20 years after the last chapter of TV series Eldorado, about the British ex-pats who moved to Costa del Sol in search of sun, sex and easy money, there are still ongoing speculation about plans to re-start the show, but life already writes a new episode: “British couple facing debt collectors, found shot dead in a suspected murder-suicide”
Eldorado was the drama, set and shot on Spain’s Costa Del Sol. It attracted fans who liked the colourful expatriate characters and wanted a bit of much-needed fun, sun, sand, sex and sangria. In 1992 “Eldorado” was destined to be the next big thing in television. A joint production by the BBC, Cinema Verity and J.Dark y J.Todesco, it was going to be the show to win the ratings war with ITV.
Prior to transmission, Eldorado was extended from two to three episodes a week. A huge set was build in Los Barcos and costed £2m. First episode broadcast at 7pm on 2 July 1992 attracted eight million viewers. It looked unprofessional and the audience was falling to an average 3.5 million in a month. Under the leadership of a new producer, Corinnne Hollingworth, the audiences slowly improved. It was a hit in Russia, Poland and Mauritius. Yet, on 13 March 1993, newly appointed BBC One controller Alan Yentob announced that the soap had to go “It has been a brave venture, but I believe it is better to call a halt now.”
But now many people want re-start the show. Among them is James Robson, a big fun of Eldorado who has set up a website to commemorate the series “The setting was different – far less depressing. It was also fascinating to see how ex-pats lived, why they would go and live somewhere totally different.”
“We need another Eldorado, especially as things aren’t that good for a lot of people at the moment” says Julie Fernandez, the cast member who played disabled teenager Vanessa Lockhead. “The thing that people loved about Eldorado was the sunshine, and the sense of escapism,” she says. ” The problem with so many British soaps these days is that they’re so gloomy. They’re full of arguing, shouting, killing and misery. We need another Eldorado. They should bring it back. I’d definitely think about doing it.”
While the discussion to restart the show is carried on the life of British expats has change dramatically within the last few years. Yesterday a new chapter has been written in the real life “Eldorado”.
Mr Wood, who had once worked in a bank and as an estate agent, had fallen on hard times financially and was struggling to cope with looking after his wife and daughter. Their neighbours said that Mr Wood used to drive a BMW and his wife had a nice car of her own, but then they sold them for a hired Opel. Debt collectors had visited the property last week after Mr Wood lost his job. Yesterday Mr Wood shot dead his wife and handicapped daughter before turning the gun on himself living a written confession and apologising. Their British landlord alerted police after discovering them dead when he went to the property to find out why they hadn’t paid rent.
It’s difficult to establish how much Eldorado was responsible for the mass exodus of of British people searching for sun and easy life in Spain, for the property boom followed by property crash and collapse of Spanish economy. If the programme is continued now, it could not escape from the misery, depression and distress.
The BBC says it has no plans to re-start the show, but fans say another channel might like to take it on, possibly as part of the daytime schedule.
Note: TVSpain is a news service managed by Spain Film Office – production management of film, television and photography shoots, all aspects of filming as well as third party locations in Andalucia and the whole of Spain.
Polish Language version