Netflix is a tricky, unpredictable beast. The streaming giant will often greenlight and release shows only to cancel them a season or so into their respective runs. The latest Netflix original series to get the axe is The Irregulars, a show that enjoyed an incredibly strong debut. Apparently, though, even that was not enough to convince Netflix to keep it around.
Variety has confirmed that Netflix’s popular period drama The Irregulars has been cancelled after just one eight-episode season. This comes as something of a shock to those who liked the show, especially considering the fact that the series beat out Disney+’s heavy-hitting The Falcon and the Winter Soldier during its first week on its respective platform. That, coupled with the fact that the series has not even been available to stream for two months, makes the move an incredibly disappointing—and somewhat perplexing— one.
Released on March 26, The Irregulars is set in Victorian London and centers around a small gang of street-wise teens who are manipulated by new versions of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. The series featured Thaddea Graham, McKell David, Harrison Osterfield, Jojo Macari, and Darci Shaw as the teens. Royce Pierreson portrayed Doctor Watson while Henry Lloyd-Hughes played Sherlock Holmes. Tom Bidwell wrote and executive produced the show, with Drama Republic’s Jude Liknaitzky and Greg Brenman also serving as fellow executive producers.
It is honestly a shame that The Irregulars was cancelled so quickly and unceremoniously. It played with some really interesting characters and concepts, and it seemed to be setting up some great stuff before its cancellation. So many of its ideas were refreshing and unconventional, which is something that such tread-upon material desperately needs. On top of all that, the cast was great and many of them had just started growing into their characters when the first season ended.
Guy Ritchie tried to do something new with Sherlock and Watson when he made them action heroes a decade or so ago, and while those films were fun, they didn’t boast the same depth that The Irregulars does. It stinks that we will not ever get to see what becomes of these characters, but what we did get was great and seemed to be a hit with most of those who tuned in to watch it. That will have to do, and hopefully it will encourage Netflix to find new projects for the people involved with this one.
It is always disappointing to see stories with such potential get cut short so suddenly. The Irregulars had so much promise, but who knows what was actually going on behind the scenes? There could have been creative differences—a super common source of conflict amongst Hollywood creators—or budgetary concerns about which we will never have any idea. There is probably a ton we do not know. Neither Deadline, the outlet that originally broke the cancellation news, nor Variety mentioned a clear reason for the show’s jarring cancellation, so hopefully, we will hear more in the coming days. Until then, stay tuned!