EastEnders’ New Year special had more twists and turns than a giant’s intestine as Ronnie and Charlie’s wedding day spiralled shockingly out of control; spelling death, destruction and more red herrings than Morrisons’ fish counter.
Ronnie was getting married and, for some inexplicable reason, was so desperate to see the back of Nasty Nick that she stole 100k from Phil and handed all of the cash over to Walford’s least trustworthy resident. Quite how Ronnie assumed Phil wouldn’t notice such a substantial dip in finances was never really addressed but when the truth did dawn on Mr Potato Head, all hell broke loose.
Ronnie had tied the knot with Charlie boy, watched by guests such as Sharon Watts, Billy ‘spare part’ Mitchell and Mrs Doyle. She got somewhat distracted when she saw Nick lurking about (seriously, this is a guy who is better at lurking around corners and behind doors than Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons. I half expected him to stand on a rake) which proved the point that paying him to go away was never really going to work.
Ruthless Ronnie may have slammed a car boot down on a two bit criminal last New Year, but Nasty Nick, Albert Square’s most notorious villain, is a different kettle of fish altogether. This is a chap who has no qualms about poisoning his mother, blowing up a cafe or faking his own death; a few words of warning from a blonde in a wedding dress won’t see him off. Still, Phil can be quite scary, so when Nick overheard Ronnie giving Phillip permission to kill Nick, he sprung into action. As cutting the brakes of Mark Fowler’s motorcycle all those years back had worked out so well for Nick (his son, Ashley ended up being killed), Nick sliced the brakes of Ronnie’s wedding car before swooping off into the shadows.
Well what a soap year 2014 has been. EastEnders pushed its brand new Carter clan to the forefront of every storyline imaginable, culminating in a cracking Christmas crescendo while Emmerdale was at its whacky best with lakeside showdowns, suicidal cops and storage container kidnappings aplenty. Meanwhile, Corrie welcomed Ken Barlow and Kevin Webster back to the fold and triumphed with the storyline of Steve’s depression; but has been depressingly lacklustre elsewhere.
In a year where we’ve had explosions, suicides, donated sperm, secret children, identity theft, chaotic weddings, ill advised smooches, murderous looking sheep, irate Irish prisoners, devastating scars that look more like papercuts, long running (and I mean VERY long running) murder mysteries, face swapping returnees, pig thefts, schizophrenia, farming mishaps, horrific rapes, drug dramas and Norris learning to use a tablet, it is difficult to compile a list of highlights.
Nothing stops me, however, so here we go: a month by month reminder of the good, the bad and sheer nutty of 12 months in Walford, Weatherfield and the Dales. Enjoy and here’s to the next twelve months. Click below to get reading!
I bet I wasn’t the only person who spent last night’s EastEnders episode willing any member of the Carter family to just look at Linda. Properly look at her. She was practically catatonic – no makeup, still in her slippers, no trace of her usual sparkle and peppiness. “Mum’s hungover,” said the kids. “I need you with me today, L,” said Mick. To be fair to Mick, he was a tad distracted by the disappearance of his “sister” Shirley, who’d done a runner after shooting Phil Mitchell. “It’s not like she’s my mother,” he said to Dean. Oh, the dramatic irony. But Mick, who loves Linda to bits, still wasn’t looking at her. Not properly. Because if he was, he’d have seen that she was suffering and she needed him and she wanted him to just stop for a moment so she could tell him why. Continue reading
While we were dragging ourselves from the comfort of our beds and into the grips of a wet, wintry Monday morning, the residents of Walford were still stuck on the same day that started over two weeks since.
It seems like an age ago that we were writing about the horrendous prospect of Phil Mitchell stripping at Sharon’s hen do and yet here we are, just a day on, as the most eventful day in EastEnders history continued to throw powerful drama our way. If a wedding, the reveal of an affair, a shooting, the death of a dog, a blossoming new romance, a couple splitting up, a text from Peggy Mitchell and a fugitive on the run wasn’t enough to cram into one day, Walford writers hit us with the most emotive punch yet, as Dean’s breakdown led to a harrowing attack on landlady Linda Carter. Continue reading
I’ve not seen a single positive comment about Sharon’s wedding dress. It turns out it’s just as well she didn’t waste her money on something stunning from the Vivienne Westwood Bridal Collection, because she’s only gone and ruined it by getting it covered in blood. It’s not even her blood, either. “Phil’s been shot,” someone said. “Not again,” said Ian Beale, who’s been there and done that himself so it doesn’t impress him much.
Ronnie, knowing that faaamily comes before first aid, legged it with the gun. It was her gun anyway and she didn’t need the extra aggro, what with being pregnant and that. She only got it as far as the safe haven of the Arches, where it was last seen in the capable hands of Ben and Jay. “Capable” as in “of anything.” Continue reading
The gun which has been semi-concealed in a black and white checked bag for I don’t know how long has finally gone bang. When last seen it was in the trembling hands of Shirley, but there was a bit of a tussle for it between her, Phil and Sharon. The cameraman wisely got out of the way, so we were outside when the thing went off. Was anyone hurt? Tune in tonight etc.
Someone who was hurt, in a separate incident, was the Brannings’ dog. This dog is hardly ever seen, so when it appeared wagging its tail around the car that a drunk Abi was attempting to drive to Bolton on her own, it was no surprise that she didn’t get from “Mirror… signal…” to manoeuvre before there was a bang and a whimper. How hurt was the dog? Tune in tonight.
Abi wanted to get to Bolton in a hurry because Jay had just admitted he didn’t love her anymore and he loved Lola. Hence, he wouldn’t be joining Abi in Bolton after all. And he’s made her miss Freshers’ week as well.
Another person who’s decided to jog on (the Square is going to be empty soon at this rate) is Peter Beale. But why? And why did he ring policewoman Emma just after the wedding? Probably no point tuning in tonight on that one, because I doubt whether we’ll get those answers just yet.
Everyone loves a soap wedding. It’s the chance for all the cast members who aren’t on holiday and assorted non-speaking extras to don their finery and fascinators. It’s a time of romance, happiness, firearms and that moving moment when the vicar/registrar asks if anyone knows any lawful impediment and the embittered ex/drunk relative/etc gets shakily to their feet to deliver the killer blow (sometimes literally) – that is, if both the bride and groom have actually turned up in the first place.
The wedding of Sharon and Phil on EastEnders (or “Mr and Mrs Phil Mitchell,” as they are styling themselves, which sounds strangely old-fashioned to me) was never going to be uneventful. Even if they’d been on their own on a desert island those two could concoct some drama between them. Their speeches were all about trust and fresh starts, and we in the audience were quietly reminded that this might be a tricky proposition by Shirley (whom Phil “slept with” very recently) glaring at the newlyweds across the wedding breakfast of poshed-up cockles & whelks and pie & mash. 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
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
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