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World on Fire season 2: plot, cast and everything we know

Josh Hauer-King World on Fire season 2
Josh Hauer-King will return as British soldier Harry (Image credit: BBC)

Get ready to head back to 1940s Europe in World On Fire season 2, as BBC One confirm filming has begun on a follow-up series to 2019's sweeping wartime drama. 

The first series, which starred Sean Bean, Lesley Manville and a host of other British and European talent, told the story of the first year of the war, covering events such as the Nazis' invasion of Poland and the British retreat at Dunkirk.

The drama was praised for portraying untold stories of ordinary people from across Europe, while also bringing issues from the home front — such as those who opposed the war — into the spotlight. 

Now a second six-part series, which is It is created and written by Peter Bowker, Rachel Bennette and Matt Jones, will pick up many of those stories. Here's everything we know so far... 

World on Fire season 2 release date

Filming is currently underway in Northern Ireland, with the second series due to air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in 2023. When we have a confirmed transmission date, we'll be sure to let you know. 

There's no news yet on whether the series will be available in the US, although the first season is available to stream on Disney+. 

Lesley Manville World on Fire season 2

Lesley Manville plays Harry's wealthy mother, Robina Chase (Image credit: BBC)

World on Fire season 2 plot

A BBC statement reads... 

"October 1940. Lone pilots are sent to destroy German bombers prowling the skies above Manchester as the Northern Blitz begins. The true reality of war has arrived in Britain.

"World On Fire series two will take viewers from the streets of Britain into occupied France, Nazi Germany, and to the sands of the North African desert, where British troops struggle alongside Indian Sappers and Australian Diggers to adapt to a very different kind of combat."

The first season ended on quite a cliffhanger, with Harry and Kasia narrowly escaping a Nazi ambush in Poland and being chased by Nazi soldiers, so fans will be keen to find out what became of the pair. Meanwhile Lois had Harry's baby and the proposal of RAF fighter pilot, Vernon Hunter... 

Zofia Wichlacz World on Fire season 2

Zofia Wichlacz plays Kasia, a member of the Polish resistance (Image credit: BBC)

World on Fire season 2 cast

Lesley Manville (Mum, Sherwood) will reprise her role as wealthy and emotionally repressed mother Robina Chase, while Jonah Hauer-King (Little Women) returns as her son Harry, an interpreter at the British embassy in Warsaw who was later commissioned into the British Army. 

Julia Brown will once again play Lois, a talented singer and factory worker from Manchester, while Zofia Wichlacz is back as Kasia, a brave Polish freedom fighter. 

Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison reprises his role as Harry's platoon sergeant Stan Raddings, Eugénie Derouand is back as Henriette, a Jewish nurse in Nazi Paris, Eryk Biedunkiewicz returns as Kasia's youngest brother Jan and Cel Spellman (Cold Feet) will play Joe, a member of Harry's platoon, once again. 

Joining the World On Fire cast for series two are Mark Bonnar (Guilt, Line of Duty) as Sir James Danemere, Ahad Raza Mir (Resident Evil, Hum Tum) as Rajib, and Gregg Sulkin (Runaways, Pretty Smart) as David. 

Whether Sean Bean returns as World War One veteran and pacifist Douglas Bennett or Doctor Who star Arthur Darvill as RAF pilot Vernon Hunter, is not clear at this stage. The BBC says it will be announcing more new and returning cast in due course, so we'll keep you updated. 

 

Julia Brown World on Fire season 2

Julia Brown will reprise her role as Lois (Image credit: BBC)

World on Fire season 2 — what else do we know?

Lesley Manville says: “It’s wonderful to be bringing Peter Bowler’s epic scripts to life again. Rich characters telling great, human stories set against the backdrop of World War Two. It’s a feast!” 

World On Fire creator and writer Peter Bowker says: "The second season of World On Fire has been a long wait due to a certain pandemic and this makes the beginning of filming especially exciting. It has been a real joy to pick up the story with our inspirational cast, both our established regulars and new and exciting talent who have embraced the show’s scale and ambition. How the conflict played out in North Africa is a fascinating and little explored history and we are aiming to redress that balance with stories of struggle and friendship. Our diverse cast will continue to reflect the global nature of the conflict.”

World on Fire season 2 trailer

There's no trailer yet, but we'll be sure to post one here as soon as it lands. 

Sean Marland
Sean Marland

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 The Great British Bake-Off, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.