Hungry for more gay and transgender protagonists in your television show roster? Don’t fret, because more and more information is surfacing for the second season of Netflix original Series “Sense8.”
An American science fiction drama, “Sense8” follows the lives of eight people from around the world who are connected mentally and emotionally. This connection lets them communicate telepathically, allowing them to share their knowledge and skills — which is especially helpful when one of them is in a bind and needs some last-minute kung-fu fighting or hacker skills.
Season two is set to premiere on May 5 of this year following a holiday special that aired last December. SFGN’s season two coverage made the list as one of our most popular stories from 2016.
Among the eight main characters is closeted gay actor Lito from Mexico City, who *spoilers* may be risking his career (and his life) by coming out. There’s also Nomi from San Francisco, a transgender woman and elite hacker played by trans actress Jamie Clayton.
That’s not the only LGBT-content from “Sense8” — the characters are frequently open about their sexuality, and have participated in sensate group sex through their telepathic connection in the first season.
Fans can expect more sexual expression next time around as well.
“There's more sex, more violence, more of everything! We’re pushing the boundaries,” Actor Max Riemelt, who plays Berlin criminal Wolfgang, hinted to Buzzfeed about season 2.
Last month, Netflix released “Sense8: A Christmas Special,” a two-hour holiday themed episode set up as a bridge between seasons one and two.
Premiering on Dec. 23, the holiday special revealed a big change for the series — Aml Ameen, the actor who portrays Capheus, is not returning for the second season.The change caused some confusion by fans as the details surrounding Ameen’s departure were unclear.
Deadline reported that Ameen left after experiencing creative differences with “Sense8” Co-Creator, Executive Producer and Director Lana Wachowski. The conflict started at the season 2 table read in Berlin and steadily went downhill as filming went to India. After several episodes into the season, Ameen finally left.
Recent UC San Diego MFA acting graduate Toby Onwumere stepped in for the recasting of Capheus, a Nairobi bus driver who attempts to raise money for his mother's AIDS medications. The actor first appeared in the Christmas special in December, with a quick quip of dialogue nodding to his recasting.
“It was just enough to do a small wink to the viewers — we still know what we’re doing here, but there’s going to be a slight change in course,” he said according to IndieWire. “It was subtle and I appreciate Lana for making it subtle.”
He commented on how he was immediately welcomed by the other cast members, who “heard straight from (Wachowski) that I was accepted — this is really like a family. Lana made it seem more like a very intimate, almost tribalistic union and she’s very particular about creating that communal energy, because it means I think she understands that it’s more than a TV show and that the message is really universal and she wants to create that atmosphere.”
Not much has been revealed yet about season two, but actors have been hinting towards twists and turns.
The plot will carry over from season one. Primarily, the main antagonist Mr. Whispers will return to attempt to destroy the eight protagonists’ cluster, which is a term for the connection they share. He is also a sensate and is determined to kill other sensates.
Brian J. Smith, who plays Chicago cop Will, had a few words to say about this plotline in the second season. Near the end of the last season, Whispers connected himself to Will, causing the cop to medicate himself enough to stop Whispers from having a grasp on him and his location.
“Lana described it as a fugue state,” Smith told Buzzfeed. “It’s an in-between consciousness and unreality that he has to stay in to both hide from Whispers and hunt him at the same time. A lot of Season 2 is this really interesting chess match between the two of them that takes some really surprising turns. When you think someone really has the upper hand, you realize that someone has been played the entire time and there’s a whole other layer where you think the person who is doing the playing has also been played. What is it like to get in someone’s head and hunt them from inside their eyes? That’s so freaky to me.”
The second season will also be no stranger to sub-plots, including a love triangle that carries over from the previous season. Kala is in an arranged marriage with the wealthy Rajan, but despite her apparent happiness from him, she’s also fully aware that she may be in love with Wolfgang.
In an interview with International Business Times, Desai spoke lightly on the continuation of the love triangle but refused to spill details.
“Even what I do know, I won't share because the fun is in not knowing. I can just say things have gotten even more intense and action-packed, and the relationship between Kala and Wolfie is more stressful and electric than ever!”
As revealed in June of last year, Co-Creator, Executive Producer and Director Lily Wachowski will not be joining her sister for the second season. She chose to stay out so she could pursue her gender transition, but may return for a season three.
“We all wanted to give her space for her to get this new phase of her life in gear, so she’s been clear of season two from the beginning.” said Co-Creator, Writer and Executive Producer J. Michael Straczynski in an interview with Awards Daily.
Lana Wachowski may be taking the reigns solo, but cast members think she can handle it.
“Lana is absolutely a superwoman,” Clayton told Buzzfeed. “The way she channels her energy and her creativity … it keeps me in absolute awe whenever I’m in her presence. She’s an absolute force.”
The second season was renewed in August of last year. Filming completed on Sept. 20.