Yesterday, Prime Video released the first season of the successful BBC series from creators Stephen Merchant and Elgin James, The Outlaws
. The series, which has already been renewed for season two, is a comedy thriller about a group of seven strangers, who after breaking the law, agree to complete community service in leu of jail time. The unlikely group, who are all from different backgrounds and would have otherwise likely never met, are forced to work together to renovate a community center, and in doing so find that they may have more in common than they realize.
The idea for the series started from memories Merchant had growing up, with his parents being involved in community service looking after criminals. “They would tell me about the sort of people that came through the doors, and it was such an unlikely mix of people,” Merchant told SciFi Vision during a recent roundtable. “In fact, one of them was a kid I went to school with, Dave, who was the world's laziest thief. He one time got caught stealing a TV from someone's house, and the homeowners came back, and they went, ‘Dave, what are you doing?’ And he went, ‘I’m not Dave.’ And they went, ‘Yeah, you are; you live next door.’ He couldn't even go a block over. He literally was stealing from his next-door neighbors. There was Dave and there were other people that would come through the doors, and my parents were talking about these people. It just seemed like a recipe for a drama or a comedy, because you had such unlikely groups forced to work together; sparks could fly. It always seemed like an interesting backdrop. So, I didn't really have more than that. So, I went [and] met up with Elgin, and we kind of started brainstorming.”