Monday 23 September
Gary Windass’s neighbours on Coronation Street (7.30pm, 8.30pm ITV) should have twigged that he’s now turned into a wannabe gangster. That Peaky Blinders haircut is a giveaway, though up to this point, he’s been more Tommy Cannon than Tommy Shelby. Expect that to change when Gary (Mikey North) realises Ryan (Ryan Prescott) is coining it in doing a DJ gig when he still owes him hundreds of pounds. Hence Ryan’s evening going from drum and bass to punch in the face. Not content with putting the frighteners on Ryan, Gary threatens Derek that the same thing will happen to him if he doesn’t leave Izzy alone.
GP Daniel on Doctors (1.45pm BBC1) seems very into Becky and gives the impression he’s fine with former partner Zara heading off on a date with a firefighter she met on an internet dating site. But might he be hiding how he really feels? My diagnosis: a definite case of the green-eyed monster.
Tuesday 24 September
For Chloe (Amy Lennox) and Evan’s (Jack Ryder) latest showdown, Holby City (8pm BBC1) borrows from all the best home-invasion thrillers and horror movies. Chloe appears to isolate herself at a remote location (Sleeping with the Enemy), but is tracked down by her stalker.
There’s then a pursuit involving a kitchen knife and a whistling kettle (Fatal Attraction) before Chloe runs up the stairs when she should be heading out of the back door (Halloween). Be warned: it is quite strong stuff, with moments that do push the boundaries of what we’re used to seeing on the show.
Thankfully, we do cut away from time to time. On the wards, Ric (Hugh Quarshie) faces a fresh crisis when granddaughter Darla is rushed in for emergency surgery. Ric, however, has his own issues, privately worrying that he has dementia. Though I’d be surprised if this proved to be the actual diagnosis, seeing as Casualty is already charting Duffy’s experiences with the condition.
Wednesday 25 September
This supposedly sizzling affair between Moira and Nate (Natalie J Robb and Jurell Carter) on Emmerdale (7pm ITV) is such a misfire. For a start, newcomer Nate is just creepy in the way he refuses to take no for an answer. The current characterisation of Moira feels like the show has opted to jettison a decade’s worth of growth. Yes, she did cheat on her one-time husband John, but that was years ago. And we’ve been given no real explanation as to why she’d want to be unfaithful to her current partner Cain.
For all this to be salvaged, some motivations need to be explored. And fast. How come Nate’s such a sleazebag? And why has Moira regressed? At the moment, though, the only thing we’re getting are clichéd cliffhangers in which the pair are almost caught out. Tonight, it’s Matty who’s close to discovering the truth when he approaches Nate’s caravan. You know what they say, Matty: if the caravan’s rocking, don’t come knocking…
Thursday 26 September
The death of Hunter in EastEnders (7.30pm BBC1) may have been horrendous for his mum Mel (Tamzin Outhwaite), but it actually seems to have given her a new lease of life. After wandering around the Square without purpose for a year and a half, she’s now become this merciless badass who’s desperate to get revenge on Phil and isn’t thinking twice about blackmailing Sharon. It’s a pity that Outhwaite is set to exit before the year is over because suddenly we have all this untapped potential for her alter ego.
Over on Hollyoaks (6.30pm C4), Maxine’s terminal illness scam has been exposed and, as a reward for patient viewers who have stuck with this protracted plotline, the villagers are now venting their anger. Maxine has gone from beloved tragic heroine to public enemy number one and Sienna is first in line to slap her. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if we got an equivalent of that famous scene in Airplane! with all the other characters queuing up to do the same.
Friday 27 September
When child stars on soaps reach adolescence, writers often put them to the test to see if they can handle more substantial storylines. This happened recently with Elle Mulvaney, who proved her worth with Amy’s teen pregnancy on Coronation Street (7.30pm ITV). Now it seems as though the same is being asked of actress Tanisha Gorey, as Asha Alahan admits to Amy that she’s had a bad reaction to a cream she’s been using to lighten her skin.
Viewers would be forgiven for thinking that all this has come from out of nowhere. And while it does instinctively feel as if Corrie is grafting an issue-based plotline onto a character, an explanation will be given as to why Asha has taken this course of action. “While Asha was in India, she saw all these Bollywood actresses she looks up to sponsoring these skin-lightening creams, so she wants to be pretty and successful like them,” says Gorey. “It’s a story about Asha’s low self-esteem.”