BBC drama series 'Hustle' bowed out earlier this year amid rumours that the last episode would see the entire 'Hustle' team gunned down.
To mark this momentous occasion, we look back at ten memorable TV endings – which range from the sublime to the ridiculous…
If you don’t want the ending spoilt of any of these shows then look away now!
1. Twin Peaks
David Lynch’s cult early-90s drama had seen ratings plummet in season two after it revealed the identity of Laura Palmer’s killer midway through the series. Much of the action of the bizarre final episode is set in the mysterious Black Lodge. However, the final scene sees Agent Cooper back in his hotel room. After going to clean his teeth, he rams his face into the mirror and his reflection reveals that he is now possessed by Laura’s killer Bob. The show comes to an end with him laughing and asking after his girlfriend - “How’s Annie?”
More than 50 million viewers in the US tuned in for the final episode of ‘Friends’ in 2004. After ten series, the episode saw Monica and Chandler packing up their flat as they prepared to move to the suburbs to start a new life with their adopted twins. The long-running ‘will they/won’t they?’ storyline between Rachel and Ross finally concluded with Ross confessing his love for her. The final scene has the six friends leaving the flat and going for one final cup of coffee. Chandler has the final line when he jokingly asks where they should go.
3. The Office
After two acclaimed series, ‘The Office’ bowed out with two Christmas specials back in 2003. The specials picked up the action three years after the original show with David Brent no longer working for the company and now a travelling salesman. The touching final scenes saw David hitting it off with a woman and finally standing up to Finchy. However, for most fans of the show it was the kiss between Dawn and Tim that made this an unforgettable finale.
4. The Colbys
‘Dynasty’ spin-off ‘The Colbys’ lasted just two seasons after it failed to match the ratings of its sister show. It was never going to go out quietly and the bizarre ending saw Fallon’s car breaking down in the desert. As she tries to call for help, she suddenly spots a UFO in the sky that then lands near her car. She gets out and goes onboard the UFO – which then flies off! Well, we guess it beats waiting around for the AA to arrive…
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy slayed her final vampire in 2003 after seven years and 144 episodes. The final episode saw Willow using her magic to turn all the potential slayers into real slayers, while Spike destroyed the Ubervamps and the whole of Sunnydale sank into the Hellmouth. (If you weren’t a fan, you won’t have understood a word of that.) The final scene had the gang looking out at the vast crater and Buffy beaming with a smile of relief.
6. Blackadder Goes Forth
The final scene of ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ is possibly the most moving ever seen in a sitcom – or even on TV. Full stop. Set during the First World War, the programme ends with Blackadder, Baldrick, George and Darling emerging from the trench and charging off into the fog and smoke. The show then cuts to a field of poppies. Perfection.
7. This Life
We’re totally ignoring the woeful 2007 reunion and remembering the fantastic ‘This Life’ as it ended back in 1997. The classic drama about a group of lawyers living in London reached a memorable climax when a distraught Egg was told by Rachel that Milly had been cheating on him. The final scene has Milly storming onto the dancefloor – to the strains of ‘Love is in the Air’ – and punching Rachel. Meanwhile, a delighted Warren returns from his travels just in time to witness the action.
It was fitting that the final episode of ‘80s soap ‘Dallas’ would centre around the show’s villain JR Ewing. Borrowing heavily from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, the series ended with a down-on-his-luck JR contemplating suicide. An ‘angel’ appears to him and reveals what life would have been like for his friends, family and many enemies if he hadn’t been born. JR eventually wakes up to find that he has been dreaming. However, the ‘angel’ then re-appears in the mirror and encourages JR, who is holding a gun, to kill himself. The final scene has a shot ringing out and JR’s brother Bobby running in and gasping ‘Oh my God!’ JR’s fate is unknown.
9. One Foot in the Grave
Grumpy Victor Meldrew finally found himself with two feet in the grave in the 2000 finale of the hugely popular sitcom. Told in flashback, the episode revealed that Victor had been killed in a hit-and-run accident after he’d gone out for a reunion with some old school friends – which no one else had turned up for. His widow Margaret is then befriended by the woman who was driving the car and when she finds out the truth she is seen contemplating whether to poison her in revenge. Viewers are left in the dark about what she decides.
10. Prisoner: Cell Block H
Prison officer from hell Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson finally got her comeuppance in the last episode of the long-running Australian drama. When the prison’s ‘top dog’ Rita is diagnosed with terminal cancer she enlists former nemesis Joan’s help to rob a building society. However, Joan doesn’t realise that she is being tricked and finds herself set up for the crime. The show ends with The Freak banged up and the prisoners celebrating in the yard.
Have we missed out your favourite? Let us know…