Charlotte Higgins on The Archers: car-tastrophe in the Am!

Charlotte Higgins on The Archers: car-tastrophe in the Am!

Three near-drownings and a dodgy sewage virus in Ambridge this month, and all the horses are dying off, too. So Much Plot

Nothing happens in Ambridge for months, and then everything happens. Early in May, on a bridge just outside the village, two cars collided, exploding plotlines and almost drowning three characters. The erratically driven vehicle that caused the swerve that resulted in a car and its passengers in the Am? It was Alcoholic Alice’s. But she was not at the wheel at the time: that was George “he’s a good lad really” Grundy, who found her blind drunk in a layby and decided to drive her home. Swiftly at the scene were vet Alistair and vet nurse Denise, who had been on their way to consummate their forbidden love. During their rescue mission, George freed Fallon from the submerged vehicle. He also managed secretly to shift the unconscious Alice from the passenger’s to the driver’s seat, creating the impression that she had been the cause of the catastrophe.

And the crash’s consequences? Denise has developed a virus from the waters of the Am, which are presumably infused with raw sewage thanks to 14 years of the Tories. Will she be the first, and unexpected, casualty of The Events? Her love is a deadly secret from her son Paul, who also happens to work at the vet practice, and for whom an elaborate series of lies has been invented to explain that nocturnal car journey. I fear this will not end well.

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