I've been watching EastEnders since it began in 1984 and it always has its ups and downs but it's now going through a decidedly DOWN patch. At the moment it seems that whenever we get a half way decent or vaguely complicated character they disappear in a black cab (Sharon), wander off to Walford East Tube station with single ticket (the gorgeous Dennis) or get a bullet in their head (Paul Truman). Leaving us with one fairly one dimensional pantomime characters who are simply either good or bad.
However, the story which should have continued, without getting rid of two major characters, is the Big Den, Little Den, Sharon, Chrissie, Zoe - love pentagon.
A brief summary for anyone who isn't intimate with EastEnders is that Little Den (Big Den's long lost son) has been in love with Sharon (his sister by adoption) but because they're sort of related they decided to split up and Little Den hooked up with local market chick - Zoe Slater. Sharon decided that she did love Little Den after all and managed to woo him back. In the meantime, Zoe finds out that Little Den is in love with Sharon and is going to go off to the States with her. Big Den, desparate to keep his son and daughter apart, suggests that Zoe pretends to be pregnant so that Little Den will stay (as Sharon is barren). Zoe stupidly does this, Little Den reluctantly stays, but refuses to sleep with Zoe. Big Den magnanimously offers to get Zoe pregnant. Chrissie, Big Den's wife, is feeling broody and wants a kid. Zoe is still not getting pregnant, so Big Den sleeps with her again and who should walk in but Little Den. Zoe comes clean and Little Den goes off the Tube station bumping into Chrissie on the way there and tells her the full story.
Phew. Confused? Still with this? Anyway it doesn't really take someone with the greatest soap scriptwriting skills to keep this scandal going. In the fullness of time we'll find out that Zoe is really now pregnant with Big Den's child - meaning that her ex-boyfriend would have been her child's brother. (If only Jerry Springer could find a real life family like this).
The images of Big Den in bed with Zoe were enough to turn anyone's stomach and Big Den gets to practice his trademark, "Who me? What have I done?" face with gusto. Thankfully, Big Den is going to face the great soap axer in the sky soon. But what will become of Zoe & her baby? With so many characters being killed off or taking a one way ticket to Heathrow, there'll soon be no one but the hideous Miller family to look after the poor little mite.
I think we should re-surrect Big Den's first wife, Angie. (Big Den was missing, presumed dead for years, so why can't Angie come back?) Angie would bring some much needed glamour back to the soap and she can flounce in with her eighties shoulder pads and Brian May hairstyle to teach Zoe a thing or two.
Ian Beale is looking way, way, too smug at the moment with his new girlfriend - the hideously haired Jane, who's very quickly forgotten that her husband only died three weeks ago. We should re-surrect Ian's first wife Cindy - the wonderful Michelle Collins - to throw a spanner in the works.
Right enough of this, I'm off to play the write your own EastEnders script game on the BBC's website. So if they re-surrect any more dead characters remember where you heard it first.