Unhappy endings – did BBC1’s Silk short-change viewers?

Maxine Peake in Silk. Photo: BBC.
Maxine Peake in Silk. Photo: BBC.
Matt is news editor for The Stage, having started as the newspaper’s broadcast reporter. He covers all areas of the industry in his role, but has a particular interest in musical theatre. Matt studied acting at Bretton Hall and presents a monthly theatre news round up on BBC London Radio.
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Maxine Peake and her ludicrously red lipstick will no longer be on our screens every Monday night, with BBC1’s Silk this week concluding for good after three successful series. Shame on you BBC etc etc..

I wrote here last week how sad it was to be saying goodbye to the show after enjoying every episode. But, at that time, I consoled myself with the idea that creator Peter Moffat would at least bring the series to an end with a bang. And so I waited. And waited. Then waited some more. And even with just a few minutes to go I turned to my partner and whispered that something really dramatic must surely be about to happen.

Sadly, I was wrong. It seems Moffat, like other writers before him, couldn’t think of a truly satisfactory climax, and opted instead to have Peake’s character… well, I won’t say here, just in case some people have yet to catch up. Needless to say it was disappointing, and Twitter soon filled with similar thoughts from upset fans.


While even Neil Stuke, one of the show’s stars, hated the ending, writing in reply to someone on Twitter:


A shame, after such a successful run, that it ended like this. With one scene the writer seems to have undermined all the hard work that went before.

Still, I’ll forgive him, because on the whole the drama has been spot on and I’m sure it wasn’t easy to find a way to say goodbye to characters he’s lived with for that many years.

There is one good thing about last night’s ending too: Martha (Maxine Peake's character) didn’t die. Which means maybe, just maybe, she’ll be back one day.






  1. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, series loved every one I am going to miss my fix of silk just wish that it was not coming to a end still so much to give.
    l hope to see all the actors on the tv in the future.
    I just don’t know what to do with out my fix.
    I guess I will have to get the dvds.
    congratulations to all of you involved in making this brilliant program. Can’t see how you can better this.
    Janet terrill. X

  2. Like many viewers I have loved watching
    Silk, the ending has led to lots of why,

    Lets forgive Peter he must have had

    his reasons, hope its for a come back.

  3. It was an awful ending, really really awful. I have decided to believe Martha jumped on the bus when Billy was being helped by junior. But damn, Mickey Joy’s ending was right on.

  4. The ending chimed with my own sickness about what ‘the Law’ is (or do I need to write ‘The Law’?).
    I KNOW defendants need defence but when it actually comes down to a joust between clever rrrrses on opposing sides knowing how best to exploit ‘the law’ it’s demeaning of it.

  5. PS: Series managed to shine a necessary light on the good aspects of prosecution. Without efficient prosecution and just on the head of a pin a real live guilty perpetrator could get away with their crime and leave their victim with no justice because a defence QC is more skilful about ‘the letter of the law’.

  6. What an awful ending.I feel left in the air.Pity she could not have engaged the help of Mr Poirot (who would have found the jacket evidence right/left handed) Martha was too emotionally involved in the case and rather unbelieve to me that she was able to take the case on in reality -unprofessional I know this is just a STORY – but cant end so gloomily. Agatha Christie always ended on a positive note – that’s why we are still watching her dramas .Maybe someone can write an alternative ending.. hopefully a next Episode?

  7. Am sooo disappointed that the series is finishing. Can’t remember when I got so involved in a series. Acting superb, stories superb, ending bad but please bring it back

  8. Takes a lot for me to like such programmes. Law and Order UK and Scott and Bailey have been worth watching. But the ending of this was difficult to follow. We knew Billy was going to die and the sympathy despite his character of manipulation was very good. Martha just disappearing? Said she was feeling homesick and her room was bugged, but a bus goes by and there she is gone…… Good series, but not a good end.

  9. The ending worked for me. Quite a lot of the earlier storylines didn’t. Not sure how they managed to make the talented Miranda Raison so boring. Neil Stuke magnificent as ever, along with Maxine Peake.

  10. The ending in the final ever episode of Silk was mindnumbingly poor.

    Clearly could not think of a brilliant way to end the series so it quite simply was fudged….

  11. I hate the ending of the last series.It’s too bad. Bring us back Matha!

    Truly, Maxine Peake has performed really very professional and extraordary in all Silk series. :)

  12. Three endings were possible.
    Martha took the bus returning home
    Martha meets Milk Joy and he pushed her in the river
    Martha destroyed by loosing his fight freeing her first lover jumps into the river,

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