Vigil season 2: release date, cast, plot, trailer and everything we know

Vigil season 2 new artwork of DCI Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) and DI Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie)
(Image credit: BBC)

Vigil season 2 has landed with the whole series now available on BBC iPlayer, while episodes are still airing on BBC One. And like the first series, it's proving a big hit for the BBC.

The sequel sees DCI Amy Silva (Suranne Jones) and DS Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie) looking into a dark conspiracy in the world of the British Air Force in a brand new investigation. 

Following a string of suspicious fatalities the pair must enter the secret world of drone warfare to catch a killer.

Setting up season 2 Suranne says: "Tom Edge and the writers have done a brilliant job at putting a new world together for the second series. Rather than the navy, which we saw in the first series, we’re now in the world of the air force. It’s clever as we stay in the Vigil world and we have a blueprint of this police officer — my character — who has got form about investigating the military. 

"At the start of this series, there has been an awful incident involving 'malfunctioning' military drones killing multiple people at the Dundair Air Base and, due to her work on the submarine, Amy is called in to investigate whether these drones really have malfunctioned or have in fact been used to attack their own.

"We’ve got four returning characters — Amy, Kirsten, Poppy and Gary Lewis back as Robertson — which is quite unusual to jump into a second series with because usually you meet more characters again, but it feels very fresh and exciting, and fully grounded in the world that we know from the first series — albeit with a brand new story and a brand new mystery for Silva to unravel"

Vigil season 2

DCI Amy Silva has a new case to investigate (Image credit: BBC)

A big hit when it premiered in 2021, the first series of Vigil saw DCI Silva board a nuclear submarine to investigate a death, before uncovering a mysterious international conspiracy that threatened the lives of everyone on board. 

With more than 10 million viewers tuning in to watch the first episode in the week following its release, it was the UK's most successful original drama since Bodyguard launched in 2018. 

Now creator Tom Edge has penned a second series, with Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie both returning, plus some exciting new stars. Here's everything we know...

Vigil season 2

Kirsten Longacre (Rose Leslie) and Daniel Ramsay (Amir El-Masry) (Image credit: BBC)

Vigil season 2 release date

Vigil season 2 began on Sunday 10 December on BBC One at 9 pm. Episode 5 airs on BBC One on Monday 18 December at 9 pm. The whole series is now available on BBC iPlayer.

Here's when the remaining episodes air...

9pm Sunday 17 December – episode four TX on BBC One

9pm Monday 18 December – episode five TX on BBC One

9pm Tuesday 19 December – episode six TX on BBC One

The series was filmed in Scotland and Morocco in the Spring of 2023. We don't have a US release date yet.

Vigil season 2

DCI Amy Silva has a new case to investigate  (Image credit: BBC)

Vigil season 2

Marcus Grainger (Dougray Scott) (Image credit: BBC)

Vigil season 2 plot

An official synopsis from the BBC reads as follows...

"Following multiple deaths at a Scottish weapons test, Silva and Longacre are tasked with finding out the cause. Entering the closed ranks of the air force in Scotland and the Middle East, the pair face the deadly warfare of tomorrow as they fight for their own uncertain future."

Vigil season 2

Eliza Russell (Romola Garai) (Image credit: BBC)

Vigil season 2 cast

Suranne Jones is back as DCI Amy Silva, and Rose Leslie returns as her fellow detective and love interest, DS Kirsten Longacre. Viewers really warmed to the pair during the first season.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the Vigil team again and continuing our story," said Suranne Jones in an official statement. "We have brilliant new scripts and some amazing additions to the cast. Buckle up. It’s quite a ride!"

Vigil Season 2

DCI Amy Silva has a new case to investigate (Image credit: BBC)

Rose Leslie added: “I’m delighted to team up with Suranne again and continue Amy and Kirsten’s adventures through a second series of Vigil. Tom Edge has created another gripping case for us to grapple with in a whole new setting.”

Gary Lewis (His Dark Materials, Granite Harbour) returns as DSU Robertson.

Romola Garai (Becoming Elizabeth, The Hour) and Dougray Scott (Crime, Enigma) both join the cast.

Vigil season 2

Callum Barker (Chris Jenks) (Image credit: BBC)

Romola Garai says: "It’s a huge privilege to be welcomed in as a part of Vigil series two and to be playing such a layered, complex character. I can only hope to do justice to the shows continued fascinating, challenging and thrilling storytelling."

Dougray Scott adds: "I’m delighted to be joining the cast of Vigil series two — the first was so highly regarded and widely watched, and I’m really looking forward to collaborating with Tom Edge and Andy De Emmony. Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie are great talents and I’m excited to be working with them."

The other new cast are Amir El-Masry (SAS Rogue Heroes, Limbo), David Elliot (The Liberator, Bulletproof), Chris Jenks (Sex Education, Karen Pirie), Tommy Sim’aan (The Midwich Cuckoos, Doctors), Oscar Salem (House of the Dragon, Des), Jonathan Ajayi (Noughts + Crosses) and Hiba Medina in her first major TV role.

Vigil season 2

Callum Barker (Chris Jenks) and Sattam Abdul Kader (Oscar Salem) (Image credit: BBC)

Suranne Jones on Vigil season 2

How does it feel to be returning to the world of Vigil?         

"I was honestly quite excited about how they were going to do the second series, because the first one was so specific and such a ride! Tom Edge and the writers have done a brilliant job at putting a new world together and it feels fresh, exciting and fully grounded in the world that we know from the first series – albeit with a brand new story and a brand new mystery for Amy to unravel!"

Did you feel any pressure returning, given the success of the first series? 

"There’s a big expectation because the show attracted so many viewers, won an International Emmy and was also nominated for a BAFTA, so these are quite big shoes to fill! It wasn’t a worry of mine particularly as you do the job the best you can and enjoy it."

The romance between Amy and Kirsten was a central part of the first series, where do we find them this time round? 

"One of the things I love about Vigil is that it’s a story of two very strong-willed women who’ve come into a relationship, but don’t want to give up their calling and independence. Then on top of that you’ve got the drones, deals, politics and warfare."

Vigil season 2 episode 1 recap

A Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS)  (Image credit: BBC)

The first series was famous for its twists and turns, are we going to be seeing more of that this year?

"Yes, absolutely! I think the magic of Vigil is that Amy is the audience in a way. In series one on the submarine, she kept pointing a finger at different people but every time she had a lead, that person had something but it wasn’t the main crime so it led her to something else. We’ve managed to do that again in this series. I also think it’s brave to tackle the issues and ask some of the questions that you see in the series. It’s entertainment, but it’s also quite thoughtful about what’s going on in the world."

Will there be as much action this time around?

"One of the things I love about Vigil is the stunts and there are some brilliant fight scenes this time. I had four great stunt women for this series and all of them allowed me to do as much as I could so I ended up with lots of bruises, but they were so worth it!"

Rose Leslie as DI Kristen Longacre

Rose Leslie as DI Kristen Longacre (Image credit: BBC)

Was Rose Leslie pregnant while filming Vigil season 2?

Yes she was and says the writers tweaked the storyline when they heard... 

"I told them my very happy news via zoom," says Rose, who plays DI Kirsten Longacre. "Their first response was to see how they could incorporate it into the script! They were fantastic and continued to be incredibly supportive throughout – particularly shooting me in the first seven weeks of filming!" 

Suranne Jones added.. "Even when Rose had to go and have her real baby, the sound department did this wonderful thing where they recorded her dialogue so when I had the phone calls with her, they’d play Rose on the phone so it felt like she was there for the whole shoot!" 

Is there a trailer?

Yes. See top of article!

Sean Marland
Feature writer for TV Times, What's On TV, TV & Satellite Week and whattowatch.com

Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.