Having taken some time out to re-evaluate and come up with a new format for posts on the blog, we’re back, and here’s what has kept me most entertained this week in the Soaps…
Cliffhanger Endings | Red Rock
Red Rock arrived on our screens for the first time back in January and instantly left its stamp in the Soap World by creating relatable characters and unforgettable storylines. This week saw Ireland’s newest TV favourite air it’s final week of episodes before taking a three month break for the summer. The writers however, have made certain we’ll be back for more in September by leaving us with several cliffhangers to whet the appetite…
Katie Kiely was all set to hop on a flight over to England after discovering she was pregnant, but will either her parents or ex-boyfriend David Hennessy persuade her against going through with the abortion? Another Red Rock family are facing drama of their own when Angela and Tommy Tyrell discover that their son Conor has been using heroin, but can they convince him to kick the habit?
Meanwhile, everyone’s favourite Garda, Paudge Brennan, has landed himself in hot water after his financial debts have caught up with him, and with local troublemaker Ollie Coyne having stirred the pot even further, Paudge commits arson in a moment of weakness. However, unbeknownst to Paudge, Ollie has caught the whole thing on camera. The last time a Red Rock Garda was caught in a compromising situation on video it did not end well at all. Will Paudge learn from McGonigle’s mistakes?
And as if that weren’t enough to keep the audience coming back for more, the bromance of the century between Seán and Adrijan was falling apart at the seams as the two came to loggerheads over Nikki, but will they ever get a chance to kiss and make-up? Considering the last scene literally ended with a bang as Adrijan was mowed down by a car, maybe they won’t…
I guess we’ll just have to wait until September to find out, but fair play to the Red Rock gang, because that’s how you do a Season Finale!
Seedy Step-Dad | Hollyoaks
We found out some time ago that Porsche McQueen had been sexually abused by her step-dad, but it wasn’t until this week that he made his first on-screen appearance. Horrified that Pete is back in their lives, Porsche reveals all about what happened between herself and Pete when she was only fifteen, but Pete uses charm and manipulation to diffuse the situation and discredit Porsche’s claims, leaving Porsche ostracised by her mum and sisters. With Porsche out of the way and Pete making himself at home, we see that he has also, to some extent, being abusive towards both Celine and Cleo, whether it be mentally or physically.
Done well, this could be another great storyline from Hollyoaks which raises awareness on an important social issue. It also gives the trio of new McQueen sisters played by Twinnie Lee Moore, Sarah George and Nadine Mulkerrin a chance to sink their teeth into a really gritty story, not to mention a memorable introduction for both Zöe Lucker and Kai Owen as Reenie and Pete. Having been a big fan of Kai Owen during his time on Torchwood, I’m very excited to see him play such a villainous character and to see how this story plays out…
“Death” In The Dales | Emmerdale
It wasn’t a good start to the week for Ashley Thomas when Victoria Sugden ran him over with her car. Despite leaving quite the dent in her windscreen Ashley managed to get to his feet and seemed to be none the worse for wear as he rushed off to find Laurel, worried she would relapse and have a drink.
Of course, appearances can be deceiving and as a result of the accident, shortly after leaving Laurel again, Ashley collapsed in the street, outside the Woolpack. After being rushed to hospital the doctors decided it best to induce a coma, where he still lies, but alive for now at least. Laurel, however, turns to the vodka as the events of the week catch up on her and having seen Ashley’s dad Sandy crying, she assumes the worst and starts announcing to the whole village that Ashley is dead, which of course is not the case, but leads to a lot of upset as people take her word for it.
This is only the latest drama in Laurel’s continuing downward spiral as she struggles with alcoholism, but the story has progressed so well and is so carefully written that it makes for great television. It’s definitely the best alcohol abuse storyline I remember ever seeing in a soap and Charlotte Bellamy is playing a blinder as Laurel.
Some People Think I’m Bonkers… | Fair City
Someone else playing a blinder at the moment is Conall Keating as Neil Ferguson in Fair City. The character was diagnosed with Bi-Polar Disorder last week, but the signs have been there since the eldest Ferguson brother returned to Carrigstown.
The story has made for great viewing and has kept the Ferguson family at the heart of the show, which can only be a good thing as Enda Oates who plays Ferguson patriarch Pete is not only one of Fair City’s finest actors, but one of the best in the whole country. Another of Ireland’s finest Carrie Crowley joined the series as Pete’s ex-wife Jackie late last year and her character is also struggling with a mental illness. Of course, we can’t forget Wesley Doyle who plays the loveable but dopey Doug, who has been a long time fan-favourite and is just as involved in the drama as his on-screen brother.
I’ve always been a big fan of storylines that tackle the important issues and this Bi-Polar plot is no different. I’m excited to see where it goes next…
Ramsay Street Returnee | Neighbours
Time to take a trip Down Under to find out what’s been happening in Ramsay Street, which saw the first of a bunch of fresh faces introduced (or re-introduced as the case may be) this week. [It’s probably worth pointing out I’m following the Australian airings of Neighbours which are two weeks ahead of the UK & Ireland]
Last time we saw Paul Robinson’s daughter Amy she was a small child, but 23 years later she’s all grown up, has a brand new face (as in there’s a new actor in the role, not that the character got a face transplant or anything), and has come back to visit her dear old dad… Well, maybe I’m over romanticizing the situation, because the reunion was frosty at best and Amy has really only come back to tell Paul she wants nothing to do with him, but that’s probably not strictly true. Amy would appear to be struggling financially, and Paul isn’t nicknamed “Money Bags” without good reason, so all is not what it seems, surely.
The Love Connection | Doctors
The latest addition to the Doctors team, Sid Vere, is also fast becoming one of my favourites. There’s something quite endearing about the character and you can’t help but root for him whenever he’s on screen (so kudos to Ashley Rice for managing to portray that).
Sid got the chance to play the “Love Doctor” in one of this week’s outings, when a series of unfortunate events led to guest characters Margie and Nathan, who had fallen in love with each other at first sight from across the shopping centre, failing to actually meet. Sid, being the only constant between the two would-be lovebirds, saw an opportunity to earn some karma points and did everything in his power to bring them both together. And by the episode’s end he had succeeded and it was all quite fairytale-like, which left me with a warm fuzzy feeling and won the plot a spot in my weekly highlights.
She’s Having My Baby | Fair City
The Bi-Polar plot, wasn’t the only Carrigstown caper to grab my attention this week on Fair City. Caoimhe Dillon’s unplanned pregnancy was another stand-out of the week, due to the fact that her boyfriend Damien Halpin has been adamant for many years that he does not want to have children under any circumstances, for fear he will take after his own father…
How they’ll handle the situation really intrigues me, because of how much Damien has stressed in the past that he never wants kids of his own. Also, neither Maclean Burke nor Aoibheann McCaul (who play Damien and Caoimhe) have had a big storyline in quite some time, so hopefully it means we’ll be seeing a bit more of them over the next few weeks.
Anniversary Celebrations | Eastenders @ 30
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few days, you’ve probably heard Eastenders celebrated its 30th Anniversary this week and as is common practice with milestone episodes these days, the cast and crew of everyone’s favourite London based Soap, pulled out all the stops to mark the special occasion.
Of course the most talked about storyline of the week was the long awaited conclusion of the ‘Who Killed Lucy Beale?’ whodunnit, which has been ongoing for the past 10 months. While we’ve had plenty of Red Herrings thrown in the mix along the way, the killer was finally revealed to be Lucy’s 11 year old half brother Bobby.
While Bobby Beale may have done the dastardly deed, it was his adoptive mother Jane who covered up the murder and even managed to convince Bobby that Lucy had been fine following his altercation with her and that someone else killed her later that night, elsewhere.
The revelation was met with mixed reactions from the audience, with some unimpressed that Bobby turned out to be the culprit. Personally, I found it to be an interesting turn in the story and the aftermath it holds for the entire Beale clan in the coming weeks and months should make for great viewing.
As well as the Bobby reveal, there was another huge surprise in store for fans of the Beale family this week as Ian’s mum Kathy and original EastEnders cast member Gillian Taylforth made a surprise return on Thursday night, despite the fact the character was allegedly killed off in a car accident in 2006…
Of course, any true soap fan will know that the #1 rule of the genre is if you don’t see them die on-screen, they’re probably not dead and could return at any moment. Kathy’s apparent demise almost 10 years ago did indeed happen off-screen and when Taylforth left her Hollyoaks role several months ago the thought of a return for the Beale matriarch had entered my mind right before I dismissed the idea on account of my over-active imagination.
When Phil Mitchell pulled Ian aside the other night mere minutes before Ian’s second wedding to Jane however, my interest was piqued once again as Phil wanted to tell the groom something very important, following an equally suspicious conversation he had with Billy and Peggy. Before the infamous Mitchell could spill the beans to Ian they were interrupted by Ben (Phil and Kathy’s son) and Phil suddenly decided what he urgently needed to tell Ian could wait. Sure enough two episode later we saw Phil secretly meet with Kathy… Not saying I called it, but I certainly had an inkling.
Other highlights of the eventful week saw the discovery of Nick Cotton’s body in the burnt out Slater House where his dear old Ma, Dot, had left Albert Square’s original Villain to die after taking some dodgy gear. Several Walford residents including Stacey Slater, Martin Fowler, Charlie Cotton, Carol Jackson, Sharon Watts and Ian Beale (as if he didn’t have enough going on already) rallied to cover up Nick’s death in order to protect Dot, only for Dot to go and shop herself in to the old Bill and get driven off the Square in a squad car.
As all this was taking place there was further drama kicking off over in the Queen Vic as Kim Fox gave birth two months prematurely on the toilet floor of the iconic Boozer, while Mick Carter and Dean Wicks faced off once again in the barrell store resulting in the possible death of rapist Dean – except of course when Mick and Nancy return later on, the body has mysteriously disappeared and Nancy suspects her dad has disposed of it…
To increase pressure for the cast and crew, to make sure none of the big twists and secrets were leaked beforehand, and to make sure the week felt even more special, there were LIVE scenes included throughout the week leading to a 35 minute fully LIVE episode on Friday night, which ended the week with a bang (literally, there were fireworks and everything)…
Naturally the audience, being quite the sadistic bunch of people, always want to see something go wrong when the soaps go live and while everything pretty much went off without a hitch this week, we did have one little hiccup during a live scene on Wednesday night when actress Jo Joyner (who was reprising her role of Tanya Branning for the festivities) accidentally said “How’s Adam?” when referring to Ian (played by Adam Woodyatt), but the slip up added to the week for me, and both Joyner and Laurie Brett who plays Jane recovered brilliantly from the mistake and thankfully it didn’t all fall apart at the seams. I’m sure hardly anyone noticed – actually loads did, it kinda broke Twitter!
Special Kudos to Adam Woodyatt who managed to turn the waterworks on and off at will during the live scenes, and to Executive Producer Dominic Treadwill-Collins who masterminded the entire week and has kept the audience on their toes since taking the helm of the show in 2013.
But of course, a huge congratulations to the entire cast and crew for a spectacular week of revelations, brilliant performances all around, and here’s to the next 30 years on Albert Square!
This Week’s Soap Highlights | Fair City Return, Ros na Rún Cliffhanger, Home and Away Goodbye & More
Taking a look back at the biggest goings-on over the past week in Soap Land… Did Someone Say Tommy Dillon? | Fair City Just like the titular character in an old Western, Tommy “we must always use his full name” Dillon channeled his inner Dirty Harry and sauntered unexpectedly back into Carrigstown this week after … Continue reading This Week’s Soap Highlights | Fair City Return, Ros na Rún Cliffhanger, Home and Away Goodbye & More →
Taking a look back at the biggest goings-on over the past week in Soap Land…
Did Someone Say Tommy Dillon? | Fair City
Just like the titular character in an old Western, Tommy “we must always use his full name” Dillon channeled his inner Dirty Harry and sauntered unexpectedly back into Carrigstown this week after a lengthy absence. In true Tommy Dillon fashion, the local hero gave no forewarning of his impending return and just rocked up casually to McCoy’s much to the surprise of the regulars.
While his daughter Caoimhe may have been happy to see her auld fella, many others were less than impressed to see the Kilkenny native back in town. Some were so disappointed at the comeback of Geoff Minogue’s character that Wayne Molloy, Bob Charles and Jane Black even went as far as founding the We Hate Tommy Dillon Society, in which the general gist of the inaugural meeting was “we should chase him out of town with pitchforks and flaming torches!”
While the We Hate Tommy Dillon Society might be eager to get rid of the man himself as quickly as possible, here at the Tommy Dillon Fan Club the hope is he’s back for the long haul. Of course, let us not forget Rule #3 in the Fair City drinking game; Any time anyone mentions Tommy Dillon (full name only, obviously) knock back a shot…
Dire Straits For Tadhg Ó Díreáin | Ros na Rún
Ros na Rún wrapped up for the summer with a cliffhanger that left the future of the soap’s most iconic character, Tadhg Ó Díreáin, hanging in the balance. Macdara Ó Fatharta has played the role of Tadhg since the series’ inception. Over the years he’s gotten away with murder, rape and all sorts of criminal activity, yet has constantly remained a favourite with the audience.
In September Daithí Mac Suibhne joined the cast as Eoin Farren who arrived in Ros na Rún claiming to be Tadhg’s son. While acting like he wanted to get to know his father, Eoin was secretly plotting revenge on Tadhg for months because of how he had wronged his mother. Tadhg has been wise to Eoin’s scheming for a few weeks now, but it all came to a head in Thursday night’s finale when father and son started throwing punches.
Eoin bested his father in the scrap and Tadhg ended up unconcious, trapped in a coffin, as Eoin set the place up in flames. Part of me thought surely they can’t kill off Tadhg, the show wouldn’t be the same without him – he is to Ros na Rún as Alf Stewart is to Home & Away after all. The other part of me thought, he’s been getting away with all his wrongdoings for so long, maybe it’s time Tadhg got his just desserts. While I hope he somehow manages to worm his way out of it, it’ll be a long wait to September when we find out what happens next…
Who’s The Daddy? | Emmerdale
Charity Dingle made a brief return to our screens this week when her daughter Debbie visited her in prison, just in time for Charity to go into labour and give birth to a baby boy. This came as quite a shock to the Dingle family and the rest of Emmerdale village, because no one even knew that Charity was pregnant in the first place.
If Charity knows who the father is, she wasn’t letting anyone else in on that little tidbit of information, so naturally people began to speculate with most people assuming the baby was Declan Macey’s. Chas figured the baby was Cain’s, but he denied having anything to do with it, not that Cain Dingle’s word counts for much. It’ll probably be awhile before we find out the truth, but as well as Declan and Cain as suspects, I’d also add Jai Sharma, Ross Barton and DI Bails to that list. As it would be the most dramatic conclusion though, I’d be putting my money on Ross being the baby daddy…
It’s All Relative | Eastenders
The residents of Albert Square have all been becoming one big happy family lately, as more and more family connections seem to be made on a weekly basis. Every dynasty on the Square seems to be tied to another family in some way or other and this week it was time to cement the Carters and the Masoods together.
In the lead up to the 30th celebrations it was revealed that Shabnam Masood had given birth and abandoned her daughter on a doorstep many years ago, and she confided in Stacey Slater that Dean Wicks was the baby’s father. Over the past few weeks the scandal has come out and despite his daughter’s wishes Masood has been eager to track down his granddaughter. After finding Jade, Masood realised that he would destroy his relationship with Shabnam if he was the one to contact Jade, so he persuaded Dean’s mother Shirley Carter to go meet the girl.
Having been ostracised by most of her family, Shirley was keen to take Masood’s information and set off to meet Jade. When Shirley finds the girl, we see that Jade is not well and the Eastender’s crew have announced that they’ll be exploring a Cystic Fibrosis storyline with Jade. With Jade now very much in the picture we should see the bonds between the Masoods and the Carters deepen, especially given the child’s medical situation.
Exit Stage Left | Home & Away
[It’s probably worth noting I’m following the Australian airings of Home & Away which are two months ahead of the UK & Ireland, so this here is a Spoiler Warning]
It was announced in January that Steve Peacocke would be bowing out of his role as Summer Bay favourite Daryl “Brax” Braxton. Not long afterwards, we saw Brax locked up in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and for the past few months we’ve only seen him caged up behind bars.
This week we finally saw Brax take a leaf out of Michael Schofield’s (obligatory Prison Break reference) book as he hatched a plan to escape and go on the run with the mission to clear his name. Since this is Home & Away not everything ran smoothly and it wasn’t long before news hit the Bay that Brax had died in a car accident during his prison transfer. As his family and friends mourned his loss, we found out that Brax is actually alive and well, but he explains to his best mate Martin “Ash” Ashford that it would be in everyone’s best interest if he were to remain “six feet under” and makes Ash swear to keep the secret, before driving off into the sunset…
Rachel Reid Goes Missing as The Plot Thickens on Red Rock
Thirty-Two episodes in and Red Rock continues to give it’s Soap Rivals a run for their money, proving that even the new kid on the block can keep its audience gripped with well rounded characters and throwing as many twists and turns our way as the veterans, with decades of experience, do. And now that … Continue reading Rachel Reid Goes Missing as The Plot Thickens on Red Rock →
Thirty-Two episodes in and Red Rock continues to give it’s Soap Rivals a run for their money, proving that even the new kid on the block can keep its audience gripped with well rounded characters and throwing as many twists and turns our way as the veterans, with decades of experience, do. And now that the characters have been properly established, we’re really getting down to the nitty gritty with the storyline that has had people excitedly chinwagging around watercoolers nationwide these past few weeks…
We’ve known since the very first episode that Seargeant Brian McGonigle has been having an affair with fifteen year-old Rachel Reid, when fellow Garda, Sharon Cleere saw them eating the face off each other on some CCTV footage. Sharon was eager to shop McGonigle to the higher ups, but after her colleague Paudge Brennan advised against ratting out McGonigle and rocking the boat, she decided to sit on the information until she could gather more evidence.
When Sharon made the error of confronting McGonigle herself, it gave him time to cover his tracks and dispose of the CCTV footage before sending Sharon a message by orchestrating an attack which landed her in hospital. Unwilling to request a transfer to another Station, Sharon’s life was continuously made miserable by McGonigle as he proved his villainy shows no boundries. Sharon eventually stood up to her tormentor by reporting everything Brian had been up to, but with only her word against his (as the cowardly and craven Paudge decided to remain on the fence and not back up Sharon’s story) and McGonigle being the master manipulator, few people believed Sharon’s take on the tale.
While Sharon and McGonigle were initially the main focus of the storyline, last week saw Rachel Reid brought in for questioning over the allegations, but clearly smitten, she corroborated McGonigle’s version of events and Sharon was forced to take leave from work after being ostracised by her colleagues. While Rachel’s statement may have satisfied many, the whole situation being brought to light left Rachel’s father and sister, Liam and Niamh, concerned that Rachel is lying and that McGonigle is in fact guilty of what he is being accused of. Desperate for the truth to come out, Liam wants to see McGonigle’s head roll and insists the allegations be further investigated.
By the end of the latest episode, Rachel has mysteriously gone missing and with Red Rock’s finest off to find her and bring her home safely, it seems the net may finally be closing in on the contemptible Seargent Brian McGonigle…
Jane McGrath and Sean Mahon have been stealing scenes from the very beginning as Sharon and Brian, but it’s only now that the Reids are being brought to the forefront that Anthony Brophy, Róisín O’Donovan and Ann Skelly have had their opportunity to really show off their talents as Liam, Niamh and Rachel respectively, and cementing their place in the series (not to mention giving the Kielys and Hennessys a run for their money as #TeamReid may now be the cry of twitter fans as to who are Red Rock’s finest family). Brophy, in particular, who already has quite the colourful filmography, has been brilliant to watch these past few episodes and Liam Reid has now beaten some stiff competition to take the place as my favourite Red Rock character.
Kudos, of course, must also go to the wonderful writers, directors and all the rest of the crew who have continued to bring us these exciting episodes as the storyline has played out, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who is eagerly waiting for the next installment…