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River City returns as iconic episodes are aired on BBC Scotland

© Crawford Brown/Shutterstockriver city rewind
The cast of River City when it first launched in 2002

Fans will be able to take a walk down Shieldinch’s memory lane as some of River City’s iconic episodes are set to be screened once again.

Shocking murders, dramatic weddings and tragic accidents that the soap – which has been running for 18 years – is famous for will be shown over 10 weeks as part of River City Rewind on the BBC Scotland channel.

The 2002 debut episode, featuring Tommy and Eileen’s wedding day, will kick off celebrations on Monday 15 June, followed by the episode showing Bob’s cherry picker wedding proposal to girlfriend Zara.

All episodes will also be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

River City stalwart Stephen Purdon – who plays Shellsuit Bob Adams – has starred in the show since its 2002 debut and is looking forward to taking a step back in time with River City Rewind.

He said: “I can’t wait to see these episodes again! Our fans make the show and this is a great opportunity for them to relive these classic moments and see familiar faces from the past – it’ll be weird for me to see these episodes but I can’t wait. River City being off screen at the moment is a big deal for our fans but we’ll be back. Until then, enjoy River City Rewind!”

Kieran Hannigan, Executive Producer of River City, said: “We’ve enjoyed delving into the River City archives and have chosen some of the most dramatic and classic moments from the show’s history– and there’s plenty to choose from.

“There’s been lots of drama on Montego Street over the last 18 years and we know fans will love taking a step back in time with some of Shieldinch’s most famous residents.”

Filming at the famous Dumbarton set is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, so fans will sadly not be able to look forward to any new storylines from Shieldinch this summer.

It is hoped 10 hours of River City Rewind will quench fans’ thirst for drama until filming can resume.

Gavin Smith, Commissioning Executive for BBC Scotland explained: “Like many productions affected by the coronavirus, River City paused production in March this year and, as a result, we won’t be seeing new stories from Shieldinch over the summer.

“Subject to government and industry guidelines, we hope to resume filming and have episodes available in the not-too-distant future. Until then, we’re sure fans will enjoy reliving some of the most-loved moments in River City Rewind.”

River City Rewind’s iconic episodes:

© Crawford Brown/Shutterstock
Cast members celebrating as River City gets ready to air in 2002

Week 1  – River City’s debut episode & Bob’s cherry-picker wedding proposal.

Love and marriage is always dramatic in Shieldinch. First up, in the 2002 debut episode, it’s Tommy (Eric Barlow) and Eileen Donachie’s (Deirdre Davis) wedding day but a happily-ever-after isn’t the order of the day for The Tall Ship’s landlord and his fiancé when Eileen’s jealous ex-husband, Raymond (Paul Samson), turns up. Also featured this week is one of TV’s most memorable moments – Bob’s (Stephen Purdon) 2003 cherry-picker wedding proposal to girlfriend Zara (Shabana Akhtar Bakhsh).

Week 2 – Dr Marcus McKenzie meets a bloody fate.

Australian soap star Stefan Dennis swapped Ramsay Street for Shieldinch in 2003 to play Dr Marcus McKenzie. However, his charming façade changed when he raped Gina (Libby McArthur) and her daughter Jo (Allison McKenzie) later attacked the dangerous doctor. However, Dr Marcus would meet a murderous fate at the hands of fiancé, Heather (Jenni Keenan Green) who stabs and kills him. Jo is left with blood on her hands when she finds his lifeless body.

Week 3 – Liz accidentally kills her villainous son, Archie. Gina and Eileen dispose of his body over a cliff edge.

Two of River City’s most iconic episodes, aired as part of the show’s fifth birthday celebrations in 2007, saw murder most foul and an unforgettable cover-up. Disgraced lawyer, Archie Buchanan (Gilly Gilchrist) made a dramatic exit after embezzelling money from his clients, cheating on his wife Gina (Libby MacArthur) and drugging his mother Liz (Eileen McCallum). In these two episodes, Liz accidentally kills her son with sisters Gina and Eileen (Deirdre Davis) stepping in to protect her by disposing of Archie’s body over a cliff edge.

Week 4 – Ewan Murdoch accidentally falls to his death from scaffolding.

Family tensions take a bloody turn for the worse when father and son, Lenny (Frank Gallagher) and Ewan Murdoch (Chris Brazier), clash – with devastating consequences. Emotions run high as Murdoch men argue leading to Ewan’s dramatic, and unexpected, death. As Lenny attempts to make peace with Ewan, his son accidentally trips and falls from scaffolding in front of his father and step-mum, Lydia (Jacqueline Leonard).

Week 5  – Eileen gives birth on the bathroom floor & Scarlett hides her cancer diagnosis.

Heavily pregnant Eileen (Deirdre Davis) has a Christmas Day to remember when she gets locked in the Tall Ship bathroom and gives birth to her son, Stuart. Also in this Christmas special episode, Scarlett (Sally Howitt) refuses to reveal her devastating cancer diagnosis, determined not to ruin her family’s festivities.

Week 6 – Malcolm and Liz say ‘I do!’ in a wedding day to remember.

A beautiful, much-loved episode from 2012 as Malcolm and Liz become Mr and Mrs Hamilton on the banks of Loch Lomond. It’s the day of Malcolm and Liz’s loch-side wedding but with emotions running high and Malcolm’s illness causing confusion, will they actually make it up the aisle?

Week 7  – Heroic Gabriel tries to save prostitutes from the clutches of dangerous criminal Sean Kennedy.

A proposition from Sean (James Cunningham) leads Gabriel (Garry Sweeney) deeper into his murky criminal world, but could a newfound ally provide him with the get-out he needs? In this dramatic showdown, local hero Gabriel faces up to Sean Kennedy with both men ending up on the wrong side of the law.

Week 8 – 10th anniversary episode with the Tall Ship explosion and Deek’s death.

As part of River City’s 10th anniversary celebrations, this dramatic episode saw landlord Raymond (Paul Samson) blow up the Tall Ship pub in order to cover up his murder of criminal Sean (James Cunningham). Elsewhere, after being mowed down by Sean, Deek (Gordon McCorkell) fights for his life in hospital with best friend Bob (Stephen Purdon) by his side. As his nearest and dearest keep vigil over him, Deek dies.

Week 9  – Award-winning episode about Bob O’Hara’s emotional battle with an eating disorder.

This 2014 storyline centred on the story of ‘Big Bob’s’ (Tom Urie) battle with an eating disorder, highlighting the impact on his health and his family, scooping Edinburgh-writer Louise Ironside a prestigious Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award. The episode saw Bob’s mother Molly (Una McLean) face a heart-breaking decision about her son’s future which threatened to tear the family apart with Bob finally embracing rehab to battle his eating addiction.

Week 10 – Alex and Kelly-Marie are devastated by the death of their baby, David.

With their premature son fighting for life, Alex and Kelly-Marie have a heart-breaking decision to make. Alex remains at his premature baby son’s hospital bedside, clinging on to the hope he will survive. Feeling powerless, he does everything possible to comfort baby David, reading him the story of Peter Pan – the boy who never grew up – in one of River City’s most poignant scenes. Heart-break awaits when doctors deliver a devastating blow – baby David has brain damage and won’t survive off life-support.