As Emmerdale ended on Monday night, it looked as though Di Malone (Mark Womack) finally met his end at the hands of Harriet Finch (Katherine Dow Blyton) when she delivered a damaging blow to the head of the unsuspecting corrupt detective.
But last night’s first few minutes saw a shocking twist in the tale as Malone got back on his feet – only to be gunned down by Dawn Taylor (Olivia Bromley). With Harriet and Dawn disposing of the body in the graveyard at the church, both women know that they will be living on a knifes edge from here on in.
Bromley has been chatting about the storyline and has teased that things are not going to be easy for her character in the wake of what she did.
What was your first reaction when you heard that Dawn would be the one to finish off Malone?
I was shocked because although Dawn has faced real trials in her life before and has made some questionable decisions, I definitely didn’t think she would have it in her to kill someone! I was really intrigued about how it would play out, and what the producers had planned for her.
How does it feel to be playing a murderer?
Well, it’s been a very intense time at work, that’s for sure!! The storyline is such a dark one; it’s been great to have that challenge as an actor, even though it’s difficult to get into that headspace sometimes. But it’s self-defence rather than cold-blooded murder. I’m obviously on Dawn’s side. I empathise with her and what she did.
What was the scene like to film?
I absolutely loved working with Mark Womack and, of course, my partner in crime Katherine Dow Blyton on these episodes. They are both so brilliant and it was such fun to have such high soapy drama. We were also lucky to have Duncan Foster directing who is fantastic. Obviously, we had to change a lot due to COVID 19 – socially distanced filming isn’t easy, so it took a lot of work to keep the tension & drama of the script whilst adhering to the new rules.
Did you have any particular technical challenges?
Well, we’re working at 2m distance to keep everything safe, and that’s hard for both the crew and cast. As an actor, all your natural instincts are restricted. We can’t cross-contaminate props or touch the same door handle, and we really miss our make-pp department. But it’s been incredibly impressive how Emmerdale have managed to get up and running again, considering. We’ve got an amazing team.
How do you think Dawn will cope with her guilt in the aftermath?
I don’t think Dawn will cope well at all. She struggles to keep on top of her emotions and be level headed at the best of times. After everything she has worked for to get her life on track, such a dark secret weighing on her conscience could see her spiral into self-destruction. She is prone to self-loathing and rash decisions.
Will this secret bring Dawn and Harriet closer together? Or tear them apart?
Harriet and Dawn’s bond is strong – they need each other more than ever to get through this. But both of them react very differently to the horror of it. I think the fear and the guilt could begin to tear them apart.
Would Dawn be willing to let someone else, like Will or Billy, take the rap for her crime?
No, Dawn loves both Billy and her father too much – she wants to protect them from this secret and will go as far as she can to make sure they aren’t dragged into it. She would sacrifice herself over them.
Why does she break up with Billy? Does she still love him?
Billy is the love of Dawn’s life. But he has been in prison before, and she knows if he gets too close to her secret, he would be putting himself at risk. The more people who know about the murder, the more likely she is to face life in prison away from her little boy. It truly breaks her heart to break up with him, but she is doing it because she has no choice – it’s out of love, to protect them both.
DS Wise has his eye on Dawn and Harriet – how worried should they be?
Very worried! A senior police officer is missing and Dawn made a formal complaint about him just days earlier. It will be very hard for them to prove it was self-defence.
What has the viewers’ reaction been to this plot?
There’s been a brilliant reaction to these episodes – Mark played Malone so well, everyone loved to hate the character! I think people have been very shocked at the outcome, which is down to our clever writers. Obviously, it’s a dark and upsetting storyline, but it’s high drama and that’s what soap is about.
What’s it like to be part of soap’s first socially-distanced murder?
Haha – well, I’m just thrilled we managed to get back to work and start filming again! I hope we’ve pulled it off under such difficult circumstances. I’m really proud to be part of the Emmerdale team, who have worked SO hard to keep the show going and the stories exciting, despite everything that’s going on in the world