Oona Chaplin: I am amazed the BBC has not yet recommissioned The Crimson Field

The actress and granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin hopes to return to the First World War drama - but is also waiting on a new FX series called Hoke

Actress Oona Chaplin says she is stunned that BBC1 has still not commissioned a second series of its hit First World War drama The Crimson Field.


Chaplin, the star of the tale about nursing on the Western Front, says she is currently unsure if she will be able to return to The Crimson Field because of potential work in the US and the fact that the BBC has still not given it the formal go-ahead for season two.

Speaking at the Series Mania drama festival in Paris, Chaplin told RadioTimes.com that scriptwriter Sarah Phelps “knew exactly where the characters were on the 11th of November 1918” – the date of the Armistice and the end of the war.

“I am sorry, but seven million viewers for The Crimson Field and the BBC still cannot tell us if we are recommissioned or not,” said Chaplin, known to millions of Game of Thrones fans for her role as Talisa Maegyr, the short-lived Queen in the North who met her end at the notorious Red Wedding.

“The way these things are financed are so bloody complicated and ridiculous if you ask me. I am sure it must make sense for someone.”

Currently the action in The Crimson Field is poised at the beginning of the war and it is understood that Phelps’ plan is to make three more series for each year of the conflict, ending in 2018, a century after the end of the Armistice.

“I hope [Phelps’ plans] mean I am in it! Maybe not,” said Chaplin, adding that she is waiting to see whether her FX series Hoke – a 1970’s cop drama in which she plays a “bad ass Cuban” called Elida opposite Paul Giamatti – will run to a full series. A pilot was shot in January.

“Coming back to The Crimson Field would depend on dates – you know what the Americans are like they really have you by the balls.

“If it does clash I don’t know what will happen.”

Chaplin says she is taking time off from acting for the moment after an exhausting year and is studying sustainable agriculture, among other things.

A BBC spokeswoman confirmed that the Crimson Field had not yet been commissioned but that this was normal for a drama in the middle of its run.

She said: “We are half way through the series and it’s not unusual for re-commission decisions to be made after a series has finished.”