Oftentimes in life, you are reminded success and quality does not beget longevity. The latest example of that is Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance, a Netflix prequel to a Jim Henson 1980s animated tale that saw a brief rebirth on Netflix last year.
The Netflix show was a prequel to the 1982 movie directed by the late Jim Henson and Frank Oz. Released in 2019 as a 10-episode season, Age Of Resistance was a critically acclaimed, albeit expensive, Henson-produced show that just took home the 2020 Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program days ago.
But io9 reported on Monday that Netflix decided not to renew the show for another season, meaning Thra’s story is, at least on the streaming giant, at an end. In part of a longer statement to i09, Henson CEO and executive producer Lisa Henson confirmed the news.
“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.”
Though the show came with its own making-of documentary, The Crystal Calls, and a cliffhanger ending (no spoilers here), it seems there wasn’t enough momentum to keep the Henson magic going for another season. As io9 pointed out, the reasons for the cancellation aren’t exactly clear but it does seem there was some disappointment with how it performed on the network. It cited a Hollywood Reporter story about the exit of Netflix’s TV chief, Cindy Holland, who apparently led the division while the “expensive disappointment” that is Age Of Resistance was made.
“The buck stops with Ted but I’m sure he will try to blame Cindy,” a person with ties to Netflix says of the talent spending spree. Holland also, per sources, delivered a series of pricey misses including The Dark Crystal (an “expensive disappointment,” per one source connected to the streamer).
Other reports indicated that the show took too long to make and, in a modern world where making just about anything is increasingly difficult, we’re seeing a lot of shows reach their end simply because the obstacles to making them pile up and become too high to justify the effort.