EastEnders Did Den Watts get EE off the ground in 1985 or was he overrated?

Discussion in 'UK Soaps Forum' started by soapfan, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    That was Pauline's tragedy. She wanted to be Lou, i.e., the matriarch of a big family, but times (and soap) had changed and she either drove her family away by trying to control then or they died. Re-watching the show from the beginning and knowing how Pauline will end up, her character becomes really fascinating and, as I say, tragic. And Wendy Richard was a much better actress than I ever gave her credit for. She's was quite fearless in playing the truth of Pauline; she never worried about trying to make the audience like her.

    Interestingly, the episode in which Pauline is buried is also the very one where Shirley Carter, a new breed of blonde battleaxe, first arrives in Walford. Shirley is everything Pauline would have despised -- a mother who abandoned her kids, a drunk, promiscuous and feckless -- but the brilliant irony is that Shirley then ended up with everything Pauline wanted: at the head of a family surrounded by kids and grandkids. Bizarrely, Shirley became the new Lou.

    But the only way Grant and Phil could then reconcile was to pin the blame for the affair entirely on Sharon, which wasn't very just.

    Well, I think it was a deliberate decision to show that Grant had changed, but the actor wasn't able to pull it off convincingly. When they brought David Wicks back, he was too was more enlightened and in touch with his feelings, but that development was much more believable.
     
  2. soapfan

    soapfan Soap Chat Member

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    Even so, I think Pauline should have left in 1988 instead of Lou/Anna Wing. Playing depressing characters takes their toll on actors, i.e. Frank/Mike Reid, Arthur/Bill Treacher and Pauline/Wendy Richard.

    Well that's almost like the way Lofty was made to look a fool for not knowing about Den and Michelle. Pauline could have told Lofty about Den and Michelle.

    I agree with this statement, on the other hand Phil had changed and the actor has pulled it off convincingly. Both Mitchell brothers had changed after 2000+, they swapped personalities.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  3. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    Pauline's journey through EastEnders was realistic, she had a large family around her pre 1988, and by the time she died in 2006, she only had her youngest, late in life son, a granddaughter she didn't get a chance to know, her social climbing nephew and his family and a daughter in law she locked horns with, all of whom by this point were fragmented.

    Mark had died a few years before, she hardly Michelle once she swanned off to America plus two other grandchildren also, no wonder she was so bitter towards the end.

    I would have liked for Pauline to simply pack a bag, and left quietly headed for the tube station and months later she sends a letter to Martin from America, making things up to him and Sonia.

    However her exit as it was was perfectly well done.
     
  4. soapfan

    soapfan Soap Chat Member

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    EastEnders was only launched to rival Coronation street, the BBC have allowed it to go on the air for over 30 years without a clue. Pauline was such a miserable character, good riddance - It's just a shame Peggy didn't slap her back during their final argument in 2006.

    I always preferred Family Affairs to EastEnders. If EastEnders ever gets axed, I'd sooner have Eldorado make a return and the EastEnders production team can transfer over to Eldorado, or for Family Affairs to make a return on ITV.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  5. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    I liked Pauline, she's very real to me.

    What I found interesting was that the Slaters in the early stages of their planning were supposed to have been Beale relatives, Big Mo was based on a never seen older sister to Pete & Pauline; Maureen who is around ten years older than them, and left Walford in the early 60s, hence why they cast Leila Morse because she had a look of Wendy Richard, its a shame they never went down this route, especially since Pauline missed having a daughter around and she would gain four grand-nieces instead.
     
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  6. Cookiescholes

    Cookiescholes Soap Chat Active Member

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    They had Irish Mary as a replacement Michelle for a bit, but she was never very good.
     
  7. ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989

    ArchieLucasCarringtonEwing1989 Soap Chat Addict

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    The Irish Beales never worked for me, I could understand why they were brought in, to bolster the shrinking Beale/Fowler clan but the Irish Beales just didn't seem right to me.

    The Slater's as Beale relatives on the other hand would have worked, in fact that was supposed to have been another reason why Pat and Big Mo hated each other, it was because of how Pat had treated Pete and Kenny, so much potential.

    Of all the soaps EE is probably the one I care for most, the characters always seemed more like next door neighbours, my all time favourite has to be tragic loner; David Wicks, the eternal lost boy, Mark Fowler was also another favourite, each conversation, especially in the early days were probably conversations we have all had at some point in our lives, Emmerdale has become a little above itself and Corrie at times swings from being a caricature of Northerners to being public information films with now middle ground (not against recent storylines on Corrie but would be nice to have some breathing space between each big storyline, Aiden's suicide was brilliantly done i must say)
     
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