There are spoilers below if you’ve not seen much of Misfits…
It was revealed last night amongst the many stories emerging from Kapow! Comic Con in London that Robert Sheehan will be leaving the BAFTA-winning Misfits. The news was confirmed by the show’s producer, Petra Fried, who said that the character Nathan would not be returning for series three. Arguably the show’s most popular character, Nathan is to make his exit via an online short that will also introduce new character, Rudy.
Sheehan’s departure will come as little surprise to those that have seen his back catalogue of roles across British television and independent film, a filmography which includes a particularly memorable role as the tormented BJ in Channel 4’s bleak Red Riding trilogy.
Sheehan has been destined for stardom for some time and his turn in Misfits, as the unkillable smart arse, has been the role to propel him into the mainstream. The release of Killing Bono a week ago saw Sheehan in his first starring role and has been met with critical praise.
However, the move may put Misfits in jeopardy upon losing its most bankable star. Sheehan played the role of Nathan with energy, empathy and unrestrained wit and the space he leaves will be felt among the ASBO Five. Which is not to belittle the rest of Misfits‘ talented young cast. Iwan Rheon and Antonia Thomas, in particular, have impressed, but at times Misfits has seemed almost reliant on Nathan’s vulgarities. Series one shockingly left his fate hanging in the balance, revealing his immortal status by burying him alive. However, the writers quickly dug him up for the second series, as if afraid his prolonged absence would leave fans reeling.
One thing that been clear about the third series, though, is changes are in motion. The cliffhanger at last year’s Christmas special left the gang with their pick of any brand new powers. Series creator, Howard Overman, has recently confirmed speculation that none of the characters will have their original powers, a plot point that is set to shake things up and conveniently remove Nathan’s immortality. What remains to be seen is whether this will work in the show’s favour or not.
Since its debut, Misfits has gone from strength to strength, handling the obscure and at times the effing ridiculous, from superpowers to gorilla sex. With the same perfect execution, Nathan’s departure could be made equally enjoyable, even necessary. But the character, and Robert Sheehan’s performance, are sure to be missed.
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