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Long Live Brookside
on 3 December 2012
This long awaited DVD release features 16 full episodes of the classic, groundbreaking, Channel 4 soap which ran from 1982-2003 when it was axed after falling viewing figures (mainly due to being pushed around the schedules for Big Brother during 2000-2002).
Before each episode Dean Sullivan (Jimmy Corkhill) gives an overview of the episode which helps to tie up any parts of the storylines featured that aren't shown on screen. For instance he explains, before one of the Jordache episodes, what happened to Beth and Mandy. This stops you wondering too much about what happened next.
Overall the episodes chosen are a decent glance at each period of Brookside's history from the first episode in 1982 upto the final primetime episode from 2002. Obviously not everyone's favourite storylines will be featured, but you can't fit 21 Years of soap onto a DVD.
The Jordache episodes stand out a mile,as do most of them. My least favourite episode was the siege episode from the 1980's, it seemed a bit flat to me, but maybe because I hadn't seen it in the past. The first episode is still very watchable.
Watching it, I realised how much I had forgotten and how much I used to love Brookside. A nice little touch is the inclusion of the original advert break titles (Part One/ Part Two).
The 1998 gas explosion episodes are excellent and I am pleased they are included, also brilliant is the murder of Imelda Clough from 2002 which won Best Storyline at the Soap Awards, along with an acting award for Ray Quinn, almost Brookside's last hurrah.
I've seen reviews of this from before it was even released panning the fact that some storylines have only one episode, but as I explained, this isn't a problem as the overview wraps most loose ends up for the viewers.
Brookside was one of the best soaps and almost certainly the most daring, the ones that it left behind are constantly copying it today. Channel 4 should have released this years ago, let's hope they release more episodes in the future.
Long Live Brookside!