Classic soaps have arrived on BritBox joining the collections of Emmerdale Farm and Coronation Street.
Soap fans have been taking to social media this morning to share their joy at the range of soapy content launched this morning with classic episodes of some of Britain’s best-loved soaps, including Brookside, Take The High Road and Crossroads.
Subscribers this month have already, from July 8th, stepped back in time with additions to the ‘Old School’ collection, just in time for the summer holidays as the streaming service offered up viewers to hop aboard the Black Pig with Captain Pugwash, get into some mischief with the iconic duo Dennis & Gnasher, or dive into all three seasons of the classic animated superhero series Bananaman. But its the SoapBox section that has got fans excited.
From 15th July the SoapBox Collection is boosted with ATV’s General Hospital set in a fictional Midlands town, the series follows the romantic and professional lives of its doctors and nurses. The series was seen as a replacement for the 60s hit Emergency Ward 10. The Midland General features Tony Adams, Lynda Bellingham, Brian Capron and Judy Buxton. The show ran from 1972 to 1979.
General Hospital has never been repeated since the 1970s.
A popular programme, even today, with STV viewers, Take The High Road ran from 1980 to 2003 and brought us the adventures of the residents of the rural Scottish village of Glendarroch. Storylines deal with community issues ranging from crop failures and parish pump politics to infidelity, alcoholism, drug abuse, and the everyday gossip of ‘Mrs. Mack.’ The series has proved popular with reruns on STV2 and the STV Player previously.
From 1964 to 1988 teatimes were the home of Crossroads the four or five times a week adventures of a motel owner Meg Richardson, her son Sandy, daughter Jill and the lives of her staff at the motel including Amy Turtle and Tish Hope. Drama was never far away from the ringing of the reception bell with those who travel the Midland road bringing their own stories to the Crossroads Motel as well as the lives and loves of the villagers in Kings Oak. Starring Noele Gordon, Jane Rossington, Roger Tonge, Ronald Allen and Ann George.
Crossroads has been re-screened on UK Gold in the 90s and in 2015 on BCTV in the Midlands.
Brookside also joins the line up, the rebel of the lot. While Crossroads had been a trailblazer for social issues in the 60s and 70s, (rape, racism, wife beating, suicide to name a few) Brookside grabbed the format by its legs and gave soap a good shake-up. The ground-breaking series first aired on Channel 4 in 1982 and ran for 21 years. Starring Dean Sullivan, Claire Sweeney, Anna Friel, Sue Johnson and Ricky Tomlinson.
Brookside hasn’t been repeated since the 1990s on Living TV. There is also a chance to revisit Los Barcos in several episodes of BBC Spanish-based sunshine serial Eldorado.
Finally, Casualty is also heading to the streaming service. The longest running medical drama in the world follows the lives of the staff and patients at Holby City Hospital’s emergency department, charting the ups and downs in their personal and professional lives. Starring Derek Thompson, Amanda Mealing and Cathy Shipton. Classic Casualty has most recently been re-run on UKTV Drama and was rescreened on UK Gold in the 90s.