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

Maxine Peake in Silk. Photo: BBC.
Matthew Hemley
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.
by -

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.