Spaced Was Tied Too Closely To Edgar Wright's Life For Him To Make A Season 3

Flatmates have always been a goldmine for sitcoms, but the format was especially abundant on British TV in the '90s. You had Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmonson beating the crap out of each other in ultra-violent slapstick fashion in "Bottom," Ben Chaplin playing an agoraphobic roomie from hell in "Game On," and two guys talking about boobs and drinking beer in the roaringly popular and very laddish "Men Behaving Badly." Even "Red Dwarf" was basically the same formula, just set on a spacecraft three million years in the future where one flatmate was an android and another evolved from the ship's cat. Then you had "Friends" on its immensely successful Channel 4 run, like an affluent and super good-looking acquaintance wafting into a party full of slightly down-at-heel guests to dazzle with its slick writing and to-die-for New York apartments.

Each show had its own specific style, but nothing on telly at the time was quite like "Spaced." The two seasons of Edgar Wright's beloved cult sitcom had all the regular elements — comic misunderstandings, squabbling, reconciliations, bonding, and eccentric side characters — but it was clearly cut from a different cloth. "Spaced" was cinematic, both in the sense that it was packed with movie references, and that it provided an early showcase for Wright's now-familiar witty editing, crash zooms, quirky transitions, and breakneck whip-pans. When the all-too-brief show concluded its second season in 2001, it seemed fully ripe for a third series. Tragically, it never came to pass. What happened?

So what happens in Spaced again?

Tim (Simon Pegg) is a 20-something wannabe graphic artist who makes ends meet working in a comic store, and is trying to find a new flat after his girlfriend dumps him. Also on the house hunt is Daisy (Jessica Stevenson), an aspiring writer who rarely gets around to actually writing something. They meet in a cafe and share their frustrations about how hard it is to find a decent place because most landlords seem to want couples only.

Then they strike upon an idea: Why not pretend to be together so they can land the right digs? After building themselves a backstory for their made-up relationship, they view a flat owned by Marsha (Julia Deakin), a chain-smoking single mother. They survive Marsha's interrogation and get the keys to their new home.

The set-up is initially a relationship of convenience, but Tim and Daisy gradually develop a strong friendship that leads in a potentially romantic direction. In the meantime, we also meet Tim's best mate Mike (Nick Frost), a military nut who is in the Territorial Army, Daisy's childhood friend Twist (Katy Carmichael), a fashion-conscious airhead, and Brian (Mark Heap), a struggling artist who leans heavily into said struggle for his disturbing paintings. Also popping in from time to time is Tyres (Michael Smiley), Tim's cycle courier and party monster with a goldfish-like attention span and wild mood swings.

"Spaced" is celebrated for its classic set pieces, from the shootout scene where the boys mime an elaborate Mexican standoff which ends in an imaginary bloodbath to a hallucinatory zombie apocalypse caused by Tim playing too much "Resident Evil 2." Despite Wright's frequent stylistic flourishes, the characters are what makes the show so endearing, and the second season ends in will-they-won't-they fashion regarding Tim and Daisy's relationship.

Why didn't we get a third season of Spaced?

After the success of "Spaced," Edgar Wright had his sights set on the big screen. The eye-catching zombie scene in season 1 planted the seed for "Shaun of the Dead," and he decided not to work on anything else until he'd written the screenplay and got it greenlit. Another reason was far more prosaic (via Esquire):

"I think one of the reasons that we didn't do a third series is because we'd literally grown out of being those people a little bit. I feel like the show is an extension of us, how we were living at the time, and we did all live in North London — me, Simon and Jess all lived not far away from Tufnell Park."

Nevertheless, the question of whether Tim and Daisy would get together or not remained a popular topic among "Spaced" fans, something addressed in the making-of documentary "Skip to the End." I'm not spoiling it; if you want to know, hunt it down and do what the title says. In the film, Pegg also said that he and Stevenson had the characters' lives planned 50 years into the future.

Time has done little to dampen "Spaced" fans' desire for a third season, an idea Pegg squashed in 2018 when he told NME:

"The more they ask, the less likely it is. It couldn't possibly ever exist again... I don't know what I have to say that's relatable about life now. It's not gonna happen, kids, unless you want a sitcom about some clueless actor who can't tie his own shoelaces."

As for Tim and Daisy's relationship, I think it's best left like the whisper at the end of "Lost in Translation," something made all the sweeter for not knowing.