Last of the Summer Wine : Long term viewers given a short shrift by the last episode?

Long term viewers given a short shrift by the last episode?

I came into this series when Brian Wilde was the third man, so it's been a while.

Unlike a lot of people, I liked the replacements and the direction the show took. I'll commit the ultimate heresy here and say I got tired of Compo, but never any of the others. (donning flameproof underwear.)

I saw Season 31, episode 6 last night and thought the ending was kind of abrupt. I don't know what I was really looking for, maybe a few relationships tidied up (like Marina finally finding true love) but I got the feeling that maybe Clarke just said "That's it!", threw in the towel and left the loose ends - and maybe the actors - hanging.

Has anybody heard from the cast about this? It now been a couple of years and surely some of them have spoken out by now - one way or the other.

Re: Long term viewers given a short shrift by the last episode?

I always thought the BBC pulled the plug on the series without giving Roy Clarke the chance to write a more fitting ending. Can anyone confirm this?

Surely if he was told it was to be the last series beforehand, he'd have written a finale worthy of such a long-running show?

On the subject of Compo, perhaps you grew tired of the character because he seemed to dominate the series a lot when he was in it? I guess some viewers saw him as the star of the show because of his strong personality. I did imagine the loss of the character and the actor was too large a hole to fill because of this but the rest of the cast did admirably well to further the series, in my opinion. It maybe gave some of the quieter ones a chance to shine more.

Re: Long term viewers given a short shrift by the last episode?

I always thought the BBC pulled the plug on the series without giving Roy Clarke the chance to write a more fitting ending. Can anyone confirm this?
I don't know where I got the idea that Clarke had pulled the plug. The abruptness is more in line with BBC doing this and makes more sense.

Surely if he was told it was to be the last series beforehand, he'd have written a finale worthy of such a long-running show?
Funny thing. The liverwurst and onion sandwich backfired and woke me up at 2 a.m. Couldn't get back to sleep, so started scripting how I would have ended the show: Marina gets a man, Pearl mellows out and Howard settles down, Alvin marries Stella, the ever-hungry policemen (great schtick) are promoted to sergeant - or get an armored car, Miss Davenport marries Hobbo - who is then called away on a mission to Albania - he really WAS a hitman for Primrose Dairies, etc., etc. It was nearly daylight before I nodded off. Come to think of it? That would make a great separate thread - "How would you have ended the run?"

On the subject of Compo, perhaps you grew tired of the character because he seemed to dominate the series a lot when he was in it?
PBS out here has started re-runs, with Brian Wilde as the third man. I don't know why, but neither the wife or I just don't like Compo - the wife sees him as a bum, I get tired of his crude ways. I find myself tuning out unless some of the later characters are in it.

I did imagine the loss of the character and the actor was too large a hole to fill because of this but the rest of the cast did admirably well to further the series, in my opinion. It maybe gave some of the quieter ones a chance to shine more.
Indeed. We really started to enjoy the show when Truly of the Yard showed up (memories of Are You Being Served), as well as the other off-the-wall characters. Thoroughly enjoyed Russ Abbot as Hobbo - great characterization. Hated to see Keith Clifford (Robin Hood descendent) leave. And, for some reason, I really LIKED Glenda and Barry and wish they were shown more. (I suspect she'd really look great if she let her hair down. She was pretty foxy in a couple of scenes when she turned the charm on Barry.)

Re: Long term viewers given a short shrift by the last episode?


I don't know where I got the idea that Clarke had pulled the plug. The abruptness is more in line with BBC doing this and makes more sense.


I think that's what occurred anyway. The general consensus at the beeb was that the series had been on long enough and needed to be put out to pasture. Of course it was still doing alright and was ever amusing but I suppose we should be happy it ran for as many years as it did. A final special episode should have been scheduled for the following year, in my opinion.


Funny thing. The liverwurst and onion sandwich backfired and woke me up at 2 a.m. Couldn't get back to sleep, so started scripting how I would have ended the show: Marina gets a man, Pearl mellows out and Howard settles down, Alvin marries Stella, the ever-hungry policemen (great schtick) are promoted to sergeant - or get an armored car, Miss Davenport marries Hobbo - who is then called away on a mission to Albania - he really WAS a hitman for Primrose Dairies, etc., etc. It was nearly daylight before I nodded off. Come to think of it? That would make a great separate thread - "How would you have ended the run?"


'When the liverwurst and onion sandwich backfired' would make a perfect title for a LotSW episode I reckon!

I do love your ideas for how the last episode could have ended, but I think Pearl mellowing and Howard settling could only be a dream sequence, haha.

I thought the coppers were brilliant characters and would have liked a spin-off series about them. There were times watching the last few series where I didn't want their scenes to end! The car boot barbeques were a hoot.

I think many people would opt for ideas similar to yours anyway but it might be interesting to hear different variations.


PBS out here has started re-runs, with Brian Wilde as the third man. I don't know why, but neither the wife or I just don't like Compo - the wife sees him as a bum, I get tired of his crude ways. I find myself tuning out unless some of the later characters are in it.


I suppose where some people see a cheeky rascal of a character, there are others who see an annoying layabout! Comedy is pretty subjective anyway so everybody is entitled to their opinion.

Have you never had the chance to see the first series then? I hadn't seen the Blamire-as-third-man episodes until the year before last and it felt like a different show then but very good. I think the writing was sharper and it hadn't settled into the series it eventually became. Worth a look if you haven't. I must say though, Foggy was always my favourite third man although Truly was wonderful too.


Indeed. We really started to enjoy the show when Truly of the Yard showed up (memories of Are You Being Served), as well as the other off-the-wall characters. Thoroughly enjoyed Russ Abbot as Hobbo - great characterization. Hated to see Keith Clifford (Robin Hood descendent) leave. And, for some reason, I really LIKED Glenda and Barry and wish they were shown more. (I suspect she'd really look great if she let her hair down. She was pretty foxy in a couple of scenes when she turned the charm on Barry.)


I think some of the later characters provided the series with a new energy which it definitely needed, especially when Compo and Nora were no longer there and when Cleggy was sidelined due to Peter Sallis getting on in years.

Glenda and Barry were delightful, I thought. Always liked them. I reckon you could be right about Glenda having a more glamorous side!

It's almost certainly true that the longevity of the show could be credited, in part, to the strength of the supporting cast over the years. Great characters and great actors who played them.

Re: Long term viewers given a short shrift by the last episode?

I loved Glenda and Barry too. Thought it was a bit cheeky the actors were never star billed in the opening credits (until the end I think?).

Sarah Thomas and Mike Grady play them to perfection.
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