The resolution is the end

Published April 8, 2009

I just want to write a quick note about all this fuss over the Eastenders Danielle death thing.

I read what happened before I saw it because I am always miles behind, but I am now caught up. In fact, I even watched the extra programme on BBC3 that was behind the scenes of the whole story. I am that sad.

The problem seems to be that it’s not fair to kill off a popular character minutes away from a happy ending when we have all invested so much time in the storyline.

So, here are my thoughts:

  1. I didn’t realise she was that popular a character?
  2. When did Eastenders ever have a happy ending?
  3. Have you read what executive producer Diederick Santer has said about it?

The man speaks sense. To paraphrase, because I cannot find a direct quote - if you give a character what they most desire, that’s it, that’s their story over. Danielle and Ronnie, happily ever after. That’s not going to be fascinating to watch, is it? However, give it to them for a split second, then tear it away, now we have the story of her struggling to come to terms with it. That could affect her forever. There are so many more possibilities for the character now that I can’t believe the writers even considered doing anything but this. As a viewer, I appreciate them keeping the characters interesting. It may have been the oldest plot device in the book, but it worked.

And hey, like the promo always says, everybody’s talking about it.

Update: Here is an interview with Diederick.

Every time we imagined a scenario where there was an upbeat resolution, the magic was lost and it all became ordinary. Basically, it diminished both characters - Ronnie had been defined by the loss of her daughter when she was young. This was the only outcome which gave me goosebumps, too - and in the end, you have to listen to your instinct.

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