It's been a testing time in the Serial Drama world amid CoronaVirus (COVID-19) monopolising every day life including the production of Great Britain's most much-loved programmes - including Emmerdale - to seize with immediate effect.
The cast and at ITV Yorkshire may have stopped producing traditional episodes but on Wednesday 20 May of 2020, Emmerdale initiated a phased return to filming with strict Government regulations in place.
Tonight (Monday 8 June 2020) viewers saw the first of the lockdown episodes.
In a two-hander, meaning only two characters featured, it was up to Emmerdale vetarans James Hooton & Karen Blick to lead the show into uncharted waters.
Here is what viewers learnt.
Samson Dingle is stuck outside of Emmerdale Village:
Samson Dingle (Sam Hall) is off on a school excursion which means he cannot return to the village any time soon due to the initial travel ban.
Mandy and Vinny are not living at Wishing Well Cottage:
According to Lydia Dingle (Karen Blick), Mandy Dingle and Vinny Ashdale have moved out of Wishing Well Cottage and made a temporary home for themselves at Beauty & Bernice with no beds and a microwave to keep them company. Sam Dingle (James Hooton) presumes they'll be "alright". The reason being, Sam turfed them out to protect Lydia.
Brenda Walker is... walking:
After an early finish at Home Farm, Sam returns to the Dingle home where Lydia asks if he has seen anyone out and about. Sam lets Lydia know he's just bypassed Brenda who was 'panic walking' insisting Brenda never went for a walk in her life before all this.
Sam is no use at supermarket shopping:
Coming back from the supermarket dressed head-to-toe in overly protective PPE, Lydia digs at Sam for only buying sausages and potatoes.
Zak is stuck up north:
About 10 days into lockdown, Lydia finishes a telephone conversation with Zak Dingle. It is alluded that he is in Scotland with Debbie Dingle, again, which would give Steve Halliwell - who portrays Zak - an indefinite leave of absence for a while due to ITV Studios writing-out their older storytellers to protect them from COVID-19. It's unclear when Zak will return but Emmerdale haven't written him out completely as Debbie Dingle will be back following maternity leave. If Debbie is coming back you'd have to assume Zak will not be too far behind.
Sam fears Lyida will contract Huntington's Disease during COVID-19 Pandemic:
Since day 1 of lockdown, Sam has not let Lydia outside of Wishing Well Cottage and to be fair, Lydia was getting bored approximately 2-weeks indoors. Lydia told Sam she went out for a Government-sanctioned walk around the village much to Sam's horror. During an exchange of words, Sam blurted out that since Lydia hadn't taken the Huntington's Disease test, she might be at-risk more than most. Lydia deemed the subject 'closed' telling Sam if he carries on the way he's doing their relationship will be strained.
Sam Dingle is furloughed:
Sam came back from Home Farm telling Lydia that Kim Tate has him on furlough.
The thing Sam Dingle misses the most in lockdown:
Emmerdale continues on Wednesday where Jeff Hordley & Danny Miller take the reins in Cain Dingle and Aaron Sugden-Dingle's lockdown.
Emmerdale is an ITV Yorkshire production for ITV/STV.