Sense8 fans rejoice! Your campaign to revive the recently canceled cable series has had a degree of success. Netflix decided to give you a two hour episode in which a degree of closure can be had. Consider it a wake for the dead.
If you’re unfamiliar with Sense8, it was a Netflix production created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski. The series was known for its lavish sets, intercontinental venues and large multicultural cast of fifteen diverse actors. Season Two took eight months to film in a dozen locations across four continents.
Sense8 starred Tuppence Middleton, Brian J. Smith, Doona Bae, Aml Ameen, Max Riemelt, Tina Desai, Miguel Ángel Silvestre and Jamie Clayton as eight strangers who become mentally and emotionally linked through an unknown means.
The very reason the show was popular, its vistas and strong acting talents, put it in the sights for cancellation. The Netflix leadership has in recent months decided to start reining in spending. They began their bean-counting by cutting two of their more expensive series Sense8, and The Get Down. Other cancellations included: Marco Polo, Bloodline and Girlboss.
Though fans would have preferred Sense8 be renewed, the creators and Netflix appear to have agreed to give the fans a two hour window of closure in order.
Sense8 was a sumptuous feast of complexity, humanity, sensuality and diversity. The show highlighted a group of interesting characters, each with their own issues who discover they are able to mentally share their thoughts and experiences with each other over planetary distances. No matter where they were, they were able to, with a bit of practice, reach out to each other and communicate as if they were in the same room together. Yes, they could even share physical sensations. Yes, they could share sexual experiences which made for amazing orgy scenes and outstanding fight choreography.
The cluster (what a group of Sensates were called) discovered they were not the only members of this genetic transformation of humanity and if left unchecked such a group mind experience would eventually become the norm across the planet.
Not everyone is a fan of mentally-networked orgies and telepathic communities. A hidden enemy sought out clusters, infiltrated and then eliminated the members. It was at the end of season two when we discover the nature of their enemies. In the last episode of season two. Right at the very end of the episode we see our cluster finally get their act together to fight back. Now what?
Like so many such efforts in the past, I don’t expect the quality of the closure episode to reach the previous high standards of Sense8. A beautifully filmed experience can only suffer in a two hour window if your goal is to relay twenty four hours worth of story.
All I can remember is the half-hearted Farscape closure episode where they tried to shoehorn an entire season in a two hours. Fans were grateful and yet still not truly satisfied. Left with a glimpse of what might have been, we staggered off into the desert muttering to ourselves about the trainwreck that was a show we loved.
Buckle up Sense8 fans, you will now be able to know exactly what I’m talking about firsthand. The show was slow to gather speed to me, but eventually I began to enjoy it. There were no protagonists I hadn’t come to feel something for and the villains reveled in their evil. They were completely monstrous in every way, yet I was able to relate to their fear of the Sensates as the future of the species.
The date of their two hour special is expected to be some time next year. It’s sad we will never know this series true greatness.
Thaddeus Howze is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and activist creating speculative fiction, scientific, political and cultural commentary from his office in Hayward, California.
Thaddeus’ speculative fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He has published two books, ‘Hayward’s Reach’ (2011), a collection of short stories and ‘Broken Glass’ (2013) an urban fantasy novella starring his favorite paranormal investigator, Clifford Engram.