Netflix has announced a feature-length special episode of the recently cancelled science fiction original to air next year…
By Maisie Williams
In a surprising announcement last Thursday, the official social media accounts for Netflix’s cancelled drama Sense8, explained that the show would, in fact, be returning for a two-hour special episode that would conclude the story of its eight main characters. Show creator Lana Wachowski herself penned an open letter explaining that whilst the show’s ratings had always proved a challenge for the continued existence of the show, the passionate and vocal outpouring of love from the show’s global fanbase was what led to an agreement being met between the minds behind Sense8 and Netflix executives.
The news of the series cancellation occurred on June 1st, the first day of Pride Month, and less than a month since season two of the show was released on the popular streaming service. Fans were distraught by the news and angered that it seemed they’d never receive any canon confirmation as to how the cliffhanger of the season two finale was going to be resolved. In the days and weeks that followed fans rallied together to persuade Netflix that a third season of the show was very much wanted.
Online campaigns and hashtag movements such as #BringBackSense8 trended on social media and gained huge traction. One change.org petition asking for the show to be ‘uncancelled’ eventually received over half a million signatures, and glossy websites with information on how to contact Netflix and voice your discontent, started to appear. ‘Sense8 deserved better’ signs were seen at pride parades, dedicated days to each of the shows beloved characters were organised by fandom members, and the show’s stars themselves started to notice this public outpour of love and support.
Wachowski admits in her letter that it was difficult for her to accept Netflix’s decision to discontinue the series, and that she fell into “a fairly serious depression”, feeling unable to respond to fans. However, it was the public appreciation and determination from Sense8’s fanbase that was solely responsible for Netflix backpedalling. “Friends kept calling from all over the world asking ‘Isn’t there anything you can do?’” writes Wachowski. “And the truth was, no. By myself, there was nothing I could do.” But because of that the most magnificent thing to come out of all of this is that the fanbase of this show, the people who deeply love Sense8, then began to embody the show’s core message of inclusivity and support for a common goal that transcends nationalities, race, sexualities and gender identities. “I am not just me. I am also a we.” were the words spoken by one of the eight main characters, Nomi, in season one, and never has it been truer than with Sense8 and its fans fight to revive the show together.
So, as we wait with anticipation for the epilogue of this story, the Sense8 fandom (and their cast) can rejoice and celebrate this achievement. It’s not every day a community of fans manage to persuade a multi-million-dollar corporate giant like Netflix to change their mind. Whilst a two-hour long finale episode might not be enough to satisfy some, Wachowski ends her letter on a hopeful note, stating “if this experience has taught me anything, you NEVER know.” #Sense8Season3
Sense8 returns 2018. Both seasons are currently available to stream on Netflix.