Intelligent Drama – Are viewers getting lazy, or is it all about the promotion?


Still no word from BBC America about a second season for ‘Intruders’, the spooky and compelling paranormal thriller about ex-LAPD cop Jack Whelan’s quest to find out what is up with his wife Amy following her disappearance and reappearance on a work trip, only to find his world torn apart as he learns that she is involved with a secret society which brings people back from the dead. Billed as ‘intelligent drama’ and chock-full of symbolism, ‘Intruders’  asks how well we really know anyone (even ourselves) and (like ‘Fringe’ and ‘The X Files’ before it) kept viewers guessing all the way to the end of its first season. It also had a stellar cast (John Simm, Mira Sorvino, James Frain and promising newcomer Millie Brown), a creepy score by Bear McCreary (who also did the score for the recent  ‘Battlestar Galactica’ reboot), a more-than-competent adaptation by Glen Morgan from the book by Michael Marshall, and was beautifully shot by directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Stamm.

I remember watching ‘The X-Files’ for years, as did millions of other viewers. We werent afraid to wait for answers, indeed, like ‘Fringe’, confusion and tension were part and parcel of what made both shows so compelling. And ‘Battlestar Galactica’ strung us out for several long years and gave the lead characters story arcs that actors would die for.

‘Intruders’ had all these elements, and yet despite a great advertising campaign by BBC America, and a less-than-satisfactory one by BBC2 (which carried it in the UK, two whole months after it premiered in the US on the same night as Peter Capaldi’s first outing as Doctor Who – a great opportunity missed in my opinion), the show has yet to be picked up for a second season, despite the cliff hanger at the end of episode 8.

So is Intelligent Drama no longer must-see television? Or was ‘Intruders’ lower-than-expected rating simply a result of a stellar lack of commitment on the part of the parent TV channel, BBC2??

Answers on a postcard please….