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Great news for fans of the JK Rowling-created C.B. Strike TV series. The fifth novel in the series, Troubled Blood, will be coming to our screens soon.
Between the pandemic and the irregular intervals between books, some people were worried it might not happen (even though Rowling herself confirmed it last November on the Graham Norton Show) – but we know now that filming will begin shortly.
What's C.B. Strike About?
C.B. Strike follows private detective Cormoran Strike (Tom Burke), a British army veteran and former military police investigator who left the military after losing his leg. He works alongside his initially temporary assistant (and later, partner) Robin Ellacott, a young women who's moved from Yorkshire to London to join her fiancé. Ellacott is played by Holliday Grainger, and her fiancé is played by Kerr Logan.
Together, the pair work to turn the struggling firm into a viable business, forming a close friendship along the way. As the seasons progress, the two must also contend with their own dysfunctional relationships and past traumas.
This is very much a character-driven mystery series, with the personal lives of the detectives as much as part of the story as the mystery. If you prefer the older-style mysteries where characters were just set pieces to serve the plot of the mystery, this may not be to your liking – but if you like an ongoing storyline and some character development, definitely give this one a try.
Where Can I Watch C.B. Strike?
In the US, you can purchase episodes on Amazon HERE or check it out on HBO Max. If you use your local library, you might also be able to borrow the DVDs there.
In the UK, the series airs as just Strike (minus the CB), you'll find it on BBC One.
What's Happening in C.B. Strike: Troubled Blood?
The next series – either Season 3 or Season 5, depending on where you're watching – will be based on the fifth novel in the series, Troubled Blood. It's the longest and most complicated of the novels, but I personally thought it was also the best of the group.
Troubled Blood begins when Cormoran is down in Cornwall visiting his aunt and uncle. One night as he leaves a local pub, he's approached by a woman called Anna Phipps. She wants to hire him to investigate the case of her mother's disappearance…40 years prior.
Though there's little hope of success with such an old case, Cormoran and Robin commit to work on the case for a year just to see what can still be uncovered. The missing woman, Margot Bamborough, was a young mother and doctor in London who disappeared without a trace after work one night.
IMDb suggests there will be four episodes in the new season, and the casting of both young and old versions of many characters suggests there will be a lot of flashbacks.
Who's in the Cast of CB Strike: Troubled Blood?
Though much of the casting information has been withheld from IMDb (so far), we know Tom Burke will be back as Strike, Holliday Grainger will return as Robin, and Kerr Logan will return as Matthew Cunliffe. Ben Crompton will also be reprising his role as the delightfully dodgy Shanker, along with Jack Greenlees as Sam Barclay.
One casting decision that will likely surprise many is the return of Christina Cole as Izzy Chiswell. Though her role in the book version of Troubled Blood was extremely minor, the fact that she's coming back to the TV version means they must have changed that part a bit.
As for some of the big roles from the book version of Troubled Blood, we know the following people will be joining the cast:
- Abigail Lawrie (Tin Star) will play Margot Bamborough
- Jess Impiazzi (Isolation the Series) will play Gloria Conti
- Jack Morris (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) will play Steve Douthwaite
- Charlie Price will play Young Cormoran
- Eliza Collings (Doc Martin) will play Young Janie Beattie
- Jacob James Beswick (Giri/Haji) will play Luca Ricci
- Sam Woolf (The Crown) will play Young Roy Phipps
- Phill Langhorne (Viewpoint) will play Detective Simon Layborn
- Ian Redford (Coronation Street) returns as Uncle Ted
- Sarah Sweeney (The Bastard Executioner) returns as Lucy
Read JK Rowling's “Robert Galbraith” Cormoran Strike Book Series
If you've only seen the C.B. Strike television series, we strongly recommend giving the books a chance. As great as the TV adaptations are, every single novel adapted would have been better served by a full 6-episode season. They're long and intricate (especially Troubled Blood), and a great deal is left out of the TV version.
- Cuckoo's Calling: Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Audio Book | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)
- The Silkworm: Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Audio Book | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)
- Career of Evil: Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Audio Book | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)
- Lethal White: Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Audio Book | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)
- Troubled Blood: Kindle | Amazon Paperback | Audio Book | Bookshop.org (supports independent bookshops)
- The Ink Black Heart (PRE-ORDER): Kindle | Amazon Hardcover | Audiobook
You can view the entire Cormoran Strike book series with descriptions HERE.
When Does C.B. Strike: Troubled Blood Premiere?
As you can see in the video below (embedded from the StrikeFans YouTube Channel), filming took place in Skegness and elsewhere during the early months of 2022.
Original premiere estimates were late 2022 or early 2023, but a recent RadioTimes print issue included a photo of the series with a firm “late 2022” estimate. The series will air on BBC1 and iPlayer in the UK, and it's expected to air soon after on HBO Max in the US.
Precise dates are still not available, but it's promising that an outlet like RadioTimes has been given a firm time range. We'll update as soon as we know more.
After founding I Heart British TV in 2016 as a resource for her granny, Stefanie has grown I Heart British TV into a resource that serves millions of British TV fans every year. When not writing posts or editing contributions to the site, you can probably find her working on the latest print edition of the British TV Streaming Guide.