Emma Barton (Gillian Kearney) will unsettle viewers next week when she leaves husband James for dead.
A confrontation at the farm will result in James’s life being put in danger when he’s hit by a falling pallet and pinned under its weight. But is what happens really an accident?
“It’s sort of an accident,” says Bill Ward, who plays James. “The pallet is loaded with feed and it’s pretty heavy stuff. But it doesn’t fall on his head by accident. However, James doesn’t know that. Emma leaves him for dead, but Pete happens to be passing and finds his dad lying on the floor. Only at that point does Emma try to save his life. But he’s in a coma and Emma will be worried about him waking up to spill the beans.”
Revelations about Emma’s past have been gradually coming to light since her arrival in the village, in particular the troubling admission that she tried to smother Ross when he was a baby. But what does Ward make of his new co-star and the character she plays?
“She’s brilliant. She brings lots of layers to the part. The character is interesting because you’re not about the direction in which she’s moving. But Gillian has all the bases covered. There are a number of different bits to Emma, which will impact on James over the coming weeks and months.”
Watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below: