Brookside is a now defunct British soap opera set in Liverpool, England. The series began on the launch night of Channel 4 on 2 November 1982, and ran for 21 years until 4 November 2003. The series was produced by Mersey Television and it was conceived by Phil Redmond.
Brookside became very successful for a number of years and is notable for its tackling of realistic and socially challenging storylines. It was at its most popular in the 1980s and the early 1990s. From the mid-1990s it began raising more controversial subjects under the guidance of new producers such as Mal Young and Paul Marquess.
It is especially well-known for broadcasting the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss on British television, as well as a powerful domestic abuse storyline resulting in murder. The series caused an uproar when it featured a storyline featuring a consensual incestuous sexual relationship between two sibling characters during 1996. Brookside was also the first British soap to feature an openly gay character when (Gordon Collins) came out in 1985, and it was also the first to depict serious drug addiction with a number of different characters.
Although the series had a long and successful run, by 2000 its viewing figures were in terminal decline and low ratings eventually led to its cancellation in July 2003. The final episode was broadcast on 4 November 2003 and was watched by around 2 million viewers.
A shock awaits Ron and DD when they return from the cash-and-carry. Barry will not allow mild hypothermia to prevent him from getting even with the Fishers.
On New Year's Eve, Rod finally discovers the venue for the dog fight, Mike's behaviour disgusts Jacqui, Julia has two men fighting over her, Jimmy plans a new venture, and the Farnhams are mistaken for Princess Diana and a bouncer.
Julia is not pleased to find that Jack and Cyril have become buddies. Mike can't remember what happened the previous night.
Patricia asks Sue to baby-sit. Diana is annoyed to find that Rod has been systematically lying to her. Julia discovers that she has been stood up in a big way.
Rod tries to make amends with Diana. Tony and his friends' plans to watch an erotic video are thwarted when the police call with news that Mike and Jacqui have been arrested, so they have to find someone to give them a lift. Katie is interested in Sammy's love life.
Ron is convinced that designer-violence videos are responsible for Mike and Jacqui's dabbling with drugs, but DD disagrees when she finds out their true motives.
Tony is grounded when Ron finds Maria's missing erotic video. Chrissy arranges a dinner-date, but with which Gina? Rod has a meal with Diana and her father, and Margaret returns from Oldham.
Sammy is being evasive about her new boyfriend, while Margaret has other things on her mind. Mick takes drastic action when he receives the credit card bill.
Leo is winning friends based on Mick's actions, but Mick isn't sure that it's something to be proud of. Chrissy is not surprised when Frank develops a cold a few days before they are due to meet Gina. Max wants to be on time for his interview, but can he persuade Margaret to iron his shirt?
Frank and Chrissy are off on the dreaded dinner-date. More bills arrive for the Johnsons. Patricia tries to make toxic waste sexy. Mike worries that his involvement in Sinnott's attempt to fly will be discovered.
The proposed footpath is causing conflicton the Close, as some are opposed and others see opportunities. Margaret's work-to-rule is beginning to have an effect on the Farnham household.
Mick's prospects in court don't look good, and his debts continue to mount. Ron makes progress in his bid to acquire a shop. Terry is worried that Sue is buying clothes on credit, and Jimmy and Sinbad go flat-hunting.
Ron capitalises on his deal with Jed Smith, and looks forward to owning a business on the new parade.
Jimmy and Sinbad plan to hold a car boot sale. Mick is furious to discover that Josie is in debt again. Ron has a surprise visitor. Patricia is determined to resolve her problems with Margaret.
Jimmy and Sinbad wonder whether they could ever bring anyone back to their double-decker-bunk bedsit. Patricia makes a surprising confession to Max.
Jacqui devises a plan to make herself seem like a good girl but still allow her to go to the party, but it doesn't work as well as she hopes. Sinbad and Jimmy cause chaos.
Josie and Marcia wonder what they can do to raise money. Ron thinks someone has swapped two of his kids for aliens. The Farnhams are concerned that Thomas will pick up Margaret's accent and phrases.
Max is concerned that Tony will interfere with his car. Patricia rebukes Margaret about her non-matching stair gates. Terry discovers that Ron's opinion of the path has changed.
Max demonstrates his maturity by finding a way of getting his own back on Tony. Sinbad has to find other means of transport to and from the boot sale when there isn't enough room for him in the car.
Josie tries to persuade Mick to accept his solicitor's advice. The Dixons prepare for a pancake day contest.
On Valentine's Day, the same card is rescued from the bin more than once, and one resident receives more cards than she could ever have expected. Mick talks to Frank about the dilemma he faces.
Mick's solicitor abandons him when he elects for trial by jury. Geoff makes extensive preparations for his mystery Valentine date.
Sammy's older man is causing trouble for her at home. An attack on Rod leads to the possibility of romance for Tracy.
Chrissy voices her fears about Sammy, likening her situation to the early days of her own marriage. Frank overhears, and misconstrues.
A trip down to the pub seems to mysteriously cure Rod's illness. Frank and Chrissy resolve to do something about Sammy's relationship with Tim.
Frank head-butts Paula's father when he turns up to complain about Geoff getting his daughter drunk. Mick comes home to find the bungalow full of shoes and boxes. Margaret has some uninvited guests, and when she asks for Mike's help to remove them, one of Patricia's teapots is smashed.
Mick is worried about Josie's health and tries to get her to slow down, but it's too late. Bumper is hopeful that he and his mate will soon be young, free and single again.
Sammy is determined that her parents won't interfere in her life, but that won't stop them trying. Rod tries to install a shower, with no assistance from Tracy.
Geoff and Bumper go in search of their favourite band, but don't have much success. The Johnson household is happy, until Mick receives an official-looking letter in the post. Sue tells Terry she would like another child.
Josie and Marcia come up with a new sales pitch to improve their luck at the market. Barry brings flowers for Sue, and she wonders why. Tony and his mates sabotage Max's shed.
Terry and Sue visit a counsellor, where the news is much better than expected, although money may yet be the deciding factor. Margaret finds that she only has to touch something and it falls apart.
Barry calls in a favour from Terry. The Farnhams return from holiday, feeling happy and refreshed, but Margaret becomes tearful and offers her resignation. Tracy tells Rod he needn't be concerned that she is seeing Mark.
Tracy and Mark have a date. Sue worries about what Barry might be getting Terry into. Max arranges for Tony and his mates to re-assemble his shed, but Ron and DD have other ideas. When Max brings up the subject of tarmac again, Ron reaches for his pick.
Terry goes for tests at the hospital. Ron has the road surface properly repaired at last, but Max still isn't happy. Barry has plans involving a man with a pony-tail.
It's Max's first day in his new job, and he finds himself hemmed in by the Dixons. Patricia starts work on a new campaign. Frank is furious to discover that Sammy returned from her course a day early but didn't come home.