London is falling as EPIX’s ‘Pennyworth’ opens Season 2

Fans of “Pennyworth” may notice a difference in the clientele at The Delaney, the London nightclub where much of the action in the 1960s-set EPIX crime drama takes place, as its second season progresses.
That’s because social distancing regulations in the U.K., where the series is filmed, prohibits people from packing into enclosed spaces. So in episodes shot prior to the shutdown in March, the place was crowded; but afterward, not so much, as fewer extras could be used.
“Suddenly,” chuckled Jack Bannon, who plays the club’s proprietor and titular character Alfred Pennyworth, “Alfred’s nightclub perhaps isn’t as popular as it once was because it’s post-COVID time, so there’s only about 20 people in there. So what that meant was, we had to play to our strengths or we had to get good at what we were allowed to do. And that meant that it became much more dialog-driven. … If there are any positives to be taken from this awful time, this was probably one of them.”
Jack Bannon stars in “Pennyworth,” premiering its second season Sunday on EPIX.
As the new season of the “Batman” prequel commences Sunday, England is in the midst of a bloody civil war, with the neo-fascist Raven Union led by Lord Harwood (Jason Flemyng) threatening to take control of the entire country. One of the remaining pockets of resistance lies in the West End Neutral Zone and The Delaney, where Pennyworth and his SAS comrades Deon “Bazza” Bashford (Hainsley Lloyd Bennett) and Wallace “Daveboy” MacDougal (Ryan Fletcher) are looking for a way out before the city and country fall. And their prospective landing point is America, where “Batman” fans know Pennyworth will eventually go to work as a butler for Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) and the Wayne family.
The new round elevates Sandra Onslow (Harriet Walker), a ’60s starlet and Alfie’s on-again-off-again girlfriend, to series regular, and introduces several new characters, among them Gulliver Troy, played by James Purefoy (“Hap and Leonard,” “George and the Dragon”). A former Army comrade, Troy agrees to go to work for Pennyworth to provide some added muscle for his various business interests.
“He’s kind of like a father figure but also a friend,” Bannon said. “I think Alfred reminds Troy of him when he was younger and Alfie kind of looks to Troy as potentially where he’s headed in life but very quickly realizes that actually is not where he wants to be going. But it’s a brilliantly crafted relationship and James Purefoy was a fantastic addition to the cast. He’s a lot of fun. … And yeah, I learned loads from him. He’s brilliant.”
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