EastEnders: Magnificent Michael Moon

This Life star Steve John Shepherd joins EastEnders as Alfie Moon’s cheeky cousin,” said the Daily Mail back in July last year. “Even cheekier than Alfie,” they promised, excitedly (and completely wrongly, as it turned out). But further down the page, Shepherd was quoted as saying, “He has hidden depths, which will be exciting to explore.”

And, oh boy, the depths are properly unhidden now. To be honest, I really disliked the character of Michael Moon when he first appeared. He was a slimeball who seemed to be only around for the purposes of upsetting Kat and Alfie, the World’s Most Loveable Couple Ever.

Then he starting sniffing round Ronnie Branning. And, indeed, sniffing Ronnie Branning’s underwear. He seemed attracted to Ronnie by her air of tragedy. Here was a tortured soul who was not averse to a spot of torturing himself, as demonstrated when he set things up to look like Ronnie was once again trying to steal Kat’s baby.

The very depths of Michael Moon’s hidden depths didn’t begin to be revealed until his father Eddie (David Essex) turned up in the Square. Michael hates Eddie with a terrifyingly cold, extreme kind of loathing. But why? What could inspire such hatred of a man who is the living embodiment of cuddly gorgeousness? Well, he blames his father for his mother’s suicide, when Michael was just a child. It’s not the kind of thing that can be sorted out with a chat and a pint at the pub (though Eddie thought it could, and that it had been). It’s what shapes Michael, haunts him and drives him.

And he’s planned his revenge for weeks. Like the way he set up Ronnie, he plays other people like chess pieces, and set up a scenario where, on the anniversary of his mother’s death, at exactly the same time, his golden boy of a brother, Tyler, would be killed in a boxing match (though he is still alive as we speak)  and other brother Anthony would lose all of Eddie’s money, betting on Tyler to lose (when he in fact won, before collapsing) and Eddie would lose Carol. Money, favourite son and new girlfriend all gone in one fell swoop.

Steve John Shepherd is magnificent as Michael. He seems to have no flesh on his face, so you can see every muscle and sinew working in it. A tiny twitch of the cheek expresses volumes. There’s a feeling of otherness and alienation around him, so even when he’s pretending to be joining in and being part of a happy family, you can see that his mind is somewhere else, and probably calculating how to do something very nasty. He delivers lines with Shakespearean intensity. “What colour… were her eyes?” he said to Eddie in last night’s episode. “They were blue, weren’t they? But then they turned grey, do you remember? When she was lying there? The colour just drained away” (makes languid sweeping gesture with his hand). “You’re not helping, son,” Eddie said. A twitch of the Michael Moon cheek. “Oh, I’m not here to help.”

If revenge is a dish best served cold, Michael has served it with ice.

Posted by PLA          (more EastEnders here)




Filed under EastEnders

2 responses to “EastEnders: Magnificent Michael Moon

  1. sinead o connor

    I absolutely adore michael moon off eastenders !! He is my favorite character on the square. That cheeky grin & twitch he does is legendary ! Steve john shepherd is playing him to perfection ! Michael has swagger for suuure !! Walks about walford like he owns it ! His done some evil things but his also said & done some lovely stuff. I like the mystery about him and how quickly his emotions change his had a rough up bringing as a child with his mother death and all of that so I don’t think people should judge em !! At the end of the day he just wants to be loved like everyone else. If any of you are on (twitter) then please do follow my page @EEMichaelMoon a fan page for all you Michael/Steve lovers thank you (“,) ❤

    • pauseliveaction

      I’ve followed you – we MM fans must stick together. The great thing is that since I wrote this post, he’s carried on being as odd, multi-dimensional and charismatic as ever. I worried a bit that once David Essex had gone and he didn’t have the angst about his father to motivate him, Michael would get a bit “normal.” But he doesn’t, he just gets better. I love his relationship with Janine, too. Their Christmas dinner was priceless.

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