25 March 2012

Albion Market - The Story Continues...

Here at '80s Actual, we pride ourselves on the ACTUAL. No hyping of the decade, investing it with things that happened in other decades (which often happens with the 1970s), a serious attempt to reassemble all the things that went to make up the 1980s and present them accurately, spiced with material from the time, my own personal views as someone who was part of the era, and the views of others.

For one of my next posts I'm asking you to let me indulge myself in a bit of fantasy. It has always been my dream to write TV drama, I'm a particular fan of pre-1990s soaps, and the 1980s presents me with a great opportunity to run my own soap on this blog.In August 1986, the Granada Television soap Albion Market ended after exactly one hundred episodes. Having fared badly in the ratings originally, Granada had tweaked the show more than somewhat, injecting a bit of glitz and glamour, a slimy new boss man set to cause endless trouble, and a much more upbeat approach. Unfortunately, the show had been dropped into very un-advantageous time slots in some ITV regions, and the programme was given the chop just as the changes had begun.

The production team gave us viewers an ending - the slimy new boss man was dispatched, and the original honest and kind boss came back. The final episode featured what could only be described as the wedding from hell, and most loose ends were tied up.

Now, let us imagine that, just as the Albion Market cast and crew were wrapping up the show in July 1986, ITV had a change of heart and decided it should continue. Having got rid of their dreadful new boss man character, who simply oozed fascinating story-line possibilities, and brought back Mr Nice to round the show off, the production team would probably have been grunting in frustration, but the show must go on and so they set to work on episode 101...

Albion Market Episode 101 will take us back to the market in 1986 and is my interpretation of what would have happened next. Expect plenty of pop culture references, and remember that mobile phones had just arrived in the UK the year before and were wildly expensive to most people in 1986 - and that the World Wide Web wouldn't even be invented until 1989! Life was very different.

For those not interested - the vast majority of my readers I'm sure - just skip it - normal service will also be continuing, but for those who ARE interested take a look at our original Albion Market post to help familiarise yourself with the location and characters.

Here's a brief "story so far":

Albion Market is a large covered market standing by the River Irwell, somewhere in the Manchester area.

Stall holder Lynne Harrison has slept with ex-market boss Alan Curtis whilst he was seeing her daughter, Lisa O'Shea. Lisa is upset and confused by the situation, Lynne regretful.

Lisa's two classic clothes stalls are doing well.

Market superintendent Derek Owen has resumed his adulterous relationship with Ly Nhu Chan.

Derek's young assistant, Keith Naylor, has married stroppy teen and ex-prostitute Louise Todd and taken on responsibility for her baby, Jenny. How will the couple fare living with Keith's mother, who doesn't get on with Louise?

Jaz Sharma can't get over the death of racist stallholder Oliver Shawcross, for which he was charged for murder. He continues working with brother Raju on the fashion stall.

Barmaid Colette Johnson at the local pub, The Waterman's Arms, has put her relationship with Phil Smith, the father of her child, Gregory, behind her and has been seeing hairdresser Sean.

Flower stall holder Geoff Travis has faced facts - his marriage is at an end. But is it?

At the cafe, Peggy Sagar continues to run the business, with chef Paul and waitress Louise - Keith's wife. Former waitress Carol Broadbent, sacked from her post, is fast receding from Peggy's mind. But has the market seen the last of Carol?

Hairdresser Viv Harker has made her mark on the market with her posh hairdressing salon, Viva. She's fallen out with Lynne, and befriended Keith and Lynne's daughter, Lisa. She has also taken on staff - temperamental Sean and trainee Debbie. Will her business succeed?

Albion Market, Episode 101, coming soon...

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