It took nearly 37 years for The Dark Crystal to see its story expanded onscreen. Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance premiered last summer to critical acclaim, both for its storytelling and the intricacy and imaginativeness of its puppetry, but, despite ending on a cliffhanger, its first season will also be its last. As reported by io9, Age of Resistance’s cancellation has been confirmed by both Netflix and Jim Henson Company CEO and executive producer Lisa Henson.
“We can confirm that there will not be an additional season of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance,” Henson said in a statement. “We know fans are eager to learn how this chapter of The Dark Crystal saga concludes and we’ll look for ways to tell that story in the future.”
Her statement continues, making note of the Emmy it literally just won:
“Our company has a legacy of creating rich and complex worlds that require technical innovation, artistic excellence, and masterful storytelling. Our history also includes productions that are enduring, often finding and growing their audience over time and proving again and again that fantasy and science fiction genres reflect eternal messages and truths that are always relevant. We are so grateful to Netflix for trusting us to realize this ambitious series; we are deeply proud of our work on Age of Resistance, and the acclaim it has received from fans, critics and our peers, most recently receiving an Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program.”
Considering the years of work that went into the first season and the massive amount of talent needed to create the magical world of Thra, this isn’t wholly surprising. It is, however, disappointing, as there was much more story to tell. “We know how it ends. We pitched the ending in the beginning, in the first day. And now it’s about the journey, and the fun of it is figuring it out as a team,” co-creator Jeffrey Addiss told us last year. “We know where they’re going. We don’t always know how they’re going to get there, but we’re looking forward to figuring that out if we’re given the opportunity to keep going. So that’s why we’re here talking about it: We hope we get to tell those stories. But you know, in the words of Aughra, ‘beginning, end—all the same.’ Which, when you think about it, makes no sense.”
We praised Age Of Resistance’s “practical-effects wizardry” in our review last year, writing that the show is is “the best type of YA fantasy fiction, engrossing and escapist and full of hidden depths, ideal for viewers weaned on Harry Potter and The Legend Of Zelda but not quite ready for George R.R. Martin.”
No clear reason was given for the show’s cancellation, but, as io9 points out, a recent piece in The Hollywood Reporter touched on the network’s displeasure with the show’s performance. Per an unnamed source, it was described as an “expensive disappointment.”
“We are grateful to the master artists at the Jim Henson Company for bringing The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance to life for fans around the world,” Netflix said in a statement of their own. “We’re thankful to the executive producers Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford, and Louis Leterrier, who also directed all episodes, as well as the writers, cast and crew for their outstanding work and thrilled they were recognized with the Emmy this weekend.”
We are, too. And we hope the team behind it finds a way to forge ahead, no matter the medium.