Tag Archives: soap

Holby City: I thought you would understand

sacha holby(Series 16, ep.31) The conclusion to last week’s story about Joe, the patient who may or may not have been a former SS guard, started fairly comically, with Zosia having forced Digby to stay up all night researching the man’s background on th’internet. Zosia reported their findings to Sacha, who held the opinion that a patient’s background should have no bearing on their medical care. “I thought you would understand,” Zosia pouted. Because he’s Jewish, she expected him to have the same knee-jerk reaction as her.

But because Sacha is Jewish, and because he’s played by the wonderful Bob Barrett (who hasn’t been given a lot to do post-Chrissie but was absolutely at the top of his game here), the story turned into something far more subtle and moving.   Continue reading

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Coronation Street: The end of John Stape

*SPOILER WARNING* Yes, sadly it’s true. After months of speculation, the Stape-inator has been revealed as a departing member of the cast, confirming rumours that a dramatic exit is on the cards.

Graeme Hawley, who plays the identity-stealing, schoolgirl-romping, pensioner-suffocating, body- burying, youngster-kidnapping, hammer-time chief, filmed his final scenes today. Scenes have already been filmed which see John threaten to jump from the roof of a hospital, with aptly named baby Hope in tow. The dramatic episodes do culminate in John taking a tip over the edge but the fact that the actor only finalises filming today leads me to suspect that rumours of John surviving and going on the run could in fact be true.

So how do we feel about losing the Street’s king of wacky plotlines? John has grown on me a great deal and, now that I’ve given up on realism and taken the story as it is intended, I’ve been thoroughly gripped and will be sad to see it end. I do fear that writers are missing an opportunity to take it in even more bizarre and entertaining directions but I suppose all good things come to an end and no Corrie villain, unless their name is Tracy Barlow, gets away with their crimes forever.

How do you feel about the storyline? And how do you feel about Coronation Street’s current reliance on dramatic plotlines such as Stape’s ending, Jim’s bank robbery and Sophie’s church roof fall? With news of a further armed robbery on the cards, is it becoming too much?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Posted by Our Man in the North          (more Corrie here)

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Eastenders: You look at the script, look at the weather, and think “Bollocks”

If ever we needed a clue that they film soaps well in advance, you only have to look at Eastenders at the moment. Albert Square is currently swathed in a thick coating of snow, the likes of which we haven’t seen round here (my moated dwelling is a mere stone’s throw from Elstree) since… ooh… a couple of months ago.

Normally it would just be a minor, chilly inconvenience for the cast and crew. Chuck on a scarf and don’t forget your thermals, and you’ll be fine. Unfortunately, the storyline demanded a lot of outdoor action and – of all things – gardening.

It’s supposed to be spring in Albert Square, and the Square itself is in dire need of sprucing up. Plus, Lucas has got a body buried out there, so the plot demands that every opportunity is taken to freak him out by almost digging it up. This means that, snow or no snow, Big Mo and her gang of helpers were out digging (“This ground’s a bit ‘ard!”) and filling up the borders with bedding plants.

Well, you don’t need to be Alan Titchmarsh to know that putting baby plants out when the temperature is five below is not a great idea, but the show must go on. Everybody pretended it was perfectly reasonable behaviour. But, by Eastenders standards, it probably is.

Posted by PLA          (see more Eastenders posts)

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Eastenders live: Edge of the seat stuff

Great big pats on the back to everyone involved with the live Eastenders episode last night. Apart from the occasional verbal fluff, and a couple of focusing issues with the cameras, it all went off absolutely smoothly, and the climax was a total shocker, as promised.

They hadn’t taken the easy route, either. As well as large ensemble scenes in the pub, there was a violent rampage by Phil Mitchell (does anyone cringe as effectively as Ian Beale?), rooftop stunt work, and some intense acting. I’d like to single out Samantha Womack for particular praise – her character Ronnie had to tell her sister that she’d been raped by their father. Not an easy scene to play in ordinary times, but with the added pressure of doing it live it must have been incredibly difficult, and she was excellent.

The final scenes, with Bradley falling from the roof and Stacey, Max and Jack desperately trying to get to him, must have been technically so hard to pull off, but it was all done seamlessly. And I don’t think many people had worked out that Stacey was the killer (my money was on Peggy).

In a neat touch, Ian and Dot watched a video that Ian had found in the time capsule he dug up, ensuring that Den and Ange, Kathy, Nasty Nick, Pete, Pauline, Arthur, Frank etc etc all made their appearance in this landmark episode.

Over on BBC3, the inept George Lamb was live on the set to present the “aftermath.” Charlie Clements was obviously emotional – it was his last episode, and what a way to bow out of a programme. There were lots of people in headphones high-fiving each other and hugging in the background, as well they might.

Posted by PLA          (see more Eastenders posts)

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Eastenders: Way to celebrate a jubilee

Last night’s hour-long Eastenders episode was brilliant stuff. Two weddings simultaneously (Ricky and Bianca in all their chav finery, and Bradley and Stacey quietly in a registry office with only a parent each in attendance) and there was a  constant thud of plot bombs being dropped every few minutes.

There was so much going on that it was hard to keep pace with it all. I loved Billy Mitchell frantically gesturing at the wedding car to take another turn around the block while everyone figured out what to do about the sudden presence of Bianca’s (severely estranged) mother, and Bianca refusing to wait. “I’m nervous! I want to go in!” she said, hutching up her wedding gown and stomping towards the church. Scenes between Lindsay Coulson and Patsy Palmer were always brilliant – there’s some actorly chemistry between the two that makes them totally believable as a mother and daughter – and they were just as good last night.

Elsewhere, Janine was released from police custody due to lack of serious evidence, and turned up in the Square like an avenging angel to disrupt the wedding celebrations and point accusing fingers at assorted Brannings and Mitchells.

Becca let slip to Ronnie that Archie had raped Stacey, who was now pregnant with his child, not Bradley’s. Except, Ronnie told her, Archie wasn’t able to have more children following chemotherapy several years ago. So whose baby is it?

Shirley, who really had made an effort to look fluffy and femine for the wedding (still all in black, but throw on a few sequins and a trilby and she could pass for female on a dark night), had almost forgiven Phil for the other day when she found Sonia in his bed, but when she saw him give Sonia a peck on the cheek as he popped her into a cab back to Martin Fowler, she was having none of his (genuine) protestations of innocence. She’s going to tell the police that the alibi she gave for Phil was all made up.

Ronnie finally flipped, rather understandably, at the sight of her late father staring in her front room window every time she opens the curtains, and went out and threw a can of red paint all over the offending image.

So the stage is set for an absolute cracker of a live episode tonight. I can’t wait.

Posted by PLA          (see more Eastenders posts)

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