Channel 4 and the Hollyoaks team have compiled their top twenty best moments from the shows history. Launching on October 23rd 1995 the series has never been far from ranging from the dramatic to the ridiculous, sometimes managing it in the same scene… This section covers 2011 to 2015 when the drama was a little more frequent.
Ep 3201, Fright Night / Silas – 31st October 2011
To the untrained eye, Silas Blissett was the caring grandfather to Riley, Seth and Jason Costello who liked to play Chess and adored his daughter, Heidi. However, to nurse Lynsey Nolan, Silas was a serial killer who preyed on the promiscuous women of Hollyoaks village. By the time Fright Night arrived, sinister Silas had already killed three Hollyoaks ladies, attempted to murder Lynsey Nolan and had kidnapped heavily pregnant Mercedes after finding out she’d been having an affair behind husband, Riley’s back with his dad, Carl. Silas decided to play a game with Lynsey, who was determined to reveal his true identity. He gave her until Halloween to guess who his next victim would be – if she did, he would hand himself to the police, but if she didn’t then there’d be blood on her hands.
While Lynsey frantically tried to solve the riddle, Silas was planning to kill her and thought he’d succeeded when he murdered a woman wearing the same Cat Woman costume as her. However, when a lock of blonde hair tumbled from underneath the Cat Woman mask, Silas was sickened to realise he’d actually killed his daughter, Heidi. Silas was in a mental health facility when Lynsey was murdered in 2012 and was furious that he wasn’t the one to kill his nemesis. He later escaped by faking a heart attack and is still on the run… Jeff Rawle won Best Villain in the 2012 All About Soap Bubble awards, while ‘Fright Night’ won Best Episode.
Ep 3278, Nancy and Darren’s first wedding – 15h February 2012
Hopeless-in-love Darren Osborne thought it would be a good idea to organise a surprise wedding for him and Nancy, but didn’t bet on Nancy’s mother turning up just before the nuptials and nearly ruining everything. With Nancy completely in the dark, Darren’s first mistake was organising the wedding for Valentine’s Day, which also happened to be the anniversary of her sister’s death. Darren didn’t let this stand in his way and asked Cindy to help him find the perfect wedding dress. However, a comment from Nancy’s mum made Cindy think that her and Darren were meant to be together and she tried to kiss him during the fitting.
Meanwhile, Nancy was becoming suspicious of her fiance’s secretive behaviour and a number of clues lead her to believe he was having an affair. She was given more food for thought when her mum asked her to move to Canada with her. When word spread that Nancy was missing on her wedding day, Darren frantically tried to find his clueless bride and had just about given up when Nancy returned. He was still unsure whether Nancy would turn up at the altar, but his heart sored when she arrived and the pair got hitched – for the first time…
Ep 3376, Who killed Lynsey? – 2nd July 2012
In 2012, Lynsey was suddenly murdered in her own home and the audience were left shocked when Brendan discovered her dead body on the sofa. With her tormentor, Silas in a mental health facility, he was out of the frame, but other suspects included Mercedes McQueen and Will Savage after Lynsey had uncovered secrets about them. The real killer turned out to be Dr. Browning, who was trying to protect Mercedes after Lynsey found out she’d stabbed herself to frame Mitzeee. Hollyoaks kept Lynsey’s murder a secret to the audience and Joseph Thompson (Dr Browning) won Heat magazine’s ‘Soap Bubble’ award for Best Baddie.
Ep 3473/3474, The Hollyoaks Bus Crash, Enjoy The Ride – 14th / 15th November 2012
The Hollyoaks bus crash ‘Enjoy the Ride’ won Spectacular Scene at the British Soap Awards and Best Stunt in the All About Soap Bubble awards in 2013. The tragic accident took place at the joint wedding of Tony Hutchinson to Cindy Cunningham and Doug Carter to Ste Hay. However, there was one more wedding on that fateful day for teens Jono and Ruby who had decided to elope. With no other way of getting to Gretna Green, their friend Maddie stole the mini bus that was being used for the double wedding. After finding out that Jono had kissed Maddie, Esther decided to stop Ruby from marrying him and asked Bart to chase after the bus.
Fuelled on drugs, Bart chased the mini bus but as their speed reached dangerous heights, Maddie had to suddenly hit the brakes when Ste’s daughter, Leah ran into the road. However, the brakes weren’t working and Maddie drove straight through the venue for Tony, Cindy, Doug and Ste’s weddings, crashing the vehicle onto its side. It was a race against time as flames edged towards the leaking petrol from the bus, which eventually saw the bus explode in a ball of fire. Rhys, Maddie, Neil and Jono died. The scenes were filmed over a full week with two days dedicated to the stunt sequences. The filming of the stunts employed a mix of CGI effects and live action. Nick Pickard described the location as a “very grand setting for a big Hollyoaks disaster”.
Ep 3497/3498, Brendan and Ste in Dublin – 18th / 19th December 2012
Ste was torn about whether to go to America with husband, Doug or to follow the love-of-his-life, Brendan to Dublin. His mind was made up when Doug set him free at the airport and fans waited in anticipation to see whether Ste and Brendan would finally get a shot at happiness. However, in true soap style, Brendan was about to cross paths with another love interest, in the shape of John Paul McQueen. After sharing stories of lost loves over a drink, sadness turned to passion for Brendan and John Paul who ended up in bed together.
Meanwhile, Ste was on his way and when he tracked Brendan down at his hotel, he was shocked to find John Paul half naked in his room. Brendan chased after Ste and the pair declared their love for each other on the Ha’Penny bridge. Their love affair was doomed to fail when Brendan took the blame for his sister, Cheryl for killing their abusive father. Kieron Richardson (Ste) and Emmett J Scanlan (Brendan) won Best On-Screen Partnership at the British Soap Awards and Best Relationship in the All About Soap Bubble awards in 2013. Hollyoaks also won the Attitude magazine Media Representation Award for ‘Best representation of gay people and issues in a continuing drama.’
Ep 3521, Esther’s suicide attempt – 21st January 2013
Esther had been the victim of bullying by her college friends for months when the pain and humiliation finally got too much and she decided to take her own life. ‘Queen Bee’ at college, Maddie Morrison had started the abuse with a tirade of cruel comments, pranks and jokes at Esther’s expense and when Maddie died in the Bus Crash, Ruby and Sinead decided to continue the reign of terror, justifying their behaviour by blaming Esther for the deaths of their friends. In January 2013 Esther went to The Folly armed with pills and alcohol and took an overdose.
However, she was left feeling annoyed and a failure when she woke up the next morning. Esther decided to try again but was intercepted by her friend, George who took her home. It was only when her gran, Frankie found the remains of the pills in her bag that the seriousness of the situation dawned and Esther was rushed to hospital where she had a liver transplant. Hollyoaks worked with The Samaritans and Beat Bullying on the storyline, which won Best Storyline at the All About Soap Bubble awards and an RTS North West award for Innovation in Multi-Platform for the fictional social networking site, DocYou, which aimed to address the issues of cyber bullying.
Ep 3712, The Hollyoaks Blast – 15th October 2013
The Hollyoaks Blast won Heat magazine’s ‘Soapy Bubble’ award for Explosive Storyline in 2013 after a devastating bomb ripped through the Hollyoaks Council Flats and killed three main characters. Intent on killing Mercedes McQueen, soap bitch Claire Devine and her accomplice, Trevor Royle planted a bomb at The Loft where they knew the McQueens would be celebrating Mercedes’ birthday. However, when Sinead stole the bomb from the club, thinking it was a bag full of cash, and took it to Ste and Doug’s leaving party at the Council Flats, tragedy was certain. Ash Kane, Doug Carter and Leanne Holliday all perished in the blast, while in the village Dr Browning killed Claire Devine and Mercedes murdered Dr Browning.
Ep 3755, The Fall of Sienna – 13th December 2013
Sienna’s reign of manipulation over Darren and the rest of the Osbornes came crashing down when her fake pregnancy and kidnap of ‘Little’ Tom was finally exposed. Starting as a bar maid, Sienna was soon promoted to the Osborne’s nanny when Oscar was born. However, her obsession about being a mum saw her slowly trying to take over Nancy Osborne’s life and even breast feeding her baby! Sienna took advantage of Nancy’s developing addiction to pain killers and made her look like an unfit mother through a series of incidents. Once Nancy and Darren had split up, Sienna started a relationship with Darren and lied that she was pregnant. However, when Little Tom found out that she was concealing a fake baby bump, she kidnapped him and locked him in the same basement that Patrick locked her in when she was pregnant as a fourteen year old.
At Sienna and Darren’s engagement party, Darren’s romantic speech is ruined by the arrival of furious Nancy and the return of Tom… Nancy flies at Sienna, but Jack pulls her away. Sienna wonders why everyone’s still staring at her until she looks down and sees her ripped top, exposing her fake baby bump. Sienna goes on the run, kidnaps Tom, Charlie and baby Oscar and locks herself in the Roscoe’s garage. The Osbornes are alarmed when they hear the engine running and think Sienna is trying to kill herself and the children. She drives through the doors of the garage and is arrested. However, when Jack notices blood coming from the boot of his car, they open the door to reveal Nancy unconscious inside. Anna Passey has since won Best Villain at the British Soap Awards.
Ep 3774, Male Rape – 9th January 2014
Hollyoaks worked with Survivors Manchester on John Paul’s rape storyline to accurately portray the teacher’s ordeal. After months of homophobic bullying by Finn and Robbie, John Paul was raped by Finn in his classroom and suffered in silence as he continued to teach his attacker. It wasn’t until Finn attempted to rape Nancy that John Paul was able to reveal the horror of what had happened and Finn was finally brought to justice. Through their work with Hollyoaks, Survivors Manchester secured a £1million ring-fenced grant from the Ministry of Justice to support male victims of sexual violence. They also won Gold at the Public Service Communications Awards for their #BreakTheSilence campaign.
Ep 3993, The Hollyoaks Train Crash, End of the Line – 12th November 2014
Porsche and Lockie’s wedding day ended in disaster when their party train crashed and killed Carmel McQueen and Sonny Valentine. The series of events escalated when Sienna drove Maxine to find Dodger to tell him she loved him, but Maxine’s abusive husband, Patrick chased them down in his car and sent them speeding down an embankment and onto the train track below. As they frantically tried to escape their stranded car, the train of wedding guests came hurtling towards them. Maxine and Sienna escaped with a second to spare as the train crashed and derailed.
Meanwhile, inside the doomed locomotive, the McQueen family had just found out that Carmel was planning to kidnap Theresa’s daughter, Kathleen Angel and run away with Sonny Valentine. Sonny was about to kill Theresa when the train crashed but his efforts were thwarted when Carmel distracted him and Theresa was able to escape. However, as Theresa ran away, a gas canister exploded with Carmel and Sonny trapped inside the train. The heartbroken McQueens were by Carmel’s side as she passed away. As one life ended, another began when Maxine gave birth to baby Minnie. Patrick found her in an abandoned railway hut and took his new baby to find help for Maxine, but instead told the paramedic that Maxine died in labour. Theresa finds weak Maxine and rushes her to hospital.
Hollyoaks airs weeknights on Channel 4 at 6.30pm