Wolfblood Season Four Casting News

Thanks to some unavoidable delays in Wolfblood being recommisioned, we’re running on a rather slower schedule this year. However, we are finally at a point where I can tell you a few basics about the new season, which is filming at the moment.

The big news is: after three wonderful seasons, Bobby Lockwood (Rhydian), Kedar Williams-Sterling (Tom) and Louisa Connelly-Burnham (Shannon), have all decided to leave the show.

Sad as I am to see them go, I know they’ll be going on to great things, and I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing them well in their careers. Like Aimee Kelly (Maddy), they will always be part of our Wolfblood universe – and who knows, they may be back at some point in the future…

I know a lot of you will be upset by this – but remember, change is a good thing for a television series. Shows that remain the same throughout their run quickly grow boring and stale, to work on as well as to watch. The inevitable coming and going of cast members is one of the ways that we avoid that.

And as a children’s show, we’re very aware that our audience is interested in fellow tweens and teens. Following the same characters for years, into their twenties, simply wouldn’t appeal to our core audience, who are interested in school, home and family. Though it wasn’t our choice for any of the actors who’ve left to leave, their decision does allow Wolfblood to remain faithful to its core audience and ideas.

So, what can you expect from season four?

For the first time, the show will be moving outside Stoneybridge and into the big wide world. Jana, played Leona Vaughan, will now be our main character, and we’ll be following her as she embarks on a new life in the big city, and builds herself a new pack of Wolfbloods and humans… This season gives us a chance to expand the scope of the show, and to explore new locations and new characters that will reveal more about what it really means to be a Wolfblood!

I’ve always intended Wolfblood to be about Wolfbloods as a whole, not about one person, one family, or even one village. The scale of the Wolfblood world has been gradually expanding with every season, and this is just one more step along that pathway.

From the BBC press release:

Former wild Wolfblood Jana (Leona Vaughan) now takes centre stage, having left the security and seclusion of rural Stoneybridge and moved into the city where she forms a new pack.

The Wolfbloods who play a pivotal role in her adventures include corporate boss Imara (Michelle Gayle), her son TJ (Louis Payne), Matei (Jack Brett Anderson), his sister Emilia (Sydney Wade), and martial arts enthusiast Selina (Rukku Nahar). Returning characters include Katrina (Gabrielle Green), who has opened a new Kafe in town, Kay (Shorelle Hepkin) and their old teacher Mr Jeffries (Mark Fleischmann).

In a world of CCTV, social networks, 4G camera phones and viral videos, the wolfblood ‘secret’ is becoming increasingly vulnerable; faced with new dilemmas and foes, Wolfbloods have to adapt to survive and Jana faces her biggest challenges yet.

(read the full press release at http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2015/wolf-blood-goes-urban )

New characters, new dilemmas, and probably our most exciting season climax ever – something I’ve been planning since I first conceived of the series, in fact –  mean it’s going to be a unique and remarkable season!

Remember, you can keep up to date with developments at the Wolfblood FAQ, elsewhere on this site. Information on transmission dates, etc, will be posted there as soon as I have it…

Wolfblood Season Four Begins Filming…

Rather later than usual, Wolfblood season four began filming this morning, in and around Newcastle. And here’s our block one director, Jermain Julien, ready to do his thing…


CBBC will be making an official announcement of the returning and new cast soon. They’re preparing some really interesting website content to explain what happens between seasons three and four, and obviously revealing the cast now would be something of a spoiler… So once that content is ready, there’ll be an announcement, and I’ll reveal the same information here.

Season four is, I think, one of the best seasons we’ve done, with thrills and surprises and the culmination of a plot arc that I’ve been planning since I first came up with the idea. We’re all very eager for you to see the fruits of all our hard work, some time next year…

Wolves And Apples Event

I’m going to be speaking at the appropriately-named Wolves And Apples writers’ event in Leicester on the 3rd of November. It’s a day for writers interested in writing for children, in any medium and across all genres, with writers, publishers and producers talking about the industry, breaking in, and giving advice and writing tips.

I’ll be talking about Wolfblood and writing for children’s television, which should be a lot of fun.

Lots of speakers still to be confirmed, but you can keep up to date at –


And book a ticket for the full day of events at


Maybe I’ll see you there!

Wolfblood Season Four Confirmed!

As you may have heard on Twitter, CBBC have officially commissioned a fourth season of Wolfblood. So there’ll be more Wolfblood fun and action on your TV screens as soon as we can make it happen!

Since this has only just been decided, I have NO DETAILS AT ALL on which cast members will return, when the series will be filmed, when it will be shown in the UK – or indeed, very much else about the fourth season.

(Though, for the avoidance of doubt, what we’ve been saying for months now still stands – Aimee Kelly (Maddy) has left the series, so whoever else may or may be not be in the series, Maddy will not be returning.)

The one thing I can confirm is the writing team. Wolfblood veterans Sophie Petzal and Neil Jones will be returning, and we’ll be joined by new arrivals Furquan Akhtar and Matt Sinclair. I’ll be writing four episodes, and everyone else two each, giving us a twelve episode season this year.

Over the next few days and weeks, I’ll be updating the FAQ page with more information as those decisions are made. Until then, there’s not a lot of point asking questions, because if I have the answer, I will have updated the FAQ to include it – and if it isn’t in there, I don’t know yet!

What’s A Story And What Isn’t

One of the things about creating a show with a lot of young fans is that you get a lot of messages from those fans suggesting story ideas.

In one way, this is catastrophic – I can’t read any of those story ideas, because if I do and we’re already doing that story, the fan could sue the show for ‘stealing’ their idea. Because of that, I actively discourage people from sending me ideas, and block anyone who persistently does so.

However, unfortunately, a few one-sentence ideas inevitably slip through – mostly on Twitter, where you read things almost before you realise what they are. Luckily, any one sentence idea is so vague and generalized that it doesn’t present a real legal problem –

But what I have noticed is how many of these ‘story ideas’ are actually not stories at all. And that holds a lesson for us as writers.

A lot of these so-called story ideas are actually locations. “What if the gang went to the seaside?” or “Maybe they could visit a theme park.” These kinds of stories sound attractive at first – a new location must lead to fun and adventure, right?

Strangely, no. Stories are about character and conflict – a character wants something, another character either wants the opposite or wants that same thing instead of them, and that’s where the story comes from. And it’s very rare that a location will create genuine, character-revealing conflict.

Yes, you can choose a location that complicates and worsens the conflict of the episode. For example, the Wolfblood episode where Maddy has her first full-moon transformation takes place on an island that can only be reached when the tide is out. But the story conflict isn’t “We’re on an island” or even “We’re trapped on an island” – it’s “We’re trapped with our schoolmates and teachers and we’re about to take wolf form!” That story could have been done in a bus on the motorway, in a cave, or even in the school, and still been essentially the same.

Many other “stories” that viewers suggest are about significant days. I regularly get begged to do an episode where it’s this or that character’s birthday.

Okay, say it’s their birthday. And then what?

Again, a birthday doesn’t create conflict. You could impose conflict onto it – say, I don’t know, it’s Kay’s birthday and Katrina has dropped the cake an hour before the party – but actually, the story there isn’t ‘It’s Kay’s birthday’ but ‘Katrina ruins something and has to find a replacement’. So what is the birthday adding? It’s set dressing. It may be useful to add some colour to the story, but it’s not actually the story.

I completely understand why viewers look at episodes in this way. “The episode where it was Jenny’s birthday” is an easier way to describe an episode to your friend than “The episode where Jenny and Matthew argue about his commitment to their marriage”, for example. The big flashy details stick in our heads, even when it’s the interpersonal drama that’s actually caused us to bond with the show.

But my point is, we as writers must train ourselves to look at story more deeply – particularly when we go in to pitch ideas for other people’s shows. It’s way too easy – and I’ve done it myself! – to go and pitch “The school catches fire” or “The central character’s estranged parents turn up” rather than going in with a story that arises from character.

If one of the characters is terrified of fire, then the school catching fire becomes a real story. If the central character has spent years refusing to talk about their parents and reacting badly to any mention of parenthood or family, then you have a real story. But if there’s no connection between the event/location and the characters, then you’re pitching set dressing, not story.

So the takeaway here is – before you pitch a story, ensure that it arises from character. And if you’re looking to whip up some episode pitches before a meeting, don’t think “What could happen?” Think “What would this character be most delighted about/ afraid of/ challenged by if it happened to them?”