Image: Dreamworks/Netflix

The third season of Netflix’s Voltron felt a little abbreviated. Turns out, there’s a reason for that.

While the show’s first season ran for 11 episodes and the second for a standard 13, the recent third season clocked in at a slightly underwhelming seven. As a result of the brevity, the proceedings can feel a little abrupt. In his review, io9's James Whitbrook speculated that what we were seeing was in fact the first half of an initially planned season, cut in half, with the next six episodes coming as season four.

Turns out: yep. In a free-ranging interview with Collider on the present and future of the giant robot revival series, showrunners Joaquim Dos Santos and Lauren Montgomery reveal that that’s pretty much exactly what happened. Dos Santos said:

This smaller order of episodes wasn’t something we had planned from the beginning. We had built out, from a story perspective and a creation perspective, for it to be a traditional 13-episode season. The decision to split it up was made after we were already well into production. We had to sort of reverse engineer and look for a natural break in the story around that midpoint. What that allows us to do is dole out the episodes on a more regular basis; there’s not such a big gap in between seasons.

That explains it. The season break is a nice idea, in theory. It can be excruciating waiting years in between seasons of Netflix shows, and the nature of binge watching only makes it worse. But doing so in the middle of a planned set isn’t necessarily good for storytelling, something the creators acknowledge.

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“When you have the benefit of watching the whole thing, think about it like a 13-episode arc,” said Dos Santos. We look forward to the opportunity, which we’ll get when the final six episodes drop this October.

[Colllider]