I recently chatted to EastEnders boss Diederick Santer in our first interview of DS's Producer Season 2009. Click here to read the main bulk of the interview, but read on if you're interested in some intriguing teasers as to what's to come for your favourite Walford characters.
Nick / Dot / Dotty
"It's going to a very, very dark place! My question with Dotty - or Kirsty! - is: was she born bad, or has Nick made her bad? And if she wasn't born bad, has Nick created something which is more dangerous than him? I love that little girl because she's having to play all these layers. Normally, what kids have to do of that age is say lines and be cute. She, though, has to play layers of deception. She has to play a character who's acting."
"I'm really pleased with what I've seen of Marc Elliott. There's two sides to Syed - a thrusting, entrepreneurial gambler, but at the same time he's a good family boy who's been frozen out for the last few years. He loves his mum and wants his dad's approval. He loves taking risks, though. Someone who makes nine brilliant moves, but his tenth is a disaster and it all comes tumbling down around him."
Brenda - what's her secret?
"I can't tell you that! All will be revealed in the summer. But I can exclusively reveal that she's not a man."
What about Tracey? Will we start seeing more of her?
"You just have to watch out for any script that Christopher Reason writes. Chris is obsessed with Tracey and with Jane Slaughter, who plays her. He gives her loads to do, which is fantastic. When we give her more to do, she absolutely delivers. We think she's fab."
Bradley and Syd
"Yeah, lovely. Maybe Syd's got a secret. Who know what that is... One day, we might bring in a character who doesn't have a secret! Sydney does have a secret, but it's not shocking, it's not unpleasant. But maybe that's what's causing her to hold back a little with Bradley?"
Dawn and Garry
"Ahh yes. Well I've just been looking at some storylines for their exit. We've been plotting the next few months for them and for Garry, it's really straightforward - she's the love of his life. But Dawn's more complicated - can Garry make Dawn love him?"
Shirley / Phil
"It's a toxic few weeks for Shirley and Phil. Shirley gets her man, but their relationship is fatally compromised. There's a song by the Pet Shop Boys with the word 'love' in the title, which epitomises their relationship."
"He's got a busy summer in store. I can't say too much about it at this stage because there's a big storyline that we haven't really announced yet, but he's got some terrific stuff to do. We're going to see a whole new side of him."
Any plans to introduce any more of Mo Harris's family? The Harris Brothers, perhaps?
"We get asked this a lot, but there are no plans."
Heather - who's the daddy?
"We were discussing that just this morning! I can't possibly say. But it'll be interesting and dramatic when it all comes out."
"Well, Manda has a secret, you'll be surprised to learn! Again, it's not an unpleasant one, although it might be a bit of a shock for Minty. There is this Phil Mitchell love child rumour, but I'm not going to rule that out either way because it's an interesting one! Josie [Lawrence] is fab. We wrote quite a few scripts for the character of Manda before Josie was cast, so the first batch of material that she did with us, although though I thought it was good, we weren't writing for her. Now, the writers are writing for the actress. It's looking great."
Whitney's got a stalker, too, apparently…
"Yeah... I'm not saying too much about him. He's a character played by an actor... All I'll say at this point is that he seems to want to talk to Whitney..."
Where's Len Harker?
"He's out there somewhere and he's an interesting character. There are no current plans to bring him back in, but we might see him again at some point."
"I saw him last week and he's in good form. He's keen to come back and we just have to work around him to make sure that he's comfortable when he's here. All things being equal, we'll definitely be seeing him again in the show before too long."
"People loved her, didn't they? I thought she was fantastic. She did a great stint with us and maybe she should come back again, but there are no plans at the moment."
And also on the cards...
§ Shirley's portion control isn't up to much
§ Half an hour proves a very long time for Stacey Slater
§ Bradley learns a new language
§ Mo does a deal with Chinese Pedro
§ Ian has a Highland Fling
§ Whitney makes a new friend
§ Dot loses her keys
§ Zainab struggles with the idea that Syed could love another woman
§ Minty and Garry float their boat
§ Garry is shocked when he sees some unconventional photos of Dawn
§ Lucas fights for his girl
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