Wednesday, 9 May 2012

So, farewell, Nigel

The Limestone Way, near Winster January 3rd 2011
The Archers has nothing to do with the Fringe or the real world at all of course. That didn't stop us following the recently broadcast game of Cluedo that saw Nigel Pargeter dying, falling from the roof of his country pile as he struggled to untie a banner. Most of this had been carefully developed in the story over the preceding days and the outcome was tragically inevitable. Part of us had hoped that David would plunge to his death - nothing against David as such but it would have opened up some bigger story lines.
Not that we had any sympathy for those hoping that this earthquake edition of The Archers would include, well, an earthquake or a terrorist attack. One of the strengths of programmes like The Archers is its general reasonableness - OK there are problems. Things happen much more quickly in Ambridge than in real life - if you want to build an extension the job will be done from scratch in a couple of months; websites are created and go live in an afternoon. How comes no one seems to employ domestic help? But generally life in Borsetshire is nearly plausible and so given the editor's commitment to a 'big' story to mark 60 years on air, the simultaneous death of Nigel and the birth of Henry Ian will create umpteen rich, psychological plotlines. How will David cope with the guilt of contributing to his brother-in-law's untimely death? How will the timing of his birth shape the character and personality of Henry? Will Lizzie manage the estate on her own or will she shortly find that members of the county set are anxious to marry her?

You may have gathered that there is little new on the Fringe front, but some events are of too great a moment to pass without comment. The Fringe committee meets on January 10th; no one will be falling from old buildings but our own small - but worthy - annual cycle begins again.

by Keith Savage - Published 04/01/2011

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