Note: The following article contains discussion of themes including suicide that some readers may find upsetting.
Emmerdale spoilers follow.
Emmerdale star Mark Womack has revealed that a huge storyline for DI Malone and Dawn Taylor had to be rewritten.
Next week's episodes see Malone go out for revenge against Dawn after she reports him to the police for being corrupt.
In tense and disturbing scenes, Malone confronts Dawn in her own home and tries to intimidate her. He uses Dawn's history with drugs against her by producing a wrap of heroin and a syringe from his pocket, encouraging her to take her own life by overdosing.
The storyline was originally written to play out differently, but social distancing rules on set meant that Malone had to terrify Dawn from afar.
Speaking to Digital Spy and other media about the dark scenes, Mark – who plays Malone – explained: "The funny thing is that we all came back from COVID into this new filming environment. Honestly, in my opinion, it focused the storyline in a really interesting way.
"We had to change things and make it different. The whole syringe scene came from the fact that we weren't allowed to have any physical contact.
"In my opinion, it's much stronger, much darker and much more interesting. It's more psychological and it's more cruel."
The upcoming scenes reach a dramatic climax when someone rushes to Dawn's rescue. Before long, viewers see Malone's body sprawled out onto the floor, leaving us to wonder whether he's had his final comeuppance.
Olivia Bromley, who plays Dawn, added: "It's been a really weird environment to come back to work in, with a two-metre distance rule. But it's been great to work with Mark and the director, Duncan Foster.
"It's been really focused and we've been working really intensely. The new rules meant that we were filming lots of scenes in one day, which was emotional, exhausting and tiring – but that also helped in a way. And Mark was really scary!"
Emmerdale airs these scenes on Monday, August 17 at 7pm on ITV.
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
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