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World on Fire: Will there be a season 3 and what to expect if so

The British drama stars Jonah Hauer King and Lesley Manville during WWII 

Jonah Hauer-King as Harry Chase in World on Fire
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior Features Writer
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With its star-studded cast and gripping yet heartbreaking plot, it's easy to see why BBC/PBS' latest drama offering, World on Fire, has gone down so well with viewers. The show, which is now on season two following a four-year break from our screens, is finally back and sees the return of Little Mermaid's Jonah Hauer King, Lesley Manville and Blake Harrison to tell the story of ordinary civilians across Europe who endured troubling times during the Second World War.

WATCH: The official trailer for World on Fire series two

The large gap in between the first and second series has perhaps heightened the interest for the new episodes, with many are now keen to know what the future holds for the period drama. So will there be a third series? Read on to find out all we know... 

Will there be a series three of World on Fire?

The show airs on the BBC in the UK, and the network has not yet formally confirmed that series three is happening as of October 2023. But fans needn't worry too much because, according to the show creator Peter Bowker, there's a high likelihood that there's more World on Fire to come in the future. In an interview with Variety, the writer was asked about the status of a third series, to which he responded: "We're at planning stages. It's usually a case of after the first two episodes have gone out, they start looking at the numbers, and then there's iPlayer, and then it's about presenting and saying, 'These are the stories we want to tell; this is how we think we can tell them.' You pitch all over again, really."

Henriette in season two© Steffan Hill
Henriette in season two

Not only that, the writer then revealed that he has a six-season arc in mind for the drama. "I do intend to follow this through to the end of the war. The shape of it changes constantly as new stories are unearthed," he said during the same interview, adding: "It's moved and all the rest of it will move. But yeah, I know where it can go." Fortunately for fans, it's likely that the gap between series two and three, if it happens, won't be as big as the one between the first and second seasons – which was predominantly as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

What is World on Fire about?

For those unaware, the drama focuses on a group of various individuals who all live through the harrowing years surrounding World War Two. The central character is Harry Chase (Jonah Hauer King) who works as an interpreter in the British Embassy in Warsaw before enlisting in the British Army.

The second season moves on from the first and transports viewers to 1941. The synopsis reads: "RAF pilots are sent to destroy German bombers prowling the skies above Manchester, with rescue operations underway on the streets below. The true reality of war has arrived in Britain," explains the synopsis.

World on Fire is back for season 2© Mammoth Screen
World on Fire is back for season 2

"[Series two] will take viewers from the war-torn streets of Britain deep into Nazi Germany, the resistance within occupied France, and the brutal sands of the North African desert – where troops struggle to adapt to a very different kind of combat."

If you're new to World on Fire and missed out on series one the first time, check out our explainer of what went down in the first six episodes.

Who stars in World on Fire?

Fans will be pleased to see that many of the main characters have returned to the show. As mentioned, the cast is led by Jonah Hauer King who was perhaps relatively unknown in the acting world when he first joined the show in 2019. However, the actor has gained prominence in recent years, most notably for appearing as Prince Eric in Disney's live-action movie, The Little Mermaid alongside Halle Bailey.

Also reprising their roles are Lesley Manville, Julia Brown and Blake Harrison.

Ahad Razami as Rajib in World on Fire© Steffan Hill
Ahad Razami as Rajib in World on Fire

Series two has had some changes to the cast, though. Series one featured acting heavyweight Sean Bean before his character was killed off – this was due to the actor's scheduling conflicts which prevented him returning for a second series.

Helen Hunt, who played Nancy Campbell, an American journalist working in Berlin, has also departed the cast. But viewers have been introduced to new character's such as Sir James Danemere, played by Mark Bonnar, and Rajib, a British Indian Army Officer, played by Ahad Raza Mir.

Mark Bonnar as Sir James Danemere in World on Fire © Mammoth Screen
Mark Bonnar as Sir James Danemere in World on Fire

What are viewers making of World on Fire?

The initial reactions to World on Fire series two have been mostly positive. One person wrote on social media after watching episode one: "#WorldOnFire series two really packed a punch. The characters are trying to find normalcy and purpose all while having to deal with the trauma that comes during the travesties of war. It's so well done and I cannot wait for series 3!!" Another echoed the praise, adding on Twitter: "This first episode was so good but it destroyed me. [I don't know] how I'm gonna survive the entire season #WorldOnFire."