Update 3: The interview with Ben Richards is live here! Read it for updates on season 2, thoughts on the cancellation and the down-low on the ratings.
Update 2: I’ve emailed a bunch of questions (including some reader submitted ones) to Ben Richards, who has promised a response but evidently not had a chance to do it yet. He mentioned being in discussions with the BBC about some kind of resolution to the show, although series 2 didn’t sound likely from our brief Twitter exchange. Will share more when I have it.
Update: The BBC doesn’t seem to be continuing to track for buzz about Outcasts so my more recent posts haven’t been flagged on the official Outcasts page. Fans visiting this page might be interested in my follow up posts: Why do ratings matter for the BBC? and How to protest the Outcasts cancellation. You might also be tangentially interested in this comparative cost of TV license fee chart, across Europe.
Original post follows…
No, sadly not. Here’s the confirmation via the BBC Outcasts Facebook page, and here’s an interview where the show creator/writer Ben Richards talks about why he thinks it all went down the way it did (not without bitterness.) It sounds, broadly speaking, like it was felt that the show missed its mark in terms of hitting a mainstream audience, didn’t get the ratings it needed (no idea if iPlayer ratings came into play) and misjudged its pacing. The episode length issue is discussed – an hour slot was tough to write for.
I still haven’t finished catching up on the show and will do so in the next couple of weeks and share my thoughts. Will also probably do a final “best of comments” as I’ve had an overwhelming number on here thanks to the trackbacks from the BBC website and there have been some fantastic comments about the show – positive and negative – some of which are worth highlighting! Thanks all for your contributions.
A cynical part of me is a little melancholic if the BBC One controller, Danny Cohen, is going to drive all his television making decisions based on ratings in quite this way (as indicated by this), but I guess if the show was designed for a mainstream audience and had a mainstream budget then its a fair enough decision. Although as per the comments, and as a fan of shows with complex and long-running story-arcs (Joss Whedon fans out there?), it can take a while for these things to build…
As a partial aside, whilst we’ve both been watching Outcasts, Amanda and her brother and mum have been watching a niche piece of BBC4 television, Danish crime drama The Killing. I guess as a BBC4 programme specifically designed for a niche audience the criteria are different (and the critical feedback has been much more consistently positive than Outcasts’), but I can’t help but wish/hope that the kinds of decisions that spur the funding of programmes like that would support things like Outcasts too. Why is all BBC SciFi/Fantasy output ‘mainstream’ (Dr Who, Torchwood, Merlin etc) – isn’t there room for some niche sci-fi from the Beeb?