(Note: This article contains spoilers for those who haven't yet seen these soaps).
The BBC soap EastEnders
has seen more than its fair share of suspicious cadavers over the years, including that of the landlord of the local watering hole who was murdered twice
! If that sounds improbable, there is at least one person walking around today who has died eight times, albeit by his own hand
, but to stay on track, Ben Mitchell is not the most likeable of characters and never has been. When he first appeared in the series he was a little worm, but after serving a spell in junior gaol for whacking and nearly killing a friend, he was replaced by another actor, Joshua Pascoe, who brought a sinister dimension to the character, sinister enough to murder one of the local launderette ladies.
Actually, murder is a bit strong, he picked up a picture frame, whacked her with it
, and she dropped down dead. Alas, it's what you do after the deed that counts as much as the act itself, in practice if not in theory. The truth was finally outed after a long, drawn out process primarily because he kept the picture frame as a grisly trophy, but when he went to confess, he was nearly thrown out of the police station by an enraged detective who blamed him for losing her a promotion. Ben you see, had previously accused his own father of a murder that never happened, and she was fool enough to take him seriously.
Of course, it's only fiction you may say, but check out the confession of Steve Miller as reported in the recent Panorama
programme. Check out too the so-called confession of Michael Stone
. Could it be the police believe what they want to believe? At least in the fictional Mitchell case another officer was prepared to go in search of the murder weapon. And he found it. There is undoubtedly at least one real life police officer who has not bothered even to ask about the murder weapon, and whose promotion prospects have been severely dented on that account.
There are no murders or confessions brewing in the UK's other leading soaps, but there is bad blood between former best buddies in Emmerdale
, and apparently soon to be a confession of an entirely different kind related not to murder but to love, well, lust anyway, or maybe a bit of both. For a village going on hamlet, there is certainly no shortage of implausible and convoluted machinations in Emmerdale, but with EastEnders
currently ahead in the ratings war
, that is hardly surprising.