Sunday, July 07, 2013

Bringing Eldorado Back ... To Mallorca

Meet Karl Large. He's a bit of a lad is Karl. We know little of his past, which is the point of course. His story unfolds. Eventually. Maybe it will unfold in a few weeks, a few months or a few years. Much will depend on how long we can keep it all going.

I can tell you, though, that Karl's done time in a Spanish jail, but I won't spoil things by telling you what for, but you get an idea about Karl right from the start. He's dodgy, iffy, fly. He has a perma-tanned girlfriend - Melanie Lemon - who's twenty years younger than him. What's with his ex-wife? Do we get to know her? How did Karl come to know Mel? Was it through his boat business, the one he runs from the local marina? And what actually is the deal with this boat business? It doesn't seem to do any obvious business. Karl, unlike others, doesn't typically frequent Charlie's Place, you know the one, it's not far from the marina, used to be more your normal Sky, lager and breakfast Brit bar, but it underwent a transformation when Charlie hooked up with Siobhan, and she, because of that time in - what was it exactly back home? - had these contacts. Charlie's Place has become more of an "in" place. There's likely to be the odd celebrity dropping in now and then.

Karl doesn't go there, however. Some of the others are wondering if it's time for them to find an alternative watering-hole. Not for the same reasons as Karl, because Karl has his reasons (are they to do with Charlie, or maybe Siobhan, or maybe neither of them?) No, their reasons are to do with what has happened to Charlie's Place. Too many poser types now. Not like it was. It's all Siobhan's doing, turning the bar into one where the brown-wrinklies do lunch and wait for the photographer from the local rag to come and snap them, so that they can be seen to be seen.

Eleanora Maddy likes to be seen, too, but not at the likes of Charlie's Place as it has become. She doesn't approve of the common types who go there. They may be well-heeled, but their heels, their falsies (nails and otherwise) and their yacht do's are not for Eleanora. She likes to be seen because she's important, she thinks. She's been organising the "association" for years. Different class of person entirely. Charities, golfing functions, tombolas, that sort of thing.

But then Eleanora has to try and keep things quiet. It's all to do with Karl. You'd be surprised to know that she knows Karl. How has this happened? Well, that's where Hugo comes in. Eleanora's son. He appears, disappears and then re-appears, and when he does, there is always trouble. Is it Karl trouble? What does Karl know about Hugo? Or is it the other way round?

Eleanora is concerned about Cath O'Dray. Eleanora has her rock, Giles, but Cath has lost her husband. Malcolm died before we got to know about any of the characters. His photo is in a frame on the mantelpiece above the stone fireplace. But that fireplace, in winter, is unused. There is a terrible mess with Malcolm's will and all that tax. Cath is all but broke. So in winter, despite the sun shining, she is freezing. This is getting too detailed, though. Too much detail for an imaginary soap.

Twenty years ago on 9 July, "Eldorado" came to an end. Its life was short. It suffered from awful acting and some poor storylines. It got better, but it was Yentobbed into oblivion. Many are the reasons, other than the initially bad acting, why the soap was axed, but its basic premise was sound. At the time, it was a way of tapping into the soap-in-the-sun style that Jason and Kylie (or rather Scott and Charlene) had given us. Sun was not really possible in Manchester, the East End or The Dales, so Spain offered an alternative.

But one way in which "Eldorado" failed - a way which has been largely overlooked - was that it didn't get into the heads of expats, into their attitudes, their lifestyles. It was too one-dimensional. It transported the soap concept to the south of Spain, but it could just as easily have stayed back in Britain.

The "Eldorado" complex and set is still there. Poor old George Entwistle never got the chance to respond to calls to revive the soap, but calls there were last year. A revival would be merited, but maybe not in the south of Spain. It could come to Mallorca. But if it did, and this I suspect was one of the original's failings, it would need writers who understand the expat world. "Eldorado" didn't. It should be re-done.

Any comments to please.


Son Fe Mick said...

And re name it Alcudiamar?
Hope your keeping well Andrew

andrew said...

Hello Mick. I don't know. What about Son Fe? Has bit more of a ring to it.