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A Huge Big Thank you to Bill Sands who has made the following summeries availabe to me.

They were previously on his site. Please go and visit: it is a great site

Bill Sands -

21/24 Dec 1998 (Xmas day follows)

Warning - these promise to be very long, mainly because a lot happened
this week, there was an extra episode and I've had a beer or 4, which
kills off any brevity.

God, where to start? Um - let's try Di Nasty Villun and His Faithful

Yes, Andy is still freaking out about his dad. Billy is still going on
about Amsterdam and spouting 22 year old garbage about Andy needing his
dad and trusting him. To go abroad though, he needs money.

Donna is trying to find out what's going on and Andy (conveniently
forgetting that Donna was bullying him only 2 months ago) confides in
her. She tells him that he must tell an adult, but he's having none of
it. While seeing her at the post office, he notices Vic openly cashing
up in the shop and nicks some money when his back is turned. He proudly
gives the money to DNV, who is impressed and decides to rob the PO to
finance his escape.

Andy is scared by this point, but DNV persuades him that robbing the
place is the only way to get to Holland. He asks Andy to check that the
Windsors will be away for Xmas (they won't, but they'll be at the
Woolpack Christmas Lunch instead) and discovers that Vic keeps the keys
to the safe in a draw. Easy as pie, thinks DNV. But Andy is feeling
guilty and begs Billy to reconsider.

Billy (to Andy throughout the week): You're a good lad. We're blood, you
and me. The Sudgens don't care about you. Trust me. Blah blah blah.

Eventually Billy gives Andy an ultimatum - him or the Sugdens. For Andy,
blood is thicker than water.

The Dingles
Yes, this now boring storyline drags on and is only redeemed by some top
acting across the board. We start with Mandy, still disgusted with Butch
over his lies, and confiding in Lisa about it all. Lisa tells him that
she knew all about it as Butch had confided in Ashley. Mandy, as ever,
feels betrayed and tries to tell StudPaddy the truth. StudPaddy turns
into an ENB and tells Mandy that interbreeding was *never* a good thing.
Needless to say, another pout forms on her face.

Meanwhile, Zak finds out about Butch's lies, and feels that he's brought
shame on the family. He decides to throw him out.

Zak (to Butch): From this moment, you're no son of mine. Get out.

Now, why Mandy should involve Marlon in any of this is beyond me, but
the the fact that Marlon has a life with Lyn and the missing Kirsty,
plus the fact that Mark Charnock needed something proper to do in the
programme, leads to Mandy spilling the beans. She begs Marlon to talk to
Butch, and Marlon eventually agrees (family matters being a big theme in
Emmerdale this week).

So he does. But Butch gets there first - having overheard Roy telling
Scott & Kelly that Mandy came round, he catches up with Marlon at
Annie's Cottage. A war of words ensues, with Butch calling Marlon scum
as he betrayed Our Sam, *and* he's got Lyn to boot. He then gets it into
his head that Marlon fancies Mandy, and gets so worked up he punches

Considering that Butch is no boxer, and only punched Marlon once, how is
it that Marlon staggered around with his left side of his face bruised,
and clutching his ribs? I've heard of awkward falling, but that was
ridiculous. Anyway, Marlon goes all hard on us and refuses to speak
about what happens. Mandy finds out (via Butch) and wastes no time in
bringing him up to see Zak. Zak, filled with a warped sense of family
loyalty, wants to bash Butch for his actions, but Lisa stops him.
Instead they sit down and talk about their anger; Zak forgives him and
asks him to come home. Lisa asks him to show his forgiveness to Marlon
and invite him over for Christmas dinner. Marlon finds that blood is
thicker than water and decides to go, spelling the end of his
relationship with Lyn. Lyn now joins her sister, mother and others in
that abyss known as former Emmerdale actresses. No doubt she is
auditioning for a spot in Casualty as I type.

Mandy, by now pouting for Britain (putting her great mate Miss Piggy to
shame) is suitably unimpressed and decides to move out. She finds a flat
in Hotten and wants to move as soon as possible, as she wants the whole
situation to end. She's not the only one.

Home Farm
Yes, Stella proves what we all knew all along, that she will be the new
owner of Home Farm. She tosses her blonde curls in Air-wick's direction
and asks him to act as a proxy at the auction. Eric promptly agrees.

At the auction, Chris is a nervous wreck. Laura looks nervous for him
(she *is* in love) while Zoe looks relatively calm. The bidding starts,
with Chris fighting it out with a mute extra. Chris thinks he's won when
Bidding stops at 2m, but Eric then walks in.

The bidding really starts, with Eric upping the price beyond what Chris
can afford. Chris soon loses it, informing everyone that Eric is a
crook. Yes, sighs the auctioneer, but he's also an authorised proxy. The
price soon sails past 3m and Chris begs Zoe to come in with him so that
they can keep the family home. Zoe refuses, realising that it will ruin
everyone's life.

Stella is happy with her new acquisition and is eager to view the place.
Air-wick switches on his oily charm and insists that he accompanies her.
While there, he warns Stella that Chris (and Seth) will try to take
advantage of her, and that the only way to stop it is to make him Estate

Here's hoping that Stella will actually have a personality and not be
your archetypal blonde bimbo.

Minor storylines
--the only one of note is Chris's burgeoning relationships with both
Kathy and Laura. He and Kathy are becoming close again after her recent
accident (annoying Biff no end), but he seems to be stringing Chinless
along. Chinless eventually reveals what we all knew for ages:

Chris (talking to laura after the auction): How come you know me so

Laura (smiling nervously): Because I like you.

Chris: Well, I like you too.

Crap dialogue I know, but Chinless does a nice line in unrequited love.
She's not impressed when she sees Chris with Kathy at the Woolie later,
particularly as he treats her coolly. If this is Chris's version of
"treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen" then it's working for Laura. But it also
goes a long way in explaining why he's gone through 2 divorces IMO.

Xmas Day 1998

I decided to do this separately, as it was the big ep after all. This
was by far the best Christmas episode of all the 4 soaps. Brookie's was
quite good (probably becuase I hadn't watched it in nearly a year) but
Corrie's was utter tosh, and EastEnders was rather ordinary compared to
previous years.

However, Emmerdale's was good because of good writing and some decent
acting. The only person who let the side down was Dopey Slapper (as
ever), who was appalling but (mercifully) brief. Someone should also
tell her that low cut dresses are for women with figures - Andy & Robert
have curvier bods than Dopey.

Anyway, on with the episode.

The Dingles
A "happy" Xmas at the Patch - Marlon looks distinctly unhappy to be
there, Butch is still mad with him, and Mandy is still pouting that her
family have let her down. Meantime, Jessica the head pig is sick,
prompting Zak to call out the vets. Along comes StudPaddy to solve the
problem. He deduces that Jessica has swine flu (caught from Kieran
Roberts no doubt) and is about to treat her when Lisa collapses in pain.
In a matter of minutes, Lisa gives birth to a baby girl. Zak faints from
the shock.

Before the robbery
Another "happy" Xmas at the Windsors, with Donna complaining about her
crap presents, Vic and Viv putting thought into their tacky gifts, and
Scott giving Miss Piggy a tight grey top. She insists on putting it on
for him, prompting Scott to think about giving her another present

Meantime, Billy is putting the final touches to the robbery. Andy is
concerned, not only for his dad's safety, but for Jack & Sarah, who have
noticed throughout the week that something's amiss. Andy begs Billy to
give him the cartridges, saying that he doesn't need a gun. Billy
obliges, but conveniently finds another set after he's gone.

The Woolpack Christmas party is in full swing, but Alan has
underestimated how many people turn up and is fast running out of food.
Vic offers to get some extra Christmas puddings, and before you can say
"Don't do it!" he's across the road and staring at the barrel of Billy's

Billy tells Vic to open the safe, but it's on a 5 minute timer. Vic
tries to be heroic by pressing the alarm, but Billy spots that and a
fight ensues. In the melee, Vic falls and cracks his head on the
freezer. Billy is so desperate, he waits for the safe to open and
escapes with.... 50 quid. After taking some more money from Vic's
wallet, he leaves Vic there to die.

Apres the robbery
Viv is persuaded to get Vic by her kids, but overhears Betty grilling
Air-wick about Stella. Never one to miss out on a gossip opportunity,
she stops and listens in.

Meantime, Scott realises that he likes Kelly, and not in a brotherly way
either. He plucks up the courage to tell her that she's gorgeous, but
Kelly can't see what's going on until he follows her to the surgery and
kisses her. She responds, but feels guilty about it and says they can't
continue. Scott doesn't see why, and neither can I, as not only are they
*not* brother and sister, it would keep her mouth shut. Surely she can
see the good in that.

Terry returns briefly to Emmerdale, mainly to let Dopey Slapper know
that he's going to Scotland for good. He still wants her to come with
him, as he still loves her, but she says no. Terry then goes round to
see Vic to tell him the news, but he finds Vic dead inside the doorway.

He calls an ambulance, and cuases the whole village to run out to see
what's happening. The episode ends with Donna showing some true acting
mettle by begging to see her dad.