The dank, gloomy and surreal Tom Hardy epic Taboo has quickly become the next major TV sensation, awash in mumbly plotting, vague back-stories and ambiguous incest. But one of the show’s other mysteries is whether it is indeed a ‘limited series’ as it has been previously billed, or rather a series that can run for multiple seasons.
Speaking to the A.V. Club at this week’s Television Critics Association press tour, co-creator Steven Knight has reportedly confirmed that there will be a second season of the show, meaning there will be many more opportunities to ponder the East India Company over the next few years.
“We have plans — well, certainly I have plans — if we get given the green light for more,” he said. “The plan is that there would be three seasons, and, as with Peaky Blinders, I have had a destination in mind from the beginning, because I think it helps as a writer. The destination in mind is that James Keziah Delaney sets foot on Nootka Sound. But that’s a long way off.”
Nootka Sound is the land at the centre of the war between Hardy’s character James Delaney and the East India Company, James claiming his late father owned the land, and the Company wanting to acquire it for trade purposes. In reality, the land is just off the coast of Canada.
The TCA panel also gave both Knight and Hardy the opportunity to talk about what inspired the series. Hardy and his father Chips devised the character as an amalgamation of Sikes from Oliver Twist, Marlow from Heart of Darkness, and Jack the Ripper, and then brought the idea to Knight.
“We begged Steve to write our story because we had a concept and a basic treatment of the character,” Hardy said. “Steve was busy and he had an offer informally, which was, ‘If you do Locke and Peaky Blinders, I would love to do your pilot and rewrite your title.’ That’s where it all started, and the three of us set about trying to create a new piece of work.”
Hardy would subsequently agree to Knight’s offer. He headlined his 2013 film Locke, and later stole the show as Jewish gangland boss Alfie Solomons in the BBC drama series.
Knight also revealed that his interpretation of the series’ principal themes doesn’t actually involve the show’s London setting.
“This is, amongst other things, the story of America,” he told a gathered crowd of journalists. “Their natural destination at this time is America. These are how Americans came about, and that’s another thing that this series will come to explore.”