My first thought when lockdown began was how will they continue to film all our favourite TV shows, when all the actors, like the rest of us, are unable to leave their homes unless it’s to do essential shopping or exercise? Well, okay, maybe it wasn’t my first thought, but it was one that crossed my mind.
One area of TV that has been immediately impacted by this lockdown is the world of soaps. The only soap I watch is EastEnders, and BBC One quickly cut the number of episodes down from four to two a week, pretty much without warning, having to do it as soon as possible so they didn’t run out of episodes. Though depending on how long this goes on for, they may well still run out!
But, do not fear, you can still get your EastEnders fix on the days it’s not on. Since August 2018 the Drama channel has been showing classic episodes of the soap. They started right back at the beginning, way back in 1985. They show two episodes a day starting at 1pm, or you can catch up on the UKTV Play app. At the moment it’s up to the year 1993.
I watched a couple of episodes on the app where Phil, Grant, Sharon, Kathy, Pat and Frank all go to France together. I decided to watch these episodes because I’ve seen clips of them before, and it was where Phil and Kathy’s relationship started, something I remember from my childhood. In fact, my earliest memory of watching EastEnders was seeing Kathy go into labour with Ben, and being genuinely concerned by all the screaming she was doing, I don’t think I fully understood that it wasn’t real yet! I’m too young to remember Grant being married to Sharon, I remember him being married to Tiffany, but it was interesting to see Sharon looking on with jealousy at Phil and Kathy canoodling on the ferry, knowing that years later she is the one who is now married to Phil.
The episodes involved a lot of shouting. Grant shouting at Sharon, Sharon shouting at Grant, Phil shouting at Grant, Kathy shouting at Pat and Frank, Pat shouting at Frank, Frank shouting at Pat, Frank shouting at his daughter Diane for having sex with ‘foreigners’, resulting in her getting ‘up the duff’ and not knowing who the father was, and failing to tell him about it despite the fact that she was just about ready to drop. So, yeah, nothing much has really changed in twenty-seven years, every episode of EastEnders still involves characters dealing with everything by shouting at each other! So, the classic episodes are sure to fill the giant, EastEnders-sized hole in your life from Wednesday to Sunday.
And if you’re fans of other soaps as well, then you’re in luck! You can find classic episodes of Emmerdale and Coronation everyday on ITV3, starting with two episodes of Emmerdale at 1.45pm, and two episodes of Corrie at 2.50pm. Hollyoaks have had to cut down to two episodes a week as well, but Wednesdays to Fridays you can watch some of Hollyoaks’ most memorable episodes on E4, you are treated to two episodes each day starting at 7pm.
On a little side note, this lockdown is impacting every TV show that was in production, so looks like we are going to have to wait a little longer for some of our favourite TV shows to come back for another series. On a more positive note, thank god for the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime, they will get us through it!
I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful and informative. Stay home, stay safe and take care of yourselves and those around you. Thank you, Ben, for allowing me to guest post on your blog :).