The Capture Creator Ben Chanan Discusses Season 2, Ensemble Cast

With Peacock's release of the UK cybercrime drama The Capture season two, the series focuses on a new digital threat. Following the events of season one, DCI Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) is entrenched in UK's own "Correction" unit and finds herself in the middle of a new conspiracy with a new target. Escalating from the CCTV thriller of series one, the new season features 'invisible' assassins, the terrifying rise of deepfake technology, the ever-growing tension between government and Big Tech, and media corruption. Creator Ben Chanan spoke to Bleeding Cool about the challenges entering season two, how life is imitating art, show inspirations, and more.

The Capture: Creator Ben Chanan on Ensemble Cast, Previews Season Two
Holliday Grainger in "The Capture". Screencapped from YouTube courtesy of Peacock / BBC

The Capture Season Two Challenges and Deepfake Technology

Bleeding Cool: When you developed the second season for the Capture, what was the biggest challenge going on?

Chanan: The biggest challenge is giving people a new story. We've done the courts in season one with the British justice system. The challenge was asking, "Where are we going?" Let's give people a different story and how different can it be? How many new characters can you introduce, and how many different precincts can we take you to? I wanted to be as ambitious as possible, so that was the challenge.

The Capture: Creator Ben Chanan on Ensemble Cast, Previews Season Two
Paapa Essiedu in "The Capture". Screencapped from YouTube courtesy of Peacock / BBC

There are a lot of technological fears out there with digital manipulation and deepfakes. What went into the research? Were there real-life cases that helped inspire this season?

It's funny. There are lots of real-life cases of deepfakes. Some of them happened after and during the filming schedule. So we always try to mirror what's happening in the real world and sometimes try to predict what's going on in the real world by the time we broadcast. It's always a game of catch-up and "Let's get this out quickly before it becomes reality." A few months into our shoot, during our edit, there was a video of [Ukraine President Volodymyr] Zelensky, and somebody hacked a Ukrainian news channel and put out a video of him telling his troops to surrender. It was completely fake. You can see how close our story is to the real world. In terms of research, we speak to Framestore in the UK who do a lot of the visual effects for 'Paddington' and 'Harry Potter' and huge movies like that, as well as lots of TV.

We went to them for advice on like, "How possible is this?" We talked to broadcast technicians and counter-terrorist experts, but at the end of the day, it's a work of fiction, right? I take what are the people's fears and predictions and further on to them. While I'm writing, I forget about what was real and what stuff I'm making up because, ultimately, it's entertainment, right?

The Capture: Creator Ben Chanan on Ensemble Cast, Previews Season Two
Indira Varma in "The Capture". Screencapped from YouTube courtesy of Peacock / BBC

When you conceived 'The Capture,' was there another type of espionage type show or action franchise that inspired it?

There was a show a long while ago, in 2003 in the UK called 'State of Play,' which got remade as a Russell Crowe movie. That was influential on me, but it went to my head and stayed there for however long that's nearly 20 odd years. There's 'Edge of Darkness.' I'm influenced more by the stuff I watch growing up. There was a great spy show and political thriller for GBH in the UK when I was growing up as a teenager. That was hugely influential. It's those classics, really, rather than anything particularly recent, if I'm honest.

What is it about the cast cohesiveness that makes everything work so well and their chemistry?

Thank you for that, I love casting and getting that right. It's everything to me, and we have a big cast on 'The Capture.' We have an interesting mix of people who come from theater, TV veterans, and American actors. We have Ron Perlman, and he's coming back for season two is just amazing. Rob Yang is in season two, and he's just wonderful. Indira Varma comes into the story in a big way from episode two. You get these stars from 'Game of Thrones,' 'Hellboy,' and all these different genres. Then you have Lia Williams, who's a brilliant act actor, but she's so well-respected for her work on the stage. You bring them all together, and somehow their acting styles complement each other and feel unified. It's about carefully thinking about every single one of those decisions.

Can you talk about how Holliday & Ben [Miles] lead this ensemble & what their example does for the whole cast?

On a personal level, Holliday is such a great number one because she's a great person. She has a wonderful temperament and a "Let's get on with that" kind of attitude. She's a delight to be with on set, and that trickles down. If you have a number one with a positive attitude, it's infectious. Paapa Essiedu was our guest star this season, and he's also just a delightful man to be around, bringing wonderful new energy to the set. Ben Miles is such a gem. There was a nice mix of getting the gang getting back together from season one but also welcoming this fantastic new cast as well.

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Tom ChangAbout Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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