Underrated Netflix Sci-Fi Horror Mystery Series Deserves One More Season

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

archive 81

If you love horror television shows, then Archive 81 is pure genre catnip: it gave us a perfect season of thrills and chills, but for fans, nothing was scarier than the unceremonious cancellation of the series. In its usual frustrating format, Netflix killed this hit new show after only eight episodes. However, it’s never too late for an in-demand show to get picked up by another streamer, and we’re here to argue the case for why Archive 81 deserves one more season.

James Wan

archive 81

Let’s start with one of the most compelling reasons: simply put, we need more Archive 81 because the show managed to do the impossible by appealing to critics and fans alike.

Historically, critics haven’t always known what to make of the horror genre, but this show boasts an impressive 87 percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 74 percent audience score.

One of the reasons that the show resonated with so many people is that James Wan is an executive producer. We don’t want to sound too much like fanboys, but it’s an open secret that the involvement of a visionary creator leads to sublime horror (if you doubt that, go ask Hannibal fans about everything that showrunner Bryan Fuller brought to the table).

If Archive 81 got another season, the involvement of horror icon Wan could help further elevate this show’s stylish storytelling while helping give a definitive resolution to the show’s central supernatural mystery.

Actual Scares

archive 81

On big horror fans, we’d also love to see more of Archive 81 because it regularly delivered actual scares. Right now, some of the best horror on television comes from Chucky, a show that has traded actual frights for gory, over-the-top schlock.

And we absolutely love that shlock, but the truth is that Archive 81 excelled at delivering more grounded scares that paired well with its more intangible and supernatural elements.


Speaking of other shows, it’s difficult to discuss the future of Archive 81 without touching on the success of Doctor Who, a show that has come back in a big way. If you don’t mind a fairly big spoiler, Archive 81’s first and final season ended with a cliffhanger in which a character apparently traveled decades into the past.

Doctor Who is a powerful reminder that time travel opens the door to countless new stories, and if Archive 81 was embracing time travel into its lore, then we missed out on potentially several seasons of time-jumping adventures.

Reminiscnet Of A Classic

If you’re still not convinced Archive 81 needs more seasons, here’s one final comparison: the shows are very different in subject matter, but Archive 81 has much in common with Twin Peaks.

That show similarly delivered supernatural-tinged spookiness, and it similarly ended with an insane cliffhanger. The later revival Twin Peaks: The Return helped bring this tale to an end as worthy as its beginning, and we’d love for Archive 81 to get a similar chance to stick its own landing.

Stream It Now

Of course, the blunt truth is that neither Netflix nor anyone else is going to bring Archive 81 back if it has poor streaming numbers. If you’re hoping to see this show get another season, the best thing you can do now is re-watch the first season and encourage your friends to check it out.

Otherwise, your only hope might be to travel far enough in the past that you reach a point where Netflix doesn’t automatically cancel its most interesting shows.