It's been a long wait since Strike: Lethal White debuted in 2020, but we've now finally got a sense of when we can expect to see a fifth season of the show, titled Troubled Blood.


The new season lands on our screens later this week and will once again star Tom Burke as Cormoran Strike, an ex-army private detective, as well as Holliday Grainger as his work partner, Robin Ellacott.

It will be adapted from the 2020 book by JK Rowling (written under the pen-name Robert Galbraith), and sees Strike taking on his first ever cold case.

But when exactly can we expect to see Strike and Robin back on screen? And what will this season have in store for us? Here's everything you need to know about Strike season 5 AKA Troubled Blood.

When is Strike returning to BBC One?

Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger behind the scenes of Strike - Troubled Blood.
Behind the scenes of Strike: Troubled Blood. Bronte Film and TV Ltd, Alex Rendell, BBC

Good news Strike fans! It has now been confirmed that the series will return for an adaptation of the fifth novel in Galbraith/Rowling's series, Troubled Blood - and we don't have long to wait at all.

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Strike: Troubled Blood will debut on Sunday 11th December at 9pm on BBC One, with all episodes available to stream on BBC iPlayer thereafter.

If you're a fan of tuning into the live episodes, the second episode airs on BBC One on Monday 12th December at the same time, with the following two episodes airing on Sunday 18th and Monday 19th.

The season will once again be made up of four hour-long episodes, and will be directed by Sue Tully, who was also behind the previous season, Lethal White.

Each of the first four Strike novels - The Cuckoo's Calling, The Silkworm, Career of Evil, and Lethal White - have been adapted into a mini-series with Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger as the returning leads.

You can purchase Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith on Amazon here.

What is Strike: Troubled Blood about?

Lethal White
Strike: Lethal White. BBC

Based on the 2020 novel, the second most recent in the Strike series, Troubled Blood sees Strike tackling his first ever cold case.

The official synopsis the season says: "Private detective Cormoran Strike is visiting his family in Cornwall when he’s approached by a woman asking for help finding her mother, Margot Bamborough, who went missing under mysterious circumstances in 1974.

"Strike’s never tackled a cold case before let alone one 40 years old, but despite the slim chance of success, he’s intrigued and takes it on, adding to the long list of cases that he and his partner in the agency Robin Ellacott are currently working on. Robin herself is also juggling a messy divorce and unwanted male attention as well as battling her own feelings about Strike.

"As Strike and Robin investigate Margot’s disappearance, they come up against a fiendishly complex case with a psychopathic serial killer and witnesses who cannot all be trusted. They learn that even cases decades old can prove to be deadly."

Who is in the cast for Strike: Troubled Blood?

Tom Burke in Lethal White
Strike: Lethal White. BBC

The cast for Troubled Blood has now been announced, with Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger of course returning, alongside other returning stars such as Kerr Logan and Sarah Sweeney.

Meanwhile, new cast members for this season include Call The Midwife's Linda Bassett and Unforgotten's Ruth Sheen, although character details for the new stars have yet to be confirmed.

Here's the full list of the confirmed cast for Strike: Troubled Blood:

  • Tom Burke as Cormoran Strike
  • Holliday Grainger as Robin Ellacott
  • Kerr Logan as Matthew Cunliffe
  • Sarah Sweeney as Lucy
  • Kierston Wareing as Leda Strike
  • Samuel Oatley as DI George Layborn
  • Jack Greenlees as Sam Barclay
  • Christina Cole as Izzy Chiswell
  • Ian Redford as Uncle Ted
  • Ben Crompton as Shanker
  • Linda Bassett as TBC
  • Abigail Lawrie as TBC
  • Anna Calder-Marshall as TBC
  • Fionnula Flanagan as TBC
  • Cherie Lunghi as TBC
  • Daniel Peacock as TBC
  • Ruth Sheen as TBC
  • Syrus Lowe as TBC
  • Carol MacReady as TBC
  • Sophie Ward as TBC
  • Robin Askwith as TBC
  • Genevieve Hulme-Beaman as TBC
  • Philip Cornwell as TBC
  • Kenneth Cranham as TBC

Is there a trailer available for Strike: Troubled Blood?

There isn't a trailer available for Troubled Blood just yet, but we'll keep this page updated with any new footage as soon as it becomes available.

In the meantime, you can rewatch the trailer for Lethal White right here.

How did Strike: Lethal White end?

**Warning: This section contains spoilers for Strike: Lethal White**

Lethal White
Strike: Lethal White. BBC Pictures

Turns out that the only person more untrustworthy than the conceited government minister with a secret (Jasper Chiswell, played by a sneering Robert Glenister) is his charming but ultimately murderous son.

Rafe Chiswell, whom we already knew had a habit of running down pregnant mothers, turned out to be - shock, horror - even worse than his much-loathed father. He had spotted an unidentified Stubbs painting - of a mare standing over a foal with the titular 'lethal white' syndrome - hanging on the walls of his ancestral home, and began working towards stealing it away.

There was no love lost between Rafe and his family, the Chiswells. Rafe had been mercilessly bullied and tortured by his elder brother Freddie - and troubled young man Billy, who had first come to Strike with a decades-old story of a girl being strangled, had actually witnessed Freddie strangling a long-haired Rafe, before Freddie shot and buried his younger brother's beloved pony.

Strike: Lethal White
Strike: Lethal White. BBC

Rafe had organised his father's blackmail and later his murder, but he had not factored in Strike and Robin's detective work.

Using his knowledge of Robin's impending divorce, he pretended to be her ex, Matthew, and lured her into a trap where he held her hostage at gunpoint inside a houseboat.

Luckily, Robin was able to keep him talking until Strike and the police found her and arrested Rafe at the end of the season finale.

Of course, the other main question, other than whodunnit, is: did Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott get together at the end of Lethal White?

Well... no, not yet. But the spark is there - and given that Robin is finally divorcing her odious husband, we'll hopefully get our answer next season.

Strike: Troubled Blood will premiere on BBC One on Sunday 11th December, while Strike seasons 1-4 are available now on BBC iPlayer.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our TV Guide or Streaming Guide, or visit our dedicated Drama hub for the latest news.


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