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EastEnders: Discussion Thread

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3 hours ago, DRW50 said:

 

Kate Oates is the first to go from ITV to BBC as producer, but Corrie and Emmerdale do trade producers (usually they go from Emmerdale, the lesser soap, to Corrie, the big soap)...often this is not the best idea.

 

2 hours ago, KMan101 said:

 

Thanks. I don't pay as close attention to the UK soaps comings and goings but I do try and keep up. It does seem they swap a lot, at least in the last decade or so I feel like I kept hearing the same names go from soap to soap and it usually doesn't work out. Much like how we recycle the same HWs and Producers and it usually doesn't work out.

 

I guess this is an important reason why these shows have lost their individual identities and become more and more alike. They say that variety is the spice of life, but that is seemingly not something that soap producers believe in.....

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Tuning in for the holiday to see if Mel - who I never liked - gets it. A few annoying questions from a very infrequent viewer these days:

 

  • Is it me or do they keep pairing Ian with variations on the same domestic/shrinking violet woman with different names? First Laura, then Jane, now whoever this Jean person is? I know she's Stacey's mother and has been around but she's new to me and new per Ian AFAIK. (Why did Jane never come home after Max was found out, BTW? Not that I care about her much but I'm curious. And how is Max still hanging around after all he pulled?) I'm not saying Ian is worthy of some sexbomb, but at a glance it still seems like virtually the same character model with different variations.
  • Does Kathy have any actual storyline? Same with Tina. Speaking of, I know they're opening a gay bar soon which is lovely news, but maybe they could also add more actual gay people with real storylines beyond impregnating women, murdering someone or just light fodder.
  • Did Ben get killed off by Patrick Bergin from Patriot Games' family after leaving with the fake money, or is he alright?
Edited by Vee

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On 1/1/2019 at 4:54 PM, Vee said:

Tuning in for the holiday to see if Mel - who I never liked - gets it. A few annoying questions from a very infrequent viewer these days:

 

  • Is it me or do they keep pairing Ian with variations on the same domestic/shrinking violet woman with different names? First Laura, then Jane, now whoever this Jean person is? I know she's Stacey's mother and has been around but she's new to me and new per Ian AFAIK. (Why did Jane never come home after Max was found out, BTW? Not that I care about her much but I'm curious. And how is Max still hanging around after all he pulled?) I'm not saying Ian is worthy of some sexbomb, but at a glance it still seems like virtually the same character model with different variations.
  • Does Kathy have any actual storyline? Same with Tina. Speaking of, I know they're opening a gay bar soon which is lovely news, but maybe they could also add more actual gay people with real storylines beyond impregnating women, murdering someone or just light fodder.
  • Did Ben get killed off by Patrick Bergin from Patriot Games' family after leaving with the fake money, or is he alright?

 

Kathy briefly had a flirtation with Masood which stopped when Ian hit the roof. Otherwise that's it. Tina's story this year involved her remembering psycho Stuart locking her in a car boot. 

 

Jane just never came back - they have barely ever mentioned her since. Max was reported to the police by Ian but they decided he'd suffered enough, I think. 

 

Ben is fine, last mentioned months ago when Phil went to see him.

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Tamzin Outhwaite and Sean Mahon (Ray) did a great job in those episodes (especially Mahon), even if I never liked Mel much and still don't understand why she returned beyond perhaps giving Jack a 'name' love interest. I have no idea how big a career Outhwaite has ended up having or not having post-EE. Her being clearly more weathered now - physically and mentally - suits the character. I actually just rewatched the full episode where Steve dies from 2002, when he calls Mel on her moral hypocrisy, saying she is just like him and that's why they love each other. I think that material was compelling and holds true to the Mel of today's storyline, who clearly never walked away from a shady life (she keeps Steve's name, married a bent cop, and didn't she come back on as an associate of Irish gangsters?).

 

The cute but fairly dim Hunter has been let go, which is no loss. The show is still very well produced. They almost managed to walk back the Kat/Alfie stuff; I don't care about the pairing so much as I just think both actors did great work the last few days (I haven't seen yesterday), and I have no clue who the hell else they could pair Kat with going forward.

 

Honey Mitchell's new beau the dentist is clearly meant to be abusive and/or controlling, another cheery 2019 plot waiting to happen. I wish I couldn't predict this stuff. It's just tiresome. WEHT Bex? Is she still on the show? Where is Sharon? Didn't she develop some sort of instant addiction?

 

I like the girl playing Bernadette but I can't begin to tell you how much I am not here for another gay character pining for a selfish str8 friend story, especially on the UK soaps. That to me is DOA before it begins. Is Tiffany Ricky and Bianca's? I just don't care about these teen stories they're pushing; this thing with the gangster girl or whatever means nothing to me.

Edited by Vee

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Yes, Tiffany is Ricky and Bianca's daughter and neither is on the show. Bianca will likely never return as Patsy Palmer seems over playing Bianca and now happily lives in Malibu. I do think Bernedette/Tiffany are one of the stronger points in the show and it's been allowed to developed gradually as opposed to over night. I'd prefer them remain as friends though, as I can't bear the thought of watching Tiffany turn into another Sonia - a lesbian only when it suits her. I really enjoyed the scene on Friday with Kat and Tiffany in the vic talking about love and when you find it - it's moments like that which soaps no longer bother to do. 

 

Kat's next chapter is potentially the most exciting thing about her. If they really make a strong attempt to move her on from Alfie and her sexual abuse from Harry, it would be a great start. She's a stronger character than Alfie and he brings her down. Jessie Wallace has been on fire this whole stint and the show is very lucky to have her back. It's been great watching Kat back in action working in the Vic recently, she really added some excitement to the place. I also see a really nice friendship developing with her and Linda - much more believable than the friendship Linda and Sharon have. I think it will be a while before they try to find her another man, but it would have to be someone totally opposite from Alfie. I also think Kat's at a stage where she can occupy a similar role to what Bet Lynch had for years on Corrie.

 

Letitia Dean is on vacation, hence why Sharon isn't on and the one decent story she's had in years. 

 

Mel's return has a big failure, especially with today's news. She's been back for a year and has not been integrated with the rest of the show - she and her set are totally isolated and she has no other meaningful relationships. She just doesn't fit into this show anymore, and it will take a lot of work to make her happen again. I did hear Tamzin extended her contract a bit, so maybe it's to play out the aftermath of this story and she leaves. I won't miss her as this whole stint has been pointless as hell.

Edited by BetterForgotten

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BEN THERE DONE THAT 

Ben Mitchell returning to EastEnders with SIXTH actor taking the role named as former Waterloo Road star Max Bowden

The actor, 24, who has also appeared in Casualty and Doctors, will begin filming on the BBC1 soap this week

EXCLUSIVE
20th January 2019, 9:03 pm
Updated: 20th January 2019, 9:04 pm
 
 
 
 
 

EASTENDERS favourite Ben Mitchell is returning to the soap after being written out just over a year ago – with a SIXTH actor now taking on the role.

The character was first introduced in 1996 and was last played by Harry Reid, but will now be portrayed by former Waterloo Road star Max Bowden.

 Max Bowden, the former Waterloo Road star, is to play Ben Mitchell in EastEnders
BBC
4
Max Bowden, the former Waterloo Road star, is to play Ben Mitchell in EastEnders 
 

The actor, 24, who has also appeared in Casualty and Doctors, will begin filming on the BBC1 soap this week.

He will reappear in Walford alongside fellow returning character Lola, played by Danielle Harold, and their daughter Lexi.

 

A TV source said: “Ben is a really popular character among EastEnders fans and has been at the heart of some of the biggest storylines in recent years.

“It’ll take viewers a bit of time to get used to another face playing him, but they’ve had plenty of practice over the years when it comes to his character.”

 The five previous Ben Mitchells: Matthew Silver (1996–1998), Morgan Whittle (1999–2001), Charlie Jones (2006–2010), Joshua Pascoe (2010–2012) and Harry Reid (2014–2018)
4
The five previous Ben Mitchells: Matthew Silver (1996–1998), Morgan Whittle (1999–2001), Charlie Jones (2006–2010), Joshua Pascoe (2010–2012) and Harry Reid (2014–2018)
 The last actor to play the son of Phil Mitchell was Harry Reid, here with soap stalwart Steve McFadden
HANDOUT
4
The last actor to play the son of Phil Mitchell was Harry Reid, here with soap stalwart Steve McFadden

Max said: “I’m so excited to be joining the cast of EastEnders and taking on the role of Ben Mitchell.

“ I’ve always been a fan of the show so to be joining one of the most iconic families in soap is beyond exciting. I can’t wait to get started and see what’s in store for Ben.”

 

Ben, the son of hardman Phil Mitchell — played by stalwart Steve McFadden — was first portrayed by Matthew Silver as a baby, before Morgan Whittle took the role as a child.

The most well-known portrayal of the youngster was by Charlie Jones who joined the soap when Ben was around ten after mum Kathy Beale was killed in a car crash.

 Jay Brown (Jamie Borthwick) with soap best pal Ben Mitchell (Harry Reid) who was written out over a year ago
BBC
4
Jay Brown (Jamie Borthwick) with soap best pal Ben Mitchell (Harry Reid) who was written out over a year ago. 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 

He was later replaced by Joshua Pascoe, who was nominated for soap villain of the year after storylines including the kidnapping of shopkeeper Patrick Trueman, attack of Glenda Mitchell and the murder of Heather Trott before being written out in 2012.

Show boss Kate Oates, who joined the BBC show after working on rival soap Coronation Street for two years, added: “A character like Ben, with his rich history, ‘complicated’ family and complex psychology, is pure gold.

“With Max in the role, we will be exploring the aspects of Ben’s character that have been allowed to develop during his time away from the Square: unfettered by old loyalties.

Ben Mitchell discovers that someone has stolen his 

 

 

 
 

 
 
 
 
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Edited by victoria foxton

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Harry Reid was a nice kid, but he didn't have much range. I can see why they wanted to recast. I just hope they do more to explore Kathy and Ben's relationship, instead of going down that blackhole again that is his relationship with Phil. 

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I don't think they really gave him much to work with. I wouldn't be surprised to see him hit it big on some cable or streaming thing in future.

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