Season Two is Out!
So Season 2 of THWDY has finally been released! We had hoped to get it out during the summer but life, as it does, got in the way. It’s been fun researching the Egyptian side of things trying to work out for example just how long a letter would have taken to get from London to Cairo and indeed if it was possible in 1926 for the general public to make a telephone call between those two cities (It definitely was by the early 1930’s but I couldn’t be sure it was in 1926 and anyway even it was, it would probably have been prohibitively expensive so telegrams were more likely. The more things change…).
It's interesting how a story wants to be told. Our original goal was that each season would be a standalone story, but with recurring characters. The risk with plots that keep going over multiple seasons is that they become bloated, meandering or self-referential. When we sat down to start writing season 2, our expectation was that we would fairly quickly draw a line under the season 1 story and move on to the main season 2 plot. However as we wrote it became clear that we needed, and wanted, to do justice to Lily and George in particular and so they feature more than originally intended in this new season.
In season one we kept as a background note the political situation to give a sense of societal tensions that would be present (In Ireland, the consequences of the independence and civil wars were still playing out in 1925; In Britain, the Hunger Marches that Elizabeth gets caught up in were a real protest movement). Egyptian politics were complex in 1926, with the question of independence to the fore. To thematically follow on from season one, we’ve tried to weave that aspect of the political situation into the background noise, as Britain is not keen to lose another part of empire…
However, THWDY is ultimately about its characters, its atmosphere and the strange things that they get embroiled in. THWDY originally was meant to be a ‘Molly Keane meets Lovecraft’ type of story (hubris, I know!) but ended up closer to the folk horror of The Wicker Man. Whereas the Kilphuan Hall setting lent itself to a certain claustrophobia, in season two we have the Nile, the desert and the magics of ancient Egypt to play with – it’s been fun to mix it up a bit while keeping it tonally similar to what’s gone before. And of course, it’s time for Elizabeth to shine!