Newlyweds Declan and Katie Macey have barely finished picking confetti out of their hair when they find themselves having one hell of a row over Katie’s part in scheming to get Declan to throw his nephew Robbie (Jamie Shelton) out of Home Farm…
And as we’ll see in episodes that air as of November 22nd, their row sets into motion a chain of events that will see Katie fighting for her life as Declan struggles to cope with the thought that he’s indirectly responsible for her demise.
As Jason Merrells, who of course plays Declan, explained to Radio Times, it all begins when his character storms off in a temper after telling Katie that he’s disgusted with the way she manipulated him over Robbie.
She fights back that she had to resort to underhand measures to open Declan’s eyes to how horrible Robbie is, but, disappointed with his new bride, Declan doesn’t want to hear it, and as he hops on a quad bike and roars off, he isn’t at first aware that Katie’s about to follow him with tragic consequences…
Jason explained, “There’s a worm that’s got into Declan’s head and it’s about Katie lying to him about setting up Robbie…
“He’s become a little bit fixated on the fact that she’s been dishonest. He kind of held her up as an icon of virtue.
“I think that it’s a storm in a teacup, actually, but he runs away with it. It all spirals out of control, really.”
That spiraling out of control happens when Katie inadvertently drives her quad bike over the unstable entrance to a disused mineshaft, and subsequently, she and the bike tumble down into the mine.
Declan of course immediately summons help, and frantically calls out to Katie that he’ll save her, but it could turn out to be a hollow promise…
Jason said, “He’s in bits. He’s a complete mess. He’s said things he didn’t really mean and now he could have lost her for ever.
“He goes into a meltdown about it. He runs to Moira’s farm, gets help and a tractor.
“What he’s doing is pretty logical and is in fact what most rescue teams would do, which is to get a rope down there and tow her out.
“But unfortunately, the tractor gets too near the hole and there’s a further collapse. So that causes her to fall a bit deeper.
“He’s made things ten times worse.”
Radio Times adds, “As a result, Katie is seen lying unconscious, the headlights from the quad flickering, while those above listen for any sound, horrified by the deadly silence. Will Declan manage to hold his nerve in the wake of such a calamity?”
Jason added, “It gets very dark for him when she disappears and he can’t hear her anymore,” says Merrells.
“As the rescue team begins to slow down, he thinks he’s killed her and that there’s nothing anyone can do.
“He spirals down into self-hatred.”
It of course remains to be seen whether or not Katie makes it out alive, but of the filming of the dramatic storyline, Jason revealed that all the action takes place in specially created settings.
He said, “We had to be quite clever about it. They dug a hole and made a mine. And then we had the interior of the mine made in the studio, which looked amazing.
“So it was all filmed in different stages and then put together. We had to fake the depth at certain points and imagine the unevenness of the ground.
“To build a hole in a mine shaft would have been beyond the pale, but we did our best.”
Here’s a reminder of Katie and Declan’s recent wedding, which of course took place during the live show last month…