Phyllis Logan interview: ‘Downton’ star on joining new season of ‘Guilt’

Guilt is back for a second season and a familiar face has joined the cast!

Written and created by Neil Forsyth, the hit Scottish thriller returned on BBC Two last autumn and UK viewers can stream it on BBC iPlayer now.

The wait is finally over for fans in the US, with Season 2 premiering on PBS as part of their new Masterpiece Mystery! season with a double-bill at 9/8c on Sunday 28th August.

Full of twists, turns and deception, the next four-part chapter of Guilt sees Mark Bonnar reprise his role as Max McCall, alongside Emun Elliot (The Paradise) as Kenny.

Watch the trailer:


The official synopsis for Season 2 reads: “In an Edinburgh cellar, two gunshots ring out. Across town, Max McCall is released from prison. These two events gradually come together as Max tries to rebuild his life, and new arrival Erin tries to save hers.

“When Roy Lynch rebuffs Max’s efforts at a reconciliation, Max turns to Kenny for help – despite their troubled history. However, this is a newly confident Kenny with a budding new relationship, and he provides Max with a tougher challenge than expected.

“To help his daughter, Roy finally turns to Max and Kenny and forces them to help him. It appears that Max’s fall from grace is complete – but he has a secret motivation to reveal.”

Max and Kenny are joined this time around by Downton Abbey star Phyllis Logan as a new character called Maggie.

Here she talks about her role, why she wanted to be part of Guilt, and if we could see her return in a third season:


What was it like for you to join this series and what can you tell us about Maggie?

“I watched season one and I just loved it. I mean, Neil Forsyth is such a great writer and there was everything in there and more. There are twists and turns and the characters are so full on but in that completely believable but almost cartoony sort of way.

“It’s so rooted in our reality of that slight underworld that’s knocking about Glasgow and Edinburgh and it just captures that so well. So of course having loved the first series I was absolutely thrilled to be asked to be involved with this. It was a real privilege to be to be part of.”


It feels like in episode one we don’t even scratch the surface of Maggie there’s that bit at the end that really teases something bigger…

“It’s not as if you hone in on Maggie or her character straight away. She’s just there. But then slowly she becomes more part of it.

“And we learn a bit more about her and you know she seems to be a perfectly reasonable human being, obviously she’s had a bit of tragedy in her life because of her car accident many years ago, so she’s now confined to a wheelchair, but fortunately she has a daughter.

“She’s estranged of course as we know from Roy (Stuart Bowman) by this time but her daughter, Erin (Sara Vickers) comes and visits her all the time. They have a nice relationship together.

“She’s in an assisted home living so she’s she seems to be at one with everything – happy and getting on with life in her own reduced way.”


But things are not quite what they seem with Maggie, are they?

“It would seem to be this is her life but there are undercurrents. And, there may be, as in everybody’s life, a few secrets… but that applies to practically everybody in this show.”


You’re new to the series. What was it about Guilt that that made you want to want to be involved?

“I watched the first season and became a bit of a fan so it was a it was a delight to even be considered for something like this.

“Neil Forsyth’s writing is just impeccable. I mean, he gets so much into the script character wise, and dreams up these scenarios. I was thrilled to get to get the gig.”


What would you say Maggie’s definition is of guilt is?

“I’m not sure Maggie has much guilt about things but I suppose it’s daughter related. If she was going to have any guilt at all, it would be in connection with her daughter, but that’s probably quite minimal!”


If Neil were to write your character into a third season, would you like to return?

“Oh, yes. That’s a no brainer.”


Phyllis Logan reprised her role as Mrs Hughes earlier this year in the second Downton Abbey movie.

Downton Abbey: A New Era is available on DVD on Amazon.