Brookside Guide.....Season Seventy.....

by the "Brookside Expert "

BROOKSIDE - SEASON SEVENTY (42 episodes, plus video/DVD release "Unfinished Business")
[Episodes 2874-2915]

The episodes:

Episode 2874 (T 05-08-03 "Gladys's Things") Written by Roy Boulter - Tim and Steve feel that they must undertake another job for Hookey - the clearance of a dead woman's belongings. But they are interrupted by a next-door neighbour, alleging that the woman's niece mistreated her. Tim fancies the girl, but Steve is not convinced that she is to be believed.

Episode 2875 (T 05-08-03 "Gladys's Will") Written by Roy Boulter - Kirsty doesn't want to stay at home to go through her mother's things, so Steve, wondering if Tim will be able to keep his mind on the house clearance job, invites her to join them. But Gladys's niece is not pleased, especially when she discovers that she has been left nothing in her aunt's will. Abby suspects, however, that Gladys may have hidden her money somewhere in the house.

Episode 2876 (T 05-08-03 "Gladys's Money") Written by Roy Boulter - Kirsty, Abby, Timmy and Stevie must solve the mystery of the missing money, and prevent Moaning Joan, the nasty niece, from getting her hands on it. But they are not going to be able to save the day without a little help from the ghost of Gladys.

Episode 2877 (T 12-08-03 "Portable Bog") Written by Carol Cullington - Ruth is surprised to find that Ali and Stuart have gone out early in the morning, and even more surprised when she discovers what they have stolen and brought home. She decides to give them the family allowance money they ask for, but tells them that unless they pay for their board and food they will have to sleep in the garden. So a tent goes up.......

Episode 2878 (T 12-08-03 "Robbing A Bog") Written by Carol Cullington - Luke wrecks Ali's attempt to steal sausages from the kitchen, while Sean sees the irony in Ruth having two brothers in the garden wanting to come in, and a sister inside wanting to leave. Jimmy catches Ali and Stuart attempting to steal the Farnhams' toilet, then has to make his escape with them because Ruth has called out the police.

Episode 2879 (T 12-08-03 "New Bog") Written by Carol Cullington - Kirsty wonders whether all men are as deceitful as her father, Ali spents the last of his money on drink, and Ruth decides that it is time that she did something to address Stuart's toilet problem. Then the girls discover that they will need a favour from Jimmy, because something has disappeared from the bathroom.......

Episode 2880 (T 19-08-03 "Hurting") Written by Maurice Bessman - While Josh is keen to find out about sexually transmitted diseases and wind, Ron encourages Mike to go and see Rachel. However, she believes they should split up, she has already spoken to a solicitor, and she is resigned to being a single mother. Will sending Jan round to try to convince her that nothing happened between her and Mike help to change her mind?

Episode 2881 (T 19-08-03 "Divorcing") Written by Maurice Bessman - Josh wants to get an allotment so that he can invent a new rose for Bev, but bringing manure into the house might not help to persuade Ron that he is serious. Mike goes to make his peace with Rachel, but finds the house empty. By following her, he discovers that she has moved to a council flat, and is more intent on divorcing him.

Episode 2882 (T 19-08-03 "Consulting") Written by Maurice Bessman - Rachel is admitted to hospital, and Mike isn't going anywhere until he is sure that she is all right. But will she think again about their future together? Christy is wanting to borrow money from Marty for a stag night, as he and Leanne are getting married - but Marty is not sure that his brother is doing the right thing.

Episode 2883 (T 26-08-03 "Not Coming") Written by Barry Woodward - Christy is preparing for a small, low-key wedding to Leanne - but there are going to be even fewer people at the registry office than he anticipates. Adele goes to find out her "A" level results - and Marty, about to start a new job, worries that if they are good, she will want to leave home to go to university.

Episode 2884 (T 26-08-03 "Not Well") Written by Barry Woodward - Adele doesn't want the Murrays to move to Leeds so that she can still live at home when she goes to university. When Marty comes home in the morning, he finds Christy drinking - and wonders why Jan didn't stop him. . But Christy wants Lance to tell Leanne something important that she doesn't know - he is dying of leukaemia.

Episode 2885 (T 26-08-03 "Not Really Ill") Written by Barry Woodward - Brigid has made a collection for Christy, and Adele offers him her share of Diane's insurance money. But, although he persuades both Marty and Adele to re-think their plans regarding her going to university, Christy feels that he has achieved nothing over the years, admits that he has lied to everyone, and plans to commit suicide.

Episode 2886 (T 02-09-03 "Pumping") Written by Judith Clucas - Nic is disappointed that he and Katie never seem to be able to find time to talk, sleep together, or have a night out, because Sophie is always crying and Sammy is always poking her nose in. He buys a breast pump so that they can go out for a meal for once, leaving Nikki to baby-sit. However, someone from Katie's past turns up at the restaurant, and Nikki has more bad news for them.

Episode 2887 (T 02-09-03 "Stretching") Written by Judith Clucas - Nic gets a baby monitor for Katie, so that she can hear Sophie burp and fart from anywhere. But she regrets taking a break from Sophie to spend time with him, and he begins to feel that working on their new home is all he is good for - then discovers that she has apparently obtained another set of the DNA test results. Jimmy notices that a security camera has appeared on the Close, and Josh convinces Ron to think again about selling to Cinerco.

Episode 2888 (T 02-09-03 "Clearing") Written by Judith Clucas - When Nic confronts her, Katie believes that he is just looking for a reason to leave. Sammy is forced to admit that she obtained the copy of the DNA test results, and Katie can't believe that her sister put her relationship with Nic at risk just to satisfy her curiosity, probably because she has never had as good a relationship with anyone herself. But will she put the pair out of their misery?

Episode 2889 (T 09-09-03 "Coming") Written by Heather Robson - Stuart is keen to beat Ali and Tommo in a race to lose their virginity, but wearing aftershave that smells like disinfectant may spoil his chances, leaving the way clear for Ali....... Ruth asks Sean to have a word with Ali to try to convince him not to move out - but perhaps it is Sean that she needs more. [ Includes sex scenes and sexually explicit language ]

Episode 2890 (T 09-09-03 "Taking") Written by Heather Robson - Ruth insists that Stuart cleans up the mess in the garden. Ali urgently needs to find a condom, but discovers the one he had earlier is already in use elsewhere. Kirsty tells Steve she is not ready to have sex yet. But 16-year-old Stella is - and then alleges that she has been raped. The lad accused panics and runs, and needs to be found....... [ Includes sex scenes ]

Episode 2891 (T 09-09-03 "Telling") Written by Heather Robson - Sean's actions remind Ruth of why she originally loved him, and she tries to convince him to stay around. But he still wants to be with Nikki, who thinks Kirsty ought to consider the possibility that Stella is telling the truth. When Kirsty talks to Stella about her own experiences, Stella admits that she was not raped. But will she retract what she has told her mother and the police?

Episode 2892 (T 16-09-03 "Bonding") Written by Maurice Bessman - Josh wants a Viking sword, and is keen to have Mike as a father - but Mike's mind is on other things, and Ron thinks he is being too harsh on Josh. Jimmy tells Nikki he has enlisted Margi's help with his campaign against Cinerco, and holds a barbecue to foster community spirit. Sean is in for a tough time as he tries to get himself back in Nikki's good books.

Episode 2893 (T 16-09-03 "Blocking") Written by Maurice Bessman - Josh has a temperature, and Bev is worried. The doctor prescribes steroids, and Mike wants to follow her advice - but Ron supports Bev's opinion that they should only use them as a last resort. Rachel is concerned that the DSS will catch her and Mike out if he spends too much time at her flat. There is a proposal of marriage on the Close - but from whom?

Episode 2894 (T 16-09-03 "Marrying") Written by Maurice Bessman - When she discovers that Katie has asked Jacqui to be matron of honour at her wedding, Sammy wonders if her sister was even going to invite her to be there. Josh feels that Mike never has any time for him, and thinks that Bev and Ron will also ignore him if they get married and have other children. Could the solution be for Ron to adopt him and become his father?

Episode 2895 (T 23-09-03 "Controlling") Written by Peter Cox - Bev and Ron discover that they need Mike's approval in order to adopt Josh. Mike is nervous about facing a class of pupils for the first time in his teacher-training, and Jimmy offers him some advice. But when he returns to the flat and suspects that Christy is doing more with Rachel than teaching her to drive, it looks as if his marriage is over.

Episode 2896 (T 23-09-03 "Feeling") Written by Peter Cox or Judith Clucas - Rachel tells Christy that she and Mike are finished, as he doesn't want her to better herself. Christy is horrified to hear that Mike almost ran away with Jan, but promises not to tell Marty. While Mike finds it difficult to concentrate on his teaching, painful memories are reawakened for Rachel when she finds Jimmy digging up his patio.

Episode 2897 (T 23-09-03 "Passing") Written by Judith Clucas - Mike tries to tell Rachel how he is feeling, but she would prefer to revise for her driving theory test, and is determined that he will not mess up anything else for her. While Mike is appalled to discover Bev and Ron's adoption plans, Rachel confides in Christy about the abuse she has suffered in the past.

Episode 2898 (T 30-09-03 "Stressing") Written by Heather Robson - Katie and Nic try to sort out their wedding plans, and Katie feels depressed that she has only a few friends to invite, while Nic has dozens. Hearing that Jessie and Ray are now intent on selling the bungalow as soon as possible, Sean invites Nikki to move in with him. But it's a commitment that she isn't ready for - and, irritated by Ruth's jealousy, she tells him they are finished.

Episode 2899 (T 30-09-03 "Encouraging") Written by Heather Robson - Sean blames Ruth for Nikki breaking up with him, and, following well-intentioned advice from others, his attempts to win her back become increasingly unsuccessful. When she finally finds him collecting her underwear for a surprise trip to Paris, she panics and seeks shelter at Jimmy's. Sean feels like a failure - and there happens to be one nearby, ready and willing to throw herself at him.......

Episode 2900 (T 30-09-03 "Relying") Written by Heather Robson - When Sean falls off his ladder, suffering concussion and a broken arm, Ruth agrees to let him move in to recuperate. Although she is not impressed to hear that he was apparently beginning to work his way through all the ladies of the Close, soon she is remembering the good times, and even considers postponing a hot date with an imaginary boyfriend to stay in with him. Sammy has a peace offering for Katie, but will she accept it? Let's hope so, as it's the last time we'll see them!

Episode 2901 (T 07-10-03 "Beginning") Written by David Hanson (and Carol Cullington?) - Margi is due to arrive at the airport, but Nikki hasn't exactly told her where she will be staying, nor has Jimmy exactly told Tim, who is proud of the limousine he has just obtained for his new business. Although his offer of test-driving it is turned down, Jimmy borrows the car anyway to collect Margi - and, while stopping off for an errand on their way home, she accidentally locks them both inside it.

Episode 2902 (T 07-10-03 "Building") Written by Carol Cullington and/or Andy Lynch - Nikki wants Margi's advice on whether she should testify against the robbers in court, and is not pleased that Jimmy lied to her. He plans to help take their mind off things by getting them to help to build a water feature as a memorial to Emily. Tim, meanwhile, wonders if he has done Emily justice in giving his evidence.

Episode 2903 (T 07-10-03 "Something") Written by Barry Woodward (and Andy Lynch?) - Sean apologises for being such a burden to Ruth, and they both believe that they can make a go of their marriage again, but should move elsewhere. Nikki rings Jimmy in a panic when she can't find Margi, fearing that Terry has kidnapped her. Jimmy has a plan to prevent Nikki from discovering that Margi was actually in the extension having sex with him - but it only works once.......

Episode 2904 (T 14-10-03 "Inflicting") Written by Roy Boulter - Jimmy visits a pub, discusses the perils of smoking with another drinker who is prepared to defend it, and tries to make others aware of the effects of "passive smoking" by spitting his drink over them. But they don't entirely appreciate his efforts. Meanwhile, Margi goes shopping for clothes, and Nikki guesses that she is trying to impress someone. [ Contains strong language ]

Episode 2905 (T 14-10-03 "Hating") Written by Roy Boulter or Arthur Ellison - Margi plans a romantic holiday abroad with Jimmy, but there is something he wants to talk about. Nikki and Margi believe he is going to propose, but they end up hating him when they finally hear what he has to say. Meanwhile, Bev is looking forward to marrying Ron, but wonders what kind of new neighbours they will be getting.

Episode 2906 (T 14-10-03 "Ticking") Written by Arthur Ellison - Nikki confronts Jimmy and hopes he is feeling guilty, but then discovers that he has received some devastating news which has changed his outlook on life. A new neighbour arrives, and their initial encounters with him make Sean and Ruth even more convinced that it is time for them to move away from the Close. [ Contains strong language ]

Episode 2907 (T 21-10-03 "Risking") Written by Peter Cox - When Marty is not keen to chain himself to a bulldozer to protest against Cinerco, Jimmy wonders if there is any point in fighting on, and isn't sure that he even has any dignity left. Can Nikki reassure him? Stuart comes home to find Ali and Tommo smoking drugs, and Anthony has a new friend who seems likely to lead him into trouble. [ Includes strong language ]

Episode 2908 (T 21-10-03 "Smoking") Written by Peter Cox or Maurice Bessman - Suzie convinces Anthony to join her in smoking dope. When Jimmy catches them, he tells Jan, who forbids Anthony from seeing the girl again. Sean and Ruth study details of some amazing houses with amazing prices, and Ali and Tommo believe they have found a handy new drug-dealer closer to home. [ Includes strong language ]

Episode 2909 (T 21-10-03 "Crushing") Written by Maurice Bessman - When Jimmy sabotages one of Cinerco's bulldozers, the owner of the company pays him an unexpected visit at home and warns him that he also knows how to fight dirty. Ali tells Ruth and Sean his cannabis smoking is just an "every-now-and-then" kind of thing, but they suggest it becomes a "never-again" type of thing. Bev is planning an exotic wedding, but Ron worries that it is becoming too expensive. [ Includes strong language ]

Episode 2910 (T 28-10-03 "Giving") Written by Maurice Bessman - Michaelson discovers that Suzie has been smoking dope, believes that Anthony is a bad influence on his daughter, and makes his feelings known to Jan with his fists - so Marty, Christy and Steve miss Ron's wedding to Bev so that they can discourage him from a repeat performance. Stuart discovers that Ali has stolen money from him to buy more drugs - but there is a more devastating discovery for Ruth and Sean. [ Includes strong language and violent scenes that some viewers may find upsetting ]

Episode 2911 (T 28-10-03 "Timing") Written by Maurice Bessman or Andy Lynch - At Bev and Ron's wedding reception, Jacqui and Bev attempt to wipe the slate clean, and Mike reminds Rachel of their own wedding, telling her he still loves her. But soon she has to be rushed to hospital to give birth....... Jan is concerned that violence never solves anything, and worries that Marty, Steve and Christy have made things worse - and Ruth and Sean anxiously await news of Luke.

Episode 2912 (T 28-10-03 "Hiding") Written by Andy Lynch - On their way home from their wedding reception, Bev, Ron and Josh witness horrifying scenes of violence on the Close, as a Santa outfit is not a good enough disguise to prevent Michaelson from recognising Christy - and Bev is convinced that the Dixons need to leave the Close. Ruth fears that Luke will be taken into care, Steve spoils his chances with Kirsty, and Sean is determined to succeed where the Murrays failed. [ Includes strong language and violent scenes that some viewers may find upsetting ]

Set at around this point: "Unfinished Business", Written by Neil Jones - In an 85-minute special video/DVD-only episode, a battle for revenge turns into a battle for survival when Terry hatches a plan to lure Tim and Steve to a remote farm in Wales, by using their limousine business to bring him a girl from a Liverpool escort agency, so that he can take care of some unfinished business. [ Includes strong language, violent scenes that some viewers may find upsetting, and long periods in which nothing interesting happens at all ]

Episode 2913 (T 04-11-03 "Threatening") Written by Barry Woodward - Jan discovers that Anthony has been admitted to hospital after overdosing on crack cocaine with Suzie, and convinces Marty that the Murrays need to leave the Close. Ruth also wants the Gordons to leave, and tries to persuade Sean to forget about Michaelson. And Lindsey wants Jimmy's blessing for another marriage - but where is he? [ Includes strong language, and scenes of violence that some viewers may find distressing ]

Episode 2914 (T 04-11-03 "Destroying") Written by Barry Woodward - Lindsey thinks Jimmy will come and live with her in Newcastle, but he doesn't want to be driven out of his home by Cinerco or Michaelson. And Barry returns to the Close. Although he doesn't want to be involved in ridding the residents of their troublesome neighbour, he does have a thought-provoking story to tell Tim....... [ Includes strong language, and some violent goings-on ]

Episode 2915 (T 04-11-03 "Close") Written by Phil Redmond - In a 38-minute extended final episode, Michaelson is dead - but none of the other residents seem to have seen or heard anything that might give the police any clues as to who was responsible. Christy and Anthony are both out of hospital, and the Murrays reflect on some of their unhappy times on the Close as they prepare to leave. The Gordons are also on the move - but Stuart has something to return to Jimmy, who feels that he should return it to Ron before the Dixons also depart. Tim agrees to drop Nikki off at the airport on his way to his new flat, and a new home also awaits Jimmy.......


The cast:

RESIDENTS:
Eddie Banks - PAUL BROUGHTON (2896*)
Rosie Banks (nee McGee) - SUSAN TWIST (2896*)
Paul Collins - JIM WIGGINS (2915*)
Billy Corkhill - JOHN McARDLE (2915*)
Jimmy Corkhill - DEAN SULLIVAN (2874, 2878, 2879, 2887, 2892, 2895, 2896, 2899-2915)
Jackie Corkhill (nee Walker) - SUE JENKINS (2915*)
Little Jimmy Corkhill - GEORGE CHRISTOPHER (2915*)
William Corkhill - JACK MYTHEN (2915)
Sheila Corkhill, formerly Grant - SUE JOHNSTON (2914*)
Bev Dixon, formerly McLoughlin-Gonzales (nee McLoughlin) - SARAH WHITE (2892-2895, 2897, 2905, 2909-2912, 2914, 2915)
Ron Dixon - VINCE EARL (2880-2883, 2887, 2892-2895, 2897, 2909-2912, 2915)
Mike Dixon - PAUL BYATT (2877, 2879-2882, 2892-2897, 2910, 2911)
Rachel Dixon, formerly Wright (nee Jordache) - TIFFANY CHAPMAN (2880-2882, 2893-2897, 2910, 2911)
Beth Dixon (2880-2882, 2896, 2910)
Jacqui Dixon-Farnham (nee Dixon) - ALEXANDRA FLETCHER (2894, 2910, 2911)
Kirsty Gordon - JESSICA NOON (2876-2879, 2889-2892, 2898-2900, 2903, 2906, 2908-2915)
Ali Gordon - KRISTOPHER MOCHRIE (2877-2879, 2889-2891, 2907-2912, 2915)
Stuart Gordon - DAVID LYON (2877-2879, 2889-2891, 2907, 2910, 2912, 2914, 2915)
Bobby Grant - RICKY TOMLINSON (2914*)
Barry Grant - PAUL USHER (2913, 2914)
Damon Grant - SIMON O'BRIEN (2914*)
Nic Howard - JAMES SARSFIELD (2885-2888, 2894, 2898, 2899)
Jerome Johnson - LEON LOPEZ (2915*)
Mandy Jordache (nee Dutton) - SANDRA MAITLAND (2895 OOV*, 2896 OOV*)
Trevor Jordache - BRYAN MURRAY (2895 OOV*, 2896*)
Beth Jordache - ANNA FRIEL (2896 OOV*)
Josh McLoughlin - JACK McMULLEN (2880, 2881, 2887, 2892-2894, 2897, 2909-2912, 2915)
Brigid McKenna - MEG JOHNSON (2884, 2885)
Jan Murray - HELEN SHEALS (2880, 2883-2885, 2908-2915)
Marty Murray - NEIL CAPLE (2882-2884, 2892, 2907, 2909-2915)
Steve Murray - STEVEN FLETCHER (2874-2877, 2889, 2890, 2907, 2910-2912, UB, 2914, 2915)
Adele Murray - KATY LAMONT (2883-2885, 2892, 2910-2912, 2915*)
Anthony Murray - RAYMOND QUINN (2892, 2907, 2908, 2910, 2912, 2913)
Christy Murray - GLYN PRITCHARD (2882-2885, 2895-2897, 2910-2912, 2915)
Emily O'Leary (nee Shadwick) - JENNIFER ELLISON (UB*)
Tim "Tinhead" O'Leary - PHILIP OLIVIER (2874-2876, 2901, 2902, 2907, UB, 2914, 2915)
Lindsey Phelan, formerly Stanlow (nee Corkhill) - CLAIRE SWEENEY (2913-2915)
Lance Powell - MICKEY POPPINS (2883, 2884)
Katie Rogers - DIANE BURKE (2885-2888, 2894, 2898-2900)
Sammy Rogers, formerly Daniels (nee Rogers) - RACHAEL LINDSAY (2887, 2888, 2894, 2898-2900)
Sophie Rogers (2885 OOV, 2886-2888, 2894, 2898, 2899)
Margi Shadwick (nee Benson) - BERNADETTE FOLEY (2901-2905)
Nikki Shadwick - SUZANNE COLLINS (2874, 2886, 2889, 2891, 2892, 2897-2911, 2915)
Ruth Smith (nee Gordon) - LYNSEY McCAFFREY (2876-2879, 2889-2892, 2898-2900, 2903, 2906, 2908-2913, 2915)
Sean Smith - BARRY SLOANE (2878, 2889-2892, 2898-2900, 2903, 2906, 2908-2915)
Luke Smith - CALLUM GIBLIN (2877-2879, 2889, 2892, 2898-2900, 2910-2914)
Kylie Stanlow - HANNAH DOWD (2915)
Terry Sullivan - BRIAN REGAN (2914*)

RECURRING CHARACTERS:
Imelda Clough - BILLIE CLEMENTS (2909*)
Mrs Jean Clough - ANNIE TYSON (2915*)
Paul Clough - NEIL BORG-OLIVIER (2915*)
Lucas George - MARCUS HERCULES (2915*)
Terry "Psycho" Gibson - GREG MILBURN (2901 OOV*/stand-in, UB, 2914*)
Joey Godden - CARL CHASE (2907*, 2914*)
Shane Ladd - MATTHEW NUTTALL (2915*)
Tommy McArdle - MALCOLM TIERNEY (2914*)
Eddie Wilson - BENEDICT RELTON (2915*)
Tommo - SHAUN MASON (2889, 2890, 2907, 2908)
Milkman - JOHN WHITEHALL (2915)
Reporter - GARETH BRYN (2907*)

NEW CHARACTERS PLAYED BY RETURNING PERFORMERS:
Gard Hampton - SEAMUS O'NEIL (2909) [ Rob Trevor (742, 746) ]
Mrs Joan Lloyd - JANE HOGGARTH (2874-2876) [ Nurse (2717) ]
Mrs Shaw - SUSAN CORMACK (2890) [ Cathy Baker (1638, 1643) / WPC Michelle Stuart (2760) ]
Joe - EAMON BOLAND (2904) [ Ken Dinsdale (380, 383, 384) ]
Michaelson - PAUL DUCKWORTH (2906-2910, 2912-2915) [ David Dunn (2586) ]

NEW CHARACTERS:
Tony Collins - PAUL MOORCROFT (2895)
Julie Dunn - DEBORAH CHAD (2895, 2896)
Kelly Hall - SARAH JANE DUNN (UB)
Suzie Michaelson - SIMONE BARRY (2907-2909)
Stella Shaw - LAUREN STEELE (2889-2891)
Dr Neville - PETER LORENZELLI (2882)
Dr O'Shea - ROSIE FELLNER (2893)
Abby - LISA HOGG (2874-2876, UB)
Sarah - DEBBIE O'TOOLE (2889, 2890)
Tanya - CLAIRE HARMAN (UB)
Driver - ROD WOODRUFF (2906)
Man - DENNY JAMES-SMITH (2886)

UNCREDITED CHARACTERS WITH NAMES:
Adam Burns, a radio presenter (2901 OOV)
Chelle, a radio show phoner-in (2901 OOV)
Christine, a friend of Stella (2889)
Baby Michael Dixon (2914)
Dave Lee, a radio presenter (2903 OOV)
Gary, a drinker and smoker (2904)
Peter, a barman (2904)

Notes:

These episodes continued not to be shown individually on Channel Four, but only as three-episode omnibus editions, in a new Tuesday late-night slot - never finishing, and sometimes not even starting, before midnight. Warnings as to content were given not only at the beginning of the omnibus editions of 9th September, 14th October, 21st October, 28th October and 4th November 2003, but also before episode 2890 (Part two of the 9th September omnibus), before episode 2912 (part four of the 28th October omnibus), and before the second half of episode 2914 (part three of the 4th November omnibus). Each omnibus began with a "Previously on Brookside" montage before the opening titles sequence, several of which included characters that would not then feature in its first episode: Ali Gordon and Stuart Gordon (2874) / Jimmy Corkhill and Sean Smith (2877) / Katie Rogers, Sophie, and Nic Howard (2883) / Nisha Batra (2886) / Sammy Rogers (2889) / Rachel Dixon (2892) / Marty Murray (2895) / Sean Smith (2901) / Charlie Dawson, Nick Black, Heather Black, Ruth Black, and Little Jimmy Corkhill (2907) / Gard Hampton, Tim O'Leary, and Michaelson (2910) / Suzie Michaelson, Christy Murray, Ali Gordon, Tommo, Jacqui Farnham, Mike Dixon, Bev Dixon, Ron Dixon and Nikki Shadwick (2913).

There are a vast number of "flashbacks" to sequences from earlier episodes in this final season - the last of which, in the closing few minutes of episode 2915, is an extract from episode 370 involving Jimmy Corkhill, Billy Corkhill and Paul Collins. In the cast list above, * denotes that the character appears (or is heard) only within one or more such sequences, and does not otherwise feature in the episode. Also returning for one final appearance, in episode 2910, are the Magic Rabbits, watched by Luke (and Ali and Tommo, while drugged) - and their music is also heard, again as Luke watches, in episode 2913.

Incidental music is featured in episode 2876, in which there are also two lengthy musically-accompanied montages of scenes - the first track used is "Stone" by "Unbelievable Truth", and the second is "Wild Thing" by "The Troggs". Episode 2886 begins with a lengthy montage of scenes musically accompanied by "Tender" by "Blur"; and towards the end of episode 2910, there is a montage of images from Ron and Bev's wedding, Michaelson being beaten up, and drug-taking at the Gordons', accompanied by a piece of rousing opera music. Incidental music is also featured in episodes 2880, 2887, 2888, 2901, 2907, "Unfinished Business", 2913, 2914 and 2915.

Images of Rachel and Beth are briefly seen while Mike is heard in episode 2880; images of Ali and Tommo, then Anthony and Marty, are briefly seen while Jimmy is heard in episode 2907; images of bulldozers are briefly seen while Jimmy is heard in episode 2909; images of Ruth, Sean and Luke are seen while Ron gives his wedding speech in episode 2911; and images of the police outside are seen as Sean is heard in episode 2915.

In episode 2880, the removal of furniture from Rachel's by bailiffs is told as a "flashback" after the event; there are some cross-faded scenes of Katie and Sophie in episode 2886; and dialogue from episodes 2889 and 2890 is heard again, with accompanying flashing effects, in Ali's mind in episodes 2890 (while he is running away) and 2891 (when he is back at home).

Some of Jimmy's words from earlier in the episode echo in Mike's mind later on in episode 2895; we hear some of the "thoughts" of Tim in episode 2902; in episode 2909 we briefly see Jimmy imagining punching Michaelson and stuffing him into the boot of his car, just before his actual encounter with him goes rather less favourably; in "Unfinished Businesss", in which Emily does not otherwise appear, Tim briefly dreams of her, Steve and Tanya, and Steve briefly dreams of himself, Tim and Terry; and in episode 2913 we hear some of Jimmy's "thoughts" as he is driven to Newcastle.

Although the closing music begins as the end of episode 2915 appears to have been reached, it is suddenly aborted, after Jimmy is heard calling "Stop! STOP!".......and more scenes, mostly with a musical accompaniment, follow. The usual "Next" frames in the titles sequence are replaced with a longer series of thirteen still images featuring most of the characters who have appeared in the last three episodes [not, unfortunately, the families who have appeared over the last twenty-one years!] - Michaelson / Marty / Bev and Ron / Jimmy / Ruth and Sean / Nikki and Tim / Ali and Stuart / Steve / Kirsty / Anthony, Marty and Jan / Lindsey and Barry / Barry / Jimmy and Nikki; and one final surprise is that the last note of the closing theme is replaced by the last four notes of the original theme from "Grange Hill".

The storylines:

Mike trains to be a teacher, and Rachel learns to drive - but not even the birth of a son is going to bring them back together. Leanne jilts Christy, but Ron and Bev finally tie the knot. Katie and Nic, finally confirmed to be the father of Sophie, plan to do likewise - as does Lindsey, who returns to the Close with the news that her third husband is to be Barry!

Meanwhile, Jimmy has a brief relationship with Margi; Tim and Steve's continuing adventures lead them to new girlfriends; and Sean splits up with Nikki, sleeps with Sammy, but ends up back with Ruth. Adele goes off to university, and Anthony goes slightly off the rails - but not as much as Ali, who drifts from drink into drugs, and faces an allegation of rape.

But the threat of an incinerator being built nearby remains; the construction of a through road may require the demolition of some of the houses; and the arrival of foul-mouthed, insanely violent drug-dealer Michaelson as a new neighbour proves to be the last straw for the residents. There have been good times, and there have been bad times - but now, nobody wants to live on Brookside Close any more.......

The dates:

Based on dialogue in episode 2882, it is August in episode 2883; it is September in episode 2886 and 2892 [and, by implication, all the other episodes in between!]; and it is Saturday in episode 2893. It is a weekday, then Saturday, in episode 2896; based on dialogue in episodes 2896 and 2897, it is Sunday in episode 2897; and, based on the letter Nikki is seen producing in episode 2899, it is then 30th September 03 - although the date on a torn-up air ticket for Paris seen in episode 2900 suggests otherwise (see "Goofs" below). It is 2003 in episode 2909 and in "Unfinished Business", and it would appear to be Halloween in episode 2912.

Name-checks:

The MacWell [drugs] case (2874); "George", "Timmy the Dog", the "Famous Five" / "Famous Four" (2875); "Scooby-Doo" / Scooby Snacks (2875 / 2888); a "Chippendale" (2875); the Kray Twins (2877); Gordon Brown (2877); Thomas Crapper / Tommy Crapper (2878 / 2879); "The Witches Of Eastwick" (2879); "Cruella de Vil" (2879); Tommy Cooper (2882); Ronald Reagan (2882); "Speedy Gonzales" (2882); Mother Teresa (2886); Michael Owen (2887, 2909); "The Jerry Springer Show" (2888); "The Guinness Book of Records" (2888); "Mrs Robinson" (2888); [James] Bond (2889); Tony Curtis (2892); Kirk Douglas (2892); Thor [Viking god] (2892); "Cinders" (2892); [Catherine] Zeta Jones (2892); "Tilly Mint" / "Tilly" (2892 / 2902); Madonna (2893); "Sooty" (2894); Truman and Attlee, historical leaders (2895); Bill Murray / "Groundhog Day" (2896); the Brothers Grimm (2898); John Lennon (2901); "Sleeping Beauty" (2908); Grace Kelly (2909); "Posh" and "Becks" (2909); Wayne Rooney (2909); "Will and Grace" (2910); "Crimewatch" (2910); Rod Hull and "Emu" (2911); "Slade" (2912); Gary Cooper (2912); J-Lo (UB); Harold Wilson (2915); and Tarantino [film-maker] (2915).

Locations:

The majority of the action in this closing season is set in or near Liverpool. However, the majority of "Unfinished Business" is set at a remote farm in Wales, and it also includes some scenes which take place between there and Liverpool; episode 2913 includes several scenes set in or near Newcastle-upon-Tyne (some of which were definitely recorded there), and a few others at an unspecified distance between there and Liverpool; and the closing scenes of episode 2915 are also set in or near Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Births:

There is one final birth, taking the grand total of episodes in which a child was born to fourteen - Rachel gives birth to a son, Michael Dixon, in episode 2911, after being seven months pregnant in episode 2881, and eight months pregnant in episode 2895. It is Stella's sixteenth birthday in episode 2889, and it is Louise's birthday "in a few days" in episode 2898 - Sammy is then seen writing her birthday card in episode 2899, and is heard telling Louise that she is posting her card and present to her in episode 2900 [but see "Goofs" below]. And it is the birthday of the unseen mother of the unseen, but heard, "Chelle", a radio phone-in show caller, in episode 2901.

Kirsty implies that Stuart will be 16 in a few months in episode 2876; Ruth implies that Stuart and Ali are not yet 18, and Kirsty is over 18, in episode 2879; and Ron says Tony would now have been 23 in episode 2895. Adele will be 18 soon (2885); Stella is 16 (2890); Josh is 10 (2893, 2897); Luke is 6 (2898, 2899); Sophie is 3 months old (2886); Ali and Steve are both teenaged (2888, 2910); Ali is a teenager, and not yet 18 (2889); Wills is 6 (2908); Luke is 6 (2910); and Suzie is 14 (2915).

Marriages:

One - episode 2910 is the twenty-fourth in which a wedding takes place, as Ronald William Dixon marries Bev McLoughlin. Although Christy plans to marry Leanne "next week", which is in August (2882), the small matter of the bride running away with a policeman who arrested her on her hen night prevents that one from going ahead (2883); the unseen cousin of Lizzie was also presumably about to marry, as she had her hen night at the club at which Steve was lap-dancing (2875); Barry wants to marry Lindsey, even though Jimmy thought he was already married - but it would appear that he is now divorced, as he replies "I was" (2813); and [maddeningly!], although they are still engaged and making wedding plans whenever they are seen or mentioned, we never ever obtain confirmation of whether Nic and Katie tied the knot! [If Nikki hadn't spent so much time weeping and wailing, and sitting in an armchair, in the final episode, she could so easily have found a moment to pick up and read a postcard from the newly-weds, or Sammy, confirming that all went as planned in Florida.......]

Deaths:

Two, taking the grand total for the series to eighty-eight - including sixteen animals and other creatures. We haven't seen him for a long time, but in episode 2895 Mike reveals that Greg Sinnott was shot dead by drug traffickers in Rotterdam; and Michaelson is hanged in episode 2914. Terry Gibson also dies, impaled on a spike in the unbroadcasted episode "Unfinished Business", and we are reminded that Kirsty's mother died a few weeks ago, and her father died a few months back (2875); it is four years since Greg [Shadwick] died (2903), and it is nine years since Tony died (2911). And several unseen dead characters are mentioned - Mrs Gladys Lloyd / Gladys (2874, 2875 / 2876), who died last week (2874); her husband, who died during the war (2875); her mother (2875); Gordon at the bingo, and the 27-year-old daughter of Brigid's neighbour Mrs Hodge, who both died of leukaemia (2885); Sean's father (2889, 2906); Nic's mother (2900); Jimmy's father (2904) and mother (2904, 2915); Josh's great-grandmother, Ron's mother (2910); and Bev's great-grandfather, who was referred to as "Father" (2911).

Toilet visits:

Stuart (2877, twice in the portaloo - walked in on by Ruth the second time); Kirsty and Ruth (2879, at Jimmy's, after finding that their own toilet has gone missing); Stuart (2879, receiving a round of applause); Rachel (2882); Christy (2884 and 2895); three unnamed women, and Katie (2886); Mike (2894); Luke (2910); Kelly (UB, in a moment of panic in the limousine); and Jimmy (2913, near the "Angel of the North"). Steve steps in dog dirt in episode 2876 - Tim helpfully tries to persuade him that it's lucky - and Ali needs to go to the toilet, but loses the urge, in episode 2879. And the last character ever to go to the toilet in "Brookside", in episode 2914, is.......Jan Murray.

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

Candy (2874); Mr Johnson / Hookey (2874 / 2874, 2875); Di / Diane (2874, 2882 / 2884, 2885, 2913); Lizzie (2875, 2891, 2913); Baz (2877, 2878); Jessie (2878, 2901); Old Ray Hilton / Ray (2878 / 2898); Anthea (2880, 2894, 2911); Sinbad (2880); Leanne / Leanne Powell (2882, 2884, 2895, 2896 / 2883, 2885); Leanne's mother (2882); Laura (2883, 2884, 2885); Max / Maxie (2883, 2888, 2894, 2898, 2910, 2911 / 2894, 2910, 2911, 2912); the Pope (2886); Nisha (2887); Clint (2888, 2898, 2911); Debbie (2889); Louise (2889, 2898, 2899, 2900); Tony [Dixon] (2893, 2894, 2859, 2911); Dave [Burns] (2894); [Greg] Sinnott (2895); Dan / Dan Morrisey (2898, 2903 / 2913); Helen (2899, 2906); Snowy (2901); Greg (2901, 2903); Luke Musgrove (2903); Jason (2903, 2915); Susannah Farnham (2903); DD (2905); Kerry (2906); Doreen (2908); Julia Brogan (2910) Gary [Stanlow] (2914); Mick "Johnno" (2915); and Gemma (2915).

And those that are also mentioned, but miss out on their last opportunity of ever being seen:

Abby's mother (2874, 2875); Fay and Amy, mates of Abby (2875); Mrs Brown, who Sean is meant to be fitting an aerial for (2875); Lizzie's cousin (2875); Cathy, Rachel's social worker (2881); Mark Rawlin, a mate of Josh, and his father who works on oil rigs (2881); Norman, a policeman who arrested Leanne, and with whom she fell in love at first sight (2883, 2884); Jean, a mate of Jan in Salford, and her daughter Sian, at university (2883); Laura's mother and father (2884); Mrs Hodge, down Brigid's road (2885); Kev / Kevin (2886 / 2887), one of Katie's past sexual partners; Skimmer, a mate of Ali (2907, 2908); Sean's mother / Luke's nanna (2889, 2900 / 2890); Mrs Dawson, Rachel's next door neighbour (2893, 2894, 2895); Kelly, a single mother, and a new mate of Rachel (2893, 2894, 2895, 2897), and Tania, her daughter (2895, 2897); the wife Christy divorced (2896); Jane from the health club (2898); Nic's father (2898, 2899, 2900); Donna-Marie, Elsie and Brian, Cousin Dorothy and Uncle Pete, all of whom Nic wants to invite to his wedding (2898); Nozza, Bazza, Snouty, Kebble, Crazy Dave, Shane, Rocky, Fish, Captain and Spoggy, Nic's "Red Lion" football team-mates, and Vicky and Tom, the "Ibiza Posse", another bunch that he wants to invite (2898); Richard, Sammy's ex-husband (2900); Joe's ex-wife (2904); Mr Grey from Liverpool General [Hospital] (2906); Lenny, a mate of Ali and Tommo (2907, 2908, 2910); Clare, a mate of Suzie (2909); Ged, a contact of Michaelson (2909); Suzie's mother / Michaelson's ex-wife (2909, 2911, 2914 / 2915); Suzie's uncle Clem (2910); John (2912, 2913, 2915) and Denny (2912, 2913, 2914, 2915), Sean's brothers; Tanya's father and mother (UB); Helen, Kylie's nanny (2913); and Nick, Stuart, Ric, Mal, Vanessa, Sue, Paul and Davie (2915), Sean's impeccable witnesses.

Goofs:

In episode 2874, for most people it would be "a long time" - but for Nikki "It'll be a long way before that happens."; she also uses a strange mix of singular and plural - "Your health and your sanity comes first"; and Tim replaces his fifth word, "of" with a second "as" - "I'm just as sick as being skint as you are".

Ron's handwriting in his note to Mike - "Michael, we'll be out for the day, so grab yourself a microwave meal from the freezer" - seen in episode 2877 is much neater than in notes we have previously seen from him; in episode 2878, the intonation of Jimmy's boasts about his new computer's capability for "Laptop Desktop Publishing" makes it sound like three separate things: "Laptop. Desktop. Publishing."; and, according to Mike in episode 2881, Mandy has reminded him that "she left an abusive husband". Didn't she actually kill him? And viewers can almost certainly remember exactly where she "left" him.......

A Kensington address (see "Trivia" below) appears on Christy's letter from the clinic the first time we see it in episode 2883. But in later reappearances, including a "flashback" in episode 2884, the letter is addressed to him at Marty's address in Brookside Close! And it has previously been established that Louise's birthday is in June, so it is surprising that Sammy says it is "in a few days" in episode 2898, towards the end of September, has only got around to writing her birthday card in episode 2899, on 30th September, and tells Louise that she is posting the card and her present to her in episode 2900 - in early October!

In episode 2900, Jimmy pronounces "Margi" with a soft, rather than a hard "g", again at one point; and the date on a torn-up air ticket that Sean had bought in episode 2899 is 31.08.03, which is inconsistent with the earlier revelation that this episode was set on "30th September 03". And in episode 2901, Nikki's letter from "Merseyside Combined Courts Witness Warning Service" shows her postcode incorrectly as L12 OBE, and includes the wrong surname for one of the robbers - previously "Eddie Wilson", he is now "Edward Heath".

In episode 2905, the dates appearing on the photographs of Margi and Jimmy seen on her mobile phone are not consistent with the timing of her previous visit to Liverpool - which took place towards the end of July 2003, not during May. And in episode 2911, the inclusion of "that" as Jacqui's third word sounds wrong - "We gave that 25k more than the asking price to me dad." - then her own bad memory seems to be letting her down, as she tells Bev: "Perhaps it had too many bad memories for me, like you trying to burn it down with me still in it?". When Bev set it alight (in episode 1825) Jacqui WASN'T in the house!!

In episode 2912, there is confusion about the weight of the baby just born to Rachel - Bev corrects Ron by saying he weighed 3.3 kilos, not 33 kilos, but says this is five and a half pounds in "old money". It's actually more like to seven and a quarter pounds! And in "Unfinished Business", Kelly's credit card statement is dated Thursday 10th September 2003.......but it also says that a minimum payment of £928.36 is required against the balance of £7520.14 by 02/09/03.

In episode 2914, Barry says that "two of the fellas" who killed Damon have been released from prison - but there only ever were two of them! [And were they ever even apprehended?] And finally, in episode 2915, part of one of the short "flashbacks" Marty experiences of his family being held captive (from episode 2759) is the reaction of characters who were being held captive at number 10 at the same time, when they heard the shot - which is surely not something that he would be likely to remember.

Trivia:

The letter dated August 2003 which Christy has received from Mersey Regional Hospital Fertility Clinic in episode 2883 reveals his address to be 27 Baggs Street, Kensington, Liverpool L7 (But see "Goofs" above). His test results are from "J.P. Compulab" (2883). The previously-seen newspaper clipping headed "POLICE IDENTIFY BODY UNDER PATIO" is seen again in episode 2895; and the headline in the edition of the "Manor Park Reporter" seen in episode 2902 is "POLICE KILLERS TRIAL CONTINUES". Josh (2880) and Rachel (2895) are both seen reading "Etoile" magazine; and Sean and Ruth study details of houses from estate agents "Mappin & George" in episode 2908, including Ruth's choice - 14 Tattan Crescent, Childwall. Sean currently lives in Warrington (2903), and his ticket for flight number PA 27841 from Speke, John Lennon Airport to Paris, Charles de Gaulle airport states a baggage allowance of 25kg, a departure time of 06.50 and an arrival time of 07.00 [French time!] (2900).

Nikki is seen taking delivery of flowers brought in a van bearing the name "Efflorescents the Florists" and the telephone number 0151 496 7208, and at Jimmy's computer producing a letter to Steven Fisher, applying for the job of Assistant Psychologist at West View Care Home, Gateshead, in response to a newspaper advertisement also briefly seen on-screen (2899). In episode 2901, she receives a rejection letter which appears to be from "J.J. Pharmaceuticals", and a "Witness Notification Letter" from Merseyside Combined Courts Witness Warning Service, P.O. Box MCC60, Liverpool, whose telephone number [previously Rose Finnegan's - well, she doesn't need it any more!] is 0151 496 0009, regarding the trial date for the case of R. v. Lucas George, Edward Heath and Shane Allan Ladd (See "Goofs" above). The dates on photographs of Margi and Jimmy in a restaurant in Hardman Street seen on a mobile phone in episode 2905 are 14/05/03 and 21/05/03 [see "Goofs" above].

Lindsey gives Jimmy a top bearing the full name of the club she runs - "AWAY THE LARD, HEALTH AND FITNESS CLUB" (2913). Sammy plans to go to "Salome's" (2887), and the doll she wants to give to Katie as a peace offering is "Molly" (2900). Katie plays "Free Me" by "Cast", turning it up to drown out Sophie's cries (2887), and the restaurant at which she and Nic dine is the "Jack Rabbit" (2886). Their DNA test was done at "First Choice Clinic", whose telephone number is 496 5823 (2887) - and, although Nic is an only child (2886), there are twins in his family (2888). Dr O'Shea recommends a late-night pharmacy in Radley Street (2893); as part of a long-winded anecdote, Jimmy refers to an electronics shop in Smithdown Road (2902); and Margi used to go to the "Grafton" every Friday night (2902). Her e-mail address, to which Jimmy almost sends a message in episode 2905, is Margishadwick@ Globalgoss.Com. The school Suzie tells Anthony she is going to sounds like "Grange Park" (2907). Her father spent three years in prison (2908), having been sentenced to three years for possession with intent to supply and 18 months for GBH (2910).

There are posters of Muhammed Ali and Liverpool F.C. on Steve's bedroom wall in episode 2883. Steve passed his driving test at the first attempt, taught to drive by Christy (2895); we are reminded of his and Tim's lap-dancing aliases - "Thor" and "Rough Rider" - in episode 2874; and the wording on his van, "STEVE'S HOME SERVICING - QUALIFIED MECHANIC, COMPETITIVE RATES. TEL. 07700 949 649" is seen again in episodes 2874, 2883, 2888, 2891, 2912 and UB. Steve and Tim's new business is to be called "Wheeler Dealers" (2908), and their flier, seen in "Unfinished Business", reads: WHEELER DEALERS - LIMOUSINE HIRE, VAN HIRE, VIP NIGHTS OUT, AIRPORT COLLECTION, HOUSE CLEARANCES, REMOVALS, LIFTING & SHIFTING - 07700 974 602. Proprietors: Tim O'Leary & Steve Murray". However, their new business partners have convinced them to change the name to "Heels On Wheels" by the end of "Unfinished Business" - when this new name, the words "Limousines for hire", and that telephone number, are seen on a plaque on the wall of their new premises, revealed in episode 2915 to be in "Bank Crest Business Park". Steve is moving to a flat in "Beetham Plaza" (2915).

Tanya and Kelly are working from the "Thirlgate Hotel" (UB). Kelly's "Altus Gold" credit card account number is 1233 211 3327 4267, and her address is 8 Lampont Apartments, Lyster Dock, Liverpool L1 1NY (UB). On the "Liverpool Escorts" website which Terry is seen visiting, there are captioned photographs of "Katy", "Debs" and "Natasha" as well as "Charlie" [Kelly] (UB). In her "A" levels, Adele gets an "A" in History, a "B" in Geography, and a "B" in English, and plans to do a B.A. in English with History at Leeds University (2883). Laura gets two Cs and a D (2883). Abby is already at university, studying "Furniture and Design" (2874). Stella is in Stuart's form class (2887), and lasagne is both his and Ali's favourite meal (2892). The imaginary boyfriend Ruth invents in episode 2900 is "Pete", and the imaginary friend Margi invents in episode 2903 is "Pauline". Ron reads to Josh from a book which appears to be called "The Ruins of Scarcroft Farm" (2893); a book, "Favourite Tales: The Ugly Duckling" can be seen at a window as Rachel leaves in episode 2896; and the book "Amanda's Wedding" by Jenny Colgan is seen in a drawer at the Gordons' in episode 2900.

The milk float seen at the beginning of episode 2915 is from Harrison's Dairies / "HD", of 27-29 Belmont Road, Liverpool, L6 5BG; and a skip seen in episode 2879 bears the telephone number 0151 423 5926. Mike's taxi, bearing the name "County Cars" and the telephone number 0151 496 2222, is seen again in episodes 2879, 2881, 2896 and 2912, and the plate number is 99867 (2896). The door of the classroom in which he teaches for the first time bears the name-plate "Class M5" (2896). There is still art by Sean Scully on display in the bungalow (2887, 2888); the "For Sale" sign bearing the name "Fletcher's", the telephone number 0151 629 1876, and a "SOLD" banner, is still outside the Farnhams' in episodes 2877, 2879, 2890, 2895, 2906, 2907, 2908, 2909, 2910, 2912, UB, 2913, 2914 and 2915; and a "For Sale" sign bearing the name "Jones, Thomas and Booth" and the telephone number 0151 692 6974 can be seen at the bungalow in episodes 2899, 2903, 2905, 2906, and 2915. Ron (2880), Nic (2887), Nikki (2898, 2899), Katie (2898), Sammy (2899), Sean (2910) are all right-handed, and Mike (2893, 2895), Josh (2910), Jimmy (2910) are left-handed.

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

Tim's a bit out of practice, and is searching for a suitable compliment when he finds a skimpily-clad Abby polishing a piece of antique furniture in her bedroom in episode 2875: "Nice chest!".

As Ron walks away after saying something he disagrees with at the barbecue in episode 2892, Jimmy saves his fingers by raising the two-pronged implement he happens to be holding at the time.......and in episode 2906, it is possible for viewers to spot that he has accidentally left his iron on the garment he is ironing quite a while before he discovers his mistake himself!

Ruth's finest moment - indeed, possibly the finest moment of any of the Gordons - is her split-second reaction when in episode 2908, with only a few episodes left to go, Sean clinches the "worst joke of the series" prize just after she shows him the details of the house in Childwall that she would like them to move to:

Quote:

RUTH: That's the one I'd get.

SEAN: Who are you calling a one-eyed get?

At the beginning of episode 2912, Michaelson comes out of his house with his hands behind his back, to give the impression that he has been handcuffed by the two policemen accompanying him - then reveals to the watching neighbours that he hasn't, as it was he who called the police to report being beaten up by someone in a Santa costume!

And finally - by a remarkable coincidence, the eight unseen friends Sean mentions towards the beginning of the final episode who are all willing to give him an alibi (Nick, Stuart, Ric, Mal, Vanessa, Sue, Paul and Davie) have the same first names as the eight producers who have been "second in command" throughout the past twenty-one years of "Brookside" to executive producer, Phil Redmond, who wrote the episode.......Nicholas Prosser (Episodes 1-208), Stuart Doughty (257-536), Vanessa Whitburn (649-833), Mal Young (834-1701), Ric Mellis (1702-2067), Sue Sutton Mayo (2077-2286), Paul Marquess (2293-2611) and David Hanson (2612-2915).

The end of "Brookside":

Somehow reflective of the way "Brookside"'s storylines have developed over the years, the first episode had begun with a milkman making his deliveries to a quiet Close, on which nothing much else was happening.......and the final episode begins with the same milkman, making his deliveries twenty-one years later, finding a dead body hanging out of one of the bedroom windows!

By the end of the episode, all the remaining residents have left - the Gordons, the Smiths, the Dixons and the Murrays - leaving Tim, Nikki and Jimmy as the last to go. Jimmy throws his keys on the bonfire in his skip, tells the others "Come on, we've all lives to get on with......." and Tim's limousine drives them away out of the Close.......

.......only to screech to a halt moments later, as Jimmy cries "Stop! STOP!". There is something he forgot to do - something that Marty Murray said. As Nikki delivers the final line of the series - "Jimmy, what is it?" - he gets out, and breaks into each house in turn, plugs up the baths and basins, and leaves all the taps running. Soon there is water everywhere....... He then gets some paint that Marty had told him he had left behind, and paints the letters G A M E and O V E R on the boards covering some of the houses. Finally, using a red marker pen, he adds a "D" to the sign at the entrance to the Close, so that it now reads "BROOKSIDE CLOSED".......

.......Then we see Jimmy at his new home in Newcastle, cutting the grass on a motor-mower as Kylie and Wills play with a frisbee, and Lindsey looks on. Jimmy and Lindsey are then seen hugging - captioned "the end of an era......." - and finally, Jimmy winks at the viewers.