Note: contains spoilers for Prodigal Son season one.
Payne plays Malcolm Bright, a talented criminal psychologist who learned his trade the hard way. In the '90s, his father, Dr Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen), infamously became known as "The Surgeon" after he went on a vicious murder spree and killed over 20 people.
Nowadays, Malcolm uses his unfortunate expertise to help solve crimes in New York City, apprehending killers like his father. But what if Martin's bloodlust runs in the family?
With its familial twist, Prodigal Son is winning fans over on Fox, but are enough people tuning in to guarantee a renewal? Brace yourselves as we dive deep into this grimy world of death and murder to reveal everything you need to know about Prodigal Son season two.
Prodigal Son season two release date: When will it be out?
Prodigal Son season one made its debut on September 23, 2019, so we hoped that a follow-up season would air around a similar time in 2020.
But Fox took their sweet time to confirm the series. Last season, Fox cancelled all of its new scripted shows after just one outing, but Prodigal Son managed to snag a full-season order after just two episodes.
We thought was a sign the network had a lot of faith in the show, but it took them until May 2020 to confirm the show was actually coming back.
Obviously that was slap-bang in the middle of *gestures wildly* all this, so production wasn't immediate. But it looks like the show's on track for a 2021 return.
"We’re going to start filming Prodigal Son season two hopefully in a couple of weeks, in October," Payne told BT. "We’ve got to figure out how we’re gonna get there. [My fiancée] Jennifer wants to drive maybe because she’s not sure about flying, but then driving it’s like 'What do we do on the way? Do we stop?'. It’s a whole journey across America that has to happen before we can start shooting again.
"We’re all doing the same thing really in that we’ll all have a test wherever we’re coming from, and then we’ll travel, and then we’ll have another test, and then quarantine for a couple of weeks. Then we have prep to do, like costume fittings and that kind of stuff. There’s lots of guidelines, and they’re changing all the time. Everyone’s just trying to do their best really."
Michael Sheen concurred with Payne about the planned timeline. "Series two got commissioned, which is fantastic, but of course we're still a little bit up in the air as to when we'll be able to start filming it," he told This Morning.
"The writers are writing it at the moment and we're hoping that maybe around October time we'll be able to start. But obviously it has to be done safely. I'm just trying to grow my hair and beard as long as I possibly can so that when we start season two I've got a strong look!"
"We do a lot of flashbacks in the show... so we go back to the period of time before he was arrested, before he was discovered," he explained. "He was... a very successful surgeon, so you see this well-to-do life that he has in New York before he was arrested. So we have to go back and forth – I look much more groomed.
"Then when he's in prison you see this slightly wilder, more wolfish look that comes out which is sort of closer to who he really is so we do have to go back and forth with the beard. So it's quite useful to have that. Of course in lockdown now, it's growing!"
Prodigal Son season two cast: Who will be in it?
As you can guess from the above interviews, Tom Payne will definitely return for the second season, as will Michael Sheen.
Back when Prodigal Son was first announced, Iron Fist's Finn Jones was cast in the lead role, but Payne replaced him just four days later. "Creative differences" were cited as the cause for this back then, but as long as there are no other disputes on set, the cast probably won't change that much in the near future.
You can expect Payne to be joined by the following in season two:
Lou Diamond Phillips as Gil Arroyo
Halston Sage as Ainsley Whitly
Aurora Perrineau as Det. Dani Powell
Frank Harts as Det. JT Tarmel
Keiko Agena as Dr Edrisa Tanaka
Bellamy Young as Jessica Whitly
Prodigal Son season two plot: What will it be about?
It's too early to predict exactly what will happen in Prodigal Son season two, although it seems likely that the show will dive even deeper into Malcolm's own psychopathic tendencies.
Can evil be inherited in our very DNA or do we ultimately choose the kind of person we grow up to be? Expect philosophical conundrums of this nature to be explored within a somewhat generic framework for season two, drawing inspiration once again from other crime thrillers like The Following, Hannibal and Mindhunter.
But Payne knows at least one scene that'll definitely appear in season two – because he predicted it!
"I haven’t [seen the script], but there was something I was quite excited about happening in season 1, and I was like 'Well this has to happen at some point [in season two],' Payne told BT.
"I’m not going to reveal what it is, but there was an unutilised part of Malcolm’s apartment, and I texted one of the writers and I said 'It would be great if this happened' and they were like 'You mean in episode 1 in season two?' and he sent me the page in the script where this sequence was happening. It’s so fun, I’m so excited to get into it!"
Prodigal Son season two trailer: When will we see it?
You don't have to be a forensic psychologist to know that leaking footage this early on would be an absolute crime, but check back regularly with us for your first official glimpse of footage if and when Prodigal Son is renewed for a second season.
Prodigal Son airs on Fox in the US and Sky One in the UK.
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