A hit horror series on Netflix, Archive 81 ends on a major cliffhanger. What make the platform want to give it a second season?
Warning, spoilers. It is advisable to have seen the Archive 81 series before continuing to read this article.
Adapted from the eponymous scripted podcast by Marc Sollinger and Daniel Powell, Archive 81 is the latest hit series on Netflix. This horrific thriller, created by Rebecca Sonnenshine (Vampire Diaries, The Boys) and produced by James Wan among others, follows the investigation of Dan Turner (Mamoudou Athie), an archivist who sets about restoring a collection of cassettes damaged video from the early 1990s for Virgil Davenport (Martin Donovan).
As he researches the tapes, he discovers the work of Melody Pendras (Dina Shihabi), a student and documentary filmmaker who was learning about the inhabitants of a New York building, Dan Turner understands that the young woman was in fact trapped by a dangerous sect worshiping the demon Kaelego who controls the inhabitants of this strange building, which was affected by a fire in 1994.
Despite his fear and the family secrets he uncovers, Dan is convinced he can save Melody from the doom she met 25 years ago. Indeed, the young man can communicate with documentary filmmaker who is blocked in a parallel world because of the leader of the sect, Samuel Spare (Evan Jonigkeit), who happens to be Virgil’s brother.
Together with his best friend Mark (Matt McGorry), Dan manages to find a way to open a portal for Melody to return to the real world. But by saving her, Dan is propelled into Melody’s timeline and Samuel disappears. The final episode of Archive 81 ends with Dan’s horror as he realizes he’s stuck in 1994…
Ideas for multiple seasons
With such a cliffhanger, it would be a surprise if Archive 81 didn’t get a second season. Especially since the series is a hit on Netflix by being number 1 in the platform’s top views. But for the moment, the American giant has not yet given the green light for a renewal of the horror series.
In any case, showrunner Rebecca Sonnenshine already has plenty of ideas for the Archive 81 sequel, including Samuel and Virgil Davenport, as she explained to variety :
“I think there’s a lot of stories that we haven’t had a chance to tell in this eight-episode first season. But we know what Davenport is up to and so that’s a big part of the season. 2. It’s great that we can leave people with questions. I definitely try not to answer questions before people ask them. We don’t want to overload them. We have a lot of cool things planned for Virgil Davenport.”
What about video tapes? Now that Dan has restored the videotapes and unraveled the mystery of Melody’s disappearance, you’d think the found footage format wouldn’t be carried over into a potential Season 2. But that won’t be the case according to showrunner Rebecca Sonnenshine:
“There are all kinds of mediums and there are also other media that still exist and that we know of in 1994. So we will not abandon this format. It would not be the same device, but it would be a different window with a similar device. We haven’t been renewed for a season 2 yet but we’ve talked about it quite a bit. Basically, as soon as we finished season 1, we started an email chain to write some ideas for season 2.
So throughout production and post-production, we’ve been compiling ideas and thinking about what’s going to happen in season 2. So we’re ready to get back to work, if we’re lucky enough to have a season 2, we have some really cool stories to tell.”