If you’ve been with the series from the beginning, you’ve seen 295 episodes. In case you hadn’t realized it, you’ve been watching for 37 years or, you have had some pretty significant marathon DVD viewing events over the last “X” number of years. Either way, Sunday, 29 August, will officially be the last of Last of the Summer Wine when it airs on BBC One. For those in the U.S., looks like a Fall 2010 date for the final episode on those public television stations nationwide that air the series.
Seemingly resigned to the fact that “it’s time”, the one and only writer the British comedy series has ever had, the great Roy Clarke, commented recently, “I miss it. It sort of leaves a gap.”
From a cast standpoint, it wasn’t immediately known that this would be the last series when it began filming back in September. Many had thoughts it could be the last, however. Word is that Peter Sallis, now 89 years of age, who played Norman Clegg in every series was so in to what would ultimately be the last series that he arrived for the weekly script run-throughs in full costume.
Say what you will about the series….and many have with LOTSW usually finishing amongst the most-loved AND most-hated British comedy series of all time with viewers. It’s an incredible achievement to have survived in a television landscape where you rarely see series lasting beyond several seasons these days for one reason or another. Summer Wine struck a cord with many a faithful viewer over the years. For me, besides the incredibly subtle, yet brilliant, writing, it was the weekly opportunity to see some pretty stellar English countryside.
FYI, the last line has been revealed and is currently circulating around the internet. Not going to reveal it here for those that want to watch live on 29 August in the UK or for those that want to wait until Fall in the U.S. Just didn’t seem right for those of you that have waited 37 years for this.
If you’re a fan of the series, a great addition to your library will be the book, Last Of The Summer Wine: The Story Of The World’s Longest Running Comedy Series by Andrew Vine, assistant editor of the Yorkshire Post. It’s available from Amazon UK beginning today. FYI, will be available in the U.S. on Amazon beginning in December 2010.