If binging The Queen’s Gambit has you dreaming up chess moves in your sleep, you might a) be suffering from election-season stress and b) want another season of the popular Netflix series. The drama follows Beth Harmon, a young orphan whose underestimated intelligence begets a talent for chess that leads her to the grandmaster stage in the 1960s. But as men in the 1960s are wont to do, they scoff at her gender, putting yet another roadblock along her path to fame.
The Queen’s Gambit quickly shot up the Netflix Top 10 list, but given its status as a limited series, its fate remains as yet unknown after the final episode. Here’s what that means for a potential Season 2 of your new favorite show.
The good news: The cast would consider returning for more.
Actress Anya Taylor-Joy, who plays Beth, told Town & Country that “I adore the character, and I would certainly come back if I was asked to.” That said, she feels the character was left in a triumphant place, and she’s content to leave it at that.
But she’s far from the only cast member keeping an eye open in case the showrunners call them back to set. Harry Melling, who plays Harry Beltik, told Town & Country that he, too, is interested. "It’d be good, right, a Queen’s Gambit part two?” he said. “The place we end in the limited series is the place we end in the book. I don’t know if there can be another one, but stranger things have happened."
The bad news: The source material has run out.
The show is based on the book of the same name by Walter Tevis, who wrote the story of Beth Harmon after experiencing a similar love of chess growing up—and a similar dependency on drugs. He was diagnosed with a rheumatic heart as a child and given large drug doses as a result, which turned into a dependency.
“I consider 'The Queen's Gambit' a tribute to brainy women,” Tevis told The New York Times in 1983. “I like Beth for her bravery and intelligence. In the past, many women have had to hide their brains, but not today.''
Unfortunately, Tevis never wrote a sequel to the novel, and the Netflix adaptation ends where the book ends, leaving few loose ends for the source material to tie up.
The good news: There’s precedent for limited series getting renewed.
Still, there’s reason to believe that, if fans cry out loud enough, they’ll be heard. Limited series such as Big Little Lies have come back for another season after enough fans showed interest, creating new material that expanded upon the book. The problem is, not all fans actually liked these additions to beloved books, and some creators might be skittish to try the grand experiment again.
The bad news: The creators are happy with where they left things.
All around, it seems the people behind The Queen’s Gambit aren’t anxious to get back behind the camera. They’re at peace with what they’ve created.
“This was the single best experience I've had in a 30-some-odd year career full of really nice experiences. So it's saying a lot,” writer-director Scott Frank told Entertainment Weekly. “I have no idea how people are going to take it, but it's the first time I'm willing to admit just how happy I am. Normally I'm afraid to ever say that.”
“Maybe we can just let the audience imagine what comes next,” executive producer William Horberg told T&C.
So if you’re dreaming of chess, keep dreaming—you aren’t likely to see more of Beth’s story on screen.
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