Season Sixty Eight Episode Guide

Episode 2793 (Sa 25-01-03 “Prepared”) Written by Heather Robson

Ruth resents Debbie’s interference, and can’t stand being around her. Nisha pressurises Gary to tell Gabby that their marriage is over. Tim finally has the nail-bar ready for Emily, and Max commits Jacqui to a dinner she would rather not go to.

Episode 2794 (Sa 25-01-03 “Party Pooper”) Written by Roy Boulter

Nisha packs her bags, but when she realises that Gary has still not told Gabby he is leaving, she gate-crashes the Parrs’ dinner-party with the Farnhams. Rachel and Nikki discuss Anthony’s forthcoming court appearance, and Marty and Christy try to reassure him. Ruth doesn’t want to talk things over with Sean.

Episode 2795 (Sa 25-01-03 “Finished”) Written by Peter Cox

Gabby wants to know how long Gary and Nisha have been making a laughing-stock of her, and sends him to finish with her for good. However, Nisha has already decided to resign, and is wondering why she ever though he was a man worth loving. Dan has an offer of a holiday which he is sure Ruth will want him to turn down, and Anthony’s barrister discusses with him whether certain evidence should be admissible.

Episode 2796 (Sa 01-02-03 “Giving Evidence”) Written by Barry Woodward

Detective Sergeant Casey, Mrs Clough and Anthony give their evidence at his trial for Imelda’s murder. Katie wonders what the official reason for Nisha’s departure will be, gives Gary some advice about what he should keep in his trousers in future, and reveals to Sammy that Nisha has moved out.

Episode 2797 (Sa 01-02-03 “A Tragic Case”) Written by Barry Woodward or Maurice Bessman

Anthony is cross-examined by the prosecution barrister, and Adele, Brigid and Marty speak up in his defence. Max has lunch with Gabby, and encourages her to put Gary’s affair behind her and try to rebuild her marriage. Nikki is tormented by her memories of the past and feels alone at the bungalow, but Jimmy invites her to move back in with him.

Episode 2798 (Sa 01-02-03 “Bully And Victim”) Written by Maurice Bessman

Anthony is convinced that the jury are going to find him guilty of murder, but is he right? Jimmy reflects on the arrival of Autumn, and discusses with Tim whether it is possible to have female friends without sleeping with them. Ruth prepares herself for a visit by the family court adviser, and is disturbed by one of Luke’s drawings.

Episode 2799 (Sa 08-02-03 “Sympathy”) Written by Heather Robson

Now that Anthony’s trial is over, Steve wants to concentrate on getting revenge on Terry. Jan admits that she has lost her job, and goes to visit Imelda’s mother to talk about the verdict. Tim begins to lose hope that Emily will recover, and Marty is not impressed with the attitude of the school governors.

Episode 2800 (Sa 08-02-03 “Loss”) Written by Carol Cullington

Tim tells Kerry he doesn’t want to see her any more, in case he can’t resist the temptation to rip her clothes off. Ruth wants Ali and Stuart to tidy up the house, as the family welfare officer is on his way – and that includes getting rid of Ray’s coffin. Marty feels that no-one will ever forget what Anthony has done.

Episode 2801 (Sa 08-02-03 “Dead”) Written by Maurice Bessman

Jan wants the Murrays to move to Salford, but Adele is determined not to go, and Steve isn’t sure either. Christy unveils his new Easter gimmick – chocolate boobs and willies – and Tim gives into temptation and goes to bed with Kerry, turning off his mobile phone. Unfortunately, he needs to be reached urgently…

Episode 2802 (Sa 15-02-03 “Our Em”) Written by Roy Boulter

Tim wants Emily’s funeral to be a celebration of her life, and Nikki agrees that this is what she would have wanted. Margi regrets putting her career ahead of her daughters, and is uncomfortable about Jimmy’s relationship with Nikki. Bev worries that she will end up alone, and asks Lance to move in with her. The police contact Debbie with a development about Alan’s disappearance.

Episode 2803 (Sa 15-02-03 “Denial”) Written by Arthur Ellison

Tim wrecks the nail-bar, and resolves to start looking for Terry straight away. Debbie reveals that Alan’s car has been found in Hull, and thinks that he must have crashed and lost his memory – but not everyone is as convinced that he is still alive. Josh tidies the living room, by moving a lot of his toys into the bathroom. Margi tells Nikki that Jimmy has admitted that he fancies her, but she doesn’t believe her.

Episode 2804 (Sa 15-02-03 “Fixated”) Written by Neil Jones

Tim and Steve discover from Mozza that Terry was seeing someone behind his wife’s back, so they return to Jenny’s to investigate. Dan insists that Luke finishes his tea before he is allowed any more food. Debbie is determined to go to Hull in search of Alan, and Jimmy tells Nikki that she can come and stay with him whenever she likes.

Episode 2805 (Sa 22-02-03 “Need”) Written by Maurice Bessman

Laura tells Marty that grief manifests itself in different ways, but he’s not pleased that Tim’s way is to play an “Atomic Kitten” CD all day. Jan and Marty go to see a new school for Anthony. Nikki doesn’t want to be alone at the bungalow, and asks Jimmy if she can come and stay with him…in his bed.

Episode 2806 (Sa 22-02-03 “Want”) Written by Andy Lynch

Jimmy is anxious not to spoil a good friendship, but wonders if Nikki has been dreaming about him. She is keen to stay with him again – if he’ll have her…Adele has her sights set on Tim, and believes her stars reveal she stands a good chance of convincing him to be with her.

Episode 2807 (Sa 22-02-03 “I Can’t Do This”) Written by Sue Mooney

Jimmy can’t think straight after what he has done with Nikki, and doesn’t think he knows how to be around her any more. They agree that they can’t sleep together again, but still want to live together as best mates. But Marty and Tim are shocked when they see them kissing in the back garden.

Episode 2808 (Sa 01-03-03 “Everything To Lose”) Written by Carol Cullington

Nikki wants to check that everything is still okay between her and Jimmy. Bev reminds Ron that he needs to take things easy, but she also wants him to look after Josh – and his robot, Bart – for a while. Marty wants Jan to move back in with him, even if this means Adele will move out.

Episode 2809 (Sa 01-03-03 “Mistakes”) Written by Carol Cullington or Neil Jones

Jan wonders if Marty has learned nothing from recent events, but he is determined that Adele should leave. Going next door to seek shelter with Tim, she admits how she feels, and one thing leads to another. After they argue, Adele finds Tim’s drugs… Ron leaves Beth with Josh and his robot, and they all vanish. Gary is sick of Gabby punishing him.

Episode 2810 (Sa 01-03-03 “Getting It Wrong”) Written by Neil Jones

As she waits anxiously at Adele’s hospital bedside, Jan reflects on how difficult the children were to bring up, and how she almost abandoned Adele even before walking out on them all. Rachel and Mike panic, and telephone the police when Josh comes home without Beth. When she is brought home by the police, Bev realises that he left her at the shops and lied about it.

Episode 2811 (Sa 08-03-03 “Trouble Maker”) Written by Arthur Ellison

Bev plans to rent the bungalow from Nikki, but Lance is not convinced that he should move in with her. She is glad that Josh has been keeping out of trouble – but is then told that he has been suspended from school. Gary shows no recollection of, or interest in, the pregnancy scan Gabby is having.

Episode 2812 (Sa 08-03-03 “Little Horror”) Written by Judith Clucas

Josh promises to be good, but he soon starts getting on Bev’s nerves again, and announces that he hates his father and grandfather. Bev asks Gary for advice, but he is fed up with listening to them arguing through the walls, and only suggests that he needs therapy. Then she discovers that Dan and Ruth have already arranged to rent the bungalow for themselves and Luke.

Episode 2813 (Sa 08-03-03 “Problem Child”) Written by Peter Cox

Josh comes home from school covered in paint, claiming that bad lads chased him. But it emerges that he has been excluded from school for striking a teacher. Bev feels that she has had enough, but Lance is not going to let her turn her back on her son the way his own father did. Ruth and Dan move into the bungalow, but it may not turn into the happiest home Luke has ever known…

Episode 2814 (Sa 15-03-03 “Jealousy”) Written by Heather Robson

Gabby is sick in more ways than one, and Gary is fed up with her continually bringing up his affair with Nisha. After he goes to visit his parents, she gets drunk, smashes a photograph, trashes his guitar, and flashes her breasts at an embarrassed, but appreciative, Max. When Luke won’t eat his cold scrambled egg, Dan tries to teach him a lesson.

Episode 2815 (Sa 15-03-03 “Punishing”) Written by Roy Boulter

Mike carries Rachel over the threshold of their new home. Dan ropes Stuart and Ali into helping with the garden while he paints the bungalow – and when they soak Luke with a hose, someone is going to regret it. Gary tells Gabby that his parents are pleased he has been offered a partnership, and about the baby, of which her mother has told them – and Bev wonders if Gabby’s plans to have a termination are mainly to punish him.

Episode 2816 (Sa 15-03-03 “Forgotten”) Written by Barry Woodward

Gary admits that he made a huge mistake, and offers to give up the partnership and leave Liverpool if Gabby will have the baby. But can they agree to put their problems behind them? Ruth wonders how Dan forgot to mention Luke’s scalded arm to her. Mike gets Rachel a widescreen television and video recorder, but then they discover that they need to make a much higher initial mortgage payment than they expected.

Episode 2817 (Sa 22-03-03 “Discipline”) Written by Carol Cullington

Dan turns down a job in Devon, and wants Ruth to give him more of a say in how Luke is disciplined. But Sean is not pleased with what he sees, and a brawl breaks out between them on the Close. Meanwhile, Rachel wants Jacqui to get her a bus pass so that Mike doesn’t have to miss out on fares by driving her to work.

Episode 2818 (Sa 22-03-03 “Making It Harder”) Written by Neil Jones

The Gordons react in a variety of different ways to the news that Alan has been found dead. Debbie goes to talk to him at the chapel of rest, but Ruth can’t bring herself to. Kirsty is relieved that the uncertainty is over, but Ali can’t believe it and goes drinking again. Dan thinks he needs some of the same discipline as he is giving Luke – including leaving him outside in the rain when he refuses to eat his dinner off the floor.

Episode 2819 (Sa 22-03-03 “A Last Goodbye”) Written by Roy Boulter

On the day of Alan’s cremation, Debbie is getting grief from Ali and Stuart as well. Ruth finally realises that Dan is mistreating Luke, but will she be able to forgive him? Mike suggests that he and Rachel might let out their spare room to a lodger – but Rachel isn’t keen on the idea of having a stranger in the house, and believes they are going to need the spare room for another reason.

Episode 2820 (Sa 29-03-03 “Temptation”) Written by Heather Robson

Jacqui and Max go out for an expensive meal to celebrate Mother’s Day, leaving Rachel to babysit – but she spends most of the evening chatting to Katie, unsure that Mike is really happy that she is pregnant. Meanwhile, Mike discovers that a passenger has left a purse of money in his taxi – but will he take the opportunity to ease his financial worries by keeping it?

Episode 2821 (Sa 29-03-03 “Takings”) Written by Heather Robson or Sue Mooney

While Jacqui and Max plan a lavish holiday, Mike’s taxi-driving experiences go from bad to worse, and Rachel fears that they will lose their new house and will have to move back in with Ron. Will she take the opportunity to ease their worries by dipping into the weekend’s takings that Max has asked her to pay into the bank for him?

Episode 2822 (Sa 29-03-03 “Theft”) Written by Sue Mooney

Rachel shows Mike that the fridge is full, and tells him he doesn’t need to sell their television, because Jacqui has paid her a month’s wages in advance. But Max has discovered that she has removed £1,000 from his takings, and lists a series of other offences he is also taking into consideration in making his decision to fire her.

Episode 2823 (Sa 05-04-03 “Moving”) Written by Judith Clucas

Mike is determined to work as hard as he has to in order to heep himself and Rachel afloat. Lance tells Bev he is moving out to be with his new boyfriend, but Ron makes it clear that he will still be around to come and depress her. Jacqui discovers that Max has put their house up for sale – but can he persuade her that moving away from Brookside Close is a good idea?

Episode 2824 (Sa 05-04-03 “Sabotaging”) Written by Andy Lynch

When Jacqui reveals to Max that Ron desperately wants Bev back, Max takes steps to try to bring them together. Meanwhile, Ron does his best to make Jacqui feel guilty for wanting to desert him, then finds a way in which he believes he can prevent her and Max from buying the house they want.

Episode 2825 (Sa 05-04-03 “Thinking Back”) Written by Peter Cox

Steve visits Jenny again in the hope that she might tell him where to find Terry. Ron reminds Bev of some of the good times they had together in the past, and she reminds him of some of the bad times. Max and Jacqui discover that someone else has made a higher offer on the house they want – and the identity of the mystery bidder…

The Cast

Nisha Batra – SUNETRA SARKER (2793-2795)
Helen Carey (formerly Hart) – KERRY PEERS (2805*)
Jimmy Corkhill – DEAN SULLIVAN (2797-2799, 2801, 2802, 2804-2808)
DD (Deborah) Dixon (nee O’Farrell) – IRENE MAROT (2825*)
Ron Dixon – VINCE EARL (2808, 2809, 2811, 2820, 2822-2825)
Mike Dixon – PAUL BYATT (2810, 2811, 2814-2816, 2818-2823, 2825*)
Rachel Dixon, formerly Wright (nee Jordache) – TIFFANY CHAPMAN (2794, 2805, 2810, 2811, 2814-2823)
Beth Dixon (2809, 2810, 2814-2817, 2819-2822)
Jacqui Dixon-Farnham (nee Dixon) – ALEXANDRA FLETCHER (2793, 2794, 2798, 2803, 2814, 2815, 2817, 2820-2825)
Tony Dixon – GERARD BOSTOCK (2825*)
Max Farnham – STEVEN PINDER (2793, 2794, 2797, 2799, 2814, 2820-2825)
Harry Farnham (2820-2823)
Emma Farnham (2820-2823)
Debbie Gordon – ANNETTE EKBLOM (2793, 2800, 2802-2804, 2817-2820)
Kirsty Gordon – JESSICA NOON (2800*, 2817, 2818, 2821)
Ali Gordon – KRISTOPHER MOCHRIE (2800, 2803, 2804, 2815, 2817-2819)
Stuart Gordon – DAVID LYON (2800, 2802, 2815, 2818, 2819)
Bev McLoughlin-Gonzales (nee McLoughlin) – SARAH WHITE (2802-2804, 2808, 2810-2813, 2815, 2823-2825)
Josh McLoughlin – JACK McMULLEN (2803, 2804, 2808-2813)
Dan Morrisey – MATTHEW CROMPTON (2793, 2795, 2798, 2803, 2804, 2813-2819)
Brigid McKenna – MEG JOHNSON (2795-2799)
Jan Murray – HELEN SHEALS (2795-2799, 2801, 2805, 2807-2810)
Marty Murray – NEIL CAPLE (2794-2801, 2805-2810)
Steve Murray – STEVEN FLETCHER (2795-2805, 2808, 2810, 2821, 2823-2825)
Adele Murray – KATY LAMONT (2794-2798, 2800-2802, 2805-2810)
Anthony Murray – RAYMOND QUINN (2794-2801, 2805)
Christy Murray – GLYN PRITCHARD (2794-2797, 2801, 2809, 2810)
Emily O’Leary (nee Shadwick) – JENNIFER ELLISON (2794 OOV*, 2797*, 2800*, 2801, 2802*, 2803*, 2805*)
Tim “Tinhead” O’Leary – PHILIP OLIVIER (2793-2795, 2798-2810, 2823, 2824 OOV*)
Gabby Parr (nee Thaxter) – STEPHANIE CHAMBERS (2793-2797, 2799, 2808-2816)
Dr Gary Parr – BEN HULL (2793-2796, 2798, 2808-2817)
Lance Powell – MICKEY POPPINS (2802, 2803, 2811-2813, 2823, 2824)
Katie Rogers – DIANE BURKE (2796, 2817, 2820, 2821, 2824)
Sammy Rogers, formerly Daniels (nee Rogers) – RACHAEL LINDSAY (2796)
Greg Shadwick – MARK MORAGHAN (2794 OOV*)
Margi Shadwick (nee Benson) – BERNADETTE FOLEY (2794 OOV*, 2802, 2803, 2805*)
Jason Shadwick – VINCENT PRICE (2794 OOV*)
Nikki Shadwick – SUZANNE COLLINS (2793, 2794, 2797, 2798, 2801-2808)
Ruth Smith (nee Gordon) – LYNSEY McCAFFREY (2793-2795, 2798, 2800, 2802-2804, 2812-2814, 2816-2820)
Sean Smith – BARRY SLOANE (2793, 2794, 2817, 2819)
Luke Smith – CALLUM GIBLIN (2793, 2794, 2798, 2800, 2804, 2813-2820, 2821 OOV)
Victoria Wilcox, formerly Seagram – PATRICIA POTTER (2802*)

Benno (Simon Benson) – ANDREW FEARON (2825*)
Mozza Brown – NICK McNEIL (2804)
John Carr, Family Court Advisor – BRIAN SOUTHWOOD (2800)
Detective Sergeant Casey – BARRY McCORMICK (2796)
Imelda Clough – BILLIE CLEMENTS (2795*, 2796*, 2798*, 2800*)
Kevin Clough – THOMAS RYDER (2797)
Terry “Psycho” Gibson – GREG MILBURN (2797*, 2800*, 2802*, 2805*)
Lizzie Hunter – HOLLY STOCK (2800*)
Dr Mittal – CONOR ALEXANDER (2801)
Laura Stevens – ELIZABETH AVIS (2805-2807)
Kerry – JENNY SUMMERS (2795, 2799-2802, 2803*, 2807)
Scott – KEIRON EDWARDS (2797*)
Clerk of Courts – CHARLES FOSTER (2795-2798, 2800 OOV*)

Mrs Jean Clough [ previously played by Annie Tyson ] – MERYL HAMPTON (2795-2798, 2801, 2802) [ Previously Di Williams (659) / Registrar (2472) ]

Inspector – MATT DEAN (2820) [ Larry (2430) ]
Judge – PETER MAIR (2795-2798) [ Mr Henthorn (890) ]

Tom Billington, Defence Barrister – MICHAEL SIMKINS (2795-2798)
Kenny Clough – KEITH NEWBY (2795-2798)
Jenny Gibson – AMY STRATTON (2803, 2804, 2824, 2825)
Franny Gibson – LUKE TITTENSOR (2803, 2804)
Niall Gibson – ELLIOTT TITTENSOR (2803, 2804)
Dave Hunter – TED HOLDEN (2804)
Joseph Philbin, Prosecuting Barrister – STEPHEN RAVENSCROFT (2795-2798)
Bernie Schofield – SUZANNE HALL (2821)

Charlie, the Gibsons’ dog (2803, 2804)
Dawn, a penniless taxi passenger (2821)
Jane Green, school secretary (2811 OOV)
Paul, an employee of “The Shelf” (2793)

“Flashbacks” to other sequences from earlier episodes continue to appear frequently in this season, In the cast list above, * denotes that the character appears (or is heard) only within one or more such sequences, and does not otherwise feature in the episode.

These episodes were not shown individually on Channel Four, but only as omnibus editions on Saturday afternoons, typically at 4.00pm – and efforts began to be made to concentrate primarily on just one major storyline across each of the three episodes within each omnibus edition. Apart from the omnibus on Saturday 22nd February 2003 (to which a sequence of reprises was added AFTER the opening titles sequence), the omnibus editions shown from Saturday 1st February 2003 onwards had added pre-credits sequences, mainly featuring extracts from past episodes of the characters who would be dominating the omnibus which followed. However, Adele Murray and the Clerk of Courts (2799) / Ali Gordon and Dr Mittal (2802) / Terry “Psycho” Gibson, Anthony Murray, and Laura Stevens (2808) / Dan Morrisey (2820) were featured within a pre-credits sequence without then appearing in the episode to which it was attached.

“Teardrop” by “Massive Attack” is the soundtrack to Anthony’s nightmare at the beginning of episode 2798; and more than 90 seconds of “Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones is played following the death of Emily in episode 2801, accompanying scenes of her with Tim and others. “Whole Again” by “Atomic Kitten” is played by Tim, and can also be heard during scenes in other households, at the beginning of episode 2805; and “Magic Moments” by Perry Como is played in the background of several consecutive scenes in different locations, but mainly those involving Bev and Josh in the bathroom, in episode 2813. “You’re The Best Thing” by “The Style Council” is heard in the background of a montage of scenes of Gabby after Gary has left her alone in their flat in episode 2814; and other incidental music is briefly used in places in episodes 2794, 2795, 2798 and 2801.

During episode 2794, we briefly hear the voices of the characters at the dinner party as we see Nisha elsewhere, and we briefly hear the voices of Marty and Adele at home as we see Anthony being shown round the courtroom. On two occasions during episode 2810, we briefly hear the voice of Marty as we see Gabby and Gary, then Ron, Mike and Beth. At various points during episode 2815, we briefly hear the voices of Bev, then Gabby and Gary, then Dan and Luke, as we see images of Mike, Rachel and Beth. Episode 2818 begins with Luke reading a poem, as we see images of the Gordons in various different places. During episode 2820, we briefly hear the voices of Rachel and Katie as we see images of Mike, and we hear the voices of Bev and Ron as we see images of Jacqui and Max; and during episode 2825, we again briefly hear the voices of Bev and Ron as we see various cross-faded scenes of Jacqui and Max, looking around a new house. Ron’s early scenes alone in episode 2823 are also seen as a series of cross-fades.

At the beginning of episode 2798, Anthony is seen having a nightmare in which he is found guilty in court, involving various characters who are all seen later on in the episode; during episode 2809, Adele is very briefly seen dreaming of herself and Tim; and episode 2820 begins with a much longer daydream that Rachel is having – in which she, Mike and Beth are rich, and employ Jacqui as their down-trodden nanny, Max as their toadying servant, and Ron as their obliging chauffeur. Although the others all make physical appearances later on in this episode, Ron does not.

The “Magic Rabbits” music is heard quietly in the background at the Farnhams’ in episode 2823, when Harry and Emma, out-of-vision, are presumably watching in another room.


The storylines:

Anthony starts at a new school, after being cleared of Imelda’s murder – and so does Josh, after he proves too much for his present one (and, at times, Bev!) to cope with. Jan manages to persuade Adele to accept that she is moving back in with Marty, and Nikki manages to persuade Jimmy not only to let her move back in with him, but also to sleep with her. Tim also finds time to sleep with a couple of keen young ladies, but Steve only just about manages to ask Kirsty out, as the lads plan their revenge on Terry – after Emily joins Diane in that great hair salon in the sky. And it also finally emerges that Alan Gordon has well and truly puffed his last crafty cigarette.

There are other departures too – Dan is sent packing by Ruth, when he proves to be a much worse father for Luke than Sean could ever have been, and Nisha also leaves to pursue a career (and, presumably, attached men) elsewhere. Gabby and Gary, with a baby on the way, resolve to rebuild their marriage, and Katie continues to look forward to giving birth, with the support of boyfriend Nic. Rachel discovers that she too is pregnant – just after she and Mike misguidedly move away to a bigger and better house than they can afford, and are disowned by Ron when Rachel tries to help herself cope with their financial burdens by helping herself to some of Max and Jacqui’s money. But surely Max and Jacqui aren’t also about to leave the Close for pastures new? Well, not if Ron has anything to do with it…..

The dates:

Although we are reminded during Anthony’s trial of when various previously-seen events occurred – the death of Imelda was on 20th March (2795, 2796), and March 29th was “10 days later” [depending when you start counting!!] (2796); Anthony ran out of church on Easter Sunday (2797), and his attack involving a waste-paper basket was on April 10th (2797) – there are very few clear indications of the dates on which any of the current episodes are set. We are only told that it is Sunday in episode 2815; it is Sunday again – and Mother’s Day – in episode 2820 (but see “Goofs” below!); it is “nearly Spring” in episode 2821; and 2005 is “a long way off” in episode 2822. However, it is probably 14th February in episode 2803, as Josh gives Bev a Velentine card; and it is probably a Thursday in episode 2800, as the wheelie bins are out for the binmen!


Jamie Oliver (2798); Robbie Williams (2798); Tony Soprano (2798); “Geoff” [Hurst, expression] (2798); “Sleeping Beauty” (2801, 2802); “Columbo” (2804); “Atomic Kitten” (2805); Liberace (2805); Jack Jones [expression] (2805); Britney [Spears] (2805); W. C. Fields (2806); Mother Teresa (2807); “Pop Idol” (2807); “Big Brother” (2807); “Mills and Boon” (2807); a “Dalek” (2808); [James] “Bond” (2808); Enrique and Julio I[n]glesias (2810); “Hansel and Gretel” (2811); “Dumbledore” (2812); “Harry Potter” (2812); Rolf Harris (2813); “Desperate Dan” (2815); Bruce Springsteen (2818); “Scooby”[-Doo] (2819); “The Three Little Pigs” (2820); “Batman” and “Robin” (2821); “Starsky and Hutch” (2821); “Rip van Winkle” (2821); Stella McCartney (2822); “Countdown” (2823); and Dolly Parton (2825). Bev is alluding to “Attila the Hun” when she refers to Ron as “Attila the Grandad” in episode 2812.


The majority of the action in this season is set in or near Liverpool, although there are Manchester-based scenes in episodes 2803, 2804, 2824 and 2825 – in and around the pub “The Angel” and the nightclub “Milan” in episode 2804, and in and near Jenny’s home in the others; and Marty and Steve are briefly seen in Leeds in episode 2810. However, none of these scenes were necessarily recorded at these locations.


None, although Gabby and Katie are both still pregnant throughout the season – and in episode 2819 Rachel reveals that she now is as well. In episode 2821, Katie is “six months” pregnant. According to Christy, Jan had three kids by the time she was 25 (2810); and Adele recalls Jan packing and leaving when she was 7 (2810). Adele studies horoscopes for herself and Tim – Virgo and Aquarius respectively – in episode 2806.

Imelda was 12 (2794); Jacqui is over 18 (2798) / 26 (2825); Anthony was 12 [when he killed Imelda] (2798) / is 13 (2799); Emily was 20 when she died (2802); Jimmy is over 50, and will be 60 when Nikki is 30-ish (2806); Adele is nearly 18 (2808) / 17 (2809); Josh is 10 (2810); Ali is 16, and nearly 17 (2817); Mike and Rachel are in their “mid/late 20s”, according to Max (2822); Ron thinks that Max will be over 50 in 2005 (2822), but Max reminds Jacqui that he will be 50 in five years’ time (2823): and Bev is “pushing 31”, again according to Ron (2823).


None – and there are absolutely no indications during any of these episodes as to how long any of the couples featured or mentioned have been married, or when any of them got married.


Two: Emily O’Leary never awakens from her coma, and dies in episode 2801, at the age of 20 (2802). She has been dead for just over a week in episode 2806, and it is a week after her funeral in episode 2807. Then, in episode 2817, news of Alan Gordon is brought to Ali – and in episode 2818 we discover that it is that he has been found dead, in a quarry (2818, 2821) in Barnsley (2821). As episode 2819 begins, the family have been to his cremation.

We are reminded that Imelda was 12 (2794) when she died on 20th March (2796); and two unseen, never-to-be-seen dead characters are mentioned – Sean’s father (2793), and “Mr Swingwer”, who a radio newsreader mentions lay dead for three weeks before a neighbour noticed his junk mail piling up (2823).

Toilet visits:

Marty (2795); Kenny (2796); an unnamed man (2796); Jimmy (2798); Tim (2801); Mozza (2804, although maybe only for somewhere quiet to do his crossword); Ron (2811); Mike (2816); Luke (2817 – wetting himself, and he has also wet the bed); Ali (2817); and Luke (2819, having wet the bed again).

Characters mentioned, so far unseen, but who will be appearing later:

Jennifer, and either Paul or Adrian – two of Gary’s partners in the medical practice (2814).

Gone but not forgotten – seen previously and still mentioned occasionally, but not reappearing in this season:

Trina (2793); Ray (2793); Alan (2793, 2800, 2819); Jerome (2794, 2798, 2806, 2808); Nisha’s father (2796); Paige (2796, 2797); Dexter / Rob Dexter (2797, 2814, 2816 / 2815); Mrs Plummer (2797); Jackie (2798, 2801); Shelley the Dyke (2798); Diane (2799, 2800, 2806, 2807, 2808, 2809, 2810); Loyd Grossman (2800); Matt (2801, 2806); Wills (2801); Jason / Jase (2802); Leanne (2802, 2809, 2811); Little Jimmy / Jimmy (2802 / 2805); Tommo (2804 / 2818); Sotto (2804); Helen (2806); Lance’s father (2811, 2813); Bev’s mother (2815); Nic (2817, 2818, 2820, 2821); Beth [Jordache] (2819); Hookey (2823); Frederico (2823); and Kiev (2825).

And those that are also mentioned, but are destined to remain unseen forever:

Gabby’s mother / Marian Thaxter; (2793, 2815, 2816 / 2813, 2816); Gabby’s father (2793, 2813); Gary’s parents / mother / father (2793 / 2810, 2812, 2815 / 2814, 2815, 2816) / the “grandparents” [all of the foregoing] (2817); Sean’s mother (2793); Mark, a mate of Dan (2795); Mark’s father (2795); Nisha’s sister (2796); Ravi [Nisha’s brother] (2796); Mr Clough, who Imelda never knew (2799); Alfredo, the Gibsons’ local pizza man (2803); Andrew Holland, a friend of Josh (2804); Laura’s cousin / mother / nan / father (2805 / 2807 / 2807 / 2810), and her mother’s ex-boyfriend Derek (2807); Jonny and Alex, with whom Josh has been fighting (2811); Mr Donnelly, headmaster (2812, 2813); Keith Barber, a colleague of Gabby (2814); Paul or Adrian, partners in the medical practice (2814); Gabby’s aunt Juliet (2816); Bernie Schofield’s allegedly disabled mother (2821); Dan’s mother and father (2817); Smyth and Smythe, patients (2817); and Alex, Lance’s boyfriend (2823, 2824, 2825).


In episode 2793, Nisha omits the word “more” between “her” and “by” in episode 2793 – “More so than being stuck in a loveless marriage with you hating her by the day.”; and, in the same episode, Ruth says “tying down a job” instead of “trying to hold down a job”.

In episode 2800, Marty garbles a line by adding an unnecessary “go and” – “Jan thinks that maybe going to go and stay with her might take the pressure off him for a bit.”; and in episode 2807, one of Laura’s lines is even more garbled: “I remember when my nan was in – I was chocka.”. What?

In episode 2808, Bev’s line “I’ll bring him round for about an hour or two” comes out as “I’ll bring him about round an hour or two.”; and in episode 2817, Ruth changes the meaning of a line by adding a “was”: “I was meant to tell you last night.”.

References to “Mother’s Day” in episode 2820 imply that it is then Sunday, 30th March 2003. However, in episode 2822, “a whole week” has elapsed since Rachel did not fully pay the takings into Max’s account, but the up-to-date online statement Max is seen examining in that episode is dated 28/03/03.


Mike needs to find “Burdock Street” (2821) in his taxi, which bears the name “County Cars” and the telephone number 0151 496 2222 (2821, 2822). He and Rachel now live at 43 Cherrydale Road, Liverpool – and the reference number with which she thinks she has won a prize is RD87913 (2822). Max uses the firm he worked for many years earlier, “Fletcher’s”, as his estate agents – the telephone number appearing on their “For Sale” sign is still 0151 629 1876 (2823, 2824). The estate agents selling the house he and Jacqui want to buy – “The Meadows”, Park Lane, Woolton – are “Jones, Thomas and Booth” (2824, 2825). Its asking price is £345,000 – and Ron offers £360,000 (2824, 2825), so Max offers £375,000 (2825).

When she was younger, Jacqui hated black pudding (2794); and Gary originally proposed to Gabby on receipt number BD012993 from the cab company “Websters Taxis”, telephone number 0151 296 6725, which she has kept (2814). The first song they danced to at their wedding reception was “You’re The Best Thing” by “The Style Council” (2814). Alan’s favourite Bruce Springsteen song, which he had joked he wanted to be played at his funeral, was “I’m On Fire” (2818); while, according to Tim, “Whole Again” by “Atomic Kitten” was one of the favourites (2805) of his late wife, formerly Emily Margaret Shadwick (2802).

The new school Anthony David Murray (2795) plans to attend is “Broadhurst Comp”[rehensive], which Laura’s cousin goes to (2805). Imelda was temporarily excluded from St Agnes’s Roman Catholic Primary School for bullying at the age of 8 (2796); Lance used to be “dead good” at Chemistry (2812); and the essay Nikki is writing for her university course, which Jimmy has second thoughts about trying to help her with, is “Perception and Language Ability in the Rhesus Monkey” (2798). There are still Kate Bush posters on Adele’s bedroom wall (2805); and Tim (2793), Nikki (2797, 2805), Gabby (2799), Max (2799, 2822), John (2800), Ron (2809, 2825), a nurse (2810), and Luke (2818) are all right-handed, whereas Mike is left-handed (2819).

The end-of-season cliffhanger:

Ron and Jacqui sit in the front garden of the house in which they have both lived for much of the last decade and a half – and, having recalled some of the early highlights of their time there, Jacqui reminds her father that when she and Max move, she will only be a few miles away – and much nearer whenever she is at work. And he has still got Bev close by anyway. She assures him that they will always be there for each other – and, no matter how far apart they may be in the future, she will always remember everything he has taught her about people, and life, and families, and fighting and loving each other, and standing by each other, and standing by what they believe in. “All these things are inside me. And while they’re inside me, you’ll never be far away.”.

Virtually all the other storylines of recent weeks had also reached very satisfactory conclusions – the only real exception being Tim and Steve’s ongoing quest to find Terry – so the removal or reworking of the few scenes involving Steve, Tim and Jenny from the last three episodes, and perhaps a longer, lingering final shot of Jacqui and Ron hugging in front of their former home, and/or a pan out to the whole of the Close at the end of its already magnificent closing scene, could have turned episode 2825 into just about as good a “final” episode of “Brookside” as anyone could have hoped for.

But there would be two seasons more…