Review: Bloodlands By James Nesbitt, Lorcan Cranitch
British crime drama series Bloodlands, which stars James Nesbitt and comes from Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio, has been renewed for a second season by the BBC.
This comes after the four-part show became the British public broadcaster’s biggest drama launch ever in Northern Ireland. It launched in the UK with 8.2M viewers, making it the biggest new BBC drama launch since last June with over 50% audience share in Northern Ireland, where the show is set.
The show is set to launch on AMC Networks streamer Acorn TV in the U.S. on March 15. Acorn has the option on future seasons but has yet to commit to the second season.
The noir-ish drama follows DCI Tom Brannick, played by Nesbitt, a veteran detective who delves into his own dark past to try and solve an infamous cold case with enormous personal significance: a series of mysterious disappearances linked to a turbulent period in Northern Ireland history over 20 years ago. Charlene McKenna, Lisa Dwan, Lorcan Cranitch, Ian McElhinney, Michael Smiley, Susan Lynch, and Lola Petticrew also star.
The cat-and-mouse thriller is rooted in Northern Ireland and filming will take place once again in Belfast and the surrounding areas, including Strangford Lough.
Bloodlands, written by Chris Brandon, is the first drama from Jed Mercurio’s production company HTM Television and he will continue to serve as an executive producer alongside Mark Redhead and Jimmy Mulville and Tommy Bulfin and Tom Lazenby for the BBC.
Mercurio said, “Everyone at HTM Television is thrilled our debut production has been recommissioned. It’s a tribute to the quality of Chris Brandon’s writing, the hard work of our crew and the brilliant performance of our cast led by James Nesbitt. We’re grateful for the outstanding support we’ve received from the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen and can’t wait to reward Bloodlands fans with another twisty case for Brannick and co.”
Brandon added, “I’m absolutely delighted that Tom Brannick’s story will continue with a new series of Bloodlands. It has been phenomenal to get such a positive response to James Nesbitt’s astounding performance, and the excellent work of his fellow cast and crew. What a privilege to begin another adventure with HTM Television and the BBC, in Northern Ireland – I can’t wait.”
James Nesbitt said, “I’m thrilled that viewers responded to Bloodlands so positively and that we will be returning for a second series. I’m always happy to be back in Northern Ireland and to reveal even more about Tom Brannick.”
Piers Wenger, Director of BBC Drama, added, “We’ve been overwhelmed by the audience response to Bloodlands and are thrilled to announce that the series is returning. Chris’ scripts shine a light on to tensions in Northern Ireland, both historic and present day, and it’s a testament to his skills as a dramatist, to a virtuoso performance from Jimmy Nesbitt and the care taken by all at HTM Television, that the series has been so beloved by audiences in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK.”