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article imageOp-Ed: Sex and murder before the watershed - more soap mayhem

By Alexander Baron     Oct 29, 2011 in Entertainment
It has been a difficult week in Britain's major soaps between lust in the garage, the final call for the tragic John Stape, and the machinations of the evil Dr Khan, but more is yet to come.
Whether or not the female of the species is more deadly than the male, that is the certainly the impression the residents of Weatherfield must have. In recent years there have been three murder trials all featuring women, not bad going for one street.
Tracy Barlow murdered her lover Charlie Stubbs by whacking him with a sizeable blunt object as he sat in his armchair. As Charlie reeled from the first blow, the second finished the job, which was too much for both the pathologist and the police, and unlike the student nurse who cried rape, her poor, frightened little woman act failed to convince the jury.
Then there was the mouse-like (some would say shrew-like) Gail who was accused of murdering her husband, who had drowned accidentally while trying to fake his own death in order to escape from a rogue money lender. She was acquitted, no thanks to cellmate Tracy Barlow, who played Damien Daley to her Michael Stone.
Shortly after Gail's acquittal, Tracy walks back into Coronation Street - obviously by popular demand. Apparently, the pathologist who testified at her trial has now been discredited - shades of Dr Patel and the Ian Tomlinson case? - so Tracy is out pending a retrial, which seems to have been quietly forgotten as she sets about wrecking Steve Macdonald's marriage to the volatile Becky. Steve you see is the father of Tracy's daughter, Amy, and now, suddenly Tracy is pregnant again, only this time with twins.
Alas, she is not the only young mother who has fallen foul of the law, unlike the ever scheming evil Tracy, Fiz is straight laced, but her obsessive husband and circumstances have conspired to put her in the dock for not one but three murders.
When the jury are recalled after their deliberations - apparenty without the judge summing up - they acquit her of killing the obsessive Charlotte and the mother of Colin - the man her husband buried under the knicker factory before murdering Charlotte - but they convict her of murdering Colin (by joint enterprise). The punchline is that Colin wasn't actually murdered. Having been beaten up by a jealous husband he turned up at the home of John and Fiz, then while arguing with John and Charlotte, he simply dropped dead. Under normal circumstances, most people would have phoned for an ambulance, but there was the little matter of John stealing Colin's identity.
Having miraculously survived a fall from a hospital roof and disappeared off the face of the Earth, John returns and in a desperate and somewhat bizarre bid to save his wife from paying for his crimes, kidnaps Dozy Rosie for the second time. Alas, his plot is thwarted, and while dashing to the Crown Court he has a fatal accident. But, there is a happy ending - for Fiz if not for him - as lying on his deathbed he makes a videotaped confession to all his many crimes, and hopefully clears her name.
"Are any of those tears because you love me?" he asks his bedraggled wife. If that phrase sounds poetical that's because it is iambic pentameter; what else would one expect from a scholar of English literature? Shakespeare wrote iambic pentameter of course, and this, alas, is a tragedy of Shakespearian proportions.
He has two dying wishes: that she forgive him, and that he can hold his baby daughter. She forgives him; he holds his daughter. And dies. Thus, the magnificent Graeme Hawley bows out in style, too early to be typecast for the rest of his career, so watch out for him treading the boards as Hamlet, Macbeth, or even a British Hannibal Lecter.
Meanwhile, over in Emmerdale village, the chemistry between bad boy Cain and Moira, the farmer's wife and part-time barmaid with the big...eyes comes to a head in his garage where after slapping his face she decides to teach him a real lesson, by having sex with him on a workbench - which this being a family show is not filmed, of course. Why do so many otherwise straight laced women always fall for these types? Meanwhile, vicar's wife Laurel is still struggling with the 7th Commandment. She wants desperately to sample the cuisine of chef Marlon's kitchen, but realises if she does, she won't get her pie in the sky.
Talking of tarts, over in Albert Square, 15 year old Ben having sampled the forbidden fruit of kissing another boy had come out of the closet, but Lola has other ideas. Tart and shameless hussy she may be, but hopefully she will put him back on the straight and narrow. That appears to be what the lovely Amira is trying to do to ex-husband Syed by luring him after her using her daughter as bait. Being a devout Moslem, Amira has been shamed by this sordid affair, and in Friday's episode when she confronts Syed's catamite, Christian, she tells him that Yasmin is Syed's daughter, whereas London is full of men like you. Well, certain public toilets are, in the West End, but don't let's go there.
Although the scriptwriters are doing their best to cast Amira as a villain, there is a real Islamic bad guy on the block. No, Dr Khan is not an Al-Qaeda sleeper agent but a mischief-maker par excellence. For some unfathomable reason is now seeking to split up Syed and Christian, or maybe it is not so unfathomable if one reads the Holy Qur'an as a good Moslem like Dr Khan obviously does. Oh, these poor people, if only they would be more like us, chill out with a few beers, and as for homosexuals, why don't they let them get on with it as long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses? Heck, with a bit of good will they might even see the folly of Islamic banking or even abandon Sharia?
Doubtless the conspiratorially minded will read more into these overtly nasty and convoluted plots than is really there, but it is easy to see how for example David Icke might believe that BBC scriptwriters are in the pay of the New World Order, or even the Bilderberg Group itself.
Alas, the BBC have even more sordid plans for Dr Khan than world dictatorship. Having convinced Syed's catamite Christian that Amira may be lying about their daughter's parentage, Christian has brought him a sample of Syed's hair for a DNA taste, which the bad doctor swaps for one of his own before sending it off to the laboratory. This appears to work, as Monday will see Amira branded a liar, but alas, his deception is soon to be uncovered. On the way too is more trouble for Christian as Ben accuses him of doing something no homosexual male should do to a 15 year old boy. Those with longer memories will recall this happened to Christian before, and the truth outed, but will the truth out this time?
Meanwhile, over at Coronation Street, some old faces return, and one of them goes head to head with rapist Frank Foster, who contrary to an earlier assertion here, has not had the charges dropped, but his victim, Carla, is still in a bad place psychologically. Will Frank be unmasked, or will be be able to continue the pretence of a wronged Mr Nice Guy?
Finally, over in Emmerdale village, consensual sex of a rather unusual kind is on the menu. Lady mechanic Debbie has a daughter by farmhand Andy; young Sarah is suffering from a rare congenital disease which led at first to allegations of child abuse against her current live-in lover, Cameron. An appeal for donors leads nowhere, so she decides the only solution is for the two of them to have another child, which obviously doesn't go down too well with Cameron. Hmm, did somebody mention stem cells? This is certainly novel.
Meanwhile, Moira can't quite make up her mind about Cain, although actions speak louder than words, but how long can this go on? Probably at least until Emmerdale tops the ratings, which with the current goings on in both Coronation Street and EastEnders, might be some time.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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