Guilt: Edinburgh’s dark comic crime thriller to return for third and final series

Scotland’s booming film and TV sector is set for another major boost after a third and final series of the acclaimed Edinburgh-set crime drama Guilt was ordered.

Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives, the Scottish actors who were at school together in Leith, will be reunited as brothers Max and Jake for a story said to be packed with Guilt’s “trademark twists and turns”.

Filming will begin later this year on the four-part finale of Neil Forsyth’s darkly comic crime thriller, the first drama to be commissioned for BBC Scotland’s new channel.

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The first series followed the travails of Max and Jake as they are drawn into the city's criminal underworld after their panicked attempts to cover up the death of a man they ran over on their way back from a wedding.

Mark Bonnar and Jamie Sives will be reunited for the third and final series of Guilt. Picture: BBC

It was watched by more than three million people across the UK and was nominated for six BAFTA Scotland Awards in 2020.

The show’s star-studded cast across the two series has included Emun Elliott, Bill Paterson, Ruth Bradley, Michale Nardone, Greg McHugh, Stuart Bowman, Sara Vickers and Phyllis Logan.

An official announcement on the third series revealed that it would pick up where the last episode ended, with Max arriving in Chicago, where Jake was attempting to live a new life.

It states: “As they return to Scotland, it becomes apparent the welcome they receive isn’t as warm or as straightforward as they might have hoped.

Jamies Sives and Mark Bonnar will be reunited for a third and final series of Guilt. Picture: John Devlin

"As they battle threats both old and new, it remains to be seen whether they get the happy ending they crave or whether life conspires against them one more time.”

Forsyth said: “We always saw Guilt as a trilogy, so I am thrilled to be writing a final act for Max, Jake and some of the others we have met along the way.

"It is a story that will range from Chicago to Scotland, as our characters seek a final redemption.”

Louise Thornton, head of commissioning at BBC Scotland, said: “We are incredibly proud of Guilt. It was the first drama commission for the BBC Scotland channel in 2019 and we’ve been delighted with how it has been received by our audiences.

"To be able to bring it back for a third and final time gives us the chance to wrap up the story of Max and Jake, which we know will involve some hair-raising and edge-of-the-seat moments which the audience have come to expect.”

BBC Comedy director Jon Petrie added: "Guilt is a Scottish gem that we couldn’t resist bringing back for a third series.

"Neil really has encapsulated the perfect ending to round off Max and Jake’s story.”

A new series of Guilt has been confirmed at a time of unprecedented filming activity in Scotland.

It has already been announced Irvine Welsh’s Crime, which started Dougray Scott as a tortured-by-demons Edinburgh detective, will be returning for a new series.

The Amazon series Anansi Boys is filming at the new studio complex in Leith where The Rig, Martin Compston’s new supernatural thriller set on a North Sea rig, was made last year and is due to air within the next few months. Amazon also filmed a new series of Good Omens in Scotland, which was based at a studio complex in Bathgate.


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