Picnic at Hanging Rock is an Australian mystery drama that premiered on May 6, 2018, in Australia on Foxtel’s Showcase. The show premiered in the UK in July and was later acquired by other different networks like Canal+ (France), RTE (Ireland), ERT (Greece) and Amazon Prime (USA).
The show is an adaptation of Joan Lindsay’s novel of the same name that was published in 1967. The novel since then has become a potent part of the Australian literature and was once again popularized almost a decade later, with its movie adaptation ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ that released in 1976.
The show is based in the era of 1900. Three young female students of Appleyard School along with their governess, go missing in Hanging Rock on St Valentine’s Day and since then, a series of mysteries begin to unfold. Once the viewers are done obsessing with the ending, the first question that arises in their mind is whether the story is based on true incidents. To answer that, let’s go back a little.
Joan Lindsay in her novel cited pseudo-historic prologue and epilogue that gave the readers an impression of a true story. Though, if researched in detail, one would easily find out that the references have nothing to do with the reality. The Appleyard College does not exist in real and the Valentine’s Day of the year 1900 fell on Wednesday and not Saturday (as mentioned in the book). When asked, Lindsay refused to give any straightforward answer and said “Well, it was written as a mystery and it remains a mystery. If you can draw your own conclusions, that’s fine, but I don’t think that matters.”
The show has an ambiguous ending, which leaves the readers perplexed and curious for a very long time. There have been many fan theories over the years, but the real mystery always remains untold. Well, to answer the mystery of Picnic at Hanging Rock season 2, let us rewind what we know so far. Also, there might be some spoilers ahead.
Picnic at Hanging Rock Cast: Who’s in it?
While the show is filled with secondary recurring cast, the main characters are limited to few. Natalie Dormer, best known for the role of Margaery Tyrell in ‘Game of Thrones‘, plays the character of the headmistress Mrs. Hester Appleyard and Lola Bessis plays Mademoiselle Dianne de Poitiers. Lily Sullivan, Samara Weaving, and Madeleine Madden play the roles of the girls that go missing – Miranda Reid, Irma Leopold, and Marion Quade respectively.
Inez Curro plays the character of Sara Waybourne while Ruby Rees plays Edith Horton. Harrison Gilbertson plays the role of Michael Fitzhubert, a young Englishman present during the scene of picnic, Yael Stone plays Miss Lumley, Anna McGahan is seen as Miss McCraw and Philip Quast plays Arthur Appleyard, the late husband of Hester.
Picnic at Hanging Rock Plot: What is it about?
The headmistress of Appleyard allows her students along with some teachers to go out for a picnic to a nearby landscape called Hanging Rock. Three popular girls of the school, named Miranda, Irma and Marion go missing along with their governess Miss McCraw. While a search group is organized to find the missing people, different people have different stories to report. While Edith, a fellow student reports that she saw a red cloud consuming them, French mistress Dianne de Poitiers claims that she saw two horsemen near the location. Meanwhile, the governor’s nephew, Mike Fitzhubert and the stable boy are seen to intensify their search.
Mike finally finds Rothschild heiress Irma Leopold, but to everyone’s surprise and disappointment, she confesses to remember nothing. Another revelation is made when Miss Lumley finds evidence of homosexuality in the belongings of Miss McCraw.
With all the chaos happening around, Hester seems the most affected by everything. She is forced to revisit her dark past while at the same time, suspecting that Sara, the orphan child, knows something about all the disappearances. Sarah happens to escape the school and Hester hides this fact by lying that her guardians took her away. Hester is convinced that her vile husband is behind all the disappearances. In order to save her life, she runs to the Hanging Rock, where she ultimately meets her death. Before dying, she also discovers the secret lives of queerness that her missing students lived.
The story ends without any definite conclusions. While there have been many theories in the past, there has never been a satisfactory answer, and probably that is the beauty of this evergreen thriller. Reportedly, in one of the endings written by Lindsay in the original draft of the story, it was revealed that the girls, under some trance, transformed into different creatures.
Many people also like to believe that there was some supernatural force like time-lapse behind all the disappearances as in the original novel and movie, the characters’ wrist-watches happened to stop at the same time and Lindsay herself reported that at many occasions, she felt time pausing for her (literally).
While there have also been theories related to aliens and everything being Hester’s illusion, the show gives hints to support one of the most popular theories of fans. Audiences like to argue that the girls ran because of the complexity of their true identity.
“I want people to argue about it,” said Kondracki, the director of the show and emphasized that its “not so much about what happened to the girls – but who were they? Why did they want to run away in the first place?”
Picnic at Hanging Rock Season 2 Release: When will it premiere?
Picnic at Hanging Rock premiered on May 25, 2018 on Amazon Prime. All the episodes were released on the same day.
If you have read or followed the novel of the same name, you’d know that it is one of the most acclaimed works of Australian literature. The reason for that is the ambiguity and mystery that the readers are left with by the end of the book. The show pretty much covers everything in the book, so unless, the writers come up with something original, it’s unlikely that the show will be renewed.
The fact that there has been no official announcement by the network or by the makers yet is very telling. So, considering everything, Picnic at Hanging Rock season 2 is probably cancelled.
Picnic at Hanging Rock Trailer
You can catch the trailer of the enticing thriller below
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