Emmerdale’s Rebecca White has been something of a living time bomb these last few weeks.
Unconscious in hospital since the horrific car crash that killed her sister Chrissie and dad Lawrence, surviving nephew Lachlan has been terrified his auntie will wake from her coma and reveal he caused the tragedy – and even contemplated finishing her off himself by cutting off her life support.
But next week Bex finally wakes up, and at first Lachlan breathes a sigh of relief as it appears she doesn’t remember the events of the accident, which also she has no idea half her family are dead…
“Her world just falls away when she hears the news,” begins Emily Head, who plays recovering Rebecca. “She struggles to understand how and why it happened, and the idea of living without two people she was so close to is the worst thing she’s ever experienced.”
Ironically it’s Lachlan she turns to as she processes their shared loss, despite the fact this whole thing is his fault. “Initially she doesn’t believe what she’s hearing, but when she sees Lachlan’s face she just clings onto him sobbing. Other than her baby boy Seb, Lachlan is the only member of the family she has left. To her, they are both in this together.”
Disoriented and desperate to remember any details beyond being in the car chasing after ex-lover Robert Sugden who abducted Seb as the Whites were bound for the airport to fly to Australia, Rebecca disappears from the hospital.
She’s eventually found at Home Farm where she finds new owner Joe Tate and is forced to face the truth that Chrissie and Lawrence are gone, and the family home has been sold.
Back at the hospital, Rebecca struggles to recall the moments before she went comatose, causing Lachlan to silently panic… “She genuinely doesn’t remember the event itself,” continues Head. “There are snapshots that appear every now and then. Rebecca has been in a coma for weeks so her brain is in overdrive trying to piece everything together.”
Lucky has perfected his game face by now, and Head insists Bex doesn’t suspect her relative is hiding anything – not at this stage, anyway. “She’s internalising her feelings. As she attempts to piece small fragments of memory together for herself, i think any reaction from another person towards her she reads as being their sadness.”
Eventually as the week progresses, Rebecca wakes from a disturbed sleep in hospital to find Lachlan at her bedside – and it’s then her memory returns! “She wakes up very frightened and hears Lachlan’s voice, which is even more frightening!” reveals Head.
“She turns to him and says she knows what he did and he won’t get away with it. Lachlan is utterly terrified and tries to quieten her and pretend she was just having a bad dream. She screams at him to get out and he leaves, with Rebecca threatening to tell everyone…”
What Rebecca’s next move will be remains to be seen, but Head admits waking up to the new era for the Whites without co-stars Louise Marwood (Chrissie) and John Bowe (Lawrence) has taken some adjusting. “It’s a really strange feeling. When they left in November it felt like the two of them were breaking for Christmas, but now we’re all back in January and they’re not!
“I miss them both terribly, but we’re still in touch. I watched the big crash episode with Louise actually, I went down to London to see her. I was lovely to catch up, though a bit strange to watch her dying with her sat next to me!”
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