After a 33 year run, the BBC’s Crimewatch is to come to an end, with an extended 5 hour episode which will, according to the show’s creator, ‘resolve all plot threads left hanging over the years’.
Though writers have insisted there was always a 45-year story arc planned from the start, some viewers complained the show gave up on its original plans in order to elongate its run by settling into a crime-of-the-week pattern. Many of the plots seemed to be left without resolution, leading critics to claim they were ‘making it up as they went along’. Others have suggested the show ‘jumped the shark’ when the ‘will-they-won’t-they’ romantic tension between the Jeremy Vine and Sophie Rayworth characters came to nothing, and when popular character Jill Dando was written out of the show in Season 15. Reviewers also criticised the show for bad acting, a reliance on stock villains and the tendency for the characters to repeatedly explain the plot points to the viewers. However, the show has also been highly praised for its innovative use of audience participation, in which the viewers are encouraged to call the show to predict which characters were responsible for the hold-ups and murders.
Head writer and showrunner Andrew Parry told us: ‘It’s been an amazing 33 years and we appreciate the time our fans have invested in the show. Although the end has come sooner than we had anticipated, we’re determined to make this finale a fitting one. Needless to say, there’s a lot of strands there to wrap up, but we believe viewers won’t be disappointed with what we have in mind. We’ll be revisiting villains last seen in 1984 and revealing which crimes were real and which were side flashes in the alternate meta-universe Crimewatch studio established in Season 8.’
With its sprawling plot and literally hundreds of characters, internet forums have been buzzing with predictions of what the finale is to reveal. Fan theories are mainly centred on the role of the Nick Ross, who is very much the linchpin of the show, tying the myriad storylines together. However, opinions are split on whether Ross, who’s unsettling catch phrase ‘don’t have nightmares’ became a national obsession, is the shadowy mastermind behind the crimewave or merely a pawn – many believe Ross is only a bit player in the shadowy group known as ‘The Corporation’.
The episode will coincide with a release of a box set of all 858 episodes containing 1,500 hours of material with cast commentary. Ratings are expected to be high; however, many fans remain cautious after the similarly-themed ‘Police Five’ show resulted in a final episode with few questions answered and the main character breaking out of the television studio to find himself stranded on a remote lion-infested island.