Darkly delicious BBC/Showtime comedy Back To Life was a big hit with viewers in its first season, exploring the consequences of Miri Matteson (played by series co-creator Daisy Haggard) returning to her home town of Hythe after serving 18 years in prison, hoping to be able to get on with her life.
The people in her community had other ideas, however, as rumours ran rife about the terrible crime that Miri committed 18 years ago and she was subjected to a sustained hate campaign — before the truth about what happened all those years ago came to light.
A second series is on its way, and here is everything you need to know about it...
When does Back To Life season 2 start?
Back To Life season two will launch as a boxset on BBC3 and BBC iPlayer on Tuesday August 31 for UK viewers, with a linear TX beginning on BBC1 on Tuesday August 31 at 10.35pm. Viewers in the US can enjoy season two on Showtime starting on Monday September 13 at 10/9c.
What is the plot of Back To Life season 2?
The first series ended with several big revelations for Miri (spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn't watched it yet): one being that her mother Caroline had been having an affair with Dom, Miri's high-school boyfriend. However, the really earth-shattering shock was learning that the fight between Miri and her friend Lara, which resulted in Lara's death and Miri going to prison, was caused in part by Miri's best friend Mandy having a fling with Lara's father John and, when confronted by Lara about it, lying and saying it was actually Miri who was sleeping with him.
As the second season begins, Miri is not speaking to her mother or Mandy, but she is feeling optimistic about the future — she's got a trial shift at the supermarket which could lead to regular work, things are going well with next-door neighbour and potential love interest Billy, and she's found her crimper. She's even finding that some of the locals have realised she's not the monster they thought she was. However, that all looks set to change with the appearance of some faces from the past...
"Just when you think that maybe she's going to have a chance at a bit of a smoother journey, the parents of Lara Boback come back to town," chuckles Daisy. "As you would expect, we don't give Miri an easy ride — we test her optimism and her ability to get up when she's knocked over to, I think, the biggest extreme yet."
Who is in Back To Life season 2?
Series co-creator and writer Daisy Haggard (Episodes, Breeders) returns as Miri Matteson, with Geraldine James (Anne With An E, The Beast Must Die) as her mother Caroline and Richard Durden (Silent Witness, Ghosts) as her father Oscar.
Adeel Akhtar (Les Misérables, Killing Eve) is back as Miri's neighbour and love interest Billy, along with Christine Bottomley (The Nest, Domina) as Miri's former best friend Mandy, Jo Martin (Doctor Who, Holby City) as Miri's probation worker Janice, and Juliet Cowan (Cuckoo, I Hate Suzie) as inept local police officer Tina.
Newcomers to the cast for season two include Lizzy McInnerny (The Crown, Behind Her Eyes) as Lara's mother Norah Boback, Adrian Edmondson (Save Me, The Pact) as John Boback, and Meera Syal (The Split, Kate & Koji) as Billy's mother Gaia.
"Lara's parents have come back to town, and John's not happy with the rumours that have travelled to him about Mandy — what he would call a 'rumour' which is obviously actually a fact," says Daisy. "He does not like Miri at all, so he's our threat for the series, really. He's a man who's suffered enormous grief, so we don't just see him as a bad guy, but he's never been a very good man either, so it's complicated. And Meera Syal is playing Billy's ridiculously glamorous and sexy young mum, who is an absolute powerhouse — she's absolutely terrifying! She takes one look at Miri and decides she likes her, until something goes very wrong at her birthday party..."
Is there a trailer for Back To Life season 2?
There is, and BBC3's official Twitter unveiled it on August 18. You can check it out below.
The trailer sees Miri trying to get her life back on track after leaving prison, but things don't look good for her as Laras's father, John watches her from a car and can be heard saying "Fury that she gets to live and begin a life when she took my little girl from me. I want to destroy her"...
Good news for fans of dark comedy. Back To Life series two is on BBC iPlayer 31st August. #BackToLife pic.twitter.com/xWwuZhpyOxAugust 18, 2021
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Steven Perkins is a Staff Writer for TV & Satellite Week, TV Times, What's On TV and whattowatch.com, who has been writing about TV professionally since 2008. He was previously the TV Editor for Inside Soap before taking up his current role in 2020. He loves everything from gritty dramas to docusoaps about airports and thinks about the Eurovision Song Contest all year round.