Netflix cancelled the highly acclaimed series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance after only a single season. After winning a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program, the streaming giant decided to end the show with no fanfare whatsoever. Jim Henson Company CEO and Age of Resistance executive producer Lisa Henson revealed the bad news yesterday.
It is extremely disappointing to hear that Netflix cancelled such a unique and impressive series like The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. The series was a prequel to the cult classic 1982 film, The Dark Crystal, from visionary directors Jim Henson and Frank Oz. Though The Dark Crystal was met with mixed reviews upon its release, the film gained a sizable following over the years and has been touted as a misunderstood masterpiece.
Fans were giddy when a new television series based on The Dark Crystal premiered back in August 2019. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was met with a positive response from critics, mainstream audiences, and longtime fans alike. Hearing that Netflix cancelled the show has us asking what the reasons could be for such a cancellation. It is especially surprising after the series just picked up a prestigious Emmy award.
While this is pure speculation, the most obvious reason that Netflix cancelled The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance would seem to be budgetary. The series employed magnificent puppets and sets that likely cost a ton of money to produce. While that work was done in-house by the Jim Henson Company, Netflix had to be footing a significant part of the bill for a potential second season. It is worth assuming that they weighed the potential cost and did not see enough of a return on it. Whether that had to do with Netflix not seeing large enough viewership numbers with the show or any other factor, we may never know.
What is especially disconcerting is that there is not a lot of material like The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance out there for younger audiences. Netflix cancelled a show that showcased beautiful and superb craftsmanship in the arena of physical effects work. As digital effects become even more and more prominent, the artistry and celebration of physical effects continue to diminish in popular media. It is disheartening to think that a majority of young children might not find value in physical effects or become curious about how they help bring the magic of cinema to life.
It is a sad day for anyone who appreciates the kind of craft we saw on display in the original The Dark Crystal and its prequel series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. While there is hope that the Jim Henson Company might be able to shop the series around, the show’s cliffhanger ending may have to be resolved in another form of media such as novels or comic books. Netflix cancelled a truly special and wondrous little show, and we can instead look forward to more Boss Baby movies. Yeah, this is a sad day for fans of good content for children and kids at heart.