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What you need to know about The Capture

What you need to know about The Capture

Welcome to the Long Story Short on The Capture. Whether you’ve got ten seconds or a few minutes, get up to speed on everything you need to know as the BBC One drama returns for series 2

By Virgin TV Edit

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Hit BBC One thriller The Capture is making a comeback, with Paapa Essiedu (The Lazarus ProjectI May Destroy You) taking on the lead role for the second series. Across six episodes, Essiedu plays Isaac Turner, an idealistic rising-star MP with his eyes on the top job.


When Turner is entangled in a conspiracy involving deepfake technology and complex corruption, DCI Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger, the Strike mysteries) is tasked with solving the case. Along the way, she has to question whether she can trust her own eyes – or her own colleagues in the Metropolitan Police. 


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So what’s The Capture all about?

Created and written by Ben Chanan, The Capture is preoccupied with big, knotty questions about how modern technology is exploited for sinister ends. Chanan is particularly interested in how tech is creating a “post-truth” world in which it’s impossible to know what’s real and what’s not.


Check out the trailer…

What happened in series 1?

The first series of The Capture, which aired in 2019, followed Lance Corporal Shaun Emery (Callum Turner), a young soldier and father recently returned from Afghanistan. Shortly after Emery was acquitted on the charge of murdering an unarmed Afghan man, his female barrister disappeared – and damning CCTV evidence appeared to show him assaulting and kidnapping her.


But DI Carey (Grainger), who had recently been seconded to Homicide and Serious Crime Command from the Met’s counterterrorism branch, became convinced that the footage had been faked. As she travelled deep into the heart of the mystery surrounding Emery, she uncovered a multi-layered conspiracy that made her question everything she thought she knew about the intelligence services and criminal justice system.


All episodes of series 1 have returned to BBC iPlayer if you want to refresh your memory fully. 


What are the similarities between the two series?

Surveillance, tech and corruption are still major themes, with both series set in present-day London. Several characters from the first series will be making a reappearance, too, particularly Carey’s colleagues in the Met Police – many of whom she has a fractious relationship with.


Commander Danny Hart (Ben Miles), DSU Gemma Garland (Lia Williams), DS Patrick Flynn (Cavan Clerkin), DS Nadia Latif (Ginny Holder) and DSI Tom Kendricks (Nigel Lindsay) will all be back. So will Frank Napier (Ron Perlman), the mendacious CIA chief who caused serious trouble in series 1.


And what are the key differences?

New cast members are joining, including Indira Varma (This Way Up, Game Of Thrones) and Andy Nyman (Hanna, Unforgotten). Chanan has also widened the focus of series 2, looking beyond the military and police to draw in corruption across the fields of politics, the media and Big Tech.


While series 1 was preoccupied with the manipulation of CCTV footage, series 2 will feature all kinds of technology-facilitated horrors, from “invisible” assassins to the hacking of news feeds and the terrifying rise of deepfakes (videos that have been manipulated to make a person look as though they’re doing or saying something, typically intended to harm the individual in question or spread false information). According to Essiedu, Chanan’s script for the new series is “one of the freshest and most prescient” of recent times. 


Will series 2 be a bigger hit than series 1?

It’s impossible to say for sure, but it seems likely. Series 1 scored average ratings of 7.7 million viewers per episode, and was BBC iPlayer’s most requested new title across all genres in 2019 – and because of that success, it’s been upgraded from its previous midweek position in the schedules.


Series 2 starts in the coveted 9pm Sunday slot on BBC One, kicking off on the Sunday of August Bank Holiday weekend. That could add more millions to its numbers, so expect lots more conversations about political intrigue and deepfakes around the (real or virtual) watercooler in the mornings…


Can’t get enough?

Want to get up to speed on the menacing tech at the heart of the new series of The Capture? Here’s what you need to know about deepfakes...

When is BBC One’s The Capture on TV?

The six-part series starts on Sunday 28 August at 9pm on BBC One HD (CH 101), with the second episiode following at 9pm on Bank Holiday Monday.


The first two episodes will be available from 6am on Sunday 28 August in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer, with two more episodes added on each of the following two Sundays. Series 1 is available now in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer.

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Image credit: The Capture © Heyday films / Laurence Cendrowicz