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The Emmerdale Plane Crash, also known as the Beckindale Air Disaster was a storyline for British soap opera Emmerdale. It occurred on 30 December 1993, and gave Emmerdale its highest-ever viewing figures of 18 million.

Background[edit]

Emmerdale Farm was originally devised as similar in concept to the long-running BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers, focusing on the farm life of the Sugden family. Originally a low profile, rural drama broadcast in the daytime, efforts were made by Yorkshire Television to transform the show into a more dramatised serial along the lines of the ITV network's main soap Coronation Street, beginning in 1989 when the show's focus moved to the nearby village of Beckindale and 'Farm' was dropped from the title accordingly. Phil Redmond, creator of Channel 4 soap Brookside was brought in to develop ideas and advise on storylines.[1]

The plane crash was the culmination of these efforts and the end of the show's transformation from a minor daytime rural drama into one of the biggest soaps in the UK, on an equal footing with the likes of the BBC's EastEnders and the aforementioned Coronation Street.

Synposis[edit]

Beckindale is demolished, and four villagers are killed, when a plane crashes into the village. The four victims of the plane crash were Mark Hughes (who had been in the show since 1988), Elizabeth Pollard (who had joined in 1990), Archie Brooks (who joined in 1983) and Leonard Kempinski (who had only joined the previous year).

Plot[edit]

The first of many fireballs

The first scene of the plane crash was when Frank Tate was looking at his wife Kim’s stables when suddenly a ball of fire hits the stables. Nick Bates and Archie Brooks were walking home when they are blinded by some fluid and Archie is engulfed in flames. This would be the last we see of Archie, however his body was never recovered and suspicion remains if he actually died, nevertheless he is declared dead.

Lynn is hysterical as she left baby Peter at home with a babysitter. She arrives home to see the house up in flames, but Peter came outside to see what was happening. The babysitter, however, perished among the flames. The Woolpack windows explode in and Joe Sugden crashes his Rover Montego when a wing of the plane collides with the car, Annie and Leonard Kempinski were also in the car. Joe suffered a broken leg and Annie remained in a coma for several months. However, Leonard died. He and Annie were only married for two months.

Up at the stables Kim had to be restrained from trying to retrieve her horses, she listened helplessly as her horses screamed for help. People in the Woolpack started to regain consciousness. Eric Pollard started wandering around looking for his wife, Elizabeth. As the hours passed he started to draw attention as many people became suspicious of his behaviour. Elizabeth is eventually found dead and is declared a victim of the plane crash. However, many people, on and off-screen, believe that Eric killed his wife as she was on her way to the police to report him for forging cheques.

Outside, Alan Turner picks up a plane ticket with the name Kurshkov on it, he notices more wreckage in the field together with Angharad and Bernard McAllister and it becomes more clear what has happened. The local school is used as a base. Mark Hughes’s arm can be seen sticking out of some rubble. At the school, Jack Sugden notices Mark's watch amongst the personal belongings that have been found, it is the one that Annie gave him at Christmas. Jack has the unfortunate task of identifying his body. Chris Tate is discovered in the wine bar but his legs are trapped under heavy rubble. When he is retrieved from the rubble he is airlifted to hospital. Chris would learn that he has lost the use of his legs for the rest of his life.

Many buildings in the village were left in ruin as a result of the plane crash. Excluding the four dead villagers, many other bodies were found all over the village.

After the dust settled, the plane crash has been mentioned in the years since. In 2003, the villagers protested against a group of journalists wanting to film a 10th anniversary documentary after they descended on the village. And in late 2010, Michael Feldmann returned after 16 years away and accused Eric Pollard of murdering his mother Elizabeth that night 17 years previously. Eric had a motive as Elizabeth was on to him about cheque fraud and trying to blame Michael for it. Eric later admits to Val that he would have killed her but flames and debris from the burning airliner beat him to it on that dark December night.

Reception[edit]

ITV received many complaints as the timing of the storyline was close to the fifth anniversary of the Lockerbie Disaster.

In popular culture[edit]

In the 5 January 1994 episode of Channel 4 soap Brookside, character Mick Johnson (Louis Emerick) was seen reading a newspaper with the front page headline "AIR DISASTER TOLL RISES - Village Mourns As Many Die", reflecting the events in Emmerdale.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kalman, Matthew. "Emmerdale cooler than Brookside". independent.co.uk. The Independent. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Brookside guide-34". Brooksidesoapbox.co.uk. 1994-01-15. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmerdale_plane_crash — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
4603 videos foundNext > 

Emmerdale Plane Crash Part 1

Episode 1 - 4.

Emmerdale Plane Crash

Emmerdale plane crash 7th December 1993 Taken from Granada plus around 1999.

Emmerdale Plane Crash (1993)

The Beckindale plane crash from the end of 1993. Kathy prepares to run away with Josh the unconvincing American. Lynn Whitely snipes homophobically at Nick a...

Emmerdale Plane Crash Part 3

Episode 1-4.

Emmerdale Plane Crash Part 8

Episode 1-4.

Emmerdale Plane Crash Part 6

Episode 1-4.

Emmerdale Plane Crash Part 5

Episode 1-4.

Emmerdale Plane Crash Part 2

Episode 1 - 4.

Emmerdale Plane Crash Part 4

Episode 1-4.

Emmerdale Plane Crash (1993, 1994)

All four episodes which focused on the plane crash which rocked Beckindale. This video is a conflation of episode 1829-1832. The first of these was broadcast...

4603 videos foundNext > 

27 news items

 
Mirror.co.uk
Wed, 17 Oct 2012 06:42:07 -0700

ITV Emmerdale Plane crash, Jack Sugden finds dead sheep. FLOCK AND AWE Jack surveys sheep killed by plane smash in brutal episode. A record 18million viewers tuned in to see the spectacular Beckindale Air Disaster. A ball of fire hits Frank Tate's ...
 
Unreality TV
Sun, 10 Aug 2014 00:43:33 -0700

Nothing has us hooked to out TV sets more than a good old fashioned disaster, and nobody does it better than our UK soaps! For over fifty years we've been tuning in regularly to Coronation Street, then Emmerdale, EastEnders and, most recently Hollyoaks ...
 
Metro
Thu, 09 Sep 2010 08:46:40 -0700

The EastEnders' bosses took a good hard look at the Emmerdale plane crash episode and decided to up the ante – with a collapsing helter-skelter. The ride was erected as part of the Square's centenary celebrations, but residents were left in a state of ...

Metro

Metro
Sun, 19 Jan 2014 22:10:03 -0800

Stand by your tissues, we'll all be in pieces tonight as soap's most gripping storyline in years – Hayley Cropper's decision to opt for assisted suicide rather than let cancer take its cruel course – comes to its end. Grown men have already been ...
 
Scottish Daily Record
Fri, 09 Jul 2010 03:19:52 -0700

It's already the most famous road name in Britain. But Coronation Street is set to become the bloodiest and most disaster prone address in the country thanks to a major new plotline. A bridge is to collapse, a tram will plunge off the viaduct on to the ...
 
Unreality TV
Tue, 24 Dec 2013 00:12:59 -0800

In this episode, which gave Emmerdale its highest-ever viewing figures of 18 million, The Emmerdale Plane Crash, also known as the Beckindale Air Disaster, struck the sleepy village between Christmas and New Year. In the episode the village of ...

Yorkshire Post

Yorkshire Post
Fri, 30 Aug 2013 04:06:42 -0700

In the years which followed, his name has become synonymous with special effects including the Emmerdale plane crash. It was something of a watershed moment for the drama, which had a reputation as a cheery and some might say sleepy soap. The plane ...
 
Express.co.uk
Tue, 26 Jun 2012 16:04:29 -0700

Coronation Street's Deidre Barlow (Anne Kirkbride) being jailed in March 1998 was fourth and Emmerdale's plane crash in December 1993 fifth. The full list of “moments” is in Inside Soap magazine's 20th birthday issue, which is out this week. More than ...
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