As fans of Emmerdale will know, Zak Dingle’s mental health has been deteriorating ever since he carried out the Judgement Day attack on his son Cain…
And in upcoming episodes, everyone around Zak gets their first real insight into just how bad a state he’s in when he attempts to ‘rescue’ daughter Belle (Eden Taylor-Draper) from her school.
However, things get far worse for poor Zak when he wanders off on the bleak moors alone, and begins hallucinating that he can see and speak to his dead son Butch. He also fears that Cain (Jeff Hordley) is looking for him, intending to murder him by way of revenge for Zak’s attack on him.
But when Zak’s spotted on the moors, Cain sets off in search of his dad, and he finds him precariously balanced on a ledge which clings to the side of cliff, with a sheer drop on the other side…
And the big question is, will Cain push Zak off by way of getting even, or will he save his disturbed dad?
Well, Steve Halliwell, who of course plays Zak, is keeping the outcome under wraps, but in an interview with TV Choice magazine, he did reveal a few teasers, and admitted that he had to conquer his fear of heights to film the scenes.
He said, “It was a marvellous feeling thinking, ‘I’ve done it’. The director was happy with the way it was shot and my performance, so hopefully it will be a good episode.
“But I must mention stuntman Frank Henson who did the really dangerous stuff, and who’s a legend.”
And then, of what happens between Zak and Cain on the ledge, Steve said, “That’s what the ambiguity of it is, and that’s what we’re after.
“The audience won’t know really what he’s going to do. Is he going to kill his dad for what he did, or is Zak going to do something else to Cain?
“It’s good writing in the sense of literally leaving it on a cliffhanger!”
And finally, of the change in direction for his character, who he’s played since 1994, Steve said, “In the early days they used to write Zak as being quite aggressive, and then he got more and more loveable rogue comical.
“This [mental health storyline] has been showing the deep underside of his vulnerability that we all hide day to day from the world.
“I’ve had to expose the man underneath this ex-bare knuckle boxer.
“In the story he starts to reject the whole idea of violence, which I think is a very good thing because if he has been a bit of a hero for people with his toughness, then it’s very good to see a man like that regret his violent life.”
Don’t miss the run up to the story’s climax all this week on Emmerdale!