Exclusive – Staged creator opens up on the season 2 ending: ‘It’s a platonic love story between David Tennant and Michael Sheen’

David Tennant and Michael Sheen reunited in person for the season's bittersweet finale.

Staged

Creator of Staged Simon Evans has explained he “always wanted” to finish season two with series stars David Tennant and Michael Sheen reuniting in person.

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“We always wanted to finish it with those two together, especially because the second series had spiralled out to so many other characters, we wanted to make sure it was just the two of them, really, and their partners [Georgia Tennant and Anna Lundberg],” he told RadioTimes.com.

“The idea was in the back of our heads as to whether we could get David and Michael in the same space and, as soon as the idea was in there, it became everything that we all wanted to do, and as soon as I shared it with David and Michael, they got very excited about that as well.”

Season two ended with the two families briefly meeting in person while wearing masks, before Tennant and Sheen decided to continue their conversation via Zoom at a later date.

Evans (who played himself in the Staged cast for both seasons one and two) said the slight awkwardness of the moment was completely intentional, as he didn’t want the series ending to be “schmaltzy” or “sentimental”.

“What I loved so much about how they played that little moment is they sort of both resign themselves to going back to the video call again. We were aware that the moment could be – if we handled it badly – a bit schmaltzy, and if there’s anything I hope the show is not, I hope it’s not sentimental. I hope it’s got a bit of – I hope it doesn’t pander to easy solutions. What I loved, what made my hair stand-up, was they find each other but don’t quite know what to say to each other.”

Staged S2
Simon Evans (centre) in Staged season two (BBC)

He added that the moment hopefully “reflects us all a bit” in the strangeness of physically reuniting with friends after quarantine.

“They’re sort of, ‘I don’t quite know what to do now.’ And I think, as cathartic as it might have been for them to run into each other’s arms and give them a hug, there was something more about – something that I hope reflects us all a bit, that goes, ‘When I’m actually able to see a friend and give them a hug, will that be a slightly strange thing, will I not quite know how to negotiate that new thing?'”

The finale also represented the culmination of the show’s “platonic love story” between Tennant and Sheen.

“Of course, it’s been said about series one and two that it is in a sense a sort of platonic love story between two guys,” said Evans, “so it was integral that, while they didn’t meet in Central Park for a kiss in the snow, they have our version of that, which is winding the window down, taking your mask down for a second and saying hello. And that was as close as they could get.”

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Staged is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide.