The real life events that inspired series 2 of Sherwood, the BBC’s Nottinghamshire mining village drama

David Morrisey as Ian St Clair in BBC drama Sherwood

by Arabella Horspool |
Updated on

If, like us, you were a huge fan of the Nottinghamshire-based TV drama Sherwood, you're in for a treat as the BBC have released some new first-look images ahead of series two, which include some new cast members from shows such as Line of Duty and Mr Bates VS the Post Office.

The first series of the show aired in 2022 and focused on the impact of two murders that happened in a former mining village, which led to lingering divisions within the community, stemming from the historical conflicts of the 1984 miners' strike. As the investigation unfolded, old wounds and rivalries resurfaced, highlighting deep-seated tensions and unresolved issues within the village.

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What is the second series of Sherwood about?

The second series will continue to focus on the powerful themes from the initial episodes.

Here's the official synopsis from the BBC: 'Set in the present day it introduces two new families that find themselves entangled with the Sparrows, entering a complex web of local gangs, old rivalries, revenge, and betrayal. Meanwhile, a newly appointed Sheriff of Nottingham is passionately fighting against a proposed new mine for the area, which brings the promise of much needed jobs and prosperity but also unwelcome reminders of the legacy that has mired the community for so long.'

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Is Sherwood based on a true story?

Gripping and intense, the series is inspired by real-life events, where in 2004, two murders (who were former miners) committed unrelated crimes and both hid in Sherwood Forest at the same time, leading to the biggest manhunts in UK history.

However, not all of the events in the programme actually took place. At the beginning of the show, it states: “This story was initially inspired by two killings which took place in the Nottinghamshire mining community where the author grew up. For the purposes of dramatisation, the characters and the events have been fictionalised.”

In a BBC Writers interview, the show creator James Graham said: "It’s hugely personal to me and inspired in part by real events in my hometown in Nottinghamshire. It is a contemporary drama and at its heart are two devastating killings which spark a massive manhunt and shatter a community that is already fractured after the divisive effect of the miners' strike 40 years before.

“As we explore that we also examine the impact of so-called spy cops, as there have been reports and speculation - and there is currently an investigation into the practices of undercover policing surrounding this - that they had been deployed undercover into mining communities like Nottingham.”

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Sherwood cast

Like the first instalment, the new series of Sherwood features a stellar cast, with several actors reprising their roles. David Morrissey is returning as DCS Ian St Clair, along with Lesley Manville (who recently played Princess Margaret in The Crown), Lorraine Ashbourne (from Bridgerton and Alma's Not Normal), Perry Fitzpatrick (This Is England and Line of Duty star), Philip Jackson (Raised by Wolves, Peterloo) and Bill Jones (The Village).

Joining the Sherwood drama for season 2 is: Monica Dolan (Mr Bates VS the Post Office and The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe), David Harewood (The Night Manager, Homeland), Robert Lindsay (My Family), Christine Bottomley (Back To Life, In the Club), Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones, Vigil) and Sharlene Whyte (Stephen, Small Axe).

Oliver Huntingdon (Happy Valley), Aisling Loftus (The Midwich Cuckoos, War and Peace), Adam Hugill (1917, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), Michael Balogun (Top Boy, The Lehman Trilogy), Ria Zmitrowicz (Three Girls), Robert Emms (Andor, Chernobyl), Jorden Myrie (Mood, The Strays), Conor Deane (All Creatures Great & Small, Newark) and Bethany Asher (Wild Bill, Mobility) also star.

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When is the release date for Sherwood season 2?

Currently, there's no release date or trailer for the second season, but the BBC have said that filming has finished and that it will broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer later in 2024. How exciting!

Is Sherwood on BBC iPlayer?

Yes! Whether you want to catch up with the drama before the next instalment or re-watch it because it was that good, all six episodes from the first series of Sherwood are available on BBC iPlayer.

The cast includes Adeel Akhtar (from River, Ali & Ava and most recently, Harlan Coben's Fool Me Once), Claire Rushbrook (also from Ali & Ava), Angela Black, Downton Abbey and Liar star Joanne Froggatt, Robert Glenister (Paranoid, Strike), fellow Paranoid, Downton Abbey and Happy Valley actor Kevin Doyle, Lindsay Duncan (Truelove), Alun Armstrong (Breeders, New Tricks) and Mark Addy (The Full Monty, Game of Thrones).

Arabella Horspool is a Commercial Content Writer for Yours at Bauer Media. She's a bookworm who is passionate about TV and film. She enjoys cooking, scrapbooking and spending time with her many pets.

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