One to Watch: It’s been a dramatic few weeks up in Glasgow as River City continues the drama tonight on BBC One Scotland.

It’s amazing really, to us, that the best prime time saga from the BBC is shown only in Scotland, but that could be the reason its so good – no pressure to compete for soap awards and massive ratings – so the storylines are character driven and aimed solely at entertaining the audience. No predictable plots, no gimmicks and no just for shock sake scenes aimed at getting social media into a tiswas.

The beeb trailers lead us all to believe Annie was to fall victim to a bullet in a drive-by shooting, however the twist saw her sister Lorna hit instead. Neither of course were the intended target with criminal boss Lenny deemed the most obvious choice to be snuffed out.

Last week in Shieldinch, the fictional suburb near Glasgow, the residents were left reeling in the aftermath of the gunning down, outside The Tall Ship pub, on Annie and Alex’s wedding day. As events unfolded comedy came in the form of Bob being caught in the crossfire – having shards of glass wedged in his bottom, which gave light relief during the episode, not forced, naturally done and effective.

However the dramas were centre stage as Pete showed Caitlin his worth in the trying times, while bloodstained members of the wedding party fought to save those caught in the aftermath; especially Kim who rushed about, tending to the injured, as Scarlett watched on, impressed. The outcome the belief that Kim should return to medical studies.

As chaos cast a shadow over Shieldinch, everyone pointed the finger of blame towards Lenny who went in search of justice with Alex, before an unexpected – and unannounced twist – saw Alex in the casualty room alongside shooting victim Lorna.

Annie and Alex’s wedding day was ruined by a drive-by shooting.

The Key Victims

Ambitious and charming, Alex Murdoch is a slick businessman, who is never afraid of a challenge.

Nephew to notorious gangster, Billy Kennedy, Alex used to consider himself a principled man and wanted to prove he could succeed in spite of his Kennedy connections, not because of them. However, a number of dodgy dealings saw him blinded by profit and his business dealings haven’t always been as legitimate as he’d like everyone to believe.

Alex’s love life has been complicated to say the least. He has a teenage daughter, Jessica, to his first wife, Karen, and when that relationship ended he enjoyed the company of hired escorts. It looked like he’d finally turned a corner when he found love with Kelly-Marie Adams. But infidelity and his controlling behaviour destroyed that marriage.

He later discovered that his hated mother, Martina, had pushed Kelly-Marie down the stairs, and caused his son, David, to be born prematurely, then die. When Martina also revealed that Lenny Murdoch was his real father, forgiveness was not an option. It’s no more Mr Nice guy. Half-Kennedy, half-Murdoch, Alex is harder than ever. Only with love, and new wife, Dr Annie Jandhu, and his sister, Amber, does he show he has a heart.

Long-suffering army wife Lorna Roth is warm, caring and clever. Always putting her family before herself, Lorna longs for someone to do the same for her. Lorna graduated from Edinburgh University in Law, but with Greig away, she gave up her career to care for their two children.

Being a full-time mum was often difficult, their eldest daughter Frankie was testing and rebellious, lacking a father figure, whilst the youngest, Katie, required extra care. Sick of living in the barracks, Lorna chose to move to Shieldinch to be closer to her sister, Annie, and make a permanent home for her family.

She was surprised on her arrival to discover that Annie had hidden her separation from AJ and Lorna also didn’t take well to new partner Alex. Adding insult to injury Frankie rocked up to Shieldinch early, having been expelled from boarding school. Greig’s best mate, Andy, dropped in for a visit however in a moment of madness, she and Andy gave in to their long-suppressed attraction and kissed.

Earlier this year Greig surprised the family by arriving in Shieldinch, proclaiming to have finished his final tour of duty. Lorna was delighted to have him home, but cannot deny the ongoing frisson with Andy. She was less impressed to discover her hubby had many years earlier shared an encounter with her sister Annie. But this was forgiven as the sisters prepared for Anne’s big day.

This week it’s the morning of the funeral and a grief-stricken Annie tries to focus on saying goodbye to her loved one – as yet unrevealed to viewers. The residents of Shieldinch gather together as the funeral cars arrive with emotions running high all round. After discovering a wake hasn’t been organised, Maggie steps in to save the day, knowing the community will want to say their goodbyes.

Elsewhere, in search of new challenges, Amber persuades Lenny to let her take on the Pop-Up. However, she’ll need to work alongside Stevie. Initially sceptical, Stevie and Amber warm to working together with a shared vision for their new restaurant venture – The Two Jailbirds.

AJ tells Ellie he has a spare ticket for his Indian trip but mixed messages result in him asking Pete to join him on his travels. Caitlin scuppers Pete’s plans to run away from his troubles which puts Ellie back in the frame to go away with AJ afterall. However, an unexpected curveball is about to scupper AJ and Ellie’s plans once and for all.

The popularity of River City in Scotland saw last month over 9000 fans of the show apply for tickets to a special screening of the wedding edition which was shown before television broadcast on August 29th at the Oran Mor in Glasgow. Actors Dawn Steele, who plays Annie, and Jordan Young, who plays Alex, joined the ‘congregation’ who all turned up in wedding attire, to talk to the fans following the screening.

River City airs tonight on BBC One Scotland at 8pm. The rest of the UK can see the programme on Sky channel 951 or via the iPlayer.

Viewers attend the screening of Alex and Annie’s wedding back in August. Actors Jordan Young and Dawn Steele appeared at the event which saw over 9000 fans apply for tickets.
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