This Thursday marks 17 years since Emmerdale did its first and only ‘two-hander’ episode in almost 45 years on screen. Given how the show has pushed the boundaries with new ways of story telling, we ask is it time for another and which duo should step up to the plate?
When you’ve got seven episodes per week to deliver, week in and week out, its not easy to keep coming up with new and interesting ways to tell stories – especially when the other rival soaps are in exactly the same boat.
Emmerdale has already made its mark with the award winning Ashley’s Point of View episode, Ashley and Laurel’s dream conversation and the telling of last year’s Super Soap Week – but its been a whopping 17 years since it last did an episode where it solely focused on two characters.
On 28th September 2000, Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) and Mandy Dingle (Lisa Riley) starred in the only Emmerdale two-hander to date, which was timed for Mandy’s departure from the Dales.
The nearest we’ve got since is when Paddy confronted Aaron about his sexuality back in 2010 and when Zak admitted to beating Cain as punishment for all his evil ways in 2012. The characters featured heavily in these episodes but they were not true ‘two-handers’.
So we think its about time we had another because we have such a stellar cast, the best we’ve ever had, and the producers and story team would be spoilt for choice as to who would feature. Here’s our top five pairings – although we could have rattled off ten easily!
Cain and Moira
Let’s face it, we’re just counting down the days until Coira finally reunites. It’s inevitable as far as we’re concerned and the sheer genius and emotion showed whenever Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) and Moira Dingle (Natalie J Robb) share a scene is more than enough to fill a whole episode.
How Cain communicates with Moira is on a different level to anyone else, even his childhood sweetheart Charity. Moira is without a doubt the love of Cain’s life and although its taken some time, they do understand each other brilliantly.
An episode solely focusing on these two characters, be it round the farm kitchen table or in the barn, would be amazing.
Nicola and Bernice
For us, to see these two amazing actresses – Nicola Wheeler and Samantha Giles – move away for the more comedic elements of their roles as Nicola King and Bernice Blackstock would be amazing.
Don’t get us wrong, both are incredibly talented comedy performers but that’s not all they are and the chance to see them stretch their dramatic chops would be fantastic.
Plus they have a brilliant history. Not only are they half-sisters but they have also shared the same lover at one point.
Neither are where they hoped to be when they arrived in Emmerdale all those years ago and it would be interesting to see how they’d react when rehashing the past.
Paddy and Marlon
The longest and most successful relationship in the village, Emmerdale’s best bromance of Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) and Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) would be an amazing two-hander, and they certainly wouldn’t be short of material.
Dominic is an old hand at this, given he was in the previous two-hander episode, plus he and Mark starred in the spin off DVD Marlon and Paddy’s Big Night Out.
Given how much history the pair have shared, and the struggles both have faced with heartache including them both loving the same woman and Marlon being the biological father of Paddy’s ex-wife Rhona, an episode dedicated to their friendship would be brilliant.
Aaron and Robert
You can’t talk about having two people on screen and not mention Robron. Aaron Dingle and Robert Sugden are the ‘power couple’ of Emmerdale. With a legion of fans, and both now holding Best Actor trophies for Danny Miller and Ryan Hawley, a two-hander featuring this pair would be nothing short of epic!
Their chemistry is off the charts and unlike anything we’ve ever seen, hence the fan following and the affect the pair even being on screen has on the show’s viewing figures and exposure on social media.
Plus, given everything the lovers have been through, its not like they are short of stuff to talk about. The fans have been crying out for some proper conversation given their communication issues have caused the downfall of their relationship. All that aside though, you just know Danny and Ryan would just smash it.
Eric and Diane
If you’re going for a ground-breaking episode, then you want to leave it in safe hands and you won’t get much safer than Emmerdale stalwarts Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell) and Diane Sugden (Elizabeth Estensen).
The experience these two actors have is off the charts but also it would be a great excuse to see more of these amazing performers. Sadly, they haven’t shared much screen time since the death of Eric’s wife and Diane’s sister Valerie.
An episode of them reminiscing over their lives and loves, the mistakes and the triumphs, would be very special. Plus, remember when they spent the night together when he was estranged from Val… that must be worth talking about!
According to Emmerdale Wiki, whilst Emmerdale has only ever done one two-hander, our friends at EastEnders has produced eighteen such episodes, several episodes with just three or four speaking parts and even an episode with a single character, Dot Cotton, in January 2008.
Come on Emmerdale, let’s show these southerners how its done, Yorkshire style!