Mixed reaction as Bloodlands concludes and second series announced

Bloodlands, the crime drama set in Northern Ireland starring Jimmy Nesbitt, came to a conclusion of sorts last night though the story is far from over with a second series in the pipeline.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 11:24 am
Updated Monday, 15th March 2021, 12:35 pm
Jimmy Nesbitt plays Tom Brannick in Bloodlands. (C) HTM Television - Photographer: Steffan Hill

Opinion on the four-part BBC One series was divided on social media – some were excited to learn that the hunt for the killer known as Goliath will go on, while others took to Twitter to criticise the four-part series.

Like it or loathe it, Bloodlands, written by Chris Brandon, became the biggest BBC drama launch in Northern Ireland of all time.

It launched with an average of 8.2 million viewers, making it the biggest new BBC drama launch since last June.

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In Northern Ireland, the premiere episode had a 52% consolidated audience share (live and time-shifted viewing), making it the highest BBC drama to launch locally on record.

James Nesbitt, said: “I’m thrilled that viewers responded to Bloodlands so positively and that we will be returning for a second series. I’m always happy to be back in Northern Ireland and to reveal even more about Tom Brannick.”

Director of BBC Drama Piers Wenger, the man who recommissioned Bloodlands, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the audience response to Bloodlands and are thrilled to announce that the series is returning.

“Chris’ scripts shine a light on to tensions in Northern Ireland, both historic and present day, and it’s a testament to his skills as a dramatist, to a virtuoso performance from Jimmy Nesbitt and the care taken by all at HTM Television, that the series has been so beloved by audiences in Northern Ireland and throughout the UK.”

The cat-and-mouse thriller is rooted in Northern Ireland, and filming for series two will take place once again in Belfast and the surrounding areas including Strangford Lough.

Line of Duty writer Jed Mercurio, who is executive producer of HTM Television, said: “Everyone at HTM Television is thrilled our debut production has been recommissioned.

“It’s a tribute to the quality of Chris Brandon’s writing, the hard work of our crew and the brilliant performance of our cast led by James Nesbitt. We’re grateful for the outstanding support we’ve received from the BBC and Northern Ireland Screen and can’t wait to reward Bloodlands fans with another twisty case for Brannick and co.”

On Twitter, Bloodlands provoked a range of differing views.

Amy O’Connor said: “Fuming with the end of #Bloodlands. The first 2 episodes were brilliant, the last 2 were such an anticlimax.”

Laura Hogan posted: “I watch a LOT of police/crime dramas, and I’m finding Bloodlands impossible to follow. At this stage I think I might be Goliath.”

Alyson Meadowcroft said: “Well done all of you, I was gripped by it! Am originally from Portaferry and recognised so many places. Hope you will be filming on the Lough for Series 2!”

Andrew McIlvenny said: “The over-acting in Bloodlands was pure murder for me. Could have been a good show as well.”

Alice May gave a nod to Line of Duty which begins next Sunday in her summary of Bloodlands: “I love this show but still think AC-12 would have solved it in half an hour.”

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