It's a television show that has been 'missing' from our lives for quite some time. Get ready to cower under a blanket on the sofa, because hit thriller The Missing returns to BBC1 tonight with a brand new, spine-chilling series.

Writers Jack and Harry Williams describe the follow-up to their 2014 hit drama as "bigger and more ambitious." The show originally starred James Nesbitt as a father seeking his lost son – but now we have a whole host of new characters with a new plot. But again, a lost child is at the centre of the story – and the same French detective will be seeking answers.

With a distinctive limp, philosophical detective Julien Baptiste reappears to continue his investigation into the 11-year disappearance of a little girl when the missing in question – Alice Webster – ambles back into town.

Her return sends shockwaves through the community and her family are thrown back into turmoil by the renewed quest to track down her kidnapper.

You may think you're in an episode of The Walking Dead as Alice walks around like a zombie past a reservoir at one point, and we see her stricken – and now-separated – parents (Keeley Hawes and David Morrissey) struggle to cope with the reappearance of a daughter they grieved for, for so long ago.

Police are convinced that Alice holds vital information about the whereabouts of a second missing girl named Sophie Giroux – whose case was initially investigated in 2003 by the French detective. Baptiste flees to Iraq to search for a clue he believes to be crucial to identifying the abductor.

Fans are already anticipating the show's comeback, with one viewer writing on Twitter today: "Who else is excited for #TheMissing tonight? I'm literally bouncing off the walls...@BBC" as another wrote: "#TheMissing is brilliant. And I'm not just saying that because Keeley Hawes is in it. But Keeley Hawes is in it. BBC1, after Bake Off."

The Missing airs on BBC1 tonight (12 October) at 9pm.