Brookside Guide.....Season Sixty Four.....

by the "Brookside Expert "

BROOKSIDE - SEASON SIXTY-FOUR (45 episodes)
[Episodes 2615-2659]

The episodes:

Episode 2615 (W 05-12-01 "Side-effects") Written by Heather Robson - Katie is furious about the court's decision, and vows to take action against Ron. Jimmy offers to help Nikki further with her research. Anthony overhears his parents discussing the bullying, and begins to blame himself. Mike wants Jacqui to help him out - or does he?

Episode 2616 (W 05-12-01 "Ornamentation") Written by David Young - Max buys new cars for himself and Jacqui, but Katie and a pot of paint are not far away. Anthony brings the house down in the school play, thanks to the bullies - but not in the way he hoped. Christy wants Diane to sell flip-flops in the salon, but she tells him to flip off. Mike refuses to go to see Ron.

Episode 2617 (F 07-12-01 "Not Helping") Written by Roy Boulter - Diane and Marty take matters into their own hands when the school fails to act against the bullying. Jacqui and Sammy forge an uneasy alliance in the hope of helping Katie. Christy shows Tim where he can find a second-hand kitchen and bathroom suite.

Episode 2618 (W 12-12-01 "Shouting Out") Written by Arthur Ellison - Jerome is asked to take on extra duties by his new boss. Rachel tells Jacqui where she can stick her job, then finds out from Mike that the court won't accept their loan repayment proposal. Katie doesn't appreciate Sammy sticking her nose in.

Episode 2619 (W 12-12-01 "Humiliated") Written by David Young - Sammy vows to stay around and get revenge on Jacqui in a bid to reconcile with Katie. When Steve fails to pick him up from school, Anthony suffers a humiliating ordeal. Nisha needs help with a plumbing problem. Nikki is amused when she finds out from Jessie what Jerome's new job is.

Episode 2620 (F 14-12-01 "Not Worth Falling Out") Written by Tom Higgins - Jimmy is alarmed by a brief(s) encounter with Emily, but has a solution in mind. Jacqui offers Rachel her job back - but Mike says she's not accepting it, as that would only lead to arguments. Sammy shocks Katie with her devious plan, and Tim and Christy plan their next job.

Episode 2621 (W 19-12-01 "On Standby") Written by Tom Higgins - Katie is swayed by Sammy's suggestions, and starts planning revenge on Jacqui by asking her on a night out. Jimmy wonders whether he has been brainwashed into thinking he needs medication. Christy puts Tim on standby, as their preparations gather pace. Diane and Marty argue over whether Anthony is abnormal.

Episode 2622 (Th 20-12-01 "Not How It Looks") Written by Sue Mooney and John Fay - In a special 76-minute episode, it looks as if some of the residents may be sharing a big bingo win, it looks as if Max has a lot of explaining to do when Jacqui catches him with a somewhat undressed Sammy, and it looks as if Tim's big job with Christy will be his last.......

Episode 2623 (F 21-12-01 "Concerned") Written by Maurice Bessman - Emily is distraught, but Jimmy advises her not to try to contact Tim. Leanne thinks Christy has left her. Nisha wants to know what little difficulties Sammy is having that make her want to stay with Katie, and Helen asks Jerome a few questions about Ray.

Episode 2624 (M 24-12-01 "Pining") Written by Carmel Morgan - On Christmas Day, a despondent visitor turns up at the Murrays', and Emily becomes increasingly convinced that Tim is never going to return. Jimmy is missing the missing, and questioning his need for medication. Sammy doesn't appreciate the perfect expensive present Nisha has bought for her.

Episode 2625 (W 26-12-01 "Waiting") Written by Barry Woodward - On Boxing Day, the Murrays dine at "The Shelf" - but not on dolphin. Jimmy has an ingenious festive solution when he receives a complaint about the old bath in his front garden. Christy returns to the bar with some bad news for Leanne, and worse news for Emily.

Episode 2626 (W 26-12-01 "Over-compensating") Written by John Fay - Tim wakes up in a hospital bad, and steals an ambulance to make his escape. Jacqui admires a "new" kitchen - and realises it came from her former flat. Max is not convinced that his new wife is coping with looking after the children. Despite Nikki's warnings, Jimmy decides to come off his medication.

Episode 2627 (W 02-01-02 "Scrapping") Written by Heather Robson - Max and Jacqui have their first proper row, as she feels that he doesn't believe she is as capable of looking after the children as his other wives. Christy and Leanne realise that they have no other option than to close the bar down. After Imelda is caught stealing and slapped by Adele, her mother makes a trip to number 9 to insult the Murrays.

Episode 2628 (Th 03-01-02 "Calling") Written by Roy Boulter and Arthur Ellison - In a special double-length episode, Anthony decides to stand up for himself against the bullies, but it leads to a punch-up on the Close when more of the Cloughs and their mates pay a visit. Jessie feels that her friendship with Brigid is becoming strained due to their disagreement over Ray's bingo win.

Episode 2629 (F 04-01-02 "Taking Control") Written by Maurice Bessman - Jimmy seeks advice from Dr Parr, but ignores his warnings in an effort to regain control of his life. Although Diane has made Anthony a promise, Marty insists that he must go back to school. Sammy wants a job interview, and plans to convince someone to give her one.

Episode 2630 (W 09-01-02 "Petrified") Written by David Young - Christy decides it's time for a sharp exit when Tim threatens to put him in hospital. Tim also convinces Anthony that violence may be the answer to his problems with the bullies. Sammy wants a job at the health club, and hopes that Sol will give her one.

Episode 2631 (Th 10-01-02 "Religious Education") Written by John Fay - Brigid confronts Diane and Marty over their decision to stop Anthony going to church. Jimmy tells Nikki that he has stopped taking his medication. While Katie and Louise bond, Sammy decides that she needs an employment contract, and asks Sol to give her one.

Episode 2632 (F 11-01-02 "Ancient History") Written by Maurice Bessman - A bombshell from the past, which he is totally unprepared for, is about to hit Ray. An educational welfare officer arrives on the Close, and discovers that no-one seems willing to give him any straight answers - but his threats to prosecute Marty and Diane make them reconsider their decision to keep Anthony off school.

Episode 2633 (W 16-01-02 "Is It You?") Written by Barry Woodward - Emily wants to build a water-feature in the garden, but Jimmy is adamant that he won't have another pond. Katie discovers why Sammy's husband is so fed up with her. An attempt to economise brings more misery for Mike and Rachel, and Ray confesses to Helen that her suspicions may well be correct.

Episode 2634 (Th 17-01-02 "Piecing Together") Written by Tom Higgins - When Nikki is suspicious of the woman she saw leaving the bungalow, Jerome advises her to ask Ray who she is. But Ray asks Helen not to reveal their secret to anyone else yet. Diane tries to keep calm at a meeting with the headmistress and the educational welfare officer aimed at reintegrating Anthony.

Episode 2635 (F 18-01-02 "Bridges") Written by Jan McVerry - Marty decides that it's time to make a man out of Anthony. Jessie finds out Ray's guilty secret, and doubts that things will ever be the same again. Jacqui returns from her holiday to find unexpected lodgers in her home - but she is much more annoyed when she discovers who Sol has hired in her absence.

Episode 2636 (W 23-01-02 "Candles") Written by Barry Woodward - Jessie isn't speaking to Ray, and Nikki's plan to help reconcile them goes dangerously wrong. Steve tries to make Anthony understand why he is being picked on. Max and Jacqui make Sol aware of how Sammy has conned him and why she is not welcome as an employee of the health club. Jimmy smells chemicals wherever he goes.

Episode 2637 (Th 24-01-02 "Everything's Gone") Written by Barry Woodward - Diane is horrified to discover that Steve risked his life to rescue Jessie and Ray from their burning bungalow. Then a hysterical Nikki realises that Jerome must be trapped in the bathroom....... Jacqui is determined to revoke Sammy's contract and remove her from her job without paying her anything.

Episode 2638 (F 25-01-02 "Payback Time") Written by Peter Cox - Jimmy is warned that he should immediately start to take his medication again. Sol tells Sammy what a difficult position she has put him in. Diane discovers that Anthony has taken down his crucifix, candles and posters. Jessie and Ray need to find somewhere to stay, and Bev is furious to discover the state of her bar - or, as it is now known, "Leanne's Lounge".......

Episode 2639 (W 30-01-02 "Trying To Convince") Written by Tom Higgins - After sacking Leanne, Bev breaks down in front of Jimmy, distressed that her business has been ruined. Katie feels that Sammy is taking advantage of her again. At school, Adele plans to go on a foreign holiday with her friends - but Anthony just feels as if he is walking round with a target on his back.

Episode 2640 (Th 31-01-02 "Grovelling") Written by Peter Cox - When Jacqui and Max come out of the shower, they find Ray soaking his feet in a basin downstairs. Bev tries to take steps to resolve a few matters, while Katie pleads the case for Sammy to be kept on at the health club - but will she be heeded? Nikki chooses Jimmy's shoulder to cry on, making Emily wonder what is going on.

Episode 2641 (F 01-02-02 "Forgive And Forget") Written by Maurice Bessman - Jacqui delegates the decision of whether to keep Sammy on to Sol, but makes it clear to her that any further contact is no longer welcome. Jimmy encourages Jessie to forgive and forget - but then she discovers that Ray has a photograph of Sylvia. Meanwhile, Tim has another cunning plan.......

Episode 2642 (W 06-02-02 "Priorities All Wrong") Written by Sue Mooney - Tim is convinced that he and Steve are going on to bigger and better things, but Steve wants to stay on the right side of the law. Jimmy tries to prepare himself for any eventuality, and Bev has a couple of willing volunteers. Ron tries to assure Jacqui and Mike that all that really matters is his family - but then Mike tells him what has been going on at home.......

Episode 2643 (Th 07-02-02 "Reading") Written by John Fay - Nikki begins to feel that she will have no option but to drop out of university. Ray is concerned when Jessie is determined that Helen should be invited to visit them both. Emily wants to practise her nail extensions on Tim. Marty and Diane desperately want Steve, Adele and Anthony to leave their bedroom so that they can get on with their.......reading.

Episode 2644 (F 08-02-02 "Unsettled") Written by Heather Robson - Jessie and Ray are beginning to get on Rachel's nerves, and when more secrets emerge during a visit from Helen, a shouting-match wakes Mike up. A reminder of Ron's impending release from prison drives Katie back to the bottle.

Episode 2645 (W 13-02-02 "The Grand Toss-off") Written by Roy Boulter - Sammy tries to sober Katie up. Jimmy decides to throw a pancake party - but Adele finds it boring. Lance returns to the bar, but not to work. Marty is in trouble when Diane discovers the truth about his insurance scam, and Nikki refuses to accept the £1,000 she needs from Emily.

Episode 2646 (Th 14-02-02 "Morality") Written by Arthur Ellison - Jessie accuses Helen of wanting Ray's money, which makes her reconsider whether she wants to continue trying to build a relationship with him. Anthony receives a Valentine's Card containing a threat. "Bev's Bar" reopens, and there are plenty of callers.......asking for directions to "The Shelf". Mike and Rachel have a more romantic evening alone than they expected.

Episode 2647 (F 15-02-02 "Inappropriate Behaviour") Written by Jan McVerry - Ray and Jessie argue bitterly over Helen. Adele tells Marty and Diane her holiday plans, and tries to convince them that her life isn't one long drunken orgy. Jacqui is disappointed that she and Max have different views on the importance of Valentine's Day. When Bev tells Jimmy she is lonely, he finds a way of cheering her up that involves the pool table.

Episode 2648 (W 20-02-02 "Not Part Of The Plan") Written by David Young - Max prepares for a night of passion with Jacqui, but she brings Katie over after finding her depressed on her birthday. After Nikki takes an interest in a students' demonstration against tuition fees, Jerome patiently waits for her to be released from the local police station. Marty and Diane think they have come up with a way of spoiling Adele's holiday plans.

Episode 2649 (Th 21-02-02 "Making A Point") Written by John Fay - When Adele winds Marty up by telling him everything she has been buying for her holiday, including a big box of condoms, he tells her to leave. Leanne carelessly chooses her moment to apologise to Bev - when she is cleaning the windows and has a bucket of water handy. Some people struggle not to see the funny side of Nikki ending up in police custody.

Episode 2650 (F 22-02-02 "One Of Those Days") Written by Patrea Smallacombe - Bev discovers that her bar has been trashed, and Jimmy points out that there is no sign of a break-in, so it must have been someone with a set of keys. Ray gets depressed that Helen wants nothing more to do with him, but Nikki gets Jerome to find out her address for him. Jacqui is finding it increasingly hard to cope with looking after the children, especially when they are doing things like flushing one of Max's shoes down the toilet.

Episode 2651 (W 27-02-02 "Fighting A Losing Battle") Written by Sue Mooney - Adele discovers that Leanne is her new boss at the garage, and when Bev finds out, a vicious fight breaks out just as Max is trying to pay for his petrol. Tim's promises prove hard for Steve to resist, but Jessie's actions leave Nikki feeling betrayed - and after waiting at Jimmy's for Ray to return home, Helen insists that he is not to have any further contact with Stephanie.

Episode 2652 (W 27-02-02 "Facials") Written by Arthur Ellison - Christy comes up with a poem to win Leanne back, and a plan to help her claim compensation for her facial injuries - he'll beat her up a little to make them look worse. Emily gives Tim an idea for his next criminal act, and relations between Jessie and Nikki deteriorate further when the insurance company won't pay out the full amount claimed for losses in the bungalow. Nisha tests Sammy's blood pressure, and advises her that she stands no chance with Sol or Gary.

Episode 2653 (F 01-03-02 "Peace Tokens") Written by Heather Robson - Ray receives a card from Kitty, but Jessie insists that she can wait until they resolve their disagreement with Nikki and Jerome over the insurance payout. Steve decides to go on a heist with Tim. Bev finds out that Leanne has contacted a solicitor, and appeals for Max for help - but he hasn't much to give, especially as he has been asked to give evidence as a witness to the altercation.

Episode 2654 (W 06-03-02 "Upping Sticks") Written by Carmel Morgan - Bev feels helpless as her bar goes up for sale, but Adele reveals that Leanne has been unable to obtain the letter she wanted from Gary. Jimmy decides that he wants to move away from Liverpool to live with Lindsey in Newcastle. Mike and Rachel's ability to repay their debts is assessed in court, Tim and Steve's plans begin to take shape, and Ray receives news that Kitty has died.

Episode 2655 (Th 07-03-02 "Creme De La Crime") Written by Peter Cox - In a special double-length episode, Steve and Tim are unable to prevent Jimmy from joining them on their heist and wrecking their chances of obtaining the loot they are seeking by going mad with a bulldozer. At his first school governors' meeting, Max meets a professional lady who reminds him of Patricia, and has a drink with her afterwards. Furious that Jessie won't help her and Jerome with their financial problems, Nikki reveals to Ray that her grandmother is much more wealthy than she has led him to believe.

Episode 2656 (F 08-03-02 "For Your Own Sake") Written by Patrea Smallacombe - Tim discovers that Jimmy has written an account of their bungled robbery and plans to post it on his website. When Jimmy has a manic moment, Emily warns Nikki to be careful around him - but she joins him in the room in which he has been locked up for his own safety, and finds that he is wanting cuddles, and more. Bev is taken aback by Mike and Rachel's offers of support.

Episode 2657 (W 13-03-02 "Stripping") Written by Tom Higgins - Jacqui finally admits defeat, and tells Max that she wants to go back to work. Emily worries that Tim's luck will run out one day. Leanne boasts that she has a star witness in her battle against Bev, not realising that he has been forbidden to say anything in her favour. Anthony suffers a worst humiliation than ever before at the hands of Imelda and Paige.

Episode 2658 (Th 14-03-02 "Natural Next Step") Written by John Fay - Bev thinks that things can't get any worse for her, but then a policeman arrives. Jimmy ends up in hospital after making an unsuccessful attempt to walk to Newcastle through the Mersey Tunnel. Jacqui offers Rachel a job as Emma and Harry's nanny. Helen is keen to trace her real mother, and Marty asks Max for help in getting the bullies expelled from the school.

Episode 2659 (F 15-03-02 "Exclusion") Written by David Young - Nikki decides to accept the money Emily offered her, but then discovers that it has now been spent, as Tim is determined to go legit. Katie experiences a frightening moment in the surgery, Rachel tells Mike she has agreed to work for Jacqui, there is a surprise for Max at Gary's flat-warming party, and it looks as if the bullies will be expelled at last.......

Although, for scheduling reasons, eight episodes (2615/2616, 2618/2619, 2625/2626 and 2651/2652) were originally broadcast in four 60-minute Wednesday timeslots, all were shown in their entirety, with complete opening and closing credits, instead of being edited into artificial double-length omnibus editions.

The cast:

RESIDENTS:
Nisha Batra - SUNETRA SARKER (2615-2617, 2619, 2623, 2624, 2629, 2652, 2653, 2655, 2659)
Helen Carey (formerly Hart) - KERRY PEERS (2622, 2623, 2632-2634, 2639, 2644, 2646, 2651, 2657, 2658)
Jimmy Corkhill - DEAN SULLIVAN (2615, 2618, 2620-2627, 2629, 2631-2633, 2635-2642, 2645-2651, 2654-2659)
William Corkhill - JACK MYTHEN (2631)
Ron Dixon - VINCE EARL (2616, 2634, 2642)
Mike Dixon - PAUL BYATT (2615, 2618-2621, 2624, 2629, 2633-2635, 2637, 2340, 2642, 2644, 2646, 2651, 2652, 2654-2659)
Rachel Dixon, formerly Wright (nee Jordache) - TIFFANY CHAPMAN (2616-2621, 2623-2627, 2629, 2633-2635, 2637, 2640, 2642-2644, 2646, 2647, 2654, 2656, 2658, 2659)
Beth Dixon (2615, 2618, 2623-2625, 2627, 2633, 2637, 2642, 2643, 2646, 2648 OOV, 2654, 2656)
Jacqui Dixon-Farnham (nee Dixon) - ALEXANDRA FLETCHER (2615-2627, 2629, 2635-2638, 2640-2642, 2644, 2646-2650, 2657-2659)
Max Farnham - STEVEN PINDER (2616, 2618, 2620-2627, 2635-2638, 2640, 2641, 2647, 2648, 2650, 2651, 2653, 2655, 2657-2659)
Harry Farnham (2615 OOV, 2617, 2623-2625, 2626 OOV, 2627, 2629, 2635 OOV, 2636, 2637, 2641, 2644, 2646, 2648 OOV, 2649, 2650, 2659)
Emma Farnham (2617, 2618 OOV, 2623-2625, 2626 OOV, 2627, 2629, 2635 OOV, 2636, 2637, 2641, 2644, 2646, 2648 OOV, 2649, 2650, 2659)
Jessie Hilton, formerly Shadwick - MARJI CAMPI (2615, 2618, 2619, 2622, 2624, 2625, 2628, 2631, 2635-2639, 2641-2644, 2646, 2647, 2651-2656, 2658)
Ray Hilton - KENNETH COPE (2616, 2618, 2619, 2622, 2624, 2628, 2632-2644, 2647, 2649-2658)
Jerome Johnson - LEON LOPEZ (2616, 2618, 2619, 2622-2624, 2628, 2632, 2634, 2636, 2637, 2640, 2645-2649, 2652, 2653, 2655)
Bev McLoughlin-Gonzales (nee McLoughlin) - SARAH WHITE (2638-2640, 2642, 2645-2654, 2656-2658)
Josh McLoughlin - ADAM McCOY (2638, 2651)
Brigid McKenna - MEG JOHNSON (2618, 2622, 2624, 2625, 2628, 2631, 2636, 2644, 2645)
Diane Murray (nee McKenna) - BERNIE NOLAN (2615-2617, 2619, 2621, 2623-2625, 2627-2632, 2634-2639, 2643-2650, 2657-2659)
Marty Murray - NEIL CAPLE (2615, 2617, 2619, 2621, 2623-2625, 2628-2632, 2634-2639, 2643, 2645-2650, 2657, 2658)
Steve Murray - STEVEN FLETCHER (2616, 2619, 2622, 2624, 2625, 2627-2630, 2632-2637, 2640-2642, 2646, 2648, 2650-2659)
Adele Murray - KATY LAMONT (2624, 2625, 2627-2630, 2637, 2639, 2643-2645, 2647-2649, 2651, 2654)
Anthony Murray - RAYMOND QUINN (2615, 2616, 2619, 2621, 2624, 2625, 2627-2632, 2635-2639, 2643, 2645, 2646, 2657, 2658 VT, 2659)
Christy Murray - GLYN PRITCHARD (2616, 2617, 2620-2622, 2625-2627, 2630, 2652, 2656)
Emily O'Leary (nee Shadwick) - JENNIFER ELLISON (2615, 2617, 2618, 2620, 2622-2629, 2633-2637, 2640, 2643-2646, 2652, 2654, 2656, 2657, 2659)
Tim "Tinhead" O'Leary - PHILIP OLIVIER (2615-2618, 2620-2623, 2626-2637, 2640-2646, 2648, 2651-2659)
Gabby Parr (nee Thaxter) - STEPHANIE CHAMBERS (2655, 2659)
Dr Gary Parr - BEN HULL (2629, 2638, 2653, 2655, 2659) [ Previously Nick (1503, 1504, 1505) ]
Lance Powell - MICKEY POPPINS (2645)
Leanne Powell - VICKIE GATES (2622-2627, 2630, 2639, 2649, 2651, 2652, 2654, 2657)
Katie Rogers - DIANE BURKE (2615, 2616, 2618-2626, 2629, 2631, 2633, 2639, 2640, 2642-2645, 2648, 2649, 2655, 2659)
Sammy Rogers, formerly Daniels (nee Rogers) - RACHAEL LINDSAY (2615, 2617-2624, 2629-2631, 2633, 2635, 2638, 2639, 2641, 2642, 2645, 2652)
Louise Daniels - KIMBERLEY BEER (2622-2624, 2629-2631, 2633, 2639, 2642, 2643)
Nikki Shadwick - SUZANNE COLLINS (2615, 2619-2622, 2624, 2626-2628, 2631-2637, 2642, 2643, 2645-2659)

RECURRING CHARACTERS:
Sol Bennett - DANNY LAWRENCE (2626, 2629-2632, 2636, 2638, 2641)
Imelda Clough - BILLIE CLEMENTS (2615, 2616, 2627, 2628, 2637, 2639, 2657)
Paige Howard - CHELSEA FARRELL (2616, 2628, 2637, 2639, 2657)
Becky Lewis - JENNY SCOTT (2622)
Mrs Jill Plummer - CAROLYN PICKLES (2617, 2634, 2658)
George West - MARK FLETCHER (2655)

NEW CHARACTERS PLAYED BY RETURNING PERFORMERS:
Mrs Jean Clough - ANNIE TYSON (2627) [ Mrs McGrath (552) ]
Keith, Police Officer - LAURENCE WILSON (2658) [ DSS Clerk (2013) ]

NEW CHARACTERS:
Stephanie Carey - ZARA TURNER (2650, 2657)
Kevin Clough - THOMAS RYDER (2628)
Paul Clough - NEIL BORG-OLIVIER (2628)
Tony Skipper - KEV SEED (2618)
Laura Stevens - ELIZABETH AVIS (2639, 2643, 2647, 2648)
Martin Wood - JAMIE SOMERS (2623 stand-in, 2628)
Douggie - MARK FOLAN DEASY (2654, 2655)

UNCREDITED CHARACTERS WITH NAMES:
Beryl, a school staff member (2617)
Eddie, a driver (2622)
Mr Hughes, a hungover patient (2655)
Jamie, an epileptic girl (2659)
Jamie's mother (2659)
Joe, a police officer (2658)
Natalie, on the same beauty course as Emily (2654)
Harold Oates, an elderly patient (2629)
Snowy, an old mate of Steve (2643)

The Magic Rabbits are seen again - on a widescreen television for the first time! - in episode 2649, watched by Harry and Emma.

There is incidental music in the last segment of the special extended episode 2622 - whose images, in its original Channel Four broadcast, were artificially "filmised" throughout - significantly reducing the realism of the action, and setting an unfortunate precedent for the remaining seasons. It was, however, possible for viewers to see how much better this episode would be without that effect as part of an omnibus edition shown the following weekend.

Four brief scenes towards the end of episode 2655 are all musically accompanied by excerpts from "Apache" by "The Shadows".

Towards the end of episode 2656, as Jimmy walks out of the Close, there are several very brief flashbacks of him doing likewise in episode 2437 - in which he later ended up on the school roof.

Anthony's uncredited appearance in episode 2658 is only on CCTV images of him in the school corridor, in a scene in which he was seen from another angle in episode 2657.

The storylines:

There are a few new arrivals in this season - Dr Gary Parr, his wife Gabby, and Helen Carey - an illegitimate daughter that Ray hasn't seen for nearly forty years. But he loses his mother, as Kitty passes away - and his marriage to Jessie becomes strained, as their home burns down. Luckily, there's room for them at Ron's, as he's spending a few months in prison - while Jacqui spends a few months discovering that being a full-time mother is not for her. But she begins to rebuild a friendship with Katie, and her marriage to Max survives an attempt by Sammy to wreck it. Bev returns, to discover that in her absence Leanne and Christy have completely wrecked her business - and financial problems also continue to affect Rachel and Mike, and cause Nikki to consider dropping out of university. Some of Tim's attempts to make money are more successful than others, while Jimmy's attempts to live without his medication lead to him being re-admitted to hospital, and Diane and Marty's attempts to reduce Anthony's reliance on his religion don't seem to reduce the amount of bullying he has to endure. Can they persuade his school to expel the bullies? And if they do, will this finally solve the problem?

The dates:

It is December in episode 2616; it is Christmas Day in episode 2624; and it is Boxing Day in episode 2625. It is New Year's Day in episode 2627; and, based on dialogue in episodes 2633, 2634 and 2635, it is Wednesday, Thursday and Friday respectively in these episodes. It is Sunday in episode 2636; it is still the same Sunday, then Monday, in episode 2637; and, based on dialogue in episodes 2637 and 2638, it is Tuesday in episode 2638. Based on dialogue in episode 2643, it is Friday in episode 2644; and it is Pancake Tuesday in episode 2645. It is Valentine's Day, and four years since the opening of "Bar Brookie" [see "Goofs" below], in episode 2646; and, based on dialogue in episodes 2646, 2647, 2648 and 2649, it is 15th February in episode 2647, it is 16th February in episode 2648, and it is 17th February in episode 2649 - but it also seems to be 21st February [see "Goofs" below]; and it is 1st March, and two years ago today that Bev took over the bar, in episode 2653.

Name-checks:

[Tony] Blair (2615); "Robin Hood" / "Robin of Loxley" (2616); "Maid Marian" (2616); "Tony Soprano" (2616) / "The Sopranos" (2641); "Scrooge" (2619); "Casanova" (2620); Brad Pitt (2621, 2635); Britney Spears (2621); Bing Crosby (2622); "It's A Wonderful Life" (2622); Rockefeller (2622); "St Trinian's" (2623); "Snow White" (2623); Nicholas Parsons (2624); "Queen" [rock group] (2624); Bobby Moore [expression] (2624); "Jekyll and Hyde" (2624); "Tilly" [Mint] (2624); Florence Nightingale (2624); Kate Bush (2625, 2627, 2649); "Big Brother" (2626, 2643); "Little and Large" (2627); "Half Man Half Biscuit" [indie musicians] (2628); Des O'Connor (2629); "An American Werewolf In London" (2629); Al Capone (2630); Joseph Stalin (2631); "Batman" (2632); "Winnie the Pooh" (2632); George Best (2635); Buddha (2638); "Nostradamus" (2641); Marilyn Monroe (2641); Rocky Marciano (2642); "Dr. Seuss" (2643); Cilla Black (2644); the Queen (2644, 2659); "Coco the Clown" (2644); "Judas" (2645); Anne Robinson (2648); Yoko [Ono] (2648); [Mike] "Tyson" (2652); Madonna (2653); "The Princess and the Pea" (2653); Kevin Keegan (2654); "Old Mother Hubbard" (2654); Bernard Manning (2654); "The Bill" (2654); John Bull [printing kit maker] (2654); Hitler (2654); "Captain Mainwaring" (2655); Dixie Dean [Everton footballer] (2655); "Bob the Builder" (2656); "Willy Wonka" (2656); Scott of the "Antarctica" (2658); Roald Amundsen (2658); Chairman Mao (2658); "Ant and Dec" (2658); and "Flash Harry" (2659).

Locations:

All of the action in this season takes place in or near Liverpool.

Births:

None. Diane recalls losing a baby a year ago in episode 2627. and Ray recalls standing with Renee on the corner of Green Lane when she told him she was pregnant - with a baby she ultimately never had - shortly before Sylvia, who he was seeing occasionally, also became pregnant (2634) [See "Goofs" below].

It is Josh's birthday in episode 2624; Anthony says it is his birthday on Saturday in episode 2625 [but see "Goofs" below]; it is Beth's birthday in episode 2627; it is Katie's birthday, which is "soon" in episode 2645, in episode 2649, in episode 2648 - and we are told in episode 2649 that she was "26 yesterday". It isn't Ray's birthday in episode 2653, but it is Rachel's birthday - also mentioned in episodes 2655 and 2659 - "next week" in episode 2658.

We are also told that Adele is 16 (2618, 2625, 2645); the never-to-be-seen Richard [Rogers] is older than Max (2620); there is a 19-year age gap between Max and Jacqui (2622); Emma is 2 (2622); Harry is 3 (2622); Louise is 10 (2622, 2625, 2642); Tim is 20 (2626); Anthony is 12 (2631, 2632) / "nearly a teenager" (2644); Wills is 4 (2631); Helen was born in 1961 (2633, 2642); Ray is 68 (2644); Jimmy is 50 (2645, 2651); Stephanie is 12 (2650); Josh is 8 (2651); Steve is 21 (2653); and Mike is "nearly 30" (2657).

Marriages:

None. It is Ray and Jessie's wedding anniversary in episode 2628; we are told that Max and Jacqui have been married for three months (2622 ); and we hear that Sammy and Richard have been married - although not necessarily legally - for five years (2624). Although Ray is never specific about how long he was married to Renee, there are various indications, explained more fully in "Goofs" below, that it was for longer that he has previously suggested.

Deaths:

One - Kitty Hilton dies in episode 2654, following a stroke. Her death was "last week" in episode 2657, and it is her funeral in episode 2658. Max recalls [incorrectly - see "Goofs" below] that Susannah died on November 5th last year in episode 2620. Unseen dead characters who are mentioned are Nikki's friend Bernie [Connor]'s father, who died recently (2615); Ray's first wife (2646) / Renee (2619, 2622, 2634, 2635, 2636, 2637, 2638, 2639, 2640, 2641, 2644, 2655), who died two years ago (2655); Tim's father (2628); June Hart (2633) / June (2634, 2644), Helen's adoptive mother (2657), who died last August (2633); Renee's parents (2634); Helen's adoptive father (2639, 2657); Jerome's father (2640, 2649, 2653); "Tommy Mac", Jessie's lover before she married [see "Goofs" below] (2642); Marty's father (2649); Bev's father, who worked in a factory (2653); and Franky, Jimmy's older brother (2658).

Toilet visits:

Emily (2622 and 2635); Becky (2622); Anthony (2628, 2643 - ON the toilet); Louise (2629); Sammy (2633); Steve (2633); Tim (2634); Jimmy (2636); Marty (2638, twice); Katie (2448); and Jacqui (2650). Diane intends to go in episode 2650, but changes her mind when she finds that there is no toilet paper.

Characters mentioned, so far unseen, but who will be appearing later:

Lyn (2631), Sol's wife (2631, 2652); and Sylvia Morgan (2633) / Sylvia (2634, 2636, 2638, 2639, 2644, 2657, 2658), Helen's real mother.

Gone but not forgotten - seen previously and still mentioned occasionally, but not reappearing in this season:


Anthea (2615, 2616, 2617, 2623, 2624, 2642); Joanne (2615, 2631); Clint (2615, 2617, 2618, 2619, 2621, 2622, 2623, 2624, 2629, 2640, 2644, 2645, 2648, 2656) / Robbie Moffat (2617) / the Moffats (2618) / Clint's family (2624) / Clint's mother (2629); Bernie (2615); Jackie (2615, 2624, 2646, 2651, 2654, 2656); Megan (2616); Susannah / Susannah Farnham (2617, 2618, 2619, 2620, 2622, 2626, 2627, 2628, 2650 / 2636); Ian Leigh (2619); Katrina / Trina (2619 / 2625, 2628, 2651); Beth [Jordache] (2620); Lindsey (2620, 2622, 2624, 2625, 2638, 2650, 2651, 2654, 2655, 2656, 2657); Kylie (2620, 2622, 2625, 2638, 2654); the Musgroves / Luke Musgrove (2621 / 2622); that Neil (2621); Nathan (2622); Mick Johnson (2622, 2653); Lance and Leanne's mother (2624); Margi (2624); Mel (2624); Darren (2626); Patricia (2627, 2650, 2655, 2657, 2659); Sinbad (2628, 2659); Ben (2628); Kitty (2628, 2653, 2654, 2655, 2656); [Ka]Trina's father (2628); Linda, salon employee (2629); Danny Simpson (2630); Father Pat (2631); the Pope (2636); Jason (2637, 2641, 2643, 2657); Michelle (2639, 2647); Dave (2640, 2645); Greg (2641); that Jordache fellow (2645); Fred (2645); Faye (2650); Bernard (2653, 2658); Leo (2653); Tony (2655); and Joey Godden (2655).

And those that are also mentioned, but are destined to remain unseen forever:

Chelsea, a mate of Becky (2615); Bernie's mother (2615); Richard [Rogers] (2617, 2619, 2620, 2622, 2623, 2624, 2629, 2630, 2631, 2633, 2639, 2643, 2645, 2652); Mrs Roberts (2618), Mrs Symes (2646) and the McCrackens (2654), "Great Grannies" customers; Miss Needham (2618) and Tom Lister (2629), walk-in centre patients; Maisie Crockett, salon customer (2620); Micky, a mate of Christy (2622); Fairhurst, a low-life who stole Ron's phonecard in prison (2624) [see "Moments" below]; Tony Murgatroyd, an offside footballer (2625); Jacko, who was on remand with Tim (2628); Sheila, former receptionist at the health club (2629); Maxine, health club employee (2631); Danny Nolan, for work on whose car Steve needs to do an estimate (2632); Alan, June's husband (2633); Charlie West, who Ray claimed he was with while actually seeing Helen (2635); Norman, a bingo caller with flu (2636); Nick, the lawyer for the restaurant (2637); Sol's daughter (2638); Bert, head caretaker (2639, 2643); Helen's husband (2639); Angela Patrick, a mate of Adele (2639); Laura's cousin (2639); Laura's mother (2639, 2647, 2648); Laura's father (2639); Thomas Ross, a pupil who bruised Anthony by kicking a ball at him (2646); Stacy, a friend of Adele and Laura in whose name their holiday is booked (2647); Michelle's mother (2647); Diane's father (2649); Mrs Dawson (2653, 2655), walk-in centre senior receptionist, who is leaving for six months for surgery and recuperation; Dr Finn, Gary's colleague at the walk-in centre (2653); Becky's nan, who has angina (2654); Mrs Plummer's father, who is poorly (2655); Gary's father, also a doctor (2655); Jean, Bernard's wife (2658); and Mrs Rammidge, Anthony's geography teacher (2659).

Goofs:

Unfortunately, several characters seem to have developed poor memories in this season. In episode 2620, Max tells Sammy that Susannah died on "November 5th" last year - but at the time it was clear that she died on Friday 3rd November. In episode 2625, Anthony claims that his birthday is "not until Saturday"- but, as it was revealed to be on New Year's Eve last year, he means "not until next Monday". In episode 2642, Jessie refers to her former lover as "Tommy Mac" - but in several previous mentions he has always been "Tony Fitz". In episode 2645, Anthony refers to Brigid as "Nan", rather than "Nin", at one point. In episode 2646, Jacqui recalls that it was four years ago that "Bar Brookie" opened - actually it was five years ago, on Valentine's Day 1997! And in episode 2655, George refers to his wife as "Julie" - although, when we previously met her, her name was "Julia" !

It would also appear that Ray was slightly underestimating the length of his marriage to Renee as "thirty-odd" years on the only occasion prior to this season in which he mentioned it, in episode 2378. Based on various - consistent - references to Renee, his affair with Sylvia, and the birth of Helen, throughout the season, it now becomes clear that he was married to his first wife for in excess of 40 years. Poor fellow. Similarly, his recollection of when Renee once briefly became pregnant in episode 2634 indicates that in episode 2364 he also miscalculated the age that child would have then reached if born.

Although there are other clear indications that episodes 2646, 2647, 2648 and 2649 are set on consecutive days, starting with 14th February, Katie's declaration in the last of these episodes that April 5th is "six weeks and two days away" would imply that it is then 21st February rather than 17th February - or maybe she miscalculated too!

In episode 2615, Katie's last word should surely be "deserts" - "Maybe there's a chance that Ron'll get his just deserves."; in episode 2626, the postcode Jimmy gives Jacqui as part of Lindsey's new address in Blaydon is BN32 4QL - but Blaydon is in the Newcastle-upon-Tyne postal region, so its postcode should begin with NE; in episode 2658, Tim replaces "how" with "though": "Seeing as though you're not interested in a partnership, I might get me own van."; and in episode 2659, Diane changes an "A" to an "R": "Oh, he was buzzing when he came in - got picked straight away for the football teRm at Games.".

Trivia:

Katie and Jacqui have been mates "since first year seniors" (2622). In episode 2645, Katie elaborates just a little on what she had seen written on Jacqui's "2002 Year Planner" in episode 2644: "Thursday 4th, Harry's dentist's appointment - Friday 5th, cold-blooded killer released from jail". Jacqui's notes on these dates in April were actually "H - Dentist" and "Dad Home", and are seen again in episodes 2649 and 2659. Louise sings "Tragedy" with Katie, before realising it is inappropriate (2631). The school she has been attending, and to which she won't be returning, is "Ravenspeak" (2626, 2636); and the school Anthony, who is in Year Eight (2655), previously went to was "Rodney Bennett" - evidently not quite as "Blessed" as it used to be (2631). A cartoon in a comic he is seen reading in episode 2632 is "Brain Duane"; Marty gets him a football shirt bearing the name "GERRARD" and the number 17 (2635); and he is made to play in goal for the opposing team - "John Lawson" - enabling one of his schoolmates to kick a ball at him (2646). Brigid came to Liverpool in the 1960's (2631); Steve, who buys a car for £620 (2643), stopped going to mass when he was 9 (2636); the author of the book Diane, then Marty, is seen with in episode 2643 is Louis De Bernieres; and the book Diane is holding when the children all arrive in the bedroom is entitled "DALGLISH: My Autobiography". A book seen in the new kitchen drawer at number 10 is "Sigmund Freud - Introductory Lectures" (2626).

In episode 2642, Nikki receives a letter dated 4th February 2002 from Joel Crawford, assistant manager of Pixel Video, 14-16 Bench Street, Manor Park, Liverpool, informing her that she has had one of their copies of "Bad Cop", hired on 16th January, for at least three weeks now, so she owes them a total of £43.50 in fines. She receives another letter from the same firm, bearing the same date, but from Joe Crawford, in episode 2652. The police station in which she is briefly held is in Blauclair Drive, L1 (2648); Leanne calls for an ambulance from Hayward Road (2652); and the address of Martin Woods, visited by Tim and Emily, is 6 Sheldrake Avenue, Heswall (2628). They have made love in 17 different places (2625), but decide not to add the milk float bearing the insignia "HD" and the name "Harrison's Dairies", on which they hitch a lift (2628). A similar milk float is seen on the Close in episode 2641. Tim finds a magazine in the glove compartment of Christy's van which includes a phone-sex advert consisting of the words "CALL ME NOW: I'M WAITING", the number 0801 789 789, and a topless photograph of Emily (2622), who claims that she put up a kitchen extension when she was 14 (2633).

According to Jessie, Bernard and the unseen Jean now live in Southampton (2658). She and Ray receive a letter from their insurers, "Liverpool Mercantile Insurance", whose telephone number is 0151 496 4960, offering them a settlement of £19,000, which is less than they claimed (2652). Jerome's portion of the claim was for £7,335 (2653), but Jessie is only willing to offer him £700, even though Nikki reveals that she has £20,000 of shares (2655). Ray, who wins £3,024 at the bingo (2622), used to work at the Ford plant in Tuebrook (2633), and once served 30 days of a 56-day sentence in Malaya for wrecking the corporals' mess and fighting with soldiers from his own side (2649). Helen lives at 15 Digmont Road, L9 (2650), recalls her adoptive mother nearly setting the house on fire when she was three (2644), and arranges to meet Ray in the "Black Bull", near Manor Park library (2633) - the same pub involved in Tim's scams (2621, 2622, 2634, 2635). Marty has gone down to the "Harvesters' pub (2659), and "J.R.'s" is mentioned by the policeman as the bar that might be owned by Bev, in an attempt to discover more information that might enable him to track her down and establish Jimmy's identity (2658). According to Jimmy - whose weight, on the scales we see at the beginning of episode 2627, is 13 stone - he had an uncle who was deaf (2659), Jackie hated the rock group "Queen" (2624), and Lindsey's new address is 35 Inglemere Road, Blaydon, Newcastle, BN32 4QL [but see "Goofs" above] (2626).

Lance is now a trainee maitre d' in a hotel off Penny Lane (2645) - through which Tim and Steve are seen driving as they pursue Douggie (2654) - and Nisha is training to be a Nurse Prescriber (2653). Gary is originally from Manchester, but did his medical training in Liverpool (2653). Gabby is a "property consultant" (2658) at Merseyside Regional Marketing Board (2655). Max and George used to play cricket together (2655). The name AESOP-NEEMS and a mobile telephone number ending 570 980 appear of the van of Bev's locksmith (2653); the name HOLFORD & ALLAN and the telephone number 0151 269 2426 appear on the "For Sale" sign erected on "Bev's Bar" (2654); and "Walk-in centre - 0151 496 3157" and "Patricia Wilson - 0151 4964113" are on the "W" page of a personal telephone directory consulted by Sammy (2618), whose husband Richard owns a string of hotels (2622), ran a hotel in the Seychelles with her (2630), and is Polish (2622).

Beth's passbook for her "Special Saver" account with the Merseyside and Widnes Building Society is seen again (2624); so is a "Fletcher's" for sale sign, with the telephone number 0151 629 1876, on the Parade (2619, 2654); as is the address IONA AVENUE, LIVERPOOL L70 4UQ, on the back of another "Mersey Mover" bus (2632). The Richard Diebenkorn art previously seen in one of the flats is now at number 9, Brookside Close (2659); and there are ABBA and Kate Bush posters on Adele's bedroom wall (2638, 2644). Nikki (2615, 2622, 2636), Nisha (2617), Max (2620, 2651, 2655), Ray (2622), Brigid (2622, 2631), Jessie (2622, 2628, 2642), Emily (2622), Becky (2622), Sol (2626, 2629), Leanne (2626), Paige (2628), Anthony (2631), Sammy (2635), Rachel (2637), Gary (2638) and Tim (2641) are all right-handed, whereas Mike (2621) and Christy (2627) are left-handed.

"Blink-and-you-miss it" moments:

In episode 2622, we briefly see on-screen a topless photograph of Emily in an advertisement Tim finds in one of Christy's magazines - but his thumb is covering her bare breasts!

In episode 2624, Ron mentions another prisoner who has just been released - "Fairhurst", a low-life who stole his phonecard. There must be a possibility that this was Harvey Fairhurst, suspected of the rape of Nikki Shadwick a couple of years earlier.......

In episode 2626, it becomes clear that Leanne has watched the Channel Four series "Big Brother", as she does a passable impression of the show's Geordie commentator, Marcus Bentley: "Christy and Leanne have failed this week's task. They have only £483 to spend on booze.".

The end-of-season cliffhanger:

Steve comes home to find that Marty is out at the pub, but Diane has had good news - Anthony has got on well at school for once. He was picked straight away at Games, and other lads thanked him for getting rid of Imelda - apparently they were also relieved that she had been excluded. Steve wonders why the school doesn't just kick her out now - but Diane assures him that they are planning to do just that. From what has been said, Imelda will be coming back for a few days while they work through their procedures, then she will be excluded permanently - so hopefully this whole nightmare will finally be over for the Murrays.......

Season Sixty Five.......