Now in its fourth season, the bikie gang drama Sons of Anarchy has developed into a sprawling saga brimming with sex, violence, betrayal and intrigue - basically everything you want from a TV series, right?
The show's previous season was an eventful one, with the members of the titular motorcycle club travelling to Ireland to retrieve Abel, the kidnapped baby son of Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam), the gang's vice-president.
With Jax, club president Clay (Ron Perlman) and other gang members arrested and incarcerated at the end of the season, Sons of Anarchy's new season kicks off over a year later with their release.
In the interim, Jax's partner Tara (Maggie Siff) has given birth to his second son, and it's the combination of new responsibilities and growing conflicts within the Sons that lead Jax to re-evaluate his life.
The events of Sons of Anarchy's last season really broadened the show's scope, showing the worldwide reach of these motorcycle clubs.
The thing that's so fascinating about these clubs is they're giant international entities. They're not just in little towns in America. In my hometown of Newcastle in England, we have a massive motorcycle club that is a charter of a big American club. They're all over. And within the show, through my baby being taken and us having to pursue him, we got to explore a little bit of the bigger scope of the clubs, which for me and my interest in this world, was fascinating. I want to know, as an audience member, as much of the nuts and bolts and day- to-day gritty reality of this world as possible, and we explored a lot of that. For me, that was the most exciting thing about season three.
What do you see as the main challenge for Jax in the show's current fourth season?
I think for me, it's having my immediate family - my baby - being compromised, and then having to deal with all of that and never really having time to think about what the repercussions could have been. Then going to prison and having to sit there for 14 months and think about nothing but that; being in the club has become harder for Jax. The big struggle he goes through this season is just deciding whether he wants to stay.
Now that Jax has two children to care for, how will that alter the way he lives his life?
He really gets some time to think, while he's in prison, about where his priorities lie, and I think the huge epiphany is that his family is far more important to him than the club, which I think surprises even him. That decision has to be made. He realises he can't keep going through, just trying to do the right thing for everyone. He's got to make a decision, and it's going to be a difficult decision to make. Not everyone is going to like it. But I think he realises his two children are the most important thing to him and he'll do anything to protect them. That's really a lot of what he goes through this season, and the fallout of some of the decisions he makes.
Jax's relationship with Ron Perlman's character Clay has been tense over the years. How are they after spending more than a year behind bars together?
Yeah, they definitely are closer, I think. They had become closer, even last season. Once Abel got taken, any internal beefs just got all put to bed until we dealt with the greater problem. And then, going to prison was kind of a continuation of that. It's not to say that it's going to stay rosy forever because I think there's a big, big clash on the horizon.
Who: Charlie Hunnam
What: Sons of Anarchy fourth season
Where and when: Wednesday, February 15, 9pm
- TimeOut / AAPBy Guy Davis