Sherwood season 2: The heartwrenching BBC drama is back filming now and here’s what you can expect from the new series

Sherwood season 2 is set to be every bit as impactful as the first instalment and we already know who's joining the cast when it returns...

Sherwood season 2 will see the return of Ian St.Clair played by David Morrissey
(Image credit: BBC/House Productions/Matt Squire)

Sherwood season 2 is filming now and we now know more about what lies in store as we continue to reflect on the thought-provoking first instalment of the BBC drama.

Written by James Graham, the award-winning BBC drama first landed in June 2022 and instantly made an impression with its distinct Nottinghamshire focus and heart-wrenching themes. Although Sherwood wasn’t directly based on a true story, the six-part first season drew inspiration from a real life manhunt and two shocking murders in the area. From where Sherwood was filmed to the brilliant performances of the cast building to the Sherwood ending, the series delivered so many memorable and heart-wrenching moments. Now some fans might be wondering what Sherwood season 2 will be about and which characters might return.

Here we reveal who’ll be joining and returning to the Sherwood season 2 cast and what we can expect from the award-winning drama’s new storyline…

*Warning: Spoilers ahead!*


(Image credit: BBC/House Productions/Matt Squire)

Who's in the Sherwood season 2 cast?

Alongside some returning Sherwood season 1 cast members, the BBC have now unveiled a seriously exciting casting announcement for season 2. There are set to be 14 new characters in Sherwood season 2, with actors that range from My Family star Robert Lindsay to Monica Dolan from The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe, Top Boy's Michael Balogun and Sharlene Whyte from Small Axe.

Sherwood season 2 confirmed new cast members:

  • David Harewood
  • Robert Lindsay
  • Monica Dolan
  • Sharlene Whyte
  • Stephen Dillane
  • Ria Zmitrowicz
  • Aisling Loftus
  • Robert Emms
  • Michael Balogun
  • Christine Bottomley
  • Oliver Huntingdon
  • Jorden Myrie
  • Conor Deane
  • Bethany Asher   

Sherwood season 2 returning cast members:

  • David Morrissey as Detective Chief Superintendent Ian St Clair
  • Lesley Manville as Julie Jackson
  • Philip Jackson as Mickey Sparrow
  • Lorraine Ashbourne as Daphne Sparrow
  • Perry Fitzpatrick as Rory Sparrow
  • Bill Jones as Ronan Sparrow 
  • Adam Hugill as Scott Rowley

Whilst some Sherwood fans might well have wondered whether the new season would feature an entirely new cast line-up like we saw with The Pact season 2, there are several familiar faces who’ll be back for Sherwood season 2. Alongside the exciting stars newly-announced as Sherwood cast members, season 1’s David Morrissey, Lesley Manville, Philip Jackson, Lorraine Ashbourne, Perry Fitzpatrick, Bill Jones and Adam Hugill will return. This is not only brilliant news for fans of the BBC drama’s first series, but also intriguing when it comes to plot threads that could be continued going forwards. 


(Image credit: BBC/House Productions/Matt Squire)

What will Sherwood season 2 be about and do you have to have seen season 1 first?

As well as the new casting announcement from the BBC in July, there’s also been confirmation of what viewers can expect to unfold plot-wise in Sherwood season 2. And although you don’t need to have watched season 1 first given that the wider storyline will be an entirely “new and original fictional story from Nottingham” for the second series, it does give context for the returning characters and their community.

The Sparrow family were key in Sherwood season 1 and Daphne Sparrow in particular was at the heart of a shocking moment in the Sherwood season 1 finale. Now it seems like Daphne, her husband Mickey and sons Ronan and Rory will continue to play an important part in Sherwood season 2. 


(Image credit: BBC/House Productions/Matt Squire)

As per the BBC, it will be set in the present day - a contrast from season 1 which was split across two different timelines - and will introduce two new families. They will become “entangled” with the Sparrows, “entering a complex web of local gangs, old rivalries, revenge, and betrayal”. 

And that’s not all we can expect from Sherwood season 2 as the BBC went on to reveal that at the same time a “newly appointed Sheriff of Nottingham is passionately fighting local government and influential business leaders” with the goal of saving the community from a new mine that’s been proposed.

“It brings the promise of much needed jobs and prosperity but also unwelcome reminders of the legacy that has mired the community for so long,” the BBC continued.


(Image credit: BBC/House Productions/Matt Squire)

The legacy of mining and how the miners’ strikes in particular affected and divided the local community was a huge focus of Sherwood season 1 and it seems that this will continue to be felt and explored. This seems to be a conscious choice from the show’s writer, Nottingham-born James Graham, as the BBC explained season 2 focuses on the “powerful themes” that struck a chord with so many in season 1.

“The second series further explores the powerful themes that made the first so resonant to audiences across the UK,” they declared. “[F]ractured communities, red wall towns and the frayed social and political fabric of modern-day Britain, within a prevailing context of chumocracy, levelling up and political and communal turmoil.”


(Image credit: BBC/House Productions/Matt Squire)

It’s likely that given the return of David Morrissey as Detective Chief Superintendent Ian St Clair that some of the police officer’s private life could also be explored further. In season 1 we learnt why and how he became estranged from his family and saw him re-establish some contact with his brother. And unlike Sherwood season 1 which was inspired by two real-life crimes that were committed in Nottinghamshire, it’s understood that season 2 will be entirely fictional.

Sherwood season 2 is currently filming and so we’ll have to wait a little while longer to see exactly what lies in store. But it certainly sounds as if the upcoming six episodes are going to be every bit as thought-provoking as season 1. 

How to watch Sherwood season 1

Given Sherwood season 2 is filming now and so likely won’t be on our screens for several more months at least, there’s plenty of time to re-watch the impactful BBC drama from the beginning. All six episodes of the award-winning Sherwood season 1 are available to watch for free for UK viewers via BBC iPlayer now. For viewers in the US, Sherwood season 1 can be watched with a BritBox subscription which offers a 7-day free trial.

Sadly, if you’re going to be on vacation abroad when you want to watch Sherwood season 1, then you won’t be able to watch as you normally would at home. Luckily there’s an easy solution and you can use a VPN to continue watching. This is a handy bit of software that changes your IP address so that you can access on-demand content or live TV just as if you were at home.

Our sister site, TechRadar, has tested all of the major VPN services and they rate ExpressVPN as the absolute best. They say, “It’s compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services, and ranks among the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation. So for a one-stop-shop, you can’t go wrong with Express.”  


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If you've never installed a VPN before, don't worry, it's quick and easy. Just follow these three steps:

  1. Download and install the VPN following ExpressVPN's easy-to-follow instructions.
  2. Once you've installed your VPN, open the app and select your server location as anywhere in the UK.
  3. With your VPN installed and server location set to UK, you can now watch Sherwood season 1 online. 

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Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!