A scene from the soapy '70s - Sam Pearson is held at gun point.
I've just received an e-mail from Janine:
I've just read on a Crossroads Network Forum that Emmerdale Farm went downhill and became a soap in the mid-1980s. Did it? Or should I be taking notice of Crossroads fans?
In my opinion, Emmerdale Farm was always a soap (despite producer Richard Handford stating it wasn't in 1985), and I saw the series from its very early days. I recall the car crash involving Joe and Mr Wilks, the murder of Sharon Crossthwaite, the death of old Trash the tramp, the Vicar's son being charged with gun running, the death of Peggy Skilbeck - and the brutal way her children were despatched, the suicide of Jim Gimbel (he shot himself), and the gun hold-up storyline involving Amos, Mr Wilks and old Sam Pearson. There were lots of cliff hangers, lots of storylines designed to bring in viewers.
Soap was frowned upon in the 60s, 70s and 80s - and several soap producers refuted the claim that their shows were soaps, including Bill Podmore, producer of Coronation Street.
But Emmerdale Farm always adhered to a soap format - the show simply became pacier, grittier and more daring in the 1980s.
As for whether you should take notice of Crossroads viewers, I used to like it myself!