'World on Fire' Will Finally Return for Season 2 This Fall

Lesley Manville in "World on Fire" Season 2

Lesley Manville in "World on Fire" Season 2

(Photo: Masterpiece)

In the world of British television, there are a plethora of stories about World War II and its aftermath. This is understandable given how the conflict forever altered life for residents of the U.K.; the traumatic experiences involved everyone who lived through the Blitz and the immeasurable loss of life that followed. But what makes the sprawling drama World on Fire so intriguing is its determination not to tell the same WWII story we've all seen before. Instead, the drama focuses on precisely the sorts of central figures (women, LGBTQ characters, and people of color) who rarely get to star in war epics.

A surprise pandemic hit for PBS, the drama aimed to tell the story of the war through the eyes of the everyday people taking part in it, across multiple countries and from numerous (often marginalized) perspectives. And now, over three years after it first aired, we'll finally get to see the show's second season, which is slated to debut in October. However, it seems that Season 2 will (understandably) look slightly different than the show we remember.

It appears that several key cast members, including Arthur Darvill (Broadchurch), Helen Hunt (Blindspotting), and Sean Bean (Time), won't be returning for the series' second season. There's no hint yet of how the show will handle the departures of their characters, who were all involved in major ongoing storylines opposite several of the show's major players. (I know I can't be the only person who was really invested in the potential of that slow-burn Robina and Douglas romance. SIGH.)

 Jonah Hauer-King  in "World on Fire" Season 2

 Jonah Hauer-King  in "World on Fire" Season 2

(Photo: Masterpiece)

Happily, many favorites from the series' first season are coming back for its second, which seems to be reorienting itself (at least in promotional focus) toward stars Lesley Manville (Magpie Murders) and Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women), who play the mother-son duo of Robina and Harry Chase. (It's certainly not the worst idea, as their complex and complicated relationship.) 

Julia Brown (Shetland) is also back as Harry's first love Lois alongside Zofia Wichlacz (Warsaw 44as his new Polish wife Kasia, with Blake Harrison (The Great) as Stan, Eugénie Derouand (Paris Police 1900) as Henriette, Eryk Biedunkiewicz as Jan, and Cel Spellman (Cold Feet) as Joe. Other returning cast members include Yrsa Daley-Ward (Outer Range) as Connie, Ewan Mitchell (Trigger Point) as Tom, and Mateusz Więcławek (Monument) as Grzegorz.

And new faces are joining the show as the story expands, including Mark Bonnar (Guilt) as the mysterious Sir James Danemere, Gregg Sulkin (Runaways) as brave but reckless RAF pilot David, Ahad Raza Mir (Resident Evil) as fearless and determined Rajib, who leads a specialist unit of the British Indian Army and Miriam Schiweck (Der Staatsanwalk) as the German teenager Marga, a dedicated member of the Band of German Maidens.

Zofia Wichłacz in "World on Fire" Season 2

Zofia Wichłacz in "World on Fire" Season 2

(Photo: Masterpiece)

The series first season ended with the beginning of the Battle of Britain as Lois gave birth to a daughter and Harry reunited with Kasia as he tried to get her and several other resistance fighters out of Poland. The two are separated as they race to a safe house after their escape into Yugoslavia is thwarted and though it appears as though they've reached safety together...the finale is not entirely clear whether either makes it back to one another. 

Here's the (very basic) description of Season 2.

Telling the story of World War Two through the eyes of ordinary people, following intrepid young heroes fighting for freedom, series two will take viewers from the war-torn streets of Britain deep into Nazi Germany, the resistance within occupied France, and the brutal sands of the North African desert – where troops struggle to adapt to a very different kind of combat.

World on Fire is created by Peter Bowker who shares writing duties on Season 2 with Rachel Bennette and Matt Jones, produced by Amanda Black and Angie Daniell, and directed by Drew Casson, Barney Cokeliss, and Meenu Gaur. The series is a Mammoth Screen production for BBC co-produced with Masterpiece. 

Season 2 will officially premiere on Sunday, October 15 at 9pm ET. The first season of World on Fire is currently available to stream on PBS Passport. 

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World On Fire

Emotionally gripping World War II drama World on Fire premieres on Sunday, April 5, 2020.
World on Fire: show-poster2x3

Lacy Baugher

Lacy's love of British TV is embarrassingly extensive, but primarily centers around evangelizing all things Doctor Who, and watching as many period dramas as possible.

Digital media type by day, she also has a fairly useless degree in British medieval literature, and dearly loves to talk about dream poetry, liminality, and the medieval religious vision. (Sadly, that opportunity presents itself very infrequently.) York apologist, Ninth Doctor enthusiast, and unabashed Ravenclaw. Say hi on Threads or Blue Sky at @LacyMB. 

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