OUTCASTS CAST OUT


Rudi (Langley Kirkwood)

Set in 2040, Outcasts (just finished on BBC 1) was a show that posited, or deposited, a remnant of humankind on a planet called Carpathia. This remnant was to pioneer a new civilisation after an apocalypse on a dystopic earth. The title may have referred to these pioneers, isolated from earth to forge a new world, or perhaps to the clones known as the ACs made outcast after the first settlement on Carpathia. Episodes were long (90 minutes) yes there was a lot of talking, yes it took a while to get know what was going on and who was who, but do we have to have an explanation of everything up front in order for a show to get an audience?. Like the first US pioneers the outcasts were a combination of settlers, military, religious and commercial who struggle to survive in a hostile wilderness. There is a governor, or president, who brokers peace with the indigenous peoples or the outcast ACs and there is a military wing, hawkish and troublesome to its leaders. All this combined to leave the audience needing to persevere a bit with narrative, character and concept but I was more than willing to give it a go, but the show has been cancelled and to add insult to injury there was a monumental cliff hanger at the end of the season. Thus Outcasts joins the ranks of Jericho, Firefly and Invasion for leaving its audience hanging, although Jericho made a brief come back for the fans and Firefly headed for the big screen.Ashley Walters, Danny Mays and Amy Manson The purpose of the cliff hanger is to invite the audience to watch the next season, but now, all that wasted talent, all that wasted time and all those hours I spent on the sofa expecting to be entertained are gone to naught with my licence fee. Only recently I was bewailing the fact that there was nothing to watch on TV. Sky Atlantic has attracted a little attention from me, but the Boardwalk is not the tremendous break into telly for Martin Scorcese that Twin Peaks was for David Lynch, Treme is not The Wire, so only Mad Men will keep my subscription. I agree with some critics of Outcasts that it was a bit of shock to lose Jamie Bamber in the first episode, yes there were shades of Battlestar Galactica (not just Bamber), sometimes, just sometimes there were moments when it didn’t seem to gel. However, I read the first scripts of Only Fools and Horses for coverage in the Radio Times and I didn’t think that would take off, and the first series did not herald the success it would later be (she states defensively) but the BBC stuck with it and the rest is history – no such loyalty now. It also took up the apparently failed series Men Behaving Badly – no such risk taking now. GroupI have some beef with the casting of Hermione Norris, I think the producers went for a known face because they didn’t have confidence in the scripts but with Ashley Walters, Eric Mabius and Liam Cunningham plus talented newcomers – why not risk a new woman in the role? No doubt Kudos owes Norris for Spooks, but she dominates perhaps not in a good way. Her presence overshadowed the series, not enough to put me off, and others may differ, she is a convincing authoritative woman and I cannot fault her performance. In addition, given time, characters can take a back seat whilst others come to the fore or are introduced …given time.

It’s been a bad year for me and telly so far, The Daily Show has been pulled, reality and fashion dominates the schedules, Stargate Universe is winding down, where the hell is Dexter? Mad Men has gone to Sky and now the BBC’s best effort at a serious sci fi (no offence Dr Who) has fallen to cowardice. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this is that there is no come back to the powers that be, nowadays everything from the price of petrol, the job I do, the tax I pay to the things I teach in the classroom, are proscribed by someone else and when a TV series I like, gets unceremoniously dumped by nameless accountants, that sense of powerlessness is accentuated, melodramatic I know put it down to a long winter and a bad news week.

There may be a longer blog on audience dependence, not a passive audience as such, inclined to absorb and imitate, but an audience dependent on commissioning editors for their entertainment, manipulated for the benefit of the mass audience, a mass audience that leaves the moderately intelligent drama uneconomic and unsuccessful. Over the years something similar happened to publishing, publishers in search of the huge success have paid massive advances and the subsequent distribution and marketing costs, to sell the likes of Dan Brown and good for him, but where are the Paul Scotts and Daphne Du Mauriers of modern books, and where are the Alan Platers and Troy Kennedy Martins  (look ’em up) of modern television? At the very least if TV series are so risky must we have the cliff hanger? Why not make a season a complete piece in itself.  Mad Dogs the recent high concept four parter for Sky started and finished in one season, four consummate actors, playing out a dark comedy in the sun, a beginning, a middle and an end – what’s wrong with that?

Cast pix: Top: Langley Kirkwood. Centre right: Ashley Walters, Danny Mays and Amy Manson. Bottom: Ensemble

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99 responses to “OUTCASTS CAST OUT

  1. Its an outrage BBC have cancelled this great series. There is a Facebook petition here and a show of support here.

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  2. Christine Berry

    I was looking forward to watching The Outcasts last night (Sunday 20th March) and couldn’t understand what was going on. It’s a really intriguing story and now, it seems, I will not know what happens. I’m a pensioner – please do not be cruel to me!!!!!

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  3. Well I’ve joined the Facebook page, sent the complaint and blogged – but I did all that for Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, my fingers are crossed it was a good show, we watched it with our 18 year old daughter, and here we have a comment from a pensioner – how much more universal does its appeal have to be?

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  4. Outcasts was developing wonderfully with each episode with regard to storyline and characters and the cliff-hanging ending of Series 1 really left me looking forward to the next series. I am extremely disappointed that Series 2 has been cancelled, especially if this is solely due to viewing figures. The BBC’s viewing public aren’t all enamoured with talent and dancing shows and other mindless fly-on-the-wall rubbish – some of us enjoy a good story. It’s like reaching the middle of a gripping book and the remaining pages are blank – most frustrating. I urge the BBC to reconsider and to cater for all it’s paying public.

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  5. They did the same with Survivors about 12 months back. No wonder people are watching less and less telly.

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  6. I can only agree with the author. This post excellently summarises my thoughts and feelings about this show and current state of TV programming.

    Unfortunately shows like Keeping up with the Kardashians and such are still being shot and pollute the airwaves with useless self-promoting people that have nothing to say. But any time there is a show that appeals to the smarter audience it is destined to die after one season. Firefly being probably one of the most missed and it goes on after that.

    I think that TV nowadays has to cater primarily for the idiot consumer and there is just not enough money in anything else to be of interest to the fat cats in the management. In my opinion the TV producers got so greedy lately, that when a TV show is not a complete home-run and bringing in millions of viewers it gets axed to make more room for the likes of 30 Rock…

    R.I.P. Outcasts..
    (English is not my primary language so sorry for the grammar 😉

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  7. This programme was the only thing I watched on the BBC why am I forced to pay over £100 a year for channels I do not watch it is a massive conn and if I had the money I would take the government to court for forcing me to pay for The BBC if they were forced to stand on their own two feet they would wither and die and perhaps they should and make space for a more adventurous TV station, who will let there programmes grow over time rather than always looking for the instant hit, grow up BBC and start thinking of your customers and not your pockets.

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  8. It’s no wonder viewing figures are so low on many sci-fi programmes, why bother following a series if you know it will probably be cancelled. Sad to say but dime a dozen reality tv shows and sappy little game shows will be all that is available in the future.
    Use of the public for no fee, no actors required just out of work comedians as hosts. Cheaply made tat to sell on to cable
    BBC use to stand for The British Broadcasting Corporation, maybe it should be renamed BBC – The Bargain Basement Company

    This will probably be pulled like the last one

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  9. absolutley gutted i watch little tv because of reality tv shows this has been a breathe of fresh air please can the beeb reconsider…………..

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  10. Alison Summers

    I am so disappointed that this show was sent to the twilight zone and then series 2 has been scrapped. I don’t bother to record many shows but I did record Outcasts – it got better and better. I am seriously wondering whether it’s worth paying for a TV licence.

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  11. Gutted this show has been cancelled,but not so suprised,a good show great acting and good scripts,why would the beeb want something like that when they can fill the airwaves with god awful dance shows and whatever vehicle they have to keep Graham Norton in money.
    The viewing figures are a poor excuse do they really think nonsense like Wipeout could beat it if it was shoved on at 10.30 on a sunday night.

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  12. I bet you any money that Outcasts was pulled because of pressure from religious groups. The series had an anti-religious subcurrent and I can well imagine that secret strings were pulled to stop it going any further, just like the film The Golden Compass, the first part of David Pullman’s brilliant His Dark Materials trilogy.

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  13. Correction: Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, not David.

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  14. Outcasts might have been a bit slow to get into – but it was becoming more engaging with every episode, to the extent that it was required, by me at least to check it out on iplayer in the event that I missed an episode. I must agree that in times past, programmes like this would have got a better trial. However those were also the good days before the media circus of reality TV, when we switched on to be entertained, educated and amused. Perhaps and hopefully we may be able to continue our Outcast experience via one of the niche BBC channels BBC4 BBC3 or maybe even another broadcaster.

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  15. Yes I am hopeful of a Joss Whedon like crusade to get the show bussed to another provider. I have now received a reply which I am pasting here.
    Dear Mrs Gunn

    Thanks for contacting us regarding ‘Outcasts’ on BBC One.

    I understand you’re unhappy with the cancellation of the series.

    We regularly have to make difficult decisions and unfortunately sometimes they will prove to be unpopular with some viewers. In spite of a great cast and production team, ‘Outcasts’ did not find its audience in the way that we had hoped. We remain proud of it but it will not be returning for another series. We can only apologise for any disappointment caused by our decision.

    I’d like to assure you I’ve registered your complaint on our audience log. This is an internal report of audience feedback which we compile daily and is available for viewing by all our staff. This includes all programme makers and commissioning executives, along with our senior management. It ensures that your points, along with all other comments we receive, are circulated and considered across the BBC.

    Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

    NB This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address but if necessary please contact us via our webform quoting any case number we provided.

    Kind Regards

    BBC Audience Services

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  16. How can this program be cut without warning. I am really disappointed, it was one of the few things I watched on I player. I love sci fi and fantasy and there is not enough of it.

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  17. Like everyone else here I too am disappointed with the cancellation of Outcasts. I often forgot to watch it on a Sunday but always looked forward to knowing I could catch up with it on iPlayer. Am I right in thinking there was not an episode on Sunday? I assume there was not another episode as it did not have the collage of clips which was a dramatic end to every episode. I appreciate the BBC will cut programmes/series if it deems viewing figures are poor but why also remove it from iPlayer. People have spent time watching this and those who did not get to see the last few episodes will not be able to watch them (not that it would help as it only asked more questions than answer old questions).

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    • I missed the last few minutes of episode 8 so i thought catch it on i player wrong only clips on offer BUCK UP BBC give us programs that don’t involve dancing skating or singing for a change

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  18. Not much more I can say other than echo the words above. This was an excellent show and has left me very disappointed by not even bringing it to a sensible ending. It was imaginative and explored some very interesting character traits which were portrayed increasingly well through the 8 episodes. Please, Please re-consider and go for Season 2. There is so little good SciFi on TV.

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  19. Lets face it: The acting was wooden, the plot scarce, uncoordinated and unconvincing, the budget minimal (a load of containers borrowed from some desperate trucking company), the special effects minimal….etc. It was Doctor Who quality from the 1970’s……but strangely compulsive, compelling and addictive. You just had to know what was coming next.
    Moving it to sunday was pretty mean (even though Silk is a great substitute on tuesdays). But you look back and think….why did I waste all that time ? If I’d known they were going to pull it, I could have stopped watching earlier and not spent the past hour trying to find the 9th episode on the WWW.
    Not great customer relations and as someone else said-hardly compells you to start watching another series when it might, also, be pulled.
    What did happen next!

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  20. I watch nearly everything on iPlayer as I don’t tend to watch TV when there is anything good on.
    Outcasts was compelling and addictive and I am gutted I didn’t get the watch the last two episodes (at least leave them on iPlayer!). Alright, the budget wasn’t as high as Battlestar, but it was still just as engrossing.

    I still think I get value for money as far as my licence fee is concerned – just not in televisual terms.

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  21. Pingback: How to protest the Outcasts cancellation | division6

  22. Shocking that they would make 8 episodes then cancel it. I had just started to really get into it too. To leave it there is just rubbish.

    The only value for money in the license fee is that you don’t get a massive fine if you have one, otherwise I wouldn’t get one and just wouldn’t watch the channels it covered.

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  23. I’ve been reading comments from many blogs and websites regarding the cancellation of this EPIC show and also wrote what may be my one and only complaint to the BBC as I really don’t watch TV much (with the 24hr availability of programs on the internet).

    It seems someone somewhere was given the task of estimating how well the new Sci-fi plot was being absorbed and that person concluded that after the slow uptake no one liked it!

    What an idiot! No my friend we were busy spreading the word and building a fanbase! We were trying to watch other dramas unfolding and dying on other channels – like the EVENT – we were catching up on iPlayer. 8 episodes and a stunning cliffhanger finish?

    The bastards didn’t give it a chance! And please don’t poke holes in it, not even in jest, it wasn’t the cost or the tackiness of the containers that killed it because had that been the case the old Star Trek with Kirk fighting pathetic aliens would not have spawned the historical Star Trek revolution that it is now!

    We pay for the right to view therefore when there is something worth watching the paying public should have the right and the voting power to say what we do and don’t want cut as well.

    Hey! BBC! Did you ask anyone?

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  24. It took me until the 4th episode to get in to this series, which probably killed it for most people. Bumping off Jamie Bamber in the first episode seemed like an annoying gimmick but when I later read this was the same production team behind Spooks I guess it was predictable. The whole Eric Mabius wannabe dictator plot line was superfluous, I would have kept him in the show but perhaps as the owner of a ‘Blue Parrot’ like establishment, which I realise is probably a cliché too far but would have worked better for me. However, having said all that I went looking for the 9th episode on iPlayer and was disappointed to realise it was gone, kaput, finished. One final point, a city of Shipping Containers ! Imagine the cost of getting those out of Earth’s gravity well.

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  25. Well folks, I complained to the BBC about dumping this excellent show and the 8 hours of my time viewing to be left hanging and they basically said thats they way things go and bad luck ! These people need to get a customer service department as they dont give a monkeys about there veiwers and are out off touch with the licence payers. I wont be watching any more series of theirs in the future just in case it ends in the same result. I could use foul language but instead will say from a very annoyed fan what a shame and poeple will complain directly to the BBC.

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  26. Well the above copied response from the BBC complaints department was an exercise in patronising insulting corporate garbage.
    BBC is rapidly rendering istself pointless.

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  27. What the F**K is going you BBC C**TS !! If it wasnt bad enought that it was moved from the Monday and Tuesday slots to a late Sunday slot which was on the same time as other programmes i watch you go and end it just like that,no warning no nothing ? is there gonna be another series ? if so the when ? You have done what channel 4 did with The Event you cocks.
    I f**cking the bbc you bunch of idiots.

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  28. another Judith

    Its taken me 2 weeks to discover the series has been cancelled. Why, when all the above complaints have been received, would you cancel a series like this? I am 61 and was really enjoying this series, better than most other programmes on TV. I am really dissapointed.

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  29. They should get the series on the scifi network!

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  30. I guess I am getting so used to these awesome shows being “cast out” right as they start to get a good momentum going that I am almost used to the abuse, so much so that there will be less and less outcry from me (and I suspect) others as TV publishers continue to mess with us in this way.

    I’ve personally given up watching TV on the “telly” these days and soon will probably give up on the whole medium if things keep going the way they have been.

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  31. I hardly ever watch tv because it has become so poor. Tv has become a type of slightly smutty voyeurism peering through a hole, listening to a private conversation. If a program requires any thought its too much effort in the age of the search engine. survivors cancelled, outcasts cancelled and invasion cancelled whilst an elephant crapping into a bucket probably gets a million hits on you tube. everything I like gets cancelled oh well i’m off to watch an elephant crap into a bucket!

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  32. When are we going to see the next part of Outcasts, please? You can’t leave the story there. I haven’t seen anything like it since Blake 7.

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  33. I would say I can’t believe the BBC would cancel this awesome series, but then again, it is the BBC and they are not all that clever, obviously!
    It was the only program I watched on the BBC other than the news, think I’ll just switch the TV off and ask for my TV License money back 🙂

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  34. I have just returned from holiday and have just tried to view on i-player the Outcast episodes that were on whilst I was away and find that you have cancelled the series and are not giving anyone the opportunity to view any episodes on i-player -therefore I am left not knowing what happened next. I am 66 was enjoying this programme and upset that I can’t view the last couple of episodes that I have missed could you not please reinstate the episodes on i-player as having read a lot of the comments I am not the only person peeved about this : o (

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  35. I URGE ALL FELLOW FANS OF THIS BRILLIANT SHOW TO POST A DIRECT COMPLAINT TO BBC VIA THE FOLLOWING LINK:
    https://faq.external.bbc.co.uk/templates/bbcfaqs/emailstatic/emailPage

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  36. POTENTIAL GREAT NEWS FOR ALL OUTCAST FANS!!!!!!!!!!!! Ben Richards, the creator of Outcasts is aware of this response (also the Facebook petition)! Here’s his response via Twitter: “There are conversations especially given the fabulous reaction from fans. Watch this space”.

    Keep the pressure up on the Beeb……I URGE YOU ALL !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  37. No announcement, just left hanging when the series was creating suspense and intrigue, breaking new ground. Thoroughly fed up with the “reality” shows which are just promos for “b list” celebraties with no talent. BRING OUTCASTS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  38. There is no point in closing a tv series without an ending. Why did they do that? At least they could record a season Finale just to give to the whole serie a purpose.
    We all want a serie 2, because outcasts is just amazing!! You can’t leave us like this….wondering what would happen. It’s cruel!!

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  39. It’s the first really good-looking British sci-fi TV series, imo. So bad it’s gone now…

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  40. I can’t believe they’ve not commissioned a second series, extreme disappointment. I’ve sent a complaint now to add my voice officially, but I doubt it will make a difference. You made an excellent point about Only Fools & Horses plus Men Behaving Badly, lets hope more add their voice to the dissent and that they reconsider their position on this.

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  41. They cant afford to pay the countless execs for thinking up crap reality TV that no one wants to watch and put out quality Television.
    Pay your licence fee for this crap and shut up.
    Do not question the BBC
    Do not question how your licencee fee is used because its none of your business.
    But hey if your Gay, Ethnic or have some random disability give us a bell and well give you 10 year contract at the licencee mugs expense.

    we could make such stunning shows as
    a day in the life of a bin man
    a day in the life of hospital
    a day in the life of an airport
    a day in a wheel chair
    a day with dislexia

    More stunning cheap shows from the bbc so the execs can put all the money in thier own fat wallets.

    Kind regards
    Mr daylight robbery licencee fee collector [[ bbc for short ]]

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  42. I was in the process of moving house mid series and didn’t have sky or internet for a few months. I was totally engrossed by this series and was utterly disappointed that it just vanished! I wasn’t aware it had been moved to late Sunday night which is unsuitable, like many, I work Monday mornings. Just got my internet set up and found that not only can I not catch up on iplayer, it has been cancelled!!!
    Gutted, well done bbc I now have no reason to watch you channels.

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  43. are they mad, clearly certain people cant stand scifi or count its fan base , they,d clearly love too fill the beeb with third rate celebs doing cookery programmes /antiques , or make believe worlds with no basis in reality … soaps , for pity sake bring it back dont listen to the idiot who advised you on how many people are watching it , because i know for a fact that many did .

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  44. I finally watched this on the Sky player this week – I started on Wednesday and mainlined the final five episodes tonight (which is why it’s now midnight!) I know it had a slow start, but I was intrigued enough to watch episode 2 and I’ve watched all the rest enthralled in a way that I haven’t been for a long time – I even gave them 100% of my attention, partly because they needed it but also because there was enough going on to keep me occupied.

    Yes, it’s got a little bit of the poor man’s ‘Lost’ about it and it has its dodgy bits, but I really enjoyed it and just knew that it wouldn’t be renewed because not enough of The Masses were interested in it. Hopefully we’ll get a Farscape-like wrapup or maybe a reprieve – and I’m now off to sign the petitions. Maybe if they can see us all, they’ll rethink it. We need more tv that makes you actually think.

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  45. THANKS FOR ALL THE POSITIVE COMMENTS – Lets face it there were serious problems with the show: Some of the cast didn’t gel that well, Ashley Walters(Jack) didn’t seem that believable, the plot was very slow and plodding. The set was shockingly bleak and there was little romance. BUT the characters had a real light & dark side – they felt flawed and human. You actually had to think about the individuals. Very few shows make you stop and contemplate these days.
    I was really disturbed to think that I had missed the ninth episode then simply assumed that the series had just finished for the season. So I was shocked to find out ONLINE that it was axed after only 6 weeks (!!) Furthermore not even to be informed by the BBC that the show has been cancelled is very annoying. What the hell is wrong with the BBC? What is the point of us paying for such mistreatment & abuse?! It’s a big shame….

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  46. The BBC’s mission, so we have been told, is to enrich people’s lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain… and apparently their focus (no pun intended) was going to be prioritized be in that order.

    “Aah, the road to hell is paved with good intentions,” as my grandmother used to say.

    For all its shortcomings, such as the plot developing slowly, and me often having to live through its initial painful predictability in early episodes, it had some key attributes that hooked me. The choice of location was tremendous, the story line became spell-binding, but most importantly it dared to ask a philosophical question striking at the very heart of humanity… Are we doomed to be our own worst enemy by design, or is there a way to break out?

    Well, in case the now-broken story line never answers that question, somehow the BBC has…

    :-/

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  47. I have thought of an ending for the show.
    how about the new spaceship coming in is hijacked by the ACs and after trying to leave the atmosphere they are time slipped back to 2011 and they crash land on top of the BBC building thus destroying the whole thing and leaving the new tv station. BSF (British Science Fiction) to be run by Joss weedon and friends.. not sure if anyone else would entertain such a job so by all means insert your favourite televisual sci fi person

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  48. my thoughts are echoed the same as everyone else who has emailled, l was enthralled as everyone else on this show, l only found out because somone wrote in to whats on tv asking the same question! if its all about viewing figures why did they move to sunday night graveyard shift, which actually worked alright in the end as it was after ‘being human’ the only other decent programme on the bbc, it goes to show that we can still make decent quality scifi show when we put ours minds to it, as l come from a generation who was used to so many quality scifi show growing up, blakes seven, tripods, etc, l don’t watch mutch tele these days either, and if it wasn’t for all the other muppets watching crappy reality second rate so called celebrities, we might get something resembling entertainment, l actually used to defend the bbc licence fee, but l am rapidly changing my mind over it, maybe we should withhold our licence fee! citing the fact that we are not getting anything out of it, it is suppossed to be for all of us!

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  49. Fortunately I recorded ‘Outcasts’ on BTvision, as I was on holiday when the series was shown. It meant that I was able to see the episdes that I had missed, when I got back home. I was gutted to hear that there wouldn’t be a second series. I felt the same way when ‘Survivors’ was axed. Please, please reconsider your decision on both these programmes. As I still have the 1st series of ‘Outcasts’ recorded, I have started watching the episodes again this week and am really enjoying them and am very disappointed not to know what the future holds for the characters and how the plot would have materialised in future series. I loved the bleak landscape and the stunning whiteouts and the mysterious children who appeared every now and again. Also I thought that the actors were excellent. I enjoy slow moving dramas, so that wasn’t a problem for me. I am fed up with all the reality shows on BBC1 and no longer watch them. I find them boring and uninspiring. I am more inclined to reorder old science fiction DVDs from Amazon instead of watching TV these days. If you don’t listen to the complaints, you will lose many more viewers. Please hear what we are all saying!

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  50. Well I am not surprised it was cancelled. Well it was quite good after all.

    This practise is not unique to the BBC although the BBC as a ‘public’ broadcaster not relying on advertising income should not then have to rely on nonsense viewing figures for determining what they renew or cancel.

    .I liked Survivors…cancelled. Stargate Universe…cancelled. Firefly…cancelled. Caprica, Jericho, Dollhouse, The Fixer, The Street. All good…all cancelled. The list of decent stuff you just knew would get cancelled anyway is endless. Maybe not everyone likes the TV shows I do. But many do.

    Oh then there are the dregs of moron TV that get channel changed by me even when being advertised. The sort of stuff you wouldn’t urinate on if it was on fire. Of course this stuff gets shown, repeated and continuously pumped out year after year after year. Even when one of these might eventually get cancelled it can end up being bought up by another channel (BB on 5 for example).

    Now I don’t understand the obsession with viewing figures, even more so in this day and age where the majority of programmes I record so I can watch back at my own leisure and without having to waste my life watching constant adverts aimed at the gullible brain dead masses. Instead of having to spend an hour watching a one hour program I get to watch it in its full ~40 minute length. Which means I can watch 3 ‘one hour’ programmes in about 2 hours (1 hour of my life not wasted….). In this respect the BBC is the saving grace with no adverts. On this point it has always struck me – we pay a license fee to cover the BBC public broadcast. No advertising. Yet if you pay subs to Sky or Virgin – you get adverts galore as well. So they get sub money and income from advertisers. Whereas the BBC has to rely purely on the ‘national sub’. this creates an imbalance in funds I think.

    After all the ‘viewing figures’ are just a mathematical extrapolation from a small sample of (I think) about 1000 people. It is a made up number and there is no way I believe that some ‘sample audience’ is representative of my viewing habits or many others. So how can the viewing figures be right, how can they use this as a basis for the popularity of a TV program? How can they know who has really watched what, who has recorded what? Well I don’t believe they can.

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  51. The first episode of Outcasts has just been shown tonight here in Australia.
    Why on earth would the ABC here run it if its going nowhere?
    Is it worth watching the rest of the season even though I know I’m going to be disappointed?

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  52. I think most of the contributors to this article would say yes, as would I. It has some compelling episodes and some interesting ideas that they were developing, but it does lead up to a major cliffhanger, that, so far, seems unlikely to be resolved and that does seem pointless – but I still think worth it.

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  53. Just watched ep 1 on the ABC here in Australia, I’m hooked and gutted. What the FECK is wrong with the BBC?!

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  54. I am from Russian. I so sad! Main actors is fantastics, they played lovestory very reliably. I miss for them all. I complain yor leaders. Please, return Outcasts!!!!!!!!!

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  55. Fron Chile! exijo una segunda temporada!

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  56. I just started watching Outcasts on Space TV here in Canada. Its only showing here now, as well as in the USA simultaneously on the Syfy network. Space fans are loving the series, but totally dismayed that they are watching something that has already been canceled , and worse, ends on a cliffhanger. As a result of the aforementioned I think the show will have a hard time gaining any audience here although it is very good.

    Its always seems to be the way that the good sci-fi shows bite the dust early – lousy scheduling also did in Stargate Universe as well. It seems that intelligent tv shows with a story arc, rather then stand alone episodes, are doomed to cancellation by tv execs who have no interest in finding long term audiences for shows, only cheap reality programming.

    Its complete bullucks to run this series on a Monday or Tuesday as BBC apparently did, let alone shovel it off to late Sundays. Original Sci-fi programming is for Thursdays through Saturday if it wants an audience. Any other slots are the kiss of death and worse is to jerk around the time slots in the middle of things.

    Very sad to see yet another fine show with a great cast shoved aside.

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  57. 😦 very sad to find that this great show has been canceled. please bring it back!!

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  58. Just when I thought the Brits would save our TV. Just watched the first two episodes on BBC America and my family and I loved it. I went on the web to look for more info on the show and found it was canceled. Broke my heart. TV in the US has become mostly mindless garbage. I may just cancel my Satellite subscription and just watch old, but creative shows on Hulu.

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  59. It does seem ludicrous to cancel something before it has aired elsewhere, it seems that they cannot be clear on the real response unless they give it time. Ho hum – I too mourn the passing of Stargate Universe and Caprica and.. Firefly!

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  60. I just started watching the show on the space channel and thought it was so good I had to go on line just to watch the rest of the episodes because I couldn’t wait to see what happened, and now I read that its been cancelled?? WTF I couldn’t wait for season 2, I think its an awesome show and I want to know what happenes, I think they should give it another chance.

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  61. OH NO!!!!!!! Are you kidding!? Please please reconsider BBC. We watch little TV, but this pulled us in every week. Great character development and full of suspense. Really gripping drama. I truly cannot believe that we are being left hanging like this. Finally some quality tv, and it is sci-fi, and now it’s dumped?!

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  62. another one bites the dust…..big corp’s are going to ruin tv just like they ruin everything else….as far back as the first star trek (which was cancelled to) thes corps pick and chose what they want us to watch based entirly on money…
    would seem to me that this world needs something to look forward to…something that says we might have a better tomorrow or at least have a fighting chance…

    its sad… all the reality tv showing nothing more then how dumb some really are or pushing what they want to sell (anyone remember the network memo that stated that the networks wanted a country singer to win american idol…which they quickly denied…but who won??) there all fake…they dont let you vote on anything.
    hmmph and they say sci-fi is a waste of time

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  63. Long post about how Outcasts became Lost: The Next Generation:

    I just finished watching the first series, and the only reason I’m posting is because the series struck me, both positively and negatively, to deserve some sort of postmortem autopsy that went beyond it sucked/it rocked.

    I wanted to check this series out after not being able to generate much interest in Falling Skies, and I wanted to see Liam Cunningham’s latest work before becoming Davos for Game of Thrones. But I went in wary, knowing it was already canceled. The comparisons to BSG, Caprica and Survivors are well-taken, but this series had so many thematic and narrative parallels to Lost that it made me wonder if it was a conscious effort on the part of the writers to gather that audience; if the writers had so deeply internalized Lost that they didn’t realize they produced an echo; or if the producers hammered in those parallels in order to get that Lost audience — and failed in the offing.

    Both Outcasts and Lost start with some kind of tragedy in the first minutes of the pilot episode. That either grips and audience or confuses those who have no patience for such tactics (what would they make of the Iliad).

    Both feature rugged landscapes that hide all kinds of secrets; either the island wants/doesn’t want its new inhabitants, or Carpathia wants/doesn’t want its new inhabitants.

    Both are takes on the Robinson Crusoe/Lord of the Flies concepts, where a population of survivors has to figure out how to rebuild society and what ideas play into that process. Lost actively sampled historical philosophical concepts through books shown, names, etc., and then put those concepts into conflict with each other. Outcasts just didn’t develop a similar kind of conflict-of-ideas method where the characters were operating out of clear points of reference alluded to by the narrative structure.

    Just check out the Lost episode “The Brig,” where Locke has his father Cooper shackled in slave chains inside the Black Rock, and then cons Sawyer into killing Cooper. Then read what the philosopher John Locke had to say about war and slavery; he argued the only reason you could enslave someone was if they committed an act of war against you, which Cooper did to Locke (took his kidney, tried to kill him and left him paralyzed). But the philosopher Locke also believed in natural rights — life, liberty, property — and argued no one had the right to to deprive someone else of those rights. So the character Locke has the right to enslave Cooper, which he does symbolically by holding him in slave chains, but the character Locke would be violating the philosopher’s own principles if he deprived Cooper of life, so he cons Sawyer into doing it — which also helps Sawyer free himself from the man who triggered his own life’s misery. You don’t have to know Locke’s Second Treatise of Government in order to get “The Brig,” but if you do, or if you look into John Locke because a character shares his name, you see some of those enlightenment principles being played out on screen. The key is that those principles are shown and demonstrated, but not told. Outcasts is far more open about telling the audience what principles of civilization its addressing, but those principles are far more broad-based — is it just human nature to repeat its past conflicts and mistakes, or can reason overcome that tendency? That really needed to be narrowed down in order to avoid simplicity.

    Another example: When Lost wanted to take on some of Philip K. Dick’s themes, we at least see Ben reading VALIS; no one patronizes the audience by explaining what VALIS is about, but the audience is invited to check out the book and recognize how it’s adapted into the narrative. However, Fleur’s being a new kind of AC with her own memories of a childhood is a direct lift from Blade Runner, without the invitation to audience curiosity. We’re just told right-out what she is, rather than brought to that point through a process of discovery. A more interesting spin might have been if the entire population of Forthaven were next-generation AC’s and didn’t know it.

    Both shows have a population of outsiders who have seeming strange abilities, the Others (Dharma Initiative) and the Advanced Cultivars. But those outsiders have outsiders of their own to deal with — the original inhabitants of the island that the Dharma Initiative displaced, and the doppelganger species that was already on Carpathia.

    Both feature quasi-religious demagogues who cultivate spiritual fear/faith for political ends — Ben Linus and Julius Berger. Both function as Machiavellian creatures bent on sowing division and then playing those sides against each other.

    Both shows have a kid-and-contagion problem: the Dharma Initiative were faced with a seeming contagion that stopped any births from coming to term, and some contagion killed most of the Forthaven children and almost no births had come to term since.

    Both feature ghost-like beings creeping around the screen: In Lost there was Walt and others who were bi-located, and in Outcasts there were Tate’s sons and Pak’s dog. And Pak’s dog Molly is even a bit reminiscent of Vincent.

    Both feature the remains of some prior inhabitants, the discovery of which throws the main characters for a loop. In Lost there were the skeletons found in the cave, Adam and Eve. In Outcasts, they found the fossilized jaw and later Cass and Fleur found the humanoid skeletons on Pak’s beach.

    Both feature crazy people living in the wild — Rousseau and Pak.

    Both feature people who have questionable or criminal backgrounds who have erased their histories in the new land, but those histories catch up with them; Sawyer, Kate, Sayid, Cass Cromwell.

    Both feature characters who are told they’re more like the outsiders than like the people they live with, Locke and Fleur, and both characters go to be with those outsiders.

    What did the Dharma Initiative use to keep out Smokey? A sonic fence. What did put up around Fort Haven to keep out those doppelganger creatures? A sonic barrier.

    Lost’s season 3 finale featured a ship (freighter) that they believe could be there to rescue them, but is actually another invading force. The end of Outcasts featured a ship (space) that apparently introduces another invading force.

    So many parallels cannot be simple coincidence, and it seems unlikely that a writer would just accidentally recreate so many of the key elements of one of the more popular television series’ of the past decade. That really makes me wonder if Outcasts’ problems were introduced at the hands of producers trying to do Lost: The Next Generation; they saw a formula they assumed worked and rammed a Lost-shaped peg into a space-shaped hole. But those parallels to me seem more problematic than complaints that there should at least be birds or bugs on such a Goldilocks planet; had some of those hard sci-fi fans had given the series more than half-an-episode’s chance, they would have gotten their wish (Jack nearly dies after a horsefly bite).

    That said, Outcasts had promising moments. Yes the dialog could be stilted and clichéd at times, especially in the early episodes, but finding the fossilized humanoids and those doppelganger things who seemed to physically manifest people’s memories in order to overtake them had possibility — especially if the native humanoids evolved and became extinct on the planet without ever having left, or if they arrived from elsewhere and were killed off by the doppelgangers.

    I hung in there and watched the entire 8-episode series because I like that kind of narrative, but wish the series had time to breathe and develop its own unique possibilities, rather than rehashing so much of what had already been done. If you hung in there and read this whole post, cheers.

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  64. какого черта прекратили снимать сериал?
    так делать нельзя. это не дело.
    нужно до конца доводить.

    пусть тогда опубликуют сценарий всех оставшихся и не снятых серий и сезонов.

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  65. I think the translation for the above is:

    What the hell have they stopped shooting episodes for? 
 So do not. It does not matter. 
 Need to bring the series to an end. 
So then publish the script and not all of the remaining episodes and seasons filmed.

    Maybe!

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  66. This was a great show. What a shame that you canceled it. As an American viewer of BBC America, you didn’t warn any of your US viewers that you were airing a show that had already been canceled in the UK.

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  67. Just finished watching a new piece of over-budgeted sci-fi slop from the US, Terra Nova. It galls me that Fox et al will shell out millions for this kind of garbage, while the BBC cancelled Outcasts. In the off-chance that Richards ever reads this: *please* ***please*** keep looking for a way to bring Outcasts back.

    Sure there were some minor problems in the storyline, but the cinematography was beautiful, and the storyline was superior to this latest US “future world” scenario, superior by approximately ten *orders of magnitude*. This Terra Nova thing is cheeeezier than the worst cheez, and there’s no saving it in future episodes. It’s mired in melodrama, trashy “action,” saccharin emotion, and puh-lease “science” fiction that would like to be called fantasy, but fantasy implies something pleasant that one would like dream about. Terra Nova, instead, is a nightmare of mediocrity and hackneyed formulas, done to death, American style.

    I watched Outcasts from the beginning to the end, and I never did understand why the ratings were so bad. Unlike this Fox atrocity, I was intrigued and engaged from the onset of Outcasts. When I learned Outcasts had been cancelled, I was in shock, and I’m still in denial about it. I remember some complaints about Outcasts not being international enough, blah, blah, blah… I wonder what those critics would have to say about Terra Nova? Nothing but mid-western US accents in this entire thing, except for the lead female, who I assume is UK as a nod to the writer? Since Fox has already put 13 in the can,

    Maybe Sky could be persuaded to ditch this American tripe–it really is an insult to everything sci-fi: if you feel compelled to view Terra Nova, you’ll know what I mean–and pick up Outcasts for new series, instead?

    Last Spring, before I learned Outcasts was truly cancelled, it seemed the show would really be hitting a stride around the 3rd or 4th series, and I was excited at the prospect of a potential ST:TNG. BBC, you let us down.

    Come on Sky or *someone* with a television channel—UK, US, AUS, NZ… anybody with the cash and the broadcasting—talk with Richards about a new series of Outcasts, please!

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  68. Well, Fox hasn’t canceled anything good lately, guess BBC is claiming the stupid decisions crown as their very own.

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  69. Apologies to Richard for not approving such a great comment earlier – a glitch in the system known as me. I couldn’t agree more about Terra Nova – I even wonder if the similarities between series meant that the BBC felt they had to give way to this most disappointing of series – but whatever the reason Outcasts had so much more potential and so many less cliche’s the bad decision crown has plenty of candidates!

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  70. Americans can make good Sci-Fi. What about….. no, wait, that was Australian. Well then…. oops, New Zeland. Well then surely…. ugh, Canada. Okay, maybe you’re right, I can’t think of anything from US TV in the last few years that wasn’t a pure braindead failure. Hell, the Sci-Fi channel changed names, started playing wrestling and reality programming, and seem to have launched a crusade against the very genre that made them all that money. They don’t want to invest in decent programming when it’s so much cheaper to make another vs movie or follow people around in dark hotels while they freak out at every creaking board.

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  71. They should bring back outcasts for atleast another series so they can end it properly! it was such a goood show

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  72. With pleasure watching the TV series “Outcasts.” It is a pity that they stopped shooting. I am from Belarus and in our region for the TV series did not show, but my friends and I always waited for the new series. I believe that a series of “Outcasts” and “Stargate Universe” provides exactly what is sometimes short of the viewer. And the actors were on top.)
    There is also a shooter and Drammen. The script and acting is dragging …. want to watch and watch.
    I hope not the last eight series and someday we’ll see a sequel.

    Sorry for the grammar. With anliskim I do not have …

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  73. Oops took a while to approve a comment – glitch in the system – keep ’em coming!

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  74. seriously BBC, your not attracting large audiences because your programs lack quality, you lack viewership because your marketing department is incompetant, your never going to get enough viewership to justify a show just targeting the UK, you need to use this new thing called the internet and increase exposure on sites such as HULU, I honestly don’t know why you bother producing shows when you cancel them after one season.

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  75. I will take partial blame for the cancellation on behalf of America because, like with Dr. Who, I think the BBC sometimes considers a show’s American appeal to make programming decisions. I was incredibly disappointed at the cancellation (there’s nothing better in my world than British+SciFi), but not surprised. Sci-Fi does so poorly nowadays in the US – seems science is unappealing (or maybe threatening) to an increasingly uneducated, super-religious audience. Dancing with the Stars is what they want. Sad and scary for our future. One thing we learned from Outcasts is what the future may hold if we continue to ignore scientific evidence and mess up the Earth.

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  76. Shame shame shame shame this show was SO much better than emo whiney Hollywood crap SGU. = I am just now discovering it and WHY the devil The Sci Fi ( I refuse to call it ‘syfy’ the dumbed down version IMO) channel didn’t pick this show up is beyond me. The cast and story was phenomenal. *sigh* I hate television executives. God they’re so condescending and in their hearts believe all of us to be such drooling morons.

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  77. My sweetheart and I just finished watching the whole series in one day on Space….wow, it was fantastic and ended leaving us wanting more. We were discussing the hope that this late showing of the entire season was the precursor to season 2 and decided to look it up on the internet to see when the new season would begin and BAM!!!!!!! we find out it was cancelled and there will never be a season 2…………#%$$#%$%$%#!%$%@$^@^$$#$!
    That’s all I can say about that!!

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  78. David Bryenton

    Outcasts was a very good show after you looked at season 1 as an introduction I was looking forward to season 2 and was very excited about it as it left off last season were the excitement was beginning to happen with more carictors comming.The show had a great potential as ones emagination you would think the sky’s the limit for good plots too bad we will never know.Scifi channel made that same mistakes with many shows.It really turns off the viewers when a good show with a potential to be a great series gets cut off after 1 season.People who make those calls should be in another line of business as science fiction fans are the most loyal in the industry.

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  79. outcast, come back please!

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  80. Well it’s kinda good to know how many people liked this show, I don’t know that it is any comfort to those who would have worked hard to see it through. Agreed Sci Fi fans are very faithful, although Thissalantine I rather liked SGU – as for now I just put a new post up on Sons of Anarchy – not sci fi I know but you gotta make do!

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  81. Dead on point! Finish the job (story) BBC…

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  82. Found the series on Netflix, watched all 8 episodes the same day, came to the web to search for info on the next season and was sooooo disappointed to find news of its demise, for shame! Get me hooked then kick me to the curb. Geez…BBC, have a heart, today’s television is so utterly boring, reconize what you had and bring it back.

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  83. Honestly ppl,Outcasts count to those shows,like Terra Nova ,Falling Skies
    or Defying Gravity that were rightfully canceled because they were not good at all. Sure,it was well produced and nice to look at the scenery
    but it was an anemic bore that never delivered and was wooden acted
    for the most part.
    I wouldve liked to watch a third season of BBCs Survivor instead.

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    • Have to disagree with you there, I thought Defying Gravity was one of the best shows of it’s year and it’s demise was mainly due to an incompetent network, bad publicity and idiotic reviewers. I still remember one reviewer who’s main complaint was one of the characters once did something unkind to one of the girls in sex and the city ! Regarding Outcasts, it started slowly and had too many plot lines but by the end of the series was getting interesting – unfortunately it was too little too late.

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  84. Hmm I think you have a point particularly re Terra Nova and I would happily have seen more Survivors – but the nature of the beast is that all these sies have cliffhangers, perhaps if they just wound series up, people would not feel so bereft in the end Jericho got enough of a reprieve to provide some kind of ending.

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  85. So anyway if anyone’s interested in a little sci-fi story I’ve just posted one http://wp.me/pcNst-dR

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  86. Ive recently watched this show on Netflix and all i can say is i want more. I cant believe this show has been cancelled. Can you guys from the BBC please sell the rights to the SyFy channel, maybe they wil be interested in continuing the show. Please, I need to see what happens next. Right now there are no good SciFi shows on TV.

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  87. This show was brilliant!!! Watched the first season on netflix. Did a search to see if the second was airing and to my dismay the show was canceled?!?!?!? Why do they continue to cancel intelligent shows that are entertaining? Please come back with a movie or anything to tie the story up for the viewers who took the time, became vested and are now heartbroken the series is gone and now we are left hanging. Brilliant casting, brilliant acting, brilliant footage, brilliant stage setting everything was brilliant about this show. Except for the people who canceled it.

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  88. Forgot to add brilliant filming!! The special effects were movie quality. Some scenes are so beautifully shot and directed they take your breath away. This show did not cheat the viewer one iota! Now excuse me while I go weep that yet another astounding show has bit the dust. We are left once again with something of quality taken from us.

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  89. stupid bbc. This was a great show, so was Survivors. I’m getting tired of getting hooked on shows and then being left hanging.

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  90. Pingback: Cancelled! | judithgunn.com

  91. I agree – Outcasts and Survivors are the best dramas the BBC has made in recent years, and I can’t believe both were cancelled without any kind of resolution!! At least give us a one-episode special for each show that finishes off some of the plot lines!

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  92. I was rented the BBC Tv series called “Outcasts”. I watched it. it was great. But Iheard that the show already cancelled after Episoes 1-8. I was surprised. I was hoping that there will be next season? But never happened. Maybe the Syfi channel will buy the “Outcasts” in the future? You remebered that the CBS owned the “Stargate” years ago? After that CBS sold it to Syfi channel. It was successed.
    That will do same…..–BBC will sell the Outcasts to Syfi soon? please ask them to save the Outcasts?

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  93. Have watched all 8 episodes thanks to netflix. Now I am frustrated that I spent the time only to find out BBC one will not continue with the show. I loved the drama, the character developement, as well as the storyline. I only wish we could have that show produced here in America. I loved it and will miss it.

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  94. With rumours that Netflix might resurrect Jericho which is where this blog started and maybe The Killing, perhaps there is hope for Outcasts! http://uk.ign.com/articles/2012/05/01/netflix-in-talks-to-bring-back-jericho

    Like

  95. Personaly i would like to see more Jericho than more of Revolution…
    which i gave up watching past the third episode.
    Well,i have to admit that during the past decade ALL of my favourite SF shows got cancelled.

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  96. Hi one and all – just in case anyone is still following this thread – a quick plug for my own bit of sic-fi a small eBook for Kindle here’s link to the amazon page http://www.amazon.com/Gold-ebook/dp/B00DG0ZII0/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372879726&sr=8-1&keywords=Jude+Gunn

    Not only that there is a Facebook page – feel free to like
    https://www.facebook.com/alfiewillisgold?fref=ts

    Like

  97. Pity they still haven’t resurrected this wonderful show – don’t the BBC realise that there is a world wide following and even if viewers don’t watch it on TV there is a worldwide market for DVD sales!

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