World on Fire season 2 is finally upon us, launching the epic cast of characters including Jonah Hauer-King, Lesley Manville and Blake Harrison back onto our screens.


Some actors haven't returned, however, with the likes of Helen Hunt, Sean Bean and Arthur Darvill leaving the series. Meanwhile, stars including Mark Bonnar and Gregg Sulkin had joined as new characters.

The series tells the story of the Second World War from multiple international perspectives, with season 2 featuring scenes in England, Germany, France and North Africa.

But where exactly was World on Fire season 2 shot? Read on for everything you need to know about where World on Fire was filmed.

Where was World on Fire season 2 filmed?

Lesley Manville as Robina in World on Fire season 2
Lesley Manville as Robina in World on Fire season 2. BBC/Mammoth Screen

The second season of the BBC series started filming in Northern Ireland, but we don't currently know where else it was filmed and where specifically was used.

More like this

However, we do know more about the filming locations for the first series, which was filmed in two main locations: Manchester and Prague.

As you probably suspected, many of the scenes set in Manchester were actually filmed in the city. However, as Adam Smith, director of the series' first two episodes, told, parts of Wigan also doubled for the city.

What about the scenes set in Poland, Berlin and Paris circa 1939? All of these were filmed in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Well, almost all. "We also pretended parts of Manchester were Warsaw," Smith told us. "And parts of Wigan were Paris. It was a really confusing shoot!"

Scenes of war-torn Warsaw were also filmed in Prague. "We found this amazing location just outside the site, this devastated factory," explained Helen Ziegler, executive producer. "It looked like it had been bombed [it had actually been half-demolished] and it had this eerie beauty to it."

Smith added: "Obviously there’s a lot of CGI in the show, but we tried to use as many real things as possible and augment, rather than create, so it felt truthful and realistic."

Later in the first season, you might also have recognised the beaches of Blackpool masquerading as the shores of Dunkirk. Specifically, the staging of the famous evacuation, which takes place in episode 5, was filmed on St Anne’s Beach, close to the town’s airport.

Where is World on Fire season 2 set?

The second season of the war drama is set across Europe from 1940 to 1941, and follows the Manchester Blitz and the North African campaign, as well as resuming events in occupied France and Nazi Germany.

The North Africa scenes show soldiers from the British Empire fighting for the Allies "in a desert that had been carved up in the previous century by European powers", World on Fire writer and creator Peter Bowker previously explained.

This means that, alongside telling the stories of British soldiers, these sequences also focus on the stories of Indian fighters and Italian enemies as they find themselves in an inhospitable, utterly unknown landscape.

Bowker continued: "In Europe, we dramatise the deteriorating situation in occupied France as the Nazi occupation hardens and resistance becomes increasingly dangerous. And in Germany we tell a story of how a warped and toxic nationalism can induce 'ordinary people' to bend their morality to breaking point.

"Back in England in late 1940, the war had come home in the form of soldiers returning from Europe, refugees fleeing warfare and persecution, and bombs being dropped by the Luftwaffe as the attacks on London extended to the great industrial conurbations, including Manchester and Liverpool.

"It is in Manchester that we begin to tell the story of the murkier world of espionage, as the Home Office sent some of its Whitehall men north, to set up crude spy networks amongst refugees to investigate potential sabotage and keep an eye on morale in industrial towns and cities that they didn’t entirely trust or understand," Bowker added.

World on Fire returns to BBC One and iPlayer on Sunday 16th July 2023. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 12 issues for only £1 with delivery to your home – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.