Classic Eastenders

Discussion in 'UK Soaps Forum' started by Pamela_E, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. Pamela_E

    Pamela_E administrator

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    Anyone watching this? I am loving it, you can see how much better it was back then. Even bad periods are superior to now.

    It's great watching old shows and being able to get info on what was happening behind the scenes during those times.

    Like I had no idea they were about to kill Pauline off with a cancer diagnosis and changed their minds part way through the story.

    Also when does SunshineBoyUK pop up in it?
     
  2. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Not till '93 or '94, I think.
     
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  3. Pamela_E

    Pamela_E administrator

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    Thanks, a while yet then as I think it's 1989 or 90 now.

    It would nice if he could pop in to give some insight into that time. Won't hold my breath.
     
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  4. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    I don't have Watch TV, but according to Twitter it's just about to turn into 1990 so the Mitchells are just around the corner. They first appeared on the show's fifth-anniversary ep (but that was before anniversaries were a thing).
     
  5. Pamela_E

    Pamela_E administrator

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    Shame you can't watch it. 1989 has been a little weird, the year of Pat Coombs and some oddities like Trevor. Apparently they took the accusation of not being light hearted seriously, so tried to inject some humour. A new producer wipes that away along with these characters and brings in the Mitchell's.

    After Den and Angie left, it felt like they were a little lost. Maybe Julia Smith has also gone at this point.


    But it's been a real pleasure to watch it again, reminded me of why it became so huge.
     
  6. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    Old Eastenders was amazing!

    I’ve been watch clips from the 80s (mainly the Den & Angie scenes) but the show was far superior to what it is now, much of the 1990s was a dead period for me, especially after Sharon & Michelle left in 1995, what kept the show interesting was the Grant & Tiffany era,

    The early to mid 2000s were also excellent years for the show.

    I don’t watch EE anymore, it looks like love island and Hollyoaks combined now :-(
     
  7. Pamela_E

    Pamela_E administrator

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    I have struggled with it recently, although I'm not sure if it's the show or just me changing what I enjoy watching.
     
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  8. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    I've actually been rewatching the whole series over the past few years and I'm almost back up to date (well, 2016).

    Yes, I remember there being run of really dramatic stories leading up to Den's first death and then Arthur declares Walford "a misery-free zone" and then practically overnight it becomes one! Fascinating to watch in retrospect though. Frank Butcher really stood out for me in that period.

    Yes, I appreciated the early years a lot more the second time around. It felt a lot bolder and edgier than it did at the time when I dismissed a lot of it as watered-down Brookside.

    Oh man, I loved the 90s so much! The David Wicks era, Educating Michelle (thanks to Rachel Kominski and Geoff Barnes), Tricky Dicky on the market, Mandy and Aiden, Arthur and Mrs Hewitt. That was one of the show's richest times for me.

    That's when I fell out of love with Enders originally. Steve Owen and Tamsin Outhwaite seemed too glamorous; all the other male characters became either psychos or buffoons, and it started to feel like a generic soap, just like all the others. But again, re-watching, I enjoyed it all a lot more. Mel may have been a vaguely drawn character to begin with but Outhwaite really turned her into something special. I was right about Steve Owen though! And the Slaters were terrific, much better than I originally appreciated, although after Little Mo hits Trevor with that iron, you do want them to be quiet and go away for a while.

    I've actually started doing a one-man play about an EastEnders obsessive who gets a small part in the series and everything goes horribly wrong. Les Coker, Carol Jackson and the penultimate Lucy Beale have been to see it, as well as some behind the scenes people. They were all really nice, especially Carol who is just the loveliest woman.
     
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  9. Pamela_E

    Pamela_E administrator

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    That sounds really good, I loved Carol. The story with Bianca, Dan and Carol will always be one of my favs.

    Have you ever appeared in Enders?

    I struggle with Mel now, she seems a bit of place. I liked her back then.
     
  10. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    Mine too! It's interesting to hear her talk about it here:



    No! The closest I ever got was auditioning for the part of a geeky organiser at a Doctor Who convention where Bradley tells Stacey that they're never ever ever getting back together, but I think they then cut the character in case it was offensive to Doctor Who fans!

    I sort of like that she's out of place and past her prime and isn't quite the golden character she once was.
     
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  11. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    I should have been more clear about the 1990s

    I love the early 1990s, 1991-94 were great years
    1990 and 1995 were both transitional years but were still great.

    I used to feel the same about the early to mid 00s era but the recent episodes have made me miss that era, it still felt like Eastenders back then.

    Also how can I forget the marvellous David Wicks! The mid 90s I would say had very intriguing individual characters, who drew us in, David and Carol were most definitely those characters,

    Lindsey Coulson always seemed like a lovely down to earth woman, I’ve actually always wanted to meet her, people compare Karen Taylor to Carol Jackson and I just don’t see it Carol was a likeable character, who seemed like she could be your next door neighbour, Karen and the Taylors as a whole to me feel
    Like rather offensive caricatures of working class people, but that could be just my viewpoint.
     
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  12. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    Agreed about Mel, back in the late 90s/early 00s era she was the “it” girl of Walford, now she’s back trying to reclaim that status but has failed because time has moved on and Mel does seem to be stuck back in the past, which actually works.

    That’s one of the reasons why I never complained about Michelle’s recasting, the character had been away for twenty years, she’s never been back since the day she left, Not even for the funerals of her immediate family members, she deliberately stayed away and built herself a new life across an ocean, it was obvious Michelle of 2016-18 wasn’t going to be the Michelle of 1985-95, even by the mid 90s Michelle was different from her mid-late 80s persona, she wanted to get away from her working class roots, only to fall from her middle class built pedestal by making the same mistakes as she did when she was 16.
     
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  13. Pamela_E

    Pamela_E administrator

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    I loved those videos but think I missed that one.

    Carol really went through it, I guess they enticed her back with some hardhitting stories.

    I remember all those stories vividly, especially the death of Billy when she walked through the square.

    She worked so well with Bianca.

    I look forward to seeing her stint on the show, if they keep the repeats running that long.
     
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  14. Pamela_E

    Pamela_E administrator

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    The latest episodes we see Michelle informing everyone she is going away to Newcastle with Danny.

    Sharon is last to know and isnt happy. Some lovely dialogue between Sharon and Michelle. The writing is so thoughtful. These were written by Rob Gittens, Wikipedia says he still writes for Enders.

    I really like Danny's wife, she is like a less posh Amanda Burton. Nice to see a side character get a decent script to the point you really get her from a few scenes.

    Meanwhile Janine has stabbed a classmate with a pencil. Making way for a Frankism when talking about the teachers "Who do they think I am, an Ice cream?" , or words to that effect.

    I believe Grant and Phil arrive today.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  15. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    I guess it's the single mother with lots of kids by different fathers thing.

    The Taylors feel a bit like Coronation Street characters to me, in that they started off larger than life, almost cartoony, and then over time, they've gradually become more three-dimensional. I always liked Karen but people seemed repelled by her at first, which felt like class prejudice to me, but now she seems to be really popular which is great.

    Danny, like Kathy's boyfriend Laurie Bates and Phil's first wife, is one of those characters who have just been completely forgotten about.

    And they're so cheerful and happy go lucky and even nice to begin with!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  16. Pamela_E

    Pamela_E administrator

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    The Taylor's actually remind me of the Battersbys arrival in Coronation Street.

    Where the the show had historically working class people and issues running through it's veins, it had steered away from it, that it was now represented in certain characters rather than the show itself.

    In fact they were meant to be even worse than working class characters we knew , I think both famalies had moved from an estate. It felt like a middle class view of people who live on an council estates.

    I believe the Enders producer wanted to try to make the show more grounded again, hence talk of bins not being picked up, food banks and the Taylor's arrival. Ronnie and Roxy's death was seen as a full stop on the previous era and the start of a new one. I liked his thinking but not sure it was delivered particular well. Although I enjoyed it, you had a sense it was a concept not experienced by anyone producing the show.
     
  17. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Star

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    All the soaps are guilty of demonising people who live on council estates. That's where the real scum supposedly lives. If and when they become regular characters and get absorbed into the community of the village/street/square, they cannot help but become more sympathetic, "better" people.

    The soaps have always had "even worse" characters for the regular working-class characters to look down on. For years, the Ogdens were considered more common than everyone else living on Coronation Street and were the butt of everyone else's jokes. That only stopped when Hilda became a national treasure and was elevated to sainthood. Then it was the turn of the Duckworths and then the Battersbys after that. Even when the Jacksons first appeared in EastEnders, they weren't given a conventional introduction -- you just saw these new faces screaming and rowing with each other in the launderette while the regulars (mostly Pauline) looked on in disapproval. Then gradually we got to know them.

    I suspect it was a conscious decision to have Karen Taylor originally appear like the worst kind of Daily Mail/Jeremy Kyle/chavvy (hate that word) caricature, thereby playing into people's prejudices, and then gradually demonstrate that she (and people like her) wasn't just some grotesque monster, but as human as everyone else.

    A writer friend of mine (who I've been working on this one-man play with) spent a year working behind the scenes on Enders with that producer. Apparently, his original vision was very different from what ended up on screen. It was going to be a lot more political -- a whole saga involving gentrification and ethnic cleansing that was tied in with Wilmott Brown and Max's revenge, culminating in a full-scale riot in the Square -- but then Grenfell happened and the BBC lost their nerve. Plus long-running actors and existing producers objected to various ideas. It seems that one of the biggest misconceptions, encouraged by the tabloids and totally bought into by people posting on the internet, is the idea that the executive producer, or showrunner, really does run the show.
     
  18. Pamela_E

    Pamela_E administrator

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    That sounds really interesting and yep I think all broadcasters are very fearful of offending, perhaps to the detriment of the story. There is a blog with a writer somewhere discussing how his worked was completely rewritten and writers were not treated with much respect.

    I think it was Louise Berridge who was held up as ruining Eastenders due to the emphasis on younger cast members, but she was only following orders due to the BBC knee jerking to the dwindling younger audience.

    I think the Producer penning the Max/ Willmot Brown story suddenly quit, perhaps the change in focus was a reason as it was meant to go on for another year. Instead it was wrapped up very quickly.

    I was hoping they would delve deeper into Max's self harming as part of this story, I love Jake Wood, but it all came to a head with the roof top fall.

    A riot would have been great, there was a sense it was all building to something massive. I think viewers are a little more intelligent than thinking they should riot in real life because it happened on Enders.

    Back in Lou's final episode I think she predicted the whole place would be gentrified.

    They seemed a lot less worried in its hey day of 15 million viewers. They had bare breasts hanging up in the Queen Vic KP Peanut posters, Dr Legg complaining about NHS cuts and characters like Arthur upset over the state of unemployment, blaming the Government.

    Might not have taken it as far as Brookside but still more than we see today in fear of offending or persuading the viewers.
     
  19. Walford Boy

    Walford Boy Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Adam was a lad.
    As a viewer of EE since 1985 and still watch now, i can confirm with respect it is nothing like Love Island or Hollyoaks. You want to watch a few episodes, you may be surprised how good it is.
     
  20. Pamela_E

    Pamela_E administrator

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    It might not be like Love Island but to me it's nowhere near as good as it was a few years back.

    But everyone is different. It just doesn't seem to gel with me now.
     

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