'Baptiste' star Tchéky Karyo: ‘There are a lot of amazing surprises!’

Tcheky Karyo and Fiona Shaw in Baptiste
Tchéky Karyo and Fiona Shaw have a new mystery to solve in Baptiste. (Image credit: (C) Two Brothers Productions)

Baptiste is back! Yes, TV’s most dogged detective, Julien Baptiste, played by Tchéky Karyo, is on the case once more as the twisty BBC1 spin-off from The Missing returns. 

When Baptiste Season 2 kicks off on Sunday 18 July, the French investigator is struggling in the aftermath of a family tragedy, but his interest is piqued when he sees a news report about Emma Chambers (Killing Eve’s Fiona Shaw), the British Ambassador to Hungary, whose husband and sons have vanished while on holiday in the Hungarian mountains. 

Baptiste immediately offers to help find them, but as the action moves forward 14 months to the present day, why are both he and Emma in an even deeper state of despair?

We caught up with Karyo to find out more...

Where do we find Baptiste?

"We have different time periods – the present day, then 14 months before. In the present day, we see Julien down and yelling at the world with his pain. His family’s a wreck. People love this character because you can rely on him but now he’s losing his temper and drinking. It’s a special journey for him this time. There are a lot of amazing surprises... "

Do we see any physical change in him during the different timelines?

"It took me six months to grow a big beard so when you see him in the present day, he’s really carrying the months of going slowly downhill..."

Why does he want to help Emma?

"Baptiste realises Emma has lost her family so he’s touched and he thinks, 'Maybe I could use my skills to help'. So he goes to Hungary and he’s pushing to help her but she’s not sure who this weird man is who is coming out of nowhere! With the local police, it’s tricky too, but they find him vital. It’s interesting to see him deal with different cultures." 

Fiona Shaw in Baptiste

Emma Chambers (Fiona Shaw) faces a desperate search for her family in Baptiste. (Image credit: (C) Two Brothers Productions )

Was it exciting to work with Fiona Shaw?

"I was thrilled. Fiona’s fantastic, moving and a very strong personality, who I really enjoy acting with. It’s fun. We have a lot of ways of approaching things in common." 

What was it like filming in Hungary?

"Hungary’s a special country. It’s in Europe, yet it keeps its own personality. We were in the centre of Budapest and unfortunately, we were so busy I didn’t have time to see the complexity of the country that eventually we discover during the series."

This looks like it will be the final series of Baptiste, can you see yourself returning to the character in the future?

"If I’m in good shape, why not? But who knows? I love him. There’s a lot of affection there from me. I’m glad to have had this experience going from The Missing to Baptiste and now with him running after his own tail." 

Where can I watch Baptiste?

The six-part season airs weekly from Sunday, July 18 on BBC1 at 9pm and will also be up on BBC iPlayer, where the first season is available too, along with both series of The Missing.

The first season aired on PBS in the US, so the second is likely to follow suit but no broadcast date has been released as yet.

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.