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What are the best and worst TV endings?

11:08 UK time, Friday, 21 May 2010

Three popular series, Ashes to Ashes, Lost and 24 come to an end over the next few days. What is the best way for a series to make an exit?

BBC One's Ashes to Ashes will see DCI Gene Hunt fire up the Quattro for the last time - but will his darkest secrets be revealed?

In the US, Kiefer Sutherland makes his final appearance after eight years as special agent Jack Bauer in the action-packed series 24. And viewers of Lost will hope to find out the reality behind the lives of the aircrash survivors who've spent 121 episodes on a tropical island in the South Pacific.

Which TV series has had the best finale? Which programme has ended on a low? Send us your memories.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Blackadder (last scene of the 4th & last series) sticks out as particularly memorable.

  • Comment number 2.

    Best ever ending to me was Black Adder goes Forth.

    The ending I'd like to see is Albert Square vapourised by a nuclear explosion, no explanation, no aftermath, just the end.

  • Comment number 3.

    Sopranos.

    It left those with a brain the opportunity to think of all sorts of possible outcomes and those without just confused.

  • Comment number 4.

    The Royal Anthem could send anybody off to bed in double-quick time.

  • Comment number 5.

    The ending of Blackadder Goes Forth has to rank among the best. The ending to the Cold Feet series also comes to my mind as being very good.

    I was disappointed with the last episode of A Touch of Frost and the last episode of Star Trek Enterprise was a bit of a letdown.

  • Comment number 6.

    Never watched any of them so, having not seen the start or any of the schedule, I will not see the endings. Does the end of a fictional programme carry any importance? It's no more than closing a book after you have finished reading it.

  • Comment number 7.

    It's pretty hard to finish on a high, but Buffy managed it.

  • Comment number 8.

    Life on Mars finished well (it let you make your own mind up). I only hope Ashes to Ashes that followed on doesn't make a cheesy ending up.

  • Comment number 9.

    I really don't know how they're going to end Lost: it "lost" the plot a few series ago, so they could just say the island was all in their imaginations and be done with it, i'd be happy, they've let it go on (and on and on and on) now for far too long. Perhaps they could finally kill off the Locke character - or monster Locke - or whatever he is now.

  • Comment number 10.

    Babylon 5 after a five year story arc, it ends not with the typical sci fi huge battle/end of the world plot. But with the main character coming to terms with the fact that his life is over and spends his final night with his surviving friends & the woman he loves. Probably the best character based sci-fi series ever

  • Comment number 11.

    I agree with contirbutor No 1 and the other like-minded contributors.
    Blackadder Goes Forth produced one of the best, saddest and most poignant endings to a series that I can ever remember. It still brings a tear to your eyes, after repeated viewings. Unbeatable.
    Worst endings - stopping Fawlty Towers after just 2 x series. It had more legs in it.

  • Comment number 12.

    #6 - get over yourself, it's Friday after all ;)
    Quantum Leap - now THERE was a disappointing ending to a great series. Where's the film to tie this up once and for all...? Looking forward to the Ashes to ashes finale, hope it isn't an anti-climax...

  • Comment number 13.

    6. At 11:35am on 21 May 2010, Tio Terry wrote:
    "Never watched any of them so, having not seen the start or any of the schedule, I will not see the endings. Does the end of a fictional programme carry any importance? It's no more than closing a book after you have finished reading it."

    No it's not, it the same as reading the last chapter of a book, and a bad ending can ruin an otherwise good story. Prime example for me is the book of Cold Mountain (not seen the film so don't know it it's the same), the death was uncalled far and the manner of it unbelivable, I had liked the book up till then and now canonly think of how irritated I was, a TV series is the same.

    I am interested in how they are going to wrap up Lost and merge the two split sideways stories, as long as they don't cop out and do an "and it was just a dream" type ending I'll be happy. I'm expeciting it to be good, the build up has been.

  • Comment number 14.

    In real life there is no end to a story in volving multiple characters. True, people terminate. As individuals, not as total stories.

    But suggestions for endings? Black Adder first, Morse second, the rest also-rans.

  • Comment number 15.

    I'll echo those sentiments about Blackadder Goes Forth having a great ending, slowing down the troops being gunned down and replacing the bloodbath with a field of poppies. No credits or anything, just a surprisingly sensitive and well-handled tribute to those that got killed in WWI.

    I liked what I thought was the end of Only Fools and Horses in 1996 when the Trotter brothers walked into the sunset with Uncle Albert after finally getting the millions that they had wanted for so long. Only for the BBC to commission three more episodes after that (which in hindsight, probably shouldn't have been made).

    The last episode of Dad's Army, in 1977 where Captain Mainwaring and the others break the fourth wall and pay tribute to the Home Guard was nice and touching.

    I liked the last episode of Porridge; Godber gets released and Fletcher tells Mackay his rules for getting through prison: "Bide your time, keep your nose clean, and don't let the ba----rds grind you down."

    All comedies, strangely.
    I didn't watch Crossroads the first time round, but I occasionally tuned into the 2000s revamp for my sins, and I saw the last episode where the hotel ownership had all been a dream and everybody was working in a run-of-the-mill supermarket. It was so ridiculously bad that it was good.

    A lot of my favourite programmes that have ended didn't end with a special episode or a conclusion that wrapped things up. They just ended.

  • Comment number 16.

    Babylon 5 - when the lights in the space station were turned off by the show's creator (J. Michael Straczynski) playing a cameo role as a maintenance engineer!

  • Comment number 17.

    Best ending? Blackadder Goes Forth, The Wire, Farscape (Peacekeeper War), Babylon 5, many many others I can't remember right now...

    Worst? The Shield (such a depressing ending), Firefly (because it was cancelled).

    Worst ever? Only Fools & Horses. They had that brilliant 3 episode special where they became millionaires... although that did end with one of the worst lines in history ("I'll buy these because you bought the Rolls"). Perfect ending. They then couldn't let it in peace and so came back with a couple of woeful extra episodes the year after. Why?!

  • Comment number 18.

    I have to say that I thought the end of Blackadder Goes Forth was dreadful. It was incredibly moving and thought-provoking, but where was its place in a series which made jokes about turnip-shaped willies, cretinous servants, in-bred aristocracy and so on? It was a vehicle for the writers' anti-war political comments. There is a place for them, but it was not as part of a comedy show.

  • Comment number 19.


    Six Feet Under and This Life. Loved them.
    But probably not Sunset Beach!

  • Comment number 20.

    I am a great fan of Red Dwarf, loved it all but the last two series were two too many. It went from being very funny to 'men behaving badly in outer space' There was talk of a film, which is why they brought the un-funny attractive female in for the last two series.

    The end was a great disapointment.

    (Thats the real end, the final programme, not the first episode called 'the end' - I think I will lie down now my head is hurting).

  • Comment number 21.

    I agree with #12 that Quantum Leap ended really badly.
    For me though, the ending that sticks in my mind the most as being both good and bad is Twin Peaks. It only ran for two series and, like Lost, was full of unanswered questions and mysteries. The ending was awful for someone who loved the series but it was perfect David Lynch!! I've returned to it a couple of times and the ending never fails to shock me as 'evil Dale Cooper' comes out of the black lodge... mwahaha!

  • Comment number 22.

    The worst series endin must surely be Eastenders, primarily because it should have happened in about 1995 and we're still waiting.
    Twin Peaks was also truly awful, as befitting a series that seriously went down the tubes after Laura Palmer's murder was solved, but couldn't quite get closure. That's Post Modernism for you!

  • Comment number 23.

    The best tv endings have to be cliffhangers although I find them really irritating though, but then I guess thats good for the shows publicity because you`re bound to watch the next episode. I like happy endings as well because they make me feel all wwaarm and fuzzy

  • Comment number 24.

    Worst endings I've seen are Psychoville and The Brittas Empire, a really creative series and a long-running slapsticky farce respectively, both giving total cop-out endings that should never have taken place and tarnished the show for me. The last episode of Friends was a bit obvious as well, although there's not really a lot else they could have done with it.

    The best endings I've seen are Blackadder Goes Forth (obvious one, it'll get mentioned more times than any other show I'm certain of that), The Young Ones because of how surprisingly bitter it was, and The Fast Show.

    These are all British shows, so I'll point out for diplomacy's sake that usually lists in America include things like St Elsewhere and Roseanne and Seinfeld as some of the worst endings, while having The Larry Sanders Show and Newhart as having the best endings.

  • Comment number 25.

    The series firefly was cut too short and left too many questions unanswered considering it is the most amazing western/sci-fi (hard to explain) I have ever seen. Lucky enough the film serenity was a great end point (leaving it open to continue if we are lucky) which showed a completely new side of the characters who already had many sides, an air of mystery and cocky but amusing attitudes.

    I really hope that one day they complete the series becuase I know nobody who dislikes them

  • Comment number 26.


    Fools and Horses should have ended at the auction win, which could have become a classic timeless ending.

    This Life (wedding scene) is also a classic.

  • Comment number 27.

    I thought the ending to Star Trek Voyager was good. Captain Janeway comes back from the future to save Voyager and her crew and defeat the Borg at the same time.

  • Comment number 28.

    "Eldorado" finished on a tremendous high, with respectable ratings and quality output. The cancellation still must rank as one of the most badly-judged and short-sighted decisions the BBC has ever made.

  • Comment number 29.

    Best was Blackadder IV. Dallas was disappointing. The worst by far was Moonlighting. In the last episode of Moonlighting the characters learned that they were in a television series which was about to be cancelled and they were basically running around town in a panic trying to avoid cancellation. What the .... ???

  • Comment number 30.

    #2 "The ending I'd like to see is Albert Square vapourised by a nuclear explosion, no explanation, no aftermath, just the end."

    I can do better than that.... Big Mo walks into the Queen Vic and says 'OI! I just realised...we all own houses big enough to house families of ten, we're right by a tube station and next door to the Olympics. Apparently our houses are all worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Lets sell up and all buy castles in Scotland" One of the other cast could then say 'and that way we can afford washing machines and stop having to use the Laundrette too'

    Or is realism not allowed on soaps?

  • Comment number 31.

    #10. At 11:49am on 21 May 2010, Matner77 wrote:
    “Babylon 5 after a five year story arc, it ends not with the typical sci fi huge battle/end of the world plot. But with the main character coming to terms with the fact that his life is over and spends his final night with his surviving friends & the woman he loves. Probably the best character based sci-fi series ever”

    I agree that Babylon 5 was an excellent Sci-Fi series but TBH I found the ending to be a little melodramatic, they over did the sentimentality IMV.

  • Comment number 32.

    The best TV ending is when I turn the blasted box off. The worst beginning is when I turn it on.

  • Comment number 33.

    #18 "I have to say that I thought the end of Blackadder Goes Forth was dreadful. It was incredibly moving and thought-provoking, but where was its place in a series which made jokes about turnip-shaped willies, cretinous servants, in-bred aristocracy and so on? It was a vehicle for the writers' anti-war political comments. There is a place for them, but it was not as part of a comedy show."

    You make a valid point but if you can suggest an ending where 20,000 Brits get shot on the somme and make it funny then you'd deserve a job as head of comedy at the BBC. There was very little to laugh at in WW1.

    Incidentally I can't stand Ben Elton (he became irrelevant when Mrs T left no 10... sadly he can't realise this) but his anti-war book 'the first casualty' set in WW1 is superb. Eltons grandfathers fought on opposite sides of WW1 which may explain why he thought it was such a pointless stupid waste of life.

  • Comment number 34.

    #18 "I have to say that I thought the end of Blackadder Goes Forth was dreadful...It was a vehicle for the writers' anti-war political comments."

    As a matter of fact, it wasn't even scripted. The ending was intended to be quite different, but they ran out of time and, in desperation, put together one of the most poignant endings we shall ever see on our screens.
    And, surely, the poppies should have been white if it really was an anti-war statement?

  • Comment number 35.

    What a cultured bunch; B5 & Blackadder already mentioned.

    The Prisoner, not the current attrocity, had the most memorable of all as it refused to have a defined clear statement.

    Unfortunately, many series never have an ending as they are dragged beyond their death for profit e.g Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea which degenerated in to incredibly embarrassingly bad stories.

    Perhaps the key is knowing when to end a series so it remains a quality memory.

  • Comment number 36.

    "Prime example for me is the book of Cold Mountain (not seen the film so don't know it it's the same), the death was uncalled far and the manner of it unbelivable, I had liked the book up till "

    ahhh guess I had best not bother reading the book, or watching the film now

  • Comment number 37.

    Might we possibly hope for Jeremy Clarkson and his equally odious Top Gear co-presenters all driving very fast cars directly at each other.
    The silence afterwards would re-define total bliss.

  • Comment number 38.

    Last scenes in Dynasty and the Colby's. All killed in a massive shootout. No chance of a return

  • Comment number 39.

    I must echo Blackadder Goes Forth.

    Even better is the fact that the ending was created from neccesity due to filming failures. Originally, they were to have fallen in a blaze of glory but the set was too small and the explosions too large causing the shot to disappear in smoke. With too little time to reset they got some stock footage of poppies and put that at the end.

    Just think, if it had all gone right we wouldn't have such a wonderfully poignant ending...humans will always mess things up...it's nice when out of the mess comes something unexpected and special.

  • Comment number 40.

    There are so few to chose from these days, has "Lark Rise to Candleford" finised? the books go so much further, I am tending to watch channel five these days, hope the end of "Flash Forward" isn't to long in coming, "Doc Martin" didn't seem to have finish satisfactorily. I also enjoyed the costume dramas which have come to a halt, in fact we seem to have a famine of decent programmes to watch these days, can I have my licence money back.

  • Comment number 41.

    Best were star trek deep space nine and third rock from the sun. Both left me realising I was going to miss the characters, and thus I had a lump in my throat.

    Worst two: star trek voyager: get them home quickly in a minute with time travel and then just stop. no emotional impact at all.

    Star trek enterprise: homage the other shows by all means but not at the expense of giving this bunch of characters the right amount of final screen time

  • Comment number 42.

    @ No2
    I recommend you for the top job at the BBC. Vapourising Albert Square is one of the best ideas I have heard this year!!

  • Comment number 43.

    A series end should mean just that; the end! So many give in to temptation and attempt to milk the genre with inferior sequels. Life on Mars is a case in point; LoM was pretty good (in a quirky sort of way), but the sequel (Ashes to Ashes) has been utter garbage (all three seasons of it).

  • Comment number 44.

    "27. At 12:22pm on 21 May 2010, Paul wrote:
    I thought the ending to Star Trek Voyager was good. Captain Janeway comes back from the future to save Voyager and her crew and defeat the Borg at the same time."

    But there were so many loose ends left open and wrong turns the writers took storywise. I.e. Seven should have been with The Doctor and why couldn't B'Elanna have reconciled with her Mother?

    Back on the topic itself, Black Adder's ending has to be one of the best. Moonlighting's end was good too.

  • Comment number 45.

    Flashforward is probably going to be one of the worst endings. Tune in to a programme that promises twists and turns, only for it to be ended before it reaches its conclusion.

    Its like start reading a full and complete book and then finding halfway through that somehow the end pages have disappeared.

    Blackadder Goes Forth is my best ending. I can watch Black Adder again and again but now I find that I cannot stomach watching many documentarys on WWI, especially one the other day which I have seen a few times already which was the Somme. The senslessness of the war and the genocidal behaviour of politicians and generals in sending so many to instant death for no viable, reasonable, inteligent, ethical, moral gain is just such a sickening attrocity beyond belief.

    Hence the ending of Blackadder Goes Forth has massive and far reaching connotations, awe inspiring of the courage and conviction of all those in WWI who faced the climb out of trenches on either side, to walk slowly to their deaths, bullied via death threats into taking that walk and believing or not that they were fighting and giving up their lives for a better world.

    I doubt we could muster such numbers in Britain today to make such a sacrifice, which ultimately I think is probably a good thing.

  • Comment number 46.

    I'm going to read Elton's book, it sounds interesting, especially because my grandparents and my wife's grandparents were on opposite sides during WWII.

    I agree with all those people who have said Blackadder IV. It's the only ending that really sticks in my mind.

  • Comment number 47.

    Blackadder Goes Forth by far.

  • Comment number 48.

    Worst tv endings ever, has to be every ending of Eastenders. Not because I'm sad that it is finishing, but because I knwo they'll be another drool episode on again in a few days time.....

  • Comment number 49.

    #32. At 12:30pm on 21 May 2010, Raskolnikov wrote:
    The best TV ending is when I turn the blasted box off. The worst beginning is when I turn it on.

    ---------------------

    Then why bother having a TV at all.

    I agree with many others on here, that the ending to Blackadder Goes Forth is the most simple yet dramatic and poignant endings I have ever seen.

  • Comment number 50.

    The final episode of Blackadder Goes Fourth is probably the best ending to a series.

    The last episode of Six Feet Under was excellent showing all the characters' date of death.

    The last episode of The Wire was also good.

    Still thank god it's the last episode of '24' as I was getting abit sick of watching espionage by numbers.

  • Comment number 51.

    The ending to the Prisoner was unsatisfying to say the least, apparently people were so angry at the time that Patrick McGoohan had to leave the country. The ending to Blakes's 7 was shockingly memorable to me as a young kid, it was a kind of watered down Bonnie and Clyde. Talk about crash and burn!

  • Comment number 52.

    Good - The "Blackadder Goes Forth" ending, a classic of TV making

    Bad - "Lost" - I loved the first series, but then it just dragged on and on, and on. And on. I lost interest. When final one is shown Freeview I'll watch it, but I can't be bothered with the other 100 episodes.

    Oh God No, Not again - "Flashforward" - looks like it's going the way of "Lost", the last few episodes have started to be dragged out.

    To Be Hoped For - A tragic nuclear accident in Walford, on the day the residents of Ramsey Street, Emmerdale and Coronation Street are visiting.

  • Comment number 53.

    Series that ended on a high(wanting more), Fawlty Towers, Babylon 5, Black Adder, Cold Feet, Cracker, Prime Suspect, Murphy's Law.
    Series that went on too long, Until Death Do Us Part, Last of the Summer Wine, Hi-De-Hi(and its abysmal spin-offs).
    Series that should have ended sooner, Red Dwarf, Rising Damp(after Richard Beckinsales's death).
    Series that should have not been comissioned(not funny), On The Buses, Love Thy Neighbour, Mind Your Language, any US remake of an original UK TV series.

  • Comment number 54.

    as others have already stated, blackadder 4th is so poignient it brings me out in goosebumps. my favourite though is only fools and horses, where they walk off into the sunset as millionaires. the worst ending was the 3 further episodes of OFAH that should have never been made where the trotters lost their millions. awful and pointless

  • Comment number 55.

    36. At 12:40pm on 21 May 2010, pffffft wrote:
    "Prime example for me is the book of Cold Mountain (not seen the film so don't know it it's the same), the death was uncalled far and the manner of it unbelivable, I had liked the book up till "

    ahhh guess I had best not bother reading the book, or watching the film now

    ............

    Oops, sorry.

    I've been avoiding reading any post mentioning Babylon 5 as I am just starting to watch it and don't want to know. Nice to know it has a good ending though

  • Comment number 56.

    1. At 11:25am on 21 May 2010, Rufus McDufus wrote:
    Blackadder (last scene of the 4th & last series) sticks out as particularly memorable.

    --------------

    At the risk of sounding boring, yes, it was the best.
    The whole 4th series was excellent.

  • Comment number 57.

    37. At 12:42pm on 21 May 2010, Phil Sears wrote:
    Might we possibly hope for Jeremy Clarkson and his equally odious Top Gear co-presenters all driving very fast cars directly at each other.
    The silence afterwards would re-define total bliss.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    If you don't like Topgear, don't watch it. No one forces you to watch it, or indeed any other programme you don't like.

  • Comment number 58.

    The best: Blackadder (obviously) Buffy (don't knock it till you've
    watched it) and ER.
    The worst: X files (had descended into meaningless conspiracy drivel)
    Farscape (the series didn't even HAVE ans ending till
    someone realised they'd stuffed up and rushed out
    Peacekeeper wars)
    Angel (also didn't get a proper ending thanks to being
    cancelled just as it found it's feet)
    And the ending I'd like to see...... Nick Clegg wakes up in bed and finds David Cameron in the shower and it turns out the last couple of months have just been a hideous dream......... Either that or something with puppies,I'm easy :)

  • Comment number 59.

    Gene Hunt, Ashes to Ashes, I hope he is cleared honerably and the twit investigating him is found to have murdered Sam Tyler

  • Comment number 60.

    No# 1& 2 correct!
    The original Prisoner (No6) failed he hadn’t written it, expected it and thought he could ad lib it. No!
    When they want a remake now of Ashes to Ashes they’ll have to have a prequel!
    Also do I care he is actually the camp director of the PC promotion board under a Clegg/Blair revivalist government!

  • Comment number 61.

    28. At 12:26pm on 21 May 2010, luskentyre wrote:
    "Eldorado" finished on a tremendous high, with respectable ratings and quality output. The cancellation still must rank as one of the most badly-judged and short-sighted decisions the BBC has ever made.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Are you having a laugh?

    The 'E' word is still spoken of in hushed tones by TV executives, and then only in the dead of night, in total darkness and with no one else about.

    I agree with some of the posts about ending the soaps. I never watch any (I have a medical affliction that stops me watching them, its a growth in my head - its called a brain) its just that they are on for hours, every d*****d night!

  • Comment number 62.

    Buffy The Vampire Slayer ending was certainly brilliant, and also Blackadder Goes Fourth.

    Like a previous contributor on this thread, I'd definately like to see Eastenders instantly vapourised in an all out nuclear exchange with the other soaps, with all the Strictly Come Oliver On Ice X-Factor Idol Dancing caught exactly in the middle.

    Failing that, every programme should end like The Incredible Hulk, with someone walking away along an empty road with some sad piano music playing.

  • Comment number 63.

    The original ending of Farscape was very shocking and the fans were so angry they made a further 3(?) episodes so they could have a different one. In the end, with the latter 3 epsiodes a pretty good end

  • Comment number 64.

    I'm surprised thus far there's been no reference to Blakes 7. Destruction of the spaceship, Blake is murdered by 1 of his own & the rest but 1 are murdered by the evil federation. Just before xmas aswell! Good/bad I don't know memorable yes. Bleak, depressing, well it was Thatchers Britain...

  • Comment number 65.

    I would love to see the final endings of both Eastenders and Coronation street, these poison the mind and made the country dull! jeez, im asian and never ever seen an asian family like that in Eeastenders, and those lower classes who watch it, then think all asians should be like them and get disappointed when they arent! pathetic shows which show the lives of thick and illiterate lower classes with adulation!

  • Comment number 66.

    nobody has mentioned The Office

  • Comment number 67.


    The last episode of Blackadder Goes Forth - without a doubt. It still manages to choke me everytime I see it, after all these years..

    But a special mention also to the last episode of "Life on Mars" with Sam Tyler committing suicide by throwing himself off the police station roof ..... Or did he?!?!?!? ;)

  • Comment number 68.

    Twin Peaks was, for a time, the best thing on TV ever. Then it just seemed to lose its way and got cancelled. So many US TV shows do this: they start off great (Lost, Heroes), then faff around aimlessly until they're cancelled. Why do they do this? Why can't they just have a pre-written beginning, middle, and end, instead of seeing how long they can stretch it out until the ratings drop?

  • Comment number 69.

    Should have been the walking into the sunset when Del and Rodney became millionaires, Only fools and Horses.

    (If only John Sullivan had left it at that!)

  • Comment number 70.

    I thought that the end (special) of the series The Office was great and was surprised that it was not mentioned by others.
    The key to finishing any series is to bring it to a conclusion while leaving viewers wanting more. The risk in this scenario is that they bring the series back and not live up to it's original quality.

    My Personal favorite ending is Blackadder Goes Forth. My biggest disappointment was Blake's 7.

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

    One of the best, albeit predictable, endings was to the Fugitive series when Dr Richard Kimble finally tracked down the one armed man - the final episode had to be repeated by popular demand in the daytime for those who missed it due to shift work, holidays etc. (back in the days before video recorders!)

  • Comment number 73.

    #59 "Gene Hunt, Ashes to Ashes, I hope he is cleared honerably and the twit investigating him is found to have murdered Sam Tyler"

    Actually I'd have massive respect for the BBC if they did the exact opposite. Gene Hunt is a very 'interesting' character in his way... he's more or less on the side of right but his methods aren't. Him committing a murder for some 'greater good' is entirely plausible.

    Totally happy endings aren't normally good endings. Imagine how this page would look if Blackadder and friends had charged across no mans land, not got shot and made it back home safe to England. Zero impact in that sort of ending.

  • Comment number 74.

    No-one has mentioned To The Manor Born, that was a great series, with a really good ending which made sense. And the one of special a couple of Christmases ago was good too.

    There should have been more of Fawlty Towers.

  • Comment number 75.

    I hope that in Ashes to Ashes that 'Jim' is evil and should he ever leave the station he will spread evil across the world but that Gene was put there to stop him ever leaving the station but Gene knows his time is almost up and has bought Shaz, Chris, Ray and 'Bolly' in as candidates to him replace him in charge of the station. That would be awesome. Meanwhile Lost ends with Jack over interrogating Locke, kicking him in the gut, issuing a sexist, Northern witty one-liner and driving off the island in a Quattro. No-one would see that coming.

  • Comment number 76.

    Unwatchable...Any Silent Witness with Amanda Burton, dire, dull, dreary. Once she left great.
    Piers Morgan,Carol Vorderman, I'm A Celb....,the reason why TV remotes have an off button.

  • Comment number 77.

    I want to see the ending of this series (not sure if its the last) of supernatural. It is such a cool series and it doesnt have to finish the conventional way (the end of last series a hero dies and goes to hell!).

    I look forward to the end of each episode because it rarely has the happy ending you expect, yet there is always the glimmer of hope

  • Comment number 78.

    #64 - you beat me to it!

    Blake's Seven - uncompromising, but with a few loose ends left ie the chief baddie's final murder attempt was the one before the end, and she's technically still on the run herself, fate unknown. However, that ending (which you can Youtube nowadays) makes it all the more memorable now, I watched the lot on video last Christmas when there was nothing else on - other than shaky effects, the writing has certainly stood the test of time. Having the main character framed for child abuse so the state could justify his imprisonment and torture, well that could have been made in the past ten years, not 30 years ago.

    I can't remember if it was the writer or director that said they wanted allusions to Shakespearian tragedy in space, not a concept I would have grasped at nine years old but they certainly achieved it with all the death flying around!

  • Comment number 79.

    So many shows to choose from... I'm hoping Ashes to Ashes has a better final story than Life on Mars. I thought Sam Tyler killing himself was a terrible way to end LoM and a huge disappointment after the brilliant first series.

    Amongst the "bad" endings I've seen are probably The X Files, Star Treks Voyager and Enterprise, Prison Break, Gilmore Girls and Blake's 7. It's hard to pick shows with genuine bad endings because often they're cancelled before they finish telling the story.

    Good endings include Star Treks The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5, The Shield and Battlestar Galactica. Not many shows get this right it seems.

  • Comment number 80.

    Why do so many contributors feel that the moment TV programs are mentioned they have the right to denigrate EastEnders? If you don't like it then don't watch it and it will save you having to moan about it - simples!.

    I agree about the ending of Black Adder goes Forth - moving and with a stroke of genius.

    Can anyone remember how Little House on the Prairie or The Waltons ended?? for the life of me I can't yet I watched them regularly.

  • Comment number 81.

    Captain Darling "I made a note in my diary on the way over here. It simply reads - bugger."


    I'm not surprised to see so many people mentioning Blackadder Goes Forth, the final episode is fantastic from start to finish. Very few serious shows that have been made about the First World War manage to evoke such strong feelings, the ability of the writers and cast to do so in what is essentially a half hour sit-com shows just how talented they all are and how great a show it is.

    Even though I've seen that episode more times than I can remember I still get a lump in my throat every time I see them going over the top and can't help but to think about all of those who were involved in the war and the sacrifices they all made.

  • Comment number 82.

    Blackadder Goes Fourth absolutely brilliant

  • Comment number 83.

    All series should end when they are at their peak.

  • Comment number 84.

    #17 - Actually I agree with you about The Shield, that ending is depressing - but any TV show that puts its end in the beginning has that problem - they had this murder of a cop to solve and the audience knew whodunnit but in the story no-one else did until the final series, leading to betrayal, imprisonment and death. It's emotionally tragic. It would have been so easy to end a cop show with the shootouts and call it quits, but the messy ending stayed true to the realism of the show.

    However I disagree on Only Fools and Horses, again "We're Millionaires!!!!!!" would have been an easy place to end it for good but instead, John Sullivan went for the emotional jugular, going full circle to make the show all about family for one final time.

  • Comment number 85.

    I thought Sex and the City had a terrible ending. Big is an awful character and I can't believe that Carrie ended up with him. Then, they made a film, which proved to all the viewers that Big really was as mean as we all thought he was, but then she went back to him anyway.

  • Comment number 86.

    The worst ever ending to a series was Born and Bred. There were two very nasty loose ends involving the station master and the vicar, two injustices that were never undone. This was a great series which deserved to come to a far better conclusion. It was as if the script writers were seeking revenge because the series had not been recommissioned

  • Comment number 87.

    Having just watched the repeats of ITV3's/BBC 'Born and Bred', I remember now how that was it - no series four, nothing. Not very satisfying at all - could they bring it back now I wonder, make it set in the sixties instead and continue it that way - come on Chris Chibnall et al, why not give it a thought?

    Oh and yes, the best ending, very definitely, was Black Adder Goes Forth - World War 1 - beautiful and poignant.

  • Comment number 88.

    67. At 1:50pm on 21 May 2010, Chandos56 wrote:


    The last episode of Blackadder Goes Forth - without a doubt. It still manages to choke me everytime I see it, after all these years..

    But a special mention also to the last episode of "Life on Mars" with Sam Tyler committing suicide by throwing himself off the police station roof ..... Or did he?!?!?!? ;)

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Damn your eyes!!!! I haven't see the last episode of "Life on Mars" yet!

  • Comment number 89.

    Series 2 of "Life" with Damien Lewis earlier this year was a bit contrived. Since the producers decided not to have a third series there was a Deus ex machina ending where suddenly he was able to eliminate the baddies in the final few minutes and with one bound was free.

  • Comment number 90.

    Clearly Black Adder goes Forth was a masterful ending.

    But, probably a very nerd reference and but an excellent season cliffhanger is the Star Trek: Deep Space 9 Season 3 end combined with Season 4 first episodes. "Way of The Warrior".

    Wish "The Champions" had gone further but ended well.

    I would welcome an end to most of those lame talent-less competitions.

  • Comment number 91.

    I know it wasn't the last episode of the series, but David Tennant's last episode as The Doctor was truly awful.
    Sickeningly sentimental and self-indulgent.

  • Comment number 92.

    Blackadder definately comes to mind. I was 10 when it first aired and had never seen my Dad cry at the end of a TV show before.

    A few years ago Hugh Laurie was interviewed and said they were asked to reshoot the final scene it but the actors said no way thats all you are getting - I think it was enough.

    In the last few years the best ending was probably Life on Mars so I have high hopes for Ashes to Ashes.

    I've also been an avid fan of Lost and really hope we get some answers but after seeing some films made by the same writers its unlikely.

    That said most other TV endings have been disappointing.

  • Comment number 93.

    #17 - spot on about Only Fools and Horses. Good series deserve a good ending, but then greedy TV companies won't let them be. Leave a bit of cult status or mystique about them and stop prodding them again and again after they're gone. End the good TV programmes at their peak then stand back and admire them.

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    Worst - only fools and horses, just wouldn't stay gone so none of the "final evers" got to reach an iconic status.

    Best - The Prisonor - Pat McGoohan was a genius !

    The "secret" of a good ending - deciding how long you'll go on for and then don't get tempted to drag it on past that point.

  • Comment number 96.

    The final few scenes in The Office Christmas Special were superb.

    Special mention to The Sopranos, as the final scene was expertly done -it still leaves me guessing Tony's demise to this day.

  • Comment number 97.

    Something a bit more recent - Reaper was a great show that was unfortunatly cancelled after just two series! The ending was left wide open and clearly not intended as to be the final end to the show. Very disappointing!

    Best endings include Blackadder Goes Forth (of course) and Buffy.

  • Comment number 98.

    Dad's Army, when the cast saluted and praised the contribution of the Home Guard. Simple ending, but sincere and genuine.
    As many have said already, Blackadder IV - surely the best of all time.
    Noggin the Nog - can't remember the ending of the last episode but remember feeling so disappointed when the series was no more!
    St Elsewhere - still miss it!

  • Comment number 99.

    #79 "So many shows to choose from... I'm hoping Ashes to Ashes has a better final story than Life on Mars. I thought Sam Tyler killing himself was a terrible way to end LoM and a huge disappointment after the brilliant first series"

    Actually I thought it was genius. The whole point of Life on Mars was the 'have I gone back in time, am I mad or in a coma' thing that Sam really doesn't know if he's really in 1972 or not. Just having him wake up in the present and it all being a dream would have been the worst sort of cop-out (no pun intended) ending. As it is we still don't know if Gene Hunts world is the real past, a fantasy, another dimension etc.

    (although the fact that Drake knew all about Tyler in 2005 but didn't seem aware of a real DCI Gene Hunt is something to think about.... likewise the reg of the Quattro- JLY 78 IV if I remember correctly - seems like a clue but I can't work it out... best I could come up with was JLY= July and 78 + IV ie 4 = july 82 which was more or less when Drake arrived back in time which seems pretty weak)

  • Comment number 100.

    Best ever ending was Blackadder series 4, very poignant and moving.

    As far as Red Dwarf goes, they should have ended it at series 6, the last two series were not very impressive, whereas the 5th and 6th series were the best two.

 

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