EastEnders Round-Up ~ Week Commencing 13 February 2017

Love was in the air in the Square, this week. OK it was circling the area… No? Well, someone must have been happy – let’s see shall we?

EastEnders - January-March 2017 - 5442
Lee Carter (DANNY-BOY HATCHARD), Whitney Carter (SHONA MCGARTY) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Gary Moyes

Whitney’s at her whit’s end ~ Whitney has come a cropper at the hands of Lee (Danny-Boy Hatchard) and decides that he should spend a night or two with daddy (Danny Dyer). Despite yet another set-back in their young marriage, Whitney is determined to get back on track and when the couple book a table for dinner on Valentine’s Day – Mrs Carter is hopeful. However, with her husband on a knife-edge with his mental health, he soon makes a rash decision and Whitney finds herself dumped. Who saw that coming? Well, we all did I suppose, but it was very harsh to do it on Valentine’s Day! His exit story line has been emotional to say the least, he’ll be missed.

Remember Roxy? ~ Jack (Scott Maslen) has sent his paperwork to Billy (Perry Fenwick) for the head stone to mark the Mitchell sisters’ grave. However, Billy is concerned and put out when he discovers that Roxy (Rita Simons) has been omitted from the wording. Approaching the grieving Widower, Billy tentatively queries if there has been a mistake. No mistake, though! Oh dear…

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 07/02/2017 - Programme Name: EastEnders - January-March 2017 - TX: 16/02/2017 - Episode: EastEnders - January-March 2017 - 5443 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: *STRICTLY NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, TUESDAY 7th FEBRUARY, 2017* Jack and Billy come to blows. Jack Branning (SCOTT MASLEN), Max Branning (JAKE WOOD), Billy Mitchell (PERRY FENWICK) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Jack Barnes
Jack Branning (SCOTT MASLEN), Max Branning (JAKE WOOD), Billy Mitchell (PERRY FENWICK) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Jack Barnes

School Boy Absconds ~ Preston (Martin Anzor) is in the Square and Michelle (Jenna Russell) is rather delighted! It seems that the ‘boy’ has not forgotten his love interest and has pursued her all the way to Walford. Where will they go from here? I expect we’ll have fun finding out. I suspect they will too!

Mrs Beale’s Mobility ~ Jane (Laurie Brett) has made extraordinary progress following the horrific beating she suffered at the hands of her Son, last year. Of course she’s made good progress, this is soap, they can do what they like! However, her recovery spells the end of NHS physio and Jane’s distress at the withdrawal of the service means that Ian is going to put his hand in his pocket again. He’s already splashed out on the swish new wheelchair and pink gloves, has he got money to burn?

June Brown ~ A very Happy Birthday to June Brown who has played Dot for decades and continues to be a favourite with the faithful following of fans. To think that she has reached the grand old age of 90 years old and continues to work regularly in such a fast paced and precarious business is an achievement in itself. Dot is the Queen of Walford and I really hope that BAFTA recognise her talent and longevity, soon. I know she has a NAFTA, but come on BAFTA!

Eastenders Weekly Round-Up ~ Week Commencing 16 January 2017

There has been the usual share of highs, lows and bizarre behaviour that we all expect from the residents of the popular Square. So, here’s a taste of what last week had to offer:

Babe’s on borrowed time ~ Babe (Annette Badland) has been behaving like the spoilt and petulant child of the Carter family of late, and her schemes caught up with her this week – leaving Mick (Danny Dyer) with yet another death stare opportunity. Mick has been under a black cloud since Linda (Kellie Bright) went on her my dash to stay with her mum. I think Babe’s days truly are numbered now that she has rocked the boat in such spectacular fashion.

Lee loses it (again!) ~ Just the week before, Babe was blaming Whitney (Shona McGarty) for Lee’s (Danny-Boy Hatchard) misfortunes, but now the man himself has turned on Whitney and blames her, too. I can’t be alone in thinking that a percentage of Lee’s troubles may have been spurred on by his unsuspecting wife, but surely only because of his state of mind at the time. Either way, their relationship seems to be on a downward spiral with no light at the end of the tunnel.

Glenda ~ Just that, Glenda! I love Glynis Barber and all that she brings to the role. Now that we’re without her two daughters, I think the way is clear for her to stir things up and become a prominent part of the Square again. Good decision!

Facing the Funeral ~ Jack (Scott Maslen) has played the bereaved husband so believably that it’s broken my heart. When we finally said our goodbyes to Ronnie (Samantha Womack) and Roxy (Rita Simons) it was such an emotive episode that I almost couldn’t watch. I’m not going to wax lyrical, the scene with Jack and the children summed it up for me, haunting.

Stacey’s Shoulder ~ Has anyone else noticed that Stacey (Lacey Turner) has turned into the shoulder to cry on and the voice of reason? What a turn around from her Puerperal Psychosis – who’d have thought it? Although I still think she might run back into Max’s (Jake Wood) arms before long. Just a hunch.

Photo Credits: BBC 




Eastenders Weekly Round-Up ~ Week Commencing 9 January 2017

Here we are with another five highlights from the drama that has unfolded on Albert Square this week. It’s been a cornucopia of angst, distress, revelations and a cheeky two-hander between a pair of classic characters. So, just a normal week in Walford, really – let’s see what’s been floating my boat and sinking my ship….. No? Too much? OK here’s the highlights:

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 03/01/2017 - Programme Name: EastEnders - January-March 2017 - TX: 12/01/2017 - Episode: EastEnders - January-March 2017 - 5423 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Sharon sees Michelle sobbing in the Square. Sharon Mitchell (LETITIA DEAN), Michelle Fowler (JENNA RUSSELL) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Jack Barnes
Picture Shows: Sharon sees Michelle sobbing in the Square. Sharon Mitchell (LETITIA DEAN), Michelle Fowler (JENNA RUSSELL) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Jack Barnes

Two-Hander totes amazeballs! ~ Despite my ‘on the fence’ opinion of Jenna Russell as Michelle, which remains unchanged as we go to print, the revelation about Michelle’s 17 year old school boy lover over in the States was an edge of your seat episode for yours truly. Letitia Dean was quite engaging as Sharon and improved my thoughts on Ms Russell as her life-long friend because she took the lead in the scenes rather adeptly. I knew there’d be more to Michelle’s reappearance than the search for a decent cup of tea, but this bomb shell was quite something. Well done, writers!

Denise’s destiny ~ Denise giving birth to the baby she plans to have adopted was a harrowing experience to watch, it was done so brilliantly. Kudos to Diane Parish, she hit the mark throughout the entire episode. The scene where she finally acquiesced and held her new baby boy broke my heart. I think it’s brave of her to make a decision for his future, as a mother myself I don’t know if I could do what she’s doing. Also, I must mention Tameka Empson’s understated performance as Kim, it suited the tone and showed another side to her character.

Mick’s misery ~ Mick’s (Danny Dyer) birthday is not quite the occasion for celebration with Lee’s (Danny-Boy Hatchard) misdemeanours puttingĀ financial strain on the family purse strings. Having been advised not to buy any pressies for daddy dearest he has bought a piece of West Ham’s old ground and it is not received with a big warm hug and a thank you. Seeking out the receipt and returning it is more Mick’s bag in this case and it seems that Whitney (Shona McGarty) really got this one wrong.

Babe’s browned off ~ Babe (Annette Badland) is not happy with Whitney’s influence on Lee and makes it abundantly clear, following the disastrous giving of the gift to the birthday boy. As the pair lock horns and Babe attempts to shake off the new wife, Whitney stands her ground and tells the bitter old matriarch to do one, in a nut shell. However, I’m sure I’m not on my own in thinking that Whitney has not had the final word on this battle. The gloves are off, folks!

Dot’s dealings ~ I feel the need to comment on Dot’s (June Brown) ongoing loneliness. Although I am sure that many people of her age are in similar predicament and it goes undetected, everybody has their noses in one another’s business in the Square and it seems convenient that in Dot’s case at least, now they don’t. I think it’s a fantastic story line in as much as it highlights the problems that are faced by the elderly, but I’m not sure how realistic it is in this setting? I am happy to be contradicted…


Eastenders New Year’s Day ~ Episode Review

New year, new television programme to include in Break A Leg’s episode reviews, the first programme being Eastenders. I am aiming to round-up each week’s episodes but to kick-start, here’s my take on the dramatic scenes that took place in the first instalment of 2017.

It has been no secret that Ronnie (Samantha Womack) and Roxy (Rita Simons) were going to be exiting the soap without an option to return. The Mitchell sisters have been almost as iconic as the Mitchell brothers, although I think their imminent demise has been met with mixed reactions from the viewing public. The photos that had initially emerged last year seemed to indicate that alcohol would play its part in the tragic double death of the sisters, Ronnie was pictured in her wedding dress with her reprobate sibling at her side while they perch precariously on top of a building. As last night’s tragic tale unfolded that building was revealed to be the hotel that Ronnie had become Mrs Branning, at.

Programme Name: EastEnders - TX: 11/01/2016 - Episode: 5209 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Jack Branning.  Jack Branning (SCOTT MASLEN) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Kieron McCarron
Picture Shows: Jack Branning. Jack Branning (SCOTT MASLEN) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Kieron McCarron

It was all going as well as events can for Eastenders, Roxy agreed to give her sister away after Phil (Steve McFadden) was declared too unwell to leave hospital. As a well wish, their cousin had arranged for a Thelma and Louise style car to whisk the girls away in style. A London bus had already transported the rest of the wedding party off for the celebrations. However, the first fly in the ointment appeared when Roxy felt unable to be party to the nuptials given that Ronnie had not yet told Jack (Scott Maslen) that she wanted Roxy to move with them to start their new life. Ronnie can’t move without her sister and she’s soon back-tracking on her solo trot up the aisle. However, in true Ronnie and Roxy style, they reconcile with Jack’s blessing for Roxy to join them in Ongar and the wedding is back on.

The wedding reception is a full on knees up with the sisters taking centre stage, dancing, having group selfies and a spark striking up between Roxy and Max (Jake Wood). Retiring to their respective bedrooms with twenty minutes to go until midnight, it seems that Roxy and Ronnie’s shenanigans are not finished. While Jack is reading Cinderella to the children (which is quite haunting in itself, given the clock that is shown at various intervals) and Max is waiting for a spot of how’s your father with his sister-in-law’s sister, the dynamic duo are roaming about the hotel. We see the red herring roof scene where there could quite easily be a mishap, particularly given Ronnie’s impersonation of the key scene from Titanic – how apt!

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 23/12/2016 - Programme Name: EastEnders - January-March 2017 - TX: 01/01/2017 - Episode: EastEnders - January-March 2017 - 5416 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Ronnie & Roxy are racing each other to jump in the pool. Ronnie Mitchell (SAMANTHA WOMACK), Roxy Mitchell (RITA SIMONS) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Guy Levy
Picture Shows: Ronnie & Roxy are racing each other to jump in the pool. Ronnie Mitchell (SAMANTHA WOMACK), Roxy Mitchell (RITA SIMONS) – (C) BBC – Photographer: Guy Levy

However, the swimming pool is the final resting place for two of the soap’s most popular and enduring characters. With Roxy diving in, never to surface again and Ronnie misguidedly jumping in after her in full wedding get-up including a pesky veil… I expect most of you saw the rest.

What struck me with the exit storyline is that the filming was pretty spectacular and the parting shot, though incredibly sad, was also poignant. Plus, if this sends any sort of message to viewers, it’s that intoxication and swimming don’t mix.

The unfortunate end to a happy day aside, I was also impressed with the showdown between Mick (Danny Dyer) and Lee (Danny-Boy Hatchard). It was every bit as memorable as a part of the episode as the departures which led to silence as the credits rolled.

Well done, Eastenders!

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