'Karen Pirie' Season 2 Filming Finally Underway in Scotland

Picture shows: Karen Pirie (Lauren Lyle) and Jason "The Mint" Murray (Chris Jenks) sit side by side behind a desk looking at a computer screen

Karen Pirie (Lauren Lyle) and Jason "The Mint" Murray (Chris Jenks).

© Britbox

It has been a very long minute since we last heard anything about Karen Pirie, the series based on Val McDermid's mystery novel series of the same name. Though McDermid's books are no stranger to TV (Karen Pirie is the fourth adaptation from her work), ITV seemed strangely hesitant to renew the show, considering it was a smash hit on the U.K. side of the pond and as much of a hit on BritBox as could be expected in the crowded landscape of Peak TV's 2022. 

But that hesitancy is nothing on how long it took filming to get underway. The series was commissioned in February 2023, and here we are with filming at last confirmed to have begun...seventeen months later, in July 2024. The news was almost buried under the crush of election prep announcements ITV was doing at the time as well, as the snap election was only days away at that point and already looking to be a historic event.

But despite the fact that everyone seems determined to keep this one under wraps, Lauren Lyle is returning as the titular Scottish detective, and her next adventure will follow the same trajectory as McDermid's novels. Season 1 covered the first Karen Pirie novel, A Distant Echo; Season 2 will continue the stories in order, with the show adapting the second Pirie book, A Darker Domain.

The clapper marking the start of filming for Karen Pirie Season 2

The clapper marking the start of filming for Karen Pirie Season 2


Here is the Season 2 synopsis:

In the turmoil of 1984, when a young heiress to the Grant oil fortune, Catriona Grant, is kidnapped at gunpoint with her young son, it’s assumed that the motivation is political. The huge investigation creates an uncontrollable press storm… but when the culprits unexpectedly fall silent, the case runs cold. Cat and Adam are never seen again. Forty years later, when a man's body is discovered, Karen Pirie is assigned to reopen the case in complete secrecy. With the first key piece of evidence in decades, Karen must try to unlock one of Scotland's most infamous mysteries whilst battling increasing media attention. What happened to Cat Grant, and why do sinister forces want the secrets of her disappearance to remain hidden?

Lyle will once again be joined by ensemble co-stars Emer Kenny (The Curse) as River Wilde, Chris Jenks (Vigil) as DC Jason ‘Mint’ Murray, Zach Wyatt (The Witcher: Blood Origin) as DS Phil Parhatka, Steve John Shepherd (Harry Potter) as DCS Lees, and Rakhee Thakrar (Sex Education) as Bel Richmond. The ensemble will also add Saskia Ashdown (Six Four) as newcomer DC Isla Stark. 

Season 2's guest cast includes James Cosmo (His Dark Materials), Frances Tomelty (Unforgotten), John Michie (London Kills), Julia Brown (World on Fire), Mark Rowley (One Day), Kat Ronney (Dinosaur), Stuart Campbell (The Winter King), Thoren Ferguson (Payback), Helen Katamba (The Nest), Jamie Michie (The Full Monty), Madeleine Worrall (We Were The Lucky Ones), Jack Stewart (Outlander), and Conor Berry (Schemers).

Emer Kenny once again pens all three episodes, with directors Gareth Bryn (Line of Duty) and Amanda Blue (The Gathering) spitting helming duties across the three feature-length episodes. Marcus Wilson (Luther) produces. McDermid and Kenny executive produce alongside Simon Heath and Emma Luffingham for World Productions.

Karen Pirie Season 2 does not yet have a release date, but it will probably be out in 2025.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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