Fingers and toes crossed that we get to finish telling Callum and Sephy’s story as detailed in the Noughts and Crosses novel.
Blackman’s statement suggests that a second season of Noughts + Crosses would bring the final act of the first book to the screen, including Callum’s death, with future episodes then going on to adapt the events of Knife Edge and the novels that follow.
Noughts + Crosses cast: Who will return?
Of the main cast, the following would likely return for a second season of Noughts + Crosses.
Masali Baduza (Persephone “Sephy” Hadley)
Jack Rowan (Callum McGregor)
Helen Baxendale (Meggie McGregor)
Paterson Joseph (Home Secretary Kamal Hadley)
Kiké Brimah (Minerva Hadley)
Bonnie Mbuli (Jasmine Hadley)
The first season left the fates of both Callum’s brother Jude (Josh Dylan) and LM leader Jack Dorn (Shaun Dingwall) up in the air – the two men tussled and a gunshot rang out, though we didn’t find out who – if anyone – had been killed or injured.
But given that Jude survives to appear in future books whereas ‘Andrew’ Dorn (Jack’s book equivalent) does not, odds are good that Dylan will be back, with Dingwall’s continued involvement less certain.
Noughts + Crosses is available to watch in full on BBC iPlayer – check out what else is on with our TV Guide