‘The Living And The Dead’ axed: Colin Morgan drama won’t get Season 2

The BBC has confirmed today that The Living and the Dead won’t be returning for a second season.

Starring Colin Morgan (Merlin, Humans) and Charlotte Spencer (Glue), the supernatural drama debuted on BBC iPlayer in June and concluded on BBC One last month.

A BBC spokesperson told DS: “We are very proud of The Living and the Dead and would like to thank [creator] Ashley Pharoah and the fantastic cast and crew,”

They added: “However, in order to create room for new series and to keep increasing the range of drama on BBC One it won’t be returning.”

Buy Season 1 on DVD on Amazon here.

Watch the trailer…

> Like The Living and the Dead on Facebook.

Were you hoping for a second season? Let us know below…

  • This is sad, it was really a great show. I’m disapointed by BBC.

  • Shannon-kate Thomson

    So disappointed!!! Loved the show was looking forward to see what season two had to offer! Left on such a cliffhanger too! Shame on you BBC

  • Larklander

    Why is this surprising? Although seeded with some pointers towards a possible second series (the contrail in the first episode, the headlines on a country lane in the second, the burning tree in the fifth), the series had a clear narrative arc throughout — and, equally, an arc that was intended to conclude with the sixth episode.

    It was a good and engaging one-off series, so let’s remember it as that.

    • Tracy Watts

      Did you not see the cliffhanger then?

      • Larklander

        It was one of several. It was apparent from the ending of the very first episode — especially from the song played over the closing credits — that the Colin Morgan character was also a ghost.

        • Wizza

          … Did you even watch the last episode?!

          • Larklander

            I watched each and every episode. There were enough clues seeded through each and every episode to indicate that (a) Nathan and Lara were both ghosts and (b) both were unstuck in time, slipping between 1894-95 and 2016. (And, in the closing minutes of the final episode, the mid-1920s.) Perhaps you should rewatch it all, looking out for those clues, and paying attention to the lyrics of the songs chosen to play over the opening and closing credits.

          • Wizza

            That’s an interpretation, but not at all a definite one – it certainly doesn’t explain how anyone else in the village sees the ghosts, how Charlotte can have conceived if Nathan is dead, etc. etc. Pointers are, overall, to something far less cut and dry than the “he’s dead too” trope if you ask me. And I did go back to the credits of ep1 after reading your comment – unfortunately I recorded off broadcast and BBC man talked over the lyrics, so please do enlighten me on that front!

          • Larklander

            The song was “She Moved Through The Fair”. She is pursued by her former sweetheart as she goes to join the swans on the lake; these are the souls of the departed, and the “she” of the title is therefore already dead.

            The song played over the opening credits — and the closing credits of the final episode — was “The Lyke-Wake Dirge”, intended to speed the soul through its post-death tribulations, to ensure that it doesn’t remain to trouble those still living.

  • Les Ball

    Typical BBC, Ripper Street, Banished, In the Flesh, and all the other great shows they tease us with and then axe. More money to spend on NobEnders no doubt….

  • Tracy Watts

    “To make room for new series and increase the range of drama”… they had BBC Three for that and they scrapped it to make an online series. No doubt they have yet another “Hard hitting crime series” up their sleeves, rather than invest in something like Sci-Fi or paranormal. Did The Living and the Dead not get good viewing figures then? Do they count the number of views online since they released this as a “Box set” on the iplayer before it had aired. Maybe that was the mistake.

    • David Havers

      To make run for more cheap shows like cookery shows. Ratings shouldn’t come in to it. Another decent drama axed from the BBC.

  • Catherine Wright

    Is there any point getting into a BBC drama for them to scrap it ‘to make way for something new’ ?? I want to know if he killed his wife!!

    • Judy Maldonado

      Exactly! I agree with you. That cliffhanger was meant to have resolution!

    • Nah. This is also my big question.

  • Hattie

    I’m still mad about Atlantis not gonna lie

  • Judy Maldonado

    I’m very disappointed. A fabulously brilliant show! “To make room for new series and increase the range of drama”?????? Why, so they can add more mindless, inane crap that no one wants to watch!? I’m in USA and it doesn’t even air here until October. Did they take that into consideration? I had to watch it online with very poor quality and still loved it! Look at “Merlin”, it didn’t do really well the first season but ended up airing in over 180 countries. (Of course they botched that series as well, in the end!) They should have never released it early in iplayer. It sounds like BBC lost interest and confidence in it since before it aired. I hope they reconsider.

  • I am not normally a fan of this genre, but this one had me hooked. So sad to read it won’t be returning. So many unanswered questions, brilliant cinematography, and nothing like it on tv currently.


  • Ivyteainn

    First thing, we really don’t know what happened. When Merlin ended, no one admitted that the actors just didn’t want to come back or there would have been a Season 6. The BBC didn’t cancel Merlin; the actors did. Second, the show had too many side story lines, it should have concentrated on one plot. Third, I know that people will shout at me for this, but this show just wasn’t Colin Morgan. His character looked stiff with his wife, It looked at time like he forced himself too hard to play the character. I think Morgan is a good actor, but this just wasn’t the show for him. He takes on very challenging roles, but he would be very good in more programs that combine drama with humor like Merlin.

  • Judith Hamilton

    Another one bites the dust. Stiil upset that Homes Fires was stopped with a cliff hanger even though I read that the next series was partially filmed. Really enjoyed The Living and the Dead. Any chance of a change of heart BBC?

  • Helen

    Thank goodness the BBC showed some common sense by ending it here. It was awful, especially Colin Morgan. Charlotte Spencer was the only redeeming feature but even she couldn’t make me watch all the way through.

  • Dave Smith

    It figures. I get hooked to an amazing Television series and the BBC cancelles it. I don’t care for the BBC but damn this was a great show. Maybe they can shop the show around to Netflix or someplace else. God I hate the BBC.

  • Greetl

    Brilliant show and pity no second series but at least it won’t be remembered for a poor second series which drags down the first. Just remember what happened to Broadchurch which lots of people liked for the first series but because of the greed of ITV and ego of the writer got a second series which was so awful that it has permanently affected the reputation of the first series. Best to go out on a high and with good memories, rather than crashing and burning the entire show to make a second like they did with Broadchurch.

  • The last episode needs to be explained. It was left on a cliffhanger. We were left with Nathan coming downstairs where he met a group of people saying he has done something bad to his wife and he needs to take the responsibility. Ask Charlotte Spencer, Pharoah, and Troughton. They receive many mentions on their Twitter requesting season two, can’t BBC understand what that means? Let me tell you, BBC, that means so many people love the show! Why wouldn’t BBC just give it anyway?! Come on, BBC, you are always making me sick!

  • Loobylou

    This series was a good idea spread too thin. While the premise was interesting, there was barely enough original content to fill an hour. It was eked out over six episodes and padded with great, clunky clichés, “shocks” that you could see coming a mile off and done-to-death ghost stories.
    I thought it might all come together in the last episode but the ending was a mess. There were no satisfying answers, just more questions and an embarrassingly obvious stab at securing a second series by means of a painfully incongruous cliffhanger.
    I was looking forward to it after reading about the premise, and really wanted to like it. With each disappointing episode I hoped the next would live up to expectation but it never delivered.
    For me, cancellation seems the right decision.

  • Christine Dyson

    Stunned. It was a brilliant series – Thomas Hardy crossed with the Shining – what are they thinking?

  • SteveF

    Cultbox is a British website, yes? In which case, stop calling series “seasons”, that’s so annoying! I expect that from a U.S. source because that’s their norm, it’s not ours

  • Barbi Copeland

    I hope when it comes to America we pick it up the original cast and make it last for ten years. Like we have with many shows bbc is to stuck on themselves. We have made supernatural last for twelve we can do it for this show.

  • Wizza

    Got to say, the fault largely lies with the show this time. If it wasn’t for that last sequence attempting to hold the BBC to ransom for a second series – and when has that tactic ever worked?! – it would have remained a story that wrapped itself up wonderfully within its allotted time. Poor decision that mars an otherwise fascinating run, and it’s the creative team that compromised their own creation there.

  • Shria Puggmurr

    Typical of the BBC what a load of crap they say to make room for new series more like more cookery programmes or thrillers. The living and the dead was new and it was brilliant and ripper street which ran for a couple or series and that was axed. Why are we paying the bbc our TV license money if we don’t get a mix of things on tv. So we don’t want old comedy programmes brought back that we watch in the 70’s and 80’s or any thing like that the bbc need to listen to its viewers. Too many in the boardroom are either stupid or earning too much money and clearly don’t care about the people who watch TV. Yes I’m angry and why not.

    • JayC

      Yep – if remaking an un-remakeable classic like ‘Porridge, or even ‘Are you being served’ is their great hope for ‘new’ sitcom or their ‘new season of comedy’ and great quality dramas get buried while casualty is made ad infinitum, the BBC has really lost its way.

  • JayC

    Utter Utter wrongheadedness. ‘increase the range of drama” – The Living and the Dead was one of the few dramas of its type produced by the BBC and is only matched by those produced abroad. Beautifully shot, original and well acted it is a tragedy this wont get a second series – not least to fulfill its obvious promise. The BBC seems to have given up on quality period drama (which was once its great strength). If ITV had produced this they’d be screaming it from the rooftops, promoting its for weeks ahead and giving it a primetime Sunday night autumn slot – BBC bury it mid week, mid summer – they clearly didn’t want to recommission even before they broadcast the first season. Releasing it all on iplayer before broadcast also undermined viewing figures unnecessarily. While Happy Valley and Luther et al are great series, they are some of only a handful of really strong drama coming from the BBC but more, there is a serious lack of period, literary or supernatural/indie programming and the slack will be taken up by amazon prime, netflix and the US networks no doubt. shame.

  • LetFreedomRing

    A shame; for I thought the show was of high quality and showed true potential. I understand that it fared well with it’s ratings as well, so what gives BBC-One? Their explanation of “in order to create room for new series and to keep increasing the range of drama on BBC”, seems to me, to be the candied-up equivalent of, “because we felt like it”, in this case. (… and maybe add a childish, “Neener, neener, neener!”, to the end of that latter explanation.) Hardly fair to the cast, creators, crew and we fans of the show.