Having dug themselves into a deep hole in the first series our group of disparate wrongdoers are in danger of someone else digging holes for them in series 2 of Stephen Merchant’s comedy drama, The Outlaws.
This second six-episode series takes a more forensic look into the personalities of each of the seven lead offenders and that of the inimitable wannabe Police Officer, Community Support Worker, Diane. Needless to say the not so magnificent seven continue their nefarious activities although with far more intensity as they come under pressure from a London based crime boss.
Rani and Christian’s relationship moves to the next level; John’s (Darren Boyd) relationship with his dad/boss worsens; Myrna (Clare Perkins) comes to the aid of the Collective; Frank (Christopher Walken) re-assesses his relationship with his family; Lady Gabriella (Gabby) Penrose-Howe (Eleanor Tomlinson) adjusts to life without her father’s financial support and Greg (Stephen Merchant) provides legal/illegal advice and support to the group whilst developing a more assertive nature.
This is set against a background of continuous police investigation into drug lord ‘The Dean’ by DS Haines (Grace Calder) and DS Selforth (Kojo Kamara) who put pressure on jailed county line runner Malaki (Charles Babalola).
As the series reaches its climax it evolves into Carry On meets Hustle with Diane (Jessica Gunning) providing most of the comedy, and funny it is too.
In the final episode, loose ends are tied up with all the character’s stories completed whilst cleverly leaving enough wiggle room for further developments.
Although this has been a very enjoyable couple of series they have served their time as a group and deserve to live their very separate lives. Maybe one or two could develop as pure drama characters and Diane could certainly be developed into a genuine stand-alone sitcom character.
A third series would I fear require Stephen Merchant to take an ungainly giant leap over Jaws.
The Outlaws Series 2 BBC1 Sundays and BBC iPlayer