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‘Archive 81’ cancelled: Find out what season 2 had in store

Created by Rebecca Sonnenshine, Archive 81 wowed Netflix users with its slow-burn premise since its premiere in January 2022. It became one of the most-watched Netflix horror series due to its ominous setting. 

From demonic cults and sinister gods to time travel and other supernatural and occult disturbances within the narrative, the series, loosely based on a 2018 podcast of the same name, has garnered the attention of horror aficionados. 

The show records the obsession of an archivist who tries to get to the bottom of a fateful tragedy. Sonnenshine’s experience with The Exorcism of Emily Rose helped her build the brilliant premise for the show. The Conjuring universe filmmaker James Wan served as the producer on the show. The podcast creators, Marc Sollinger and Daniel Powell, too, serve as series development creators. 

Although Sonnenshine tried to provide a “new twist” to the genre with a terrifying, visual adventure, Netflix has sadly cancelled the show and Archive 81 will not be making a return for a second season. 

Here’s what season two had in store if Netflix were to renew it: 

‘Archive 81’ cancelled: Find out what season 2 had in store

When did Archive 81 premiere on Netflix? 

Archive 81 debuted on Netflix on Friday, January 14th, 2022. 

When did Netflix cancel Archive 81

On Thursday, March 25th, 2022, Deadline reported Netflix to have allegedly cancelled Archive 81 for season two. 

Why did Netflix cancel Archive 81

The news of cancellation has shocked fans as Archive 81 performed extremely well ever since its release on the streamer in January  2022. It managed to get a 100 per cent rating from viewers on Rotten Tomatoes while critics gave it a generous score of 81 per cent. The series even reigned the top ten charts for nearly three weeks, peaking at the second spot and often reaching the first spot in some countries. 

Since the show performed so well, it is yet unknown why Netflix chose to cancel the show for a second season run. 

How many episodes did Archive 81 have? Who were the members of cast? 

Filmed mainly in various areas across Pittsburgh, Archive 81 had eight hour-long episodes. 

The show had a very diverse set of cast members. Mamadou Athie starred as the protagonist Dan Turner while Dina Shibabi played the role of Melody Pendras, the woman whom Dan is willing to save. Other cast members included Martin Donovan as Virgil, Julia Chan as Anabelle, Evan Jonigkeit as Samuel, Matt McGorry as Mark and Ariana Neal as Jess. 

What happened in the first season of Archive 81?

The first season of the series revolves around an archivist named Dan Turner who must restore damaged tapes back from 1994. In this endeavour, he finds himself putting together the work of a filmmaker named Melody Pendras as she investigates a sinister cult at the Visser apartment.  

This ignited in Dan the fatalistic urge to save her from the terrifying fate. The finale e sees Dan waking up in an unfamiliar environment on a hospital bed after seeing Melody being yanked into his timeline. Then Dan is informed that he has survived the notorious Visser fire and then Kurt Loder is seen announcing Kurt Cobain’s death. 

Dan wants to save Melody and succeeds in his daunting mission. However, he loses himself in the process. While Melody is reunited with her mother and meets Dan’s friend, Mark, neither Samuel nor Dan show up.  

The series drives in the idea of co-existing parallel timelines that night confuse viewers, raising a variety of questions regarding the same which the showrunner, Rebecca Sonnenshine had promised to answer in season two. 

What could have happened in Archive 81 season two?  

Sonnenshine had spoken to Variety about the ending of the show and confirmed that Turner was in the 90s timeline. Addressing the question about people assimilating into various timelines after sauntering into The Otherworld, she talked about “little holes” that serve as “little entry and exit points” into various timelines that “people have gotten kind of mixed up”, perhaps exiting through the wrong door into a different timeline altogether. 

The antagonist of the first season, Samuel had disappeared by the end of the season. Sonnenshine had revealed that he is a pivotal component of the show’s narratives and his whereabouts would definitely be an “exciting branch of our story” to explore in the second season.  

She had also promised to explore the exploits of Liam Davenport and his mysterious mechanisms while promising “cool stuff” in store for his character. 

She had promised to delve deeper into the “things that had not made it into the season”. In a fateful turn of events, her statement, “We’re ready to go, should we be so lucky to get a season 2, we have some really cool stories to tell”, will always continue to haunt fans who desperately wanted a second season. 

Although the podcast ran for three seasons, Netflix has cancelled Archive 81 after just one, very successful season.