This article contains SPOILERS for those who have not yet seen Thursday 25th September’s episodes
Well, it was all flaring up in Emmerdale tonight wasn’t it? Declan was really digging a hole for himself and some could even say he was in too deep. Enough puns? So what is the latest in Emmerdale’s big week, scheduled cunningly in the final days of voting for the Inside Soap Award for Best Soap?
Declan had just given Charity a face full of his meat tenderiser and now had what he thought was a dead body on his hands. Meanwhile, wrongly accused Megan and the eternally hapless but endearing Robbie were slowly (and I mean very slowly; he was able to dig an entire grave in the time it took them to arrive) on Declan’s trail.
This was Emmerdale’s gripping take on Cape Fear as Declan went from short tempered businessman to full blown psycho. Bundling Charity into a car boot in what must rank as one of her most uncomfortable car journeys of all time (except perhaps the ones she might have experienced in her prostitute days), he sped off into the woods to bury his deceitful wife. However, Charity, as always, had the knack of putting her Size 9s right in it; this time the ‘it’ was Declan’s face as he opened the boot. Continue reading
Things were heating up in EastEnders last night. No, I’m not talking about that pesky fire but the prospect of Walford hunk Phil Mitchell stripping at his bride-to-be’s hen party.
Yes, believe it or not, the inexplicable Philip Mitchell aura had the ladies of the Queen Vic screaming for him to take his clothes off and reveal the perspiring joys beneath. However, while many ogling eyes were on an unimpressed Phil, there were no eyes on Sharon, who hadn’t turned up to her own hen night.
Sharon was over on the staircase at the stag party, not because of gender confusion but because she needed to confide in someone that she was getting colder feet than a nervous penguin. Of course, her confidante was none other than everyone’s good pal, Danny Dyer, who gave her the pep talk of her life.
Mick was a do-gooder in demand too, as he also had to contend with talking Alfie out of his foolproof plan of torching his own home. Turned out it was a little late for that, and the living room was already engulfed in flames as an oblivious Kat snoozed upstairs. With Kat’s level of make-up and aerosols both on her body and off, it was inevitable that the whole place would explode, and, when it did, Alfie’s tortured agony at the thought he had killed his own wife was played hauntingly well by Shane Richie. Continue reading
Very rarely in soap do you get what would be classed as a ‘golden couple’, that being a pair of characters that are so meant to be and have such on screen rapport and chemistry that they are clearly soulmates. With most pairings of soaps succumbing to affairs or killing each other within the year, it is a treat for viewers and fans to have that solid couple who, no matter what the writers would throw at them, their love would still remain.
Coronation Street’s Hayley and Roy Cropper and Vera and Jack Duckworth were prime examples of this. And so were the irreplaceable Jim Branning and his beloved Dorothy. As news reaches us that the fantastic actor behind the kindly and bumbling Queen Vic potman, John Bardon, has sadly passed away, I reflect on one of EastEnders’ most loved characters.
Jim ‘The Basher’ Branning entered the soap as a brash, cruel and violent character, portrayed convincingly by John, but it wasn’t long before the actor’s natural warmth meant that Jim could not always be written this way. John was an actor who conveyed the decency and humour that Jim became loved for, and it was only natural that the character’s progression would follow this. Continue reading
WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS. Please do not read further if you prefer to avoid them.
The aroma of plump sausages sizzling on the barbie, the feel of sand trickling between your toes (and the crunch of it in your sandwiches) and the blazing heat of the one solitary warm day we had are all distant memories. Our thoughts are turning from foreign holidays and ice bucket challenges to how we are going to occupy the slowly darkening evenings.
Cue the ambitious soap producer, determined to reel their temporarily errant, sun worshipping fans back in with an action packed autumn of drama. And Coronation Street and EastEnders are both really going for it this year. Continue reading
I love Emmerdale at the moment. It’s a show that has always been able to blend warm drama, excellent humour and nail biting drama effectively and it’s currently firing on all cylinders.
Soaps go through the biggest peaks and troughs of any television medium. Considering they have to churn out several episodes per week and still be expected to remain fresh and original, it’s really no surprise that there are seasons when the shows almost hit the skids. There was a point this time last year when BBC’s EastEnders looked like it was on its last legs, but its recent reinvigoration has really turned things around.
Emmerdale, however, has remained steadily consistent, hitting us recently with yet another blockbuster storyline that had it all. I am, of course, talking about Donna’s downfall, which pulled a range of characters into an emotional scenario that was both thrilling and moving.
Emmerdale played a blinder, keeping the eventual outcome of Donna’s rooftop death a surprise for viewers. The fallout from the tragic events has been heart-wrenching to watch, with particularly notable performances from Michael Parr as the tortured Ross Barton and Mark Charnock as Marlon, the grieving dad of Donna’s daughter, April. Continue reading
Some things in the entertainment industry are just a given. Ant and Dec will win every possible gong for TV presenting at awards ceremonies, even if they haven’t presented anything that year. A popular much loved EastEnders character will make a point of looking forward to their future before being butchered on Christmas Day. And a drama penned by Jimmy McGovern will always be almost flawless in quality.
Despite the apparent furore over the BBC’s alleged bias towards McGovern’s views on the legal system, Common did not disappoint. Like predecessors including The Street and Accused, here was an often gritty, rarely sentimental and bleakly honest look at an issue through the lives of some intricate and mostly relatable characters.
The drama centred around the debate over Joint Enterprise Murder; the law which indicates that associates who were present in any way at a murder scene can be equally implicated in a killing, without the need to pinpoint the person who dealt the killer blow. McGovern certainly wasn’t sitting on the fence with this one. The drama exposed the foibles of such a law with harrowing consequences for all parties involved. Continue reading
It’s the morning after the EastEnders the night before, and my jaw is still on the floor next to the pile of soggy tissues. It was, quite simply, the best half hour of drama I’ve ever seen in a TV soap.
Producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said, “We’re doing it forensically. The minutiae. We’re doing grief first; it’s not a silly death. It’s about death in a family,” and he wasn’t kidding. The episode focused on the immediate aftermath of Lucy Beale’s death: the police telling her father, Ian, and Ian telling the rest of the family. I’d expected to feel sad and tearful. What I hadn’t expected to feel was such a sense of dread at various points – when Ian had to face going to the mortuary to see Lucy’s body, when he had to tell his other children. Even when his phone rang and he wasn’t ready to talk to anyone. It was grief shown like it really is. Almost the most poignant scene was when Ian was sitting in the waiting area at the mortuary with the police officer, and they made small talk about where she grew up and the places they both knew. He even smiled at the memories, but you could see behind the smile was the realisation that nothing in his life would ever be the same again. It was utterly real, and the performance from Adam Woodyatt as Ian was incredible and intense in every facial expression and every gesture. All the peripheral details added to the brilliant work from the lead actors – little things like the policeman washing up the tea mugs, or the look on Lauren’s face when she saw Ian coming into the pub to look for his son, Peter (lovely work from Ben Hardy). Continue reading