ITV psychological thriller Innocent is returning for a second season, but with a difference.
Instead of following on from season one, the upcoming standalone season will feature “new characters, new story” and an “extremely twisty plot,” focussing on the plight of a schoolteacher, Sally Wright, played by Katherine Kelly (Criminal).
And unlike season one, viewers will know Katherine Kelly’s character is not guilty from the start.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press, creator Chris Lang explained he wanted to “eliminate the potential of her [Sally] being guilty really early on”.
Kelly is joined by a star-studded cast, including Shaun Dooley (The Stranger), who plays a lead detective facing his own tragic past.
Back when the finale of ITV thriller Innocent aired in May 2018, it seemed a second series was highly unlikely.
“I think it’s a self-contained thing,” lead actor Lee Ingleby told RadioTimes.com, while his co-star Daniel Ryan agreed: “It’s a one-off.”
But while the story of Tara Collins’ murder is over, writer Chris Lang has come up with another season of Innocent with brand new characters, a brand new location, and a new story.
Here’s what you need to know about Innocent season two.
When is Innocent season 2’s release date?
CONFIRMED: Innocent season two will begin on Monday 17th May at 9pm on ITV.
The show started filming in September 2020 at locations in the Lake District and Ireland.
In May 2019, Chris Lang confirmed that the ITV drama had officially been re-commissioned, adding: “And now if you’ll excuse me, Matt Arlidge and I need to get writing!”
Delighted to tell you that #Innocent is returning. New characters, new story, should shoot early next year. And now if you'll excuse me, @mjarlidge and I need to get writing! #Innocent2 pic.twitter.com/nLbsTHrSD2— Chris Lang (@ChrisLangWriter) May 2, 2019
Innocent season 2 plot
Katherine Kelly leads the cast as schoolteacher Sally Wright, who has allegedly been having an affair with her 16-year old pupil, Matty Taylor.
When the boy is brutally stabbed with a broken cider bottle, suspicion lands on her and she’s convicted of murder – before evidence emerges that restores her freedom (but not her reputation).
The new season features a brand new story, but based on the same set-up, as a character is released unexpectedly from a lengthy prison sentence, and must rebuild their life.
“Hmmm. I wonder if we could interest an audience in a completely new #Innocent story?,” tweeted Chris Lang after the finale in 2018.
By October 2018 he was developing the idea, telling fans that ITV had asked him and co-writer Matt Arlidge to develop a second series. “New characters, new story, but the same question,” he wrote. “Is he/she really #Innocent?”
Arlidge added, “Indeed! We have the extremely twisty plot for #Innocent2 all worked out. So let the games begin!!!”
ITV Drama Commissioner Huw Kennair Jones says, “Innocent II is a thriller that keeps you guessing to the very end. Chris and Matt’s brilliant scripts are compelling and the characters incredibly relatable. We’re thrilled to be working again with TXTV and Chris Lang on a second instalment of Innocent.”
Innocent season 2 cast
Katherine Kelly leads as Sally, while Jamie Bamber (Marcella) also stars as her on-screen husband, Sam, with whom Sally had a stable marriage prior to the scandal.
Kelly says: “I’m thrilled to be working on this complex and thrilling drama by Matt Arlidge and Chris Lang. I look forward to bringing the mix of Sally’s fragility and quiet strength to life.”
Priyanga Burford (Press), Shaun Dooley (The Stranger), Amy-Leigh Hickman (Our Girl), Lucy Black (Gentleman Jack), Michael Yare (Game of Thrones), Andrew Tiernan (Marcella), Nadia Albina (Years and Years), Poppy Miller (Line of Duty), Janine Wood (Silent Witness), Laura Rollins (Doctors) and Michael Stevenson (Casualty) will also appear in season two.
Innocent season 1 recap: What happened in Innocent?
Series one of Innocent focused on the character of David Collins (played by Katherine Kelly’s Criminal: UK co-star Lee Ingleby), who had been convicted of the murder of his wife Tara – despite protesting his innocence.
In episode one he was released from jail on a technicality, but as he attempted to rebuild his life and re-connect with his children, viewers were left with the question: was he guilty or innocent of the murder of Tara Collins?
Is there a trailer for Innocent season 2?
Yes, you can watch the Innocent season two trailer here, featuring Katherine Kelly as Sally.