The Killing Season Three is now available to watch on Netflix UK. But at the moment, you can only see the first episode.
Why? Because it’s being released on the on-demand service on a weekly basis.
In a step away from the usual instant release of TV shows, which sees entire series such as House of Cards and Arrested Development Season Four available in one go, Fox Television Studios and Netflix has opted for a bizarre halfway house between old and new distribution.
In the past, we had to wait a week for the next episode of a TV programme – Game of Thrones fans know that agonising seven-day limbo all too well. Netflix, LOVEFiLM, iTunes, Blinkbox; they’ve changed the way we watch things. Is The Killing 3’s weekly model a step backwards?
The remake of Danish series Forbrydelsen, starring detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman), has had mixed reviews, but after two successful series has definitely built up a following.
“We wanted to make each new episode available as soon as possible,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer at Netflix.
There’s a certain logic there – agree a deal with Fox so you can get it as close to broadcast as possible. With Sky’s Now TV buying up rights to movies in the UK like nobody’s business, the rush to get any title on-demand first is what gives a VOD provider the edge in the market.
Fans of BBC 4’s weekly doses of subtitled crime shows, including The Killing, will be very familiar with the other problem of linear TV: the expiry date. If you don’t manage to record something and have to rely on BBC’s (fantastic) iPlayer, you can catch up on The Killing to your heart’s content – until a week later when it’s removed. BBC productions offer a full back catalogue of episodes during a series, as do a lot of shows on 4OD, but there’s always a risk of rights getting in the way. And once the series has ended on TV, you can bet it won’t stick around for free.
Netflix’s weekly acquisition, then, may be a step backwards but still takes a stride forward. The next episode of The Killing Season 3 won’t be available until next Monday. It will still be available next month.