Media: An odd road to 'Eldorado': Sue Summers canvasses expert views

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The Independent Online
NICK ELLIOTT - Controller of Drama, LWT

'IT will have to be worked at quite drastically. The best thing is that it has some decent women characters; they are the basis of the show.

'But the men and the juvenile leads are problems. The villain, Marcus Tandy (Jesse Birdsall), is just too 100 per cent bad, you felt like hissing every time he came on. He doesn't compare with Leslie Grantham as Dirty Den.

'The juvenile leads can't act, and there is a problem with the foreign actors as well. There should be more sea and sun: we really only saw a bit of dirty beach. I didn't warm to the village, it felt slightly tacky, and the bar felt cold, not welcoming.

'Is it a BBC show? I think if they got it right it should be, a British drama of a lightish nature.'

NINA MYSKOW - Columnist for the 'Sun'

'I ABSOLUTELY adored the titles: they were so classy. But they've spent all this money building the set, which looks fake. And you get authentic sound, which means you can't hear properly, and that detracted from my enjoyment.

'Some of the acting reminded me of Crossroads - but then look at the popularity of Crossroads. The men were all completely useless, either overweight or gay or complete little shits. And what was totally unconvincing was the relationship between Trish (Polly Perkins) and the toy boy. I know these types and that's not the sort of toy boy who would go for her, and vice versa.

'But it will be a success. The BBC has spent so much money it will have to make it a success.'

PHILLIPPA GILES - BBC drama producer

'MY reaction was mainly one of relief. There had been so much hype about sex, sun and sangria that I thought: what the hell are we going to get on BBC 1 at 7pm? But it looked good and was colourful and fast.

'There was only one point where the director had to learn that production values do not consist of a high-cut swimsuit: that appalling line where Drew (Campbell Morrison) says he'd like to 'give her one'. But the sex was much lower key than I'd imagined.

'I wasn't sure about the title music. The thing that grabs you about EastEnders is the music, which is like a clarion call to watch. I didn't think this had the same appeal, even though it was by the same composer, Simon May.'

DAVID LIDDIMENT - Head of entertainment, Granada

'I WAS disappointed. It had too many characters, all trying to be established in one episode. Having said that, the last thing you can do is judge a soap by its first episode. Soap is about creating a habit.

'I thought the setting slightly overpowered everything else. The characters who made the greatest impact were the older woman and the toy boy, because they had a big row. That always draws a viewer's attention.

'But the cast list went on for a long time - there were maybe 25 or 30 characters in that one episode - and I didn't get a real sense of what that place was, or why these people were there, and why I should be interested in their lives.'

DOROTHY HOBSON - Media academic

'ITS colourful setting is a bonus. But far more important is having good characters, because it has to fulfil a soap opera's main criterion: involving people in shared joys and troubles.

'You can see they are starting to set that up already. In six months' time, they will be showing that, wherever you are, however idyllic the place, people can still have problems.

'There are strong women characters, like all soaps, but I don't think it's a future Coronation Street. There's a limited amount of time you can continue with it in terms of its actual setting.

'It's not based in any reality for the majority of the audience that will be watching it, so it will have to be very good to work.'

(Photographs omitted)