The Missing series 2: James Nesbitt confirms he will not be returning and drops big hints

If you thought Olly was dead at the end of the first series finale...well...

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The Independent Culture

James Nesbitt has confirmed that he will not be returning for a second series of The Missing and dropped some big hints on what fans might expect.

The first series of the harrowing BBC abduction drama ended in dramatic fashion last December when the mystery of who stole five-year-old Oliver Hughes on a family holiday in France was ‘solved’, only for the final scene to be left ambiguous.

Nesbitt, who played Olly’s increasingly-desperate father Tony, was last seen looking beardy and deranged approaching a little boy in Russia.


The Northern Irish actor told Radio Times that, like many viewers, he assumed that Tony’s sighting of Olly was a tragic delusion, only to discover that director Tom Shankland had other ideas.

“There was a lot of chat about the ending and I thought the ending was brilliant. But it was funny, I was at the Golden Globes and I was talking to someone about the ending and I was saying it definitely wasn’t Olly at the end,” he said.

“Tony is demented and Oliver is dead and the only place that Tony can find solace is in this demented world, and that was how I was playing it. But Tom, who directed all of them, arrived and said, ‘Oh no, that was Olly’, so there was an ambiguity to it.”

Nesbitt wished the cast and crew well, “but not too well” for series two, before revealing that he is discussing an exciting new project with Downton Abbey executive producer Gareth Neames.

A second series of The Missing was first suggested by a short advert at the end of the first series, featuring detective Julien Baptiste saying in voiceover: “To lose somebody can destroy a person. But to find them again, when so much has passed, well, sometimes, that can be worse.”

Fans have since been promised a “brand new story” led by Baptiste, played brilliantly by Tcheky Karyo, with writers Harry and Jack Williams on board again.