From it's humble beginings of life in a cul-de-sac in Liverpool, Brookside was Channel 4's big money spinner in the 1980's, it spawned two spin off's (Damon and Debbie which followed two residents who moved to York, and the fantastic Hollyoaks) The show had many stories on going from drug habits to seiges, and murder and mayhem. They even had a plague once - someone came from holiday with a mysterious illness and Brookside CLose became isolated. I was shocked when it was axed and actually missed the last episode, but this show was class, and was well ahead of it's time. Shame it is no more.
I remember when I first watched Brookside. I can't remember exactly what happened but I remember Anna Freil was in the episode and it was before the 'body under the patio' drama. I must've been around 6-8 years old. I had told my dad I couldn't sleep, so he let me sit with him and watch it. I felt like such a rebel, I mean, this was late - it was after 9pm and I was watching a 'notorious' soap! lol.
After that I tried to watch it when I could, it was different to other soaps, darker and more hard-hitting.
When Philip Olivier arrived I really started taking notice, he was called 'Tinhead' but his name was Tim, we found that out later. I watched it religiously when he arrived lol. I thought he was good-looking and the soap was good anyway...so why not?
I think the most vivid memories I have are of the Shadwick family, Corkhills, Dixons, Farnhams, Johnsons etc. I remember Max's first wife, but I can't quite remember her name...that was when I was staying up past my bedtime lol.
I really wish it hadn't been cancelled to be honest. I know it had a lot of major storylines and they said they had taken things as far as they could go, but there was good acting. I think the only reason ratings declined is because C4/S4C mucked around with when it was aired so nobody knew when the next episode would be on. If it had been aired regularly then it could still be around now.
I loved the Emily/Tim relationship, it was really sweet and I was so happy when they got married lol. I also remember Greg Shadwick's affair with Max's second wife Susan(sp?) when they both ended up in that explosion at the bar. Jason was killed along with Greg...I think Susan made it, becuase Max pushed her down the stairs (huge storyline lol)
There are so many great storylines that it's difficult to summarise them all and put into words the huge impact they had on the viewers.
Just looking at the cast list brings back so many memories, there was an incest storyline...I thought it was funny but there was so much controversy over it! I remember Katie Rogers too, and when Max's children were killed in that car crash thingy. The cast names invoke so many memories it's hard to squash them all together and mention every one. Considering I was so young I do actually remember a lot of the characters and I really do miss the soap. So much happened...it should be on dvd lol.
The thing that made the soap so well known was that it took real-life and put it on the screen, there was no 'cleaning it up' The hard-hitting storylines like the rape storyline with Nikki Shadwick was very emotive and well-acted.
There were explosions/hostage situations/murder/incest...the list is endless - but it was good viewing and the last episode was a bit of an anti-climax for me. There was no big storyline, the houses were all being knocked down. I think it was fitting that Jimmy Corkhill had the last words 'Game Over' (that's what I remember anyway lol) but I think they still could have done something different. Come to think of it...maybe Brookside will spontaneously return in the future with the unexpected simple explanation that they didn't knock the houses down after-all! That'd be hilarious lol.
So...all in all I can't fault the soap. I'll always have fond memories of 'Bev's Bar', 'Bar Brookie', the strong accents and the top class acting.
The other great thing about the soap? Steve Murray, Tim O'Leary and Leo Johnson...all so damn cute!
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