After Life season 3: Ricky Gervais details meaning behind emotional ending for Tony

Ricky Gervais says he 'can't think of a better ending' for After Life

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Warning: This article contains spoilers for After Life season 3.

Tony Johnson (played by Ricky Gervais) has said his final goodbyes in After Life as the final season of the Netflix drama landed on the streaming giant today. Fans of the most-watched British comedy in the world have been desperate to find out what happens to the Tanbury resident and speaking to Express.co.uk and other press, creator Ricky Gervais and Kath star Diane Morgan shared all on the series’ emotional ending. 

In episode six, all of the characters fans have grown to love come together for a village fair. 

Speaking about the season’s final scenes, Ricky said: “Well, the ending for me says, life goes on. 

“It’s set at the fair and the fair has been there for 500 years and it might be there for another 500.

“And it’s basically saying, we all die, but not today.”

Sharing her thoughts on the emotional ending, Kath added: “When I saw [Tony’s final scene] I went, ‘Oh, God, what’s happened? What’s this? Oh, no. Oh, right. I see.’”

Read more: After Life season 3: Ricky Gervais shares the scene that makes him cry

“Yeah, I knew I’d been explaining it,” Ricky remarked. 

“But it’s a nice ending. I think people are sad that it’s ended. 

“If they’ve enjoyed it you’re sad that it’s ended, but I don’t think it’s a sad ending.”

“I think it’s a nice, positive ending,” the comedian continued. 

“Obviously, it’s ambiguous because people are asking me about it, but I’d say it’s a nice ending. That’s what I think.”

The comedian has long been an outspoken supporter of animal rights and the bond Tony shares with his dog Brandy is a central theme to the series. 

Throughout season 3, there are various references to the special connection animal lovers have with their pets and Ricky explained this was an important element to the story.

He said: “I think everyone on the set is an animal lover, as are all good people, but it was integral to the plot and the themes of the show because the dog literally and metaphorically saves Tony’s life.

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“The whole start when I came up with the idea ‘Why doesn’t he kill himself?’ because the dog is hungry. 

“So it shows that things that are dependent on you save your life, you have to do stuff, you can’t just opt-out, you’ve got stuff to do and that’s the theme that continues.

“He’s got a job he doesn’t like but it saves his life because he’s got to go to work and he’s got to do stuff. 

“He’s got to meet people and that’s why I made him a local reporter because he has to meet people.”

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“And at the beginning it’s funny and he can’t stand this banality, but that saves his life because he starts getting back into society,” he continued.

“Life is doing stuff that’s all it is, it’s doing stuff and that was an important message.

“And the other message, of course, is to be kind to the vulnerable, and it showed that Tony wasn’t a psychopath.

“Even though he’s trying to lash out and hurt everyone he was kind to his dog, he was kind to his nephew, he was kind to the new girl, he was kind to the old lady in the graveyard because he had empathy and he couldn’t change that, he couldn’t pretend not to have it.”

After Life seasons 1-3 are available to watch on Netflix. 

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