Emmerdale: You can’t compare the helicopter disaster to the 93 plane crash, says Kate Oates

The soap's series producer says the stunts are "apples and oranges" and hints at multiple fatalities in the aftermath of the wedding day disaster

They’ve brought the Woolpack crashing down on Tricia Dingle, flooded the whole area and famously, back in 1993, sent fireballs flying over the village in the Beckindale Air Disaster but Emmerdale series producer Kate Oates says the soap’s upcoming helicopter crash is completely different.


“Any comparison, in a way, is welcome because that was an iconic moment of Emmerdale history and that’s great but this is really different” Oates explains.

“I think it’s the nature of soap viewers now to compare it not just with the plane crash of 93, but the tram crash in Corrie and it’s apples and oranges really. They’re very very different stories.” 

The much hyped summer stunt storyline will see Pete Barton and Debbie Dingle’s wedding day end in disaster when a helicopter literally crashes their village hall reception.

A fiery showdown between Chrissie and Robert Sugden is to blame for the crash: the scorned Sugden wife (nothing new about that now, is there?) sets fire to her ex-husbands car but when the flames spread to a nearby gas canister it explodes, bringing the passing aircraft down on the Barton-Dingle celebration.

The idea of bringing a flying object down on the village may not be new, but Oates says it’s a world away from the iconic 1993 episodes because Emmerdale is not the same soap it was in the early 90s.

“The show is so different now, it has evolved, I think that our show has evolved more than any other soap actually” she says. “It’s right for Emmerdale to keep changing and keep moving forwards, so yeah, I’m sure people will compare but they’re completely different.”

“I think when people watch the episodes they’ll forget about other soap disasters and soap dramas and just become engaged with the story. That’s all I want really.”

She’s giving nothing away about the soap’s summer fatalities, though she hints that more than one villager could meet their maker.

“Drama has to have consequence, good storylines should always evoke change, and nothing is more life changing that these sometimes fatal moments” Oates explains. “They make people see their own lives differently, often it’s not about those who are killed, it’s about those who are left behind and how their lives change as a result.”

“It’s not about just killing people for sensationalism” she continues, “I think audiences are sophisticated enough to realize that’s a futile exercise and they won’t be rewarded watching that so it’s just about finding something that’s story led and making sure the people left behind can carry on a good emotional story afterwards.”

“You don’t know how many I’m going to kill yet…”

Find out when Emmerdale airs these dramatic scenes from August 3rd to 7th.

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.


And visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.