Vigil series 2 sees Romola Garai and Dougray Scott join the cast

"New base. New investigation. More lies."

BBC One thriller Vigil returns for series 2 this December, reuniting Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie in the cast, and welcoming many more famous faces.

In the first series of Vigil, we saw DCI Amy Silva venturing into the hidden world of submarines… The second series finds Amy and DI Kirsten Longacre (Amy’s partner in both senses of the word) exploring another shrouded aspect of British military operations – that of Britain’s arms dealing, drone weapons development, and its partnerships in the Middle East.

As with the first series, the meaning of ‘loyalty’ is a major theme in the new six-parter. In a brand-new investigation, DCI Amy Silva and Kirsten (Rose Leslie) enter the world of drone warfare to catch a killer.

Following multiple unexplained fatalities at a Scottish military facility, the pair are tasked with uncovering the cause. Entering the hostile and closed ranks of the air force, they must face the deadly warfare of tomorrow as they fight for their own future.

Here’s everything you need to know about the cast of Suranne Jones drama Vigil series 2, starting on Sunday, December 10, 2023 at 9pm.

Suranne Jones as Amy Silva in the cast of Vigil series 2
Suranne Jones returns as Amy Silva in the cast of Vigil series 2 (Credit: World Productions LTD/Mark Mainz)

Vigil series 2 cast: Suranne Jones plays DCI Amy Silva

TV favourite Suranne Jones returns as DCI Amy Silva in the second series of Vigil on BBC One. This time, she’s loved up with DI Kirsten Longacre, and the pair are expecting their first child together.

Of course, fans of series 1 will know that Amy already has a child called Poppy with her late partner.

Suranne Jones made her debut in television when she played the famous Karen McDonald in Coronation Street. She starred in the soap from 1997 to 2004. After leaving the popular ITV soap, she went on to star in a number of British dramas including Vincent, Harley Street, and Unforgiven.

The 45-year-old actress also won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress in 2016 for her portrayal of Gemma Foster in Doctor Foster. Gemma Foster was a successful GP who set out to find the truth about her cheating husband. In the series, she starred alongside many famous names including Jodie Comer, Adam James and Bertie Carvel.

Fans will also recognise Suranne for her role as PC Laurie Franklin in Five Days, Sister Joan Livesey in The Crimson Field, and Sarah in Single Father.

She portrayed DC Rachel Bailey in Scott & Bailey from 2011 to 2016. Suranne then went on to star in arguably her most successful role to date – that of Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack. Suranne is also known for playing Claire McGory in gritty drama Save Me, and Becca in the recent heartbreaker Maryland.

Rose Leslie in the cast of Vigil series 2
Rose Leslie in the cast of Vigil series 2 (Credit: BBC One)

Rose Leslie stars as DI Kirsten Longacre

Scottish actress Rose Leslie, 38, began her career as a 21-year-old in the film New Toon, which she won a Scottish BAFTA award for Best Acting – New Talent.

Only two years later, she was cast in Sky Atlantic/HBO fantasy drama Game of Thrones, which propelled her to international stardom. In the series, she played wildling Ygritte – a fierce and passionate wild woman who falls for the heir to the throne, Jon Snow. In real life, the actors fell in love, too, and are now married. Rose’s real life pregnancy was written into the script of Vigil series 2.

Thanks to Game Of Thrones, Rose’s career prospered… BBC One’s The Great Fire followed, as did Luther, and US series, The Good Fight. She was then cast in the US TV series, The Time Traveller’s Wife. She played Clare, a woman married to time-hopper Henry (Theo James).

Rose went on to play Louise Bourget in Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie adaptation, Death On The Nile. Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Gal Gadot also starred.

Downton Abbey fans might also recognises her as Gwen Dawson!

Romola Garai as Eliza Russell in Vigil
Romola Garai as Eliza Russell in Vigil (Credit: World Productions/Mark Mainz)

Vigil series 2 cast: Romola Garai portrays Acting Squadron Leader Eliza Russell

Romola Garai plays Acting Squadron Leader Eliza Russell. She is described as “Amy’s guardian on the base when she gets to Wudyan”. Eliza has had to step up into the position as her immediate boss has mysteriously flown back to Scotland at the beginning of the series.

British Hong Kong-born actress Romola, 41, made her name playing Zoe Atkins in Attachments, before leading the cast of the 2003 film I Capture the Castle. She’s starred in dozens of films, but her most notable role must surely be that of Briony in Atonement.

Romola played Bel Rowley in the brilliant BBC One series The Hour, created by The Split writer Abi Morgan. She also starred as Emma in the BBC adaptation of the Jane Austen novel, and Sugar in The Crimson Petal and the White.

More recently, she played Mary Tudor in Becoming Elizabeth, and Juno Fish in The Following Events Are Based on a Pack of Lies. She’ll soon appear in the heartbreaking Anthony Hopkins film One Life, based on the true story of war hero Nicholas Winton. Romola plays Doreen Warriner in the movie.

Dougray Scott as Grainger in Vigil
Scottish actor Dougray Scott joins the cast of Vigil series 2 as Grainger (Credit: World Productions/Jamie Simpson)

Dougray Scott plays Air Marshall Marcus Grainger

Scottish actor Dougray Scott stars as Air Marshall Marcus Grainger in the cast of Vigil series 2. Grainger is an Air Vice Marshall, a very patriotic and proud member of the British military and the air force. He’s responsible for many of the arms sales to countries like Wudyan, the fictional middle-eastern country in the series.

Desperate Housewives fans will know Dougray, 58, as Ian Hainsworth in the huge US series. The actor is one of the lucky ones who made it on home soil, as well as in the States.

He’s also famous for playing Major Rory Taylor in Soldier Soldier, Mickey O’Neil in Heist, Norman Godfrey in Hemlock Grove, and Colonel Jacob Kane in Batwoman.

Between 2013 and 2014, Dougray played Norman Godfrey in the US TV series Hemlock Grove, before portraying Senator David Faulkner in Full Circle in 2016. He’s also starred as Vic Hill in Snatch, Uncle Tony in A Town Called Malice, and Ethan Moreau in Departure.

Most recently, Dougray has led the cast in the Irvine Welsh detective drama Crime, the second series of which has recently been dropped on ITVX. He’s been in dozens of films, including Twin Town, Taken 3, Last Passenger, and Mission Impossible: II.

Suranne Jones and Gary Lewis in Vigil series 2
Gary Lewis as Robertson in Vigil (Credit: World Productions/Jamie Simpson)

Gary Lewis is DSU Robertson in the cast of Vigil series 2

Actor Gary Lewis is one of only four returning characters from the original series of Vigil (including Suranne, Rose, and the young actress who plays Poppy). He’s back as Robertson.

Scottish actor Gary, 66, has been in dozens of films, but is perhaps best known for his role as the overbearing dad in Billy Elliot the film.

The Glasgow-born actor is known for his work across films, TV and theatre. He’s been on our screens since 1993. Gary has played Douglas in Rig 45, Gil Devlin in The Level, and Colum MacKenzie in Outlander. His Dark Materials fans will know him as Thorold in the BBC series.

Most recently, he played Vinnie Morrison in the cast of The Bay series three, and Shay Coburn in Granite Harbour. Marvel fans will have seen him as Emperor Dro’ge in the recent film The Marvels.

Amir El-Masry stars as Ramsay in Vigil
Amir El-Masry stars as Ramsay in Vigil (Credit: World Productions/Mark Mainz)

Amir El-Masry stars as Daniel Ramsay

Actor Amir plays Ramsay, a confident, cocky MI5 intelligence officer. He’s brought in by MI5 essentially as a co-investigator, but also to “annoy the hell out of Kirsten and Amy”.

The Egyptian actor, 33, attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and landed a role in US political drama Rosewater shortly after his graduation in 2013. After Rosewater, Amir starred in the 2016 BBC series The Night Manager alongside The Crown actress Olivia Colman, Blackadder star Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki in the Marvel films.

Other TV shows on his acting CV include Casualty (in 2013), Tyrant (2015), McMafia (2018), Stalling (2018), Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (2018) and Industry (2020).

Amir has also been in a number of films, including Star Wars. He was in the The Rise of Skywalker, playing a character called Masir Trach – a member of the First Order, the baddies in the sci-fi series’ sequel trilogy.

He played Ben in The One. His character was central to the plot of the Netflix cat-and-mouse thriller about a company that matches people based on their DNA.

More recently, Amir played Usman Abboud in Industry, and Dr. Gamal in BBC One hit drama SAS Rogue Heroes. He also played a young Mohamed Fayed in The Crown, and Amr in crazy about you.

Chris Jenks as Barker in Vigil series 2
Chris Jenks as Barker in Vigil series 2 (Credit: World Productions/Jamie Simpson)

Vigil series 2 cast: Chris Jenks plays Callum Barker

Actor Chris Jenks stars as Callum Barker. Callum is troubled due to the fact he thinks he’s involved in a morally questionable military operation. He isn’t afraid to make his dissatisfaction known and rail against authority. As the series progresses, we see that he is trying to keep a secret from the world and we get to see a softer, more intimate Callum.

Beyond Paradise viewers will recognise actor Chris Jenks as Josh Woods, a role he’ll soon reprise in the Christmas special.

An actor since 2016, Chris played Carlton Dyer in one episode of Doctors, before winning the role of Jamie in The Athena, a role he played from 2018 t0 2019.

He also portrayed Archibald Cosmos in Miracle Workers, and Steve Morley in Sex Education. Chris recently played DC Jason Murray in Karen Pirie.

Alastair Mackenzie plays John Bentley in Unforgotten
Alastair Mackenzie, seen here as John Bentley in Unforgotten, joins the cast of Vigil (Credit: ITV1)

Alastair Mackenzie portrays Chapman

Scottish actor Alastair Mackenzie, 53, plays Chapman in the cast of Vigil series 2. He’s probably most famous for his role as Archie MacDonald in Monarch of the Glen, a role he portrayed the role from 2000 to 2003.

The actor also popped up in the likes of Lovejoy, Soldier, Soldier, and Game On before his first recurring role as Dr ‘Shug’ Nevin in Psychos.

After leaving Monarch of the Glen, Alastair returned to being a jobbing actor – appearing in Murdoch Mysteries, Lewis, Black Mirror and Skins. In 2013, he appeared as Jeremy Welsh in Borgen, before portraying Lord Rothcroft in Dracula, and William Brereton in Wolf Hall.

2017 saw him appear in The Loch as Craig Petrie, and Jamie Poynter in Cold Feet. Alastair played Guy Riverty in the 2019 mini series Deep Water, and portrayed Cassie’s boyfriend John Bentley in Unforgotten.

More recently, Alastair has played Simon Lanesborough in Professor T, Richard Aylard in The Crown, Perrin Fertha in Andor.

NEBRAS JAMALI as Colonel Bilali in Vigil
Nebras Jamali as Colonel Bilali in the cast of Vigil series 2 (Credit: World Productions/Mark Mainz)

Who else stars in the cast of Vigil series 2?

Newcomer Hiba Medina stars as Sabiha Chapman in her first ever TV role.

Nebras Jamali portrays Colonel Bilali. He’s known for playing Nawaf al-Hazmi in The Looming Tower, Fawwaz Saadawi in Doctors, Poya in Our Girl in 2020, and Nasir in the recent Apple TV+ thriller Hijack.

Jonathan Ajayi stars as Wes Harper. Noughts + Crosses fans will know him for playing Lekan Baako. Meanwhile, Shannon Hayes stars as Nicole Lawson. She recently played Tabitha Lemon in I Hate Suzie.

Actor Oscar Salem, aka Ser Addam in House of Dragon, stars as Captain Sattam Abdul Kader, while Inside Man’s Malek Alkoni portrays Faisal. Deep State’s Khalid Laith stars as Abdullah Ghazali, Payback’s Martin Bell plays Gunner Jansen, and The Girlfriend Experience star Armin Karima is Nader Waheed.

Guilt‘s Kim Allan plays Fraser, while Ernie’s Nowras Tharb also stars. Bulletproof and Crime actor David Elliot plays Sutherland, and Doctors actor Tommy Sim’aan plays Firas Zaman.

Andor and Vera star Noof Ousellam is DS Paul Townsend, and The Winter King’s Steven Elder plays Derek McCabe. Meanwhile, Gap Years’s Anders Hayward plays Colin Dixon, Like Me’s Kamal Mustaffai stars as Mutaz, and Deadwater Fell actress Orla Russell returns as Poppy.

Read more: Vigil series 2 trailer drops as Suranne Jones returns to lead the cast

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Series two of Vigil begins at 9pm on Sunday, December 10 2023, on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The first three episodes of series two will be available to stream on BBC iPlayer from 6am.

Are you excited for series 2 of Vigil? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Helen Fear
TV Editor