After a year of no news, things were looking bleak for the dystopian drama – but the BBC has finally confirmed that a second season is on the way, with production already in full swing.
So we’ll all be heading back to Albion – aka a parallel world United Kingdom – once more to follow the star-crossed lovers in a world where white people (known as “Noughts”) are governed by a ruling black class (“Crosses”).
Here’s everything we know about the upcoming season – but beware, because spoilers for the entire first season follow!
Will there be a Noughts + Crosses season 2?
Yes! The show didn’t have the strongest launch figures, with an overnight audience of 2.5 million watching the first episode on BBC One – down on the slot average of 3.1m. However, Noughts + Crosses appealed strongly to younger viewers, scoring a 13.3 per cent share of the 16-34 year-old demographic.
This might explain why the BBC took so long to mull over a second season – but finally in May 2021, a year after the release of season one, it was confirmed that a follow-up was on the way.
Noughts + Crosses season 2 release date: When will it return?
Filming for the first season began in South Africa in November 2018, with the series launching 16 months later.
Season two was confirmed in May 2021, with filming set to begin a month later in South Africa – so on a similar timeline we could expect a late 2022 air-date (or possibly even sooner.)
However, TV and film production is currently in limbo due to the coronavirus pandemic and rules around social distancing, which may well lengthen the filming process of any new Noughts + Crosses episodes, even if pre-production were able to be carried out remotely.
Noughts + Crosses books: What happens next?
Three more books then follow – Checkmate (2005), Double Cross (2008) and Crossfire (2019), with one final entry in the series – Endgame – in the works.
Though you might expect season two of the TV show to adapt Knife Edge, the climax to the first season of Noughts + Crosses appears to diverge from the first book’s storyline, which could have big ramifications for what follows.
Noughts + Crosses (the book) ends with Callum being executed after his relationship with Sephy, and the fact that she is carrying his child, is exposed.
Noughts + Crosses (the TV series) ends with the two lovers both still alive, but on the run. Given that Knife Edge sees both Sephy and Callum’s brother Jude still reeling from his death, it’s hard to see how the BBC could bring a faithful adaptation of that book to the screen with Callum still in the picture.
So is TV show going to have Callum stick around and forge its own path going forward? It’s possible, but comments by Malorie Blackman seem to suggest that this isn’t the plan.
Just need to clarify something. The TV series doesn’t reach the end of the first N+C book. It only tells three-quarters of the story. Fingers and toes crossed that we get to finish telling Callum and Sephy’s story as detailed in the Noughts and Crosses novel.— Malorie Blackman (@malorieblackman) March 9, 2020
Blackman’s statement suggests that a second season of Noughts + Crosses would bring the final act of the first book to the screen, including Callum’s death, with future episodes then going on to adapt the events of Knife Edge and the novels that follow.
However, even if that is the case, that does not mean the show will not diverge from the books in other ways – in a press release Blackman has promised “surprises” for book fans.
Blackman said: “So many people have asked me, ’So what happens next?’. Now they will find out! Having read the scripts, I think I can safely say that even those familiar with the Noughts & Crosses series of books will find surprises, suspense and so much to savour.”
Noughts + Crosses cast: Who will return?
Of the main cast, the following have all been confirmed for a second season of Noughts + Crosses.
- Masali Baduza (Persephone “Sephy” Hadley)
- Jack Rowan (Callum McGregor)
- Helen Baxendale (Meggie McGregor)
- Paterson Joseph (Home Secretary Kamal Hadley)
- Kiké Brimah (Minerva Hadley)
- Bonnie Mbuli (Jasmine Hadley)
- Jonathan Ajayi (Lekan)
The first season left the fates of both Callum’s brother Jude (Josh Dylan) and LM leader Jack Dorn (Shaun Dingwall) up in the air – the two men tussled and a gunshot rang out, though we didn’t find out who – if anyone – had been killed or injured.
However, Dylan has been confirmed for season two whereas Dingwall has not, which would line up with book events where Jude survives to play a big part in future instalments unlike ‘Andrew’ Dorn (Jack’s book equivalent) who has a much more limited role.
Albion will also have some new residents this time around – Robert Hands (Endeavour) will join as mysterious new character Clem, while Jasmine Jobson (Top Boy) will be playing Cara, a Cross who becomes an unlikely love interest for Jude in the second book Knife Edge.