The Missing series 2 explores coming home

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More details have been released on the second season of The Missing, starring Tchéky Karyo, Keely Hawes and David Morrissey.

Writers Harry and Jack Williams will explore a different aspect of what happens when a child goes missing, opting not to return to the search by his Tony (James Nesbitt) to find his missing son.

Season 2 is set mostly on a British military base in Eckhausen, Germany, but is also filmed in Belgium and Morocco. The story begins when a young British woman stumbles through the streets in Northern Iraq and collapses in the town square. It’s Christmas 2014 when Alice Webster (Abigail Hardingham) learns she has been missing for 11 years. The series explores how a family, and a community, copes with her return.

“We didn’t want to recreate the same story, we wanted to do something different,” says Harry Williams. “Rather than losing someone, it’s about finding someone, and whether that is the happy ending that everyone thinks it is.”

Executive Producer Willow Grylls says the heart of the piece is the impact this has on Alice’s family: “The Missing isn’t The Missing without its characteristic twists and turns. And quite quickly we find out that there is another girl that has also been missing, who is still out there.”

Told again over two timelines, with the theme of freedom versus imprisonment, as well as the impact of war running throughout, it starts in 2014 with Alice’s return, and then switches to the present day to see how it has impacted the family.

“The intention is to make the audience lean forward a little bit more,” adds Willow. “It allows us the ability to tell stories about characters in a non-linear way and allows us to make choices that we wouldn’t normally be able to.”

Detective Julien Baptiste (Tchéky Karyo) is the only familiar face from the first series, when he comes out of retirement and into the lives of the Webster family.

“As Oliver’s story was coming to an end, we felt we weren’t necessarily done with the character of Julien Baptiste,” says Harry. “It made us sad to say good-bye to him, and there were more stories we had to tell there.”

Jack agrees: “We knew that a man with a career that long would have skeletons in his closet, a lot of things left remaining to fix.”

“It’s more complex, emotionally and narratively, than the first series. But you can’t underestimate the viewer,” says Harry. “There’s a lot to keep track of, but it does pull you in, and it feels clear what the story is.”

An airdate for BBC First has not yet been announced.

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