Setauket Sojourns and (Spy)curious Silences

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There has been an awful lot of suspicious silence circulating through the TURN community lately. For example, If your only means of following “TURN to a Historian” is through this WordPress blog, you may have wondered if the historians have TURNed to hibernation, or if this blog was another shocking casualty of the TURN Season Finale. (Don’t worry — we’re not going anywhere! More on that in a moment.)

This picture, tweeted by @JeMatzerACTOR, is one of many fan-made social media posts calling for a second season of TURN. For the latest buzz, you can follow the hashtag #RenewTURN on Twitter.

More curious, however, is the deafening silence surrounding the renewal of TURN for a second season. While showrunner Craig Silverstein has talked at length about his big plans for season 2, there is still no official word from AMC about whether they’ll renew TURN at all. I’m no TV industry insider, but it seems very strange that there’s no official word from the network two weeks after the season finale aired. (TV/film buffs: Is this standard operating procedure for 21st century TV shows? Feel free to chime in!)

We’ll post notice of TURN’s renewal (or non-renewal) as soon as we hear official word from AMC – both here on the main blog and on the other Spycurious social media sites. (I’ve been working on a long retrospective about TURN’s inaugural season, but have been holding back on publishing it, since the news of the show’s renewal/cancellation will definitely affect the tone of that post.)

And just in case you needed another reason to follow @spycurious on Twitter (or tumblr, or Facebook): if your only subscription to “TURN to a Historian” is through the WordPress blog, you likely missed this very interesting exchange on Twitter regarding the ratings for the TURN season finale:


Like I said before: I’m a historian, not a TV industry insider; since I don’t know how to interpret the information linked above in its proper context, I’ll let these numbers — and opinions — speak for themselves.  Clearly some people think the finale numbers are cause for concern, while Alexander Rose (who is not an official spokesperson for AMC, despite whatever inside information he may have) sounds quite optimistic.  Only time will tell!

hewlett still ep 7
Major Richard Hewlett, as portrayed by Burn Gorman.

In other news: Hopefully this blog’s little post-season hiatus provided enough time for everyone to digest the craziness that was the season finale (a.k.a. Episode 10: “The Battle of Setauket”). The writers certainly crammed an impressive amount of dramatic plot into a mere 60 minute timeslot, that’s for sure! For all of you who have been aching for some historically-accurate input on the real Battle of Setauket, you’re in luck: Loyalist scholar Todd Braisted is in the middle of writing a multi-part series on the Battle of Setauket, including some much-requested commentary on the occupation of Setauket and everyone’s favorite law-abiding Loyalist Major Lieutenant Colonel: Richard Hewlett.

One of the primary reasons for the post-season blog hiatus was that the site manager was temporarily “detached for special service” on Long Island, which included attending an event that was less than two miles from the historic Setauket Village Green.  I’ve visited Setauket many times before, but managed to snap a few fresh photographs of a couple of historic sites last weekend. I plan on going back to Long Island in the near future to take some more professional-grade photos of the many sites that have a historic connection to Revolutionary war espionage.  This summer — time permitting — I hope to start a new site project which will feature pictures, histories, and visiting information for these — as well as others in Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey — under the heading of “Spy-curious Destinations.”

In conclusion: We’re back! I’ll post a little more about these “Spy-curious Destinations” and other ambitious summer plans for “TURN to a Historian” soon.  For now, enjoy the small sampling of first-run photos below!  Click on the thumbnails to see the full images with their respective captions.


3 thoughts on “Setauket Sojourns and (Spy)curious Silences

    William Noetling said:
    June 22, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I love this show, and I love your blog. I haven’t had the opportunity to visit the Revolutionary War sites, except for Washington’s Home, which doesn’t count. In any case, keep up the good work, regardless of the outcome of renewal. said:
    June 22, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Much as I’ve appreciated all the work you, and Todd, have put into setting the historical record straight, I for one would like to see this series die in its tracks. The idea that they had historical consultants (unidentified other than the author, for good reason) helping craft this porridge is laughable, unless those same people were content to see the true history (much more interesting) turned upside down and inside out, chronologically and otherwise. I for one regard this series as a prolonged train wreck and hope the silence forbodes a well-deserved cancellation. Doug Conroy

    k maher said:
    June 23, 2014 at 8:54 am

    I”m no industry “insider” about how long renewal decisions take. But I’m a Sleepy Hollow fan. Fox renewed it about the time the 3rd episode aired. Of course, it got good ratings–because it’s a well-written show with excellent characters.

    Sleepy Hollow’s a batshit fantasy, with only the loosest connection to Washington Irving’s story. But its pseudo-historical background inspired me to begin reading about Colonial/Revolutionary America. I learned enough to make me cast a cold eye on TURN’s history; in fact, enough for me to catch some errors in Rose’s overrated book. And Sleepy Hollow’s producers never piously announced they were producing Real History. But they have the conviction to tell the story they want to tell–not shilly-shally around…..

    If AMC is deciding whether to renew TURN or Hold & Catch Fire, I hope they go with TURN. It gets a few things right & the latter show is just a boring mess.

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