No Subject Taboo as Ratings War Hots Up on British Soaps
If you think American soaps coverage can get out of hand, then you have got to read this! Irreverent British publication, The Rockall Times, had some fun with Britian's three top soaps: Coronation Street, Albert Hall and Emmerdale. Fearing each was in a ratings slump, writer Lester Haines came up with some pretty outlandish story development ideas. Talk about Fan Fiction :o) Check it out!
Originally published by the Rockall Times Online, January 21, 2002
Reprinted with permission
British soaps are set to unveil their most audacious plotlines ever, we can reveal. In a bid to boost ratings, television companies have given the green light to sensational plot twists which will shock regular viewers.
Ailing Mancunian product Coronation Street is thought to have provoked the battle with the announcement that Stan Ogden will be resurrected by Mike Baldwin in a depraved Haitian voodoo ritual. The cast are reported to have bitten the heads off an incredible 200 chickens during filming at a secret moorland location. The reanimated Stan, originally played by Bernard Youens, will reprise his legendary role by sitting motionless in an armchair for seven years while his dinner is brought to him on a tray. While many will welcome Corrie's return to core values, it's unlikely that Ogden's return from the dead will cause many sleepless nights at the BBC.
For Albert Square,it will shortly fall under Islamic fundamentalist rule as Taliban forces sweep to power in Walford. Under their brutal regime, Eastenders cast and crew will come to terms for the first time to life under the oppressive heel of fanatical extremism. And, in scenes guaranteed to provoke widespread tabloid hysteria, ranting Mullahs pump Melanie Healey full of bullets for refusing to wear the burqa, flog Peggy Mitchell under revised licensing laws and hang actor Dean Gaffney from a lamppost for "not being able to act on any level whatsoever."
But it is in Emmerdale that producers are planning their most outrageous rating coup. For the first time in soapdom, a principal character will sign a deal with devil as wheelchair-bound Christopher Tate forges a Mephistophelean pact, regains the ability to walk and, with the aid of his slave army of lusty vampire bitches, wreaks terrible and bloody revenge on those who have wronged him. In an orgy of necrophilia, ritual sacrifice and sex with farmyard animals, Tate becomes dark master of Beckindale until Satan himself returns to claim his soul in a Christmas eve feature-length special.Insiders have, however, dismissed speculation that both Tate and the Lord of the Flies would be cast down into the eternal fires of hell when an airliner crashes into the village on New Year's Eve. "Don't be bloody ridiculous," snorted one. "Not even a UK soap audience is stupid enough to believe that."
Just to be sure, Soapdom.com double checked with the editor of the Rockall Times (and, as it turns out, the writer of this piece) Lester Haines, if these storylines were indeed fabrications. "I don't think even British soaps would stoop so low as to have reanimated corpses in their plotlines," he said. "On the other hand..."
However, Haines did confirm that one major plot point managed to make it to the small screen. "The only bit which actually did happen is when an airliner crashed into Emmerdale," he said. "I think the ratings were going through a bit of a trough at the time. The producers were able to get rid of a load of unpopular characters in one hellish fiery inferno. Marvellous entertainment."
For what's coming up on American soaps, see Soapdom.com's Sneak Peeks!
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