Classic Doctor Who, certainly. The mid-80s onwards weren’t kind to them, with a dropping budget and popularity, backstage strife, an unpopular Doctor in Colin Baker and unpopular companions like Mel, etc.
It didn’t get immediately better when Sylvester McCoy took the role in 1987, but boy, did the final season in 89 pick up the slack. Stories like The Curse of Fenric and Ghostlight are classics, the Doctor had a great companion dynamic again thanks to Ace, and there were hints at big revelations about the Doctor’s life that would have come in season 27…if it was made, that is.
You could argue the rise in quality goes back to the penultimate season with Remembrance of the Daleks, but the general fan belief is that the final season holds together much better.
We have Smallville. The last few seasons (Justice League-lite featuring "The Blur") were pretty weak and aimless and just treading water but in the last season they knew it was finally ending and it actually had some momentum and they started lining up the characters and universe with the Superman we know. Shame about the disappointing finale though.
And Rescue Me, kind of. They were really wavering on quality on the later half of that series. Season 4 was kind of weak, 5 was better, 6 was atrocious, but 7 was better. It definitely wasn’t the strongest season of the show, but it was better than Season 6.
This would be a subjective topic, unless you could prove fans of a specific show you wish to analyse felt it went downhill before the series finale. – Ryan Errington7 years ago