TV Cream

TV: E is for...

Emmerdale Farm

BANISH FROM YOUR MIND the current sex-in-the-shit-sheds kaboodle. Older, gentler Beckindale was a lunchtime joy. In them days it were ‘t Sugdens at heart o’t’village and ’tis raining on t’cows again. Widowed Annie had to keep the farmyard crap-free and old grandad Sam on the straight while sons Joe (FRAZER HINES) and Jack did the digging and delving. Farmhand Matt Skilbeck fell under spell of local siren Dolly. Down at The Woolpack Amos Brearley and “Mr” Wilkes tapped the finest for woolly-hatted Seth and co. Much angst derived from arrival of commercial farming methods and assorted bad eggs on the nearby estate. Ubiquitous vicar relied on for confessions, wise counsel and other assorted character interaction duties. Turning point came when Phil Redmond flew a plane into the village, the Spice Girls moved in and everyone discovered shagging.

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  1. Glenn A

    November 7, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    Also the original theme tune was far less dramatic and more restrained. In the Border region this was originally shown at 3.30.

  2. Angryhead

    November 8, 2009 at 5:19 am

    This version used to depress the hell out of me. The sets always seemed dark and cheap and there wasn’t much laughter or smiles to be seen and heard.
    Is it me, or was cuddly Alan Turner a bit of a nasty JR Ewing-type character back then who resided in the ‘big house’ and ruled over everyone else?
    Thank the gods for the plane crash. I think the place needed a bit of a shaking up.

  3. Glenn A

    November 8, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    It was slow and had the unofficial nickname of Everdull Farm. Back in the eighties it was mostly watched by the elderly and certainly wasn’t a popular topic of conversation for teenagers. However, the modern version is too trashy and ironically attracts even fewer viewers than in the seventies.

  4. Graham Kibble-White

    November 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    “However, the modern version… attracts even fewer viewers than in the seventies”. As does EVERY SINGLE PROGRAMME that’s still on our screens from that era.

  5. Glenn A

    November 8, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Hello, Graham, the revamped version saw its ratings double to 14 million, but overkill in recent years has seen the figure more than halve.

  6. jed b

    November 8, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    it’s still a ratings powerhouse…and it’s audience share has remained pretty consistent since the plane crash.

  7. Graham Kibble-White

    November 8, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    That revamp was ages ago, during a time when every show on TV was enjoying far more viewers than today. So, Glen, I’m afraid I still think the point you’re making is silly.

  8. Angryhead

    November 8, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I agree with Glenn A that the series has become far too trashy … but only in the last two or three years. Glenn’s right…the revamp version was initially very popular.
    The ratings only started to dwindle when ‘Emmerdale’ became a five-night-a-week soap a few years back. Before this, it was doing very well inching ever closer to ‘Eastenders’ in the ratings.

    It’s become far too ridiculous now with old characters making returns and former stars of 80s US TV soaps being brought in to add a touch of glamour. Totally unbelievable and inching ever closer to ‘Hollyoaks’ territory.

  9. Glenn A

    November 8, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Angryhead
    I agree, it has moved too far away from the original version and has become too trashy. However, trashy is what the modern ITV bosses like, even if I doubt they watch it much, and the modern Emmerdale is symptomatic of the rot that set in at ITV after the 1992 franchise changes that saw the regions steadily destroyed and programming standards collapse. Yes I’ll admit Emmerdale Farm wasn’t much fun for younger people but it was always aimed at the older marker who wanted an simple rural drama.

  10. Angryhead

    November 9, 2009 at 3:48 am

    Glenn A… please don’t even get me started on ITV. That’s for another forum !

  11. Glen A Larson

    November 9, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Exactly. This is TV Cream – let’s celebrate the reasons why we liked (or maybe still like) Emmerdale!

  12. Glenn Cullen

    November 9, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Precisely. Now let’s talk about that lady policeman, Bravo Two Zero, what was her name, for fuck’s sake…

  13. Arthur Nibble

    November 9, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Bring back Weavers Green (said with tongue ever so slightly in cheek)!

  14. Glenn A

    November 9, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Yes the debate has moved off topic a bit. We are really on here to discuss popular culture from the seventies and eighties and Emmerdale of the Farm variety belongs to that era.

  15. Glen A Larson

    November 10, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Sorry I spoke!

  16. Richard16378

    August 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I remember it when it was just twice a week at Lunchtimes (at least Granada showed it in the Younger Doctors / Sons & Daughrers slot after Rainbow).

    Mel B only had a walk on role, but here sister Danielle Brown was in for while.

  17. Michael S

    August 23, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    I always liked the opening music when I was a kid; it was the one with the “cor anglais” (apparently) that had a very poignant quality to it (probably helped by the soft-focus filtered titles.) In retrospect, I’m convinced it’s some form of minor masterpiece

    I remember wanting an excuse to listen to the music before the TV was turned off, because my parents didn’t like Emmerdale Farm (or any soaps). And to be fair, neither did I… it was just the music I liked. 🙂

  18. Lee James Turnock

    June 11, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    They changed the title to Emmerdale because it doesn’t take as long to read and they can fit more plot in, according to Spudgun from Bottom.

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