All four episodes in the first season of Shardlake are available to stream now on Disney Plus, with the season adapting the first book in the best-selling series of novels by late author CJ Sansom.


The season sees 16th-century lawyer Matthew Shardlake (Arthur Hughes) being sent by Thomas Cromwell (Sean Bean) to investigate a murder at a monastery, with only the cocky Jack Barak (Anthony Boyle) for company.

However, with plenty more books in the Shardlake series to adapt, will the show be returning for a second season, or is this the one and only time we will get to see these beloved characters brought to life on screen?

Read on for everything you need to know about the potential for a second season of Shardlake.

*Warning - contains minor spoilers for all four episodes of Shardlake season 1*

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Will there be a Shardlake season 2?

Arthur Hughes riding a horse in a blue cape and looking to the side.
Arthur Hughes as Matthew Shardlake in Shardlake. Disney Plus

We don't yet know for certain whether Shardlake will be returning for a second season, as no confirmation has yet come from Disney Plus.

However, it certainly seems that, should the creative team get the green light from the streamer, they are raring to go, and eager to adapt the next book in CJ Sansom's series, Dark Fire.

At a recent Q&A for the show, writer Stephen Butchard was asked whether a second season was on the cards, with future instalments adapting subsequent books.

He said: "We have talked about future series, and that was part of the reason also of bringing Jack Barak into the first. Hopefully it will happen, but you just never know.

"It's a funny industry, you don't know how audiences are going to react to it, so there's other factors. But, as a creative group, I think we would all love to do it."

Meanwhile, speaking exclusively with, Jack Barak star Anthony Boyle said that he and the other cast members hadn't had any discussions about future outings "at this point", but added that "it would be great if we did".

Shardlake star Arthur Hughes added: "I hope so. The story of these characters, I think, just gets deeper and better, as the whole political situation with Henry VIII and all his wives and the machinations of Cromwell and everything is going on, and Shardlake and Barak are very much in the middle of it. I think they just get better and better.

"People love the Tudor period, and this is a story told from a different perspective. It's normally told... you know, it's Wolf Hall, it's Henry VIII, it's A Man for All Seasons, it's told at the top.

"This story is told at the normal person in that Tudor society's level. Barak and Shardlake are just people going about their business and that are caught up.

"So I hope there'd be the appetite to tell the rest, because they’re pretty good, I think."

We will keep this page updated if and when we hear anything further regarding the future of Shardlake on Disney Plus.

When could a potential Shardlake season 2 be released on Disney Plus?

Sean Bean as Thomas Cromwell in Shardlake, sat at a desk and wearing Tudor dress, including a gold chain
Sean Bean as Thomas Cromwell in Shardlake. Disney+

It's hard to say when a potential second season of Shardlake would be released on Disney Plus, given that the streamer has yet to confirm the show's renewal.

However, we can look to the first season's timeline for some guidance - that season started filming in March 2023 and was released just over a year later.

If the second season were to be confirmed soon, and enter production swiftly, then we could imagine it potentially being released in summer 2025.

Of course, it could well get delayed beyond that point, but we will keep this page updated with any more concrete information regarding the show's future once it becomes available.

What could a potential Shardlake season 2 be about?

Arthur Hughes, Sean Bean and Anthony Boyle in Shardlake. Their heads hover over an image of a monk in an archway
Arthur Hughes, Sean Bean and Anthony Boyle in Shardlake. Disney+

It's likely that, were Shardlake to return for a second season, it would be based on the second book in Sansom's series, Dark Fire.

The official synopsis for that novel reads as follows: "England, 1540. Out of favour with Thomas Cromwell, Matthew Shardlake is intent on keeping a low profile in the courts. But his involvement with a murder case, defending a girl accused of brutally killing her young cousin, brings him once again into contact with the king’s chief minister – and a new assignment . . .

"The secret of Greek Fire, the legendary substance with which the Byzantines destroyed the Arab navies, has been lost for centuries. Now an official of the Court of Augmentations has discovered the formula in the library of a dissolved monastery. When Shardlake is sent to recover it, he finds the official and his alchemist brother brutally murdered – the formula gone.

"Now Shardlake must follow the trail of Greek Fire across Tudor London, while still trying to prove his young client’s innocence. But very soon he discovers nothing is as it seems..."

One major change which would have to be made in adapting the novel is that the original story introduces readers to Jack Barak for the first time, while he has already been introduced in the series.

Who could return to star in a potential Shardlake season 2?

Arthur Hughes and Anthony Boyle in Shardlake. They are dress in Tudor England clothing as they look at each other
Arthur Hughes and Anthony Boyle in Shardlake. Disney+

If Shardlake were to return for a second season, then we would certainly expect Arthur Hughes to be back in the title role, Anthony Boyle to return as Jack Barak, and Sean Bean to reprise his role as Thomas Cromwell.

Beyond that central trio, we could also see Peter Firth back as Norfolk and Kimberley Nixon as Joan. They are likely to be joined by a largely new cast list, as Shardlake and Barak take on a new mystery.

Here's a list of the central Shardlake characters we would expect to return in a potential second season:

  • Arthur Hughes as Matthew Shardlake
  • Anthony Boyle as Jack Barak
  • Sean Bean as Thomas Cromwell
  • Peter Firth as Norfolk
  • Kimberley Nixon as Joan

Is there a trailer for a potential Shardlake season 2?

There isn't a trailer available for a potential Shardlake season 2 yet, but we will update this article if one becomes available. In the meantime, you can rewatch the trailer for season 1 right here now.

Shardlake season 1 is available to stream in full on Disney Plus. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £4.99 a month or £79.90 a year now.


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