‘Vienna Blood’ is back for a second series
Friday:Vienna Blood; (BBC Two, 9pm)
Have you forgotten all about Vienna Blood? If the answer is “yes”, don’t worry – we’ll forgive you.
It snuck onto BBC Two back in 2019 and, let’s face it, a lot has happened in the world since then, so letting a period thriller that was a moderate but not massive ratings hit slip your mind is quite understandable. The series was, however, elsewhere in the world, which is why it’s back for a belated second run.
The show is a co-production between British, German and Austrian companies – and neither Brexit or a global pandemic could put a stop to filming, thank goodness.
“To have had the pleasure of filming in the magical city of Vienna for a second series was such a treat, a real feast for the eyes, not only for us as programme makers but – we hope – for our viewers too,” says Hilary Bevan Jones, managing director of Endor Productions, one of the firms involved in the thriller’s creation.
“We have three more compelling stories written by the incredible Steve Thompson and once again inspired by the world Frank Tallis created in his Liebermann novels. With Matthew Beard and Juergen Maurer heading our fantastic international cast and Robert Dornhelm weaving his directorial vision, we have been spoiled.
“We look forward to revisiting the love and warmth of the Liebermann family and new adventures with our duo Max and Oskar.”
For the uninitiated, Matthew Beard takes the lead role of Max Liebermann, a gifted young English doctor living in the titular Austrian city during the early years of the 20th century. He’s studied under famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, and his insights into the human mind prove useful to local police detective Oskar Rheinhardt (Juergen Maurer); the pair form an unofficial investigative partnership that proves hugely successful.
“Having just set up his own private practice, we find Max experimenting with Freud’s new talking cure and various psychoanalytic techniques,” explains Beard while discussing the second run. “But he’s also still at the hospital, where he works with patients. And he still has a relationship with Oskar.”
He adds: “As we leave Max and Oskar in the first season, Max asks what the next case will be – so he’s hoping that he’ll still be able to be involved in criminal investigations. I think he’s quite relieved when Oskar appears and asks for some help because he secretly misses the thrill of the crime scenes.”
However, Max would probably prefer it if their cases weren’t quite so personal – their latest involves the suspected suicide of one of his patients, casting doubt on his abilities as a medic.
Despite his character’s problems, Beard is thrilled to be back in action, and believes the three-part series will go down a treat with viewers, despite the often grisly subject matter: “I think the films are a good diversion from all the horrible stuff in the world. It’s a nice bit of escapism,” he smiles. And hopefully less forgettable this time around too…
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