World War Two drama World on Fire has been renewed for a second series, the BBC has confirmed.
The BBC One series, which stars Helen Hunt, Sean Bean, Arthur Darvill, Blake Harrison, Jonah Hauer-King, Zofia Wichłacz, Ewan Mitchell and Lesley Manville in a large ensemble cast, tracks the progression of war from the early invasion of Poland by the Nazis through to the first months of fighting, and has been a hit with viewers.
It’s expected that future series will continue to show the hidden lives of people living in France, Germany, Poland and Britain during the conflict, which was still in its early stages by the conclusion of episode seven – and speaking before the series aired, writer Peter Bowker said he already has many series planned.
“I know what happens over six series for the main characters,” he told RadioTimes.com and other publications.
“If you pitch a show, people will often ask ‘What happens in series four, episode three? What happens to this character?’ You've got to know and not be English about it.”
Damien Timmer, Managing Director of Mammoth Screen, the production company behind the show added: “There's more war and there are more years and it's possible.”
Based on how the series has progressed so far, it seems likely that series two could examine clashes like The Battle of Britain, the Axis attack on the Balkans, the war in Africa and Operation Barbarossa (when the Germans invaded Russia), all of which took place in mid-1940 to 1941.
World on Fire’s second run may also introduce new characters living in countries not previously visited by the series, with Bowker keen to have many perspectives in a similar way to 1970s documentary World at War.
“I always thought: 'what if there was a fictional equivalent of that, that told the war from multiple international perspectives?'” he said.
Still, whatever happens viewers might be in for a wait. No official airdate has been suggested, but given that the first series reportedly took two years to bring to screen thanks to its size, it seems likely that series two could take even longer to be made as the scope expands.
Whatever the case, though, we’re sure the people who enjoyed the show will be happy to wait. Who’d want to rush a war anyway?
This article was originally published in autumn 2019
World on Fire starts on PBS Masterpiece in the US on Sunday 4th April 2021 at 10/9c and episodes air weekly