London Falling: 'Gangs' Shows England Capital in Dicey Spot

Gangs of London on AMC Plus

(Image credit: AMC Plus)

Season two of U.K. crime drama Gangs of London starts on AMC Plus November 17, when two episodes debut. The show details the international gang wars going on in modern-day London, and the battle for power when a gang boss is murdered.

A year after the death of Finn Wallace, who was played by Colm Meaney, the surviving Wallaces are scattered, the Dumanis are estranged, and ex-cop Elliott Finch, played by Sope Dirisu, is forced to work for the Investors. As the Investors look down on a city descending into mayhem, they decide to bring in reinforcements to restore control.

“Old favorites and new players fight back against the new order, forcing sworn enemies to work together and family members to betray each other,” said AMC Plus.

Paapa Essiedu, Lucian Msamati, Michelle Fairley and Orli Shuka are in the cast with Dirisu.

The series is international — there is the Albanian mafia, Pakistani drug dealers, Kurdish freedom fighters, a Georgian gangster and other dodgy global factions.

Gangs of London is created by Gareth Evans and partner Matt Flannery. Lead director for season two is Corin Hardy. We spoke with Hardy about season two, and season one. He called the reaction to the first season “fantastic.”

“It was really reaffirming and satisfying to get a perfect response for what we put out there,” Hardy said.

Alternately violent and elegant, the show was inspired by the Gangs of London video game, which Hardy likened to Grand Theft Auto. 

Hardy wore a t-shirt bearing the words “Don’t let them tell you that there are no monsters,” a Nick Cave line. Asked what’s at stake in season two, he replied, “what’s not at stake, that is the question. Everything is at stake.”

There’s an investigation into who killed Finn Wallace. There’s a fallout between the Wallaces and the Dumanis. The Georgian gangster is trying to get the gangs in line, without much luck. Hardy spoke of “new world order in London.”

Finch has been hired as an assassin. “He’s shed his responsibilities and his morals as a cop to work for the Investors on the wrong side,” said Hardy. “He’s been brought to London to aid in this spiraling situation, which brings the families back to London. And all hell breaks loose.”

Asked about his favorite scene in the new season, Hardy mentioned one in episode seven, set in a karaoke bar. He spoke of “the inventive nature of weaponry” —essentially using what is available to do some damage, such as, say, a mic stand.

Hardy spoke of a “musical journey” in the karaoke bar, with the likes of Dua Lipa, Britney Spears, Poison and The Outfield providing the soundtrack.

The show runs on Sky Atlantic in the U.K. Evans, Flannery and Hardy executive produce with Thomas Benski, Jane Featherstone, Tom Butterworth and Helen Gregory.

When AMC got on board for season two, Dan McDermott, AMC president of original programming and co-president of AMC Studios, called the series “a cinematic thrill ride that set screens ablaze with a stellar cast, elevated drama and epic storylines.”

Hardy said the new season looks into the challenge of having both family and power, and how the gangster life makes it exceedingly difficult to have both. He spoke of the London depicted in the show as a melting pot, and “the most corrupt city in the world.”

“It’s a look at what goes on behind those doors you don’t normally get to see behind,” added Hardy. ■

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.