Monday 30 September
You can sometimes see patterns emerging on our favourite continuing dramas. Emmerdale has Jeopardy Thursday (at one point, I swear that Rhona collapsed at 7.30pm in three consecutive weeks). Now Coronation Street (7.30pm, 8.30pm ITV) seems to have launched Clobbering on the Cobbles Monday. Last week, Gary gave Ryan a pasting. Now, it’s Paul decking Kel after realising that he’s a paedophile. Where will this violence end? Mary and Tracy hitting each other with bouquets of delphiniums? Brian putting Rita in a headlock?
The era of soap pets appears to be long gone. Is it a health and safety issue, maybe? Doctors (1.45pm BBC1), though, is harking back to a bygone time with a storyline about Valerie’s beloved cat Geoffrey, who has gone missing. Ayesha is sure he’s out scavenging for food like a pro, but Valerie won’t let the matter rest. And after visiting his usual haunts, she realises that all is not well.
Tuesday 1 October
On Holby City (8pm BBC1), Evan (Jack Ryder) is in a critical condition, Chloe (Amy Lennox) has gone to a sexual assault referral centre and someone seems to have forgotten to pay the electricity bill. Now, while I understand that the gloom gives the aftermath of Chloe’s ordeal a bit of atmosphere, it beggars belief that doctors are being asked to do life-or-death work by an anglepoise lamp. It’s a wonder we’re not seeing comedy arterial sprays or notes being misread and incorrect limbs amputated. It’s a pity, because there is genuine tension in seeing Chloe recount her story as the surgeons scramble to save Evan. Ange, meanwhile, continues to have that incriminatory screwdriver stashed in her drawer…
Horrible father figures are very much an archetype on EastEnders (7.30pm BBC1), so it’s no surprise to see Callum’s nasty dad Jonno again. He must feel right at home, though his despicable actions tonight make even Phil Mitchell look like Atticus Finch.
Wednesday 2 October
Random Comeback of the Week Award goes to Kevin Webster’s sister Debbie, who returns to Coronation Street (7.30pm, 8.30pm ITV) after an absence of 34 years. I don’t think anyone’s been clamouring for an update on her whereabouts — she rarely gets even an on-screen mention. But I’ll be pleased to see her, if only because Sue Devaney is one of those actors who’s been a part of my TV viewing since my childhood: in the 80s as “Our Rita” on Jonny Briggs through to roles as Casualty paramedic Liz Harker and the ever-eager Jane on dinnerladies (“Can I have 12 rounds of white?”)
Breda is understandably horrified in Hollyoaks (6.30pm C4) when Goldie reveals plans to sell the family’s pig farm. What Goldie doesn’t know, of course, is that it’s actually the grisly scene of Breda’s crimes. I dread to think what’ll be on the fixtures and fittings list: built-in wardrobes, washer-dryer, a captive Tony Hutchinson in the barn…
Thursday 3 October
When we last saw Dot (June Brown) in EastEnders (7.30pm BBC1) in March, she’d been left a hefty inheritance from her old friend Dr Legg in his will that effectively made her a millionaire. So when she returns to Walford, I’m hoping she’ll be dripping with diamonds and stepping out of a Lambo that’s blasting “They see me rollin’, they hatin’ ” from the stereo. If anyone questions the bling, I expect her to merely remove her crystal-embellished sunglasses, look her accuser in the eye and say, “Well, I’m ever-so well orf.”
But enough of these flights of fancy. What actually happens is that Dot resurfaces with her granddaughter Dotty (Milly Zero) in tow. Fingers crossed she’ll now be a nasty piece of work and a worthy adversary for tough Tiff, placid Bernie and cheeky Keegan. The teens on the Square need an antagonist and who better than Dotty? She is, after all, Nick Cotton’s offspring. There has to be bile and poison coursing through those veins, right?
Friday 4 October
Michael Praed must feel short-changed. During his last year on Emmerdale (7pm ITV) no writer seemed to remember that he was even there. Now, following his character Frank’s sudden death in the factory fire, he’s the focus of the biggest plotline. It’s like becoming the star of the show from beyond the grave but without a pay cheque. This evening, for instance, we get the aftermath of Frank’s daughter Tracy having accused Kerry (Laura Norton) of starting the blaze that killed her dad — a showdown that has resulted in Kerry falling and hitting her head. As Amy cries over Kerry’s unresponsive body, Tracy is convinced that she’s killed her…
It’s all go on EastEnders (8.30pm BBC1), what with Bex in an ambulance, Linda’s Big Little Lies-style school gates drama, plus new siblings Jags and Kheerat arriving with retribution in mind. As will be revealed, the brothers make up two thirds of the Panesars, the first Sikh family to feature on the soap in its 34-year history.