Taboo co-creator Steven Knight has confirmed plans for the FX series to only run for three seasons total. Knight, Tom Hardy and Edward “Chips” Hardy’s highly-strange and outlandish period drama premiered in the United Kingdom and the United States this past January, received mostly positive reviews from critics highlighting Tom Hardy’s performance as the mysterious, intense and brooding James Delaney – despite the series’ slow burn and drawn-out feel. Taboo season 2 was officially confirmed back in March, at which point Knight first alluded to plans for a three season arc.
Taboo season 2 will continue to follow the brutal story of James Delaney after he made his daring and dangerous escape from London in 1814 after the death of his half-sister Zilpha Geary (Oona Chaplin), leaving behind his servant Brace (David Hayman) and his step-mother Lorna Bow’s (Jessie Buckley) life in peril, after being shot before escaping with Delany on his ship. Delany also enacted his revenge against the East India Company’s Sir Stuart Strange (Jonathan Pryce), after a fiery explosion claimed his life.
In an interview with the Huffington Post UK, Knight confirmed that Taboo will only run three seasons and hinted about the path James Delaney’s story will be taking over the course of the three seasons he has planned out. Here is what Knight had to say about the timeline of Taboo:
“I can feel the three acts. The first was ‘the escape’. The second will be ‘the journey’ and the third will be ‘the arrival’, and that’ll be it. I don’t think the story will be what viewers are expecting, but hopefully they’ll enjoy it.”
Knight also delved into the specific type of violence that has become a staple for the series – with explosions, gruesome stabbings, spousal violence and graphic murders following Delany seemingly everywhere he goes (and plaguing everyone he meets). Here is what Knight had to say about his use of violence in Taboo and why his use of violence is grounded in the reality of the era of London the series is set in:
“It’s not simple violence. It’s dealing with a time when violence was much more acceptance, plus this kind of drama is about extreme situations, when people’s behaviour is pushed beyond the borders of normal.”
The series first originated from a story written by Chips and Tom Hardy (the latter being known for such films as The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max: Fury Road and his upcoming WWII movie Dunkirk). Knight, who also worked with Hardy on his other hit period drama series Peaky Blinders on BBC, was approached by the two wanting to transform their story into a small screen drama. In addition to breaking down the next seasons of Taboo and discussing his use of violence in the series, Knight also talked about why he’s passionate about telling stories set in history:
“You have to work really hard to make history boring. There was always lots going on, with structures failing, being rebuilt. History has always been taught in terms of kings and queens, and actually the real drama is at the far less stable points in society. That’s where I find my stories.”