It might feel like it's been several years in TV time since we watched Frank Castle lay waste to various gangs and maximum security prisoners through a bloody and bruised Manhattan landscape, but it was only two months ago that Netflix released the entirety of Daredevil season two, aka Depressed Spider-Man: Hell's Kitchen Ninja Adventures! (Note: some minor spoilers ahead)

Picking up right where season one left off, we found Daredevil/Matt Murdoch dealing with the power vacuum left after he took down Wilson Fisk, with various arcs in the season dealing with the bloody revenge-driven exploits of The Punisher, the mysterious background of Elektra, and the mystical evil of The Hand, the most murderous landlords in NYC history. Foggy Nelson got fed up with Matt again and again and again, Fisk stewed in prison when he wasn't breaking people's heads, and Karen Page wrote the worst piece of journalism this side of I Love Trouble. There were bottomless pits to nowhere, tons of fantastically-choreographed fight scenes, and a Hell's Kitchen that seemed to encompass all of NYC.

Regarding that last bit, we spoke with season two production designer Scott Murphy to learn more about the inspirations for Daredevil's NYC. In addition to Daredevil, Murphy has worked as art director on the first two Spider-Man movies (the good ones!) and 50 episodes of The Sopranos, and has served as production designer on several other TV shows including Bloodline, Life and Ray Donovan.

Were there any big changes from the look of season one to season two? I would say season two was not quite as dark as season one. Some of that was a conscious decision. I would also attribute the change to season two having a different cinematographer (Martin Ahlgren).

With the introduction of the character Elektra we got to see beyond the gritty, blue collar Hell's Kitchen neighborhood and into a very wealthy and elite strata of NYC. This provided a nice balance between dark/ dense and lighter/ more open. I was new to the show going into season two and I brought in my own team. I believe we maintained the look of the show, but also put our own mark on it. Different designers make different choices just naturally. I would like to mention set decorator Stephanie Bowen and Art Director Jan Jericho, without whose talents and tireless work I could not have pulled it all off.

Was any place featured in the show—especially the various bars, restaurants, and law offices—based on or decorated like particular places from real life? An important part of my design process involves research. I find that my designs are much richer and more fleshed out when I first immerse myself in researching what exists in reality. For example, for the Yakatomi CEO’s office in episode 206, I looked at countless images of executive offices, Japanese interior design, Japanese art, current corporate interior design projects, etc. I utilize these as reference, but never want to copy anyone else’s designs. It's good to see what has been done before or is being done currently, and then make my own design. Research often leads to completely new ideas and directions. For the hostage room in episode 213, which was a stage set, we looked at photography of abandoned buildings. That kind of research is great for little details like how walls crumble, paint peels, how things age.

Did you have any favorite locations from season two? My favorite location we scouted was deemed unsafe for shooting. We had several scenes on a rooftop and fire escape in midtown Manhattan for episode 213. At the location we had selected there was a machine room above two freight elevators that was one of the most visually stunning spaces I’ve seen in New York. It was a small, hard-to-access space covered with a very old skylight and densely packed with beautiful industrial components, many of which were nearly 100 years old. We wanted to shoot an emotional scene between Daredevil and Elektra in the space, but it was ruled out because of safety concerns. Of the locations we actually used during the season, my favorites were an underground cemetery crypt tunnel (episode 204), the meat packing plant (episode 201), and the numerous rooftops throughout the season.

What was the biggest influence on the look of the show? The look is really drawn from the Frank Miller and other artist’s "Daredevil" comics. That version of NYC and Hell’s Kitchen does not exist in reality, at least not in 2016. We looked to the comics for guidance.

The showrunners Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez, and Marvel execs, determine the storylines. I’m not really a participant in that part of the process and much of it was determined before I even began designing the show. The writing team was based in Los Angeles and the production team in NYC, which is very common for television shows shooting outside of L.A. Once we get a script or outline from the writers we hit the ground running to dissect it, and figure out the best possible way to bring it to life within tight timeframe.

The comic book "Daredevil" has a long and well respected history. Of the many artists who have illustrated the comics, I would say the ones I most looked to would be Alex Maleev and Miller. I think their visions were the grittiest and most human while being quite epic.

A lot of people have commented on the darkness of the show (both thematically and visually)—did it affect how the production team chose locations? Was it difficult to find ways of balancing out the night time shoots? We did shoot quite a bit at night. Matt Murdock works during the day, but Daredevil does his work at night, so night shoots were a regular necessity. I know the all-nighters were tough on the shooting crew.

The darkness of the show is important and was a conscious decision. Location scouting took us to many dark, gritty, and dramatic places. I don’t think I’ve done a show where we gravitated so heavily to those types of locations. When building sets, I found that we really had to go for it when doing the scenic aging. What I would have considered heavy handed for some other projects was really just starting to be sufficient for Daredevil.

Were there challenges to capture the mood while filming around the city? Did you have to hide a lot of visuals that wouldn't exist in Daredevil's world? We chose our locations judiciously so as to not have to hide a lot. Not to say we never had to, but it was minimized. Also, the show has many of its roots in reality, so the streets and architecture of New York works well quite often. Our cinematographer Martin Ahlgren was superb at creating the proper mood and lighting wherever we shot.

How much of the show was filmed on location here, and how much on lots? About 35-40 percent was shot on stage, the rest being shot on location in and around New York City.

We did not pull from any previous Daredevil incarnations except of course from season one of the Netflix series. Loren Weeks designed the first season of Daredevil and much of the look of the show was created by Loren and his team. Several important sets from the first season continued into season two including Matt Murdock’s Apartment, the Nelson & Murdock Law Offices, a hospital, and Melvin Potter’s Workshop, as well as numerous locations. That said, I did want give each new set and location my own spin. Using season one as a springboard, we endeavored to continue the excellence established by season one and hopefully up the ante.

How big is Hell's Kitchen in the show compared to real life? In theory they are exactly the same size. However, we took liberties with what we shot as Hell’s Kitchen, so we were often shooting other areas in its place. The reality of it is that the Hell’s Kitchen of 2015/2016 looks nothing like the Hell’s Kitchen of the Daredevil comics. What was once a tough, hot, gritty, dense, working class neighborhood is now a gentrified area with a plethora of good restaurants, bars, and markets, not to mention pricey housing. We actually rarely shot in Hell’s Kitchen as it didn’t give us the look we were going for.

Do The Avengers and other Marvel movies/series affect the production design at all? How much do you collaborate with other Marvel artists? I would say very little if at all. While a fan of The Avengers, Iron Man, etc. and their amazing production design, I can’t say we looked to them for inspiration or direction. Some of the other Marvel shows such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are not as grounded in reality as Daredevil and the other NYC based Marvel productions. We certainly collaborated with the Marvel execs Joe Quesada, Jeph Loeb, and Jim Chory, but not with any of the comic artists.