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World On Fire Season 2 - What We Know So Far

BBC and PBS' Masterpiece Theater hit a home run with the sprawling World War II drama "World on Fire." The star-studded series focuses on characters in locations as far-flung as Manchester, Warsaw, Berlin, and Paris at the start of the war in 1939. Season 1 of "World on Fire" first aired in Europe in September 2019, before premiering on PBS in the spring of 2020, and fans have anxiously been awaiting news on Season 2 ever since.

The good news is "World on Fire" Season 2 is definitely happening, despite production being delayed due to the pandemic. In fact, series creator Peter Bowker told Radio Times in a 2019 interview that he has the characters' stories mapped out through six seasons. "I know what happens over six series for the main characters," he said. "If you pitch a show, people will often ask 'What happens in series four, episode three? What happens to this character?' You've got to know and not be English about it."

Of course, that doesn't mean the drama will run for six seasons, but fans can rest assured Season 2 is definitely a go — and happily, Bowker and the cast have even revealed a few tidbits about what viewers can expect to see when the show finally returns to our screens.

When is World on Fire Season 2's official release date?

Like so many other shows and movies, "World on Fire" had its production schedule shifted due to the pandemic. As a result, it's been nearly two years since the Season 1 finale aired for European viewers. (American viewers are getting off much easier since the show didn't premiere until spring 2020 stateside.)

As of right now, no official premiere date for Season 2 has been announced, but in the comment section of an October 2020 Instagram post on the show's official account it was confirmed filming is set to start this summer. The comment from the official account read, "Just between us, we intend to start filming in the summer. Can't wait..."

If filming goes ahead this summer as planned, viewers are still in for a bit of a wait for Season 2. It seems the earliest we can expect "World on Fire" to return is winter 2022, although it could be spring 2022, depending on how smoothly production goes. Additionally, there's usually a delay between a U.K. show's premiere in Britain, and it's premiere stateside, so PBS could very well hold the show until fall 2022. Still, an end to the show's long pandemic-induced hiatus is in sight for viewers on both sides of the pond.

Which cast members are returning for World on Fire Season 2?

Despite the show's wartime setting, the major characters all survived the Season 1 finale. As a result, viewers can expect most of their favorites to return. At this early stage, an official Season 2 cast list hasn't been announced yet, but it seems likely the show's main stars like Sean Bean, Julia Brown, Helen Hunt, Zofia Wichlacz, Lesley Manville, and Jonah Hauer-King will all be back.

Still, Hauer-King's status is complicated somewhat by his casting as Prince Eric in Disney's live-action "The Little Mermaid" remake. In April, Variety reported production on the film is set to take place over the course of three months on the island of Sardinia this summer. However, as of May 2020, the actor said in an interview with Salon that he planned to return for the show's second season, so perhaps his schedule for the film is being factored into the season 2 filming process.

For now at least, it seems the plan is for the primary Season 1 characters to all return. And while it's likely Season 2 will introduce new characters as well, no casting announcements have been made just yet.

What is the plot of World on Fire Season 2?

Even though there's not much in the way of casting or filming news at this point, quite a few hints about what Season 2 will hold for the characters have been revealed. In a 2019 interview with Town & Country, PBS Masterpiece executive producer Susanne Simpson shared Season 2 will cover the year 1940, and how World War II affected people across the U.K. and Europe during that fateful time. Additionally, Bowker teased next season's major storylines in an interview with Masterpiece Theater.

"In Season 2, Kasia and Lois will meet, and the fallout from that, I think for everybody, will be interesting and fascinating," he said. "Season 2 will start, historically, with the blitz in the Northwest of England. And North Africa will be very much the field of battle. We'll find out more about Webster's family history. Nancy will finally have to leave Berlin near the start of the series, for crossing a line, and we will also find out more about Nancy. And she will carry on. She will definitely be in the Soviet Union for some of it."

He also said Lois will be in a "Brontë-esque, loveless marriage with Vernon" after accepting his proposal at the end of Season 1. For Lois, Vernon represents stability for her and her daughter, but a marriage without love could take its toll on the determined and independent character.

Even though there are still plenty of uncertainties surrounding "World on Fire" Season 2, Bowker's teasers about what's ahead make it clear fans are in for lots of drama when the series finally returns.