Bloodlands series 2 release date: Latest news on follow-up to James Nesbitt drama

BBC One's Bloodlands reached a dramatic conclusion earlier in the year – but will Tom Brannick be back for a second series?

Bloodlands

*Warning: spoilers for Bloodlands series one*

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BBC One police drama Bloodlands reached a dramatic conclusion last month, with the show finally revealing who serial killer Goliath was all along, explaining the disappearance of Tom’s wife Emma and wrapping up the whole Pat Keenan case.

Now that we’ve all finally processed the finale, we can look forward to series two, which was commissioned by BBC One in March.

The news came as a surprise even to creator Chris Brandon, who recently told The Irish News: “I thought I was going to have to wait months to find out whether it was being recommissioned.”

While the Irish writer is still working on the plot for series two, he has teased that the show will “delve a lot deeper” into Tom Brannick’s past, saying: “Bloodlands is essentially the story of Brannick.”

Read on for everything we know so far about Bloodlands series two and what it’s likely to cover. (Here’s the Bloodlands ending explained – and you can catch up on all the action from earlier in the series with our Bloodlands episode 1 recap, Bloodlands episode 2 recap and Bloodlands episode 3 recap.)

Will Bloodlands return for series 2?

Yes! Shortly after the first season reached its conclusion with a jaw-dropping final episode, the BBC announced that the drama would be back for a second run.

Given the fact that the show was a huge ratings hit – becoming the biggest BBC drama launch in Northern Ireland on record  – it’s perhaps no surprise that it’s been recommissioned, and there’s no shortage of loose ends to tie up in a further run.

Speaking of the renewal, director of BBC Drama Piers Wenger said, he had been “overwhelmed” by the audience response to the series, adding that he was “thrilled” to be renewing it for another instalment.

“Chris’ scripts shine a light on to tensions in Northern Ireland, both historic and present day,” he said. “And it’s a testament to his skills as a dramatist, to a virtuoso performance from Jimmy Nesbitt and the care taken by all at HTM Television, that the series has been so beloved by audiences in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK.”

Executive Producer Jed Mercurio added: “Everyone at HTM Television is thrilled our debut production has been recommissioned. It’s a tribute to the quality of Chris Brandon’s writing, the hard work of our crew and the brilliant performance of our cast led by James Nesbitt.

“We’re grateful for the outstanding support we’ve received from the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen and can’t wait to reward Bloodlands fans with another twisty case for Brannick and co.”

And star James Nesbitt said he was “thrilled” at the positive viewer response to the series, teasing: “I’m always happy to be back in Northern Ireland and to reveal even more about Tom Brannick.”

As for writer Chris Brandon, he spoke of his delight at the renewal by saying: “It has been phenomenal to get such a positive response to James Nesbitt’s astounding performance, and the excellent work of his fellow cast and crew. What a privilege to begin another adventure with HTM Television and the BBC, in Northern Ireland – I can’t wait.”

What will happen in Bloodlands series 2?

Bloodlands
BBC

There’s been no official clues as to what Bloodlands series two is likely to cover and it doesn’t look like the plot is set in stone yet, with writer Chris Brandon recently telling The Irish News that he’s still working it out.

“I thought I was going to have to wait months to find out whether it was being recommissioned,” he said. “I’m still finding it in my head, so I too am looking forward to finding out what happens next.

“We are currently checking actors’ availability, but hopefully there is an even spread of both recurring and new characters.

“Bloodlands is essentially the story of Brannick, so audiences can expect to delve a lot deeper into exactly what has gone on in his past,” he added.

Series two of Bloodlands will likely look at the aftermath of Pat Keenan and Tori Matthew’s deaths, which Tom is responsible for. While police believe that Pat Keenan was Goliath all along and that he killed Tori because he somehow found out that she was the one who kidnapped him, we know that Tom gave Pat Tori’s identity because she knew he was the person behind the Goliath killings and he knew that Pat would kill Tori. Tom then killed Pat to tie up any loose ends and will have told police that he did so after discovering he had killed Tori.

Niamh and Jackie still don’t have answers as to why Tom reported his wife missing almost three weeks after she disappeared and why he took medical leave the day after he didn’t turn up for work – so a second series is likely to see them investigate Tom further and hopefully begin to learn that he was behind the framing of Jackie and Pat Keenan.

Another series would also likely look at the effect of Tori’s death on Izzy, who was taught by her at medical school and had clearly begun to see her as a mother-figure, while Tom continues to hide his troubled past from his daughter.

It’s also possible that Emma Brannick could make her first appearance on the show – that is if we believe Tom’s claims that he let her go after killing her secret lover David Cory. Could she return to Belfast to set the story straight and reveal Tom to be the killer he really is? We’ll have to wait and see.

Bloodlands series 2 cast

Bloodlands
BBC

We can safely assumed that James Nesbitt will return as DCI Tom Brannick, while we’re like to also see Lorcan Cranitch (Jackie), Charlene McKenna (Niamh), Chris Walley (Birdy) and Lola Petticrew (Izzy Brannick) reprise their roles.

Unfortunately, Ian McElhinney (Adam Cory), Lisa Dwan (Tori Matthews) and Peter Balance (Pat Keenan) won’t be returning for series two as their characters were killed off in series one, (unless they appear in flashbacks, of course) but Michael Smiley could be back as forensic expert Dinger and Kathy Kiera Clarke could reprise her role as Pat Keenan’s widow Claire.

Bloodlands is available to watch on BBC iPlayer – visit our hub for all the latest Drama news.

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