Baptiste Season 2: Everything You Need to Know
If you fell in love with the gentle but determined French detective Julien Baptiste, you’re in luck! The Baptiste TV series returns for a second season and Julien is still far from retired. Six episodes follow Baptiste (Tchéky Karyo) as he searches for the missing family of a British Ambassador. Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve, Mrs. Wilson) guest stars as Ambassador Emma Chambers. Read on to discover who else you’ll recognize in the cast, how to watch, where we left off and what’s ahead!
[Note: Baptiste contains scenes that may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.]
Where We Left Off
Detective Julien Baptiste is retired and hoping to live quietly—in fact, he and wife Celia are visiting their new grandchild in Amsterdam. While there, he is asked for help by the city’s chief of police, a former girlfriend. What starts as a favor ends up putting the life of Baptiste and his family in danger.
What to Expect in Baptiste Season 2
Julien Baptiste is back at work as a private detective, finding runaway teenagers who don’t want to be found. But he is not the man we left at the end of Season 1. A horrific personal tragedy has left him heartbroken. He has grown estranged from his wife Celia and is looking for any distraction to consume him, be it the bottom of a bottle or a new case.
When Julien sees the British Ambassador to Hungary make a televised appeal to help locate her missing family, he finds that new case. Traveling to the mountain resort where Emma Chambers was vacationing with her husband and two sons, Julien entrenches himself in her high-profile world. While at first finding Julien’s intrusion surprising and somewhat delusional, Chambers decides he brings a different type of determined hope that will be integral to getting her family back.
Viewers can also expect the narrative to alternate between two time periods, 14 months apart. “One [time period] informs the other,” says Season 2 director Hong Khaou. “You’re kind of kept in the dark, but as you progress everything becomes clear. It’s a style of writing that forces you to engage with the story as information unfolds—it’s very exciting and delightful.”
The Cast of Season 2
Turkish-born, French actor Tchéky Karyo returns as the stubborn, but highly empathic French detective who formerly appeared in the TV series The Missing. “I admire Julien’s instinct,” says Karyo. “He’s not formal and he’s able to walk on the wild side. He’s able to listen to people. I feel I could be good friends with Julien.”
Fiona Shaw joins the cast as workaholic British Ambassador, Emma Chambers. Shaw describes Emma’s emptiness and dislocation upon losing her family: “To be in a different country when your family goes missing, to not be able to go home, to be the ambassador—all these rather lonely feelings. …Emma meets Julien Baptiste and they both decide to go in a contrary direction to where the police are looking.”
Alongside its two leads, Season 2 has a big international cast including Ace Bhatti (Bohemian Rhapsody) as Nadeem Chadhuri, the Ambassador’s assistant whose role is to protect Emma and the British Government. Hungarian actress Dorka Cryllus plays Zsofia Arslan, the lead police officer whose parents were Turkish immigrants. Fellow countrywoman Gabriella Hámori portrays far-right politician, Kamilla Agoston. Miklós Béres (Captives) is tattooed suspect, Andras Juszt. The Chambers family is portrayed by Adrian Rawlins as loyal husband Richard; Stuart Campbell as Alex, the son who’s always online; and Conrad Khan as traumatized, silent son Will. Anastasia Hille (The Missing, Wanderlust) plays Julien’s exasperated wife Celia.
Filming in Hungary
Baptiste Season 2 was shot on location in Budapest, which becomes its own character in the same way Amsterdam did in the show’s first season. The Hungarian capital has “a spooky, lost-in-time feeling about it,” says series producer, John Griffin. “There’s a sense of what we remember from the Cold War, but it’s all been modernized. However, those shadows still remain and it’s those shadows that Julien is moving in.”
Scenes were filmed in the capital’s 19th century quarter called Pest—including at Nyugati Pályaudvar, the city’s western railway station famous for its iron and glass façade designed by Gustave Eiffel; the landmark bridges spanning the River Danube; and the spacious, tree-lined Andrassy Avenue, a World Heritage site. These venerable backdrops give contrast and depth to the riveting suspense of Baptiste.
While Budapest is “interesting visually, [there’s] a lot about where it is politically,” say series writers and creators, Harry and Jack Williams. “There are forces that are changing the world now and they are reflected acutely in Hungary. Thematically, that was very important to the story. …A lot of it is about extremism in all its forms—politically, personally, extreme viewpoints, extreme decisions.”
How to Watch
Full episodes of Season 2 can be streamed online once they air. Want to watch Season 1 or 2 at your own pace? You can when you access PBS Passport, a useful member benefit.
Preview Baptiste Season 2 with this thrilling trailer!