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Waking The Dead: Maggots, jam and mouldy corpses

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Colin Wratten Colin Wratten | 12:50 UK time, Friday, 11 March 2011

It's a wet Friday morning at our studios in West London and it's my last day on series nine of Waking The Dead.

We have just delivered 10 hours of primetime drama to BBC One - the final ever series.

It's been a lightning five years since I started on series six and my mind turns to what I'll take away from the experience of working on a forensic crime drama.

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For a start, I could probably kill someone 20 different ways now and have an above average chance of getting away with it. It's good for you to see the different ways your licence fee goes to work, I think.

Oh wait, I've just thought of a downside. With the amount of gruesome script research I've done on my BBC computer, I'm probably on every government, police and Ministry Of Defence watch list, so maybe not a good idea after all.

Danger lurks at every turn. This series we have a scene where a corpse has a distinctive imprint on its skull. Eve works out it's where the head hit a manhole cover after the victim was run over.

After researching this element of the story, I will certainly think twice before putting the word 'manhole' into Google again, I can tell you.

One of my abiding memories from my time on the show is the day we filmed a scene in a mansion that involved a naked decomposing prosthetic corpse suspended upside down from a first floor balustrade.

The victim's silicon skull had been filled with jam to encourage the maggots to stay put (maggots love jam, apparently - who knew?).

In addition, the fly and maggot wrangler (yes, it's a real job) released hundreds of blowflies as the camera manoeuvred its way through the hallway, avoiding the dead taxidermal dog lying on the floor.

Eva Birthistle as Detective Superintendent Sarah Cavendish, Will Johnson as Detective Inspector Spencer Jordan and Trevor Eve as Detective Superintendent Peter Boyd in Waking The Dead.

It was at this point I was told the owners of the house were coming home early in the hope of meeting Trevor Eve.

Now, we are always completely upfront with potential location owners about our intentions. However, I wasn't convinced they'd be prepared for the harsh reality of the situation when they returned home.

So, as I stood by to welcome them back, the crew flew into action (like the last five minutes of an episode of Changing Rooms), using fly spray, vacuum cleaners and dustpans and brushes.

This was one occasion where we weren't able to say that "no animals (flies) have been harmed during the making of this film."

This last series of Waking The Dead certainly provides us with the opportunity to do something special, and hopefully surprising.

There are brief references to Mel Silver, Stella Goodman and Boyd's son Luke, not in a reverential way, but as a way of prompting audience memories.

Do you remember Boyd buying an enormous yellow model aeroplane in series five - Towers of Silence - when Grace's back was turned?

The plane has been knocking around the prop store for five years.

When we see Boyd's home for the first time this series, I suggested the yellow plane should be evident.

It's one of many small details for regular fans of the show. See if you spot it.

It's great working on such a highly regarded show. It's the producer's job to galvanize a film crew of 60 people.

Detective Superintendent Boyd and paramedics at a crime scene.

I try to provide an environment where the writers and the crew feel empowered to create compelling stories with dark locations, great sets, stylish costumes, authentic looking corpses and atmospheric lighting set-ups.

My job has been made so much easier because the quality you see on your television screens, in turn, attracts high calibre actors and crew year after year.

Quite simply, quality stems from quality.

The decision was made to finish and it certainly feels that we're finishing on a high, having not outstayed our welcome. Would you agree?

Boyd is about to come up against the biggest challenge of his life this series. Will he prevail?

You can judge for yourselves if we've got it right. I hope you'll let me know as I'd be very interested to hear.

Colin Wratten is the producer of Waking The Dead.

Waking The Dead is on BBC One and BBC One HD at 9pm on Sunday, 13 March.

For further programme times, please visit the upcoming episodes page.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I am truly miserable when I think the Waking the Dead will be no more after this series. It has become compulsive, nay, obsessive viewing since the first episode. The cast is brilliant and the stories suitably gripping and sometimes gruesome but always believable. Will I get over it? I doubt it.....boo hoo

  • Comment number 2.

    I am very much looking forward to the final series of Waking the Dead - as part of a small on-line community of borderline obsessive fans, I think I speak for all of us when I tell you how excited we are! :) I can't wait to discuss the new episodes when they air. Thank you, Colin, in advance for what looks to be a really gripping final series!

  • Comment number 3.

    I have harbored a wish for a while now that Peter Boyd might run into Leo Dalton and the rest of the team from Silent Witness someday, all in the line of duty of course. The stunning potential of a joint storyline involving the writers, producers and characters of both shows could, in my opinion, have the potential of producing one of the greatest TV drama events in the history of British television, especially if the storyline spanned a complete series.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm completely gutted to hear that this is the last ever season. That being said, it does sound like it's going to go out with the proverbial "bang" and I for one can't wait till it happens. I will miss this show immensely, and although I'm not happy that it's ending, I'm happy that I've had the chance to watch such an amazing show from start to finish.

  • Comment number 5.

    Back in the day I worked in telly (for 10 years and now am a trainee Media teacher!) and Waking the dead is one of me and my husband's favourite programmes ever ever ever! To see tonights episode, which was probably one of the best drama episodes I have ever watched, and learn its the last series has been a total kick in the tummy (would have put whack in the guts/kick in the balls! but this a beeb forum)-WHY WHY WHY WHY has it been cancelled? It has, without a doubt, the best best cast, fantastic story lines, unbelievably brilliant twists, .... we are sooo sad tonight I just don't understand how the bloody Beeb justify cancelling such an amazing series..... Trevor Eve and Sue Johnston are as good a actors and top calibre talent as the Beeb will ever get and we are amazed that the bleeding top execs refuse to take a minor paycut (perhaps?) to finance what will surely be the loss of a totally brilliant, much loved jewel in the Beebs crown and leave an absolutely gutted audience. Shame on you guys (upstairs) but thank you all the others who have made this our favourite ever programme and to really transform our Sunday nights and (for what is such a brief time) make worth watching again.... oh that is just so poo :( x

  • Comment number 6.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode and can't wait for tomorrow.

    I noticed a couple of things..
    I wondered if the two older people.. the Geigers, were perhaps a nod to American Gothic? As soon as I saw them, my mind went straight there! Loved it.
    But mainly, was there a small homage to David Lynch in there!? That shot with two elderly people gardening, bright red flowers in the back ground and a water hose spraying everywhere... Blue Velvet anyone!?

    *shrug* I suppose I shall never find out, but it certainly added to the enjoyment!

  • Comment number 7.

    Trough out the years Waking The Dead has made it mark on BBC for the show to end like this is sad on the ninth season of the show Trevor Eve has done a great job with Waking The Dead it is a pleasure for me to watching the show from the start and this final show and I watched every single show thank you to you the BBC for put this on tv and I wish Trevor Eve all the luck in the world because with Trevor Eve they will be no Waking The Dead and he done the well because I have watched dramas in the past but Waking The Dead and Trevor Eve is the best , I wish the rest of the cast good luck for the future I love Trevor Eve and his cast in the show you are the best so thank you all very much and finally you are breath taking to watch on TV.

  • Comment number 8.

    I only became aware of this show about two years ago, since then I have seen every episode, some more than once. This is one of the smartest shows on TV, and as an American living in "TV wasteland", it was a welcome breath of fresh air, nothing was ever solved in 42 minutes on this show the way it is on US crime dramas. I loved the cranky, bitter and sad Peter Boyd (Trevor Eve), the dapper Spencer Michael Jordan (what a name) (Wil Johnston), Boyd's foil, the motherly Grace (Sue Johnston), and rounding out the cast Mel, Stella, Felix, Eve and Frankie.
    I'm going to savor every episode of this final season, I pray it's as good as the last eight.

  • Comment number 9.

    I've been an avid viewer of Waking the Dead since Series 3, and regard it as being one of only a small handful of truly high calibre television dramas on our screens today: brilliantly written, superbly acted (particularly by Trevor Eve and Sue Johnston), visually top-notch. As an undergraduate student hoping to make a career for myself in television production, Waking the Dead is a show I consider to be a masterclass in quality, and as such I'm currently building my DVD collection of each series (up to series 3- will be buying 4 and 5 with the next student loan!). I'm genuinely saddened that it's time is coming to an end, and wish to congratulate all cast and crew on what has been, for me, one of the most valuable and enjoyable television dramas I've ever had the pleasure of watching.

  • Comment number 10.

    Great to see the series return, but get the detail right please. Peacehaven has never been in West Sussex (topic of e-chatter around here since that error was noticed last night) -- it's EAST Sussex. And was the uniform right for Sussex Police?

  • Comment number 11.

    Love the show - shame it's the last series. But I couldn't take my eyes off Sue Johnston's face. I don't know how much work she's had done on her face but she now looks like she's got cotton wool stuffed in her cheeks, and upper lip. Every time she talks she sounds like she's got a mouth full of doughnuts! Sorry Sue, love you as an actor, but please don't ruin your naturally beautiful features with cosmetic surgery eh...

  • Comment number 12.

    Sloppy BBC I expected more from you... Peacehaven is not in West Sussex it is East Sussex.

  • Comment number 13.

    I have never posted on anything like this before - but have watched Waking the Dead for many years. I have to say that I was disgusted to see Munchausen by Proxy being used as a factual condition in the story line. Professor Meadows - who 'discovered' this condition has had his work totally discredited by the GMC but has clawed his way back in on a technicality. Several women were falsely imprisoned only to be later released and exonerated of murder, many people had their children taken away from them only to have the Judges involved subsequently retire early 'to spend more time in their gardens' etc. A little more research and consideration for those who have been falsely accused would not go amiss. Parents lives have been totally ruined by false accusations - many of the children have grown up traumatised or worse.

    An announcement at the beginning of the next programme is called for stating that Munchausen by Proxy is a medically discredited condition.

  • Comment number 14.

    Did anyone else notice the mistake made in this weeks episode of waking the dead? When the characters referred to Peacehaven they said it was in West Sussex. I would like to point out that Peacehaven is in EAST Sussex. Surely the writers could at least get these sort of details right.. I ignored the fact that when they chased the criminal from a house in Peacehaven across some sort of lake or water course.. (We don't have anything like that in Peacehaven) and used poetic liecence to show a nice little bungerlow in a leafy street.. (we don't have leafy streets either) but getting the County wrong.. tut tut!!

  • Comment number 15.

    Stylishly rubbish. I'm surprised that actors of such calibre can bear to perform such warped material that has the potential to dangerously mislead the public.

  • Comment number 16.

    I absolutely loved 'Harbinger' - the darkly intense twists and turns were vintage Waking the Dead; the way we as viewers were led in one direction in the first part, only to have everything catapult in a different one in the second part was brilliant. My only criticism (and, without having seen the rest of the series yet, may be premature) is the apparent lack of continuity from series 8 - I'd love to know what happened to Linda Cummings and, more importantly, what happened in respect of Grace's cancer/recovery. That, and I would absolutely love to have seen more Boyd/Grace interaction as that, for me, is what makes the show so utterly addictive. However, all that aside, I thought this episode was a phenomenal start to the series and it just compounds the pain for me that this wonderful show will soon be over!

  • Comment number 17.

    East Sussex - West Sussex: Waking the Dead is a fictional TV programme - does it really matter? When it was filmed in Newcastle it was also full of inaccuracies but does it matter???

  • Comment number 18.

    I will miss this fantastic show, it's such a shame they have to finish it it's one of the few good shows on the BBC

  • Comment number 19.

    Why is this series being cancelled? US series seem to run for season after season, but this very good drama is coming to an end too soon. Why?

  • Comment number 20.

    just watched for 1st time and little impressed after no tv for 16 years-however watch the killing, on i player; danish thrller if not already-18 episodes as i type - as its amazing- u will decide ;-]

  • Comment number 21.

    The first two plays in the new series, were very disappointing. Too many loose threads leading to loose ends and nowhere. Having seen previous series in German
    we were looking forward to English. We will try one more time and hope that it is much, much better.

  • Comment number 22.

    Intelligent, well acted, well scripted and bloody entertaining - of course it's going to come to end, just like Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, etc. Luther was a brilliant new series, the Italian one 'Zen' was dire. It's great that the BBC are investing in new talent but when such flops as 'Outcasts' are openly mauled and even costume dramas (North Riding) are described as 'ITV'ish (especially when ITV excel with Downton Abbey) you have got to ask are you really sure you want to cancel quality when you are unsure of what will replace it? Very large shoes to fill.

  • Comment number 23.

    Only just found this, and it's the last series!

    Have enjoyed it a lot but we (my partner and I) have a problem with the total incomprehensibility of dialogue uttered by Eva Birthistle. I do sometimes have a problem hearing dialogue but the rest of the characters are perfectly clear to me. A mumbled Irish accent with incomplete pronunciation has made this difficult to follow at times.

  • Comment number 24.

    On the matter of boggart, quoted as being of Scottish origin int he latest episode: the OED 'boggart or boggard,a word inpopular use in Westmoreland, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire and the north Midlands and of occasional appearnce in literatuire since c 1570'.
    Graeme Fife

  • Comment number 25.

    I am miserable too to think it will be no more.
    can't we do something - 'save waking the dead gang' or something.
    it is the best and I look forward to each programme. the cast are wonderful and it will be a sad day.
    please, please can we have a march on the bbc or something!!

  • Comment number 26.

    Why is one of the most popular BBC Dramas being cut again, Waking the Dead has been thoroughly enjoyable and this series especially. Why waste money on other junk, we want Waking the Dead! Please listen to your community and commission another series.

    PS We really should of had this series available in HD

  • Comment number 27.

    As I have already said on the points of view site, by killing off this series the BBC does itself no service.

    At a time when the quality of British TV is ever decreasing; the demise of programmes such as Waking the dead make no sense.

    Is there nothing that can be done to rescue the situation? or, as is too often the case, once a decision has been made (however inane) there is no going back.

  • Comment number 28.

    This week's episode, 'Solidarity', was utterly, utterly brilliant - although I always enjoy (alright, am obsessed by!) 'Waking the Dead', sometimes I feel that the episodes are somewhat too story-driven and not enough character-driven; this episode was a refreshing exception. I have always loved Grace so it was wonderful to see her past fleshed out a little more...and moreover, as a huge fan of the Boyd/Grace relationship, the scenes between the two of them in this episode were just gorgeous; some overt sentimentality in their interaction and some more subtle, with meaningfully exchanged glances...It was beautiful to watch and I just hope we see some more of this before the series comes to its premature end. This show is the embodiment of the reason why I will never mind paying my lisence fee. Phenomenal.

  • Comment number 29.

    I enjoy BBC drama and Waking the Dead is a fine example of this. I do get a bit miffed when you include political diatribes that have no relevance to the plot. You spolit last night for me including Grace's (Sue Johnston) diatribe against Thatcher/miners/police boot boys. It struck me as somewhat obvious that Sue was the commentator as I have followed her on the BBC for some time. Still it is a good drama and Monday night is all the better for the programme!

  • Comment number 30.

    I'm really annoyed (yes, that is the right word) at waking the dead being cancelled. I didn't enjoy the story line with Boyds son last year but apart from that the show has been gripping from start to finish - there are very few decent dramas on TV these days, most of the prime time being taken up with reality TV shows or dance competitions. So waking the dead was, in a strange way, a breath of fresh air. I think the decision to cancel it is a mistake as the BBC has nothing to replace it with, Waking the Dead and Spooks were their two best programmes

  • Comment number 31.

    I normally enjoy WTD however the last 2 parter was a real let down, was it a`lets pander to the lefties` series, the poor detail on the nuclear weapons transport was pathetic, just hope the last serial goes out with a little less blatant and puerile political bias and a little more original and accurate content.

  • Comment number 32.

    Waking the Dead was one of the few programmes I always looked forward to returning. While it couldn't have gone on forever, I still feel it is a shame that this series is the last. I have enjoyed the recent episodes very much, so I am glad, at least, to think it will go out on a high note. Will definitely be keeping an eye out for that yellow aeroplane!

  • Comment number 33.

    I really can't believe that another one of the BBC's best drama series is coming to an end. I know all good things come to an end but surely in this competative climate where viewing figures are of prime importance the BBC they should have kept it on our screens for more series than this. Another of my all-time favs as 'Lark Rise' and against public opinion this has been ended 'in its prime.' The answer is that the Beeb wishes to try out more dramas that they assume we will like as much but why end something with a proven track record of very good viewing figures for the unknown, These two programmes (and sometime back 'Jam and Jerusalem') we the only ones I recorded and really looked forward to. Do viewers' opinions matter as there are quite a number of us?

  • Comment number 34.

    What a superb programme waking the dead is,just wanted to say how much me and my family really enjoy it.Superb cast and stories that keep you guessing all the way,what a pity this series is nearly over.

  • Comment number 35.

    I haven't seen all of the episodes of Waking the Dead but what I have seen has been brilliant. I very rarely watch television because most of it is complete trash, however Waking the Dead is one drama I refuse to miss. Myself and many others I know are extremely disappointed to see the BBC cancel a great drama and replace it with some other rubbish drama. Such a shame and a massive disappointment. :(

  • Comment number 36.

    Why oh why is this the last series of Waking the Dead? I'm probably wrong and there is no connection, but it seems strange that it is happening alongside the news that the FSS (?) department is to be disbanded - which I also find concerning. Ah well, c'est la vie.

  • Comment number 37.

    I have watched this series of Waking the Dead with the same compulsion that I have watched all the series since 2001. Each series is better than the last with excellent and convincing characters and unpredictable storylines, congratulations to all the actors, writers and directors. It seems foolish of the BBC to cut this programme when it is so popular and both me and my family will be sad to see Waking the Dead axed.

  • Comment number 38.

    Thank you to everyone for taking the time to post a comment on this blog. We can't wait for you all to see next week's story. Despite the fact they're the last two episodes, we think they really are something special with some amazing performances, as you'd expect, from our regular cast and our special guest actors, Paul McGann & David Bradley. It's clear from this blog that the end of this series will leave a big hole in the schedules for many of you - since the beginning all Trevor, Sue, Wil and the production teams have wanted to do is make a show that is distinctly different from other crime shows, that keeps the audience guessing and that continues to deliver high production values on a returning basis. If that is what the show is remembered for then 'job done'. Do let us know what you think of Waterloo, the series finale, and thank you for taking an interest in Waking The Dead

  • Comment number 39.

    I watch WtD and that's it, apart from a couple of other programmes that might take my fancy (usually disappointing). So I'm really sorry that this is the last series. There's only one carp (there had to be one) and that is the increasing use of lingering shots of torture and extreme violence reprised throughout an episode. Yep, I got it the first time, thanks. I stopped watching Wire in the Blood when it went the same way, but it's now academic with WtD.
    Both started off with fascinating glimpses into the world of psychology, forensics, criminal profiling and other methodology not usually seen in cop programmes and both intelligently acted and directed. A cast of fine actors and a strong storyline - particularly the most recent WtD two-parter 'Conviction' - don't need this kind of repetitive beefing up.
    Well, that's the mini-rant over. I shall miss WtD loads. One of its greatest strengths has been the developing interaction among the actors so you could truly believe they are a melded team. My thanks to the cast, past and present, and to all involved with this captivating series. Missing you already . . . . .

  • Comment number 40.

    I am looking forward to watching Waterloo with mixed feelings, excitement for what I'm sure will be an amazing finale, and sadness that WTD will be no more. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Colin and all the team for what has been, and to wish each and every one of them success for the future.

  • Comment number 41.

    I was shocked to hear that there will be no more episodes, as "Waking The Dead" has been essential TV viewing right from the start. Over the years the quality of episodes has been outstanding, as has the parts played by all the cast members. "Waking The Dead" has certainly not outstayed its welcome, and I shall miss it terribly. Thank you for giving us this wonderful part of TV history. This is one occasion when I can honestly say that I will look forward to repeats!

  • Comment number 42.

    As most of the people in England I, from Holland, am shocked to hear that this series is coming to the end. I sincerely hope that it'll be repeated as there are a lot of people in the Netherlands who are fans of this series and even remember Trevor in one of his first TVshows: Shoestring I think it was called.
    But tribute to all the actors and other people who worked on these series!

  • Comment number 43.

    I think that the decision that Waking the Dead series was cancelled because someone somewhere thinks" that the show is getting tired" is a misjudgement of the decade because the quality of the programme is a constant value even from the very beggining. It would be very interesting to see what were the arguments used for this infamous decision. If the actors were fed up, many personal changes of the actors team already have been made without any damage to the quality of the series. The production team already includes many writters and directors, thus that cannot be problem at all. If we compare many other crime series: A touch of Frost, Trial and retribution, The Sommervil murders, Spooks, it is obvious that some of them were produced for even 16 seasons and are still going strong. The same is situation with Waking the dead. If I was a person on a position in BBC, I would rather cancel all those who insisted that Waking the Dead should be cancelled, than the series itself because this series represent the peak of the decade long tradition of BBC series quality. Like the other public, I have not seen the finale, and there is only two ways to finish the series: either to kill all the members of the cold cases unit, or to disband it due to costs for example. If someone in BBC think that the public opinion is important, surely the series would be continued, at least for some specials , for Christmass or something like that.Unfortunately, The Big BBC Brother decided to kill the series. How unfortunate!

  • Comment number 44.

    Please reconsider the end of Waking the Dead, it is a fantastic show, with a great cast and brilliant writing. The viewing figures speak for themselves.

  • Comment number 45.

    I can't believe the BBC is dropping Waking the Dead. It's been one of the best programmes they've produced in recent years, and I'll miss it a lot.
    Thanks to everyone involved for all those riveting storylines - they made my Sunday and Monday evenings all the better.

  • Comment number 46.

    I'm afraid the BBC has decided to devote its financial resources elsewhere, thus it is hopeless. It saddens me greatly that the BBC does not care to explain thoroughly and unambiguously what drives the "creative" and budgetary cuts decisions of its "top managers" when it kills excellent programs. I 'm aware Trevor Eve is not the easiest person nor most diplomatic one to deal with but his Boyd character is much more credible than the one he just came up with in Kidnap and Ransom (I found it rather "unbelievable" and I'm a fan ...).
    It is hard to find gripping drama on TV that does not fall short as all the American series do, except for Dexter or Breaking Bad for example.
    I must give 5 stars to The Danish thriller "the killing" and impatiently await the second series to come to our screens too.
    The last episode starts now...

  • Comment number 47.

    WOW. Please forgive me if this is incoherent - I am literally in the aftermath of 'Waterloo', Part 1 and I am absolutely buzzing. THAT WAS AMAZING. In every possible way imaginable. The storyline is brilliant (albeit exceptionally disturbing), the acting is superb...and the scenes between Boyd & Grace were beyond beautiful. I am incredibly conflicted about tomorrow night's conclusion - I'm desperate to see how it all gets resolved (if indeed it does!) but equally I'm dreading the end of this amazing show. This finale has compounded my feelings that I am so not ready for it to be over. However, what an episode to go out on! I'm sure I will be back on here to heap praise once again on Part 2. My sincere thanks to everyone who has been involved with 'Waking the Dead' since its conception - you should all be exceptionally proud.

  • Comment number 48.

    Yes, most of what the reviewers below say is true but for goodness sake why axe decent drama when most TV whether BBC or ITV is crap. Most television programmes play to the lowest common denominator and are trivial, cheap to produce, not interesting or exciting and are badly acted. I suppose (she says reluctantly) there is room for something for everyone. There are far too many brainless programmes such as: who can sing, dance and act, who can stay in a room the longest with a group of morons or who can eat insects in a jungle etc. Then there are the usual dismal 'soaps' and the constant house and cookery programmes which keep being turned out in a different format. So please keep: the programmes showing how beautiful our country is, the interesting ones about the universe etc, the lovely filmed period dramas and the exciting and well acted dramas such as 'Waking The Dead' for the people who like to be kept on the edge of their seats!

  • Comment number 49.

    This is the first time i have ever commented on a bbc tv programme but felt compelled to do so as I am so gutted that this wonderfull drama is comming to a final end...what a waste of a brilliant programme. The actors in this drama are all so talented and have worked so well togerther, what with the fantastic writers to put an end to this drama is a move in the WRONG direction.

  • Comment number 50.

    Waking the Dead has always been amazing. I've never been so loyal to a show or so captivated by everyone in it. The actors are great alone, but amazing together. The writing is fantastic. No other programme on TV compares with it. What a shame to see it finish.

  • Comment number 51.

    The latest episodes have been the most troublesome and moving for me and I can't believe they are planned to be the last. I have never seen such a well researched and realistic dipictation of the lives in and around Residential Care in the late '70's, early '80's; homelessness and the police in and around Leicester Square and Piccaddilly at the same time, and as one episode said, pre "child protection" laws. Thank you for your bravery and for acknowledging in the unconftable truth that for so long was denied. I really havn't been so overwhelmed since they closed down 10/11 Highbury Crescent residential care home and 18 Highbury New park after the exposee in the London Evening Standard in the '90's. I was fortunate enough to not be a resident, but aged 13 some contemporaries were passing through this system, even ending up in that place Haut de la Gorren without paper work. Islington still wont'give over the records if they ever had any.

    Truth is often stranger than fiction, but in this case you've married the two. Thank you again especially to the writers and researchers and everyone as well as obviously the wonderful cast. Cheers!

  • Comment number 52.

    boo hoo! I am really sad, as this is the last episode on right now as I am typing this...
    I just can't believe that the one show that I really love on television is finished for good?
    There is nothing else... and I mean nothing... nowt, zilch, worth watching on tv any more...? Waking the Dead was the only show that I could actually sympathise with the characters in it, other shows in the same sort of genre don't even come close to it, the reason being you don't care for any of the characters in that mediocre, half ars*d shows that they call forensic cop dramas and they really suck in comparison to Boyd & Co!
    As the show is not finished yet, I obviously don't know the outcome of it yet but right now I am really, really hoping that there will be some spin off or one off specials in the mix? If not then, I say FAREWELL BOYD, and well done to everyone who has worked in the show from the beginning to end, this will be missed by many and it was truly a brilliant show... Good Bye.

  • Comment number 53.

    What an amazing finale to the last series of Waking the Dead. Heartbroken that it's not continuing, such an incredible and gripping creation. Just seen that Body Farm is coming along.....so let's hope that's just as good. Well done BBC for these last few years of top-class entertainment this is the sort of drama it's worth paying the licence fee for!!!!

  • Comment number 54.

    Superb! A fitting climax to the best series on the box. Will be sadly missed.

  • Comment number 55.

    I'm stunned that the BBC should be cutting this series from its output. They ought to be ashamed! "Waking the Dead" has been a beacon of excellence in an otherwise pretty mediocre schedule.
    A very sad loss to the schedules.

  • Comment number 56.

    I have just watched the final of Waking the Dead. This was truly an exceptional 2 episodes. I have never posted on a site before but this was so so good in every respect. Casting, acting, script, production-- fantastic. I am an not avid T.V. watcher but this could not be missed for a minute. Thank you to all involved.

  • Comment number 57.

    Waking the dead has been a flagship drama for the BBC. Such high quality writing & acting. Whilst it is sad that this evening was the last ever episode i feel the timing and method in which it was ended was right. Congratulations to all the team involved in producing the show. Fantastic.

  • Comment number 58.

    Thank you BBC for the series of Waking The Dead..sorry that it will be no more. Thank you to all those who have taken part..Trevor Eve superb, as Boyd..more of the same please if at all possible

  • Comment number 59.

    I am devastated it is over. What a fantastic show. The actors are amazing. Trevor Eve has this fatherly side to all his performances which makes them ring so true and his supporting cast are just so convincing. I will miss them terribly. It is one of the most gripping, involving, gritty dramas on the telly. If not the best.
    Why is it facing the axe?
    Losing this and Silent Witness is like losing thinking people's shows.
    If it is that the actors want to move on then fair enough but I hope it is not becuase of budget cuts.
    Bye by Boyd, Grace, Eve and Spence. You guys have been totally brilliant and I've so enjoyed watching you all. xxx

  • Comment number 60.

    So very, very sad to see the end of Waking The Dead. Its truely the end of an era, a classic TV program that will live in my memory for ever. Love the program, love the characters, love the actors, love the stories, love the filming. Just the best crime TV ever. So much better than that 'Silent Witness' stuff! Everyone on the program should hold thier head high...well done guys and girls. So very sad to see you go.

  • Comment number 61.

    Excellent show...so sorry that it's ending......love love love it....well done...all the best to all of you involved in the show......hope to see you back on the screen very soon....

  • Comment number 62.

    I am so upset that WTD has finished for good - I almost wanted to prolong the ending. Please could someone in charge explain why a series with known exceptional viewing figures is axed whilst still at it's height of popularity. We have so MUCH rubbish on TV it is really stupid to get rid of something which would always pull in the viewers. Surley there is time to try out other dramas when WTD is not on the screens!! Shame on those in charge for not listening to the viewers who,after all, pay for the programmes you show and a classic programme is few and far between. For our money we seem to get a great percentage of rather inferior reality shows.

  • Comment number 63.

    I think whoever decided to stop this successful series needs to have their head examined. I could suggest a good forensic pathologist.

  • Comment number 64.

    having watched and enjoyed every series, which have maintained a standard of writing and performance well above the average, I felt the finale was, if anything, rather over-contrived - a shame to end on such a note for me. I will certainly miss the series - the current crop of new series trailers don't look that promising - lets hope 'Body Farm' proves me wrong.

  • Comment number 65.

    The final episodes were disturbing, compelling and the cast were breathtakingly good. Thank you for a wonderful few years of viewing. Will miss such a quality series.

  • Comment number 66.

    That's a great ending to a series. BUT why, oh why call it quits? It seems silly to stop a succesful series such as this when there is so much dross on tv.

    PLEASE reconsider this and make more.

  • Comment number 67.

    Another one here that's sorry to see the end of such a great series. It's been brilliantly written, produced and acted. It was a bright spot of excellent drama, superbly acted, when there's so much mediocrity infesting the schedules. I don't know why it's been axed; it's a shame it has.

  • Comment number 68.

    Adding another voice to the chorus of "What a shame" about the end of WTD. It has been a superb series from the very first episode. I rarely watch TV these days, there's so much that's vacuous and/or hyperactive on. But every time I knew WTD was on, I would go out of my way to see it. Intelligent, well-written, gripping and superbly acted drama - how often can one say that? I don't know why it's coming to an end. I'll miss it.

  • Comment number 69.

    Just seen the final episode on the iplayer. I can only say a big big thankyou to the BBC and the cast of "waking the dead" truely a fantastic series and am very very sorry to see the end. Trevor and the rest of cast will be greatly missed from my TV screen.
    It would be nice to think a re-think about the series and that it would return to our screens one day.

  • Comment number 70.

    I am saddened that Peter Boyd will no longer be with me on a Sunday and Monday night. Sue Johnston is tres and I'm going to be just like her when I grow up. Eve is very brave and we didn't like Sarah but I didn't want her to die in Boyds shed. Thank you for waking the dead. I will miss you. JBLOD X

  • Comment number 71.

    Simply brilliant. I wish I could even begin to write such plots as we have seen over the years in WTD. This last episode (and series) have been as eagerly anticipated by me and my wife as have all the prvious ones. We will naturally be lost without it but to be left wishing for more will always outweigh the 'it's not as good as it used to be' comments. Good luck to everyone who has been a part of WTD and may your futures be as high calibre as they have been in this epic drama series.
    Kindest regards, Lionel :)

  • Comment number 72.

    What a sad day no more waking the dead! better sell my TV now as there is really nothing like this program for twists and turns. Well done all who worked on this program an easy to watch "no odd camera work" easy to hear "no odd audio ups and downs".... just fantastic. Alan Mcdermott-Roe.

  • Comment number 73.

    I can't believe it's over. It was so sad. I shed a tear or two tonight. Having two boys aged 7 and 12 I have to fight for the TV and every sun and mon night they knew I had won the battle. I have enjoyed this amazing and thought provoking show for so many years. I am really gonna miss it. Thank you BBC and Trevor Eve. Thank you. I got my dad hooked 3 years ago and every sun night he would text me to say who he thought the baddie was. He was always wrong of course but that was half the fun. What a wonderful show! Farewell x

  • Comment number 74.

    I just can't get over this, I mean what are you thinking BBC???
    It looks like I will have to spend my time looking elsewhere for good and gritty dramas and I know already that NOTHING is going to live up to "Waking The Dead!?"
    I am so annoyed at these stupid people in charge of television broadcasting, I hardly ever watch anything nowadays with the exception of WTD due to the nonsense we continue to get day & night from almost every channel! The 1 show that I do really enjoy gets axed? I mean what...? (And I don't mean that drivel you put on at 7 everyday, "the one show")
    It is ridiculous to finish a show so bloomin' good...?
    I do realise it is good to bow out on positive feed back, reputations intact etc. but surely you replace it with something better (if possible) rather than putting more of that crap you call entertainment "Reality, eg. strictly duds?" Maybe you should put a phone number along with Waking The Dead so we can still watch and you can charge us more money in order to make your awful Saturday Sh^tey shows...
    Wake up Beeb???

  • Comment number 75.

    Am deeply saddened as the final credits rolled on what has been a fantastic last series of waking the dead. How can you say goodbye to a truly excellent cast and storylines. I feel this series has been one of the best. I hope there may be future episodes. I am a true Trevor Eve fan and will miss him and all the cast. They can all be so proud of the high quality of their work. Good luck to them all and i thank them for truly entertaining us over the years.I will miss you all. x

  • Comment number 76.

    I do not understand that the BBC are a dropping this series. What are they thinking ??????? We will have the repeats will be shown to the very large fan base many times and the BBC figures at those times will be great. Oh BBc what a mistake you are making..........

  • Comment number 77.

    I am so disappointed that Waking the Dead has aired its final episode. In my opinion good crime dramas are few and far between and Waking the Dead is one of the best! I hope that something new and inspiring is created that can rival this programme.

  • Comment number 78.

    I have been gripped to my seat for every episode of "Waking the Dead" throughout the years either on the BBC or repeats on satellite tv. Watched Boyd's life unfold and watched his hair grow grey and receed and have enjoyed every minute of this fine drama series. I am so sad to see it has come to an end. Whatever will i do with myself without it in my life!!!! Obviously i will watch every repeat again and again until i am sure i can recite all the scripts. Whatever these fine actors do after this i hope it gives them as much satisfaction as i'm sure making the characters come to life did for them, great great drama.

  • Comment number 79.

    To the producers of Waking the Dead.
    Thank you for creating this stunning TV show, one that I have been addicted to from the Pilot episode. The scripts and storylines have never dipped in quality and the show has been a joy to follow.
    To the cast of Waking the Dead.
    Thank you for endearing every singe character to me for the last 9 years. From the moody Boyd (who I'd love to have as my boss), to brilliant Grace with her smooth character and with her amazing ability to pour water on Boyds fire. Spence determination and Eve's eye for detail were perfect too.
    Ever since I heard that this was the last series of Waking the Dead I was experiencing conflicting feelings. One feeling was that of dread with the fact that I will miss this programme so much, I'll probably have withdrawal symptoms last experienced when The Wire ended. On the other hand I am pleased that Waking the Dead went out on a high with the best storylines I have seen for years. IT IS THE BEST CRIME SERIES I HAVE EVER SEEN.

  • Comment number 80.

    Deeply saddened by this, will miss this program. The last episode was intense and exciting, the emotions were all there shown on the actors and it made me extremely weepy :( Great episode to finish off this amazing programme. Although I just wish that Boyd and Grace would get together, I was so rooting them on!! Abit upset that Sarah died, intresting character for i would of loved to see her developed more in the programme.

    Now the joys of this was the relationship of Boyd and Grace (squeals) I adore them together and I have to say, at the last scene under the bridge where Boyd looks at Grace and puts his hand on her shoulder, I had a big grin on my face. I just adore them and loved the chemistry of Treve and Sue, they were a joy to watch.

    The other actors I loved to watch and I would like to say good look to them for I will be watching out for them :) Cant wait for Eve to come back in 'Body Farm' Will def be watching that. They had great storylines loved spencer, Eve, Stella and Mel, Just great great actors.

    My favourite episodes are; End game - My god was I on edge, love Linda Cunnings she is my most favourite villian on Waking the dead. Straw dog; I enjoyed that it was around Grace, superb acting from the lovely Sue Johnston. I just adore her. Double Bind; Simple becuase it showed how much Boyd needed Grace i think. No doubt about that :) plus it was so intresting how it was all pulled together and for a first wasnt too sure of the outcome. My favourite series are 4, 7 and 8 just superb writting and great storylines and plots. I loved it. Though my top of favourites is Series 8 for the storylines and writting was by brilliant so far. Series 8 is my most watched so far.

    BIG BIG BIG Thank you too everyone involved in Waking the dead, Hopefully it will come back ( crossfingers ) You all will be dealy missed for making this great crime drama ever!! Thank you Trevor and Sue; Personally, you two better work with one another again!! You are a great pairing :) Going to miss you two banting, fighting and your sweet moments together x

  • Comment number 81.

    To whom it may concern:

    Thank you for the best ever crime series I have seen.
    Fortunately I was wrong in my earlier post and as it happened, all the main characters of WTD remained alive, and even more Boyd will obviosly be cleared of framed charges. Thus, there are no problems and there are enough reasons to continue the production of WTD. Unfortunately I am not a millionare, otherwise I would be very happy to personaly pay for a new season production. It would be well invested money.

  • Comment number 82.

    Thank you for a great show. It is a shame it had ended. Apart from one character (Eva Lockhart), we will have to guess what happens to the rest. However, I have heard a rumour that suggests the show's creator (Barbara Minchin, apologies if the name is slightly incorrect) has suggested that this may not be the end at all, as it is all in the name "Waking the dead" (apparently), and has been "mulling idea's" over the computer. Watch this space. Regards Justin.

  • Comment number 83.

    In case people doubt this (I would understand why), Barbara suggested the above (post) on the local regional BBC news show "Points West" this week regards Justin.

  • Comment number 84.

    I too have just discovered that, after the last episode, Waking the Dead is no more. I am gutted. After another excellent series I can say only this: The BBC is now a poorer place to watch TV as WTD stands way above anything the Beeb has broadcast in recent years. I guess I'll have to go back to watching old seasons of Bones again !!

  • Comment number 85.

    I too am hugely disappointed - because the inclusion of the Zimbabwean back story destroyed my enjoyment of the last episode. I had been pulled in by the first part on Sunday and was hooked and looking forward to the denouement, but the Zimbabwean link jarred - destroying the moment. Why on earth send the psychopath to become a Zimbabwean farmer? From a narrative perspective, this served to allow the psycho to disappear; as Grace Foley said, "Serial killers don't stop - they just move or die" (or words to that effect). But he could have moved anywhere - why choose Zimbabwe? It's a really strange choice given the battering Anglo-African farmers have taken from the Mugabe regime and raises some important questions. When does it become acceptable to portray victims of ethnic atrocities as "baddies"? Using an extreme example: How long after WWII did it become all right to portray Jewish characters as serial killers (in a WWII setting)? The problem here - with the Anglo-African example - is that this group is still being victimised by Mugabe: farmers, for example, are still being violently evicted from the land. It seems like a really cheap shot for the BBC to portray a white farmer as a serial killer. (The production team might try and explain this away by saying that the character was British – but he had been there almost two decades, quite long enough to be considered Anglo-African; just as this is a quite sufficient period of time for an African to be considered British.) And it comes in a vacuum of the portrayal of Anglo-Africans on British tv: where is the dramatisation of the events of the (very dramatic!) last decade? Or even some non-fiction to show where this white African tribe finds itself after a decade of Mugabe’s abuses? The lack of interest in Britain in Anglo-Africa is quite remarkable and one wonders what Grace Foley would have to say about this? But perhaps we need a psychologist who works at a higher order – at the level of society - to try and interpret the root causes. Niall Ferguson’s Civilisation: Is the West History? concluded only a couple of days ago by suggesting Europe has lost faith in itself, but it seems it is the French philosophers who are exploring the Western guilt complex and how destructive – and even self-destructive - this can be. Perhaps it is easier to do nothing to help those crippled Anglo-Africans if we believe they are terrible people, like serial killers?

  • Comment number 86.

    The best was certainly saved until last. Series 9 was outstanding with the quality of writing reaching cinematic standards. Indeed Waterloo had the feel of a movie, with its high production values and Paul McGann doing what he does best, creating a pitch-perfect psychotic (reminded me of Paper Mask).

    Indeed, McGann's character could easily have been Boyd's nemesis - and very nearly was. 'You're good Boyd, but I'm better'. What defeated him was the work of the whole team, the fundamental strength of Waking the Dead.

    Is there a better black actor than Wil Johnson on modern TV? What really sets this series apart is its refusal to deal in stereotypes; Spence is a complex, fully rounded character who is the perfect compliment to Boyd; Eva Birthistle must also get recognition here, no high-flying cardboard cutout 'ballsy' female cop but instead a lady who has been through a lot, with a drink problem, who looks terrible in the morning and has bad judgement but who redeems herself in the end.

    Anchoring everything of course is Sue Johnson, whose best episode by far was also in Series 9 in Solidarity. Like Boyd she is married to the job and is just as lonely in a way having forsaken her chance of happiness.

    It will be interesting to see how Tara Fitzgerald develops in the Body Farm. In the Series 8 episode Substitute she really showed she could put in a heavyweight performance on her own. She really is the 'thinking man's' choice; deep and beautiful in a very old fashioned way. I wish her well in the new series.

    But of course Trevor Eve gave one of the performances of his life in Waterloo. I worked in that part of London for 10 years and know the backdrop to the episode well. All good things come to an end, and while this series will be sorely missed, better to go out on a high and be remembered for the quality. I'm not sure the story is over yet - I predict a special or two in Christmases to come. In the meantime I have all the series on DVD, time to watch all from the start I think!

  • Comment number 87.

    Hugely disappointed that there will be no more Waking the Dead; especially after such a great final two-parter. Trevor Eve never failed to give an amazing performance as Boyd, but last night's was rather special. Thought the ending was very fitting and I loved it. I hope the whole series—the efforts of the cast and crew over the last ten years—gets the recognition it deserves.

  • Comment number 88.

    Does anyone know the name of the church that was used in the first part of Waterloo?

  • Comment number 89.

    I am so sad that the best programme on the bbc has finished for good. Trevor Eve is one of Britains best actors, so believable and passionate with the role he played, such a shame and the final episode surpassed them all, such a shame.
    Sheila Berry.

  • Comment number 90.

    So, so sad Waking the Dead has come to an end. Definitely the best TV programme around on TV. Devastated.

  • Comment number 91.

    Waking the Dead....Finished??? I feel like I've had a vital organ removed :o(. Great drama, again, from the BBC. Loved this last series and was left wondering, till the very last, whether Boyd wwould be successfully stitched up. I can't imagine life without Trevor Eve and his team. Great scripts, superb casting, locations and props making it all such convincing quality. The characters were so well portrayed that it feels like my friends just emigrated. Hope there are plans for an off shoot series, for this team. Come back Boyd....I forgive you everything!!!!

  • Comment number 92.

    Thank you for giving us the right ending to the best TV detective drame series ever!!

  • Comment number 93.

    Love this programme and so sad it has now ended. I would love to know where the costumes are bought for Sue Johnston's character, Grace Foley.
    Hope it comes back again at some point, only really got into it a couple of years ago.

  • Comment number 94.

    Superb series but why leave so many loose ends, it would have been interesting to see how the priest reacted if he had been told about the murders rather than just see it on a newspaper stand.

    It will be missed by all those that watched it

  • Comment number 95.

    One of the best programmes ever, shame the powers that be, cannot produce more with such excellent actors and scripts. It will be missed, and sadly means even less time watching bbc television.

  • Comment number 96.

    absolutely fantastic series and a credit to all the team who work on the programme. The writing is superb and i cannot believe the BBC cancelled the show. It has kept me entertained for 9 years and yes i know all good things must come to an end but waking the dead is so fantastic! It just doesn't make sense to stop it. The final scene was so emotional, i've probably watched it 10 times at least. No-one wants to watch repeats of shows and although this new series called body farm will be on i'm afraid it won't be the same without Trevor, Sue and Wil. Please bring it back!!!

  • Comment number 97.

    I'm not normally 'into' forensic crime drama, but this one was a cut above the rest. The acting especially was always superb.

    Loved the final episode. I hope the team involved get to read the praise on this blog.

    I agree with the idea of ending while on a high. Maybe a feature film next though? Why not? Those involved should think about it. Would be great.

  • Comment number 98.

    I'm joining a long list of people sad that this show is ending, though in hindsight, it would have ended on a high note with about series 5. Way back when "Mel Silver" was killed, it was shocking. Repeating that trope 3+ times (with Boyd and Grace being put in dangerous circumstances) dulled the impact with each repetition, to the point where it was predictable and uninteresting. That said, most of the time the stories are compelling, superb acting, great blend of forensic science, detective work, and bare-fisted action, with a great production value. Shall be missed.

  • Comment number 99.

    Colin and WtD Crew.
    What a scintillating finale!
    I hope you get up for all the drama awards this deserves.
    Yep, it's hairy but amazing drama to get into people's homes.
    Don't let anone tell you the BBC is dumbing down. This was magnificent, breathtaking.
    Fantastic job; congratulations to all the stars. Absolutely brilliant. Thank you one and all!

  • Comment number 100.

    WTD was the best drama on BBC and I am going to really miss it. It's a real crime that the BBC pulled the plug on the only show worth watching. Come on BBC, listen to what the viewers want.

    My congratulations to the whole team who worked on WTD and gave me something to look forward to watching on Sunday and Monday evenings. I feel like I have lost a close friend now it has ended.


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