In the last few days, it was reported that Kate Oates will be overseeing EastEnders along with both Casualty and Holby City for the BBC. For a lot of fans, this is hopefully a sign of good times.
In the last few years, Kate Oates has done wonders for rival soaps, Emmerdale and Coronation Street, generating some provocative and exciting storylines as well as popular romantic pairings that when news came that she was stepping down from the latter soap, fans were hoping the BBC would tempt her in order to give EastEnders a much needed shot in the arm and given the hatchet job that both Sean O'Connor and John Yorke have managed between them in the last two and a half years, Kate certainly can't do any worse but here are a few suggestions/things I'd like to see happen within Oates's upcoming era of the soap.
Axings: I don't think Kate will make too many major axings, not early into her tenure to be honest. There isn't much deadwood on the show at the moment for her to get rid of such, except maybe Stuart and I wouldn't be surprised if he's gone before her era even kicks off to be honest.
Rebuilding Families: In particular the Beales, Masoods and maybe the Mitchells as well. Also possibly the Foxes too. Also do more with the existing families like the Slaters/Fowlers and Taylors as well.
Spread The Love: Instead of overly focusing on particular sets of characters, the show does need to spread out the storylines so that everyone is getting something worthwhile to do. This was something DTC did excel at as well, so hopefully Oates will follow suit. Given her previous track record, I think she will do her best to make sure the show doesn't overly depend too much on certain characters.
LGBT Characters: I actually don't want Ben and Johnny back. Ben has had some of the worst, borderline homophobic writing we've ever seen on the show and he's just too divisive as a character who seems to be played by very inconsistent actors to boot. Similarly Johnny's potential was long drained away that he became such a non entity of a character. No, right now we need new gay/bi male characters to boot. Give them decent links to the square and build a relationship organically rather than trying to recapture a RobRon or Kana type of thing. Oh and make them likeable/interesting. It shouldn't be hard to do.
Better Baddies: The Willmott-Browns, Aidan and Stuart all had the potential to be compelling baddies but all have failed big time as characters. I'm hoping the show can break the bad trend with Ray and make him a credible antagonist because they've got a really talented actor with Sean Mahon, so let's not waste his talents.
Returns: I'd love Janine back but only if she's still rich and they have enough storylines to justify a proper return. Likely returns though should be the likes of Jane, Peter and Zainab in order to rebuild the Beales and Masood families.
The Vic: We could get new owners for the place and I wouldn't be against that as such but at the same I'm indifferent as to whether or not the Carters stay in the Vic. Saying that though, the show does need to dial things back a little bit with them as well.
A Sense Of Excitement: Kate did this effortlessly with both ITV soaps and fired up the viewing public's anticipation for storylines. I really want her to do that with this show, especially as the show hasn't really had that wow factor since it's 30th anniversary in 2015.
Press Release: http://www.digitalspy.com/soaps/eastenders/news/a863452/eastenders-casualty-holby-city-new-producer-kate-oates/
What would you like to see happen with EastEnders under Kate Oates run?