As we get ready to pick up with the spies of X Company, things have never looked more dire for the group of secretly trained agents. When we last checked in with the agents of CBC’s WWII drama about the real-life top secret spy training facility located east of Toronto, several team members were facing major danger. As Season 2 kicks off Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 9 p.m., co-creator Stephanie Morgenstern warns that the team may not be escaping that danger any time soon.
The end of the first season saw the capture of Alfred (Jack Laskey), who suffers from Synesthesia and can recall everything he’s heard or seen. Meanwhile, Aurora (Evelyne Brochu) was unable to take the shot to kill Alfred, which allowed the Germans to take him away, and Tom (Dustin Milligan) was shot and remains in grave danger. Morgenstern spoke exclusively with The TV Junkies and we’ve got five things fans can expect about Season 2 as the agents become involved in one of the most brutal battles of WWII, the ill-fated Allied invasion at Dieppe.
Things pick up almost immediately
“We pick up within 11 hours of Alfred being captured,” previews Morgenstern. She adds that “He’s in Gestapo hands and it’s complete chaos and disarray as the team scrambles with ‘What do we do now?’” Alfred’s capture poses a huge threat to the team because “he is the hard drive of everything that is known about every resistance operation in France and has it all in his head,” explains Morgenstern. “It’s a very scary ticking clock because every hour that goes by could be the hour that he breaks,” she says. “Task 1 is get him out, and that seems like an impossible task. Beyond that, Task 2 is the mission that ends up giving shape to the entire season, which leads us within 4 weeks onto the shores of Dieppe,” Morgenstern adds.
An unexpected bond forms
Alfred’s synesthesia “has made him a bit of an anomaly and a freak when he was young,” says Morgenstern in that he “was so different and his perception of the world was so intense and so heightened, that he couldn’t blend in and his father insisted he hide how different he is.” It’s because of Alfred’s past, that he actually forms an unexpected bond with enemy Franz Faber (Torben Liebrecht), who last season chose to kill his own Down-syndrome son rather than see him sent off to an institution. “The shadow of this loss is all the way across the second season,” warns Morgenstern.
Spies on the ground have a very different perspective
While everything in Season 2 may be leading up to that battle at Dieppe, what that means for X Company’s team of spies is very different given that “the espionage view it’s very different from the military view,” says Morgenstern. She says that “obviously a huge amount of secrecy was involved in what this plan was,” which means that many spies on the ground “were not aware either of the location of the raid, or what it’s purpose was, or ultimately what their function would be on that day.” She further explains that “for almost the entire length of the 10 episodes, the team is kept in the dark about what they are preparing for, and that’s realistic. They’re not going around going ‘3 more weeks until Dieppe. 2 more weeks until Dieppe. I wonder what’s going to happen in Dieppe?’ That’s not how it is at all.”
All roads lead to Dieppe
Morgenstern says in Season 2 “everything is leading to August 19, 1942,” which she says “was an epic day and tragedy in Canadian military history.” However, X Company’s take on the battle may be different from “the stories we’re accustomed to hearing, which are about the deployment of the many, many troops of Canadians who lost their lives there,” says Morgenstern. “They think that this perhaps will be the turning point, where the Germans will finally start losing the war,” she says, before adding that of course “we watching this know that’s not what happened on that day.”
The team really is on their own
Due to “the breach in security when Alfred was captured,” Morgenstern says the team is now “completely cut off from the mother ship.” Making things even harder on them is the fact that “you can’t trust any of the contacts you used to depend on locally. We can no longer receive weapons drops at short notice. We no longer have money supplies,” explains Morgenstern. She says that all these complications mean that the team is “starting from scratch and have to build a guerilla army out of civilians and POWs that we have to try and rescue from highly fortified prisons.” All these factors cause tensions to mount even more because “all of these decisions are being made on the ground, not knowing exactly what is beyond their need-to-know circle,” explains Morgenstern. “Only gradually as that day [Dieppe] starts to approach, are they a very small bit at a time told ‘This is actually the truth that we’re facing,’” she says.
Are you excited for X Company to return? What are you most looking forward to when it returns? Sound off in the comments below!
X Company Season 2 premieres Wednesday, January 27 at 9 p.m. on CBC.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.