Bloodlands: Charlene McKenna discusses series two
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The first series of the BBC thriller starring James Nesbitt aired more than a year ago, and proved to be a hit with viewers. The four episodes gripped viewers as they watched DCI Tom Brannick (played by James Nesbitt) and his team explore the 1990s cold case surrounding serial killer Goliath. With the first instalment of series two having aired last week, fans have tuned in again to discover more about DCI Tom and the criminal world he investigates. However, many deemed the opening episode “confusing,” a view shared by actress Charlene McKenna, who recently told Morning Live hosts that she often has a hard time following the storyline herself.
Bloodlands first aired in 2021 as the writing debut of Chris Brandon.
It is also produced by Line of Duty’s Jed Mercurio, who is no stranger to creating a captivating series.
Speaking on Morning Live about series two, Charlene teased Jed over the complex plot in the current episodes.
“It’s an impossible show to talk about because there are so many spoilers,” she revealed.
“There are so many cliffhangers, and then there’s obviously a lot of people who might not have seen season one.
“So, it is out in the open that there is… I mean, it is a Jed Mercurio drama, so you are going to be set for cliffhangers, edge-of-your-seat stuff.
“So that’s all there. I think it’s fair to say we know Jimmy’s character is not all that he’s cracked up to be, that he’s not maybe the good guy.”
She hesitated before adding: “And then I think… that’s all I can say.”
Detailing the behind-the-scenes moments, she later admitted: “You know what? Sometimes I don’t know what’s going on.
“I’ll go back through the scripts and I’m thinking, ‘Woah.’ Me and Jimmy on set every day, it’s like, ‘No, no, no wait, but if you put the thing on the thing, then that thing will be the other thing round the corner.'”
As Morning Live hosts Gethin Jones and Sam Quek laughed, the actress detailed more about the creation of the drama.
“Chris Brandon actually wrote it,” she explained. “But Jed’s executive producer and Jed wanted Chris to have… he loves the idea of the audience being ahead of the characters, which is a very tricky path to walk.
“And I think you need to see the full expanse of the series to know how that works out.
“You cannot judge it on one episode. It’s very much a series piece if you know what I mean.
“So you’ve got to stay with it and see where it goes. Because it is… yeah, it’s a tricky thing to do.
“And Jed just loves throwing problems like that out to see what we could do, what Chris could do and… here’s hoping!”
As the mystery show returned last week, it was met with a mixed response by viewers.
Several commented on social media about how they had been left “confused” by the story.
After waiting more than a year for series two, the new instalments left some disappointed.
However, others praised the drama and the performances of the actors involved.
Bloodlands continues on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.
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