BBC One daytime drama The Mallorca Files returns in early February, but fans of the show received an early peak at an RTS event in mid-January.
Series two offers six new episodes of the “will they, won’t they” drama, in which Welsh cop Miranda Blake (Elen Rhys) and German colleague Max Winter (Julian Looman) spar and solve crime on the Spanish island.
The Mallorca Files should offer some much-needed escapism during the third coronavirus lockdown. “We can’t wait to get it into the schedules. Winter is usually pretty dark and dreary and you want a bit of lovely light and sunshine. But this year, more than ever, it’s so important,’ said BBC daytime commissioning editor Helen Munson. “The sun and scenery is what we’re all craving.”
The show’s creator, Dan Sefton, promised more of the escapism of last year’s first series, but also revealed that it will address tougher topics such as the Spanish Civil War. This is the subject of an episode – Sefton’s favourite of the new season –featuring Phil Daniels as a “hard-bitten, ex-pat private detective”.
“Some of the information is shocking and disturbing, but if you did a very po-faced drama about it, it wouldn’t be as accessible to people,” said Sefton.
“It’s about that mix of tone. It’s not easy to do and you’re always trying to get the balance right,” he continued. “We try and keep it contemporary and relevant, but at same time it’s an entertainment show.”
Filming on the second series was curtailed by coronavirus restrictions early last year with four episodes still to shoot. “There’s some great material still waiting there,” said Sefton. “We’re in a very good position to carry on – as soon as it opens up, we’re a show that could start straightaway.”
The stars of the show are both keen to return to Mallorca. “I’ve loved living there for half of the year and miss it terribly. I’m desperate to go back,” said Rhys. “We get to go to the most beautiful locations. It’s like a dream job.”
And will the chalk-and-cheese detectives – Winter is a lazy cop with a big personality; Blake is professionally driven but uptight – finally kindle a romance?
Rhys was coy about revealing too much: “You’d like to think that the ‘will they, won’t they’ element is what keeps bring people back – the core of the series is the Max and Miranda relationship. But, with anything like that, the moment they do get together, perhaps, might dispel some of the magic.
“In series two, we didn’t want to keep playing on that one tone … so their relationship develops in a different way … it’s like a slow burn.”
Looman, though, added: “We have made six episodes out of 10, so we still have four in the pocket – it’s a surprise what will happen.”
“The Mallorca Files preview and Q&A” was held on 12 January, chaired by the journalist Emma Bullimore and produced by the RTS. A longer report will appear in the February issue of Television.
Watch the event in full below.