Wednesday, 29 June 2016

But How Is It All Going To End? (Bonus Posting)

Dear readers, Neil and I welcome all your comments, so please keep them coming. Recently we have noticed a growing trend, with people making remarks along the lines of “thank you for the blog - it means I don’t have to listen to the programme to be kept aware of what’s going on.”

All part of the service and we’ll try to cope with the heavy responsibility! But what is the reason for people stopping listening to the radio on a daily basis? It’s no secret that the subject that is hacking off most people is the on-grinding saga of Helen, Rob, Henry and, now, Jack/Gideon. First of all we had Rob taking over Helen’s life, isolating her from friends and family and driving her to the brink of madness and despair. This part of the story dragged on for years and, when Helen finally lost control and stuck the knife in, I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who thought “good, I’m glad that’s over”. With Rob out of the way, Helen would probably get a reduced sentence, assuming she had a good lawyer, then she could come back and live with Henry.

No such luck! Not only didn’t Rob have the decency to die, but he seems to have made a remarkably swift recovery, although I’m no doctor. And now we have another, potentially mind-numbingly drawn-out story as he, Helen and the Bridge Farm Archers battle for custody of Henry and Jack. Far be it for me to risk driving away yet more listeners, but this is a storyline that has the potential to run for years, if not decades.

Consider the possibilities: first of all, Rob gets custody of both. Is Helen likely to say “oh well, fair enough - I had a good time with Henry for a few years, but the Courts have spoken”? No, I don’t think so either. Plus there is the issue that, should Rob prove victorious, this flies in the face of Archers morality, where wrongdoers are almost invariably punished. Equally, should Helen get custody, will Rob give up without a fight? I suppose that Helen could have Henry and Rob Gideon, but that doesn’t seem a likely outcome. Whatever happens, the ensuing dispute could drag on until the boys are 18 and old enough to make up their own minds.

I can’t believe that the writers would let anything as awful as this to occur, so what do we think will happen? As the title of this posting asks, how is it all going to end?

As one of the good guys, and a long-serving character to boot, surely Helen has to come off best? If so, to stop Rob making re-appearances in coming years, he’ll have to go - permanently. But how can this be achieved? I suppose it’s too much to ask that, at her trial, Helen is asked exactly what happened on the night of the stabbing and she replies “Well, if you’d just hand me that knife and bring Rob a little closer…” Unlikely, I grant you.

So, what do our readers think is going to happen - will Rob be history and, if so, how? Maybe there are one or two pointers - will Helen remember (and remember to tell Anna) that Rob’s ex-wife Jess knows what a controlling, manipulative creep he is? Alternatively, Dr Locke seemed to find Rob’s face familiar when they first met - could there be some dark secret lurking there which gets Rob banged up for a few years (or, preferably, forever)?

Of course, it could be something more prosaic, such as being hit by a car, or, bearing in mind Rob’s actions in damming the culvert before the flood, perhaps there would be poetic justice if he fell into the Am and perished. We would love to hear any theories or solutions that our readers might have - the more imaginative the better.

Whatever is going to happen, let’s hope that it does it soon, as listeners appear to be turning off in droves. Having said that, it’s nice to know that this blog is a lifeline to the Archers for some and we just hope that, when and if Rob gets what’s coming to him, these same Archers fans will continue to read the blog and send in comments.

On that subject, the last time I checked our ‘number of hits’ counter, it stood at a shade under 215,000, so thanks to each and every one of you!


  1. Personally, I don't plan to start listening again until Rob is gone for good (or at least, for the foreseeable future) and it does worry me that that won't be for a while.

    What concerns me even more is what message this current storyline sends to women in a similar position to Helen. The programme actually got a lot of praise for showing the slow burn of abuse and that there wasn't always a BIG EVENT that proved the abuser was A Bad Man. However, once Helen stabbed Rob, all the same charities etc said that Radio 4 has to be SO careful about how this is handled. Sure, you can’t say “go ahead, stab your husband, you’ll get off”, but they HAVE to show that people believe Helen.

    I think your idea of Jess / Dr Locke being involved is probably going to be the way they go. But again, do they want to be saying that Helen only gets help when other people step up? What about women who don’t have anyone else?

    Maybe the shepherd's hut will run Rob over, then we can all relax.

  2. Henry will be a key witness at the trial, Helen will be acquitted, Rob will be in a rage, he will drive the community bus containing all of the recent and longer term silent characters off a cliff and Helen will move on with Henry and Jack until she has another episode.

  3. Somebody must have thought all this through, I presume, although personally I do not see any kind of acceptable resolution to the Rob and Helen saga. Maybe Henry will escape Rob's clutches, since he is not related to him, but what about the baby? How could there be a happy ending for Jack, with Rob as his father?
    This situation is a bit unusual for a soap opera, but it's close to real life, where there isn't always a clean, acceptable solution. Zoe

  4. TROUBLE POSTING? Try a different browser

    I have been posting the odd comment to this blog for quite a while but in recent months I have been unable to post anything. As soon as I click on 'publish' my text is wiped out. I tried and tried again, on my PC with Firefox and two different Android phones, but no luck. Finally, out of sheer desperation, I decided to try another browser (Chrome), and bingo, my comment (above) was accepted first time. I thought that this might be of interest to other readers who may have experienced the same problem. Zoe

  5. I only started listening again when the Helen/Rob saga was clearly reaching its denouement (having, like others, kept up via the Ha Archers in the mean time - for which many thanks) and am so disappointed with the way they're dragging it out, and the way they've made Helen suffer even more.
    Fine that they want to highlight the issue of 'coercive control', but definitely not fine that they do so in a way that sends the message that if you try to get away from that abusive partner you are likely to briefly lose your mind, end up in prison and have your children taken away from you, while most people continue to believe that your abusive partner is a prince amongst men.

    It worried me deeply that when someone (can't remember who it was)gave an interview about this plot-line, they said that Helen's travails were inspired by Tess of the D'Urbevilles.

    This really does not inspire confidence for Helen's prospects of future happiness.

    However, I am still hoping that either Rob will have a Jekyll and Hyde moment in court, OR something from his murky past will emerge (apart from Jess's testimony, which will presumably surface eventually) which will assist the defence's case.

    I was convinced at the time when Rob suddenly opted to go for parental authority rather than adoption with Henry - immediately after Helen mentioned a criminal records check with adoption - that he might have form.

    However, presumably the police would have checked this by now, so that's no go, but there's still the mysterious recognition by Dr Locke, although that, too, is clutching at straws - if Dr Locke had had something to say, surely he would have said it by now?

    I agree that if this runs and runs with all this unpleasantness, the listeners may well stay away.

    In brighter news, am LOVING Lilian's affair with Justin, Phoebe telling Kate to s*d off, and everybody telling the abominable Toby to his face that he's an arrogant chancer, and that his video is unspeakably amateurish.

    Seriously hoping that his little brother will cut his losses and vote for Rexit...

  6. I gave up listening a week or two before stab night - it got to the point where I just could not bear to listen to that evil man any more. I had intended to catch up at some point but the omnibus podcasts deleted themselves after a few weeks and I gave up. I am still turning off the radio when hear the theme tune. I've dipped in here (thanks) and at lowfield a few times, for old time's sake, but it seems like nothing is getting any better.

    1. Better not start listening now or you would be totally sickened by 'that evil man' deviously brainwashing Henry. I've never heard anything so vile in 45 years of listening to The Archers.

  7. I'm afraid this will drag out until the trial but Helen will win as the plot line has obviously been devised to highlight the law that came in last year although we will have to endure a long and drawn out court case first. Wasn't Dr Locke the one Rob saw when he had to give a DNA test and will the Hippocratic oath (and a poor memory) stop him from saying anything? I think Charlie will find the chap who saw Rob damning up the culvert and will come in at the final hour just as the judge is putting on his (metaphorical) black cap, to save the day. Rob will be so incensed that his stoma will explode and Ursula will be left once, again, to clean up the mess

  8. I'm one of those who has been kept informed by your blog rather than actually listening to the programme, for many reasons, but I am sure that at some point there was speculation that Ian was the sperm donor for Helen when she conceived Henry? Apologies if I've just missed plot lines, but if not, could he maybe step up and challenge evil Rob for paternity?

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  10. Many thanks for this blog as yes I and many of my friends am also one who cannot listen anymore.
    It takes 10 mins of my life to read this thus saving me a good hour of my life to do something useful rather than being upset.
    I gave up before the stabbing. Though I must confess I did happen by chance to hear that episode. It is just all too depressing and as the comment above I could not stand to hear the Rob/Helen story anymore. There has been so many loose ends left for Rob in the last too years to choose from I am spoilt for choice. I like the culvert witness who went missing, Dr Locke, hunt saboteur, Jesse paternity cover up and hidden criminal record story all appearing at once then we can move on and have that warm friendly Archers feeling back again.

  11. To be honest I thought the Rob/Helen storyline was really well done prior to the stabbing - I thought it was well written, very convincingly acted and therefore believable, which made it very uncomfortable listening at times.

    Since the stabbing I have found it rather tedious. Personally I find Ursula a completely unbelievable character, 'Caz' and Anna just broad stereotypes rather than proper rounded characters, and Pat rather annoying as usual. Hence the storyline has lost a lot of credibility.

    Plus as described above it is difficult to see how it can be brought to a close.
    Thankfully Lillian and Justin's completely ridiculous but very entertaining affair is making up for it at the moment though !
    Love the blog though, keep up the good work.