The second season of Criminal is streaming now on Netflix, but at just four episodes in length – following a three-part first season – the police drama’s latest outing makes for a quick and satisfying bingewatch, leaving fans hungry for more.
The unique series – devised by its showrunners George Kay and Jim Field Smith – takes place almost entirely within the confines of a police interrogation room, with a regular cast of police officers going up against a rotating line-up of suspects.
Will there be a third season of Criminal? And, given that the seven episodes produced thus far have all landed big-name guests to play the suspects, who can we expect to be filling the hot seat if/when the show returns? Here’s all the latest news.
Will there be a Criminal season 3?
Netflix is yet to officially announce another season of Criminal. However, series regular Katherine Kelly – who plays DI Natalie Hobbs – has revealed that “there is a plan to do more”.
“It’s got its own unique formula that’s quite unpredictable, so I couldn’t really say what the plan is,” Kelly told RadioTimes.com and other press ahead of the launch of the second season. “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.”
If a third season is greenlit, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could potentially have an impact on production, with all major TV and film productions now adapting their schedules and production techniques in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Kelly, though, has suggested that Criminal is actually “a very COVID-friendly show” since it features a small cast, limited locations and no major action set-pieces.
“[It was] January we filmed [season two] and we finished at the beginning of February,” she explained. “Little did we know that actually we were in a very COVID-friendly show… there’s no hugging, there’s no love scenes!”
Criminal season 3 episodes: What will happen next?
**Spoilers below for Criminal season 2**
Each episode of Criminal is more or less self-contained, though a running story thread across both seasons so far has seen DI Tony Myerscough (Lee Ingleby) struggle to pluck up the courage to ask his boss Natalie on a date.
At the close of season two, Natalie finally got bored of waiting and took the initiative, asking Tony to share a drink at the pub – a third season then would likely continue to explore their evolving relationship as a backdrop to the one-off police investigations.
As for how many episodes we can expected from the next season, Kelly has suggested the length of each new Criminal outing might continue to vary in future. “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.”
Criminal cast: Who will return for season 3?
It’s probable that we’ll see the return of our regular coppers – Katherine Kelly as DI Natalie Hobbs, Lee Ingleby as DI Tony Myerscough, Rochenda Sandall as DC Vanessa Warren and Shubham Saraf as DC Kyle Petit.
Mark Stanley appeared in the first season as DC Hugo Duffy, but his character was kicked off Hobbs’s squad after it was revealed he’d been drinking on the job.
**Spoiler alert** Duffy returns in the final episode of season two, now back in uniform following his demotion, and assists the team in bringing convicted killer Sandeep Singh (Kunal Nayyar) to justice.
It’s possible, given this open ending, that Stanley could reappear again in a third season, either as a uniform officer or back as part of the team of detectives.
Nicholas Pinnock was also part of the main cast for the first season as DI Paul Ottager – he did not reappear in season two, the character’s absence going unaddressed, so it’s possible he could still make a comeback in future.
You can also expect a new line-up of starry names playing the suspects – the Criminal regulars have their own wish list, with Ingleby naming Anthony Hopkins and Judi Dench as potential Criminal guest stars, Saraf suggesting Ian McKellen, Sandall wanting to go up against Paddy Considine and The Salisbury Poisonings Johnny Harris, and Kelly listing Kathy Burke, Michaela Coel and Killing Eve’s Fiona Shaw as her top picks.
Criminal season 3 trailer
At this early stage, there’s no trailer for a third season of Criminal – as for when we might potentially see one, the teaser for season two (see below) dropped two weeks ahead of those episodes launching on Netflix, so we’ll likely be looking at a similar time scale for any future seasons.
Will Criminal: France, Criminal: Spain and Criminal: Germany return?
When Criminal first launched in late 2019, it formed part of a quartet of shows – all were produced on the same set, but each in a different language, with the UK series being joined by French, Spanish and German equivalents.
Though the UK series was recommissioned, the international variants have not been – yet. In August 2020, series co-creator and director Jim Field Smith said that while there’s no news yet on further seasons of the other Criminal shows, the creative team would “love to do more of the others“.
Watch this space.