Wednesday, 30 April 2008

1989: The Final Episode Of Emmerdale Farm...

9 November 1989, and the countdown is progressing to the final episode of Emmerdale Farm - episode number 1402.

The old opening pictures had a timeless, blurry, retro quality - even at the time of their first appearance... summer days of hard work, glorious countryside, and lovely sunsets. All very Cider With Rosie...

It was generally accepted that the farmhouse in the famous sunset scene (I found it odd that the show always began with a sunset!) was Emmerdale. But it certainly wasn't Lindley Farm, the real life location. The range of outbuildings attached to the house is missing and there appears to be a smaller house/bungalow to the left. Does anybody know where this footage was shot?

Scene One, and at the Woolpack, Amos Brearly and Henry Wilks are in a state of high anxiety: they are waiting for news of Jack Sugden and Mr Wilk's daughter, Marian. Mr Wilks is hoping that she is coming back from Italy to live in England.

Says Henry, who has been trying to phone Annie Sugden, but has found the line engaged: "Think I'll go up to Emmerdale - might as well wait there as anywhere else."

At Emmerdale, Annie is trying to contact Jack: "I must've rung him twenty times today! Where is he?" she asks Kate.

"I'm sure he must've been delayed, that's all," says Kate.

"I don't know what to think!" says Annie.

Kate advises her to put the phone down: "He might be trying to contact you."

"Maybe you're right," Annie agrees, replacing the receiver.
Jack isn't in Italy. He's in Beckindale, at Kathy Merrick's house in Demdyke Row with his son Robert. Marian is not with him. As is so often the case, Jack seems oblivious to the concerns of his family and friends.

Having established that he is back for good ("Looks like it," says Jack) Kathy suggests that he phones Annie or Henry.

"Yeah, I know I should, but I'd sooner see them face to face," Jack replies.

"They went to the airport you know, they're not going to be very happy with you," Kathy tells him.

"Well, maybe that's where they were when I tried to phone them," says Jack. He says he'll go round soon.

Kathy tells Jack she can look after Robert whilst he does that - she has to help her mother pack.

"Pack? What for?" asks Jack. "Eh, it's not the honeymoon, is it?"
It's a sad day for Caroline Bates as she packs to leave for Scarborough with her mother.

Alan Turner wants to help, but only succeeds in irritating Alice, Caroline's mother.

"Why don't you go to work, Alan?" suggests Mrs Bates. "We're not going to be leaving until five 0'clock."

Alan agrees, and asks if there's any chance of Caroline meeting him for a "bite of lunch".

"I'll try, but I doubt it," says Caroline.

"I feel sorry for him in a way," she tells her mother after Alan has left. Alice is more concerned about finding her second pair of slippers.
At Emmerdale Farm, Kate and Joe Sugden spot Rachel Hughes just leaving for school. After recent upsets, Kate asks her if she's sure she's all right to go. Rachel says that she is. Joe offers her a driving lesson after school, but she says she's going to tea with her father at Home Farm.

"When did she see her dad?" Joe asks Kate.

"Yesterday," Kate replies.

Joe does not sound happy: "You never said!"

Rounding the corner of the farmhouse garden wall, Rachel sees Matt Skilbeck with Pete Whiteley. She steels herself and walks towards them.
Joe points out that he's supposed to be using the land rover but Kate tells him she has to get up to Crossgill - the organic mustard she is growing is full of slugs.

Joe is amused at the idea of Kate digging them out. He offers to give her a lift to Crossgill, but says that's all he can offer in the way of help!

Matt Skilbeck and Pete Whiteley are discussing an ailing sheep. Matt goes to get a thermometer.

Rachel is left to face Pete.

"Why did you run off like that yesterday?" asks Pete.

"How can I be friends with you and Lynn after...?" Rachel replies.

"It doesn't mean to say we have to avoid each other," says Pete.

After an uneasy silence, Pete asks Rachel if she wants a lift to school. Rachel refuses and walks away.
At Crossgill, Joe watches as Kate digs through the soil: "Oh look - it's totally infested!"

Joe suggests that she cuts her losses and starts again in the spring. Kate refuses, and Joe tells her: "You won't get rid of them without pellets!"

"Look, I've started off organic and that's the way I'm going to stay!" says Kate.

Joe tells her she's wasting her time. "We'll see!" Kate replies. Joe wishes her good luck and leaves her to it.

Joe hasn't walked far when he sees David Hughes, Kate's ex-husband, approaching. There is a strained atmosphere between the two men, who wish each other good morning.

"Come to see Kate, have you?" asks Joe.

"Is that all right with you?" replies David.

"Fine by me," says Joe.

David asks Kate what she's doing: "I'm trying to get these wretched slugs out of my organic vegetables."
"Why don't you just poison them?" asks David.

"It's organic, David, you've got to dig them out by hand," says Kate.

Kate asks if David will help her: "Joe thinks I'm wasting my time!"

"Well, I would, but... er..." David can't think of a reason - but he doesn't help.

Kate and David discuss Rachel. Kate tells him it looks like she's involved with "some bloke".

When David questions her further, she tells him she doesn't know anything.

"Look, Kate, I don't want some village idiot mucking up her chances of going to college," says David.

Kate tells him she's tried to talk to Rachel, but it's difficult without upsetting her. David says it looks like he'll have to talk to her, and Kate tells him to "go easy on her".

David asks when he's ever upset Rachel? "Now look, we used to be close. I'd like it to be like that again."

Kate looks sceptical.
Jack strolls into the sunlit farmyard at Emmerdale.

"Don't worry, love - he's bound to get in touch soon!" Henry tells Annie in the farmhouse as he prepares to leave.

"I hope so!" says Annie.

Out in the yard, Annie and Henry discover Jack. Mother and son embrace. "Where the hell have you been?" asks Henry. "Where's Marian and Nicolo?"

"We waited hours at the airport - we were worried stiff," says Annie.

"I'm sorry, I just didn't have enough money for the shuttle flight," Jack explains.

Jack tells Henry that Marian won't be returning.

"Why, what's happened?" asks Henry.

"Let's go inside, shall we?" says Jack.
In the farmhouse, Henry is puzzled: "She said in her letter, she definitely said, she'd be coming home!"

Jack is temporarily sidetracked and exclaims at the decorating which is underway: "Joe been spending some of his money then?"

"For heaven's sake, Jack, never mind about this - what's happened?" asks Annie.

Jack explains that he gave Marian an ultimatum: he'd borrowed money from his landlord and booked tickets for the day before and told her that if she didn't turn up he was returning home without her.

"She wrote to me!" says Henry.

Jack says that he was surprised about that - "For a moment I really thought she was going to leave Paolo. Anyway, she didn't show up."

"So you left her!" Henry accuses.

"No - I didn't, Henry!" says Jack. "I decided to give her a chance to make the second flight. She didn't show up for that either. There was no answer at the villa. By this time I was getting a bit fed up. Eventually I flew into Manchester and then got a train. I'm sorry, Henry!"

Henry says he'll phone Marian and give her a piece of his mind. Jack says there's no point, he's been in touch with the nanny - and Marian, Paolo and the children are holidaying in Capri.

"Well, that's that then," says a devastated Henry. He adds that he'll take care of Jack's expenses - "You did your best, lad!" - and leaves.
Annie asks Jack what he'll do now. Jack says that Kathy is putting him up at Demdyke Row for a day or two, but after that he doesn't know.
Annie tells Jack that she's sorry things haven't worked out for him, then embraces him: "Welcome home!"

And the ad break commences...

Part two, and Caroline meets Alan in the Woolpack. Alan asks her what she's going to do for money and tells her he won't let her go short. Caroline says she can't very well keep drawing money if she's not working. "Let's just see how it goes, shall we?" says Alan.

Caroline says she really doesn't see how she can go on being a partner in the business. Alan tells her no one can foretell the future. He suggests that in a few months she might be back and everything back to normal.

"I doubt it," says Caroline. "I was expecting to be married by Christmas."

Alan tells her that just because she'll be in Scarborough doesn't mean that they shouldn't see each other and one day maybe think of setting the date.

"We were doing a little bit more than think about it, weren't we?" asks Caroline.

Somewhat bitter, she leaves him. "I'd better get back. And don't worry if you're not there to say goodbye - it won't matter."
At Demdyke Row, Jack and Kathy talk.

“Is Annie upset?” asks Kathy.

“Oh, you know Ma - she copes. It’s Henry that’s choked. There’s nothing he wants more than to have Marian and the kids over here.”

Jack tells Kathy he’s given up on Marian. “There’s been times these past three months I didn’t know what I was doing. Especially after Jackie…”

Jack struggles to explain his feelings: “Sounds like I’m blaming him. But I don’t mean that.”

Kathy is puzzled: “Blaming him?

“After the funeral all I wanted to do was to get home. Back to Beckindale. I think I might’ve put too much pressure on Marian - pushing her to come back. It’s funny, but I wanted to see you before I saw Ma and the others. Because of Jackie.”

Kathy is touched. “I’m glad you did. Do you think you'd ever try with Marian again?”

“She’s lived the good life too long, You don’t understand how she lives over there. Servants, flashy cars, swimming pool. She has everything. Doesn’t have to lift a finger. No, it’s finished.”

Jack picks Robert up and tells him it’s time for him to have a nap. Kathy tells Jack she’s seen Sarah Connolly and that she’s been asking after him.

“I think she’d be pleased to see you.”

Jack grins: “Don’t you ever give up?”

At Emmerdale Farm, Annie is dishing up dinner and talking with Joe about Jack’s return. Annie tells him that Jack is staying at Demdyke temporarily.

“He’s coming back, though?” Joe is anxious.

“We’ve got to offer him a place, Joe,” says Annie.

“Is he going to work here?” asks Joe.
“I don’t know. Not sure he will,” replies Annie.
“I don’t know, he goes off, leaves everybody in the lurch, then comes swanning back, expecting everything to be normal.” sighs Joe.
“I wish you wouldn’t talk like that - he is your brother,“ says Annie.

Joe harks back to the start of the decade, when Jack suddenly turned up and “turfed me off of this place”.

“He won’t do that!” Annie exclaims.

“What will he do?” asks Joe: “Spend a month here then go flying back to Marian?”

He explains to his mother that he is concerned that Jack will “pick holes” in all the changes he has made at Emmerdale. “From the beef herd to whatever. He won’t see this as a business. And he’s got to from now on because me and Kate are trying for a baby of our own.”

Annie is delighted at the prospect, but Joe tells her it’s early days yet and there’ll be no room for a baby with Jack and Robert coming back.

"That's as may be. But he is family. He's had a bad time. We've got to make him welcome in his own home"

Joe says no more, but he is clearly very unhappy.

Alan calls on Caroline. Alice is resting and they are alone together. “Do we have to be like this?” Alan asks.

“Like what?” asks Caroline in return.

“So stiff and formal.”

“Sorry. It’s the way I feel today,” says Caroline, coldly.

In Alan and Caroline’s old office at Home Farm, Rachel and David are settling down to a meal of hot pot. It’s a little on the dry side. “Don’t they teach you to put extra water in hot pot in the army, Dad?” Rachel teases.

“Hey, I’ve told you - I’m out the Army now - that’s all in the past!” says David.

Rachel asks him if he’s glad he’s out - “I should’ve left years ago!” says David.

“What, then you and Mum might not’ve split up?” asks Rachel.

Rachel doesn’t understand why he didn’t leave when Kate needed him to. David explains that he was “signed up” for twenty years - “Everything depended on it. My pension for one thing. And maybe I was a bit scared. Scared of what it’d be like. You don’t have to make your own hotpot in the Army! You don’t have to sign on the dole or look for jobs either. It’s all taken care of. I just got my timing a bit wrong though, didn’t I? She married Joe Sugden. I didn’t count on that.”

Rachel is startled: “Were you thinking of getting back with Mum?”

“Well, yeah!” says David. “It was so damned quick. I don’t know how Sugden managed it.”

Rachel thinks she now sees all: “Is that why you’re in Beckindale then?”

“Don’t be daft! I’m here because I want to be near you and Mark! Tell me what you've been up to, eh? It's a real treat for me having you here.”

Rachel smiles but is not convinced.

Kathy goes to see Archie Brooks in his makeshift home and finds him packing to leave. Kathy is surprised, and finds a statement daubed on the wall: “Archie Brooks wishes to inform all his friends of a change of address…”

The new address is 25, Belgrave Square.

“Are you moving to London?” asks Kathy.

“No,” says Archie: “I’m going to stay with my mother and her new boyfriend in Hotten. You’ve no idea how cold it is up here at night.”

The notice is a ruse - designed to put off official bodies trying to trace Archie - the Government, DHSS, Inland Revenue: 25 Belgrave Square is the address of the Norwegian Embassy. “I’d like to see the look on the Ambassador’s face when he gets my Poll Tax form!”

Archie doesn’t envisage being away that long - he’s already upset his mother’s new boyfriend: “I put all his records on a train to Penzance. There’s only so much Barry Manilow a man can take!”

Back at Caroline’s, Alan Turner tells her he knows he’s let her down: “Will you accept my very, very sincere apology?”

Caroline accepts.

“I’d hate us to part as enemies,” says Alan.

“Me too,” Caroline agrees.

The frosty atmosphere thaws and the couple smile and briefly hold hands.

They talk about their doubts - Alan says he’s always functioned better alone, Caroline tells him he hasn’t really let her down - she too was never really certain that they were doing the right thing.

“You will pop into Beckindale from time to time?” asks Alan.

Caroline says she doesn’t know if she’ll be able to with her mother as she is, but he’ll always be welcome in Scarborough.

Alan gives her a document he was studying earlier and asks her to sign it: “It’s undated - it's just a formality. When the house is sold it will terminate your tenancy here.”

The atmosphere turns frosty again. “You’ll never change will you, Alan? Never,” says Caroline. She rips the document in two and goes to check on her mother who is still resting upstairs.

At Home Farm, Rachel tells her father that her problems at school are “nothing serious”.

David tells her that he just wants her and Mark to do well - “I don’t want you ending up like me!”

David asks if it’s true that she’s got herself involved with “some bloke”. Rachel initially denies it. But David is not to be put off - demanding to know who the bloke is. Rachel becomes overwrought as her father wears her down. “I just can’t tell you!”

“Well why can’t you tell me?”

“Because he’s married!”

At the Woolpack, Amos and Henry drink tea.

Amos asks if Henry has tried phoning Marian. Henry asks what can he say if he did? “I can’t tell her to leave her husband - even if that’s what I really want.”

“I were looking forward to young Nicolo running around,” says Amos.

“Not half as much as I was, Amos - not half as much,” sighs Henry.

Back at Home Farm, Rachel runs from her father’s questions into the kitchen. David pursues her and the atmosphere becomes charged with emotion. David insists that Rachel must tell him the identity of the man she is involved with so that he can be warned off if he comes bothering her again.

Rachel finally caves in: “Pete Whiteley!”

Rachel says she’s loves him. David is furious, telling her that Pete has used her, that he belongs to someone else, that he’s married.

“So’s my mother!” Rachel cries, and runs out of the back door, leaving a wide eyed David staring after her.

Caroline and Alice are ready to leave the house. They go out to the car, accompanied by Kathy and Alan.

Caroline is in tears as she embraces her daughter.

“Good luck, Caroline,” says Alan, rather awkwardly. He moves to kiss her, but Caroline, tears streaming down her face, moves away.

“And you, Alan.”

It’s woefully inadequate, but Alan says: “I’m sorry.”

Mrs Bates nods, turns from him and makes her way to the car, wiping away the tears. Final goodbyes, and the car moves away. Alan puts up his arm as if to wave, but then drops it.

“Bye, Alan,” mutters Kathy and walks away.

“Bye, Kathy,” murmurs Alan. He stands alone on the pavement for a moment, before slowly making his way back into the house.

The end of an era!

At this time the end credits scrolled upwards and disappeared into the silhouette of the farmhouse and tree.



Annie Sugden - Sheila Mercier

Matt Skilbeck - Frederick Pyne

Amos - Ronald Magill

Mr Wilks - Arthur Pentelow

Joe Sugden - Frazer Hines

Alan Turner - Richard Thorp

Mrs Bates - Diana Davies

Kathy Merrick - Malandra Burrows

Kate Sugden - Sally Knyvette

Rachel Hughes - Glenda McKay

Jack Sugden - Clive Hornby

Archie - Tony Pitts

Pete Whiteley - Jim Millea

David Hughes - Martyn Whitby

Alice - Olivia Jardith

Robert Sugden - Christopher Smith

Written by Barry Woodward

Producer: Stuart Doughty

Director: Terence Daw

After Thoughts:

An episode of endings: Jack’s relationship with Marian, which had been on-and-off since the very early episodes, finally seemed to be over - as did the relationship between Caroline and Alan. Archie was temporarily terminating his stay in the village.

Henry Wilks was stunned at the fact that his daughter would not be returning and his future relationship with her would undoubtedly be affected.

It was also an episode of suggested change, continuity and hints of fresh beginnings. There was redecoration going on both at Emmerdale Farm and Home Farm. At Emmerdale Farm, the long running saga of Joe and Jack seemed to be about to come to the simmer again; Home Farm was undergoing a transformation ready for its new owners.

The room which had been the NY Estates office shared by Alan Turner and Mrs Bates from 1984 to 1988 was already witnessing fresh dramas as the couple prepared to go their separate ways elsewhere.

Farming was still on the agenda - with Matt and Pete discussing sheep and Kate getting into growing trendy organic veg at Crossgill.

1990s Emmerdale, complete with plane crash, Dynasty style villainess, exploding post office and rapidly decreasing farming content could not be envisaged at this point.


  1. Carl Banks1.5.08

    This is really cool! It was the year I was born!

  2. Bryan Higgins2.5.08

    I remember watching this episode when it was first shown, just a few weeks after I started High School.

    I remember thinking at the time that Emmerdale 'Farm' was maybe too limited a title for the show by this point as younger viewers were misled into thinking everything took place there.

    They had been experimenting for quite some time before with bigger more political storylines, such as the groundbreaking Nuclear Dump storyline and the modern issues of the day with the Rachel/Pete Whiteley story. All powerful stuff and it was captivating viewing and I always found Stuart Doughty one of the greatest producers Emmerdale ever had, because not only did he introduce a new focus up at Home Farm with the Tates, but he also kept the Sugdens centre stage, to ensure the regular viewers would keep on watching.

  3. Brian7.6.08

    The trouble with attracting "younger viewers" is that finally, in the 90's, the show turned into a heap of tripe.

  4. Anonymous30.5.09

    Is it possible to show Matt's final goodbye to the village - his final episode?

  5. I'll write a review of the episode as soon as possible.

  6. Anonymous5.4.11

    Who was the cameraman for this episode>