SAS Rogue Heroes star teases "different war" in season 2
Gwilym Lee joins the SAS Rogue Heroes season 2 cast as David Stirling's brother, Bill.
Filming continues on the second season of BBC drama SAS Rogue Heroes, with one of its stars promising a shift in the new episodes.
According to new cast member Gwilym Lee, who is playing David Stirling's brother and founder of the 2SAS regiment, Bill Stirling: "It's just a different war."
Chatting exclusively to RadioTimes.com, he explained: "In the desert, they rarely encountered civilians, for instance. They were operating deep, deep behind enemy lines, and there just weren't the same consequences and the same kind of impact on the soldiers, so you see the human impact on them a little bit more.
"But they are still these wild, roguish characters that are like the punks and rock-and-rollers of their time."
Lee continued: "I'm in Croatia at the moment. We're shooting up in the north in Pula, which is doubling for Sicily in Italy during the Italian campaign in 1943."
Connor Swindells, Jack O'Connell, Sofia Boutella and Dominic West are all reprising their roles in the series, which was created and written by Peaky Blinders' Steven Knight and debuted to critical acclaim.
On joining the established cast for the second outing, Lee said: "It's always trepidatious when you join a cast that have already shot a season, that has been so well received and so great. But I feel embraced by them and I feel a massive part of the family already.
"And it's a privilege to get to tell the story of these heroes, these great, great soldiers and this incredible moment in history. The Second World War I'm always fascinated by because it was a moment that engaged everybody, everyone had to play their part."
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He added: "It does make you consider what you would have done in certain circumstances. I would not have been as heroic as these people at all."
On preparing for his role as Bill Stirling, Lee also said: "I had the good fortune to speak to Archie Stirling, who is Bill's son. And he was very graceful and generous with his time. Him and his wife have been so lovely about sharing stories and photographs. It was a great privilege to speak to him."
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The upcoming instalment once again examines the origins of the Special Forces unit, with the action unfolding in 1943.
According to the series synopsis: "With David Stirling captured and Paddy Mayne now in charge of the SAS, their attention must turn from the conflict in North Africa to mainland Europe. But GHQ have cast doubt over the future of the regiment, while the creation of a new unit and a surprise arrival make things even more difficult for the men.
"Can they prove that the SAS remains essential to the war, wherever it may lead them?"
The new season will welcome new recruits Mark Rowley (The Last Kingdom) and Jack Barton (Heartstopper), who play SAS members Jock McDiarmid and John Tonkin respectively.
Paolo De Vita (Anonymous, La Grande Guerra del Salento), Anna Manuelli (Blocco 181, Pezzi unici), Edward Bennett (Industry, Save Me Too) and Matteo Franco have also joined.
SAS Rogue Heroes season 2 will air on BBC One. Season 1 is available to watch on BBC iPlayer right now. Visit our TV Guide or Streaming Guide to find something to watch tonight, or check out the rest of our Drama coverage.