Living Between the Lines

Eastenders : Does the Plot Hold Water?

Having just hit the 65,000 word mark, while editing a novel that has had me tearing my hair out at the improbabilities and twists and turns I had originally written into its plot, the characters leading me down blind alleys, despite my protests, I feel almost vindicated having watched Eastenders last night.

Anyone who has not been caught up in the live “Whodunnit” frenzy of Eastenders, this past week, wont understand what I am talking about. However, if you haven’t noticed the tension mounting on social media, on the radio and just about everywhere you look, then you have missed something that has been quite amazing.
I am not saying the plot lines do all hold water, (this is fiction after all) nor am I saying that the “reveal all” episode shown last night was exactly satisfying in its conclusion – to me it left the whole thing open again (No bad thing). Opinion is varied on that. However, whatever one’s views, one has to admire the writers’ tenacity.
Lucy Beale was killed almost a year ago. I remember groaning when I heard because this was due to be yet another drawn out saga akin to, “Who shot JR?” for those old enough to remember Dallas and, “Who shot Phil?” in another Eastenders’ epic.
I confess to regularly watching the soap – I have always said I watch it more because I am interested in how the plot lines run than anything. Sometimes it is good just to relax and get away from the computer for a bit and just lose oneself.
Eastenders is based, as its name suggests, in the East End, in the fictional Borough of Walford. Having worked in the East End in my younger years and been a regular traveller on the Tube, I find its location comfortingly familiar as far as the soaps go.
It must have something going for it because it is celebrating its 30 year anniversary this week, which explains the widespread media coverage.

The team of writers assured everyone, throughout, that even they did not know who the murderer was. Certainly, the actors were kept in the dark. The writers kept the tension going by delivering red herrings by the shoal and managing to bring in an unrelated death, an arson attempt and the surprise return of a character thought to have been killed off 9 years ago, as they went. The trail that never seemed to run cold, finally had to lead somewhere and as little Bobby Beale uttered those immortal words,
“She started it,” we were left to wonder if that really was all there was to it.

Still, it was refreshing to see a plot that was surely written on the fly for the most part this week, pan out as it did. There was a certain devil-may-care attitude about it all. The power held by those writers was intense and how well they wielded it.
I stand in awe.
Hopefully, tonight’s grande finale, also performed live, will put us all in the picture once and for all. By the look of things though, the writers have managed to set us on course for another mammoth reveal at some point: Where has Kathy Beale been all this time? (presumably not in the shower) and why was her death faked? I can hardly bear to wait that one out – do you think we will have to wait until the 40th anniversary?
Where’s the remote?

I am an Author, wife to one, mother to five and grandmother to six. I live in the English countryside in Hampshire, UK, with my husband and two dogs and am a non exec Director for Glow


  • patricia60

    For the last 25 years we have not had television at our house, and only recently do we belong to a streaming video service. I do not often watch the “soap operas” from any source, though in High School there were 20+ gals who took a day off from school once a month to keep the others in the group informed about a specific soap and what had transpired. I did like a radio story when I was home sick from school which I could listen too while I ate lunch as a child. My mum insisted on sleep the rest of the convalescence.

    I do like story . I like mystery series also as a way to relax. I will say that several series have ended as such a dismal disappointment or crash landing, that I wait for someone to tell me what happened (as somebody did watch it to the bitter end) and update. I have heard of EASTENDERS along the way and what an historic moment after 40 years.

    It was fun to read your post and also think about how the fast and furious pace of entertainment will change the story lines – will we get to know a character so well ever again?

    • Debbie

      An interesting question Patricia, will we ever get to know a character so well again? Maybe our brains devour information more quickly as things evolve and we will need less time but I was quite worn out by the end of last week’s marathon reveal. 🙂

  • hilarymb

    Hi Debbie – ‘fraid … I’ve never watched soaps and never will … I happily ignore! Though understand the need to unwind as such … enjoy – cheers Hilary

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