Friday, 31 January 2014

Broken promises

I had semi-planned a post on flashbacks for this week, linking it in to Lovers Entwined and reminding people that there were several more hours to get a 30% rebate over at ARe on all books on the site published by Ellora's Cave.

However, earlier today I watched the last two episodes of Whitechapel series 4 in an effort to clear some space on my recorder for several new series I want to watch. For some reason these last few episodes had been hanging about on the box for ages; don't know why because I love the show, even though it can be creepy as f**k.

Having finished the two episodes and totally hyped up and eager to watch more, I took to the web to find out how long I would have to wait for Series Five, only to discover this tweet:

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news everyone but ITV don't want any more Whitechapel. That's all folks x

NOOOOOOO! I all but screamed (I was eating my dinner at the time--very bad form to have a tablet at the table but I had to know--and didn't want to spray pasta around the room). I surfed some more, just to verify the fact but it appeared to be true. No more Whitechapel! Why? They hadn't tied up all the loose ends, not to my satisfaction. Who was the creepy lady? Why was she targeting the team? Would the crime scene lady ever have her baby? Would Kent finally get into Chandler's well-tailored trousers?

I haven't been this disappointed by the cancellation of a show since the plug was pulled on Lois and Clark. Even after more than a decade my overriding memory of that last episode is the final shot with the words 'To be continued...' in bold white letters across the bottom of the screen. Liars!

It got me to wondering about author's who write series books. All I've researched suggests that this is the way to make sales. Readers will get behind a series, buy into the characters and keep coming back for more. Except how long can you continue to write about the same characters before it is time to finish their story. I think this question is especially valid in romance where a main feature of the storyline is the relationship. Few people want to see their heroes falling out of love once they've finally got their happy ending. Yes, I know life if is like that, but I don't don't read romance for the reality factor. I read it to get lost just for a few hours,safe in the knowledge that no matter what crap our heroes wade through, everything will turn out all right in the end. My definition of all right is dependant on the book and the characters, I need hope that they are travelling the road to a happy ever after, even if we don't see it. What I don't want is foreshadowing that could put doubt on the relationship you have already convinced me is, not only, for real, but hopefully, forever.

So did the characters in Whitechapel get their Happy Ending? Since the programme could in no way resemble a romance, is that even a valid question. There was foreshadowing a plenty for the series to come (which will never be) and, as you can see from above, plenty of unanswered questions. But each of the main characters had personal issues addressed to a certain degree and the writers appeared to be leading them to places where they could be happy. I have to wonder if the writers would have done anything differently had they known they were writing the last ever episode. Maybe not; neatly tied parcels of all the loose ends hardly seemed their thing.

At least they made me no promises.

To be Continued...



  1. Hmm. Sounds l like you need to find the fan community and read some fic. :)

    1. My first thought was to check out their tag at AO3. I will as soon as I get a moment, but since I've had nothing to do with that fandom's community I don't know the best ones to read. I've always had the guidance of trusted people's recs, or been in the very thick of fandom before. Guess no way to tell unless I dive in, and I can always gauge it with the kudos :)

    2. I can help! :) Sort by kudos - the ones with the most kudos are generally quite good.

    3. Been and checked it out. Only 130ish stories with Chandler/Kent tags and the highest number of kudos left is under 150. Suprisingly low. Hardly any of them are long fics either. :( Oh well I'll start at the top and see how it goes. The show can be quite dark, I'm hoping the fics aren't quite as bad, concentrating on the relationship side of things rather than the murder and gore.

  2. OH wow :((( How disappointing. Interesting thoughts about series. Because (as we've seen on numerous tv shows) once the OTP gets together, the show tends to die. So what do you do to keep a series alive without splitting the two characters up....I often look to series like Cut and Run and Psycop and try to pick apart just what is making them work and be so successful AND keeping the characters together (altho the two in Cut and Run have had separations...)

    Sorry to hear about Whitechapel - I can feel your pain.


    1. You should try and check out Whitechapel if you can get it over there. It's a tad creepy but worth the pain.

      Huh, the show dies, or one of the bloody characters does!!

      You know me, I love the journey of getting them there and sometimes once I got them where I want them, I don't know what to do with them after that. To keep the same characters in a series for a long run, I would worry about putting the boys through unnecessary angst. I think series work best when you have different couples' stories within the same story thread, like RJ Scott did with the Sanctuary series. The new influx of characters help keep the stories fresh but you still meet up with old couples that you loved, generally without torturing them.