The hunt for Oliver Hughes may be over, but the debate over whether it was the ending The Missing deserved rages on.
Since last night over 11,000 people have voted in Radio Times’s poll asking whether viewers were satisfied with the ending. Over three quarters of those polled were not.
9,125 people (roughly 80 per cent) said they weren’t satisfied with the conclusion, with just 1,899 (16 per cent) responding that they were happy with the ending.
4 per cent (roughly 450) said they would have to watch the series over again before passing judgement.
Viewer comments after the final episode aired were even more divided, with many leaping to the defence of the writers for attempting such a brave ending.
Others however were frustrated by the lack of closure for James Nesbitt’s character Tony Hughes.
BBC1 has confirmed that there will be a second series of The Missing, with a cryptic trailer promising “A New Case”.
Here are some of the top comments posted on the Radio Times website. Join the debate here.
Alison Davies loved the final coda, and was intrigued by Tony’s desperate end
“Isn’t the point to leave the audience in the same situation as Tony and Emily? We have been offered an answer and we can either choose to take it at face value and accept closure (as Emily), or we can go on searching for an absolute answer…with the warning that this may drive us mad?”
Satish Kumar disagreed…
“Point made, but the purpose of the producers is not to leave audience like emily but to retain their audience. This is primarily entertainment in the end. You cannot seriously expect audience to take commercial TV shows in the same way as works of Tolstoy or Shakespeare. In a commercial TV show, you better play on the emotions of the viewer.”
Allan Graham said the ending was “rushed” after an initially gripping series
“What a terrible ending!!! I feel we have been taken along a very gripping series and then given a damp squib ending. It was all rushed and packaged up at the end but we were left with more questions than answers. Was that Olly in Russia? Was James Nesbit unable to let it go and ended up having a total breakdown in Russia? Definitely won’t be wasting another 8 weeks watching the 2nd series.”
Victoria Noblet felt she understood why some viewers had problems with the final episode
“Although a frustrating ending, perhaps the message its trying to convey is that many people with missing relatives never have a definitive answer or closure.”
Laraine Daultrey felt the ending didn’t match the rest of the series
“Feel cheated. Been gripped throughout and have been so looking forward to tonight’s episode since last week. Why all the complex twists and turns throughout … Garrett …. Vincent ….. The Romanian lady having her throat cut …. Her bother’s gang ….. The journalist….. Julien’s leg …. The policeman killed in jail …. And it turned out that the boy had been run over by the local hotelier whilst chasing a fox. What was the point of the last 8 weeks? Talk about a sledgehammer to crack a nut.”
Sam Durneen calls The Missing “the best thing on television in 2014”, and can’t wait for series two
“The perfect ending to what has undoubtedly been the best thing on television in 2014. The Missing has been gripping and both beautifully written and shot from the beginning, but this concluding chapter really was the icing on the cake. Glad Jack and Harry Williams chose not to go with the safer, optimistic ending – this was much more rewarding.
“The best revelation was that initially no abduction took place, as read as gospel for eight weeks. And then of course the implications. Ian, while sick, in actuality had nothing to do with Olly’s abduction… and was murdered. Tony’s endless, desperate search and his non-acceptance of closure; and the awful truth being he will never find his son. And Vincent, one of the most tragic TV characters ever written – you couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. Truly a brilliant, brilliant series, very nearly perfect. Please may the second be just as good.”
And the best of Twitter…
Thought #themissing was excellent grown-up story with tragedy in its soul and no easy answers. Best BBC drama in ages.
— Lloyd Shepherd (@lloydshep) December 17, 2014
No spoilers, but it seems some disagree that #TheMissing had an ending. What do people expect? A sunset? A complete "Where are they now"?
— Andrew Collins (@AndrewCollins) December 17, 2014
As good as the series was, the finale of #TheMissing was a let down. Wouldn't've felt so bad if they hadn't drawn it out over 8 episodes!
— Ash (@ashdewan_) December 17, 2014
So has the dad gone insane through desperation?
OR has he finally found his son?
— Colin Cloud (@Colin_Cloud) December 17, 2014
Real life may not have conclusive endings, but dammit, drama SHOULD. #TheMissing finale was infuriating!
— David Green (@itsdavegreen) December 16, 2014
No closure? Most real life cases of missing children have no closure and questions are always asked. AMAZING DRAMA. #TheMissing
— Becky (@RebeccaAnnLacey) December 16, 2014
— Emma (@BellalovesBear) December 16, 2014
Right, who's up for going to Charlons Du Bois?
Not necessarily to find the boy, just to find a proper ending. #TheMissing
— Charlie Maines (@CharlieMaines) December 16, 2014
#TheMissing Writers: “All we can say is that this series will have closure. We don’t want people to leave feeling frustrated"
— Halifaxtropolis (@littlerich007) December 16, 2014
— Tariq Latif ?? (@tariqlatif42) December 16, 2014