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4 of the BBC’s biggest dramas, including The Tourist, The Responder, Vigil and Time, are returning for a second series

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If you love a gritty drama, you’re in the right place. The BBC has just announced that four of its biggest dramas of the last year are set to return for a second series. 

When it comes to concocting a drama with a gripping plot, major talent and enough edge-of-your-seat moments to keep you returning to your TV at the same time every week, the BBC definitely knows what it’s doing. In the past few weeks, we’ve been glued to every episode of This Is Going To Hurt and Killing Eve while keeping a close eye on the brilliant new shows coming to our screens soon: Gentleman Jack season 2, Marriage and Best Interests, among many other small-screen gems.

Evidently the BBC is in full agreement that one can never have too many TV shows on a watchlist because the broadcaster has just announced that four of its biggest dramas of the last year are set to return for a second series.

That’s right, dear reader: not one, but four top-rated dramas that were watched by millions across the UK following their respective launches are back for round two. Curious to know what they are? Drum roll, please.

BBC show The Tourist
The Tourist is the highest-rated drama of 2022 so far

First up, we have The Tourist. Starring Jamie Dornan as a truck driver who faces a life-or-death situation after waking up with no memory in the middle of the Australian outback, the show is the highest-rated drama of 2022 so far with a staggering 12 million viewers tuning in for its first episode.

Following its huge success earlier this year, The Responder will also return to film in Liverpool for its second series. Written by ex-police officer Tony Schumacher and starring Martin Freeman, the show was the second-biggest new drama of 2022, launching with nearly 10 million viewers across 30 days.

Martin Freeman
Martin Freeman as Chris in The Responder.

Also joining the list is Vigil, which in 2021 became the UK’s most-watched new drama launch in three years (since Bodyguard in 2018). Starring Martin Compston and Suranne Jones, who recently won the award for Actor of the Year at Stylist’s Remarkable Women Awards, the dark mystery thriller follows a police detective who is called upon to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a fishing trawler and a death on board a Trident nuclear submarine. With an audience of over 13 million viewers across 30 days for episode one, Vigil’s second series will once again be set and filmed in Scotland.

Vigil on BBC One
Suranne Jones stars in BBC's Vigil.
Lastly, emotional prison-based drama Time, starring Sean Bean and Stephen Graham, will welcome a new cast and be set in an all-female prison when it returns for its second run. The first series, which followed a newly imprisoned man sent down for drink-driving and a prison officer facing an impossible choice, was one of 2021’s highest performing new dramas with nearly 12 million viewers over 30 days.

Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer, said of the recommissions: “The BBC is on fire creatively and the return of four of our biggest dramas over the last year demonstrates the sheer scale and range of storytelling on the BBC.”

The first series of all four dramas are currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Images: BBC

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is Stylist's Entertainment Editor whose specialist interests include pop culture, LGBTQ+ identity and lore.