The BBC1 three-part drama The Replacement will not be returning for a second series, and that may be a good thing after Tuesday night's (14 March) finale left viewers disappointed and baffled.

The maternity drama concluded with Paula Reece (Vicky McClure) being revealed as a psychopath trying to steal Ellen Rooney's (Morven Christie) life. It closed with one of the most divisive conclusions that the BBC has delivered in a while, leaving some viewers complaining about the "diabolical" ending.

After being drugged, arrested, beaten up and accused of driving her best friend to the brink of suicide and fathering her boss' child – along with having her baby daughter Leah taken away – Ellen finally managed to retrieve her baby and see the mentally disturbed Paula handcuffed and whisked away to the station in the back of a police car.

Fans were left less than impressed by the ending, with a few hinting that show writers may have ran out of time to conjure up a solid finale.

One viewer wrote on Twitter: "#TheReplacement ending was like an English exam when you're running out of time and have to bullet point the conclusion..." as another put: "Do you think they thought they had four episodes but only found out 50 mins into to the last one that they had three? #TheReplacement".

A third added: "Was it just me or was the final 10 mins of #TheReplacement just about the worst piece of script writing ever? Did they lose some pages?"

Others felt like the drama needed a second series to wrap things up properly. One viewer suggested: "I hope there's another season of #TheReplacement where they just run through everything in Ellen's wardrobe & where to buy it".

The final few minutes of the drama also appeared to leave the door open for a potential follow up series to tie up the many loose ends – but the show's writer Joe Ahearne has insisted there will not be a second offering.

He told RadioTimes.com: "It's very much a self-contained drama. I am very much a fan of beginning, middle and end, and quite a lot of drama on telly both here and in America they want it to be all middle.

"They like it to go on forever. When I am a viewer I don't necessarily want to commit 20 hours of myself to something. So very few stories really repay that. It's the commercial imperative of TV, it's what everyone wants," he added.