Nic Pizzolatto put the sincerity and quality of True Detective’s story over multiple seasons of the show, asserting that a strict 8-episode format would be condusive to a strong third act. And judging by the critical claim he’s received – his creation is being talked about in the same breath as The Wire – one is inclined to trust the man who risked everything to write the new HBO anthology series.

True DetectiveWoody Harrelson [L] and Matthew McConuaghey [R] as Hart and Cohle in 'True Detective'

“One of the reasons I wanted to do an anthology format is I like stories with endings. I like a good third act. And continuing serial dramas, they tend to have really good beginnings and really long middles and then sort of have to hustle to develop an ending. And I like the idea of telling a self-contained story,” explained Pizzolatto.

Part of the show’s appeal, aside from the existential themes, beautifully framed Louisianan verdure and incredibly smart pacing, are the performances from lead actors, Matthew Mcconaughey and Woody Harrelson, who play the troubled loner Rustin Cohle and family man in denial Martin Hart respectivley. The pair have been lauded with every superlative possible since T.D’s Januaray 12th premiere, and as we enter the final three episodes, their dynamic slowly unravels further.

Check out our 5 Things You Didnt' Know About 'True Detective'.

It would be easy to be sad about their impending departure, but with the finite nature of the show predetermining that they must part ways, thoughts inevitably stray to a second season, what kind of themes it could cover, and – if a pairing is decided upon again – which two actors could pick up the admittedly heavy mantle left behind by Rustin and Marty?

Matthew McConaughey Woody Harrelson True DetectiveMatthew McConaughey [L] and Woody Harrelson [R] in 'True Detective'. Who Could Take Over?

In terms of themes, it’s almost impossible to predict. Pizzolatto has already demonstrated a fine eye for screenwriting; his themes run deep and move concurrently to the plot without impeding on its progress – often laying the foundations for greater appreciation when the more visceral components of the show play out on screen. He’s the ‘hottest showrunner in town’, right now.

In fact, Pizzolatto has admitted that, despite the show's name, the premise is very much up for grabs. “The title, True Detective, is meant to be, of course, purposefully somewhat generic before you even get to the deeper indications. The word "true" can also mean honorable and authentic and things like that. But all the previous incarnations of anything titled True Detective was an anthology; right? So as long as there is some crime in there, I think the series format can approach it,” he explained.

Trying to predict the cast is nearly as impossible, but McConaughey and Harrelson’s work on the small screen, coupled with Kevin Spacey’s on House of Cards via the Netflix platform, will not have gone unnoticed by Hollywood’s A-list. It might not be a pairing, but given that everything else in the show will change for season 2, it might just be the one theme that finds its way through. Also, bear in mind that some of these suggestions are completely ridiculous. But consider this, too: before it was announced that McConaughey and Harrelson were to star in a TV show together, heads were certainly turned.

Next Page: which actors could star in True Detective season 2?