Here's good reasons why Disney+ needs to give Renegade Nell a second season

Renegade Nell has been a delightful show on Disney+ and here are some good reasons the wild historical fantasy series deserves a second season!
(L-R): Louisa Harland as Nell Jackson, Florence Keen as George Trotter, and Bo Bragason as Roxy Trotter in Disney's RENEGADE NELL, Season 1, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Robert Viglasky. © 2024 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Louisa Harland as Nell Jackson, Florence Keen as George Trotter, and Bo Bragason as Roxy Trotter in Disney's RENEGADE NELL, Season 1, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by Robert Viglasky. © 2024 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Renegade Nell has been a surprising delight on Disney+. It wrapped up its first season nicely, yet deserves more attention. Here are a few reasons why Disney+ should give this wild British show a second season!

First, for newcomers, a recap: Renegade Nell is Nell Jackson (Louisa Harland), an Englishwoman in 1705 who enlisted in the army, got married, got widowed, and now returns home. Her father is a good man who runs afoul of the son of the local lord, who beats him to death. Nell confronts him only for the man’s son, Thomas Wilmot (Jake Dunn), to kill him and frame Nell for the crime. 

Forced on the run, Nell takes along her sisters, George (Florence Keen) and Roxy (Bo Bragason). They’re aided by Rasselas (Enyi Okoronkwo), a slave for the Wilmots, as well as Charles Devereux, aka Isambard Tulley (Frank Dillane), a con artist/thief. As she tries to clear her name, Nell falls into the life of a highwaywoman to become a local legend. 

That may all sound somewhat normal except for one thing: Nell is linked to Billy Blind (Nick Mohammad), a sprite who enters her mouth when she’s in danger and imbues Nell with superstrength. With Billy on her side, Nell can toss men around like rag dolls, smash apart walls, and knock bullets out of the air. This connects to a sinister aide planning a Jacobite uprising to endanger Queen Anne (Jodhi May). 

The show’s great style has been a winner, with all eight episodes dropping on March 29. There are good reasons why it works and why a second season is needed. 

Harland is a star

Best known as the goofy Orla on the Irish comedy Derry Girls, Louisa Harland has gotten the star vehicle she deserves with this show. She eats the screen alive as Nell, going from a cocky gal in over her head to some more dramatic moments mourning her father and fighting to keep her family safe. She also handles the stunt work, and how she’s so blase about being this superhero character is fantastic.

From her fun wardrobe to loathing the period dresses and her sarcastic retorts, Harland is an absolute gem. The show rests on her performance and excels thanks to Harland showcasing Nell’s humor, drive, and never giving up despite the odds, which is why the series works so well. 

The supporting cast is just as great

Thankfully, Harland is surrounded by a top-notch supportive cast. Dillane is a nice standout as Charles, always pulling scams and out for himself and that he tries to keep to a dapper life as a crook helps. He and Harland have wonderful chemistry, and there is a chance it could become a quirky romance. Likewise, Keen and Bragson are believable as Nell’s sisters, bickering but supportive and some nice turns to each character. Also, Okoronkwo has a good charm as his character tries to look into his past and enjoys being in a life of freedom. Mohammad has a fun turn as Billy, mostly bright, but a dramatic move in the finale that shows his acting chops. 

There’s also Adrian Lester as Poynton, the main villain, dark and sinister and that he truly believes he’s right trying to overthrow the queen makes him as dangerous as his magics. Alice Kremelberg is marvelous as Sofia Wilmot, who slowly falls into darkness while Thomas wrestles with his actions. Throw in Joely Richardson as a wicked newspaper editor and other brief but notable roles and you’ve got a fun cast that deserves more screen time. 

The comedy is wonderful 

The show is absolutely hilarious, with some wonderful wordplay and clever touches. There’s the theater troupe led by a guy determined to earn fame no matter what. Charles’ arrest and then trial is a comedy of errors with his ego ruining his chances for exoneration. There’s touches like people singing about Nell and the over-the-top talk of her exploits that get wilder as it goes.

A wonderful sight is Polly Honeycombe (Ashna Rabheru), who thinks she’s in a Jane Austen novel, down to “narrating” her exploits and a strange crush on Nell. Her quirky behavior makes her a nice addition later in the season and it would be great for it to continue. The show is just flat out funny and should be able to show more of it in a second season. 

We need more of the magical world 

The show touched on aspects of magic yet the hint they were only scratching the surface. We still don’t know where Billy came from, why he chose Nell and if there are more of him. There was also how George seemed to be gaining some sort of magical abilities herself. The show has a nice balance of people accepting the magic as natural and a second season can have Nell learning more about this world and what her true destiny can be. 

It’s a nice turn on the period drama 

Period dramas are hot now, with shows like Bridgerton, and Nell doing a good spin on it. It has the charm of a period show and given the unique political situation of early 18th century England, there’s plenty more potential to use. That this isn’t a straight-up drama means the show can be more fantastic and even alter history a bit while still capturing the vibe of a past where old-school sensibilities clash with modern slang and attitudes and Season 2 can give it even more drive. 

The finale had a nice sequel hook 

Without giving too many spoilers, Season 1 was unique in wrapping up the main storyline, but enough room for a Season 2. There are still some threats to face and the hint the Jacobites may try again to overthrow the Queen. Nell can be on a path to becoming a true hero, even as she faces a huge personal change. There’s also Rasselas exploring his origins and if he truly is the son of an exiled king. The final shot hinted at another change that could keep Nell’s powers going, and a second season could build up her becoming a true hero and a legend that could keep growing. 

The Critics love it 

Sure, there are lots of critically acclaimed shows that don’t last more than one year. But surely Disney has to pay attention to how critics have gone wild for Nell. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is 86% with critics and 90% with audiences, with huge praise for Harland, the production values, and more. 

Producer Ben Taylor told Radio Times they already have plans for Season 2, which might jump a few years ahead in time and some “crazy, crazy stuff” set up. That, combined with the critical acclaim, should be something to weigh for Disney, even if they haven’t released viewing numbers yet. 

Renegade Nell has just been a blast of a show, from casting to the mix of period drama and fantasy heroics, highlighted by a wonderful leading lady. It would be terrific if Disney+ gave it a second season to continue his wonderful ride. 

Renegade Nell Season 1 streaming on Disney+.