Summer Of Rockets Ending Explained: The Elaborate Coup

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Poster for the show, Summer of Rockets (Credits: BBC Two)
Poster for the show, Summer of Rockets (Credits: BBC Two)

The British miniseries set during the Cold War, titled Summer of Rockets, was released in 2019 on BBC Two. Written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff, the show was inspired by the real-life events of both Stephen and his father, Alexander Poliakoff, during the time. Continue reading till the end to read more on the Summer of Rockets’ ending.

The miniseries wrapped its entire story in just six short episodes of sixty minutes. The makers cast actors Toby Stephens, Keeley Hawes, Timothy Spall, Linus Roache, Lily Sacofsky, Lucy Cohu, Gary Beadle, and many others as the show’s talented cast.

Set during the Cold War, Samuel Patrukhin, played by Toby Stephens, is a Jewish Russian put up in England. He is an inventor with a talent for making hearing aids and has received a secret task from MI5 to help the Western Cold War efforts. The show explores the competitive space race at the time alongside the hydrogen bomb test, and we also get to see how Samuel’s work ends up giving life to the modern world. 

The show received mostly positive reviews, with fans and critics loving the engaging storyline and the production efforts that made the Cold War feel more real. Let us quickly get into the show’s plot and how it ended.

Samuel Patrukhin in the show, Summer of Rockets (Credits: BBC Two)
Samuel Patrukhin in the show Summer of Rockets (Credits: BBC Two)

Summer of Rockets Ending Explained

The show opened in 1958 when Samuel worked as a hearing aid inventor in England. He had been living his life looking after his family and preparing to launch a brand-new invention that he hoped would shock the world.

In the first episode, trouble knocks at his door in the form of a new mysterious family in town, who go by the name Shaw family. Samuel gets caught up with this strange family while his own family remains in the dark, prepping for Hannah’s debutante season, which will soon take place in London.

The middle-class Patrukhin family is not suspicious at all, and they lead a very normal life, though none of them seem happy with their realities. Samuel is fascinated with the rich and, thus, finds the Shaw family very attractive. Hannah does not wish to go to the Season but is under pressure and thus has no choice.

Richard Shaw, a war hero, has money, and it shows, be it his huge house with its private lake or his extremely beautiful wife, Kathleen, who reeks of money and warmth. The two families get close and become friendly with each other.

Samuel helps out Kathleen’s aunt with her hearing aids, and Kathleen invites them all for lunch. Samuel is thoroughly impressed and loves being invited into a world he could only see from afar. One that he could never really be a part of. 

Lily Sacofsky as Hannah in the show, Summer of Rockets (Credits: BBC Two)
Lily Sacofsky as Hannah in the show Summer of Rockets (Credits: BBC Two)

A Secret Mission & The Young Blood

Happy that he was at least friends with such a rich family, Samuel is utterly enraged when the MI5 tells him he would have to spy on them. He does not want their friendship ruined; he does not wish to find any dirt on them that could ruin their perfect image in front of him.

But he has little choice and soon realizes that the Shaw family might not be perfect. So his spying starts and continues at the fishing party at Shaw’s house, where he takes photographs of men that Shaw had invited. 

Parallelly, Hannah, Sasha, and Anthony’s stories also continue, and it is mostly through them we see the world modernizing, be it through the glowing goldfish bowl in Hannah’s room or Sasha vibing to rock and roll in his or Samuel’s invention of a beeper, a concept the rich are not impressed with. 

We are told that Kathleen’s son Anthony had run away, or was missing, almost five years ago. Kathleen still hopes for his return, and Sasha becomes involved in the case, wanting to locate the lost boy.

It gets to a point for Sasha where, despite being the only Jew in his school, which was scary then, he risks getting caught looking for information on Anthony. He even has to run from his school, and while he is struggling, Hannah does her best to be as rebellious as she can without upsetting her parents much.

She does not want the etiquette class and hates that grown women are being taught how to sit and smile. She understands the absurdities of it all but does not know how to fight it. 

Samuel with his family in the show, Summer of Rockets (Credits: BBC Two)
Samuel with his family in the show Summer of Rockets (Credits: BBC Two)

Shaw’s Coup and the Ending Explained

Returning to Samuel, who has been pretending to be a friend but also spying on the suspiciously nice guy, Richard Shaw. He is at a point where he does not know who to trust and if he is doing the right thing. He spirals into an episode of paranoia, gets shot, and is involved in a scandal, forcing him to part ways with his family.

Towards the end, Samuel figures that the Shaw family, especially Richard and his military friends, are not innocent. They might be planning a coup, had access to tanks, and were well-resourced. Why were they planning a coup? Because they did not want Britain to lose its important status.

They wanted to suppress the social and political environment that was becoming slightly people-oriented. They had big plans of how they would make sure Britain maintained its power without affecting their status in society. Still, a silly yet hilarious sketch of their plan goes live on television, revealing the details of their plans and causing them to abandon them.

So they were planning something after all. Samuel’s paranoia lies in the fact that he had evidence for both things he was told, that the Soviet Union had started invading Britain secretly and that the rich were planning a coup. The end revealed which one was the truth. 

Keeley Hawles as Kathleen in the show, Summer of Rockets
Keeley Hawles as Kathleen in the show Summer of Rockets (Credits: BBC Two)

Nicholas, Esther, one of Samuel’s deaf employees, and Hannah, the young blood, manage to take down the plotters even before they can implement their plan. Ultimately, Hannah protects her family and possibly the nation with such a unique solution.

She was more interested in politics, feared nuclear developments, and wanted a brighter future for the world. She is portrayed as the young blood or the future of the world. Her story ends with her destroying the plotters’ plan and, eventually, holding her debutante in her style.

Also Read: Dear Child Netflix Ending Explained: What Happens to Hannah and Jonathan?

About The Author

  • Tarunjyot Kaur

    Tarunjyot Kaur is a content writer at OtakuKart and writes mainly entertainment-related content. she is currently put up in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. She has done her Bachelor's in Psychology. In her free time, she likes to read books, watch movies and play badminton. You can get in touch with me at

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