Review: From vicar to pariah in three painful moves - soap tragedy Special
What does a vicar do after he is cautioned for assault? Resign his post and start work in a burger bar. And after he is sacked from that job for stealing bread?
(Note: This article contains spoilers for those who haven't yet seen these soaps).
It seems like only yesterday that the Reverend Ashley Thomas had it all: his parishioners looked up to him, he had an adoring and somewhat younger wife, 2.0 kids, and he had just celebrated his 50th birthday. Now, he is about to start work serving in a burger bar - having told his estranged wife that he has found a managerial post - and she will shortly walk in on him being sacked on the spot after he is caught stealing rolls to give to the homeless. Yes, Ashley, if it doesn't belong to you, and you take it even from the noblest of motives, it is classed as theft.
Though some characters in the Emmerdale
soap will shortly be laughing at him, the downfall of the once so righteous Reverend Ashley Thomas has to date been painful to watch
. Having said that, he has brought it on himself, but the reaction of his once so loving wife has been a marvel to behold. Since she saw him slap her crotchety old father-in-law in that classic moment of madness to which we are all prone - however it manifests - she won't even allow him to be alone with his kids. On top of that, she is still living in his tied cottage. Now the rent is due, and guess who is expected to pay it? It could be that Ashley heads for the canal, or ends up drinking meths with the homeless he has recently been feeding, but inside every ex-Reverend Jekyll there lurks a Mr Hyde. Although no spoilers have been released, the Digital Spy
website has hinted things will get a lot darker for Ashley. William Hill
will probably give you longer odds on Mitt Romney beating Obama than on Ashley committing some far more serious crime. Perhaps serial murder when he loses it completely.
Elsewhere in this most bucolic of soaps we have recently seen Cain Dingle in a cliffhanger - literally - on the moors with his delusional father. Wuthering Heights
, it ain't! For the local rogue, Cain sure has one hell of a track record of playing the hero. Also in Emmerdale
, a totally obnoxious teen has accused his mother's lover of coming on to him. Actually it was him who misread the singles; that wasn't so dumb, we all make mistakes, what was dumb was accusing a lesbian of fancying him. Or any female with half a brain, come to think of it.
What is happening in the UK's other leading soaps? Not a lot in EastEnders
, apart from Ian Beale going off his rocker after this brother's shock confession to killing launderette lady Heather, and this at a time when he is supposed to be tying the knot with his Nth wife. There is also the wicked Michael ripping off a gullible woman. And half a dozen other sub-plots.
In Coronation Street
, the loan sharks are turning up the heat on the grease monkey and his gorgeous girlfriend after the man who took out the loan, the grease monkey's father, did a bunk. Why is this reminiscent of what is happening now in Greece
? There is though one big difference, namely, if things get really rough, the two can call the police, while in Greece it is the loan sharks who will call in the police to quell the rioting peasants. Perhaps the Greek people could use a more adventurous team of scriptwriters?