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  • Hello! Sorry if I asked already but it appears that the image for this episode came from your wikia, and your wikia has a better synopsis. Do you happen to have the episode? I've been searching for it for the past year and a bit.

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    • Yes I have the episode. I think it is on YouTube but the uploader has the wrong date.

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    • Do you happen to know where I can find it?

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    • Sorry I am getting confused. 16th April 1985 is where Jackie has his motorbike smash. I have 9th and 11th April but not 16th. I thought the ep show on the 11th was the 16th.

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    • Ah OK thanks anyway!

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    • I wish they would rerun Emmerdale from Day 1 and not 17 years in. So many episodes from the Farm era need to be repeated that is not in my (and others) collections. Although today the reruns are stretced for widescreen, and several old eps from Sky Soap were on longplay VCR and the quality is not good, but the 1983 eps Feb-May are in their original broadcast quality as the seller taped them on shortplay. I would love to see 1988 in its original crisp broadcast quality.

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    • I would kill to see October 1983 to August 1986. Richard Handford was great on The Bill but was fantastic on Emmerdale. Apparently, Emmerdale Farm hit it's peak rating in 1985. There's so many storylines and episodes from his reign I would love to see. They should have started from episode 1, it's not like it was tedious to watch or anything, and it wouldn't have taken long to get to the Emmerdale era if they played two episodes every few days.

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    • June 1986 is missing from my collection and I wonder if that was when Derek Warner was sentenced for the killing of Mowlam? I always wondered how long he got for it, and the robbery and almost killing the police. He must have been put away for a very long time for all his crimes.

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    • I wonder if they ever used the court set prior to Kate's sentencing for killing Pete in October 1990? Theres a few episodes it may have been used in; Episode 651 (24th March 1981) and Episode 1328 (23rd February 1989)... Do you know if Matt ever appeared in court in 1986?

      Actually now that I'm looking, I wish the reruns started from 1989. In January, there was Phil's arrest Mark going missing and the Whiteleys appearing, February had Nick's trial (not sure what for), there was Joe & Kate's wedding in April, Kathy's miscarriage the same month, Nick proposes to Clare also April and Jackie falls ill, Denis killed by Joe's bull in July (one of the few episodes you can find online), Dolly kidnapped by Ted Sharp the same month, and Jackie's death in August. Episode 1392 (5th October 1989) mentions "a great grain robbery", Episode 1394 (11th October 1989) is a break-in at the fish farm, and Episode 1395 (17th October 1989) says "Matt and Joe make a surprising discovery down at Home Farm.", with the next episode mentioning that Alan had lodged with the Bates (meaning something must have happened at Home Farm)

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    • My fave 4 soaps are Corrie, Emmerdale, EastEnders and Neighbours, they have the highest number of episodes and are brill shows. I would love to see 1989 in full. Dolly became a bit of a cow when her and Matt inherited Crossgill and this lead to their break up. I think Matt took in Terri a lodger in late 1989, and Dolly blamed him for the divorce when it was her and her affair with Fuller.

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    • I think Nick might have been in court as he admitted taking the money during post office raid in June 1988, but I'm not sure.

      Aks

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    • Might have been. If he didn't confess then Phil Pearce might have dropped him in it as Phil blackmailed Nick into burgling Home Farm in Dec 1988 as Phil knew Nick stole some of the robbery money. He was arrested in January so maybe he thought Nick had a hand in that?

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    • He did confess, but I don't know if Phil dropped him in it first or not.

      Aks

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    • Benny, yes the Crossgill fire started the breakdown of their marriage and Dolly's affair basically killed it. Dolly felt Matt didn't care too much when she was kidnapped by Ted Sharp, and when Matt took in Teri that looked to throw a reconciliation out the window. Was it ever confirmed that Matt and Dolly re-married in 1992?

      There was an "event" called The Great Grain robbery in America in 1972 where the price of grain increased a ridiculous amount. So with the October 1989 event in Emmerdale, it's either that or an actual robbery (hoping it's the latter, otherwise I can see why the ratings slipped in the late 80s...)

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    • Not sure if it was ever confirmed if they remarried, or just a rumour. Matt often was quite positive, as he did not let things hold him back. He soon got used to life without Peggy and the twins when they died. Until Matt inherited Crossgill, they did seem a happy couple as they had Sam.

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    • I only recall reading it as speculation. Fortunately, ITV will highly likely be replaying the 1992 episodes so we'll be able to find out then if it's true.

      Slightly changing the topic here but so far going through the 1986 episodes, I'm surprised at the lack of drama really going on in 1986. In the two other soap operas that Richard Handford has produced (The Bill and Casualty), there's normally been an explosion and some sort of major vehicle accident, each year he's been producer. The shows are also full of drama (however they are police and medical dramas). However with 1986, it seems there's just been a car accident and a whodunnit with a hostage situation, then Pat's death. Emmerdale Farm 1986 seems like one of Handford's less dramatic television years, despite three big storylines (Who Killed Harry?, Robert's birth and Pat's death).

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    • I think 1987 and 1988 were better years TBH. 1986 was quite boring TBH, once the Harry Mowlam storyline concluded in April, it was quite boring for the rest of the year. Outside Pat's car crash in August that is. May, June and July were very sedate, as was much of August, and to mid December.

      Whereas in 1988, the only sedate month was April. Jan, Feb and March were action packed with the Home Farm sale, Jock's bad behaviour, Jackie and Kathy's wedding and honeymoon plus focus on Nick skiving off school.

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    • By the looks of it, during Richard Handford's reign, there was something going on every month between October 1983 and early April 1986. Am really surprised at how boring it became. Considering when Handford was producer of Casualty there was a helicopter crash and when he was producer of The Bill there was the Don Beech scandal...

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    • What is your opinion of 1988 alone? Do you find it a boring year or a good year?

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    • From what I've seen of it so far, I think there's a few bits where it gets a little boring but otherwise is great.

      I always find it funny when people complain about the violence/gore/nature of storylines/dramatic events. Some of them almost make it sound like they think the show was much more peaceful back in the Emmerdale Farm days - couldn't be more wrong!

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    • I think the show missed the boat so to speak when Tufty Billingham remained a one episode character. He should have been made, as you say a semi regular, or recurring character at least. I think offscreen, Tufty visited the Woolpack a few times. He did say he would drop in when he drove Amos home from golf. Whereas The Major was horrible.

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    • Yes I agree. Would have loved for Tufty to come in as a regular. Defend Amos against Alan and The Major. Really hated The Major and hoped he'd been bumped off at some point.

      One of the biggest mistakes ever made with Emmerdale is not moving it to a prime time slot in 1985. If it was moved, the show probably would have become more popular than Coronation Street. I also think the show's choice in producers have been rather poor at some points. For example, I think Robert Cardona was a bad choice and that Peter Holmans should have been kept on for as long as they could get him to. I also think Keith Richardson should have gotten Michael Glynn to do some bigger storylines in 1986/7. Brookside was fantastic and I'll admit, EastEnders was also quite good around this time too. In comparison, I do find Emmerdale Farm quite sleepy in the late 80s. After Handford left, I felt the great stunts and things not done in Emmerdale Farm/soaps (I think Harry's death was the first whodunnit) stopped, and why I think the show's peak of viewers didn't continue much past 1985.

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    • By the way, I'm doing the plot for Episode 1037 (Derek's final (to our knowledge) episode where he takes Donald hostage) and Derek says that he "couldn't even rip off Alan Turner without making a pig's ear of it and killing someone" - do you think this means someone might have been killed during the armed robbery? Because he then says "I didn't want it to happen the way it did - that wages job"...

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    • Do you think Derek was put away for the rest of his life or just 15 years or more? I think he was mentally unstable.

      Yes, until April 1986, the show was very dramatic but from April 1986 to late 1989 the show was quite sedate with just Pat's car crash and Crossgill. The nuclear story was more about what they may do rather than what they did. Out of 1987, 1988 and 1989, I say 1988 was the most dramatc year of the 3 as we had Crossgill fire, affairs, a robbery, a wedding followed by a disastrous honeymoon, a Home Farm sale, felling of several trees, Jock's erratic behaviour and car crash etc. The only boring month of 1988 was April but Jan, Feb and March were action packed as was May to Dec.

      In early 1985 the show got 15.2 million viewers. It woud have toppled Corrie if it had been primetime as it was not boring like Corrie, which was watched out of habit. I feel Mowlam should have stuck around for longer.

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    • I think Derek was just mentally unstable. I think his time would depend on whether someone was killed during the armed robbery. If nobody was killed during the robbery and I just got the wrong end of the stick, I don't think Derek would be doing too long, considering Harry was a major criminal.

      I found a large majority, if not all, of 1987 boring. There was nothing going on at all really, aside from the nuclear dump, the Rosettis and then Mr. Metcalfe. Then in 1988 there were a few car accidents (although rather minor; like Archie crashing Jackie and Kathy's wedding car into a rock fence and Jock almost flipping Alan's land rover), the Crossgill Farm explosion, and there were still villains (Phil Pearce and Eric Pollard, although they were minor in comparison to the likes of Derek Warner and Harry Mowlam).

      With ratings that high, I'm surprised Granda didn't try cash in on it. If they had moved the show to a prime slot, maybe increased the budget slightly and told Handford to continue the big storylines he was doing, they could have created a better reputation for soap operas and even begun challenging drama shows.

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    • Although Mowlam being killed was the best thing to happen to him due to him being a 100% evil man with no redeeming features, and he was never meant to be a long term character anway. I just was hoping he could have made the odd appearance into say 1988 for example then got killed off. He was mentioned in 1987 and referred to in 1988 plus Dolly mentioned her miscarriage in 1988 which was caused by Mowlam.

      When Jim Latimer returned in 1991, I think the producers wanted us to think it was Derek Warner to start with until the police said he was Jim Latimer. I think Derek maybe only did about 6 or 7 years for Mowlam's murder then was released in about 1992 or 1993 and turned his life around.

      I feel that once Mowlam was killed, the show went quiet even though it dealt with the aftermath in Feb and March which were two slow paged months. Whereas 2 years later in Feb and March 1988 there was plenty of juicy plots.

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    • I think they should have had Derek found not guilty of murder in a twist and have him get sent down for armed robbery for maybe a year, then have him return in 1987 and continue to wreak havoc for a good few years.

      I also think the storylines in 1987 were rather boring as there was a severe lack of any action/drama. Paolo accidentally shooting himself was pretty much the only dramatic thing to happen.

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    • Just out of curiosity, if you had taken over the role of producer after Richard Handford, with your first episode being Episode 1080 (2nd September 1986), what storylines would you have transmitted, between 1986 (lets say you stay for the usual four years a producer does on Emmerdale/Emmerdale Farm) until 1989?

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    • I would have bought back Godfrey James in a new role in 1988. Ask Godfrey to shave his beard off, so that he would look different to Harry Mowlam. I would get Godfrey to play Denis Rigg, the new owner of Home Farm who swindled Joe and Alan out of the place.

      And I would bring in Tom Merrick's sister as a regular character. And in 1987 I would bring back Tufty Billingham as a recurring character. He said that The Major was found dead in 1984 under mysterious circumstances. I woudl still have Annie's tranquilliser problem, Jackie and Kathy's marriage and Joe and Turner buying Home Farm to be swindled out of it by Denis, played by Godfrey James. And in 1989  I would have a mention of Derek Warner, that he has just been released from prison after 3 years but he has moved to Southend in Essex.

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    • That's actually quite interesting that you'd bring Godfrey back in a second role, and that you would have killed The Major off. Would there be a storyline surrounding his cause of death or would you leave it ambiguous?

      I think the way Jackie was killed off should have been different. I felt it was quite anticlimactic to kill off a major character.

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    • I would have a storyline where the death of The Major was believed to be suspicious, due to his dodgy business deals, and trying to blackmail his way into getting a share of ownership of Hotten Golf Club.

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    • Ah so a second "whodunnit"?

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    • Yes. This may just be me but I always found visually, the "Arncliffe" days of the show better than the Esholt days as the Arncliffe end of Beckindale was more picturesque. And the first Woolpack was brilliant as it had a few nooks and crannies. When they moved to the 2nd pub in 1976 it looked more like a "coronation Street" pub than a rural pub. Obvs the producers wanted a village closer to the Leeds studios but they always said Esholt was not Dales like, so when they built the Harewood set, they could make it look like a Dales village again. In 1998 the village regained its picturesque feel it had been missing since Jan 1976.

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    • I think they should have tried to move the show to an exterior set in 1976. The set was planned in 1989 but not built until 1997 as the ITV executives and such did not feel the tourism problem was substantial enough. However, having a set would have allowed the show to do more, and probably would have cost less. They would be able to film whenever they want and it wouldn't be a hassle keeping people out of shots. Coronation Street had sets right from the start. If they couldn't afford to buy a set for Emmerdale Farm they should have moved the time slot in 1985, then they might have had made more money and the show probably would have gained more popularity.

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    • I sometimes wonder whether the old Woolpack was destroyed in the plane crash. I notice that in the fictional village, some of the buildings we saw in the Esholt days were meant to be the same premises we saw in Arncliffe. In 1983 Ruskin said he once lived in this vicarage. Smithy Cottage is the same premises Frank Blakey lived at. While not confirmed, I wonder if parts of the Harewood set were based on Arncliffe as well as Esholt. The bridge and cemetery is the exact same place as Arncliffe and the back of Smithy Cottage is the same as Beckindale Forge.

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    • Most, if not all, retain the same names and around about the same locations. The biggest problem with them going from one village to another is the discrepancies surrounding the look of Main Street. The Woolpack was the only building in 1976 to have an exit storyline as the producers felt The Woolpack's change would be noticeable, however I think they should have had an exit storyline for more of the places. However, it doesn't bother me too much as I don't go back to many of the episodes. I found the show unwatchably tedious between late 1973 and 1976. 

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    • When they moved to Harewood, several houses down Hotten Road and Vicarage Lane just vanished. Cardona was quite a boring producer as yes, the show was a snoozefest in 1974 and 1975.

      One major discrepancy is the village shop overlooking the green in Arncliffe days is supposed to be the same premises seen in Main Street today, as there has been nothing to say they changed premises. In Arncliffe days, there was no road near the shop, just a small dirt track for deliveries. Again, an unexplained change. And the church in Arncliffe days was in front of a huge dale and on its own, whereas it then shrunk and was in the centre of the village (Esholt days). And it was meant to be the same church.

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    • Danielroxheaps
      Danielroxheaps removed this reply because:
      22:53, January 20, 2019
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    • May have been this episode, Episode 49, Episode 49 (9th April 1973) or the previous one. She was chatting to Henry on a walk in woodland.

      Not sure when she married Peter either. Probably 1960-1968.

      I worked out when Tom wed Pat as it was 7 months prior to Jackie's birth in Nov 1964. The exact date of marriage is unknown. April 1964 was also the month of Tom's 23rd birthday.

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    • Looking back over the episodes, I didn't realise they kept the same music. The first intro music feels less harsh. The 1975 one sounds awful in my opinion and the only one I like is the 1992 one, more upbeat.

      I'm going through some of the April 1973 episodes to try see if Alison's son's name was mentioned but it's possible that her son was never named...

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    • I love to estimate a characters age. I suspect Alison was born about 1940.

      Harry Mowlam could have been older than 55 in 1986, he may have been as old as 60. The actor was 55 but Mowlam could have been a bit older. Even though he was a master criminal, Mowlam was warned he could have a heart attack "at your age" by Derek. Mowlam could have been born as early as 1925. Deffo before 1932. In the episode where his body is found you can hear a copper on the radio saying "A white male, 5 feet 8" but no mention of age.

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    • I wonder if we see Mowlam's headstone at any point after his funeral...

      By the way, it appears more Emmerdale books are planned as the back of the Emmerdale at Christmas cover says "...is the first in a series of books to tie in with Emmerdale at War, a three part special marking 100 years...", however I haven't heard of a three part special for Emmerdale At War, only the six part Emmerdale 1918.

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    • The Emmerdale 1918 documentary series was dull IMHO as it was about the villagers of the real life village as opposed to a fictional prequel set in Beckindale in 1918 charting the Sugdens, Skilbecks, Dingles, Kings and Merricks etc.

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    • Yeah I didn't necessarily enjoyed it. I think they should have had fictional characters but base their lives off real people maybe? But by the sounds of it there was/is (supposed to be) another series and also more books.

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    • Just watched Mowlam's death ep again. The TV Times synopsis is right, as Henry moved a badly beaten Mowlam onto his back you can hear Mowlam breathe out, so Henry did watch him take his final breath. Frank Tate lay on the floor of Home Farm and died just after Zoe found him, so both Frank and Harry took a long time to die after their beating/heart attack respectfully.

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    • Ah thanks. I couldn't hear too well as with the episode I had the volume was really low. If I recall correctly Frank also managed to say Kim's name before he died. I'm surprised Zoe didn't pick up on Frank's tone because he sounded furious. Also I would have thought Home Farm would have CCTV inside or at the very least outside...

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    • Even though Feb and March 1986 was the aftermath of the murder, it was still quite boring, and just dealt with the possible murder charge hanging over Matt, and I think the viewers all knew he was probably innocent. Apart from January, I feel the rest of 1986 was a bit of a snoozefest. The siege in April was just 1 episode. 1987 was also quite boring, and 1988 could be boring in places.

      I think the reason why the show went back to mundanity in early 1986 was that the later slot on ITV had been rejected, and on the BBC, Michael Grade moved EastEnders to a later slot, and its ratings soared to 20 million or more by late 1985, so at 11-12 million viewers, Emmerdale Farm felt it did not have to compete any more. Once the Mowlam business was over, they coudl regain the more sleepy farming feel to the show.

      Whereas in 1978 and 1984/1985 the show got 15 million.

      1972 and 1973 were good, and 1976 to 1985 was very good, always something happening. 1974-1975, and 1986-1989 was much more boring and sedate, apart from the odd dramatic scene.

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    • Really? I thought the show was good in 1972 and 1973, too slack in 1974, tedious in 1975, boring in 1976, OK in 1977, good in 1978 and 1979, decent 1980-Sep 1983, great October to December 1983, boring 1986-1989. I think if they had more suspects (eg: we saw Jackie following Matt to Mowlam, or if Mike Conrad returned to confront Mowlam over money) and then maybe had Matt's trial in around March or April and have him temporarily sent to prison, despite being innocent, the show would have been better.

      However, I agree. Whoever refused to move Emmerdale Farm to a prime slot, is an idiot. It could have been great for the show and for ITV too. As much as I don't really like EastEnders, I think it deserved to have higher ratings and BBC should have rubbed it more in their faces.

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    • I would have bought bakc Graham Lodsworth in 1988 or 1989 if I was EP. I think Ross's Emmerdale role as soldier Graham was a nudge in the right direction towards him getting his famous EE role as Grant.

      I wonder if Joe Sugden ever fathered a child out there. In 1973 he dated Penny Golightly and then she left him as he was too childish. Joe did say he went to school with a Barton girl, maybe a relative of James and John Barton.

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    • The "Barton girl" could quite possibly be Nana Barton, if she had James at around 19 and John at around 22. I think bringing Graham back around that time would be a great idea. He tries to get Matt and Dolly to fix their relationship, but then Matt is offered the perfect job. He has to make a decision as to what he will choose, but it's not obvious what he will choose until his final episode. Would have given the character a better send off.

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    • Matt did treat Dolly quite badly in their last years of marriage. He showed no support over the fire of Crossgill, and took in Terri, and I think Dolly hated his attitude when she had a kidnapping ordeal at Ted Sharp's hands.

      January-March 1988 and June to Dec 1988 was brill. The only dramatic period for 1986-1989 i think. Always something happening such as the Home Farm sale and uncertain futures, Jackie and Kathy's wedding and even their marriage showed cracks when they got back from honeymoon, and in early 1988 Jock (now a major character) was fast becoming more and more violent and erratic, vandalising a window at Home Farm and having a car crash. Jock did feature quite heavily in the first half of 1988. Only April and some of May 1988 was boring. The rest was brill.

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    • Yes from what I've seen, Matt deserved to lose Dolly. I can see why she had an affair and am surprised she didn't just outright up and leave.

      Can't wait to get to the 1988 episodes. It's a bit of a struggle fixing the 1986 ones at the moment as the show is quite boring at the moment and I know it's going to get even more boring into 1987. Maybe the producers did this on purpose to get back at YTV for not moving them in the schedule?

      Another huge mistake made in the show is killing off Joe Sugden. I think they should have a storyline in which Robert receives a call from France, revealing the body buried as Joe Sugden, is actually of a missing French person, and Joe has been missing since 1995. This would give them, or any future producer/s the opportunity to bring Joe back.

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    • I've been looking at the history of Crossroads, and it seems that at points in 1976 it got better than Emmerdale Farm. Found that quite sad considering how boring it usually is. I think one reason Emmerdale Farm was never as popular is because there were no big moments. Until around 1984, it was a relatively peaceful soap where not much actually happened on-screen. Sure, there was Tom Merrick but he was nothing like Harry Mowlam or any of the current villains. I think even if they had Bella Ryland as a character on-screen and played out her cancer storyline, or showed Jim Gimbel's violent behaviour and suicide as actual storylines (I feel most of the storylines didn't last long enough). Pat's attempted suicide in 1974 and even Wendy's rape in 1979 were just "events" - nothing really came from it.

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    • I wish Mowlam had just gone to prison rather than be killed off, so he could return at a later date and terrorise Matt and Dolly. While Emmerdale Farm was not as peaceful as the media said it was, it was still quite sedate comapred to Corrie and Crossroads. In Corrie we had Lynn Johnson's murder in 1975, the warehouse fire, and the train crash, house collapse etc, and Stan Ogden could be violent in the 1960s, plus various other events such as the lorry crash in 1979 and Deirdre's assault under the viaduct. In Emmerdale such things happened offscreen.

      Corrie, Brookside, Crossroads and the Aussie soap Home And Away always had a big event happening and were quite fast paced. Emmerdale and Neighbours were quite slow in comparison.

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    • Yes and I think that's why the show didn't do as well. It only did well in 1984/5 because there were plenty of dramatic events (there were about 3 explosions in 1984, as well as the Mowlam stroryline, think there was a fire in February 1985, Jackie's accident and the robbery)

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    • That must be why in 1993 they decided to drop a plane on the village and bring back some of the high octane drama the show had from 1983-1985. The plane crash got 18 million viewers, the highest ever. January 1985 saw it get 15 million, and it would have climed higher if the drama had ramped up. In mid 1985 Kevin Laffan said he hated the sex, sin and sensationalism in the show, so maybe they took note of that and toned it todwn a bit, sadly. Kevin created the show but at first he was unsure about a farm setting until asked to set it on a farm. He was asked to create a new show for daytime TV.

      1988 was good as was 1990 but 1991-1993 was quite boring. Once the Mowlam storyline ended, the show went very sedate for the rest of the year and into 1987.

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    • Sometimes, I wonder how different the show would be if it was created by Phil Redmond instead of Kevin Laffan. The 70s (in my opinion) didn't see it's best producers - in fact I think the only good EDF producer was Richard Handford. I also wonder if 1986 was a bit more dull as the timeslot wouldn't be moved, maybe they had budget problems and then the producer change. It wasn't really daytime TV, more like a kids show targeted for adults.

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    • February and March 1988 was very action packed compared to Feb and March 1986. While it was the aftermath of Mowlam's murder, it was more about how they dealt with it as opposed to the event. Whereas Feb and March 1988 was full of juicy drama, as was January 1988. A flood, a wedding, uncertainty at Home Farm, the sale, Jack dating Barbara, Phil and Sandies rocky relationship, Jock's erratic behaviour, Nick skiving school and Jackie and Kathy's honeymoon and thinking they were being followed by Amir - all in one month.

      1984, 1985 and 1988 were the most dramatic years IMHO of the 1980s.

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    • Hi! - I noticed that you added the year of birth for one of the characters that was killed in the March 2000 bus crash. Is it possible that you could check if there were any other victims listed on the boards aside from Pete Collins, Bob Simmons, Patricia Holmes and Butch Dingle? Thanks.

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    • Hi I think those 4 were the lot. Patricia Holmes was born in 1964. I added Bob Simmonds' 1943 birth year.

      In 1974, Emmerdale Farm and Emmerdale both became registered trademarks. Makes me wonder if that far back they thought that the word Farm would one day be dropped from the shows title.

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    • Maybe "Emmerdale" was just a shortened name sometimes used informally? Or could be as you say...

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    • I think you are right, it was an informally used shortened name, to say Emmerdale rather than Emmerdale Farm. I doubt they planned the "farm" being dropped from the title that far back in 1974. I think it was considered in about 1985 though.

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    • It could also be to trademark the Farm itself, as the characters would also refer to it as "Emmerdale", like "I'm going up to Emmerdale to see Annie".

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    • I loved how Alan Turner was portrayed as the boss from hell in the 1980s. Always blaming others for his mistakes and he treated the workforce like dirt. He often used Seth as his whipping boy as well as Joe Sugden.

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    • Watching the older episodes, Alan would drive me up the wall always blaming Joe! He was portrayed as the boss from hell but with Mowlam in the village, Turner was the biggest pussycat of them all.

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    • Yes Harry Mowlam. The Brute of Beckindale. He committed robbery, animal abuse, was a bully, hounded and sexually abused Dolly and did a lot of dodgy deals. He was spiteful and vindictive. When he wa skilled, no one missed him and the village was relieved. I think Mowlam planned to take over the village as he wanted to buy out the businesses. I think he supplied the explosives for the 1985 robbery from his quarry.

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    • Yes, I think so too. The source I found for the episode said they used gelignite, which is intended for use in mines and quarries.

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    • The 2nd half of 1985 was very Harry Mowlam centric with his wars on Emmerdale Farm and the robbery. In Sep 1985 I think Mowlam caused £6000 worth of damage to the Emmerdale Farm harvest as he bricked up a right of way up to the field and it rained and damaged the field. 1986 started off with Mowlam as a main character, and his sudden and permanent exit at the end of Jan 1986 was quite noticeable. Mowlam's absence was felt in the months after his killing.

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    • I agree. But with no proper storylines or any villains to replace Harry, the show seemed rather dull to me. Especially when the producer decided to have the nuclear protest storyline go throughout most of 1987.

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    • I think it was "sour grapes" as Emmerdale was not allowed a primetime slot so they made the rest of 1986 and much of 1987 rather dull. It would have been good if Matt had gone down for the murder and then evidence came to light to prove his innocence. There was no big villain to replace Harry Mowlam. I think he should have stayed on for longer. The closest replacement for Mowlam came 2 years later, and it was Jock, as he became rather erratic and nasty in early 1988, 2 years after Mowlam's death.

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    • I think that because Emmerdale Farm was reaching up to tens of millions of viewers in it's then-current slot, then the companies thought that moving to a primetime slot may affect it's or another show's ratings. I agree, they should have had Matt go to court, maybe Derek begin to act shifty and it looks like he is going to confess, but Matt is found guilty of manslaughter. Wilks visits Matt in prison and he finds that their fight took place further downstream to where Harry's body was and tells MacArthur. MacArthur and the other officers re-open the investigation and then they find Derek and Keith robbing the money. The show probably would have found that they didn't need to move slots - or even might have made some of the companies change their minds.

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    • When Mowlam died, it was said that he had some relatives wanting to claim his land. Would have been good if they did bring in a family member to carry on the villainy. As said, I think Mowlam died just after Henry found him, he died in front of Henry.

      New character Bear Wolf, Paddy's real dad reminds me of Mowlam in looks and personality.

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    • Yes that's what I thought, they look similar and sort of sound similar too. Imagine if they had brought in Godfrey James for that role! Maybe they could have introduced Mowlam's son/brother and have him blame Matt and the Sugdens for his death, maybe striking an intense feud with Jack (not so much with Matt, he's not as hot-headed as Jack)

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    • I wonder if Harry Mowlam had siblings. He may have done, seeing as various relatives wanted to claim his land. The Sugdens got it. Would have made a great future storyline, the fact that the Sugdens and Skilbecks put the Mowlams out of having Harry's land. And that they wanted to get back at Matt as they felt he made him crash his truck when stealing his sheep the day he was killed. Derek was the only person who Mowlam was scared of, he was not scared of anyone else.

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    • They possibly could have that as a storyline. They could have a character, born in the 1980s possibly, track down Robert as they blame the Sugdens for never being able to meet their father. Would be a great way to review the past and show current day viewers that there was still big events back "in the day".

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    • I think ITV did not want its precious Coronation Street knocked off the top spot, and it could have been knocked off by Emmerdale.

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    • I agree. It is very clear that ITV has always preferred Corrie over Emmerdale. If I recall correctly, Emmerdale wanted a set in 1989, but ITV refused as the show's tourism problem wasn't bad enough. Meanwhile, Corrie was on it's fourth set.

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    • I wonder why ITV prefers Corrie over Emmerdale. I suppose because it is older than Emmerdale and is seen as more iconic. Always seems to have been the case that Emmerdale is the younger unloved "sibling" of Corrie.

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    • I think ITV see Emmerdale as a threat to Corrie, and they know it can be, so try and keep it down. I think when Mowlam was killed the closest we got to a villain was Eric Pollard as he was quite nasty in the early years. Then David Hughes 1989-1990.

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    • Phil Pearce was a rather "mild" villain in the late 80s I think. But I think ITV sees ED as a bit of a threat to its precious Corrie. They threatened to cancel the show in 1993, but not when Corrie was losing viewers.

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    • Mowlam was the biggest pre David Hughes villain I think. He got his comeuppance when Derek Warner finished him off, at least Derek was just mentally unstable whereas Mowlam was a total psycho. Derek did the village a favour, however he did allow Matt to take the blame for a while. Mowlam's list of crimes was long, he came close to raping Dolly I think once or twice. I am sure he supplied the gelignite for the 1985 robbery but wonder if Mowlam also supplied the explosives for the 1984 pond explosion involving Derek, Tom Merrick and Kevin Haynes.

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    • I've never seen those episodes (in fact the only ones I've seen are a few in January) and there's not much info available so I'm not too sure if gelignite was used then - and I'm not too familiar with it either so I'm not sure if it would detonate underwater or not. With the robbery, considering how gelignite is used for quarries I'd say you could safely assume that you could put two and two together and work out that Harry supplied it. The thing I wonder is that if it was ever used. Derek did mention that something went wrong with the robbery in April 1986...

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    • I thought traces of explosives were found on Archie's van which Mowlam sold him. Would need to see the Oct 1985 eps to get the full story. Shame there are gaps in the available episodes. In the 1970s, I think Jim Gimbel was a mild villain. He was terse and frightening, and was inept and almost attacked Matt once when dancing with Freda. Nobody liked Jim Gimbel much. Offscreen in 1977, Jim became more violent then took his own life with a gun. I think he shot himself in the head.

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    • That must have been where Jackie got some of the evidence from.

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    • It is true that Mowlam was alive when Henry found him, then he died just as Henry turned him on his back. I did seem to hear Mowlam breating out slightly so he took his last breath. I think the village was relieved when they found Mowlam was dead, as he was dangerous. If he had lived, I think he would have tried to take over the entire village.

      Yes, the van that Mowlam sold Archie had traces of gelignite on it, and Jackie realised it was the same explosives that was said to have been used at the robbery.

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    • I wish I had the episode because I have so many questions about it. Like, why does the van have traces of gelignite on it if Warner and Keith threatened to blow up the security van? What did they do with the explosives afterwards? What was it that Warner told Rev. Hinton that he regretted happened in the robbery, in 1986?

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    • So many loose ends I agree. Warner said how he could not get the robbery right as he ended up killing someone I think. He may have meant Harry a couple of months later, as Harry kept flashing his cash. Mowlam almost killed 2 people, Jackie in 1984 and Matt in the 1986 bear hug.



      2019 character Bear Wolf reminds me so much of Mowlam it is scary.

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    • He gave the impression that either someone was killed or maybe a bomb was set off or something. I believe there were two or three employees in the truck and MacArthur only interviewed one to my knowledge.
      It's possible Mowlam tried to kill more people too, as not many of the 1983-1985 episodes are available.
      Yes, I see Mowlam's beard in Bear Wolf and they have the same sort of tone of voice. Imagine if Bear's real surname was revealed to be Mowlam, and that Bear is Mowlam's younger brother! Would explain why he can still win a wrestling match against someone younger than him.

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    • Ironically I was thinking it would be ironic if Bear's surname was Mowlam. Meaning Paddy is related to Harry Mowlam as Paddy Kirk is Bear's biological son. I hope we see Bear again, but if not, we may never know what his real name was, so in our "head canon" we could say it was Mowlam.

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    • These producers are fantastic with references to the Emmerdale history, would be even better if they included some Emmerdale Farm history too.

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    • Espcally after this evening's bombshell about Lisa! 

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    • I think Emmerdale has a more colourful history than Corrie even though it is almost 12 years younger. Age of a TV show is not the main qualification for colourful history. In its 47 years, ED has featured more locations than you can shake a stick at, including 2 Woolpacks. And the village is bigger and almost every part has featured. Crossroads, Emmerdale and Neighbours have great histories.

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    • Hopeless20 wrote:
      Espcally after this evening's bombshell about Lisa! 

      I think now would be a good time to bring back Barry Clegg.

      Hopeless20 wrote:
      I think Emmerdale has a more colourful history than Corrie even though it is almost 12 years younger. Age of a TV show is not the main qualification for colourful history. In its 47 years, ED has featured more locations than you can shake a stick at, including 2 Woolpacks. And the village is bigger and almost every part has featured. Crossroads, Emmerdale and Neighbours have great histories.

      I agree. There's so many big events that could be brought up, or replayed in flashbacks. Like with The Woolpack, how you said there's been two of them, then there's the armed robbery in 1978, the explosion in 1984, the plane crash in 1993, the fire in 1998, the storm in 2004 and the Cameron Murray siege in 2013. There's the cafe with the robbery in 1988, the siege/explosion in 1994 and the explosions in 2002 and 2011. Don't get me started on Home Farm!

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    • Not forgetting the 1985 robbery and Mowlam's fight with Matt in 1986, followed by his murder at Warner's hands. And Crossgill in 1988.

      Graham Clark killed his wife when she wanted to leave him, in the very same way Metcalfe did to Mary. Matt Skilbeck vomited when he found out Metcalfe's secret.

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    • There was also Dolly's secret son, first mentioned in 1977 and not seen until almost ten years later, the motorbike accident in 1979 and the Tom Merrick ordeal in 1981 (torching a barn to frame Jack, and beating Pat). A big part of my interest in Emmerdale Farm currently surrounds Richard Handford's reign as producer between 1983 and 1985 (1986 wasn't the best). I've seen three episodes from December 1983 and found them very enjoyable. There was the drama - Mowlam mistreating his dog and getting into rows with Matt about it, and there was the comedy - Amos trying to run the Christmas show and accidentally cutting the power during the concert. 

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    • Watching March 1976 episodes, Heather Bannerman said her old boss was a Freddie Armstrong of Harrogate. Again, I think inspiration taken from previous characters or unseen characters, this time for future character Freddy Armstrong, Seth's son.

      In 1974, Dryden's relative said he is a "Ward Armstrong".

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    • It seems to happen too often to be coincidence - maybe on one or two instances but not all.

      I thought the Bannerman's "storyline" was awful and a waste of time. If instead of having Annie tell Heather off and have her apologise for her and Steve's "behaviour", I think they should have done a storyline with domestic violence with Annie encouraging Heather to leave Steve, or try make him see that he cannot get violent with Heather over an accident. I have many, many, many dislikes with Robert Cardona's reign but I think that's my number one.

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    • Annie was wrong to throw Heather out, as Steve almost hit her in from of Rosemary. Heather did nothing wrong, yet Annie chucked her out for almost being hit by Steve. Annie made an error of judgement there.

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    • Goes to show how much we have changed. If that storyline was aired in a current day episode, the team would have a riot on their hands!

      I wonder if Emmerdale Farm's history would have been any different if a producer such as Michael Glynn took over straight from Peter Holmans, then Richard Handford afterwards (or someone with a similar "style"). The show does have a good history but I find that it's only in the early and late 1970s, and throughout the 1980s.

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    • Cardona was not a very good producer. And I think Dryden Hogben shouls have stayed longer.

      I have thought of creating a page for an unnamed male customer often seen 1973-1976 (and maybe later) who was often seen in the Woolpack He was first seen in Episode 27 at the sheepdog trials. As Sam Pearson was at the bar, the young man walked in. He was about 30 years old. He wore a red jumper and looked like Jack Sugden did at the time. I saw him in the Woolpack in the March 1976 episodes.

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    • It felt like Diana Prescott was only brought in to give Dryden some sort of extra purpose. But I think David Cunliffe needed to have been hired as exec. producer much earlier. 1976 was a step-up (although still no where near the greatest years in my opinion), also I don't know if anything good happened in November/December 1975 when Cunliffe's first episodes aired. Apparently out of 1974, 1975 and 1976, 1975 is the best, but currently I'm not 100% sure. From what I've seen, 1975 is far too dull to be of any interest for me, as well as 1974 and 1976.

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    • I would love to see all of 1977 so I can find out if 1976 policeman PC Croft was ever mentioned as having left the village, the same as the vicar Bob Matthews, first seen in late 1975. By Feb 1977 William Hockley took over. Would love to see if Matthews was mentioned. From 1972 to 1980, the village often had different village policeman until MacArthur took over as the long term village bobby until 1993.

      While the late 1970s had more drama, I think visually, the "Arncliffe end" of the village seen 1972-1976 was prettier than Esholt.

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    • Was Dolly Harker's headstone visible in the July 1980 episode?

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    • We saw a small stone but it looked like where they put the flowers in. I could not read the writing on it as it was too small to read. Pat did say she forgot where the grave was, hinting that her mother had been dead at least 2 or 3 years.

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    • Ah, OK. Thanks. Hopefully the headstone is seen in another episode. I find it strange that Pat didn't visit her mother's headstone too often. Such as in 1981/1982 when Jackie was revealed to have been Jack's son or later that year when Jackie went off the rails, or in 1983 when Sandie discovered she was pregnant.

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    • Recently in an episode, the estate agents for Brook Cottage had a "Bradford and Harker" or Bailey and Harker estate agents. The perosn with the surname Harker may be a relative of Pat. I would love to see 1977 as it would tie up a lot of unanswered questions such as whether Syd Harker was a relative of Pat. If not her brother, he may have been a cousin or something.

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    • Maybe it could be Janie's child? They could explain Janie not mentioning the child in 1986 by saying that Frank ended up with full custody and Janie struggled to talk about it. That would be very interesting. I'd also love to see 1977 and see if there's any other big events.

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    • I think 2017 character Morris Blakey could be a relative of Frank Blakey. A nephew or something.

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    • I think if they were related, it'd be quite distantly. 

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    • Another thing about Mowlam was, in Beckindale terms he was public enemy No 1. I cannot begin to imagine what havoc he would have carried on doing if he had lived. His last acts was making another pass at Dolly, rustling sheep and almost killing Matt in a bear hug. Matt was seconds from death.

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    • I think they should have had a full on whodunnit - it sort of was, as the killer was unknown with Matt and Derek being main suspects, and the Sugdens being other suspects due to the feud. Would have been nice for Matt, Derek, Jack, Jackie, Archie, Mike (bringing him back just for this storyline), and maybe Keith and Kevin Haynes (an associate of Derek), and maybe a few other characters such as an ex-wife or an estranged family member.

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    • Matt or Derek were the 2 main suspects. At the time though I do think the attacker could have even been Jack as Jack hated Mowlam as well. And Keith Johnson, or even Tom Merrick as a suspect. Maybe have it so that Tom felt Mowlam took away the "partners in crime" duo he had with Derek so killed him. Tom and Derek were the 2 villains in 1980.

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    • Yes - maybe Harry would insult Tom and push him over, so Tom attacked him. Harry fought back but Tom managed to grab a plank of wood and beat him unconscious. Tom would be charged with murder but would be lessened to manslaughter, and the sentence would be weaker as it was in self-defence. He would be released at some point in 1987, meaning he would be able to return in 1988 for Jackie's wedding.

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    • In July 1988, Matt grabbed Eric Pollard when he hounded Dolly, just after Dolly had an affair, and Matt and Dolly were trying to work it out as Matt partly blamed himself for treating her like Peggy. I reckon when Eric hounded Dolly, Matt had flashbacks to when Mowlam hounded Dolly so he grabbed Eric by the throat, another of the rare times Matt lost his temper.

      Dolly did mention to Steve Fuller that she was pregnant again after Sam but it went wrong, referring to Mowlam as he caused her to lose her baby.

      Mowlam was referred to in Sep 1988 when Jack said "I have cursed some of Beckindales people over the years". Obvs he was thinking of Mowlam, who he hated.

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    • I like how Stuart Doughty was clearly educated on the show's past - even more so than the current crew. Like, Matt grabbing Eric when he hounded Dolly made sense, even though Matt was a usually calm person.

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    • Often the calmest people are the scariest when they have an outburst. Mowlam made his life such a misery that in the end he snapped. Mowlam was very spiteful and vindictive. I think he may have had schizophrenia, hence why he thought Matt, the Sugdens, Alan and Wilks were against him.

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    • I wish they had a flashback. Maybe following the Vicarage siege, there would be a Midsomer Murders-style scene in the interview room where Derek would confess, and there would be flashback scenes to Derek and Harry's fight and Derek accidentally killing him. Would also be nice to have court scenes. Derek would be sent down for manslaughter (as he didn't mean to kill Harry), and whilst being led to the cells, he would apologise to Matt - to show that under that "hardman" exterior, Derek still had a conscience.

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    • I dont think he meant to kill Harry, he just wanted to beat him up. Although Harry died of head injuries and it was a brutal killing. I think Mowlam waded downstream and was met by Derek who beat him up. Mowlam then drowned. I think some of the head injuries was during his fight with Matt though and when he fell down the bank. Derek just maybe hit him once or twice.

      I think Derek was out of jail by 1989/1990.

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    • I think all Matt managed to do was hit Harry once, then punch him in the stomach, which caused him to hit his head on a rock. I think it was the detective inspector, but one of the officers said that Harry died from drowning, although the blows he received contributed to his death.

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    • Someone messaged me and said that apparently in an episode airing in the early 1980s (possibly 1981), Seth accidentally set fire to a car whilst stubble burning - you wouldn't happen to know anything about it?

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    • No never heard of that storyline before. I know in April 1981 Tom Merrick had a barn burned down to frame Jack. I think the fire was offscreen but not heard that Seth accidentally set fire to a car.

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    • Yes, I hadn't heard of it either until a user mentioned it to me. However, 1981 episodes are extremely rare so it's possible...

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    • See by watching old episodes, we often get mentions of full names of characters such as Ethel Ainsworth's second husband Cyril Snape. I cannot remember if Alison Gibbons ever said her dead son's name, I dont think she did. That TV Times 1979 magazine for Emmerdale is good, that is how I found out about Orton Sugden. Paul Sugden was a relative, but I guess he was born c1880 as he was a farmer by 1901 the magazine said.

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    • Yes, it is helpful. But however, nowadays, if you said "I'm just popping over to see Henry Wilks", it would sound rather strange, instead of saying "I'm just popping over to see Henry". I don't think Alison ever mentioned her son's name either, maybe he wasn't named?

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    • Do you know if Graham Foster ever mentioned his parents or any siblings? When he tells Debbie about how he came to work for Joe Tate, Graham says how he met Cheryl "I got her pregnant, She was kind, and sweet. Parents were delighted so I did the decent thing. I got leave for the birth". Hard to say if he was talking about his parents or Cheryl's parents?

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    • I had assumed that it was about Cheryl's parents - they approved of Graham and were delighted of the pregnancy so Graham thought the decent thing was to marry her. I feel that if it was Graham's parents, they would have been mentioned more.

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    • Sounds true. Maybe Graham's parents are both dead.

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    • I thought it meant Graham's parents

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    • I also think it meant Graham's mum and dad. He said "Parents were delighted" if he meant Cheryl's he'd have said "her parents were delighted". He then said "her friends" so I think he did mean his mum and dad when he said parents.

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    • I've never actually thought about it... I would be surprised if it was Graham's parents as they've never been mentioned otherwise, such as regarding Cheryl's death and becoming an alcoholic to my knowledge.

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    • If they did mean Cheryl's parents, then maybe Graham is like Matt Skilbeck, his parents died when he was young. I found it a very dreadful storyline, to kill off his twins in 1976 in a car crash.

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    • I found it rather purposeless. I wonder if the team were struggling to film with the babies as they didn't appear that often and then killed off for no real reason at all (in an off-screen event, worst way to kill off a major character)

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    • The show would have been much better if Sam and Sally had lived. Matt would still have married Dolly and they had another child in 1982, and called him David instead of Sam. Sam and Sally would have probably been major characters in the 1980s and 1990s, and they could have kept the Skilbeck line going. I think it was a nasty parting ift from Cardona as he left a few months later, maybe once he planned to step down he wanted to make his mark.

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    • If he wanted to make his mark, he should've done something big on-screen. Michael Glynn easily made his mark within his first couple years. I think they should bring Sam back and have him & Robert vs Kim. Sam would have the same views as Home Farm as Jack did, and maybe he blamed Frank for tearing his family apart by offering Matt a job in Norfolk?

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    • I also wonder if Matt was hesitant to move into Crosgill becase secretly, he knew it was very likely that Mary Metcalfe was buried in the garden. I think it was strongly hinted that Mr Metcalfe buried her after he killed her.

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    • Yes I think there was some sort of other reason. Although, I thought the police checked the farm and couldn't find anything indicating that Mary was buried in Crossgill Farm.

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    • Maybe he did have her secretly buried in a graveyard in a nearby village. The police assumed she left him. Metcalfe did well to cover his tracks. And people wrongly say that such scandals in Emmerdale only took place after the plane crash. Graham Clark killed his wife as she was leaving him, although Metcalfe may not have intended to kill Mary, just beat her up. Anyway Graham and Mr Metcalfe were dangerous men TBH.

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    • Benny1982 wrote:
      And people wrongly say that such scandals in Emmerdale only took place after the plane crash.

      I think this is due to the lack of information about the EDF era. In fact, I think the show was more dramatic around 1984/5 than it is now...

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    • The show just went dead after Mowlam's murder. OK we had the siege in April 1986 but inbetween Mowlam's murder and the siege it was quiet. It did not pick up again until Jan 1988 when NY said it was pulling out of Beckindale.

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    • Yes I think the show was at its best in the late 80s after the nuclear dump storyline and Doughty took over as producer.

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    • I find it rather interesting that if you compare the amount of deaths in the major (UK, at least - not sure about any of the US/Australian ones), and include characters mentioned to be dead that weren't named, Emmerdale would have the most by far - at least 423.

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    • Was watching the Harry Moore episodes again last night. Annie said his wife killed herself by drowning herself in the river, but there was talk. Maybe they thought Harry killed her. At the same time, a dogs remains were found in a river. Quite a few elderly villagers in the 1970s and 1980s had secrets or were once accused of things. Charlie Nelson, Harry Moore, Mr Metcalfe. In 1995, reclusive farmer Derek Simpson reminded me of Charlie, Harry and Metcalfe.

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    • Did Harry actually die on-screen? I might have missed an episode but from the ones I have, Harry is alive at the end of one, and dead at the beginning of the next.

      Yes, there does seem to be a trend with the more elderly characters having dark secrets or had major allegations against them...

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    • He died offscreen. He told Hinton to get out and that was the last we saw him alive. At the start of the next episode he was seen slouched dead in his armchair. Walter Sparrow was only 53 but played a character aged 75.

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    • I think that's quite strange how they killed him off in between two episodes. Also seemed like a rather unnecessary death too - almost like they were done with the character so they killed him off. Most of the minor characters departed or just "faded from existance"

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    • Seth was originally one of these minor guest characters but proved so popular he returned full time. Shame that most of the minor characters were never seen again such as Mr Moeketski and Arthur Braithwaite.

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    • It would have been very interesting to see Mr Moeketski as a regular, as, if they had kept him on as a regular, he would have been the first black regular character in a British soap opera, beating Crossroads's Joe MacDonald by a few months.

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    • The Beckindale Bugle blog has a great write up on Alan and Amos' friendship and how it was scuppered when Amos heard Alan saying horrible things. I have a feeling that Alan did not necessarily mean it when he agreed with The Major about Amos being a bore and a buffoon, but that Alan was trying to score points with the Major. Alan seemed happy to invite Amos, and was all for it. Alan was trying to entice The Major as a client at Home Farm.

      I would never want to have worked for Mervyn Watson, he seemed one of the worst ever producers and a nasty man. The Dingles were meant to only do a few episodes in 1994 but Watson bought them back as regulars which was a bad move to me.

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    • When I watched the episode, it sounded to me like Alan was slightly venting. Maybe he didn't think that Amos was a complete bore and buffoon, but found Amos slightly irritating. Although, as you say, he did invite Amos to play.

      I agree, wherever Mervyn was, there seemed to be controversy. Same happened on Coronation Street. Reading what Tonicha Jeronimo had to say about him... And, to be honest, his storylines were mediocre at best and some of the episodes he produced were some of the worst in Emmerdale's history, such as, in my opinion, Episode 2270 (16th October 1997) - Linda's crash was very anti-climactic, as was Episode 2321 (10th February 1998). But Paddy, an attempted murderer? Ridiculous... Thank goodness Kieron Roberts gave Alex a good exit in Emmerdale: Revenge.

      Killing off Luke in the Dingles vs McAllisters storyline, and getting rid of the McAllister family was a bad move to me. The Dingle family, if producers didn't continuously add to it and make the village Dingle-dominated, would be more tolerable in my opinion. Hollyoaks has the McQueen family, which is also a similarly large family to the Dingles. In most episodes currently, you can get maybe 0-5 members of the McQueen family in each episode. With the Dingles, you're getting a lot of them in every episode. The Dingle family members are usually the centre of the big storylines, and play a part in almost every storyline. They were a far better family when they were close-knit and comedic, not spread all over the village and no longer comedic.

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    • I think Watson got rid of the McAllisters to make way for the Dingles. Bad move as I liked the McAllisters. The show did not need the Dingles beyond their brief appearances in 1994. They had just bought in the Glovers. So by 1994 we had the Sugdens, Tates, Glovers and McAllisters. It was always said that the Dingles lived in the village and drunk at the Malt Shovel. In 1983 when the Woolpack regualrs boycotted the Woolpack, Tuplin, Jock and Walter etc must have drunk with a younger Zak Dingle.

      I think Watson killed off Joe Sugden because Frazer Hines took an extended break from the show. I feel Frazer wanted to return at some time.

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    • What do you think about the talk of Joe being brought back from the dead, Benny?

      Aks

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    • I'd be up for it. Frazer is 74 now but I am sure he would agree to a return, even in a recurring role. Frazer says the decision to kill Joe off was not his, no wonder why he is keen to return. He just wanted time off in 1994 but out of spite, Watson had Joe killed off I think.

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    • It would be nice to have more Sugdens around, especially with Robert leaving.

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    • Benny1982 wrote:
      I think Watson got rid of the McAllisters to make way for the Dingles. Bad move as I liked the McAllisters. The show did not need the Dingles beyond their brief appearances in 1994. They had just bought in the Glovers. So by 1994 we had the Sugdens, Tates, Glovers and McAllisters. It was always said that the Dingles lived in the village and drunk at the Malt Shovel. In 1983 when the Woolpack regualrs boycotted the Woolpack, Tuplin, Jock and Walter etc must have drunk with a younger Zak Dingle.

      I think Watson killed off Joe Sugden because Frazer Hines took an extended break from the show. I feel Frazer wanted to return at some time.

      The Dingles vs McAllister feud would probably have been quite interesting if the McAllister family weren't all written out and Tina was killed off instead of Luke (I really do not like Tina, awful character in my opinion)

      In fact, the Dingle family is so large they seem to forget about the already established characters that used to be on the show.

      Benny1982 wrote:
      It would be nice to have more Sugdens around, especially with Robert leaving.

      I agree, if they brought Joe back from the dead, they could probably bring back some other characters either regularly or briefly, such as Sam, Matt and Dolly Skilbeck.

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    • I think Eric Pollard was probably seen as a replacement for Harry Mowlam. Eric got drunk in the Woolpack like Harry and was up to no good. He terrorised Sandie when she got him sacked.

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    • I think he might have been a more "low-key" version. The village has been rocked by a massive, quite awful person and they decided that they needed a villain to replace him, but not someone so bad.

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    • Makes you realise how hated Mowlam was, he was a loose cannon. I wonder how far his nastiness would have gone if he had lived. I think almost all villagers were relieved when he died and the village could get some peace and quiet, until the threat of a nuclear dump a year after Mowlam's death.

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    • Yes it does, but when Mowlam died, he still managed to get at Matt from beyond the grave with being accused of Harry's murder. Derek seemed like he wanted to appear as a strong, villainous man but when Donald convinced him to end the seige and hand himself into the police, he also managed to uncover a more "human" side to Derek, and his guilt about letting Matt take the blame for Mowlam's death rose to the surface so he confessed.

      I wonder why Jim Latimer confessed to Sharon's murder back in 1973... From what I read, he didn't seem to care much about the effect Sharon's death had on her family and the village. He probably would have let Trash go down for the murder too if Trash had not fallen out of a window to his death a month later.

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    • I wonder if Matt ever fully got over the Mowlam saga, or did it fester in his mind from time to time?

      Surely the miscarriage caused by Mowlam may have been a reason why Matt and Dolly later drifted apart, something that the Crossgill fire bought out, and she embarked on an affair.

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    • I think it probably did - as well as for all the Sugdens. He was mentioned quite a few times after the incident. I think it took a while for the village to get over it. Imagine if the Windsor family had moved to the village in the 1980s and Betty had returned - Viv and Betty would have a lot to gossip about!

      I agree that the Mowlam ordeal probably lead to the downfall of Matt and Dolly's marriage. If the actress who played Peggy had not quit, it would have been interesting to see if they would have remained together unlike Matt and Dolly.

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    • In 1988 Jack said he has cursed some of the village's people over the years, and no doubt Mowlam was the top of that list. The same year Dolly mentioned how her and Matt were having another baby after Sam but that went wrong. Nobody gets over an accusation of murder no matter if they are cleared and this probably festered in Matt's mind. Dolly was too ambuitious and did not understand how damaging the Mowlam ordeal was to saintly Matt, and that Mowlam caused them more trouble from beyond the grave.

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    • I think that's probably why their marriage fell apart. Dolly did stand by Matt through the whole ordeal and stood up for him whenever someone questioned Matt's innocence, but I don't think she really understood what Matt was going through. The murder accusation seemed to ruin them more than anything else that had happened prior to the Crossgill fire in 1988 because Matt seemed to drift apart from Dolly.

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    • Matt seemed happier prior to the Mowlam ordeal, and changed into a downbeat man afterwards. No wonder Matt threw up when Metcalfe admitted he killed his wife. I think a 2nd child would have kept them together but the fact Mowlam robbed them of that is what upset Matt, then capped by his murder charge. Matt probably wanted a baby brother or sister for Sam. Matt was more distant with Dolly after the ordeal, and Crossgill was the last straw when Matt refused to move there. I think the fact that their 2nd baby died is why Matt felt no reason to move whereas if the 2nd baby had survived, Matt would have wanted to move there.

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    • I had forgotten about that. Matt had known that Metcalfe had been accused of his wife's murder, and I couldn't work out why he was as shocked as he was. I guess it reminded Matt of when he was accused of Mowlam's murder, and then was told by someone he had befriended that he had purposely taken someone else's life.

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    • Not sure what happened to Mary Metcalfe's body. He must have had her secretly buried as the police assumed she left him but rumours spread. They never found out what really happened. So in 1986, the village had 2 killers - Derek Warner and Mr Metcalfe.

      Good point about Jim and how he may have made Trash take the blame if he had not fallen to his death.

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    • Yes - and they say Emmerdale Farm was boring!

      Keith Johnson got very lucky that the police turned up when they did, otherwise Derek would probably have killed him too. I might be getting mixed up with a character from Hollyoaks, but wasn't it implied that either Harry or Keith had killed someone before?

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    • Not sure, but Mowlam at least tried to kill 2 people - Jackie and Matt. He probably would have killed Matt in that bear hug if Matt had not managed to wriggle free.

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    • Yes, and possibly Jackie too if he had not moved in time. And then poor Jackie was actually run over by Alan a year later!

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    • In regards to Elizabeth Pollard's death in 1993, I know the autopsy proved she died from injuries sustained by the plane crash but I still think Eric is keeping something. I reckon she may have still just about been alive and that he left her to die. He did say she was dead when he went back after the wreckage struck. We all know how good a liar Eric is. He said he wanted to kill her but the plane beat him to it. He probably saw her still breathing, so left her to die.

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    • I don't think Eric would have actually killed Elizabeth like he told Val. He loved her and was lost when she was missing. He might think that he did but I don't think he would be capable.

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    • In that case he was probably telling the whole truth, she was dead when he went back, rather than left her to die.



      Of course if that was a certain Mr Mowlam, then he'd probably have killed her.

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    • Mowlam probably did kill before, and Derek definitely did the village a favour (bar Matt, to a certain extent)

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    • Derek was the only person who Mowlam was scared of. Mowlam did have lots of fingers in pies and was becoming a powerful man in the village as he owned a house, lots of farmland and sold a quarry. He wanted to buy out other businesses. If he had lived, he would be seen as "top dog" of Beckindale, the unofficial lord of the manor, like Phil Mitchell in EastEnders sees himself as.

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    • That's why Derek would have been so interesting to bring back. He was the village's real villain, not Harry. as he was feared by all. Keitb seemed fully aware that when Derek caught him, he was going to die but was only spared from the arrival of the police.

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    • They bought back Dennis Blanch as Jim Latimer. At first no one knew it was Jim, and I wonder if the writers were trying to make long term viewers think it was Derek who had been released from jail. Viewers must have been saying "is that Derek Warner?".

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    • Maybe Stuart Doughty wanted Dennis Blanch to return, but Derek didn't have many ties to the village by 1991 so maybe he decided to revisit the Jim Latimer story...

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    • Just watched the episode broadcast 2 June 1988 again and Dolly mentions her miscarriage in 1985. She says she was going to have a baby but that went wrong and she still is very sorry about it. That proves that the Harry Mowlam ordeal deffo had a long term effect on their marriage as he caused her to miscarry. Dolly and Matt probably could never get over the loss of the baby, and that made them drift apart as well as the Crossgill inheritance. So, even over 2 years after his death, Mowlam was still getting at Matt and Dolly from beyond the grave.

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    • I noticed you seem to have an interest in Brookside. Do you also have an interest in Hollyoaks too or not so much? It was pretty good when Phil Redmond and Jo Hallows were producing it.

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    • Yes I quite like Brookside. Never followed Hollyoaks much.

      Ironic that Phil Redmond created Hollyoaks, Grange Hill and Brookie, and played a role in the production of Emmerdale in 1993/1994. I wonder what would have happened if he had been behind the scenes 1984-1988 instead?

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    • I quite enjoy Hollyoaks - especially the early episodes (although I am in the age of the target audience back then). Apparently, the idea for Hollyoaks was pitched by GH fans in the 1980s, but weren't acted on until 1995 as Redmond was focusing on Brookie. Honestly, I prefer Hollyoaks over Brookside as Hollyoaks was mostly comedy with some drama and dark scenes, although Brookside is quite enjoyable.

      Emmerdale would have probably would have been a lot more similar to Brookside. With Richard Handford as producer and Michael Glynn executive, there would have been more big moments and storylines. It might have even topped Corrie in popularity.

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    • What do you think of the original farm being vacated in 1993 storyline? In real life the farm changed owners/tenants and the new residents would not allow filming to carry on. The Emmerdale makers could have built a replica backlot or found a lookalike farm somewhere, or even used stock shots. I suppose a replica may have been considered but was too costly.

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    • I think they wouldn't have been able to afford a replica. I think they were still saving for and designing a set for the village and having to quickly build an EDF replica would have been an inconvenience.

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    • I see you have not posted/edited on here much lately, your profile says why, due to the declining quality and your Hollyoaks interest has gone up. The current 2 producers need to go I think. Any interest in Neighbours and Home And Away? Coronation Street?

      Other Emmerdale chracters who suffered Chuck Cunningham Syndrome was James Bonfils, Tommy Merrick, Sgt Ian MacArthur etc. Bill Middleton may have been a victim as you say.

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    • One of the producers, Kate Brooks, started before both the second producer, Laura Shaw and the executive producer. Her first episode was Frank & Megan's crash and she also produced Lachlan's exit. I think she's fine on her own but someone is definitely doing something awfully wrong behind the scenes.

      Neighbours, I might be able to get into but I don't think they show it in New Zealand. They do show H&A but I haven't been able to get into it. I used to watch Corrie all the time, starting from when I was a little kid but I got sick of the show by the beginning of Phelan's story and couldn't get back into it afterwards either.

      It seems that Emmerdale Farm has quite a few characters who suffered Chuck Cunningham syndrome, probably because the show in the 70s mostly followed the Sugdens and when the characters moved into the village, they weren't seen again and subsequently forgotten about. I had been reading about Hollyoaks axing a few characters in early 2005 without giving them exits and randomly just thought "what happened to Bill Middleton in 1994?"

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    • James Bonfils may have been away when Mr Moeketski was the teacher in 1978, or James had left the village/given up teaching. Whereas I cannot say for sure what happened to Bill Middleton. I dont think he had an onscreen exit so he may have been Chuck Cunninghamed.

      I wouldn't say Derek Warner was Chuck Cunninghamed as he was arrested and later jailed. He was mentioned 2 episodes afterwards then forgotten about. June 1986 is missing from my collection so whether it was said he got sentenced then I am not sure.

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    • They tend to do that nowadays too. Andy hasn't been mentioned properly in a while. Same with Katie etc. Ashley's niece, Jasmine, was briefly mentioned to have decided not to return to the village following her release from prison.

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    • I wonder why Doughty decided to kill Jackie off? They could have had him leave with Sandie. I wonder if it was a desperate attempt to see if that would boost the ratings in any way. If it was, then it was an unlucky time for Ian Sharrock to quit as he would have most likely been invited back by one of the succeeding producers. His death is hardly of one a major character would receive today but it still is quite shocking to see him killed off considering how major of a character he was.

      Also, I wonder why nowadays, soaps never show any part of a body when someone is identifying it. It must have been alright in 1989 because we never saw Jackie fall to the ground or anything, just him pull on the gun before the window on the driver's door of his car smashed - "censoring" his death (unlike what would happen today). However, he appeared as a corpse in episode 1380 where Kathy identified his body.

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    • Seems odd that Jackie was killed off. Ian Sharrock wanted to leave but I bet he was peeved when they decided to kill his character off for a ratings stunt.

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    • Re-watching some of the old episodes (especially in comparison to today), the show seemed fantastic from around 2000-2007, with Graham's death, bus crash & Sarah's death in 2000, Miss Strickland's death story in 2001, Angie's crash in 2002, storm of 2003/2004, Home Farm explosion of 2005, Kings River explosion of 2006, Who Killed Tom in 2006, the lake crash in 2007 and the Sugden's house explosion of 2007. It's quite disappointing seeing what it has become now.

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    • They should do more to explore the shows past with accuracy. Shadrach is being demonised as being a racist and a child abuser when he was just a bumbling alkie when alive. At least Bear Wolf's first name was said to be Edward. I was hoping he would say his surname was Mowlam and a relative of long dead Harry, would be a great twist that Paddy's uncle was the local villain. Bear and Mowlam look and sound alike so much it is scary.

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    • I'd love to be producer right now. The show is going downhill so much and I think, although I think I'd be the youngest soap opera producer, I think I could do a better job than right now.

      I agree about Shadrach. He was a great comedic character back then. At least he was killed off before they had the chance to bring him back and demonise him on-screen.

      Having the tie to the past of Harry Mowlam would have been brilliant, but unfortunately I don't think they even remember what happened last year, yet alone over 30 years ago.

      If I were producer, I'd get the Dingles out of the pub and introduce two Amos & Wilks-like characters, one played by Jeff Stewart (the Amos-type character) and the other by Graham Cole (the Wilks-type character) - they played Reg and Tony in The Bill, and watching some of their scenes together, they worked well as actors. It'd also be a great way to introduce comedy in the show, by bringing back the Shuttleworths and The Malt Shovel and having a petty feud between them.

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    • I am 37, so almost 40, and can remember the Farm era around 1985-1989. I would love to be a writer or EP as I would increase the refs to the past. I would have a reveal that Sita Sharma was pregnant with Jackie's baby in Jan 1986 and never told him she gave birth. We never heard what became of Sita after her and Jackie split in 1986.

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    • That'd be very interesting. If Robert was still in the show, then maybe Sita's baby would try find Jackie and end up finding Robert.

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    • If Harry Mowlam had lived, I am sure he would got jailed eventually for his robbery but probably would have terrorised the Skilbecks even more before he was caught. I think in Beckindale, Mowlam was Public Enemy No 1 so Derek did do the village a favour by killing him. Derek was the only person who could get under Mowlam's skin. As said, Mowlam got to the Skilbecks from beyond the grave, and in June 1988 Dolly said she was still very sorry about her miscarriage.

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    • I thnik killing him off was a good decision. The show was doing brilliantly and I think that was because it had become a bit darker. Then they have the local villain turn up dead after one of the more favourable characters fought with him - but did he really do it? I think if ED had kept up with what Handford was doing, intsead of the (I found it) tedious nuclear waste storyline of 1987, and maybe if Handford had done a bit more in 1986, the show would have become more popular than Coronation Street.

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    • I think ITV did not want their precious Corrie to be knocked off the perch. They know Emmerdale is a threat to the show and just cannot handle that. That nuclear storyline was 6 months long, and tedious.

      Emmerdale, EastEnders and Neighbours are the 3 most colourful soaps outside Corrie, or put together, more colourful than Corrie.

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    • That's where ITV is going wrong. They're prioritising their precious Corrie. If they cared about both shows, they'd be making a ton more money. C4 certainly takes care of Hollyoaks and does a great job at cashing in on the show's success and the audience watching every episode, late night special and spin-off they make.

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    • I am sure Bill Middleton did suffer Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, no mention of him after Feb 1993 as far as I know i the reruns. Sgt MacArthur also last appears in Dec 1993. Actor Martin Dale died in 1994, so may have left due to illness.

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    • I think so too. Sgt. MacArthur was technically a recurring character, despite appearing on a regular basis, so maybe they thought an exit wasn't necessary.

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    • I still struggle to understand why Michael Glynn or whomever decided to change the pace and stories of the soap. Like during the good parts of Richard Handford's reign, they were beating EastEnders by a long shot in the ratings (to the point where they moved the time EE was shown). They were achieving almost triple the figures they get currently, and it was getting very highly reported on by the press - describing it as a transition from a sleepy village to the "Dynasty of the Dales".

      Seeing the show declining as it is now, I'd absolutely love to jump into the producer chair and try bring back the audiences and what people loved about the show.

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    • The latter half of 1986 was dull and boring, as was much of 1987. No proper villain replaced Mowlam. That nuclear story was drawn out. Emmerdale would have probably beaten Corrie in 1985 but ITV would not allow it. Shame. ITV hated it when Crossroads and Emmerdale were threatening their precious Corrie.

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    • Shame that's there's an obvious bias towards Corrie. Why did they bother with the creation of another soap opera if they were biased towards Corrie? Channel 4 had both Brookside and Hollyoaks, and from 1995-2002, both the shows were treated equally, with Channel 4 more than happy to commission spin-offs and take risks, and defend their programmes decisions. Same with BBC.

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    • In Jan 1985, Emmerdale's figures were up to 16'000'000 apparently. It would have toppled Corrie if ITV had not stopped it.

      Amazing how Victoria Sugden named her baby Harry, she probably is unaware of Harry Mowlam, her father's arch enemy and whom his brother in law was once accused of killing. Also, Victoria is Jackie's half sister, and Mowlam tried to kill Jackie in Jan 1984 by running him off his motorbike. She named him after Harry Redknapp the famous footballer/football manager. Benny1982 (talk) 14:06, January 7, 2020 (UTC)

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    • That is actually quite amusing. I doubt the producers would have known this either, funny coincidence in that case.

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    • Not noticed you posting on this wiki or editing as much as you did. Have you been concentrating more on the Hollyoaks wiki now?Benny1982 (talk) 21:21, January 12, 2020 (UTC)

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    • Yes I have - still a lot of work that needs to be done over there, plus I don’t watch present day Emmerdale anymore.

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    • I think Emmerdale bring back Joe Sugden from the dead. They should have, at the end of an episode, the police visit Victoria with the cirumstances unclear. Then we see the graveyard cordoned off, but it's revealed that the police are exhuming Joe's remains as there's suspicions over the body not being Joe's. A man arrives in the village, claiming to be Joe's son - and is followed by Christine Sharp. Once Joe eventually returns to the village, it's revealed that Christine gave birth to her and Joe's son in 1975. She didn't know whether or not to lie to her then-partner about his paternity, hence why she returned in 1976 wanting a reconciliation. When Joe refused, Christine decided to lie but he eventually found out the truth and tried to track down Joe.

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    • A good idea. I wish they would bring Joe back. Mervyn Watson should hang his head in shame. I'd rather it had been news that Tom Merrick had died, as Tom was a bad nasty man and Jack hated him.

      I wonder if Joe did father a child at some time. Maybe Christine was pregnant in 1976 when she left the village for the last time and never told Joe.



      I also have a storyline idea, that Sita Sharma ws pregnant with Jackie's child when they split in January 1986 and that she never told Jackie. And a twist is that she gave birth on 26th August 1986, the day Jackie's mother Pat Sugden died. Oh how I wish I was EP or a writer for the show Benny1982 (talk) 22:49, January 15, 2020 (UTC)

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    • I'd love to be a producer for the show - especially right now. I think having her discover she was pregnant after her departure in November 1974, then having the baby be born in 1975 would be good as it would give a proper reason for Christine seeking a reconciliation with Joe in 1976.

      The idea with Sita is also really good. Maybe she wasn't ready for a child but her family didn't want her to have an abortion and that's why she went sour with Jackie and split with him.

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    • I wonder if Sita's dad Dr Sharma could be a brother or cousin of Rishi? Would make a nice twist.

      Yes, the 1974 Christine pregnancy sounds better. We'd have to explain why Joe faked his death, could it be to do with Christine, or maybe an angry relative of Denis Rigg blaming Joe for his 1989 death at the hands of an agry bull? Benny1982 (talk) 23:05, January 15, 2020 (UTC)

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    • Maybe Joe ended up getting involved in crime in Spain? Like he gets kidnapped over debts or something. They force him to go on a job to re-pay them but it all goes wrong when they crash into someone who looks like Joe. They move his body into their car and make a run for it, forcing Joe to go with them.

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    • Bill Middleton deffo did suffer Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. No mention of him at all after he last appeared at Meg's funeral. We are now up to Aug 1994 in the reruns in the UK and no mention of Bill. Joe also leaves in the reruns on Monday.

      Frazer Hines is up for a return, I say go for it. Mervyn Watson had a lot to answer for. A sexist pig he was as well.

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    • Mervyn Watson seemed like a major a******e in general. If I were head of drama (I think that's who has control over the soaps) I would have sacked him. Surely they'd want the controversy to be about the storylines, not about behind the scenes.

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    • Hi, do you happen to know what happened to Pip Coulter after she and Steve married? I'm assuming the programme skipped all of this information due to the break.

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    • I think they were another couple who suffered Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. Steve and Pip just vanished into thin air after they wed. Another thing, I wish Dryden Hogben had returned at some time later on.

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    • Yes I think around 1974-1983 (when Richard Handford became producer), a lot of the characters seemed to just vanish. As a result that left quite a lot of unfinished storylines. I think the Longthorns were the last of the characters to fall victim to Chuck Cunningham Syndrome in the programme.

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    • Jock's last scene was him being dragged out of the burning barn in 1990 when Joe told Frank he has found the arsonist. Jock never appeared after that but at least his last scene implied he was arrested soon after. Bill Middleton was never seen or heard from or mentioned again after he last appeared in Feb 1993 at Meg Armstrong's funeral. In his last episode he never said he was leaving the village, so may still have stayed as a resident. He was a regular character as well, so just to vanish is odd.

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    • It's strange how they would just get rid of characters with no mention, and then have characters such as the Dingles and Edna Birch mentioned to have been living in the village this whole time despite not being seen. 

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    • Also the geography of the village has been rejigged as well. Apart from the old Woolpack, by the early 1980s it was as if the "Arncliffe end" had never existed. Some of the buildings seen in Arncliffe days were supposed to be the same ones we saw in "Esholt" days such as the church, vicarage, hall, forge and even the shop, yet they were clearly different looking in Esholt and Arncliffe days. I think the shop seen 1973-1976 was always meant to be the same premises seen from 1993 onwards when the Windsors ran it, however in the 1970s it was on the village green.

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    • Yes, if ITV had allowed Emmerdale to have a set earlier, a lot of this would have been avoided. No way viewers were going to miss big geographical changes like this!

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    • The church has changed shape and size over the years. In Esholt days it was in the main village whereas in Arncliffe days it was out of the village in an open area with a huge dale behind it. And onscreen it was always said to be the same church.

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    • The layout of The Woolpack has also changed quite dramatically. Plus the stairs in the bar seemed to have just vanished as did The Woolpack Hotel...

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    • A FANDOM user
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