The bosses of ITV’s crime noir Marcella have revealed the next series will head in a whole new direction after the harrowing end to the previous run.
Fans will remember how Marcella (Anna Friel) suffered a mental breakdown after unlocking a memory that revealed she had accidentally smothered her baby to death while trying to pacify her.
Realising that she no longer identified with the person she had become, Marcella sought a way to escape herself and cut off her hair before taking the scissors to her mouth and giving herself a Chelsea smile.
The action then cut to nine days later, when a police officer found her sleeping rough and told her about a fire at an abandoned house that had killed three homeless people, with Marcella previously believed to be among them.
With Marcella effectively dead to her friends and family, he offered her the chance to work undercover.
The new series will pick up with Marcella in Belfast, where she has taken on a new identity, Keira, to infiltrate the infamous Maguire crime family.
As she investigates their activities, questions come to the fore about how much she’s embraced the Keira personality and left Marcella behind.
However, the quest for the truth puts her in danger and others in harm’s way, while questions will be raised about whether her old life will eventually catch up with her.
Ray Panthaki is the only other former cast member confirmed to return to the series as Marcella’s former colleague Rav Sangha, suggesting it is only a matter of time before the past comes back to haunt her.
Newcomers to the show include Hugo Speer as Marcella’s undercover handler, and Amanda Burton as the matriarch of the Maguire family.
Speaking about the new series, Anna Friel, who plays Marcella, commented: “I’m absolutely delighted to be taking on the role of Marcella again and am very grateful to ITV and Netflix for giving me the chance to delve into her unsettled world once more.
“Everyone has been so supportive of the show and I am loving being so widely welcomed by the great city of Belfast. I can’t wait for the viewers to see what this series has in store.”
Filming begins on the third series of Marcella in Belfast later this month, with an air date yet to be confirmed.