Detective drama The Beast Must Die first debuted on BritBox in 2021, but now the full season is available to watch for free with ads on ITVX.


The show, which stars Billy Howle, Jared Harris and Cush Jumbo, was a hit for now closed down streamer BritBox when it first debuted, and it was quickly announced that a second season was in the works.

However, with years having gone by without an update, and some major changes having shaken things up behind the scenes, what is the status of the previously announced second season now?

Read on for everything you need to know about the future of The Beast Must Die.

Will there be a season 2 of The Beast Must Die?

Unfortunately for fans, it seems like there won't be a second season.

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Back in 2021, after the first season launched on BritBox, it was announced soon after that a second season was already in development.

The new season was set to be titled A Sword In My Bones, and was in development with New Regency Television and Ridley Scott's Scott Free. It was said that the show would be leaving the Isle of Wight behind for a "new cinematic setting", and would star the characters from season one – except for Billy Howle's Strangeways.

However, since then there have been some major changes behind the scenes, with BritBox closing down and becoming absorbed into ITVX. has now had it confirmed from ITV that a second season is not in development for ITVX, meaning it seems unlikely the proposed season 2 will ever see the light of day.

What was The Beast Must Die season 2 going to be about?

The proposed season 2, which is no longer in development, would have been deviating even further from the Strangeways novels by Nicholas Blake (AKA Cecil Day-Lewis) than season 1.

When season 2 was originally announced, it was revealed that, instead of adapting another of the novels, screenwriter Gaby Chiappe had created her own original story, titled A Sword In My Bones.

Ed Rubin, Head of New Regency Television International and Marina Brackenbury, Executive Producer, Scott Free UK said: "Harnessing a similar emotional intensity and thriller pulse to season one; A Sword In My Bones will offer up even greater narrative scope, a terrific new cast of characters and a whole new cinematic setting."

The Beast Must Die
The Beast Must Die.

The Beast Must Die season 2 cast: Who would have been returning?

Originally, season 2 was meant to star an entirely new cast of characters – with one exception. BritBox said at the time of the show's renewal, which has subsequently been scrapped, that Billy Howle was "mooted to return to the role of Detective Nigel Strangeways".

Howle, whose previous credits include The Serpent and On Chesil Beach, said: "I am thrilled by the reception to The Beast Must Die. A lot of hard work by all the cast and crew went into making the first original drama for BritBox, during a pandemic, and it seems to have paid off.

"I would relish the opportunity to take on the role of Strangeways again and am really excited by the prospect of this next chapter.”

Will Harrison, BritBox UK MD commented: “We are all immensely proud of our first original, scripted drama and the reception it has received from critics and subscribers alike. We are working closely with our partners at Scott Free and New Regency to explore what may lie in store for Detective Strangeways.”

Before the season 1 premiere, Howle himself told that he had unfinished business with Strangeways.

“I really wrestled with him, with Strangeways – not just in terms of getting into character, but there’s just parts of him that I found incredibly frustrating and stressful,” he said. "It was stressful to be him for however many months we were on the Isle of Wight.

“Having said that, at the end of the process, I sort of did feel slightly deflated, perhaps more so than [usual] – because it’s quite common that I do feel a bit deflated at the end of a job. But that’s more to do with the sort of social aspects of working with people.

"So I was wondering, why do I feel something sort of irresolute about this? And I was trying to put my finger on what it was, and I realised, you know: what the hell happens to him? I felt a great sense of care towards him… and I sort of thought, wow, is he still that lonely?

“And part of my job is sort of convincing myself that – well, no, I guess it’s the whole job really, but convincing myself that I am this lonely figure and all that stuff. So it resonates. And it kind of leaves this residual feeling of irresolution and yeah, it’s still with me now. And I’m still thinking, what happens to Strangeways next?”

What The Beast Must Die season 1 about?

BritBox drama The Beast Must Die
The Beast Must Die. BritBox/ITV

The official synopsis for the first season said: "The Beast Must Die is a gripping contemporary revenge thriller set on the Isle of Wight. Following the hit and run of a six-year-old boy, his mother (Cush Jumbo OBE) is intent on avenging his death and the only thing keeping her going is the desire to hunt down and kill the man she believes is responsible.

"The troubled yet brilliant Detective Strangeways (Howle) has to unpick this web of tragedy and steer a course to justice."

The cast for season 1 included Jared Harris, Geraldine James, Nathaniel Parker, Maeve Dermody, Cush Jumbo, Mia Tomlinson, and Barney Sayburn.

The Beast Must Die season 1 is available to stream on ITVX.


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