There’s something about TV shows set in Bristol, isn’t there? From Skins to Teachers to Being Human, it doesn’t happen often but you’re almost guaranteed a hit show when it’s set in the South West city. Stephen Merchant’s The Outlaws, which follows seven strangers completing community service together, has more than carried on this tradition.
The BBC show – which stars the likes of Gamba Cole, Rhianne Barreto, Eleanor Tomlinson and Hollywood star Christopher Walken – is loved by fans and critics alike. While eagle-eyed Bristolians will have likely spotted many local filming locations, like Park Street, Lloyds Amphitheatre and The Bear Pit on the small screen.
The first two seasons, released in October 2021 and June 2022, were filmed back to back. And, despite leaving viewers on a bit of a cliffhanger, it remained unclear whether The Outlaws would return for a third season. (Stephen Merchant does love making short shows.)
But the BBC has confirmed the crime thriller series will return, while also revealing that the first series of the show had been the broadcaster’s “biggest comedy launch of 2021”. It has been streamed 11 million times on BBC iPlayer. So no wonder there’s a series three is on the horizon! Its return was confirmed when the BBC published its annual plan last week, although there is no news on when filming will begin.
Speaking to the Radio Times last year, Stephen Merchant said: “We started talking about Series 3 and we found there was so much meat still on the bone and still so much to do with the characters. I’m actually quite excited by the idea of doing a Series 3. Partly because of that writers room so you can keep yourself stimulated by different voices. And also, because there’s so many characters, you can just keep going.”
Following major success with two series of The Outlaws, Bristolian-born Stephen Merchant has also recently received a worthy nomination for his role in the show at this year’s BAFTA awards. Meanwhile, Rain Dogs starring Daisy May Cooper is another recent BBC show shot in Bristol. Although not set in the city, you can still spot a few lesser known locations.