Acclaimed series Noughts + Crosses is returning for a second series, after the first set of episodes released to strong reception in 2020. Last year, the BBC annouced the show had been renewed, and now we know that it’ll be returning later this year.
Based off of the books by Malorie Blackman, Noughts + Crosses tells the familiar story of two star crossed lovers that are separated due to the cultural barrier between them- in this case an alternate history where Africans had colonised Europeans and made them their slaves- and tells it in a fresh and very entertaining way. The elite black upper class rule over the oppressed white lower class in Albion (a version of London), and both are segregated from each other.
Series 1 laid the groundwork of the world and setting, focusing on Sephy (a Cross) and Callum (a Nought) as they realise their love for each other and that they want to be a couple, and have to navigate dystopian London and beat the odds to be together. For Sephy especially, the pressure of class and upbringing is huge, since she is the daughter of a high ranking politician. The basic plot of lovers from separate societies in the books and series is of course reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, but taken in a new direction with interesting twists and dynamics.
Against this backdrop, the already divided world that Callum and Sephy inhabit becomes increasingly more fractious as time goes on, with tensions and anger within the society often spilling into violence throughout the series. The end of series 1 sees the Liberation Army, a resistance group, preparing for war against the ruling Cross government. Callum and Sephy are pushed apart by Callum’s support for the group- until he learns that Sephy is now pregnant with their child, and the two end up escaping together to live as a couple on the run.
So what will happen in series 2? We know that the couple are still trying to escape from the increasingly hostile and conflict ridden world they live in, and to leave Albion behind them. They also have to deal with the revelation of Sephy’s pregnancy, and how that will affect their relationship and survival. However, not a huge amount else plot wise is known, since the series deviates somewhat from the books, with Malorie Blackman teasing: “I am delighted that Noughts + Crosses is returning for a second series. So many people have asked me, ‘So what happens next?’. Now they will find out! Having read the scripts, I think I can safely say that even those familiar with the Noughts & Crosses series of books will find surprises, suspense and so much to savour.”
What we do know however is that much of the cast from the first series will be reprising their roles: Masali Baduza and Jack Rowan of course will return as Sephy and Callum respectively, alongside Helen Baxendale, Paterson Joseph, Josh Dylan and Bonnie Mbuli. One of the big surprises of series 1 was the appearance of guest star Stormzy as the editor of the Cross newspaper Ohene Standard, and while it’s unknown whether he’ll be back, the second series is confirmed to feature rapper and comedian Michael Dapaah in a guest role, his first serious acting performance.
NOUGHTS AND CROSSES WILL RETURN TO BBC ONE THIS YEAR. WATCH SERIES 1 ON IPLAYER