Netflix abruptly canceled the sci-fi drama The Society last week, after having already renewed the series for a second season. The show follows a group of teenagers who return from a school trip to find that everyone else in town has disappeared. Cut off from the rest of the world, the group is forced to form their own society and laws, and things start to go in a very Lord of the Flies direction. In an interview with Variety, creator Christopher Keyser revealed that production on Season 2 was already well underway when they received the shocking cancellation news, and offered some details about what would’ve happened to the kids of New Ham had the show been allowed to continue.
According to Keyser, Season 2 would have seen “the establishment of what we called the ‘outpost,’ and the eventual conflict between the outpost and the town over control… It raised a lot of large questions about the way in which we treat each other, and the way we create caste systems and an underclass. It had big political implications, but also a lot of new relationships — and also resolving questions about who was in power, and who wasn’t.”
In keeping with the grim cliffhanger of Season 1, in which the unhinged Campbell (Toby Wallace) leads a coup against Allie (Kathryn Newton), Keyser said that Season 2 would have featured “a descent into greater darkness — the rules don’t hold.” Additionally, the Season 1 finale revealed that the kids of New Ham had somehow been transported to a parallel universe, and that life in their home universe was continuing on as if they had all disappeared on their school trip. Keyser says Season 2 explored the sci-fi elements of the characters’ predicament: “We spent a lot of time talking about the reasons why the children of West Ham became the children of New Ham. What the cause of that was, how they might return home.”
Sadly, we’ll never get to see the rest of the story. Keyser shared some of his frustration with the situation, saying, “We spent the last bunch of months getting ready to go back again, dealing with all the COVID protocols. And then I got a call from Netflix saying, ‘We have made this decision.’ It was obviously pretty upsetting and abrupt… I can’t pretend I’m surprised. I know we had many months of conversations about the challenges of producing in this environment… But to our disadvantage, we have a large cast and scenes often with a fair number of people.”
It’s likely we’re going to see more shows like The Society get axed as the pandemic forces networks to make difficult decisions. For now, check out our list of the 75 best Netflix shows and original series you can start binging immediately.