After a series of terrible events, the villagers say goodbye to one of their number – but who has died?
here have been plenty of funerals in Emmerdale over the years, but none quite like this. As mourners gather by a graveside on Monday in a special ‘flash-forward’ scene, we viewers will have no idea who is in the coffin – and we’ll have to wait until Friday to find out.
In the meantime, the soap will take us back in time, to live the same 24 hours through the eyes of several different characters, any one of whom could be in the box.
Aaron and Robert are first up. As Aaron emerges from the bath, his other half is about to propose, but he’s stopped in his tracks by Lachlan. The teenager has questions to ask about Robert and Rebecca, and threatens to lie that Robert has sexually abused him if he doesn’t get answers.
Aaron overhears the conversation and reacts by bundling Lachlan into the boot of his car – this happens so often in Emmerdale, it’s a wonder they bother with passenger seats. The lad escapes, forcing Aaron and Robert to chase him, but their pursuit takes them to a cliff edge.
‘They’re near a massive quarry
Tthat has a 60ft drop,’ explains Ryan Hawley, who plays Robert. ‘Any of them could end up dead.’
On Tuesday, Marlon and Paddy head off on a camping trip with little Leo, and Rhona tags along after a row with Pierce. Feeling remorseful, Pierce calls Rhona to apologise, but when she tells him she’s at home, he knows she’s lying – he’s standing in her place, Smithy Cottage, at the time.
‘Their argument was about Rhona not being truthful and spending too much time with Paddy, so it doesn’t go down well,’ says Zoe Henry, who plays Rhona. Will Pierce want revenge?
Next, we follow terrified farmer James Barton as he tries to escape from Wiley’s Farm, where Emma is holding him prisoner. When she’s out of the house,
James scrawls ‘I do not’ across their wedding vows, and plans to use a spare key to let himself out.
‘He’s halfway down the stairs when he hears a van arrive delivering birds for Emma,’ reveals Bill Ward, who plays him. ‘He drags himself back upstairs and tries to get the driver’s attention, but the window is painted shut and he can’t be heard. He then falls down the stairs and lands in a heap, just as Emma comes home.’
Finally, on Thursday, we spend time with dementia sufferer Ashley, who deteriorates to such a point that he forgets baby Dotty is his own child at her christening.
As events reach a climax, carnage ensues. Three of the villagers end up in hospital, fighting for their lives, and one of them doesn’t make it. But who?
See feature, page 6
As Robert and Lachlan tussle on a clifftop, even Aaron isn’t safe
What will jealous Pierce do when he realises Rhona is with her ex, Paddy?
Is Emma going to clobber James with that chicken?