EastEnders fans want more flashbacks after 1979 episode twist

EastEnders Flashback
(Image credit: BBC)

Last night's EastEnders gave fans a glimpse into the Mitchell family's background – and the fans loved it.

Viewers were treated to almost an entire episode set in the winter of 1979, when a young Phil Mitchell got involved in an armed robbery alongside dad Eric, brother Grant, and his cousins Billy and Charlie.

Keeble and Phil talk in her car

The episode explained why Keeble wants to destroy the Mitchell family. (Image credit: BBC)

While the men headed out to rob a warehouse full of VHS recorders (remember them?!) mum Peggy Mitchell stayed behind with toddler Sam. 

And she was treated to a visit from Eric's brother Archie along with his wife Glenda and their daughters Ronnie and Roxy.

The episode explained why DI Keeble is so obsessed with bringing down the Mitchell family.

It turned out that her dad was a security guard who was shot and killed in the robbery by Phil's dad, Eric.

In 1979 Phil Mitchell points a gun at DI Keeble's dad alongside brother Grant, dad Eric, and cousin Billy

Phil pulled a gun on the security guard but couldn't go through with it — Eric was the one who actually pulled the trigger (Image credit: BBC)

Fans loved the throwback episode, gushing over the amazing casting.

Daniel Delaney, who took on the role of young Phil, won a lot of praise for adopting the mannerisms and speaking patterns of Steve McFadden, who plays Phil in the current show.

And Jaime Winstone, who played Peggy, also had fans thrilled.

Jaime Winstone as Peggy Mitchell

The casting won a lot of praise from fans. (Image credit: BBC)
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Daniel Delaney as young Phil

Fans were impressed with how well Daniel Delaney captured Phil Mitchell's mannerisms. (Image credit: BBC)

Fans enjoyed the quirky episode so much that they took to social media to share their hopes that this wasn't just a one off.

Some viewers begged for more of the Mitchells' story — even suggesting a whole spin-off series exploring their background, like Rock and Chips did for Only Fools and Horses

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While others were hoping for flashback episodes exploring the history of other iconic families from Albert Square.

Some viewers wanted to see Mick and Linda's teen romance. Others suggested the young Slaters or Karen and Mitch's romance.

But it was relative newcomers the Panesars who were the most popular suggestion with fans desperate to know more about their life before they came to Walford.

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EastEnders airs from Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.


Kerry Barrett
Freelance writer

Kerry is a writer, author and editor with a lifelong love of the soaps, a passion for TV drama of all kinds, and an obsessive devotion to Strictly Come Dancing. 

She was features editor of All About Soap magazine for more than a decade, covering every bit of excitement from all the UK soaps and the Aussies and still writes about all the juiciest gossip from the Street, the Square and the Dales whenever she can.

Kerry’s also an author of historical fiction, and her two jobs collided when she got the chance to write two novels based on Emmerdale, and the Sugden, Tate and Dingle families, during WW2.