Killed Off!

What's not currently on the box
Mark
Committee
Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:26 am

Killed Off!

Post by Mark »

Nowadays, it's not unusual for characters in Soaps to be killed off, but there was a time when it was genuinely shocking.

There was Ian Sweet (Terence Edmond) in "Z-Cars", and years later, Danny Sparks (Mark Botham) in the final episode of "Juliet Bravo", Toby Wren ( Robert Powell) in "Doomwatch".

NIck Craig ( Michael Quinn) in "Ghost Squad", although his demise was not seen on screen, as the Actor had left before "G.S.5", again, years later and DI Richard Poole ( Ben Miller) was bumped off in "Death In Paradise" and his murder investigated by his successor.

Two companions in "Who", Katarina ( Adrienne Hill) and Sara Kingdom (Jean Marsh) met nasty ends, and once again, years later Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) was blown up on a space freighter.

Are there any others that stick in your mind?
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

TonyCurrie
625 lines
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:19 am

Re: Killed Off!

Post by TonyCurrie »

Yes - P.C. Bob Penny in "Dixon of Dock Green" was spectacularly killed off, in - IIRC - 1959. So memorable that I didn't need to look it up - I remember it.

brigham
HD
Posts: 1081
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by brigham »

The death of Toby Wren was the only event I could remember in Doomwatch , from the original broadcast.
PC Dixon, of course, was killed-off BEFORE he became a TV character. Probably a unique situation.

Brock
HD
Posts: 1565
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 am

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Brock »

The shooting of Ernest Bishop (Stephen Hancock) during a robbery in Coronation Street in 1978 is the one that sticks in my mind. Genuinely shocking at the time.

wittoner
625 lines
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:10 am

Re: Killed Off!

Post by wittoner »

Martha Longhurst being found dead in her seat in The snug of The Rovers Return in 1964 in the first soap characters death I can remember. Was this the first example of a soap character being killed off on British TV? It was certainly Coronation Street's first.

RoyT
405 lines
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:40 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by RoyT »

May Hardman was killed off in Episode 7 and Ida Barlow in September 1961.

Mark
Committee
Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:26 am

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Mark »

The Bob Penney one caused quite a stir at the time, good call though.

I remember the shock of Toby Wren, as well.

Although "Survivors" lived up to it's name with characters coming and going at a fair old lick, I still thought it was mistake when my fav character Greg got killed off ( by his own hand), shame that.

It was also quite sad when they bumped off Susan ( Louise Jameson) in " Bergerac".
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

User avatar
Doom Patrol
625 lines
Posts: 481
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:25 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Doom Patrol »

I always remember them killing off Valerie Barlow in Coronation Street particularly vividly. Well, I say vivid. You didn't actually see a lot. Just her grasping the exposed plug socket. I always thought it was a bit disappointing at the time. The papers were full of it, so I was expecting a little more. At least frazzled hair and smoke coming out of her ears.

Mark
Committee
Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:26 am

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Mark »

Doom Patrol wrote:I always remember them killing off Valerie Barlow in Coronation Street particularly vividly. Well, I say vivid. You didn't actually see a lot. Just her grasping the exposed plug socket. I always thought it was a bit disappointing at the time. The papers were full of it, so I was expecting a little more. At least frazzled hair and smoke coming out of her ears.
If it was now, half the Street would blow up!

A couple of Sit-Com examples have sprung to mind, poor ol' Victor Meldrew's demise at the hands of Hannah Gordon.

Also, the most bizarre of all...Doug Dynamo Digby (Brian Conley) in the first episode of the final series of "The Grimleys", skewered with a Javelin in the School Gym.!
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

wittoner
625 lines
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:10 am

Re: Killed Off!

Post by wittoner »

Most recent Sit Com death would be Wilson the dog in the last episode of "Friday Night Dinner" the other week!

TonyCurrie
625 lines
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:19 am

Re: Killed Off!

Post by TonyCurrie »

wittoner wrote:Martha Longhurst being found dead in her seat in The snug of The Rovers Return in 1964 in the first soap characters death I can remember. Was this the first example of a soap character being killed off on British TV? It was certainly Coronation Street's first.
...and IIRC the first example of rolling the end credits without any music?

TonyCurrie
625 lines
Posts: 147
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:19 am

Re: Killed Off!

Post by TonyCurrie »

In Episode 1, Part 1 of TAKE THE HIGH ROAD, Dougal's wife was killed off, giving the actress who played her - an old school friend of mine, as it happens, - one of the shortest soap careers in television history!

Kieran Seymour
405 lines
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:02 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Kieran Seymour »

The one that completely floored me, along with the rest of the audience, was Lisa Faulkner in Spooks. I had absolutely no idea she was only there for the first couple of episodes. And what a way to go!

And then there was the short-lived trend of killing off supposedly regular characters in the opening episode. Torchwood, Spooks: Code 9 and the re-make of Survivors all got in on the act.

Malcyb
405 lines
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:00 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Malcyb »

Remembering Valerie Barlow of course in Coronation Street from 1961 till 1971 was played by the fantastic Anne Reid of Dinner Ladies fame and Last Tango In Halifax.

Brock
HD
Posts: 1565
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:13 am

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Brock »

TonyCurrie wrote:In Episode 1, Part 1 of TAKE THE HIGH ROAD, Dougal's wife was killed off, giving the actress who played her - an old school friend of mine, as it happens, - one of the shortest soap careers in television history!
What about Johnnie Clayton, who played Reg Cox in EastEnders? His death began the entire series.

Mark
Committee
Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:26 am

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Mark »

What about Jacob Sugden...he never even got as far as the cameras!
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

Mark
Committee
Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:26 am

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Mark »

There was also Keith Barron in "The Foundation", managed the first episode.
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

SgtPepper
625 lines
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:37 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by SgtPepper »

It's not easy to be genuinely shocked these days as you generally know it's coming. But I was shocked over 35 years after the event. I spent nearly two years watching The Sullivans that original ran from mid 70's to early 80's. I had no idea of anything that had happened over the second half of the show having lost interest when I left school and then my region stopped showing it. I was very surprised (if not shocked) that Mrs Sullivan died only about halfway through the run, and that Mr Sullivan died at the end.

ITMA
405 lines
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:11 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by ITMA »

Brock wrote:The shooting of Ernest Bishop (Stephen Hancock) during a robbery in Coronation Street in 1978 is the one that sticks in my mind. Genuinely shocking at the time.
It was. I was 4 and a half and this episode was how I learnt about death. Very hard to understand "the hospital can't make him better".

User avatar
Focus II
625 lines
Posts: 170
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Focus II »

I remember watching in disbelief the first episode of Pipkins when they announced Mr Pipkin had died. As we know the actor who played Inigo Pipkin died in real life. A brave undertaking for a pre Schools programme rather than replace Inigo with another actor, hoping no one would notice.

User avatar
Focus II
625 lines
Posts: 170
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Focus II »

There was the Euston Films series Fox from the late '70s. The main character, played by the brilliant Peter Vaughan died in the second episode I think.

rosalyn
625 lines
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:51 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by rosalyn »

Focus II wrote:I remember watching in disbelief the first episode of Pipkins when they announced Mr Pipkin had died. As we know the actor who played Inigo Pipkin died in real life. A brave undertaking for a pre Schools programme rather than replace Inigo with another actor, hoping no one would notice.
I remember watching this, very vividly. I think it was Inigo's assistant Johnny, who announced it to viewers. Hadn't George Woodbridge begun work on the second series when he suddenly died? It must have left the production in a hole since Mr Pipkin was the central character. I admire the way they fronted up to the viewer, worked around the problem and continued, obviously not wanting to give up on the show.

I think also it was probably my realisation that people in life did actually die, and that it was final. Since we are talking in this thread mainly about regular characters being killed off, only to see the actor alive and well again in another programme or film thereafter, Mr Pipkin's death was the end of both character and the actor and we would never see him again. Perhaps a lot to comprehend for a small child?

Being an Australian TV fan I will chip in a couple of profound memories from film series made down under.

The death of Judy, in Seven Little Australians. This had me weeping buckets as she was a young teenager and not an old person, and she was my favourite character in it. It was shown in the BBC1 childrens' slot and I remember the announcer's unusual warning beforehand "this episode is very sad".

Another regular character who's sudden death shocked me was Roly in Chopper Squad. I never saw it coming and my memories of watching his friends, the helicopter rescue team, attempting a frantic but futile resuscitation aboard the copter, have stayed with me to this day.

Ronco
625 lines
Posts: 102
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:34 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Ronco »

Who can forget Gan in "Blakes 7"?

Cole
625 lines
Posts: 263
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:08 am

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Cole »

Kieran Seymour wrote:The one that completely floored me, along with the rest of the audience, was Lisa Faulkner in Spooks. I had absolutely no idea she was only there for the first couple of episodes. And what a way to go!
It's probably quicker to list the characters in Spooks that got to live!

The biggest shock for me was Adam Carter as there was a complete narrative disregard for his son, who had lost his mother the during the previous series. In fact the scene that tied off that loose end was cut from transmission and added to the DVD release as a extra.

User avatar
smorodina
405 lines
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:42 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by smorodina »

Patrick Mower as Cross in Callan was one that came as a surprise to me, but the character death that really shocked me as a young reader was Tina in the Agent 21 series in TV21.
Andy Hurwitz

User avatar
Simon Coward
D-MAC
Posts: 916
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:56 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Simon Coward »

Focus II wrote:There was the Euston Films series Fox from the late '70s. The main character, played by the brilliant Peter Vaughan died in the second episode I think.
Not quite that early, but he was gone before we'd got half-way through the series.

Edit: I was thinking the funeral was in episode seven, but it's in episode eight, so he was around for just over half the series.
We all have to eat a peck of dirt before we die.

fatcat
D-MAC
Posts: 847
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:02 am

Re: Killed Off!

Post by fatcat »

Watching Family at War on TP recently and how the grim reaper marks Jean's card in the episodes leading up to her death at the end of S2..that is about all I remember from the original screenings and don't remember S3 at all..

User avatar
stearn
Committee
Posts: 708
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:48 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by stearn »

Henry Blake in M*A*S*H was the first name that sprung to my mind when reading this thread.

User avatar
Simon Coward
D-MAC
Posts: 916
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:56 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by Simon Coward »

As he was killed near the start of the opening episode of the series which bears his name, Captain Scarlet must surely take some beating.
We all have to eat a peck of dirt before we die.

User avatar
stearn
Committee
Posts: 708
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:48 pm

Re: Killed Off!

Post by stearn »

Jeremiah Unsworth dies in the first ep of In Loving Memory, but I can't remember if you actually see him (and I can't find the DVD set at the moment to check). Wikipedia says Freddie Jones played Unsworth, but doesn't mention if it was in the Thames pilot or the Yorkshire series.

Post Reply