Soap Box: Who raped Toyah?; Plotlines revealed: A brutal attack stuns the Street and Sally's big day ends in chaos... A fiery farewell in Emmerdale... Phil frames Dan in Albert Square... And taunts and threats in Brookie.
If this is an act of revenge then it's the most despicable you can imagine. As Toyah walked down the dark back alley to the Rovers after her night out with Sam, she heard her name called twice before she was grabbed. But when Jason stumbles across her on his morning run, it's soon clear that this is no ordinary mugging. Toyah has been raped. Her face is battered, cut and bruised, and her clothes covered in blood.
For a young girl whose main concerns have been revising for her exams while juggling jobs at the Rovers and Roy's Rolls, it is a chilling reminder of how brutal life can be. She might have made a few enemies recently, but no one deserves this kind of violence and humiliation. And Georgia Taylor's performance as Toyah makes it all so heart-achingly convincing.
Who Raped Toyah? is just one story in an explosive week in the Street that's as unmissable as EastEnders' Who Shot Phil? saga. And whereas we had Steve and Mel's will-they-won't they? wedding alongside the Square shooting, in Weatherfield Sally dilly-dallies over going down the aisle with Danny.
After all, he is one of the few men not to be suspected of attacking Toyah. And that includes Duggie who thinks she shopped him to Trading Standards over his watered-down whisky. "She's stuffed me twice. A bloke does that he pays..."
Then there's the woman-hating Peter, the masked python Sam, or could it be the leering cabbie Vernon? Any man with a pulse is a potential rapist, including Toyah's pal Phil who told her, "Friends like you, who needs enemies? You've sold out."
The prime suspect is nasty drunken sailor Peter, who is pulled in for questioning, exposed as a wife-beater, and refuses to take a DNA test. Convinced of his guilt, Geena refuses to serve him in the Rovers. "I didn't rape anyone!" he protests. "They haven't charged me!" Not yet...
As if all this isn't enough to take the edge off the wedding, blonde dimbo Sally tempts fate with a confession to Danny. "The night before Kevin married Alison... somehow we ended up in bed together." More fists fly between the two men in her life, even with Sawfie and Rawsie in their bridesmaid dresses and the guests at the register office. At least Danny had the foresight to buy the girls St Christopher necklaces as presents - he could need that saint's guidance when he sets off on an unexpected journey.
Some secrets are too big to conceal. And we are not just talking about the mystery of Tricia's expanding waistline. Although we're expected to assume she's eaten all the pies at the restaurant, we all know about actress Sheree Murphy's real-life pregnancy. But that bump they've been trying to hide has its uses. With people forced to stand three feet away from her, it acts as a buffer zone - the one thing that keeps Diane, her granddad, Bernice and finally Marlon, from wringing her neck.
The deliciously daft girl blows it big time when she hears that Diane has been planting carrots with farmer Jack as well as her old gramps. She soon seeks out "her with a wig on 'er 'ead and the sexual appetite of a rabbit", and there are some hair-raising confrontations. Bernice's attempt to cool tempers results in a shocking revelation. She is told her ex-fiance's village conquests included not only Jason and Stella, but Trish, too.
"So you don't think my granddad should be bothered if your mum's having it off with someone else?" Tricia seethes. "Well, choke on this then, Bernice `got-it-all' Thomas. When `your Gavin' first showed up, him and me got it together." "How could you?" asks the vicar's wife. "Ooh, it was quite easy really. Not all that gay, was he?"
There are serious repercussions. Bernice threatens to expose the sham wedding to the Home Office, Marlon is devastated, and nearly all of Tateville would like to see the back of Tricia. As she packs her rucksack, they do. For Bernice there is a greater loss than her former best mate. Her longed-for unborn baby. But this isn't entirely unexpected, particularly as dad Rodney had already given her an early present of a cot. And that means only one thing in soapland. Tragedy.
Not even husband Ashley can comfort her, and nor can she turn to Carlos now that his affair with her step-sister Nicola is hotting up. Even so, the Spanish chef is simmering with misgivings, especially over the eagerness of his new love who, he says, "falls in love at the drop of a hat". At least that explains the hat-rack outside her bedroom door.
No wonder British prisons are bursting at the seams when Walford nick is home to half of Albert Square. Caught red-handed taking a pot-shot at Phil, Dan claims, "I'm being fitted up 'ere, ain't I?" in one room. Phil's putting the finishing touches to his scheme in another. And that "vindictive little runt" Ian is admitting his cowardly ways in yet another.
With more twists that an octopus's tentacles, Phil's scam is a fantastic sequel to the shooting with the prime suspects being knocked down like fairground ducks. Dan is too stupid to realise the extent of his dilemma, particularly when Mr Big of the Firm has a memory lapse and his alibi evaporates. Facing an eight to 12 stretch, Dan's message to Phil has a hollow ring. "I know what he's done. An' he's a dead man!"
Hitwoman Lisa may be feeling guilty, but Mark consoles her, "The guy's a lowlife. Alright, he's not guilty as charged but 'e's 'ad it comin'." At least Lisa's conscience lets her make one more fatal confession to Mark. "There's something I've been keeping back," she says. "I'm 14 weeks pregnant. It's Phil's..." Cue The Omen soundtrack.
Framing people is high on others' agendas, and Ma Mo does her best to reveal Little Mo's Trevor as a wife-beater. Janine isn't so much passing bricks but building terrace houses when Terry discovers a grand is missing from his bank account, although somebody else could be the scapegoat. And bumbling Barry has more misfortune when left in charge of the Vic. "I wanna be mein host," he moans. "Instead I've got that she-dragon breathing fire down the bar at me all the time." Unfortunately, there's not an extinguisher in sight when Bazza gets his fingers burnt. Mind you, Peggy is a little distracted when she gets all hot and bothered on a day out with the local cabbie. Charlie beware - wherever she lays her wig, that's her home.
Unless you have a fanciful imagination you'd never think of Leanne as a mystical vision. But as she wafts into Bev's Bar loaded down by more crystals than a hippie's New Age stall at Glastonbury and wearing a white flowing gown, she murmurs softly, "I've chosen new clothing to reflect my new persona". A vestal virgin? She'll be turning cartwheels across the floor next. Never mind a whiter shade of pale, this is beyond it according to Bev. "I think Leanne's been abducted by aliens and replaced by an android," she declares, suspecting that her waitress still has her eye on Dr Darren's stethoscope. Hanging around her neck is "a healing crystal... it helps remove negative vibrations". Ron Dicko's face is a picture. "It's got its work cut out on you then!"
They'll need a shed-load of them if peace is to be brought to the Close. Nikki is still taunting Jerome about his secret lover Naughty Nisha. "Are you one of them fellas that likes a girl in uniform?," she asks, without giving the game away. "WPCs? Nurses?" The battle of Wills continues at the Corkhills with Our Lindz caught in the crossfire between Jimmy and Jackie.
Meanwhile Clint reveals the truth about Robbie's psycho past - he glassed a lad who then needed 40 stitches and lost an eye. The brothers' uneasy truce is abandoned when conniving Robbie proposes to Jacqui before Clint can do the same with Katie. But Jacqui needs "time to think". So, it'll be bus passes with the marriage certificate.
Not that Robbie will reach retirement age if one hoodlum is to be believed. When Mike is left home alone in his wheelchair, the thug breaks in. "Your mate Robbie Moffat," he hisses, "tell 'im Ricky Garner was 'ere!"
With a sandwich stuffed in Mike's mouth as a gag, and tomato sauce squirted over his face, that might be a little too much for even young Dicko to stomach. Meals on wheels indeed.
GRIM DISCOVERY: Sam finds Toyah`s battered body; SOMETHING BLUE: Sally picks the right colour bridal gown for her disastrous big day; PRIME SUSPECT: Peter is taken in for questioning
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Apr 14, 2001|
|Previous Article:||LOOKALIKE SOAP PALS.|
|Next Article:||The sporting week; Eric Beauchamp picks the highlights on TV.|