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Martin Clunes: The new 'Manhunt' covers 'some truly terrible crimes'

Martin Clunes as DCI Colin Sutton in Manhunt series 2.
Martin Clunes reprises his role as DCI Colin Sutton in this true crime sequel (Image credit: ITV)

Manhunt season 2 sees Martin Clunes reprise a role he won rave reviews for back in 2019 and the Doc Martin star will be stepping back into the shoes of real-life Detective Colin Sutton. 

In the four-part second series DCI Sutton is on the trail of a rapist who terrorised the elderly women of South London for 17 years. 

The first episode begins in 2009 as "Minstead Man" begins another spate of burglaries and rapes, yet with the police no closer to catching him than when he began his crime spree back in 1992, DCI Sutton is brought in to take a look at the investigation. Martin Clunes, 59, tells us more...

Martin Clunes on making a second series...

"When the producers told me there was another case I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it because the first one had been so successful and I was worried that we would be essentially making a B-side! But they soon put me right and from the moment I read it I wanted to do it. 

"This series is different, but it has that ‘Manhunt DNA’, in that it’s all about police work and the investigation. It also takes into account what’s going on in Colin's life in and out of the job and the effects of the job on his life, which is interesting."

Martin on playing DCI Colin Sutton again...

"Oh, it was an absolute pleasure. He’s such a fantastic resource and we often called him from the set to ask questions. Manhunt is all about telling the story of a police investigation as realistically as possible, so we wanted to make sure we got everything right! 

"It was great to have him around and it really helps me get an essence of him. Funnily enough, after the first series a man who’d worked with Colin came up to me at a service station and said 'you looked just like him in that bloody cardigan!' But Colin also really helps the team of actors playing the rest of the officers tell the story."

Manhunt 2

DCI Colin Sutton employs fresh tactics in his hunt for 'Minstead Man'. (Image credit: ITV)

Martin Clunes on the hunt for 'Minstead Man'...

"Colin's coming into this 17 year-old case, which has gone quiet for a few years, but the minute he joins the ‘Minstead Man’ starts reoffending again. It turns into an incredibly dynamic investigation and the way it builds and builds is incredible, because this guy is phenomenal in his offending.

"My curiosity the first time round was to see how people operate within a rank system, like the police, and that was the same this time out. Colin comes into a new team that’s being run by Detective Superintendent Simon Morgan, so we wanted to look at how people react to hierarchy and the mechanics of that. But Colin’s very good with people and has a total focus on the tasks at hand, but he’s also fearless when it comes to making big decisions!"

Martin on the dark material of Manhunt series 2...

"It’s always tiring at the end of the day of filming actually, they're really long days! But you were often in a gloomy headspace after being on set talking about these horrible attacks every day. We’re covering some truly awful crimes, but we tried to do right by the victims by doing the best job possible. 

"That’s what I love about these dramas, the crimes might have been solved, but it doesn’t stop you wanting to see them nail these evil people! But yes, it was a very different vibe from shooting Doc Martin on the clifftops. Everyone really enjoys these true crime stories and I think maybe we want to see a smart man fix things, which is what happens here - and in Doc Martin!"