Emmerdale is a long-running British Soap Opera, set in the titular Yorkshire village.From its creation in 1972 until 1989, it was known as Emmerdale Farm, the series was generally based around the farm and rural life in the village, often centring around the village pub, The Woolpack.Notably, almost every person who moves to the village (even the illegitimate ones) either joins or is joined by their family, and so joins in the near-constant feuding among the famillies in the village.Seen as something of a television version of The Archers, albeit set among bluff northern types rather than well-heeled country folk, the series received a dramatic Re Tool during the early 1990s. Starting with the name change, more and more classic "soap opera" elements were introduced, but the series was still in the shadow of its more illustrious rivals Coronation Street and EastEnders - until 1993, when writers had a plane crash onto the Woolpack, drawing in 18 million viewers.The plane crash storyline proved so popular that Emmerdale in the last 15 years has become a rather dangerous place to live. In the 20 years before the crash, 21 characters had been killed off. Since the crash, the body count currently stands at 46 - seven of them in 2006 alone.
This series provides examples of:
The Atoner: After being partially responsable for causing the deaths of three people in an explosion, Jimmy King reformed his sleazy ways and became a nice guy.
Bad Ass Grandpa: Zak Dingle has mellowed over the years, but was still capable of nearly beating his son to death.
Book Ends: Jack Sugden returned to the village for his father's funeral, and his biolgical son Robert returned for Jack's.
Break the Cutie: Carl King started off as the only member of the King family who had even a spark of good inside him. He has since killed a friend in an accident and killed his dad in a rage. Then the love of his life was then hit and killed by a lorry. Then he was shot by a solicitor he'd wronged. Then his elder brother Matthew tried to run him down but was killed himself. Then his wife lost their child. Then the next woman he was set to marry left him at the altar. By the time of his murder, Carl was almost unrecognisable from his early days.
Brother-Sister Incest: Almost played horribly true with unknowing half-siblings Ryan Lamb and Maisie Wylde, and even though the bullet was dodged on the incest the revelation they almost had sex led Maisie to have a break down and to the murder of their father at the hands of Maisie's mother.
Bumbling Dad: Dan Spencer started as quite a nasty character (to show where his son got his evil side from) but has been diluted to this when he became a full time cast member.
Chris Tate who upon discovering his wife had been cheating on him with his enemy - and her cousin - Cain Dingle went after Cain with a gun then decided Charity was the one he truly hated so he committed suicide and framed her for murder (having recently discovered he had months to live).
Cain Dingle himself definitely fits this trope: after being rejected by Angie he stalked her and frightened off any man she got involved with until she was so desperate that she tried to framed him for a crime. He also attacks and/or threatens any man who shows interest in Charity.
a notably bizarre story arc with a completely gratuitous homosexual angle that appeared to have been written by The Guardian, featuring a notably unconvincing rugby player, breathlessly encouraged by his mother (played by Pauline Quirke). All concerned have now left the show; "we shall not see their like again", at least with any luck...
Kissing Cousins: played VERY, VERY straight with the Dingles, to the point that there's at least one definite (though slightly averted in that they were Second cousins) case of progeny, Debbie, who is surprisingly a lot more stable than either of her parents, except for her own propensity for incest for nearly 2 years. this has been lampshaded by other characters repeatedly. the main offenders being: Charity/Cain, Charity/Marlon, Eli/Debbie, Eli/Chas, a brief one-sided Eli/Gennie, the list goes on. There was even a marriage for Butch/Mandy, although, despite some one-sided feelings from Butch, it was solely because the family's home was being sold and Mandy's boyfriend's mother had offered her money to marry someone else.
Geographic Flexibility: Applies a little bit to the village itself, but more pertinently to the nearby town of Hotton, which is as big or small and contains as many or as few bars/shops/attractions as are currently necessary for the plot.
Location scenes based in Hotton are usually filmed in the town of Otley, close to the TV studios in Leeds where the show is filmed. Until the late 1990s, an actual village, Esholt, was used for exterior scenes of the village, until a purpose-built set was built on the grounds of a stately home close to Leeds.
Hello, Nurse!: Fairly frequently in hospital scenes, in fact the extras are considered more attractive than the main actors (well, at least in the medical situations, but then again, this soap does not have any regular medico characters, so to speak, not as far as we know. Digital Spy, the Internet soaps directory does not mention this.
Overprotective Dad: Cain Dingle is a rather dark example of this. His protectiveness of his daughter has led to him to threaten and beat several men and even on one occasion hit her.
Parrot Exposition: When Val is revealed to have cataracts, every character who witnesses this repeats the word "cataracts" over and over again. Harry Hill had a lot of fun with this scene.
Please Select New City Name: The village of Beckindale was renamed to Emmerdale in 1994: in story this was to honour the residents of Emmerdale Farm killed in the plane crash; in the real world it was to avoid viewer confusion as the focus had broadened from the farm to the village.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Jack Sugden was hastily written out after actor Clive Hornby became ill, and the character was later killed off following Hornby's death.
If you're a streetlighting geek, like on this site, then look out for the various types of streetlight - it's a way to tell the current state of affairs for councils on location filming.
Serial Killer: Cameron Murray has (as of August 2013) killed three villagers (Carl by hitting him with a brick, Gennie by suffocation and Alex's murder was unseen) and admitted murdering another man in Jersey.
Soapland Christmas: The murder of Tom King on his wedding day (on Christmas Day) in 2006 is probably the most famous one.
Stage Whisper: Used all the time as characters discuss secrets barely an arms reach away from the person who shouldn't hear them - and doesn't.
Straight Gay: Aaron and Jackson; to a lesser extent, former characters Jason and Joe.
Smug Snake: Nathan Wylde's entire character was built around this.
Temporarily A Villain: Andy Sugden during his domestic abuse storyline. He's back to normal now, after the writers explained it all as depression.
Took a Level in Badass: Dan when he tries to sneak up on Cameron with a chair in the Woolpack hostage crisis. Unfortanutely Debbie alerts him to it.
Not long after, Marlon truly takes a level in badass in the final confrontation with Cameron.
Youngest Child Wins: Inverted with the King family - After their 2004 introduction, they've gradually all been killed off with the exception of Jimmy, the eldest child. The only other members of the King bloodline still alive are Jimmy & Carl's children, and half-sister Scarlett.