Back to the Battleground: Season 2 of ‘Into the Badlands’ Goes Even Grander

Antony Platt/AMC

Civilization as they know it may be over, but the characters’ world on AMC’s Into the Badlands just keeps growing. While Season 1 of the martial arts thriller focused on the relatively insular locale of ruthless Quinn’s (Marton Csokas) poppy plantation and the territory immediately surrounding it, Season 2 expands the borders.

After the disruptive events of the first-season finale, the denizens of the Badlands have scattered—which, creators Miles Millar and Al Gough say, gave them the opportunity to tell a grander story. “We wanted to get a better sense of the world,” Millar explains. “The narrative is fractured and we follow people’s individual storylines and arcs.”

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The new season picks up six months later, with the mysterious M.K. (Aramis Knight) learning to control his destructive powers at a secluded monastery, while the Widow (Emily Beecham) fights to reclaim her territory from Quinn’s son, Ryder (Oliver Stark). As for increasingly reluctant killing machine Sunny (Daniel Wu, above), he’s now a prisoner, miles from the only home he’s ever known and desperate to get back to the Badlands and to Veil (Madeleine Mantock), the mother of his child. Joining him in his journey is a new character, Bajie (Nick Frost), a fellow prisoner who acts as an amusing foil to the stoic warrior.

“When we looked at Season 1, the color that we didn’t really have is some relief. I don’t know if it’s always comic relief, but somebody now has a different worldview than everybody else,” Gough says of Bajie. “We wanted someone with Sunny who could also help us illuminate him, someone who didn’t know him before.”

As for the show’s infamously bloody battle sequences, with their intricate, balletic choreography, they’re still there. “We always try to tell a story. There needs to be a story to the fight,” says Gough. “It needs to progress the plot, progress character.”

Into the Badlands, Season Premiere, Sunday, March 19, 10/9c, AMC