Friday, 13 May 2016

Cancelled costume drama!


Agent Carter series 2
So long, Peggy and Jarvis...
Thanks a bunch, Friday 13th - Agent Carter has been cancelled. Almost everything I like on telly seems to get cancelled. Two of my favourite shows from last year were Partners In Crime (I even did costume writeups for 'The Secret Adversary' and 'N or M'.) and Jekyll and Hyde. I wasn't taken with the initial episodes of either, but stuck with them and loved them by the end. Unfortunately not many other people felt the same way, and neither is getting a second series. Being a fan of the geeky stuff, I thought that perhaps a 1930s-set monster-battling kids' programme was never going to get big audiences, so I should just be grateful ITV took a punt on Jekyll and Hyde in the first place, but I honestly believed a Marvel production like Agent Carter would have sticking power.

Most of my favourites could be described as 'genre' shows, but now it seems even straight dramas aren't immune to the curse of cancellation. According to an article in The Guardian, Channel 4 recently revealed there would be no third series of Indian Summers. That announcement seems to have sneaked out under most people's radars, but when ITV announced the cancellation of Home Fires earlier this week, people were annoyed enough to start a petition for the decision to be reversed. (You can sign the Home Fires petition here.)

Television costume dramas aren't cheap to make. Makers need to find locations or build sets, find the right sort of things to decorate said locations and sets, buy in costumes and get people able to do period hair and makeup, hire cars, presumably insure all the valuable antiques and so on, and so it's hardly surprising that they're generally at the 'premium' end of most broadcasters' output. It seems to make broadcasters reluctant to keep making one that isn't staggeringly successful straight away, or to allow one to have a slightly less successful few episodes, especially when they can persuade people who want to be reality TV stars to fill their schedules for free without having to worry about costumes or attractive sets. There have been an increasing number of shows featuring real people eating or doing the sort of things done in the past, shows like Victorian Bakers and the Back In Time... series. That's taking the reality TV approach to history, and I do enjoy it, but we could do with some good, regular costume dramas too.

Peaky Blinders
We've still got the Shelbys
What have we got left to look forward to? Peaky Blinders has just started again, though I'm a little annoyed that there are so many large country houses and posh people in the latest series as its working class setting was something that made it so distinctive at first. Less mansion, more pub for the Blinders, please. Poldark is great, and BBC2's forthcoming Versailles looks intriguing, but neither fills the 20th-century niche. Perhaps The Collection will do that, but that's going to be on Amazon, not on a mainstream channel.

Maybe mainstream audiences just like their 20th-century-set programmes to be really cosy, and it will be survival of the cosiest from now on. There's always Call the Midwife, not that I watch that. I'm not really into baby-related stuff or relationship dramas. At least ITV is allowing The Durrells to contine; a second series has already been commissioned.

Is there anything you're looking forward to? Anything you're really annoyed at the cancellation of?

20 comments :

  1. I'm so angry at both Home Fires and Indian Summers being cancelled, particularly the latter. I loved both shows and I was looking forward to the story continuing, but then everything I like gets cancelled.

    I'm looking forward to Versailles and The Crown, although that has been delayed until November now. I'll just have to rewatch Upstairs, Downstairs and Dancing on the Edge for the umpteenth time to get my 1930s fix from now on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dancing on the Edge was fantastic. I wouldn't mind longer series getting cancelled if we had a regular supply of miniseries of that quality.

      (Really, I'd just like more period dramas on the telly!)

      Delete
  2. I haven't watched any of the TV series you mention above but I am sorry they've cancelled Home Fires and Indian Summers - both of which looked interesting.

    I'm a bit mean with my recordings of shows because I hate them to pile up (just like emails which is why I delete unnecessary ones as I go along and empty my trash bin compulsively) as I know I won't get round to watching them. I have, undoubtedly missed some great ones! I do like a good costume drama and one of the great pleasures of going to the cinema is to look at the costumes...

    Have a great weekend

    Veronica
    vronni60s.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hoard my precious recordings. I wish the BBC would repeat The Hour; I only have the second series on my Tivo.

      Delete
  3. Gaaah! I have wanted to see Agent Carter for a while now as it looks really great and I've just got into Indian summers so this is very annoying! I only learnt today that Home Fires was being cancelled, which considering the cliff hanger we have been left with its very frustrating. I understand why they would cut them but it often takes a while to get into these shows and as they are just warming up they end, boo!

    I must confess I lost interest in Call the Midwife after the first series, I much preferred Partners in crime though again that took me a while to warm up to. I am looking forward to Versailles and Poldark though so thats some vintage telly consolation I suppose!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agent Carter was great, though they had to fight to get a second series so I'm sure there won't be a third. Wah! Such amazing 1940s styles in it, too. The whole thing looked gorgeous.

      Delete
  4. I'd never heard of Home Fires until somebody had a meltdown on Facebook about it being cancelled. Of the ones you mention I only watch Indian Summers, very sad that they aren't making a third series, that, Ripper Street and Peaky Blinders are the only costume dramas I've ever got seriously into.
    Thank goodness for Channel 4's Walter - enough subtitled thrillers to keep me entertained. xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad Ripper Street got picked up by Amazon and BBC America, otherwise that would have lasted just two series too. Peaky Blinders seems to be very successful - the Americans love it - so I'm hoping it'll last (and not get made rubbish).

      Delete
  5. Oh this really takes the biscuit!! What on earth are they doing with their programming?!! I can't watch Call The Midwife, anything childbirth or medically related makes me feel queasy! I think I'll be ordering a few box sets to get me through - Dancing On The Edge that Cate mentioned has been on my wish list for a while, it was so, so good. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I don't do medical dramas either. Dancing on the Edge was brilliant.

      I'm thinking I should get The Hour on DVD - I've got the second series Tivoed, but not the first.

      Delete
  6. NOOOOO not Indian Summers too? I'm gutted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, the sneaked that announcement out. Damn you, Channel 4!

      Delete
  7. I'm sorry to hear so many of your favourite TV series are being cancelled. I haven't seen any of them, though. Some of them might make it to Belgium, but I don't watch much telly, I'm afraid. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm a proper square eyes! I probably should watch less, though I watch as I knit so it's not entirely unproductive time.

      Delete
  8. Doesn't it though! Nothing, especially in TV land, lasts forever, but it often seems like historical/period shows get the axe much quicker than their more contemporary peers. Such a shame and tugger of heartstrings for such vintage folks (and others, too, of course) who really get heavily invested in them.

    ♥ Jessica

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'd rather see things be axed than 'jump the shark', though I do wish programme makers wouldn't axe things just as they're getting into their stride. Even Miss Fisher seems to have slid into oblivion, though that hasn't been officially cancelled.

      Delete
  9. Oh no, hadn't realised about Indian Summers! Such a shame, annoyed about Home Fires too. I enjoyed the first series of Poldark so looking forward to that. Peaky Blinders is one that even my husband enjoys watching, it is just so good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was annoyed at the presence of one of my least favourite characters in this series of PB, but they've gone now so I'm much happier!

      Delete
  10. I don't watch a lot of programmes off the telly, mainly I use Netflix and Amazon but was very annoyed at the cancellation of Agent Carter! Saying that I never know which series to start on next as there are so many now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there do seem to be a lot around - though not so many that last.

      Delete