Updated on 25 June 2020: it’s ridiculously hot, isn’t it? So much so that all we want to do at the moment, quite frankly, is sit around drinking iced drinks and watching TV with the curtains drawn. Which… well, it isn’t all that different to what we’ve been doing since March, to be honest. In a world where a global pandemic (thanks a bunch, coronavirus) has forced us to spend more time in our homes than ever before, we’re desperately in need of some entertainment.
While you might assume that Netflix has been the only one pumping out new TV shows and films at this time, though, you’d be wrong. Because Sky Atlantic recently stepped up its game with a brand-new thriller series about the international gangs that control London, and the sudden power vacuum that’s created when the head of the city’s most powerful crime family is assassinated.
Oh yes, you better believe that we’re talking about the exceedingly popular Gangs Of London. As in, yeah, the very same show that amassed a higher seven-day cumulative audience for its opening episode than the critically-acclaimed Chernobyl.
Unsurprisingly, then, it’s now confirmed that the TV show will return for a second series.
Sky UK’s managing director of content Zai Bennett said: “Not only is Gangs Of London Sky’s most binged premiere box-set this year, it’s the biggest original drama launch on Sky Atlantic of the past five years.
“It’s dark, dangerous and we are thrilled it is coming back for a second series. Will the Wallace family rise again, will the Dumanis remain loyal to their new allies and who is Elliot really working for?
“All these questions and more will be waiting for Sky viewers when Gangs of London returns to screens in 2022.”
But what about those who have yet to watch the first season? For those who have no idea what the phenomenally popular TV show is all about?
Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.
As reported on 21 April: what’s the plot of Sky Atlantic’s Gangs Of London?
The official synopsis for Gangs Of London reads: “For 20 years, Finn Wallace (Colm Meaney) was the most powerful criminal in London. Billions of pounds flowed through his organisation each year. But now he’s dead – and nobody knows who ordered the hit.
“With rivals everywhere, it’s up to the impulsive Sean Wallace (Joe Cole), with the help of the Dumani family headed by Ed Dumani (Lucian Msamati) to take his father’s place. if the situation wasn’t already dangerous enough, Sean’s assumption of power causes ripples in the world of international crime.
“Perhaps the one man who might be able to help him and be his ally is Elliot Finch (Sope Dirsu), who up until now, has been one of life’s losers, a lowlife chancer with a mysterious interest in the Wallace family. But as the wind of fate blows, Elliot finds himself transported to the inner workings of the largest criminal organisation in London.”
Who makes up the cast of Sky Atlantic’s Gangs Of London?
As well as Meaney, Cole, Msamatic and Dirsu, Gangs Of London also stars Michelle Fairley (Game Of Thrones), Valene Kane (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Sharon Morgan (Apostle), Eri Shuka (Hyena) and countless more.
Who directed and produced Sky Atlantic’s Gangs Of London?
Gangs Of London was created by award-winning filmmaker Gareth Evans, director of The Raid, and his creative partner Matt Flannery.
Corin Hardy, director of The Hallow and The Nun, and Xavier Gens, director of The Divide, are also episode directors that you can expect to pack a lot of punch (literally).
Is Sky Atlantic’s Gangs Of London based on a true story?
Not exactly. While it is inspired by true events (the director worked with undercover police officers to ensure they nailed all the finer details), it is actually based on an action-adventure open world video game of the same name.
Is there a trailer for Sky Atlantic’s Gangs Of London?
Absolutely, but it’s definitely not for the squeamish.
What are critics saying about Sky Atlantic’s Gangs Of London?
Well, the show is already being billed by critics as a modern-day Peaky Blinders, which makes sense: after all, as fans will know, Cole starred in the show as John Shelby, little brother to Cillian Murphy’s Thomas Shelby.
Elsewhere, critics have said that Gangs Of London will prove itself “one of the gems of lockdown”, praising it for its “high-stakes and action-packed drama.”
However, even Sky has warned that the show is not for the squeamish, insisting that it will feature “impressively creative measures of torture and violence” throughout its series run.
What has director Gareth Evans said about Sky Atlantic’s Gangs Of London?
Gangs of London shows factions of all nationalities, with some conversations spoken in different languages and subtitles. Speaking to Sky News, Evans says this was important to everyone involved in the programme, to reflect the reality of life in London.
“The project came to me initially as we got the rights to a video game and they wanted to make a film franchise of it. And one of the things I love about London is that you can step on to any street and hear 10, 15 different languages, all spoken at once,” he said.
“That’s really unique and it’s such an interesting characteristic of the city. And I felt like if we were going to do a film franchise, we would have two-thirds of our running time focused purely on our central characters, and then only a third left to explore the side characters that populate that world.
“That wasn’t enough. I felt like we wouldn’t do justice to the myriad of different diverse cultures and ethnicities that make up the city.
“So I pitched it back saying this should be a TV show because you can afford to go off and detour for 10 to 15 minutes and spend time with other characters, and learn about them in more detail.”
How many episodes of Sky Atlantic’s Gangs Of London will there be?
Season one is comprised of 10 episodes, although it’s worth noting that the first will clock in at around 90 minutes, so be sure to schedule toilet and tea breaks accordingly.
And when will Gangs Of London be available to watch on Sky Atlantic?
Gangs Of London begins on Thursday 23 April at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.
Images: Sky Atlantic
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.