Remember a while back when X-Files creator Chris Carter had a new show, The After, in the works? It was part of one of the Amazon pilot program where you can watch the first episode of a bunch of shows and vote on which ones gets made into a real series. That was back in February 2014, and the show was given the go ahead for more episodes the next month, and that was the last we heard, until now. And the news isn’t good if you were hoping for more, because plans for the series have been scrapped.
According to Variety, Amazon has decided not to proceed with The After, though there hasn’t been any official reason given at this time. A brief statement from Amazon Studios vice president Roy Price only says that they’re not going to move forward with the project, and thanks Carter and the rest of the cast and crew.
The After focuses on eight people from drastically different backgrounds who all find themselves in the middle of a mysterious apocalyptic event, with an inexplicable connection to one another that no one can quite explain. When we reviewed the pilot last year, we noted that though there were a number of trite, stereotypical elements, as well as some pieces that didn’t work so well, there was still a great deal of potential in the set up and the storytelling.
The cancellation seems rather strange as it appeared that Amazon had big designs for the show. Carter planned to make 99 episodes—influenced by Dante’s Inferno, which is divided into 99 cantos—and instead of dumping an entire season online at once, they were going to take a different approach and stagger the release of the first wave, parceling it out in two-hour chunks. Last summer, Amazon even gave The After a prime place in their platform on the Television Critics of America tour.
Everything pointed at an ambitious show that Amazon’s backing, but then again, maybe that was the problem. From a production standpoint, The After is definitely bigger and more expensive than anything they’ve tried to do up to this point. There was a big cast, lots of different locations, and more special effects than they’ve ever dealt with, so perhaps it was just too resource intensive to proceed with right now. It’s also possible that, if he couldn’t get the funds and tools to fully realize his vision, maybe Carter put the brakes on.
Whatever the reason we’re not going to see The After, and we may never hear the real explanation, we hope it’s not because of the size and scale, because that doesn’t bode well for another potential Amazon show we’re excited about. The latest pilot season includes a sprawling adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, which appears every bit as big and ambitious as The After, possibly even more so, and we want to see that done right.
Did you watch the pilot for The After? Were you looking forward to watching 99 episodes, or do you think they made the right decision pulling the plug?