'Back with a bang' River City finally returns to screens and fans are delighted


River City finally returned to screens this week – and fans are over the moon.

There was not a dry eye in the house of any viewers who caught the much-loved series’ first transmission in months on the BBC Scotland channel last night.

And tonight, even more of the loyal Shieldinch massive will tune in to BBC Scotland to see what’s been going on in their favourite fictional Glasgow suburb since lockdown halted production back in March.

The long-running programme was more than back with a bang, covering everything from the death of one of its main characters, as well as a possible coronavirus case amongst one of the residents.

Episode started with a sinister stranger prowling outside Lenny’s

And the global pandemic that has dominated all our lives over the surreal last few months was handled in perfect fashion, with sensitive nods given to what we – and the cast and crew – have all been through.

The episode was half an hour long, as it will be for the foreseeable future as producers get to grips with the limitations imposed by filming while adhering to strict new safety guidelines and social distancing.

Molly’s funeral was the main focus for the first episode in months

But, even with the emotional plot which unfolded, it meant even more opportunities for the laughs and light-hearted banter which characterise this much-missed gem of a show.

Opening with a sinister character in a facemask who was prowling about outside Lenny Murdoch’s flat, fans were hooked from the get-go.

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And it was good to have a distraction as it soon became apparent that the stalwart we were all about to say goodbye to was non other than Molly O’Hara, meaning hankies all round for anyone watching.

“She woudnae have wanted anybody howling, “ said Scarlett, as we all tried – but failed – to pull ourselves together.

But the piper’s lament got us all greeting, thanks to Angus laying on a touching tribute, and all hope of getting a grip as we watched was gone.

As we all sobbed away, Bob made things even worse for us by describing his gran as “hilarious, sharp as a tact, she didn’t suffer fools gladly, especially me.

“My gran would have ran through a brick wall for any one us.”

Other highlights in the action-packed 30 minutes included the return of Poppy’s stalker – making us wonder where exactly they had been during lockdown? – as well as heartfelt references to the NHS clap that brought us all together a few months ago.

The piper had us all in tears

Stevie’s downbeat nature also reflected how we’ve all been feeling of late, but did make us curious as to whether there was more to his seeming depression than the health crisis that turned the world as we know it upside down.

“You seemed a bit down lately,” Poppy said.

“Me and the whole country, the whole world,” Stevie said correctly, but is there something he’s not telling us?

One thing fans are sure about already is the illness that Caitlin was trying desperately to play down until our 30 minutes were up.

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Viewers are convinced Caitlin has coronavirus

Many took to social media to say they believed she had come down with Covid-19, and with producers revealing one main character would be struck with the deadly virus, we’re willing to bet they are right.

A belter of an episode through and through, it’s so good to have River City back on screens where it belongs.

And fans could not agree more.

Paula Wilson said: “I loved it, it just went too fast!

Anne hay added: “Well done to the actors that are back filming they have to live through this too … enjoyed it and looking forward to more of it and dramatic story lines, well done, glad you’re back.

Therese Kerr chimed in: “Welcome Back.. you have been sorely missed!

Rosalind Pearce added: “Wow, that was some episode.. So emotional… R. I. P. Molly…”

Tina Brownlee said: “River City was amazing the NYT.”

And Carol Ann Anderson said: “Brilliant episode and what a way to finish tonight…seven days is too long to wait!!!”

Michelle Walker added: “River city came back with a bang, welcome back river city.”

Raymond Brown was delighted, saying: “Great to have my favourite programme back tonight. A great episode!

Shirley Lothian said: “So happy to have River City back, great show, thinking Caitlin is going to have Coronavirus to show people how it has affected people, great scripting bringing lockdown into it, glad to have you back

And Stacey Patterson said: “I went from sobbing my eyes out to screaming at the TV in ten seconds.”

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Suzanne Wilson added: “Missed it so glad it’s back.”

● Catch River City on the BBC Scotland Channel, Mondays at 10pm and BBC One, Tuesdays at 8PM.





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