The End

The End is about a family of three generations trying to figure out how to die with dignity, live with none and make it count.

About The End

Frances O’Connor plays Dr Kate Brennan, an Australian-based specialist in palliative care. Euthanasia is a hot-button topic in Kate’s field of work, and she is passionate in her opposition. On the other side of the world, Kate’s mother Edie Henley (Dame Harriet Walter) feels just as strongly about her right to die. After she attempts to take her own life, Kate has little choice but to ship her out from England and deposit her in a nearby retirement village in the Gold Coast - Edie’s worst nightmare.

While Kate struggles with her own problems, her children are trying to work out who they are, and who they want to be. What follows is a story about parents and children, ethics and emotion, and mostly how it’s never too late to start again.

The Times - ★★★★★

TV & Satellite Week - "Poignant and fantastically funny"

TV Choice - ★★★★★

Go behind the scenes of The End

The characters

Meet the cast of The End

Edie Henley

Dame Harriet Walter

Following the rules has kept Edie warm at night. She’s played her part as the perfect daughter, perfect Christian, perfect wife, perfect mother. Unfortunately, now she’s reaching the end of her life, Edie is furious to realise it was all for nothing.

Her “happy marriage” turned out to be a farce, God is nothing more than an empty fairy-tale and she has virtually no relationship with her children, let alone her grandchildren, who she can’t begin to understand. Edie’s spent her time on this planet trying to be good, now all she wants is for it to be over. But dying is actually far more difficult than she’s expecting and learning how to live proves even harder.

Dr Kate Brennan

Frances O'Connor

Dr Kate Brennan is a senior registrar at Gold Coast Public Hospital, specialising in Palliative Care medicine. Kate has developed a reputation for being the type of doctor who goes to the ends of the earth to look after her patients, treating them physically, emotionally and psychosocially.

Despite all these balls to juggle, Kate has little choice but to ship her mother out from England and deposit her in a nearby retirement village. The “Renaissance Retirement Village” is much more country-club than grim nursing home but it is Edie’s worst nightmare.

Oberon Brennan

Morgan Davies

Born “Titania”, Oberon changed his name the year he turned thirteen. The same year he was finally able to tell his parents he was a boy. The same year he fought tooth and nail to leave his private girls’ school and go to a co-ed high school. Thirteen was a tricky year but nowhere near as bad as fourteen when Oberon attempted suicide. Partly it was his parents fighting so much that he couldn’t think straight. Partly it was because the decision to transition didn’t solve everything.

Now fifteen turning sixteen, and well enmeshed in his trans journey, Oberon is much happier. At school he’s bright and articulate.


Ingrid Torelli

Persephone sees the world in black and white. She knows exactly what she wants every minute of every day and is determined to go out and get it. Persephone is driven and strategic, a natural political animal. She can bully adults four times her age and also play the sweet kid role when needed.

Persephone is often underestimated as “heartless”, but she actually cares deeply about the happiness of the people she loves. If Persephone decides you are in her family, she will do anything she can to keep you safe. She lives bravely and with conviction.

Pamela Hardy

Noni Hazlehurst

An ex-performer, ex-party girl, even ex-gem smuggler, Pamela has led a life of travel and adventure, curiosity and hedonism. With a passport like hers, she has no idea how she’s ended up in a place like Emerald Fields (Pamela does know – it’s because she’s never wanted to be a burden on anyone, and it was becoming too difficult to rely on her equally ageing friends and their families). Pamela’s not used to having a base, she loves to keep moving. Being forced to sit still in a place like this is doing her head in.

Art Weinberg

Roy Billing

A retired university ethics professor and a true renaissance man. Art’s passions are eclectic – taxidermy, philosophy, anthropology, cricket, cycling, gardening. He married Martha when they were both in their late 30s and never had any children. Martha was a professor too and they wanted time to think, dream and sit. Not having children, is something Art regrets now that Martha has died (12 years ago, sudden heart attack).

Christopher Brennan

Brendan Cowell

Christopher and Kate met at 18 on a Contiki tour and have been driving each other nuts ever since. Kate’s been unfaithful throughout their marriage. They got together so young they took it for granted they would experiment with other people. It was part of the deal – inspired by gay friends – their way of staying together without regrets. Christopher’s in jail now for another year and having quite a good time in there. It’s really terrific to have so much time to think and re-calibrate. Who knows who he’ll be when he gets out of there? Kate and Christopher haven’t officially discussed getting divorced but it’s inevitable. The sadness that they’d stopped taking care of each other is enormously hard for them to accept. Kate and Christopher have been best friends all their adult lives.

Josh Carlisle

Luke Arnold

Josh grew up on Tamborine Mountain, in the Gold Coast Hinterland. His parents divorced when he was 12 – his sister went to live with their Mum and Josh stayed to look after his Dad who had MS and other health issues which meant he was wheelchair bound, on dialysis and a proper alcoholic. The day Josh got back from Schoolies Week he found his father dead in the bathtub.

Josh met Beth in his last year at university when he was doing a double degree in music and environmental science, Beth was studying journalism. When Beth was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disorder at age 28, Josh’s first instinct was to run away. His second instinct was to stay. He loved Beth more than he ever loved his father and perhaps the point of all of that was to prepare him now to help Beth.

Episode guide

Check out some more The End

Series 1

Series 1

Episode 1 - Do Not Resuscitate

Harriet Walter stars in a Sky original about how it's never too late to start over. A suicide attempt reunites a mother and daughter.

Episode 2 - Toxic Shock Syndrome

Edie babysits Persephone as Kate fights to rescue her reputation. Meanwhile, when Oberon lands himself in danger, it falls to Edie to rescue him.

Episode 3 - **** Christmas

Edie heads out of her comfort zone when she agrees to sing in the village's annual Christmas show. Meanwhile, a diagnosis determines Art's future.

Episode 4 - Polar Bear

Oberon hits an unexpected obstacle as he seeks testosterone therapy. A confession changes Edie and Pamela's relationship during a trip to stock up on weed.

Episode 5 - To Be / Not To Be

A difficult decision unexpectedly gives Edie a new lease of life. A trip to Art's new hospice leads Edie to ask Kate for help.

Episode 6 - Art vs Life

Kate is horrified by Edie's proposition, but Art and Edie aren't willing to let it drop. Plus, Edie agrees to a secret rendez-vous with Henry.

Episode 7 - Blood Sandwich

Kate and Edie get a nice surprise when they team up on a work project. A heartbroken Oberon turns to Edie when a romantic encounter sends him into a panic.

Episode 8 - Metastasized

A drunken anniversary party at the retirement village leads to Oberon making a confession, Edie making an unexpected move and the arrival of an ambulance.

Episode 9 - With Sparkles

An anxious Kate struggles to keep it together during a work conference and turns to drink for the first time in years.

Episode 10 - Picking Scabs

A tragedy forces Edie and Kate to make amends. Kate gets her diagnosis and something happens that leads Edie to feel there really are moments worth living for.

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