Today, Starz has announced that its limited series The Missing, which first aired on BBC One in the U.K, will get a sequel series. It will again be an eight-part series, and also again written by brothers Harry and Jack Williams. Like this first run, the story will be told over two time frames, but will focus on a new case, a new location, and new characters. Hit the jump for why you should approach this news with cautious optimism.
Can the terms “miniseries” or “limited engagement” really be taken seriously anymore? The latter allows for more wiggle room, at least; if the series is a hit, there’s a possibility of sequel, while if it bombs, it can quietly disappear into the ether. The Missing should certainly not disappear — it is one of 2014 most affecting new series, and an outstanding entry to a crowded field of crime dramas.
Starz acquired The Missing from the BBC, and its new episodes air two weeks after those in Britain. There, the series pulled over 7 million each week. On Starz, a more obscure, premium channel here in the U.S., the numbers were significantly lower. Still, The Missing is a great investment for Starz if the network is looking to build up more critically acclaimed programming. In fact, it’s already paying off: the series was nominated for two Golden Globes, Best Mini-Series, and Best Actress in a Mini-Series (Frances O’Connor).
The Missing’s first season has followed an English couple, Tony and Emily Hughes (James Nesbitt and O’Connor), as they vacationed in France in 2006. Their young son, Oliver, was abducted, and the investigation went nowhere. Eight years later, Tony is still searching for the truth of what happened. The series jumps back and forth between time frames, and has introduced a rich and complicated world of supporting characters, all against a dark, but gorgeously filmed European backdrop.
One of The Missing‘s greatest traits, though, is its one writer (or writing team) / one director setup throughout its run, something it shares with HBO’s True Detective. But unlike True Detective, it appears like The Missing will keep that format for this sequel season.
While it would be great to see more from the Williams, it’s hard to conceive of how they could top their work on this first season. Proceed with cautious optimism, and catch up on this great, emotional new series if you haven’t already.
The Missing airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. on Starz.