Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The Crossroads Time Frame

Life was a riot for Glenda Banks (Lynette McMorrough) in the early 1980s.

Chloe writes:

Was the Crossroads time frame set to our time? Were the motel events of, say, 1968 set in 1968 or did they take place earlier, and so on? Also, Coronation Street tends to alter characters' ages to suit story-lines, did Crossroads do this?

Hi, Chloe!

Interesting questions! Yes, the Crossroads time frame matched ours. In a 1974 episode I have on DVD, Meg and Hugh discuss 1974; in a 1979 episode, Benny is seen looking at a 1979 calendar; in 1980, Sandy Richardson jokingly refers to somebody as being "Miss 1980"; in 1981, the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer is mentioned; when Diane was dispatched to Scotland by J Henry Pollard in 1983, a close-up shot of Diane was shown - with the motel office wall calendar behind her - the year was, of course, 1983; and so on.

As for the altering of characters' ages Coronation Street style, in her book, My Life At Crossroads, Noele Gordon reveals that one character, Martin Bell, was made a year older than he originally was so that he could work as a barman at the motel.

But Crossroads didn't make a habit of this practice!

Whilst background information was kept on Crossroads characters and story-lines, there was no full-time archivist, so sometimes things could get a bit jumbled.

I recall a character referring to a past event in the story-line as happening in a particular year, but the event actually took place a year later. However apart from that, I have no other quibbles.

All in all, Crossroads did remarkably well, there were more episodes and more transient characters than in Coronation Street or Emmerdale Farm, but mistakes were very few. I tended to just mentally correct them and then ignore them. But I must say, I have a large number of Crossroads episodes, and such goofs are virtually non-existent!

The motel saga rarely mentioned controversial political issues, but in 1982 exception was made when the UK Government policy regarding inflation and unemployment was discussed by the Brownlows - and the riots which rocked the country during the summer of 1981 spread to King's Oak when a march for employment was infiltrated by troublemakers!

As this was before subversive Channel 4 soap Brookside began, it really was a one-up to Crossroads.