It's been over two years since TV series Taboo first aired on the BBC – and now the show's creator has explained why fans have had to wait so long for the subversive period drama to return.


The series, set in Victorian London and starring Tom Hardy as the dark, mysterious James Delaney, was recommissioned by the BBC in March 2017.

However, writer Steven Knight told that the show was forced to take a "hiatus" following the birth of star and co-creator Hardy's second child.

"Taboo heads west and becomes a little bit more narcotic, more opium-affected," Knight said in February 2019. "I've written the first six episodes, and there are two more to do. We had a hiatus obviously because Charlotte [Riley, Tom Hardy's wife] had a baby, but then we’ll be back on it."

According to reports, Riley and Hardy welcomed the birth of their second child in December 2018. Filming for the second series of Taboo is expected to begin later in 2019.

Steven Knight and Tom Hardy at the launch of Taboo (BBC)

This is not the first time that Hardy has had to balance family life with work on Taboo. Ahead of the first series, he told Esquire how he began filming series one just three weeks after the birth of his first child.

Taboo is co-created with screenwriter Knight, star Hardy and his father Chips Hardy.

Both writer and star however have been working on numerous projects since series one was released. Knight is the creator behind hit BBC drama Peaky Blinders, which returns for a fourth series later in 2019. He has also written and directed new movie Serenity, a thriller starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway.

Hardy meanwhile has starred in Hollywood movie Venom, and is set to lead Knight's upcoming BBC adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

The BBC was "mad" to put Taboo on TV on a Saturday night

The BBC confirmed in March 2017 that Taboo would return for a second series, with BBC director of content Charlotte Moore calling it a "phenomenal success".

The series aired in an unusual time slot on a Saturday night on BBC1, but Moore added that "record numbers" of viewers for the series on BBC iPlayer helped secure the drama a second series.

"Their decision to put something like Taboo, which is pretty on the edge, on a Saturday night on BBC1 was mad," Knight said.

"But it was inspired too, because it worked. It got people talking, and it sort of created that slot: it was a trailblazer for that Saturday night drama."

While fans wait for Taboo series two, Knight is about to see the release of Serenity.

He told that, like Taboo, the noir thriller was deliberately designed to challenge expectations.

"What I wanted was to construct this story – and then completely destroy it, pull everything out," he said. "Making a film attracts so many rules: the three acts, a character arc. People think that is making a film, but it’s not; it’s just a way of making a film. I wanted to completely disrupt that."

Serenity is released in cinemas and on Sky Cinema from 1 March 2019


This article was originally published in February 2019

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