Hot on the heels of its recent Emmy win, Netflix’s puppety fantasy original Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance, the followup to Jim Henson’s 1982 epic film Dark Crystal, has been cancelled after only one season – which, in what is now a real slap in the face to the fans, ended on a cliffhanger.
What are the important people saying?
Executive producer Lisa Henson put on a brave face, giving the statement “We can confirm that there will not be an additional season of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. We know fans are eager to learn how this chapter of The Dark Crystal saga concludes and we’ll look for ways to tell that story in the future. Our company has a legacy of creating rich and complex worlds that require technical innovation, artistic excellence, and masterful storytelling. Our history also includes productions that are enduring, often finding and growing their audience over time and proving again and again that fantasy and science fiction genres reflect eternal messages and truths that are always relevant. We are so grateful to Netflix for trusting us to realize this ambitious series; we are deeply proud of our work on Age of Resistance, and the acclaim it has received from fans, critics and our peers, most recently receiving an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program.”
Netflix themselves also seemed oddly positive as they let the axe fall, saying “We are grateful to the master artists at the Jim Henson Company for bringing The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance to life for fans around the world. We’re thankful to the executive producers Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford, and Louis Leterrier, who also directed all episodes, as well as the writers, cast and crew for their outstanding work and thrilled they were recognized with the Emmy this weekend.”
So why did Age of Resistance get cancelled?
Netflix is a well-established outlet, and has of course had to pull the plug on shows before. However, it’s most notorious for binning well-liked shows two seasons in (supposedly, the point when contracts get renegotiated) – here, they’ve barely let it get off the runway. And Age Of Resistance did draw overwhelmingly positive popular and critical reception, including a ten out of ten in our own review. The Hollywood Reporter, by contrast, characterised the show as ‘an expensive miss’ and suggested its failure went some way to explaining the departure of longtime Netflix executive Cindy Holland.
One giveaway may be its scale as a project. Executive producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach has claimed that the creation of Age Of Resistance was the longest shoot in Netflix history – and that’s by comparison with other big-budget projects like The Witcher, whose production took the crew through both ends of Europe.
The fanbase can take some consolation in that this isn’t the end of the franchise – there have already been various novelisations and comic adaptations, including the Shadows Of The Dark Crystal quadrilogy which set the stage for the Netflix show, so there is that obvious avenue to continue the story of Age of Resistance.
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