Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for The Essex Serpent book and Apple TV+ series
Long before the Apple TV+ adaptation, Sarah Parry’s 2016 novel was already a fan favourite, topping The Sunday Times bestsellers list and firmly holding its own. Based on the exploration of a mythical sea beast thought to lurk around the Essex coast, The Essex Serpent is set to grip fantasy, mythology and history buffs, alongside those who are already fans of the novel. But will there be a season 2 of The Essex Serpent?
The screen adaptation is described as a six-part limited series, suggesting the entire story arc will open and close within one season, per Deadline. It’s less likely the story will continue into a second season, if the first season ends as the book did.
However, it’s also not unheard of for TV shows to take off where the original book left off. After a convincing run, The Essex Serpent novel comes to a close with protagonist Cora (played by Claire Danes) returning to London longing for her married lover (William, played by Tom Hiddleston), who remains in Essex with his sick wife.
After the “reality” of an old wives’ tale (the Blackwater Beast) gains traction, unexplained events begin to take place and fear crashes through the small village and town. But suddenly, less frightening “normal’ explanations crop up, creating a sense of relief for the locals. The book ends in a place where belief in the Blackwater Beast is tailing off. This could be an ideal springboard for a second season to pick up from, ramping up Blackwater Beast hysteria again.
That doesn’t mean spin-offs are out of the question, however, neither writer Anna Symon nor director Clio Barnard have not commented on whether The Essex Serpent will return for a second series. Per the Guardian, British TV driven by sea monsters and revived folklore seem to be all the rage right now, so perhaps The Essex Serpent (inspired by a 17th century British myth) is just the beginning, even without a confirmed second season.