The Last Weekend (TV series)

The Last Weekend is a three-part psychological thriller television series produced by Carnival Films in 2012 for ITV, based on the Blake Morrison novel of the same name. Set over a long weekend in East Anglia, the story centers on a rival friendship that spirals out of control as personal revelations force each character to reassess their views of one another.

The Last Weekend
GenrePsychological Thriller
Written byMick Ford, based on The Last Weekend by Blake Morrison
Directed byJon East
Composer(s)Rob Lane
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes3
Executive producer(s)Sally Woodward Gentle
Producer(s)Christopher Hall
Running time3x45 min
Production company(s)Carnival Films
Original networkITV
Picture format16:9 1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release19 August (2012-08-19) 
2 September 2012 (2012-09-02)


Ian (Shaun Evans) and Em (Claire Keelan) receive a surprise invitation from an old friend. Ollie (Rupert Penry-Jones) invites the couple to spend a weekend in the Suffolk countryside with him and Daisy (Genevieve O'Reilly). The couples expect an idyllic holiday, but the competitive edge to the men's relationship soon rises to the surface, with irreversible consequences.

Cast and crew

Mick Ford adapted the novel for television and Jon East directed the series. Sally Woodward Gentle was the executive producer for Carnival Films, while Christopher Hall served as series producer.


The Last Weekend was met with positive reviews, and received an average of four to five stars from all publications rating the serial.

Time Out's Gabriel Tate called it a "sophisticated deconstruction of friendship and the modern class system."[1]

Stuart Jeffries of The Guardian praised the first episode, saying "fine writing, trenchant class analysis …. there was so much to enjoy in The Last Weekend. I don't know if Blake Morrison's novel is any good, but if it's half as accomplished as Mick Ford's adaptation then last year's Booker prize winner must be stripped of the award. Ford's writing is surely the best in TV drama since Steven Moffat's Sherlock."[2]

The Independent's Archie Bland wrote "no one is to be entirely trusted, [the] gun is definitely going to go off, and I'm looking forward to finding out who fires it."[3]

Euan Ferguson of The Observer commented, "The passive-aggressive golf game between 'old chums' Ollie and Ian had every twitch of the tension of an Ayckbourn endgame without the leavening humour, and this was a good thing: gripping, and I realise I am in terrible danger of saying that we've again got the finest TV in the world."[4]

Leading up to the final episode Inside Soap wrote "one thing we've enjoyed most about this drama is the sense of creeping dread that has built up in its short run." The Don't Miss column described Shaun Evans' performance as "brilliant".[5]

In its Pick of the Day TV Times gave The Last Weekend five stars, calling it "brilliant". The publication anticipated a "thrilling yet unsettling end to what has been a great drama, with a disturbing yet subtle performance from Shaun Evans as Ian."[6]

The Daily Mail gave The Last Weekend four stars and wrote "all too often, television dramas, particularly thrillers, get off to a cracking start, only to take their foot off the pedal as time passes. But right from the opening scenes, the tension in this series hasn't dropped for a moment – and this third and final episode maintains it right to the very end."[7]


  1. Tate, Gabriel. "Interviews: 'Mrs Biggs' and 'The Scapegoat'". Time Out. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  2. Jeffries, Stuart (19 August 2012). "Series: Last night's TVPrevious | Next". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  3. Bland, Archie (20 August 2012). "The Weekend's Viewing: The X Factor, ITV 1". London: The Independent.
  4. Euan Ferguson (26 August 2012). "Rewind TV: Parade's End; The Last Weekend, Funny Fortnight; The Queen's Mother-in-Law – review". The Observer.
  5. "Don't Miss: Enemy Within". Inside Soap. 28 August 2012.
  6. "Pick of the Day: The Last Weekend". TV Times. 28 August 2012.
  7. "Pick of the Day". The Daily Mail. 2 September 2012.
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