Insider info on the shady underworld of international arms dealing? Jet-setting undercover missions with terrifying organised crime kingpins? Admiring the sartorial choices of the slick James Norton? Sign us up for another series of McMafia, ASAP, please.
Originally broadcast in 2018 – all those many, many years ago now – the series, adapted from the nonfiction book of the same name by Misha Glenny, was one of the BBC’s biggest hits of the year. The drama easily pulled in seven million viewers every time it was on air, and while it came to something of a cliff-hanger finale at the end of episode eight, it was a no-brainer that the BBC would commission it for a second series.
Three years on, it appears we’re still a way off being able to catch up with the dealings of the good-guy-turned-bad, Alex Godman. But while we wait for the next update on our modern-day mafioso, here’s everything we know about season two so far.
What happened at the end of series one?
At the start of the series, Godman was just a 10-a-penny investment banker, the offspring of wealthy Russian parents. But it turns out his uncle was, well, rather a dubious character, to put it mildly.
Over the course of the show, Godman is pulled in further to all the nefarious dealings with mobs, mafia, human traffickers and all sorts of shady criminal characters. A few episodes in, and Godman finds himself forced into shipping containers of drugs into Europe, and later forging alliances with a Mexican cartel. All this for a man who probably only ever wanted to buy a spenny house in West London and holiday in Dubai, for god’s sake.
He then finds out the hard way that seasoned underworld criminals rarely do business nicely, and his family are soon pulled into the crossfire. His girlfriend, Rebecca, is shot and loses the baby she was secretly carrying, while his dad arranges for his nemesis Vadim’s daughter to be shot, and who dies, leaving Alex in the firing line once again. Alex is then left to face Vadim, mano a mano, who he destroys, establishing himself as the mighty new drug lord.
Who will be in McMafia series two?
Norton will be reprising his role – one that made him a serious contender for the new Bond – and alongside him will likely be Juliet Rylance as girlfriend Rebecca Harper, Aleksey Serebryakov as father Dimitri Godman, mother Maria Shukshina as Oksana Godman and sister Faye Marsay as Katya Godman. However, any other casting news is currently being kept firmly under wraps.
Do we know anything about the plot yet?
Not yet - but it’s most likely to pick up where series one left off. While some viewers complained that the first season was too much of a slow burn, Norton said that having the luxury of space and time made for all the better thrillers – suggesting that the next outing might run at a similar pace. He told Graham Norton: "The life isn't about heroes and villains, it's about the messy grey in between and that's what makes great drama."
As the show spiralled into the final dramatic moments, he added that there would always be a twist in the tale: "The anti-hero/hero characters that you thought were perhaps whiter than white don't necessarily turn out that way. And the villains vice versa – they turn out to be more and more human."
When can we expect to see it?
Given it’s such a big production – episodes reportedly cost in the millions to film – it’s likely to be a while before it hits our screens.
But announcing the news of the new commission in May 2018, creators Hossein Amini and James Watkins said: "We are so thrilled with how McMafia has resonated with audiences across the world and are delighted to be given the opportunity to cast more light on the shady intersections of transnational criminals and their enablers in finance, law, intelligence agencies and even in governments."
Is there a trailer yet?
No, not just yet. Maybe give the book the series is based on a read while you wait.
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