Emmerdale’s Lachlan White has already wiped out most of his family, but will he finish the job next week when auntie Rebecca and baby cousin Seb are caught in the crossfire of his latest attempt at covering his murderous tracks?
Believing Liv Flaherty is responsible for the recent wave of texts implying threatening to publicly expose his sinister, Lachlan targets the teenage girl in the way viewers have become accustomed to – by killing her!
“Liv has become a problem in his life and she has to go,” says Thomas Atkinson, who plays the young soap slayer. “He’s killed so many times now he doesn’t really care! He doesn’t see Liv as a life, which is where his psychopathic nature comes in. Lachlan is only thinking about himself and protecting his relationship with Belle. The texts have turned him into a complete wreck and made him lose control, hence he plans this murder.”
As Lachlan grows more psychotic by the week, justifying his callous crimes by convincing himself it’s all to protect his future with his beloved Belle, there’s a glimpse of humanity beneath the murdering mask displayed as part of his next plot.
Secretly meddling with the carbon monoxide detector then sitting back as deadly gas floods Mill Cottage to silence Liv – and Robert Sugden – permanently, Lucky’s conscience kicks in when he learns baby cousin Seb is asleep at the house and dashes to save him. Why is Seb’s life more important than the ones he’s taken?
“He is the future of his family,” explains Atkinson, “of course he doesn’t want to kill him. In a way Seb is part of him.” His rescue attempt gets him in more trouble as Liv wakes up when he gets to the house and a confrontation ends with Lachlan shoving her, knocking the girl out after she bangs her head.
Then Rebecca arrives on the scene and catches her nephew in the act, leading to someone ending up bundled into the boot of Lachlan’s car following a violent attack with a spanner… Does Lachlan have the stomach to end another family member’s life, particularly one who has just found happiness again after reigniting her relationship with Ross Barton?
“Lachlan wants to think if it came to it, he could kill Rebecca, but I believe he’d struggle to do it. Everything for him is about family at this point – Rebecca is one of the last of his family he has left, he wouldn’t want to kill her…”
Viewers will have to see who comes out of the Mill Cottage confrontation alive, but as the serial killer storyline progresses further does Atkinson think this puts his character closer to getting caught? “I think he needs his comeuppance,” he states. “He’s been doing this for a quite a while now, around a year, so it would be great to see him caught.
“It would be awful for Lachlan though because he’s done all this for Belle and if he’s caught then he’s lost her, she wouldn’t forgive him. He is starting to feel guilt and deep down, he knows it’s wrong.”
And how does Atkinson feel about Lachlan now being firmly established in Emmerdale’s rogues’ gallery, and the public response that comes with playing a murderer? “It’s fantastic, the viewers hate him but that doesn’t surprise me, I’d hate my character! Every show needs a villain – it doesn’t bother me if people don’t like me!”
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