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Late 80s Brookside

Discussion in 'UK Soaps & Drama' started by James from London, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. James from London

    James from London Well-Known Member

    So I'm watching old episodes of BROOKSIDE on video and I'm up to 1987. Handily, by now all the really good characters were living in either Number 5 (Bobby, Sheila and Damon Grant - not forgetting our Claire), or Number 10 (the original Corkhills: Billy, Doreen, Rod and Tracy - not to be confused with the dreaded Claire Sweeney era), which means I can fast forward through all the boring bits and concentrate on those two families. In his role of shop steward, Bobby has stumbled on soap's first AIDS storyline where he rather rashly offers to let a man with the HIV virus give baby Claire a kiss to prove that he is safe to work with, and Billy, up to his eyes in debt, agrees to be the driver in a supermarket robbery masterminded by Jason Grimshaw's dad.
  2. Sarah

    Sarah Moderator Staff Member

    I loved Brookside. I was so disappointed at how it ended. Felt really sorry for the writers - apparently they had loads of great ideas in store that were never given a chance. My favourite ever storyline on the show is the body under the patio lol
  3. Brookside Close

    Brookside Close New Member

    Oh Brookside, how I miss you. :(
  4. James from London

    James from London Well-Known Member

    Try as I might, I could never buy the body under the patio story. That was the beginning of the end for me and BROOKSIDE (unless it came after Sue and her kid getting pushed off the scaffolding, in which case that was the beginning of the end).

    Just watched the episodes where Billy takes part in the robbery in which a supermarket manager is inadervently stabbed. The rest of the gang do a runner leaving Billy to drive the man to the hospital and then panic like ****. ("He saw me face!") Meanwhile, Doreen is at Jonathan and Laura's wedding (remember them? Didn't think so. Laura fell down the stairs shortly afterwards and spent the rest of her contract in a coma), wondering what's going on and getting her arse groped by the father of the bride.

    As if that weren't dramatic enough, the tape I have is from when the series was rerun on cable in the mid to late 90s, and on these episodes there's a notice at the bottom of the screen, "For a major announcement, turn to BBC News"--which refers to Princess Diana's car crash. Weirdly, Diana gets name checked in one of these scenes, when St Sheila starts freaking out that Bobby has invited an AIDS sufferer round to the house for Sunday tea:

    "When you hear that someone's got AIDS, pictures go through your mind of what they've been doing ... We were raised Catholic, a mortal sin if you do it with the light on!"

    "If it's good enough for Lady Di," argues Bobby.

    "Since when have we used royalty as a yardstick in this house?!" Sheila retorts.
  5. James from London

    James from London Well-Known Member

    Watched some more last night, and boy it's getting good! While Bobby and Sheila wrap up the AIDS storyline (it was meant to last longer but the actor in question got the lead role in ANDY CAPP: THE MUSICAL), secrets and lies abound over at the Corkhills. Our Tracy returns home in tears, not just because she's dyed her hair blonde, but because she's been mugged. ("He knew me name!") Billy later finds out it was a warning from Jason Grimshaw's dad not to go to the police over the supermarket robbery. ("If I go down, you're coming with me!") Doreen knows there's something fishy going on, but Billy won't tell her what, and so she urges their son, Rod the Plod, to investigate Tracy's mugging. Billy sweats cobs when Tracy identifies Jason Grimshaw's dad as the mugger. The police go to arrest him but, not realising what crime he's been arrested for, he starts burbling his alibi for the day of supermarket robbery, thereby alerting their suspicions to that crime! Then the same coppers show up in the close. Seeing them through the window, Billy sends Tracey up to her room ("But I haven't had me tea!") and, as the doorbell rings, makes a heart rending speech to a bewildered Doreen about how he much he loves her and the kids and he only ever wanted to give her the best. Then he answers the door to the coppers, who tell him they've come to ... talk to Tracey about the mugging!
  6. chris_1661

    chris_1661 New Member

    I remember watching Brookside in the 90s, but sadly, it finished in 2003.

    There was a big plane that crashed into Brookside parade, and the drug dealers with guns, who were in Jimmy Corkhills' house.

    One of them hit his wall with a gun, and broke through to next door.

    Emily O'Leary jumped out of a window because she was so scared and died later in hospital, and Diane Murray died during the big explosion.
  7. James from London

    James from London Well-Known Member

    God, when did all that happen? It sounds very 9/11. BROOKSIDE had long been unwatchable for me by then.

    Back in 1987, Doreen's put two and two together, and threatens to leave Billy if he doesn't tell her the truth about the robbery. When she learns about the stabbed supermarket manager, she spits in Billy's face and leaves him anyway. She returns a few hours later and agrees to stand by him. Rod the Plod, blissfully unaware of his dad's involvement in the crime, excitedly announces that three of the robbers have been arrested and it's only a matter of time before they squeal on the driver, i.e. Billy. While they wait for the knock on the door, Doreen reflects that if she'd been able to whore herself to the dentist, Billy wouldn't be in the mess he's in now. ("If I'd only loved you less ...") Meanwhile, a happily miserable Tracy paints her room black. Eventually, Billy is taken in for questioning and kept overnight. Rod's assurances that he'll be released because "the CID always get to the truth" are cold comfort for Doreen. Billy sticks to his alibi--that he was at the boring couple's wedding--and it starts to look as if the police believe him. There's just one more thing to do before he's cleared: take part in an identity parade in front of the supermarket manager. ("He saw me face!")
  8. James

    James Member

    Watching Jimmy McGovern's The Street last week, you could see the similar tone of 80s Brookside before the sensationalism.

    Very domesticated with plenty of that everyday dialogue -- families shouting across the house to each other and losing their temper at everyday annoyances while real issues simmered on the backburner.
  9. Sarah

    Sarah Moderator Staff Member

    Really? Oh I loved it! I guess it was a tad unrealistic, bu then came along Fred and Rose West ;)
  10. Jamie_Barnes

    Jamie_Barnes New Member

    My fave Brookside era was the late 90s, remember when Susannah's kids were killed in a car accident & when Barry Grant & Lindsay Corkhill had a dramatic affair? was all great stuff.
  11. Final Terror

    Final Terror New Member

    I remember how shocked my whole family were when Susannah's kids died in that crash, she only had one glass of wine as well. Great stuff though... Susannah was always one of my favourite characters, from her occasional appearances in the mid 90's as Max's bitch of an ex-wife, to their eventual reconciliation, to her affairs, and then the final week long "who killed Susannah" fun!

    James FL... the drug dealer holdup/helicopter crash into a petrol station, happened in the shows last horrifying year, after it had recieved permenant relocation to Saturday afternoons (but before it's graveyard Tuesday slot), and barring the last ever episode, it was the last time I properly dipped into Brookside for a couple of weeks (but all round it was a horrid rehash of the Millenium Club explosion, back when the soap first started loosing it!)
    Oh Brookside... I hope we one day see a Crossroads like release on DVD, or you get a repeat on More 4 or something!
  12. James

    James Member

    Susannah's kids dying was one of the last great stories I think. I remember being genuinely shocked and proud of Brookside for doing such a grim story. I only ever really dipped into the show after that for the "big events" such as the explosions and Susannah's murder. None of them were particularly good and the final year with that bloody awful new family (whose name I've forgotten) was terrible.
  13. James from London

    James from London Well-Known Member

    Thanks, FT. I loathed Lindsay Corkhill and all the characters of that period. They all seemed so fake and bland to me. I've been taping THE STREET and look forward to watching it.

    In the 1987 episodes I'm watching, the supermarket manager fails to point the finger at Billy during the identity parade and so he is released. As he leaves the police station, he doesn't notice the supermarket manager tailing him from a distance. Back at home, neither Billy nor Doreen can understand how he got off. While they are away for a few days licking their wounds, Doreen's mother Julia moves into the house to watch over Rod the Plod and Tracy. When Tracy's boyfriend Jamie is obliged to leave home after a fight with his drunken dad, Julia refuses to let him stay with them, so Tracy hides him in the Corkhill garage, where she admits to Jamie that she thinks her dad might have been involved in the robbery after all. Across the road, Damon's girlfriend's dad got him a job in Ipswich to keep him away from his daughter, Debbie. Unable to find work any other way and determined to prove himself as responsible, Damon accepted the job. Now it's over and he and Debbie are determined to keep seeing each other. Pissed off with what he sees as parental interference, he falls out with Bobby and Sheila, and Debbie tearfully admits that her father has started knocking her about since her mother walked out on them. She makes Damon promise not to retaliate on her behalf.
  14. James from London

    James from London Well-Known Member

    It all starts getting emotional now: Mr McGrath, Debbie's dad, thumps Damon and throws him out of his house, and there's Damon, nose bloody, banging on the window while McGrath argues with Debbie. Then there's Bobby and Sheila, worried that Damon and Debbie--aka The Doleite and The Brainbox--can't last and he'll end up getting hurt. "Damon, she'll going to university and it'll change her," warns Sheila. Damon reckons that Sheila is trying to prevent Debbie from making the same mistakes she did, i.e. settling down and having kids instaed of realising her own potential. "You wish you never 'ad us!" he shouts. This hits a nerve with Sheila who slaps him (Having already hit her two other grown up kids, Sheila now completes the set). Damon and Debbie start talking about moving away from Liverpool together. When McGrath threatens to throw Debbie out if she keep seeing Damon, Damon asks his parents if she can move in with them. Sheila defers to Bobby who says no. Damon packs his bags for the last time. Meanwhile, Billy and Doreen's peace of mind is shortlived when the supermarket manager turns up and threatens to turn Billy into the police unless he help him pull another robbery. Oh yeah, and the boring woman falls downstairs and into a coma.
  15. James from London

    James from London Well-Known Member

    And now it's getting really emotional! Damon and Debbie leave. "They won't come back here," Sheila tells Bobby, "because we let them down." Doreen tells Billy she'll leave and never come back if he does the robbery with the supermarket manager. Billy can't face prison and goes through it. Doreen walks out and Billy cries. Tracy joins her at Julia's while Rod stays with his dad. Jimmy tries to persuade Billy to stand up to the supermarket manager. Barry's returns and gets involved in a lame plot involving a posh girl, some trees, a panto version of Tommy McArdle called S-S-S-Sizzler, and some stolen paintings. Sheila gets a place on the Open University but hasn't told Bobby ...
  16. I'm glad Brookie finished! Good on ya C4. It was falling in ratings what do you expect.
  17. LivinInADreamWorld

    LivinInADreamWorld New Member

    I liked it when Corkhill started druging it!!! He lost the plot big style!
  18. James from London

    James from London Well-Known Member

    Jimmy Corkhill? On drugs? No. And again, no.

    November 1987. Sad, sad, sad. Billy confronts the supermarket manager and calls his bluff. Having lost Doreen, Billy's beside himself and the guy is scared off. Unable to take the atmosphere at her nan's, Tracy returns home. With the blackmail behind him, Billy persuades Julia to talk to Doreen on his behalf and a meeting is arranged between them. Just as Billy is leaving to bring his wife home, Rod gives him a letter from Doreen saying she's gone for good. Billy cries. He really cries. In all the upheaval, he doesn't seem to notice, or at least care, that Tracy's fella Jamie is now sleeping on the couch full time. At the Grants, Bobby and Sheila's night out is wrecked when Bobby arrives home from work drunk. They argue and Bobby's not best pleased to learn about Sheila's Open University plans. They remain on non-speaking terms until Barry--his boring plot about stolen paintings more or less resolved--suggest they kiss and make up. Another evening out is planned. In the meantime, Sheila spots Billy sitting in his car, dazed and confused. She invites him for a cup of tea. (Sheila and Billy--together at last!) He tells her about Doreen leaving. She sympathises, then reminsces about how Damon hated baths when he was small. "You'd think he was made of shebert". Billy returns home in a better mood. Shortly afterwards, Sheila is cleaning the windows and telling Bobby about Billy's visit. She sees a police car outside the Corkhills and wonders if something's happened to Doreen. The copper is Rod's mate Tommo. He tells Rod he's there to inform one of the neighbours that a relative has died. The neighbours are the Grants, and the relative is Damon. Sheila watches through the window as Tommo walks towards the house, and she knows ...
  19. James from London

    James from London Well-Known Member

    The sound of Bobby weeping in the bathroom as Sheila does the same in the bedroom, crucifix in one hand and Damon's Liverpool scarf in the other. TV drama doesn't get any sadder than this. They have to go York to identify the body, so Sheila asks Billy to break the news to Barry. Debbie is waiting for them at the mortuary and tells them what happened. "He died in your arms?" Sheila asks, holding her. "He was in my arms from the moment he was born ..." Already there is division between the grieving parents--if it hadn't been for Debbie and her father, Bobby maintains, Damon would still be alive, while Sheila maintains that they let Damon down themselves by not taking Debbie in. Anxious to learn from their mistake, Billy tells Tracy's Jamie he can kip on the couch indefintely. At Sheila's insistence, Damon's body is brought back to the close for a vigil. (That's Catholics for you--we're a bit mad, see.) Sister Karen is nowhere to be seen, but Damon's old school friends, Ducksie and Gizmo, pay their respects. Gizmo's even written a poem which he places in the coffin. Sheila reads it and it makes her laugh and cry at the same time. During and after the funeral, she leans on the church and Barry for support, while Bobby takes refuge in booze and blame.
  20. Final Terror

    Final Terror New Member

    So jealous James, though I think you must have a TARDIS to fit in all the rewatch time you seem to have. You just go back and watch em on original airing, then whize back to tell us. Be careful you don't bump into yourself...

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