Friday, April 03, 2009

Do endings diminish beginnings?

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So I finally started to watch the 2nd season of the 1960's short-lived sci-fi drama "The Invaders" and thought to myself "How many seasons could this have gone had it not been canceled prematurely?" and then thought "How would this series properly end?"

As I pondered how to satisfactorily end The Invaders, I wondered if having a neat ending would have diminished what came before it? For example, if David Vincent had caused the aliens to suddenly stop invading Earth (in the series finale), would that have made all the adventures before hand some how less thrilling?

This same train of thought could be applied to many series - had the Robinsons found Earth, would Lost in Space have been as exciting? If the castaways were rescued from Gilligan's Island, would the series have been less funny? Of course, there's always the question "Does knowing that the series ends on a positive note take some of the 'edge' off the preceding episodes?" For example, would knowing that the Robinsons find Earth in the last episode take the 'edge' off of Dr Smith's stupidity throughout the series? Or similarly would Gilligan's ineptness be forgiven if the castaways get rescued in the end?

There are a few series with an ending, namely Star Trek: Voyager and The Fugitive. How did having a resolving episode affect those series (if at all)? I've been renting The Fugitive and find it fascinating even though I know in the end they find the one armed man.

OK then over to you - what are your thoughts on endings diminishing beginnings?

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