ITV is returning to the 50s. The commercial broadcaster has renewed its period crime drama series The Bletchley Circle for a second season of 4 episodes.
The renewal comes shortly after the series finished airing state-side on PBS and is considered something of a surprise owing to the fact that the series was initially envisioned and marketed as a one-off drama serial. Hattie Morahan has joined the cast of the series, with the show’s second season set to enter production this month and air on ITV this Autumn.
The Bletchley Circle is set in 1951 and follows Susan, Millie, Lucy and Jean, all of whom worked as codebreakers at Bletchley Park during the war and have now returned to civillian life. The first season follows this group who, at Susan’s insistence, get back together and use the skills they acquired during the war to crack a murder case which has the police stymied. The drama series stars Anna Maxwell Martin as Susan, a seemingly conservative and unadventurous 1950′s housewife and mother; Rachael Stirling as Millie, who can speak fourteen languages and has a streetwise approach to life; Sophie Rundle as Lucy, whose youthful, naïve exterior masks a brilliant memory for data recall and Jean, the methodical no-nonsense organiser with valuable access to key records and documents.
The decision to pick up a second season of the series was due to big ratings for the show’s initial outing last year and the strength of these new scripts. This is not the first time that ITV has picked up a second run of a drama which was initially envisioned as a drama serial. They did the same thing with Whitechapel several years ago and, as is the case for The Bletchley Circle, the second season pick-up necessitated a rejigging of the format so that one season of the show told the story of several cases rather than just one.