I'm putting this up early in preperation for tonight's finale: What did you make of the ending?
BBC (ended 2010)
The way I saw it, Gene was a sort of angel (although he didn't directly know this), whilst Keats was definitely the devil (and knew it - based on his behaviour throughout the series).
Nelson was a spirit guide and the pub - the one-way road to heaven (similarly, Keat's lift was as you say, the one-way ticket to hell). Alex died in the present and realised when she checked Keat's watch and found the time had frozen at 9:06.
Well, wow! We were right to think that the copper with half a face was Gene Hunt but i have to admit to wasn't expecting to find out they were all in fact dead!! What i liked about the episode was that there were loads of moments, for me at least when the penny dropped and i knew what was going on and after years i've not fully understanding what was going on with this show i appriecated that!
I think that Keats is like Hunt but that he has no team around him, so he's jelous of Hunt and wants his team.
So overall i loved this final episode i liked the ending and i fully accept it and i love the idea that Gene Hunt is helping police people to pass over when they die and that when you die you go to the pub!
It made me feel a bit sad and depressed, i didnt really want them to be dead . I would have liked it to be a bit real and i wanted them to stay together, i would have liked gene and alex to be together as well. But I think it still was a good ending and I was not expecting it to end like that poor molly loosing her mum.
I thought the final episode was amazing! I would even go so far as to say it is one of the best endings I have ever seen. I thinkLife on Mars and Ashes toAshes to Ashes are cult TV showsand will be British classics for many years to come. Great writers, fantastic actors, the whole package. Phillip Glenister is an unbelievable actor and I will miss the Gene Genie!
I think it was established that Jim Keats was a tempter figure, tempting people to betrayal, despair, abandonment, disloyalty, distrust and so on, and that following him leads to destruction of the personality, and that Gene was a "keep on keeping on, even if it's silly, depressing, hopeless or generally f'ed up" figure. Following Gene meant you could continue to be yourself. We were meant to think that Gene and Drake were kind of a "heart and head" duo, which they functioned as, but really, Gene was the "God" of that little "cop's purgatory" world. Him shouting "Don't call me that!" when Drake has simply said "Oh God!" hints at this. If Hunt leads people to remain true to themselves, their consciences and their friends, and Keats tries to erode all of that ("taking" Viv and others who give in to selfishness and despair), then Nelson is kind of a St. Peterish figure (having the keys to the pub/heaven).
I like how scenes in the modern day are lit "cold and hard and empty" and the fantasy 70s and 80s scenes have more warmth, which isn't because they are more real, but because they are more internal and comforting. They sure have left the door open to have another series, set in 1993 (almost twenty years ago) with a line-dancing black cop with a mullet and a new focus upon Law and Order/X-Files type stuff.
I absolutely LOVED this final, it was so different from any other series finale, so...unexpected (well for me anyway) But hell, that was so, so sad !!! Some of these scenes will probably remain epic, such as the one where they all leave Hunt and enter the pub, or when Sam jumps off the building in the finale of LoM.
I cannot stop listening to Life on Mars now, and every time I do, it gives me goosebumps !
I'm really going to miss this show...hopefully the writers will come up with another brilliant idea soon