Emmerdale has confirmed that Liam Fox's final scenes as Dan Spencer have aired, as the lovable character was sentenced to eight years in prison for manslaughter.
On the surface, it seems an odd statement: using the words ‘lovable’ and ‘manslaughter’ together, but that’s Dan: an ordinary, hard-working man who made a fatal mistake out of fear and anger.
Wanting to protect daughter Amelia (Daisy Campbell), Dan violently lashed out at her stalker Lloyd Sawyer (Matt Sutton).
So, a terrified Dan’s time in the village came to an end after one last drink in the Woolpack, where ex-wife-turned-pal Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) presented him with an engraved tankard, letting him know he won’t be forgotten in his absence.
Another ex, Kerry Wyatt (Laura Norton) boosted Dan’s spirits in a video call. Hopefully this paves the way for Kerry’s full time return — Amelia could certainly benefit from her presence.
Dan gave a passionate speech in court, expressing remorse for his actions, but this didn’t impact his fate, and in a heartbreaking scene, a broken Amelia screamed for her dad as he was taken away.
With this marking Dan's last appearance, let’s delve into his story while we recover from such a brutal ending.
Why did Dan go to prison?
From the moment we saw Dan deliver that fatal punch, everything sped up. Suddenly the original narrative about the dangers of social media was overshadowed by what Dan had done.
But Fox’s dedication and a series of poignant scripts have kept things on track. His has been a delicate, thoughtful portrayal, making us wonder why on earth Emmerdale waited so long to give Dan a big story in the first place.
The actor brought a real strength to this story, keeping Dan grounded and full of humility. Scenes with Jeff Hordley’s usually grumpy Cain Dingle have been a highlight, and the partnership between Fox and on-screen daughter Campbell has shone, too.
The loss of a character like Dan — at a point where the show had only just given him his time in the spotlight — feels like a great shame.
It never mattered that Dan wasn't a gangster, or of the more selfish variety like Cain or Mackenzie Boyd (Lawrence Robb), respectively. Dan's daily routine was a simple one, revolving around his family.
Dan represented the everyman, and there's been a community feel to this plot that made his final farewell all the more authentic.
Hopefully, he'll be back to christen his tankard with a pint one day.
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