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Will there be an Outcasts series 2?

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.

In addition, show creator Ben Richards has agreed to talk to me about the Outcasts cancellation. Please submit any questions you would like me to put to him here.

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?

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  • Helleeny

    is a great show and i would compare it with the show LOST, pls i need to find out the rest of the story pls

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DXDJ77YPUF62BS7Q7MOGJHB764 King

    I watched this on Netflix and was hooked! I want them to continue this show its awesome! Best show i have found following battlestar galactica. 

  • Armando Soto

    Great story! If there is not going to be a season 2, then make a movie and close it out in style! 

  • Dawn Brown

    I do hope they reconsider and produce many more years of this show. It has depth and the characters are ones that all can relate to. Too many shows on television are “cookie cutter” and there isn’t much on that I find all that interesting. PLEASE bring this compelling show back to us!!

  • Dawnebrown424

     I agree Bobbi! It is downright criminal that the show was canceled. If I had realized, I probably wouldn’t have started watching it. My kids and I watched in non-stop today and to go online and find out that it won’t be produced again was very disappointing. I live in the US and the programming here is pathetic and boring. It was refreshing to see a program that didn’t rely on sex scenes, foul language and the damned laugh tracks to sell it. This program was fresh, unique and if you look at how things are going on Earth, could very well happen. Surely bringing back a show with depth and intelligence makes more sense than continuing with the brainless programs most affiliates show??

  • Jorgem

    Why don’t give a decent and logic finale to Outcasts if there will not be a second season? Shame on you BBC!

  • Daniel Springer

    Melvis, you captured my thoughts exactly. This show is fantastic. I’m so tired of wonderful shows getting canceled. 

  • glm

    Yet another yank that discovered “Outcasts” on Netflix. I haven’t been this intrigued by any show since BSG:TRS. Watching episode 6 now. Very sad that I’ve got but 2.5 hours of “Outcasts” left to watch.

  • Jack

    BBC sucks for canceling this show. American here and first heard of it on Netflix. About to each last episode and I’m certain ill be disappointed. At least do a closeing episode (no matter how condensed) you wankers.

  • syfy momma

    GREAT show! Love the idea, the characters, the stories, the conflicts. The only character I don’t like is the American. We are not like that! Well, maybe some are, but not most. Please make more BBC. Don’t sell it fully, an American network will butcher it. Just sell rights to air it on syfy channel and pbs or some others and keep it going.

  • Ray

    Sad – I really liked this show. I really hope BBC changes their mind and brings it back! A show with this much support is certainly worth reevaluating.

  • Melanie

    I am from Germany and love this series.
    …sad, that there are no more seasons….
    i learn to love the different characters, the set is amazing and the calm but intensive story telling ist fantastic!

  • Brian

    Just finished the last episode and I’m sad to see there wont be a next season. The final episode drove home with my favorite quote from President Tate ( Liam Cunningham), “What do you know of my morality, you insect.” I think the episodes were very well done in terms of character progression. I like how the characters change and become more transparent as the series went on. I didn’t know Tate did such horrible things and how he’s changed. In the end I wish there was more episodes or more story to see how the world that Ben Richards created unfolded.

  • http://twitter.com/RDouglassPrince R. Douglass Prince

    Absolutely well written and creative series with a depth of characters. I sincerely hope that the ignorance of the BBC can be pointed out by another network picking this up. I discovered this on NETFILX and wateched all 8 episodes one after the other…hooked! USA, SCI-FI Channel….someone pick this series and the actors up!!!! Someone call JMichael Straczynski of Babylon 5 who had a five year dream of a story, faced the same issues, and prevailed!

  • Mark

    Terrific show. Huzzah!

  • Tim

    Searching NETFLIX’s and seen Outcasts watched the hole season 1 in a day!! Only to find out there’s no season 2 ???? BBC sucks , to leave it open at the end the way they did and not give anyone any closer… You would think maybe they could make a movie to explain everything and end it right !!!!!!

  • mergatroid69

    Smart, well written and great acting!!! Saw on Netflix here in the US and would love to see the SyFy cable network here pick it up.

  • mike

    You’d think that with the way digital media can be
    sold/rented and or licensed, BBC could have actually made this show more of a
    success and alternatively another avenue for them to make more of a
    “financial” profit, because let’s face it, at the end of the day
    that’s what it’s all about for big networks.
    After watching season 1 on Netflix, I was very disappointed in learning
    that there would not be a second season.
    I really thought BBC had something good here. I have to agree with many people leaving comments
    here that this show was very well written and thought provoking. When will big networks learn that there
    actually is a big audience out there for the SCIFI genre! Not every show ever made was an instant success, sometimes it takes a while for the train to hit it’s full speed…

  • DaveUSA1974

    This is a bummer I live in the U.S. I seen the first season on netflix and I’m hooked. I do have the BBC channel through my cable television provider. I would be willing bet everything if this show was commercialized here in the U.S. That people would really want to see this……. I believe it would be a hit ….its well written and very compelling to stay glued in your seat and set DVR’s to record I hope there will be more seasons

  • Marke0313

    I can only add my voice to those that wish the series would be continued. I liked the general direction it was taking in asking some deep, philosophical questions to what it means to be a human and how do you construct a society based on justice and equality when faced with fundamental changes to the way you see the physical world. I thought (in all honesty) you made some of your characters a little stiff (i.e. Jack) but I understand that you were creating a construct… a vehicle to allow you to discuss larger issues… but still… allow the actors to breath… give them some depth… some nunances… (mind you… this is coming from someone who has never written a script or gotten something on tv so take it with a large grain of salt).

    More than anything I’d like to say that I did enjoy the series and was dismayed that it ended so abruptly. I hope you will be able to continue it at some time in the future.

    M.

  • Dawn xoxo

    I started watching the show on love film the other night i loved it and have now fineshed all 8 episodes….seems every time i watch a show that i love it gets axed :( eg: Tru Calling…Invasion…HappyTown…Point pleasent to name just a few xoxo

  • Johnny B

    American here, and again, saw it on Netflix, and I can’t believe they would not go on with season 2. Here in the US, TV is just “ok” and I always look over seas to my brothers for great shows. Great shows here get the axe, Firefly, R.I.P. Thanks to Ben Richards for a great first season, so sad that so many questions will not be answered. I keep my fingers crossed that maybe we will see another season maybe on a different BBC channel.

  • Marco from Italy

    Ma perchè sospesa… Anche in Italia la volevamo vedere….. Continuate grazie

  • Lee

    I am in the U.S. and just finished watching the first season on netflix. I was really bummed to find out about its cancellation while checking to find info about the second season. Good SciFi shows always seem to have trouble lasting long enough.

  • Poppanen

    Hey! I’m from Finland and I watched you show Outcast from Netflix – it’s truly a shame that you cancelled the show. I was very disappointed that the story ended so suddenly!

    Is it possible to make even a movie about that show, about what happened next?

    I’m certain that now-days we scifi fans watch our shows mainly from internet -from places like netflix and viaplay- we can’t wait a whole week for a next episode, almost all people in my age group -we watch many episode in a row and we do that online. I think that’s something that tv-channels will realize more and more in future. That the true data of how success of a show has to be gotten from online data. And I think that’s why Outcast didn’t got so good ratings. I hope that good people in BBC we’ll decide to continue the show in the future. I might be too optimistic, i know. But it’s a shame to end this well written and interesting show (the show that don’t underestimate the viewers intelligence) -when at the same time, something like Bigbrother ect. can continue existence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pamela.b.young.3 Pamela Brammer Young

    Just discovered Outcasts – am so disappointed no season 2! With so few savvy shows out there -
    come on BBC reconsider!

  • mental

    darn just watched all 8 back to back and now no 2nd season i am pissed at all the good sci-fi shows that are cancelled i would so fund this show if i was rich