Thursday, March 20, 2014

Line of Duty Series 2 Finale What a disappointment.

Oh dear! What a disappointment. After five hold onto your seats Line of Duty episodes the great reveal was the most enormous let down.  Instead of a mind blowing conclusion we were served an episode that would make Agatha Christie blush. Christie would never deliver such a lame final chapter. It is easy to see now why the BBC was reluctant to commission Series 3 as any audience loyalty will have been sadly diminished with the lame duck ending. Let us hope that the BBC insists on knowing the conclusion before shooting starts to ensure this fiasco is not repeated.

It is said in the theatre that one is only as good as your last production and perhaps this is also true of television series. After a magnificent penultimate episode with the fans staying up nights trying to work out who dun-it the writers were obliged to deliver a finale that would shock and thrill by it's brilliance. Sadly this did not happen and it is a great pity.

So what went wrong? Maybe the problem was that the writers did not have a clear idea of the ending right at the start and left it until about episode four before they decided who the culprit was and then had to resort to a flashback which is such a cliche and is not worthy of their intelligent audience.

It also smacked of waiting to see which of the actors would be available for Series 3 and writing out all those actors who would not be available which meant the two best actors who acted the rest of the cast off the screens were guilty. Denton and Dryden both had unfortunate personalities but the actors , Keeley Hawes and Mark Bonnar were such consummate artists that they made the audience like them. Especially Denton who even at the end one felt sympathy for her plight. One wanted to see them again. What a charismatic performance.

This would have been acceptable if the remaining characters had been likeable too but the way the characters were written and played meant that most of the audience positively disliked them by the end. Fleming had not redeeming feature and one felt delighted that she was shut out of her house and was living in a car.  Arnott showed he was a nasty bit of work and never to be trusted again. The only one with a slight appeal is the devious Dot. This line up does not inspire confidence for a follow up. Surely the writers realised that their audience have to like and trust at least a few of their characters in the future.

The denouement was a massive let down. The tracking meter bit was rubbish and Denton leaving the money in her flat while going off with Fleming was too silly for words. Denton was much cleverer that that. Quite frankly some of the bloggers came up with better endings and the discussion was lively and fun. Many will feel cheated and never do this again.

So would be writers make sure your ending is the strongest part of your series. Make sure that your charismatic actors do not get written out and no more flashbacks as you audience will feel cheated and make sure the remaining characters have at least one likeable feature each if you want you audience to hola for more.

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