Stephen Merchant working on a third series of The Outlaws

Tuesday 17th May 2022, 6:28pm by Jay Richardson

  • Stephen Merchant has revealed he's developing a third series of The Outlaws
  • The BBC has yet to officially confirm further episodes, but the writer-star told US radio that he's discussing further storylines
  • "I feel like there's quite a lot of mileage in these characters," Merchant told National Public Radio
The Outlaws. Greg (Stephen Merchant)

Stephen Merchant is working on a third series of The Outlaws, he has revealed.

Series 2 of the BBC One comedy crime thriller begins next month. Although the corporation has yet to formally commission further episodes of the show - about seven strangers doing community service in Bristol - Merchant has confirmed that he's working on further storylines.

"Someone had told me early on in my writing career that with a comedy or with a drama, you take your characters and you chase them up a tree and then you throw rocks at them" he told National Public Radio in the US - where the first series, in which he also stars alongside Hollywood legend Christopher Walken, Eleanor Tomlinson, Darren Boyd, Rhianne Barreto and Gamba Cole - is currently airing.

"And so Series 1 was chasing them up the tree, Series 2 is really throwing the rocks at them" he continued. "Turning up the heat under them and it's been very enjoyable because you've established a world, you can have a lot of fun with the characters and see the consequences of their actions and I'm very pleased with it.

The Outlaws. Image shows from L to R: Frank (Christopher Walken), Rani Rekowski (Rhianne Barreto), Christian (Gamba Cole), Greg (Stephen Merchant), Gabby (Eleanor Tomlinson), Myrna (Clare Perkins), John (Darren Boyd), Diane (Jessica Gunning)

"And we've already started talking about a third series as well. So I feel like there's quite a lot of mileage in these characters."

Co-created with US television writer and former gang member Elgin James (Mayans M.C.) and averaging more than 4.5 million viewers an episode, The Outlaws has attracted mixed reviews.

The Guardian called it "warm, witty and surprisingly gritty", praising its preference for the "wry and silly", saying it has "a knowing fondness for a dad-joke style gag, and it throws its characters into wild waters that are in stark contrast to their mostly humdrum daily lives".

The Metro hailed the "compelling" show's "glorious" casting, adding that "the sharp script and the A-list performances" established it as "one of the strongest new comedies of 2021".

The Outlaws - Series One

The brand new BBC One series co-created by Stephen Merchant.

In this sharp new comedy drama, an unlikely group of lawbreakers are forced to work together in a community payback project. These seven strangers have nothing in common but as new friendships emerge, dark secrets are revealed. When the group are unwittingly drawn into a dangerous criminal conspiracy, they must break down the barriers between them before they can fight for what's right.

Combining crime thriller and character study with humour and heart, The Outlaws is a story about finding common ground during divided times.

Starring: Christopher Walken, Stephen Merchant, Rhianne Barreto, Gamba Cole, Clare Perkins, Eleanor Tomlinson, Jessica Gunning, Darren Boyd and Dolly Wells.

First released: Monday 6th December 2021

  • Distributor: BBC Studios
  • Region: 2
  • Discs: 2
  • Minutes: 360
  • Subtitles: English

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