World on Fire Season 2 is finally coming after a four-year hiatus! From the release date to the new and returning cast, first-look images, plot details, and a new trailer, we’ve gathered everything we know about the returning PBS period drama and what to expect from the upcoming season on MASTERPIECE.
World on Fire, Season 1, premiered on the BBC in the Fall of 2019 and in the Spring of 2020 on PBS’ MASTERPIECE to strong reviews.
It is a WWII historical drama centered around the lives of ordinary people from five countries during the War as they come to terms with their everyday lives and the new hardships they face.
It’s an emotional, suspenseful series that ended on a massive cliffhanger, so expectations from the audience to resolve the storylines were expectedly high.
The show did pick up a Season 2 renewal, but due to the world facing its own turmoil in 2020, the TV series experienced long delays. Thankfully, the filmmakers ultimately wrapped filming in December 2022. And the new season will finally be able to resolve its cliffhangers.
Although, because of the long delay, like Sanditon, only some cast members are returning.
So, let’s explore what to expect from World on Fire Season 2.
WORLD ON FIRE SEASON 2 RELEASE DATE
World on Fire Season 2 premieres Sundays starting October 15, 2023, 9:00 to 10:00 PM ET. There will be six episodes in total airing on PBS’ MASTERPIECE.
The show will also be available to stream on the PBS app (PBS Passport), PBS.org, and the PBS MASTERPIECE Amazon Channel.
WORLD ON FIRE SEASON 2 CAST
PBS recently released eleven new first-look images featuring returning and new cast members.
RETURNING CAST MEMBERS
Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women, The Little Mermaid) is back as the lead character portraying Harry Chase – an interpreter in Warsaw, torn between two women.
Blake Harrison also returns to play Harry’s platoon Sergeant, Stan.
Next on the cast, Julia Brown is back as Lois Bennet, a young, talented singer from Manchester who falls in love with Harry, much to the disapproval of Harry’s mother.
It’s not just Harry’s mother in the way of their relationship, however, as the War causes them to part and go in different directions.
Zofia Wichłacz returns as Kasia Tomaszeski, a young woman who joins the Polish Resistance and marries Harry.
Parker Sawyers plays Albert Fallou, a jazz saxophonist from Paris. He was in a relationship with Webster O’Connor, played by Brian J. Smith in Season 1.
Finally, Eugénie Derouand returns as Henriette Guilbert, a secretly Jewish nurse living in Paris.
NEW CAST MEMBERS
New additions to the cast include a talented group of actors with intriguing-sounding characters.
Mark Bonnar from Guilt and Shetland joins the cast as “the mysterious Sir James Danemere.” Mysterious is always good!
Gregg Sulkin from Marvel’s Runaways is taking on an essential role as the brave but reckless RAF pilot, David.
Ahad Raza Mir will play a “fearless and determined” soldier called Rajib, who “leads a specialist unit of the British Indian Army.”
The final main cast member is Miriam Schiweck portraying the German teenager Marga, “a dedicated member of the Band of German Maidens.”
World on Fire Season 2’s cast also features new and returning actors Cel Spellman as Joe, Eryk Biedunkiewicz as Jan, Yrsa Daley-Ward as Connie, Ewan Mitchell as Tom (Lois’s brother), and Mateusz Wieclawek (Kurier, Monument) as Grzegorz.
All in all, the second season’s cast sounds promising!
WHAT CAST MEMBERS ARE NOT RETURNING?
But what about all the fan-favorite actors (and characters) not returning?
Sadly, based on the press release and available information thus far, Sean Bean will not be back. Neither will Helen Hunt as the American Journalist Nancy Campbell. Unfortunate news, indeed.
Also not returning are Max Riemelt and Brian J. Smith. It’s unclear, however, if Arthur Darvill will return as Vernon.
Of course, that doesn’t mean there won’t be new announcements, including more cast members. Or, if Season 3 happens, it’s possible actors like Sean Bean and Helen Hunt could return later.
Time will tell!
WORLD ON FIRE SEASON 2 TEASER TRAILER
The new teaser trailer recently dropped, and it looks exciting, emotional, and compelling. After a few years of waiting, seeing how the writers connect from Season 1 to the new storylines in Season 2 will be interesting.
From the trailer, it seems like the new cast members will add more diversity to the cast and story. Plus, it looks like the love triangle between Harry, Lois, and Kasia will continue to be central to the character arcs. Although, could Harry be more in love with Kasia now? Interesting.
WORLD ON FIRE SEASON 2 TRAILER
The full official trailer is finally here!
PLOT AND STORYLINES
OFFICIAL PBS 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.”
STORYLINES AND CHARACTER ARCS:
While much isn’t known yet, new statements from Lesley Manville, writer and creator Peter Bowker, Helen Ziegler, Director of Television at Mammoth Screen, Ben Irving, Acting Director of BBC Drama, and MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Susanne Simpson, all hint about what fans can expect in Season 2.
About Season 2, Lesley Manville says, “It’s wonderful to be bringing Peter Bowker’s epic scripts to life again. Rich characters telling great, human stories set against the backdrop of World War II. It’s a feast!”
World on Fire writer and creator Peter Bowker adds, “The second season of World on Fire has been a long wait…and this makes the beginning of filming especially exciting. It has been a real joy to pick up the story with our inspirational cast, both our established regulars and new and exciting talent who have embraced the show’s scale and ambition.
How the conflict played out in North Africa is a fascinating and little explored history and we are aiming to redress that balance with stories of struggle and friendship. Our diverse cast will continue to reflect the global nature of the conflict.”
Helen Ziegler also added some encouraging information – hinting toward the Season 2 storylines, characters, and themes:
“Peter Bowker gives us an extraordinary insight into the second year of World War II with his unique humanity, humour and pathos. This is a drama which poses the question – how do you survive when everything around you has changed unimaginably? We are absolutely thrilled to be returning for this epic and adrenalized Season 2 of World on Fire, with our wonderful returning cast joined by a host of new characters!”
The Acting Director of BBC Drama, Ben Irving, added his excitement to the upcoming season: “With a range of intriguing, untold stories that put ordinary people at the centre of history, and a first-rate ensemble of both new and returning characters, it’s a real pleasure to see filming on World on Fire Season 2, now underway.”
Finally, MASTERPIECE Executive Producer Susanne Simpson details how World on Fire “captivated our MASTERPIECE audience,” and they are “thrilled to bring them another season of this ambitious World War II drama.”
She adds that with “Peter Bowker’s riveting scripts, a talented returning cast plus some intriguing new characters, Season 2 will definitely be worth the wait.”
Sounds good to us…
For more clues, check out this article on PBS featuring writer Peter Bowker discussing Season 2. However, the information could be outdated, as his comments were from a few years ago.
But perhaps many of his plans for the show will still happen! For example, the idea of Lois and Kasia meeting for the first time.
PRODUCTION AND BEHIND-THE-SCENES
Creator Peter Bowker returns as head writer, with writers Rachel Bennette and Matt Jones also writing episodes with Drew Casson, Barney Cokeliss, and Meenu Gaur directing.
The series is a co-production between Mammoth Screen for the BBC and MASTERPIECE.
The crew filmed World on Fire Season 2 in Northern Ireland and wrapped production in September 2022, with some additional filming in December.
WHAT WE’RE HOPING TO SEE
So, all we fans need to do is count down the months until the premiere! Here’s to hoping all the stories and cliffhangers resolve satisfactorily and the missing characters will have satisfying explanations for their absence.
Despite a couple of plot lines, we didn’t love in Season 1, we’re excited about the new season and can’t wait to see what happens!
Make sure to stay tuned to this page for updates.
And if you haven’t seen World on Fire, Season 1 yet, or want to re-watch for a refresher, you can stream the first season on the PBS App, PBS.org, and the PBS MASTERPIECE Amazon Prime Video Channel.
What do you hope to see in the second series of World on Fire? Let us know in the comments!