Salvation returns to CBS tonight as the sci-fi thriller kicks off its second season at 9 PM ET/PT. Salvation tells the story of a group of government officials working with MIT grad student Liam Cole [Charlie Rowe] and tech-billionaire Darius Tanz [Santiago Cabrera] to stop a giant asteroid from colliding with earth.

All the card’s are on the table this time around as the secret is out on the what’s coming earth’s way and a whole new set of challenges stand in the way of saving mankind! CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Jennifer Finnigan, who plays Pentagon Press Secretary Grace Barrows, and Ian Anthony Dale, who plays Deputy Secretary of Defense Harris Edwards, for an inside look at what to expect from the show’s sophomore season!

MW: Good morning to you both, how are you?

JF: Hey Matt, how are you?

MW: I’m good! We all spoke last summer before season one and I love the show so I’m really excited I get to speak with both of you again as we get ready for season two to prepare tonight. What’s the theme of this new season and what will we see different from Salvation‘s first season?

JF: That’s right, so good catch up with you again! Season one was all about keeping this massive secret about the impending asteroid that’s due to hit the earth in 180 plus days. All the while we were trying to figure out how to stop it, how to solve the problem, how to re-direct the asteroid. Now in season two everything’s changed because right from the beginning…the world knows! The world now knows there’s an asteroid due to hit the earth and the world goes crazy. It brings out the best and it brings out the worst.

IAD: Exactly, the world is thrown into chaos. There’s civil and political unrest, enemies emerge from just about everywhere.

MW: How are your characters affected by this new, even more unstable landscape they find themselves in?

IAD: Our characters are challenged in ways they never thought imaginable. As if solving the riddle of how to stop a killer asteroid wasn’t hard enough without any sort of outside interference – in season two they’re just bombarded by outside entities wanting to undermine them, derail them, and they have their own agenda. It differs significantly from our very genuine and moral plan to save mankind. Its amazing how an event such as this really does bring out the best in some people and the absolute worst in others…

JF: …and often times both.

IAD: Yea, often times both. As a show we get to ask the audience, ‘What would you do in a similar situation? How would you approach this? Would you be good or would you be bad or would you be a little bit of both?’

JF: All the while, by the way, we’re still weaving in the romance and the intrigue and our personal lives. I’m still a mom of a young girl. He is still the father of a son that he just recently lost. And Grace, of course, killed Claire at the end of season one so she’s dealing with carrying that burden. She’s really haunted by that this season. The beauty of the show is, within the realm of this massive geopolitical event that’s incoming – we also are still living our lives every single day.

MW: What do each of you find most interesting about your characters?

IAD: I think Liz and Craig, our showrunners, did an incredible job in season one of establishing characters that are interesting that you really want to root for. In season two, having just seen the premiere episode for season two, we jump right back into the lives of these characters right where we left off. I found myself on the edge of my seat rooting for each and every one of us.

JF: I think we’re flawed…

IAD: …we’re relatable.

JF: Yea, we’re not super earnest. I mean yea, we obviously have great intentions and yes we’re “saving the world” but I think we make mistakes and we’re not perfect.

IAD: But our intentions are pure and that’s something that the audience can rally around. We give them characters and a government that you can really root for.

MW: I’m really excited to see the way both your characters and the show as a whole evolves in season two, this all sounds really exciting! Thank you very much to both of you for your time and good luck with the new season. Hopefully we can talk again next summer before season three!

IAD: Sounds good, thanks Matt!

JF: Nice talking to you again!

Salvation season two premieres tonight at 9 PM ET/PT, only on CBS. Check you local listings for more information.