Wreck Creator Talks Second Season Of BBC Slasher-Comedy

The first season of the BBC’s slasher-comedy series Wreck took viewers into the dark heart of the cruise industry, where Jamie Walsh (Oscar Kennedy) aimed to unravel the shock death of his sister aboard the Sacramentum months earlier, getting lost in a bloody murder-mystery in the process.

It was suggested that this was just one part of a bigger conspiracy on board a global fleet of cruise liners, so the big surprise with the second season – premiering on BBC Three and iPlayer on Tuesday, 26th March – is that we don’t return to sea this time, instead venturing to the biggest horror imaginable on land: a wellness retreat.


As creator/writer Ryan J. Brown explained to Zavvi: “My plan for each new season was that there would always be a new setting, but what I like here is that it comes as a surprise. There’s no hint that we’re going to be off the ship at the end of season one, so starting from that point here I hope keeps people on their toes.

“I wanted to explore the world of wellness because it feels in the same realm as the cruise ship world; a trillion dollar industry, but one surrounded by a lot of murkiness. There’s a lot of exploitation and dodgy behaviour behind the scenes – and crucially, as a location, a wellness retreat lends itself to a lot of amazing deaths as well!”

After surviving the bloodbath of the first season, this time around, we’re reintroduced to Jamie and Vivian (Thaddea Graham) as they desperately try to get anybody to listen to their account of what went down on the ship. They’re written off as conspiracy theorists as the only two willing to speak out, with their surviving colleagues all taking healthy payouts to stay silent – that is, until they begin to get hunted once again, opting to hide out in the last place they’ll be found: a wellness retreat run by the same shadowy corporation.


Brown stressed that this location was perfect as “Jamie is in the midst of trying to find himself, and where better than this place sold on trying to help people discover who they really are?”

But this alone wasn’t enough to justify the change-of-scenery, so he embarked on an extensive research project looking into the relationship between cults and the wellness industry.

“I attended a meeting for cult survivors, which is where I found that so many people had these awful experiences with ones grounded in yoga and mindfulness. They’re forced into them because of the idea that they’re chasing a higher plane of existence that maybe doesn’t exist, and are pressured into believing in it by the people in charge, which becomes increasingly coercive from there.


“I was also fascinated with what people were willing to pay for these experiences, and I saw this Vice documentary about a wellness retreat for the super-rich, the CEOs who couldn’t go to a normal retreat. That was a big inspiration, seeing these rich people paying a ridiculous amount of money to be fed bulls**t”.

Aside from the bloody kills, the first season of Wreck stood out for having several LGBTQ+ characters within the main ensemble, and never once making their sexuality or gender a talking point, let alone a plot point. It was a refreshing change, but in this season, Brown felt it needed to be directly referenced that returning character Rosie (Miya Ocego) was trans.

He explained: “It happens in episode four of this season, and by this point, viewers will have spent nine full episodes already with her, without it being brought up that she’s trans. It should show that whilst this is important to her being who she is, it’s insignificant to her character and personality – TV always introduces trans characters as plot devices, and never just as people who exist.


“The character Ben’s reaction, because as a newcomer to the group he doesn’t get the significance of the moment, is the response we should all have to finding out someone is trans. It highlights that it’s a small moment in significance, which is the direction we need to go in portraying this – to me, that’s what true inclusion is.

“There’s so many more interesting things about her than being trans, which is why it’s nice that it comes up in a character disagreement that everybody can swiftly move on from.”

Ocego agreed, telling Zavvi: “Me and Ryan spoke a bit about this as he was writing, as we wanted to address Rosie being trans this season, but we needed to make sure it wasn’t a big deal, just a subject that came up naturally. And that’s something I hope viewers can take away, that the titles given to us don’t make us who we are.


“It’s beautiful to have this direct trans representation, without making it a big song and dance. There are bigger things at hand!”

And those bigger things at hand are, of course, the characters being hunted down by a new killer in a duck mask, who wants to off them before they can spill any company secrets. This classic slasher formula allowed the horror-obsessed writer to pay homage to more classics of the genre than he was able to in the previous season, where the narrow corridors of the ship limited the types of kills that could take place; here, everything from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre to Midsommar is lovingly invoked.

“I wanted to keep the show grounded in it’s kind of slasher roots”, Brown added, “but having this new location allowed us to start branching off into the realm of folk horror. It did also help us pay more direct tribute to classic slasher movies too; in episode four, our director Louis Paxton had a lot of fun shooting some shot-for-shot homages to The Evil Dead, which we wouldn’t have been able to last time around.

“Having this new location where everything you see in the retreat has been built from scratch helped us work a lot in. And there was a lot we wanted to pay tribute to – the mood board of references I wanted for this season was insane!”

Wreck Season 2 premieres on BBC Three and iPlayer on Tuesday, 26th March.

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Alistair Ryder

Alistair Ryder


Alistair is a culture journalist and lover of bad puns from Leeds. Subject yourself to his bad tweets by following him on Twitter @YesItsAlistair.