From the BBC's initial announcement of the Sherwood cast in 2022, it was pretty clear that James Graham's series about the titular northern red wall town would be special. An all-star lineup for a series that was nominally inspired by the true crime killings in Nottinghamshire in 2004 but really about the fallout from Thatcher breaking the miners' strike 30 years before, the series had everything from politics to family drama and a pair of crimes to solve besides. It wasn't a surprise the BBC wanted more, and it wasn't long before Graham expanded his story into a sort-of anthology series set in and around the area.
Season 1 was set in 2014; Season 2 will bring the curtain up in modern-day Sherwood, as the town still struggles with poverty, unemployment, and divided political leanings. The series will also carry over a few characters from the first season; Lesley Manville and David Morrissey were already confirmed to return, reprising their roles as the widowed Julie Jackson and DCS Ian St Clair, who were tentatively headed towards becoming each others' love interest as Season 1 ended.
Season 2 will also bring back Adam Hugill as Scott Rowley, arrested for murdering Julie's husband at the end of Season 1. The drug-dealing Sparrow clan also returns, with Philip Jackson as patriarch Mickey, Lorraine Ashbourne as wife, Daphne, and Perry Fitzpatrick and Bill Jones as their sons, Rory and Ronan. At the end of Season 1, Daphne was revealed to have originally been a spy cop embedded in the town, nominally to report back on strike activities to Scotland Yard, but in reality, pushed by her superiors to start riots so arrests could be made. She went AWOL after falling in love with Mickey and stayed hidden for decades until past events caught up with her.
Season 2's all-star lineup, joining Manville, Morrissey, et al., leads off with David Harewood, best known in the U.S. for Homeland, Robert Lindsay (Oliver Twist), Monica Dolan (A Very English Scandal), Sharlene Whyte (We Hunt Together), and Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones). Co-stars include Ria Zmitrowicz (Mr Selfridge), Aisling Loftus (War & Peace), Robert Emms (His Dark Materials), Michael Balogun (Top Boy), Christine Bottomley (Domina), Oliver Huntingdon (Happy Valley), Jorden Myrie (Mood), Conor Deane (All Creatures Great & Small), and Bethany Asher (Wild Bill).
Here's the synopsis for Sherwood's second season:
The second series further explores the powerful themes that made the first so resonant to audiences across the UK; fractured communities, red wall towns, and the frayed social and political fabric of modern-day Britain within a prevailing context of chumocracy, leveling up, and political and communal turmoil. The series set in the present day introduces two new families that find themselves entangled with the Sparrows, entering a complex web of local gangs, old rivalries, revenge, and betrayal. Whilst a newly appointed Sheriff of Nottingham is passionately fighting local government and influential business leaders to save the community from the prospect of a proposed new mine for the area. It brings the promise of much-needed jobs and prosperity but also unwelcome reminders of the legacy that has mired the community for so long.
All six episodes of the new season were once again written by Graham, with director Clio Barnard (Ali & Ava) helming all installments. Both are also listed as executive producers alongside Kate Ogborn, with Juliette Howell, Tessa Ross, and Harriet Spencer executive producing for House Productions and Jo McClellan for the BBC.
Sherwood Season 2 is currently filming in the U.K. and is expected out in early 2024 on BBC One, followed by a debut on BritBox not long after.