Criminal cast hint at season 3 and reveal dream guest stars

A second season of the Netflix crime drama is about to launch and "there is a plan" to do more.

Rochenda Sandall in Criminal season 2 (Netflix)

Its second season isn’t even out yet, but the cast of Netflix’s Criminal has confirmed that plans are afoot for more episodes – and they’ve already got their eyes on some potential guest stars.

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Having launched last year with a three-part first season, the crime drama – set almost entirely inside a police interrogation room – returns with four new instalments on 16th September, with Kit Harington, Sophie Okonedo, Kunal Nayyar and Sharon Horgan all playing suspects.

The new season was filmed in early 2020, ahead of lockdown – though as returning series regular Katherine Kelly points out, the format of Criminal actually makes it a “very COVID-friendly show”.

“COVID-19 was not a conversation that anyone was having at that time,” Kelly – who plays DI Natalie Hobbs – told RadioTimes.com and other press. “It wasn’t really talked about. [It was] January we filmed and we finished at the beginning of February. Little did we know that actually we were in a very COVID-friendly show… there’s no hugging, there’s no love scenes!”

In which case, as TV and film production begins to get back underway under COVID-safe conditions, could a third season of Criminal be in the offing? It sounds like it. “It’s a very unique show in many ways and one of those ways is that… I know it is billed as seasons, but we did three episodes in the first season, this one’s four [episodes]… the way it’s set up is that we could come back and just do one, or we could do six, or we could leave it for a few years and then come back to it.

“It’s got its own unique formula that’s quite unpredictable, so I couldn’t really say what the plan is. But I think there is a plan to do more – George [Kay, series writer and co-creator], he’s so brilliant that he’s always thinking about another story, another episode. He’s got so many ideas.”

As for who could follow the likes of David Tennant, Hayley Atwell and Kit Harington in guesting on the show as a suspect, the Criminal regulars have some very clear ideas on they’d want to face off against in a third season.

“I just want my heroes to be in front of me so I’d have [Anthony] Hopkins, get him in, or Judi Dench, that’d be interesting woudn’t it?” said Lee Ingleby, returning as DI Tony Myerscough.

“Fiona Shaw, I’d love Fiona Shaw,” added Kelly. “She’d be fantastic, wouldn’t she? Kathy Burke! Or Michaela Coel.”

Criminal, Lee Ingleby
The cast of Criminal (Netflix)

Shubham Saraf, who plays DC Kyle Petit, revealed he’d “love to see someone like Ian McKellen in”, while Rochenda Sandall, back as DC Vanessa Warren, said, “I’d like to see somebody like [The Salisbury Poisonings actor] Johnny Harris, or Paddy Considine – people who have got an incredible pull and focus on-screen.”

Fingers crossed that the second season of Criminal proves as successful as the first and we get to see this dream casting come to life – after all, Dame Judi recently revealed that she’s keen to play more villainous characters, so she might be keen to sign up.

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Criminal season 2 lands on Netflix on 16th September – check out our lists of the best TV shows on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide