EastEnders spin-off Redwater compromised by broadcast in Ireland

Spoiler Alert: Who is Kat's long lost son?

The long-awaited EastEnders spin-off, featuring favourite characters Kat and Alfie Moon, is finally about to hit our screens.

Once Kat and Alfie had left the Old Vic and turned their back on Albert Square, it was a no-brainer that the BBC would create a vehicle to exploit the chemistry between actors Shane Ritchie and Jessie Wallace who have 16 years of experience in the roles (longer than the marriages either have experienced in their personal lives).

Redwater, begins on Thursday night on BBC One at 8pm and trailers are beginning to flood our screens as the launch approaches. However, in an uncharacteristic faux pas by Auntie, the excitement of this new show has been deflated by the fact that it was broadcasted on RTE, Ireland’s main TV channel on Sunday night..

Subsequently, Twitter was alive with plotlines and character analysis before anyone in the UK was able to tune in. 

The basic premise for Redwater is that Alfie decides to help Kat to find her long lost son. In one of those complicated EastEnders’ storylines, Kat had discovered from a whistle-blowing nun that she had given birth to twins, when she believed she had only ever had a daughter, Zoe. Cue Redwater and the cockney lass’s mission to be reunited with her child.

Spoiler Alert!

In a landscape that could not be more different from the urban chaos of Walford, Kat and Alfie  follow her son’s trail to a windswept, verdant outback of rural Ireland and close in on his identity. A farmer and a priest are the likely candidates and when it becomes clear that the religious Dermott is in fact her offspring, Kat feels reassured that her lost offspring has had a blessed upbringing.

However, Redwater is not a passing reference to the Kent shopping mall Bluewater as it soon becomes apparent that there is nothing godly about this priest’s behaviour.

If you had expected that this series would allow Kat and Alfie to finally step away from the grim underworld of the capital, you will be disappointed. It soon becomes clear that Dermott makes Phil Mitchell look like a saint and that Redwater is a reference to spilt blood.

The producers at the BBC will be furious that this scheduling mishap means that Irish viewers will be able to inform audiences in the UK and the usual cliffhangers, on which soaps like EastEnders depend, will have no power, unless you are blessed with enormous self-discipline.

#TV Figures for Sunday #drama on @RTEOne show half a million tuning in for #Faircity & #Redwater debut gets 495,000 https://t.co/qs4wm6qUhg pic.twitter.com/q0d5nuLPIs

— Irish Film & TV Net (@IFTN) May 15, 2017

Of course, now that we know that Kat’s son is a murderous psychotic priest, the series still has a long way to travel.  Discovering how Kat reacts to the truth about her son and how Alfie tries to protect her from the inevitable fall-out, should develop into some compelling drama but now that RTE and social media are one step ahead Auntie’s investment in Alfie and Kat could really bomb.

Redwater airs on BBC One May 18 at 8pm

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