'The Castaways' Joins 'No Escape' As Another Paramount+ Show Without a U.S. Home

Céline Buckens as Erin and Sheridan Smith as Lori hold hands on the beach in 'The Castaways'

Céline Buckens as Erin and Sheridan Smith as Lori in 'The Castaways'

© Clapperboard Studios/Paramount+/Marq Riley

It is rude to speak ill of the dead, especially when they haven't actually passed away yet, but it is commonly understood in Hollywood that Paramount Studio's chances of surviving 2024 without a miracle are slim to none. It's merely a matter of who buys the studio and how it is broken up and sold for parts. However, the network, especially the slow-motion collapsing streaming service, is currently not doing itself any favors. In 2022, it put dozens and dozens of international originals into production to help bolster its offerings. Those series are now being frittered away, showing up on Freevee and Roku with no warning and less fanfare, if they turn up at all.

Two of those who haven't come over are the adaptations of Lucy Clarke's best-selling novels. First, there was No Escape (which was commissioned in March 2022 and released in early 2023), based on Clarke's book The Blue. Just as the trailer for that arrived, Paramount announced it was already working on the next one, The Castaways, based on Clarke's novel of the same name. The TV limited series was right in line with multiple hits on TV and streaming, including Showtime's Yellowjackets and Amazon Prime Video's The Wilds, where a lost-like plane crash scenario becomes more complicated the longer the survivors remain on the island.

Starring Sheridan Smith (Four Lives) and Céline Buckens (Showtrial) as sisters Lori and Erin, who have a massive fight before the former goes missing in a plane crash, the series has debuted in the U.K. to reviews that call Smith the best part of the series. Dropping it on Paramount+ U.S. would seem like a no-brainer, at least to get subscribers to tune in for one or two episodes.

Here's the show's official synopsis:

After they have a huge flight, Lori boards a plane to Fiji, while Erin does not. The flight never arrives at its tropical destination and months later no wreckage has been located. Erin suddenly hears Lori’s credit card has been used on a remote Fijian island and she later recognizes the pilot on CCTV. She boards a plane to Fiji to track down the truth. The show jumps between the perspectives of the two sisters, with Erin undertaking an investigation in the modern day and Lori struggling to survive after surviving a crash on a remote island. The truth about what happened to the plane and its passengers is slowly revealed, with someone willing to kill to keep it secret.

However, The Castaways isn't the only one adrift on the streaming ocean with no U.S. destination in sight. No Escape is a murder-mystery that was initially released on Paramount+ U.K. in May 2023, and no one has heard a peep about it since, and searching FAST sites has turned up nothing. 

Here's the series' official synopsis:

No Escape follows best friends Lana and Kitty, who are on the run from their lives in the UK. Together they find refuge on a romantic yacht, The Blue, crewed by a group of enigmatic people sailing through South East Asia. But The Blue harbours dark secrets and the paradise the girls thought they had found turns into a nightmare.

Like The Castaways, No Escape centers on two sisters, played by Abigail Lawrie (Good Omens) as Lana and Rhianne Barreto (The Outlaws) as Kitty. Notably, the two shows come from different production studios and writing/directing teams, so these aren't the beginnings of a Clarke Interconnected Universe, simply Paramount+ trying to get multiple adaptations of the same author's works. Not a bad idea, just too bad they're not actually trying to let Americans watch it.

Hopefully, No Escape and The Castaways will eventually find streaming homes here in the U.S.


Ani Bundel has been blogging professionally since 2010. A DC native, Hufflepuff, and Keyboard Khaleesi, she spends all her non-writing time taking pictures of her cats. Regular bylines also found on MSNBC, Paste, Primetimer, and others. 

A Woman's Place Is In Your Face. Cat Approved. Find her on BlueSky and other social media of your choice: @anibundel.bsky.social

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