Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) is to give his family cause for concern when he returns home looking battered and bruised.
Viewers know that the Walford hard man has been in the clutches of the menacing Gavin these past few weeks, with Kathy trying to get the money together to free him. However, next week’s episodes will see an injured Phil arriving back on the Square, but remaining tight-lipped about what has happened to him.
Speaking recently about Phil’s ordeal, executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said: “What Gavin does to Phil while he’s off screen will take Phil in a whole new direction that will run into next year. We talked about doing for Phil Mitchell what we did recently for Ian Beale.”
As for Phil’s immediate future, EastEnders fans should look out for the episode airing on Tuesday 27 October which will see him rushed to hospital after he collapses at home.
DCI Marsden is soon on the scene, but despite her explaining the severity of what’s happened, Phil insists he doesn’t need her help.
But it looks like assistance will eventually come from within the Mitchell family itself when Phil’s son Ben decides to take decisive action.
Explaining what happens, actor Harry Reid says: “Phil has only been weak a few times – when he had a crack addiction and when he was drunk. So when Ben sees Phil in a weak state, it hurts him. Phil’s his rock, the man who he tries to impress.
“Now he’s dishevelled and broken, so it’s hard for Ben to take that in and be strong. But he gets this backbone and has to step up. It’s hard when your dad – the king of the family and the alpha male – is destroyed like that.”
Phil has, of course, proven himself to be indestructible in the past, having survived two shootings and more car smash-ups than a demolition derby driver. But so affected is Ben by the sight of his dad humbled and beaten that he decides to get rid of Gavin once and for all.
But can Ben really succeed? “Ben gives Gavin the ultimatum: get out or I will get you out. Scary isn’t it! Bless him – he does step up to the mark and wants to be the man of the family and help Phil.
“Ben has taken a beating since coming back and isn’t scared of having a scrap. It’s the Mitchell code. It’s loyalty. If one person is in trouble, you stick together. And if one goes down, you all go down.”
The trouble is that the Mitchells could all end up being a casualty of scary events that unfold on Halloween night as Kathy, Ben and Phil find themselves caught up in a terrifying situation from which there is no escape. And Reid promises that viewers are sure to be left traumatised by the drama.
“It’s bad, it’s really bad! It’s potentially life-changing for the Square and the Mitchell family – you will be shocked!”
Adds soap boss Treadwell-Collins: “Our Halloween episode kicks off a lot of big things. There’s lots of stuff for Sharon, for Phil, for Stacey and Martin. A lot of things are kickstarted in this episode.
“What you’ll see is that Kathy and Phil have both been given panic buttons and everyone thinks that Gavin has gone. But of course not!”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of EastEnders below.
And visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.