The Archers – October 2011

The big news this month in Ambridge is that Clive Horrobin is back. He’s getting much more attention in Ambridge Extra which returned in October (more on that later), but his appearance is reverberating around the whole village, in the main show as well.

I am aware of Clive’s work, but haven’t actually heard him in the show before, and he seems like a nasty chap even when he’s supposedly turning over a new leaf. Handily, however, there was gossip spreading around the village, and the new barman Rhys had all of Clive’s misdemeanours explained to him, so that those not in the know could be brought up to speed. Sneaky. Clearly we are not to trust him, and his hooking up with Matt immediately makes me very concerned. Who knows what scheme he has planned this time?

His main target, Christine Barford – a woman who’s name is scarily similar to my own – freaked out completely and could only be persuaded to remain in the village when man of the hour Jim turned up on her doorstep with a suitcase. “But people will talk!” she protested. Of course they will, this is Ambridge. They seem very good friends, indeed, so whether they are romantic or not, at least they are making each other happy.

The other two “victims” are Susan Carter, who is just in a general state of worry now, and Emma Grundy, who doesn’t try to hide the fact that just saying hello to her uncle gives her the shakes. She’s worried that George has picked up the burgler gene, especially when he steals one of Jake’s toys. They seem to have done a good job talking him out of it, but honestly, there’s nothing like Emma’s hysterics to prove to a child that what they’re doing is gaining attention.

She’s doubly miserable, of course, because Will and Super Nic announced their engagement. I’m glad that happened when it did. I know I have said before how good she is for Will and it’s nice to have some happiness for a change, but blimey, it was all getting a bit much. Hopefully now they can start going on about their January wedding instead of about how much they love each other.

Love is in the air, though, because over in Ambridge Extra, Daniel, or Dan as he now appears to be known, is falling for Erin. So far, Extra has focused on Desperate Dan and Convict Clive (that’s a superhero duo if ever I heard of them), and there’s very little happening really. Clive is doing some plumbing for Matt, and Dan is doing a geography project with Erin.

The real excitement with this new series of Extra is the style. Rather than extended Archers episodes, these have a fresh approach in which we can hear the character’s thoughts as they go about their day. I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of this, it was certainly very jarring at first, but I am getting used to it. I don’t begrudge the writers trying something new and the production is really well done, so I can’t fault it from that perspective. I just think that part of the charm of The Archers is wondering what on earth is going through these crazy villagers heads, and that has been taken away from us in Ambridge Extra this time out.

Still, we should make the most of the extra Ambridge time while we can as scriptwriter Keri Davies has cast a little bit of doubt over the future of the spin off series. As with most Archers things, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Some other bits and pieces:

  • Kenton and Jolene have finally moved in together, much to the consternation of the rest of the Archer clan. I did feel a bit sorry for Elizabeth, it must be odd to be all by herself. She hasn’t really had that since Nigel died, so it must be lonely.
  • Tony and Jennifer had an epic row. Jennifer is so lonely, she only went round to see him for company anyway, and they ended up airing some dirty laundry. She’s got some pretty weird principles, that Jennifer.
  • Debbie and Adam are also rowing. Adam does have a point as Debbie and Brian have gone completely over his head with it. Also, lovely Ian made something of a comeback this month too, yay!
  • Finally, Lynda has been going on about her Christmas Concert again. No panto this time, it’s some kind of around the world celebration. As ever, she’s struggling to get people interested. I’m amazed she has the perseverance every single year!