We’ve had a sinkhole disaster in Weatherfied, death by Tube train in Walford and an outdoor challenge on Emmerdale that went horribly wrong.
As ever, it’s been a dramatic year in soapland, so here’s a rundown of the most impactful moments:
Nina remembers the attack - Coronation Street
Her memory of the assault on her and Seb having been lost, Nina retraced her steps along the canal and finally recalled the moment of the fatal showdown.
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In a specially filmed and emotive flashback, viewers got confirmation that Corey had been the sadistic culprit, while actor Harry Visinoni returned to shoot Seb’s dying moments as he crawled across the ground to be with an injured Nina.
The bridge collapse - Emmerdale
An outdoor pursuits event became the day out from hell when disaster struck. Some participants almost drowned and Andrea was murdered by Meena in a maize maze. But as far as stunts go, it was the initial collapsing of the bridge that proved to be the most spectacular. In a scene reminiscent of the climax to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the likes of David and Victoria tried to cling on while dangling vertiginously high up.
The big soap crossover for climate change
Some may have deemed it to be a gimmicky profile-boosting exercise, but there were definite good intentions behind the soaps uniting on screen to highlight the issue of climate change. Plus, we now know that our continuing dramas do exist in a shared universe, with the likes of Corrie’s Maria and Tracy known to those in Walford, and Emmerdale’s Liam having once been best buddies with Casualty’s Dylan.
Mick confronts abuser Katy - EastEnders
After the buried memories of the sexual abuse he’d endured as a youngster resurfaced, Mick decided to confront the person responsible: manipulative Katy Lewis. In a confrontation screened on New Year’s Day, Mick had a showdown with Katy, who tried to make out that what had happened between them was consensual. But he was having none of it and Katy ended up being prosecuted and later jailed.
The end of Paul - Emmerdale
Nobody should ever get married on a soap, as terrible things always happen on the day of the ceremony. So violent groom-to-be Paul discovered when a truck Jimmy was driving ploughed into the wedding barn and ignited a gas canister.
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Paul ended up dying from injuries sustained in the blast that followed, while bride Mandy was left weeping into her frock before discovering that her fella had been an abusive fiend.
Covid in the emergency department - Casualty
Like the other soaps, Casualty had to go on a production break in 2020 due to the pandemic, but it returned in January 2021 with a memorable episode that saw the ED staff dealing with the harrowing effects of Covid on the ward. As pressures mounted, many of the medics found themselves buckling under the pressure, especially when beloved receptionist Noel ended up losing his life to the virus.
Keegan is attacked by racists - EastEnders
It’s been a somewhat aimless year in Albert Square with the BBC1 soap being far from its best. But some of that much-needed EastEnders edginess was recovered in December when Keegan found himself the victim of a far-right group who counted newcomer Aaron among their number. In a bid to highlight the racial bigotry that still exists in this country, the writers had Keegan set-upon by the gang who beat him up and left him for dead.
Sinkhole mayhem - Coronation Street
The Platt clan rued their failure to fix the sinkhole in their back garden when it became suddenly unstable, yawned open and swallowed up half the neighbourhood. By the end of a dramatic week, two people were dead, with Johnny drowning in the Victorian sewers beneath the Street and Natasha having been shot by Harvey, whose escape from prison just happened to have coincided with this local catastrophe.
Black to Front - Hollyoaks
Back on the 10th of September, Channel 4 showcased black talent in a special day of programming. And that day’s Hollyoaks became a notable part of the overall event with a triumphant episode written, directed and acted by the show’s cast and production team.
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In it, the Devereaux family was seen celebrating the birthday of patriarch Walter, an occasion that also featured the debut of a number of new regular characters.
Rocky is revealed to be an impostor - EastEnders
Brian Conley made his Walford debut in May as Terry “Rocky” Cant, who revealed himself to be Sonia’s long-lost dad. But it was all too good to be true and, by September, viewers had learned that Rocky was actually Tom Cotton (the brother of Nasty Nick) and was actually plotting with Dotty to fleece Sonia of the money that Dot had entrusted her to manage. Events look set to come to a head at Christmas…
Sam’s “black hole” eulogy - Coronation Street
Jude Riordan has been Corrie’s stand-out star this year, winning an NTA for his performance and breaking hearts with stargazer Sam’s reaction to mum Natasha’s death. With the youngster unable to speak following the tragedy, it was left to dad Nick to read Sam’s eulogy, in which he described how he’d fallen into a black hole and didn’t know how to get out. Often, child roles are recast when the teen years hit – there’s no chance of this happening with Sam.
Hit and run tragedy for Brody - Hollyoaks
Just when it looked as though Sienna and Brody were to get their happy ever after, viewers saw fate intervene in the cruellest way possible. A hit-and-run collision did for Brody and ended actor Adam Woodward’s three-year stint on the soap, with the fallout from the death having seen villainous Warren Fox trying deserpately to cover up the fact that he was the one responsible.
Meena kills Leanna - Emmerdale
The village’s answer to Villanelle from Killing Eve struck back in July when, in order to cover up a deadly secret, the sociopathic Meena hunted down her prey Leanna and tipped her over a bridge and onto some rocks below. Since then, Meena has been blithely dispatching victims left, right and centre, with some viewers now praying for her to be caught while others revel in the over-the-top camp appeal of her killing spree.
Gray pushes Kush - EastEnders
It was the Square’s most notable (and, at the same time, ridiculous) death of the year as psychopathic solicitor Gray pushed lovable Kush under a Tube train. Many fans cried foul, complaining that a powerful storyline about domestic abuse had morphed into a credulity-straining serial killer melodrama. And fans’ patience was tested further when it transpired that the Underground’s CCTV was on the blink and had failed to capture Kush’s demise.
Norris’s funeral - Coronation Street
A funeral wouldn’t ordinarily be the go-to place for comedy, but Corrie gave Norris a very appropriate send-off, complete with Mary in a Princess Leia costume, Audrey swigging from a hip flask and Rita left aghast by claims made by the resident busybody in a speech penned prior to his demise. This triumphant farce then climaxed in the paperboy statue outside the Kabin being chain-sawed as Norris’s nearest and dearest tried to uncover his final secret.
Watch the stars of Coronation Street talk to Yahoo about Super Soap Week