Hollyoaks Later, which ran for six series between 2008 and 2013, came back in 2020 for a one-off episode as Breda McQueen's serial killer storyline came to a head.
Fondly remembered by the viewers, Hollyoaks Later always pushed the boundaries with high-stakes jeopardy and some gruesome scenes in its post-watershed timeslot. Here's six of the most shocking moments.
1. Sarah Barnes' deadly parachute fall (2009)
Hollyoaks aired one of the most haunting scenes in its history in October 2009, as Sarah Barnes fell to her death when a skydive went horribly wrong. The terrifying moment aired in the fourth episode of Hollyoaks Later's second series.
When Sarah, Lydia Hart and Zoe Carpenter went on a skydiving adventure together, vengeful Lydia deliberately sabotaged Zoe's parachute as she was jealous of her closeness to Sarah. However, a classic soapy twist saw the parachutes get mixed up and Sarah later sealed her fate by picking up the wrong one.
The chilling moment that Sarah realised her parachute wouldn't open, and that she was plunging to her death, was one that stuck in the memory for viewers a long time afterwards. It was no surprise when it won the 'Spectacular Scene of the Year' prize at the British Soap Awards the following year.
2. Rae Wilson's murder (2011)
Killer granddad Silas Blissett was often more comical than scary in his first stint, somehow being able to unpick every lock in the village and escaping all forms of security and CCTV. However, when he was allowed to run riot in Hollyoaks Later's fourth series in September 2011, fans finally saw Silas at his most brutal.
Silas spent most of the series targeting Theresa, who – let's face it – was never really in any danger of being killed off. When Silas missed his chance to get rid of the mischievous McQueen, he settled for Rae instead – attacking her with a brick and then strangling her to death.
Alice Barlow, who played Rae, praised the memorable scenes in her exit chat with Digital Spy, telling us at the time: "I could have just ended up leaving in a taxi or something like that, but this will hopefully go down in Hollyoaks history.
"There's no limits when it comes to the late-night episodes, so we've been lucky that we could play this storyline in Later and do whatever we wanted with it."
3. Brendan cuts up a corpse (2012)
Hollyoaks fans must have thought they'd accidentally tuned into Dexter in October 2012, as Brendan Brady cut up a corpse in series five of Hollyoaks Later.
Finally getting a long-awaited chance to star in the savage spinoff, Brendan targeted Joel Dexter's violent stepfather Mick for revenge by dangling him from a lighthouse. Although Brendan and Joel only intended to scare Mick, he suffered a terrifying fall to the ground and seemingly died.
Unknown to the two guys, Mick actually survived the unfortunate incident until Brendan's enemy Simon Walker stepped in to suffocate the thug – wanting to frame Double B.
With Brendan unaware of Walker's deception, he took responsibility for getting rid of Mick's body – getting caught out by his horrified sister Cheryl as he got to work on dismembering the corpse.
4. Callum gets killed with a samurai sword (2013)
When Hollyoaks Later last aired as a full series in 2013, teen character Callum Kane was the poor soul who was chosen for an eye-catching death scene. A number of the teens headed off for a holiday at a house in the country, but danger loomed for everyone as unhinged Jade Hedy wanted to steal Esther's liver. Yep, really.
In one of the most unique revenge missions Hollyoaks has seen, the villain targeted Esther as her transplanted organ had once belonged to Jade's ex-boyfriend.
Jade showed her true colours by tying Esther up and preparing to cut her open, but when Callum stepped in to rescue his friend, he paid the price with a samurai sword through the chest. On the bright side, Esther was fine.
5. Niall falls to his death (2008)
Although nowhere near as gruesome as some other Hollyoaks Later deaths, the first series of the spinoff show was used to air the final demise of memorable villain Niall Rafferty in 2008.
When obsessed Niall followed Steph to Scotland as she took a break with Craig and Tom, the action culminated in a high-stakes clifftop showdown. Unhinged Niall tried to kill Craig as they fought violently, but was given food for thought when he realised that his antics were terrifying Steph.
As Niall discovered that Steph didn't love him, he stepped backwards over the cliff and plunged to his death. This marked the end of Barry Sloane's one-year stint in the role.
6. Villain Nathan gets impaled (2010)
Hollyoaks Later's third series in 2010 saw Costello brothers Riley and Seth find themselves in trouble, as dangerous siblings Michael and Liam McAllister sought revenge. Riley and Seth's father Carl had once ended Liam's football career by breaking his leg on the pitch, so the McAllisters were keen to settle the score.
After five episodes of sinister plans and threats, the action concluded with a rooftop showdown on top of a warehouse building. Nathan came off worst when he ended up precariously hanging onto some scaffolding, before letting go and falling into an unfortunately-placed oil tank below.
Liam hoped to rescue his sibling by draining the oil out, but as it flooded away, it revealed that Nathan had been fatally impaled in another grisly Hollyoaks Later disaster. Once again proving, this isn't really a show for happy endings.
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