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The Ender Saskia; How Valentine violence kills Square stalker.

THIS is how romantic St Valentine's Day will erupt into violence and end in death for EastEnders' Saskia Duncan.

A fierce struggle between crazed Saskia and her ex-lover Steve Owen features the most shocking scenes ever filmed for the BBC1 soap.

And the horror of the story has left even the cast feeling shaken.

The clash comes after Saskia, played by Deborah Sheridan-Taylor, catches nightclub owner Steve smooching with beautiful Melanie Healy - actress Tamzin Outhwaite.

Saskia, who had wanted to rekindle her relationship with Steve, grabs a bottle of champagne and smashes it over his head.

Then she jumps on his back, grabs his tie and tries to strangle him.

Steve - former Spandau Ballet star Martin Kemp - falls to his knees, choking and realises he's in a fight for his life.

Panic-stricken, he picks up an ashtray and swings it backwards over his shoulder.

But his attempt at self-defence turns into a death blow. The ashtray hits Saskia. She falls to the floor with blood pouring from her head.

Horrified Steve looks down and sees that he has killed her.

The dramatic battle will be screened in a 45-minute episode on Sunday evening.

But one scene had to be re-shot because it might have scared young viewers, executive producer Matthew Robinson disclosed last night.

The scene shows disco DJ Matthew Rose, played by Joe Absolom, being knocked out with an ice bucket by Saskia as he tries to pull her off his boss's back.

"When we played back the film, it was fantastic - too fantastic,'' said Robinson. "It looked so real that I knew we couldn't broadcast it.

"EastEnders goes out before the nine o'clock watershed, children watch it - and we can't show outright scenes of graphic violence. We had to do the whole thing again.

"It took almost two hours and the three actors were emotionally and physically exhausted. In the end we got we wanted."

After the gruelling film session, Martin said : "I've done a few violent scenes in my career but the effect of this one was particularly strong.

"It was three days before I had a decent night's sleep. I kept having nightmares about blood, murder and mayhem.

"The way I work is to throw myself into the roles I play so much that I get emotionally involved and I find it hard to forget about them.''

He added: "The scene shows that in desperate situations we can all lash out without thinking.

"Steve Owen isn't supposed to be a baddie. He's a bit of a ladies' man, he makes bad decisions - but I think he's a decent guy at heart.''

After the killing, Steve and Matthew fear that police will not believe it was an accident.

The pair bundle Saskia's body into a bin liner, put it in the back of a car and drive it away.

Robinson said: "This an exciting plot and it'll keep us occupied for much of the next year.''
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 12, 1999
Words:489
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