Anorak News | Soap Odds & Suds

Soap Odds & Suds

by | 23rd, December 2003

‘LAST Christmas, EastEnders’ Jamie Mitchell lay dying in his hospital bed. As he slipped in and out of consciousness we wondered, like he did, what the future held in store.

”And then I did a season of panto…”

Much we could have correctly guessed (Sonia’s tears; Slater family fights; assorted rows and promises to “sort it”), and much we could not have (Phil marrying copper Kate; Sharon sleeping with her brother; numerous people being attracted to Kat).

But one event was to outshine all others. Even in Jamie’s most fevered dreams he could have not foreseen that Den Watts would not only be found alive but return to Walford.

“Hello, Princess,” said Den as he sidled up to Sharon. Thanks to Little Den (big Den’s son by an affair) and Vicky (big Den’s daughter by an affair), the man was back.

But still something was detracting our attention from the main man in the rapidly expanding Watts household.

We began to realise that Vicky’s accent was from the Dick Van Dyke School of Dialects.

She was American at first, then Irish, then, by the end of the sentence, a mix of Scouse, Brummie and West Country Cornish fisherman.

But soap acting was to reach its apogee in the leather-gloved hands of Richard Hillman, whose crusade to waste the locals of Weatherfield earned the soap the nickname “Killer Corrie”.

Hillman was all set to do for everyone, as he’d done for his ex-wife, Doug, Maxine and part of Emily, when he was rumbled. His plan to frame the odious Aiden had gone wrong.

He was in a bind and knew the only way to garner any sympathy with the watching public would be to take Gail down with him.

The chosen route to an eternity together in panto was to park the car in the family garage and turn on the gas. For good measure, Sarah-Lou, Bethany and David were encouraged to come along for the ride.

As the scriptwriters prepared to celebrate the removal of the Platt clan, and Richard chortled out a comical ”We’re nearly there!”, Martin (Daddy Platt) arrived to bang on the garage door.

The rest is soap history, as Richard sees the doors open. He makes off, chased by the three stooges – Kevin, Tommy and Martin.

The result is one dead Richard. The killer is no more.

Another who tried suicide was Roy Cropper. But even Tracy Barlow’s poison has its limit and Roy was rescued by the returning Hayley, who made him sick.

How she did this is for another altogether more specialised website, but suffice to say that Roy upped the pills he’d taken and all was well.

Or as well is it can be when the likes of Tracy luv are betting that they can sleep with you for a penny, and winning the bet by spiking your drink and taking you back to her mum and dad’s.

It could have been worse – Roy could have end up in Peter Barlow’s room, thus becoming the third member of the bookmaker’s harem.

Peter’s two wives, Shelley and Lucy, were already more than he could handle, and when the juicy one had a baby, Peter was soon rumbled.

So Peter was off, joining his name to a list of cast members who fled the Street quick smart.

To give them their dues, we said “See yer, our kid” to Maxine Peacock (murdered), Richard Hillman (drowned), Joe Carter (run out of town), Curly and his bent-copper wife Emma (went to live in Newcastle) and Lucy Barlow (Australia).

It seems unfair to not mention the EastEnders who went their way. So here they are: Anthony Trueman (popped to the chemists), Mark Fowler (rode off into The Bill), Roy Evans (heart-attack), Robbie Jackson (left for India), Nita Mistry (see Robbie Jackson) and Barry Evans (done in by Janine).

We wish all of those that came and went (and the whole cast of Brookside, who just went) the best of luck and would like to remind them that in soap there is no such thing as death – there is only resting between jobs.

Although Jamie Mitchell has already been buried…’

Posted: 23rd, December 2003 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink