Emmerdale is planning a never-seen-before stunt that is taking masses of planning in an upcoming ‘flash-forward week’ which will detonate certain relationships and give harrowing glimpses into the future for others.
Flash-forward week airs on ITV from Monday, May 9, according to Emmerdale executive producer Laura Shaw, who said it was the most exciting thing to have happened in her decades working on the soap.
Laura said: “I don’t think we've done anything like it before – not in the 20 years that I've been at Emmerdale anyway – and we've had a lot of conversations and scratchings of head as to how we could achieve it. I remember us coming up with the story idea and we all sat in a big meeting room and I kind of pitched this idea and said, ‘This is what I want us to do’.
“And I think everyone sat looking at me in stunned silence for about two minutes before everyone brilliantly just jumped in with a million brilliant ideas of how we could do it. In the end we had to build a very special prop, which we'll see in the episodes, to make the stunt work and how we need it to do it safely, of course.”
The week of high drama will play with time conventions so, while the episodes themselves will play out over continuous time, there will be flash-forwards and glimpses of things to come.
It all sounds more like Doctor Who than a teatime soap! Destined to figure in next year's British Soap Awards for sure.
Laura said that the characters who will feature heavily in the week will include: Chloe and Noah, whose obsession with her will ‘reach a bit of a crescendo’; Gabby‘, pushed to the limit', who may have to protect her son when Jamie Tate returns; and Cain and Al whose rivalry will turn explosive when the two butt heads again.
The scenes and the central stunt will also utilise new filming techniques designed to place viewers right in the middle of the action.
Laura said the preceding week will set up the drama to come, adding: “When we get into the big week – Monday, we'll start with a flash-forward where you'll be absolutely screaming at your TV to find out what on earth is going on. I think I actually squealed with excitement when I saw what was taking place next week. And then we reveal a little bit more each day – Monday to Thursday with the flash-forwards, with everything obviously being fully revealed by the end of the week.”
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.