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Rev. - Directing the second series

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Peter Cattaneo Peter Cattaneo | 11:58 UK time, Thursday, 17 November 2011

As the director of Rev. it's hugely exciting to see the second series go on air even though I am still very busy finishing the last couple of episodes.

Rev. Adam Smallbone (Tom Hollander) jumps over a pew

Rev. Adam Smallbone (Tom Hollander) jumps over a pew

I watched episode one of series two on two TVs at home to get a sense of how all our painstaking attention to detail sounded and looked on domestic screens.

It seems like a long time ago (over two years actually) since I first read an early draft of the first ever Rev. episode.

I really connected with the script - as a parent with kids at a London Church of England school, I was drawn to the 'on your knees avoid the fees' story alongside a discussion of the miraculous beauty of a snail's shell.

The potential of gritty inner city life slammed up against discussions of faith and spirituality felt like a very potent and contemporary mix to me.

Moving on to series two has been a mix of fun and worry.

Many decisions have already been made on series one - the key locations, core cast and tone of the show has been set.

But there is the 'difficult second album' pressure to live up to the acclaim and awards of series one.

The main challenge in developing the new series was deciding what to change and what not to.

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Episode two introduces the new curate, Abigail

It's important for the show and the characters to evolve and to offer fresh stories, but not to change the essence of the show created in series one. (See the above clip.)

The atmosphere on set was far more relaxed and fun this time around, with actors really settled into their characters.

In episode two we had the challenge of filming wild animals for the crack squirrel sequence.

Our crew waited for hours during the main shoot in a local park but had no luck. So we managed to stretch our budget and find the money for a dedicated squirrel filming unit to go out a few weeks after the shoot finished.

Our location manager had spotted some good mangy-looking squirrels near one of our locations and we returned stealthily, set up our camera, laid out mixed nuts and waited.

Eventually several squirrels emerged and we got our shot.

Peter Cattaneo is the director of Rev.

Rev. continues on BBC Two on Thursdays at 9pm.

For further programme times, please visit the upcoming episodes page.

Read a Q&A with Olivia Colman, who plays the vicar's wife Alex in the series.

To read a post by Steve Evets, who plays Colin, please see the BBC Comedy Blog .

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.


  • Comment number 1.

    I am loving this series and yes your attention to detail is appreciated. I just rewatched episode 3 season 2 to enjoy all the subtle foreshadowing, great sounds design, wonderful little demon kid and the subtle facial expressions of all the actors. What a rare gem of a show this is which touches on many contemporary social trends in a humorous and very intelligent way. Bravo!

    I hope the BBC keeps renewing.

  • Comment number 2.

    Don't worry - season two is coming along very nicely (personally I think a third series can be the one where things go wobbly). The characters are now becoming well established, so we know what behaviour to expect and can concentrate more on the storylines and the humour - and both of those have been very satisfying.

    The religious aspects are handled sensitively but not preciously. It would have been easy to get cheap laughs through ridicule, but Rev's too intelligent for that.

    Definitely one of the highlights of the week

  • Comment number 3.

    A fabulous program with brilliant script writing and larger than life (but never over-the-top) characters. Comparisons abound with the very brilliant but zany 'Father Ted' but I think that's a little unfair. This stands on it's own terms and it's great to see both religious and inner city issues handled with just the right amount of humour and irreverence but with a touch of sympathy too.

    So pleased it made it to season 2. Keep up the excellent work!

  • Comment number 4.

    Excellent - it captures the 'joy' and the tests of working in community.

  • Comment number 5.

    I absolutely love Rev, it's hilarious.

    I live in Hackney and until recently worked in Shoreditch and I think you capture the area brilliantly, in all its grime! I enjoy spotting places I recognise. I liked the fact that Mattie was the absolute typical "Shordie" with quiff and single speed bike. Richard E Grant was a brilliant banker...you could have grabbed him from any of Bishopgate's bars!

    Look forward to it every week.

  • Comment number 6.

    last night's episode - all about vicarage non-family life and ambition were spot on. The clergy couple issues were brilliantly done - the row earlier in the series has become cold resentment which characterises too many clergy marriages. As to the ambition, I have seen and worked for/with clergy screwed up by ambition working hard to achieve the necessary brown-nose. Thre is no promotion in the CofE, just bigger jobs with more to do or slime-ball jobs with kudos. Most 'senior' appointments are done in secret with no open non-discriminatory level playing field - I know I was on the special list until I discovered and took myself off! How wonderful the Archdeacon has integrity and chose his partner over career. This series is a bit more surreal and unlikely until last night. Well done.

  • Comment number 7.

    I congratulate you on this series. Our Parish is a little more fortunate in congregation and I certainly don't have as much authority over my Rector as "Nigel" does. However, there is so much that resonates. Can I ask which church was used for this please? We look forward very much to the next series - along with baby! Congratulations to all - writers, cast and directors.

  • Comment number 8.

    What a brilliant 2nd series. As the first series, humane and understated. It made me laugh, cry and think. Also, as I work in Shoreditch I love spotting the locations. Please lets have another series - absolutely perfect, thankyou.

  • Comment number 9.

    I am in my final year of ministerial training. The series is superb and a firm favourite of mine and with many of my fellow students. I hope that I am as good a role model of Christianity as Adam is, when I am in full-time ministry. I wonder how many others noticed an allusion to Da Vinci's Last Supper in the Christmas edition - absolutely priceless and so apt.

  • Comment number 10.

    Thanks for your positive comments. It makes all the heart work worthwhile, particularly the attention to detail. In answer to ReaderDennis' question - we shoot at St Leonard's on Shoreditch High Street. A wonderful old church with great scale, muted colours and characterful textures. It was chosen partly for its proximity to the hussle and bussle of the street which gives an intersting contrast to the tranquility of the interior. Although it did give a few problems to the sound department....


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