The Full Trailer for 'World on Fire' Season 2 Conveys the Series' Epic Scope

Gregg Sulkin in World on Fire Season 2

Gregg Sulkin in "World on Fire" Season 2  

 (Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Screen and MASTERPIECE)

It's been four years since the first season of World War II drama World on Fire premiered, promising to reinvent the way we tell stories of the war by focusing on the day-to-day lives of the ordinary people fighting, dying, and trying to survive during it. Its sprawling setting and massive A-list ensemble cast helped make the series a surprise pandemic hit for PBS's Masterpiece, and viewers everywhere eagerly awaited its return. At long last, that moment is almost here, with Season 2 officially arriving in the U.S. in October.

The series' first season ended with the Battle of Britain. Season 2 picks up in 1941, as RAF pilots are scrambled to destroy the German bombers prowling the skies above Manchester and rescue operations underway in the streets below. But not only has the true reality of war arrived in Britain at least, but the field of battle has also expanded beyond that shown in Season 1, with stories taking place in occupied France, Nazi Germany, and the North African desert, where British troops join forces with Indian Sappers and Australian Diggers.

But despite its still-sweeping scope, Season 2 will, by necessity, look a bit different from its predecessor due to the fact that production coincided with the pandemic. As a result, several of the show's most high-profile stars will not be taking part, including Sean Bean (Time), who played pacifist Douglas Bennett, Helen Hunt (Blindspotting), who played journalist Nancy Campbell, Arthur Darvill (Broadchurch), who played RAF pilot Veron, and Brian J. Smith as American doctor Webster O'Connor. How (or even if) their absences will be explained in the new season remains to be seen.

Happily, though, many Season 1 cast members have returned for the show's second outing, including Lesley Manville (Magpie Murders) and Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women) as the mother-son duo of Robina and Harry Chase, as well as Julia Brown (Shetland) and Zofia Wichlacz (Warsaw 44), as new single mother Lois and Polish freedom fighter Kasia. (How the two women in Harry's life — the mother of his child and his new wife — will react to one another is one of the big questions Season 2 will need to answer.)

Here's the series description.

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.

Season 2 will introduce several new characters as the show pivots to cover events in new locations, Mark Bonnar (Guilt) will play the mysterious Sir James Danemere an MI5 agent who, as the trailer indicates, appears to be trying to recruit Robina. Elsewhere, Gregg Sulkin (Runaways) plays a brave but reckless RAF pilot named David, with Ahad Raza Mir (Resident Evil) is the fearless and determined Rajib, an Indian officer 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, the girls' wing of the Nazi Party youth movement. 

The new episodes are written by series creator Peter Bowker has returned to pen the new episodes in collaboration with Rachel Bennette (Ripper Street) and Matt Jones (The Split), while Drew Casson, Barney Cokeliss, and Meenu Gaur handle directing duties.

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

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 Twitter at @LacyMB

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