This week, Phil Mitchell’s shocking resurrection from the grave shocked EastEnders viewers.
The hardman is not the first native of Soapland to have returned from a journey to the afterlife.
But another dead person made a startling comeback?
Dirty Den – EastEnders
In Soapland, at least, it is the most well-known resurrection since Jesus.
When Dirty Den was shot and likely murdered in 1989 by a hitman using some daffodils, EastEnders viewers were shocked.
He vanished into a canal and was initially thought to be dead; that is, until 2003, when he unexpectedly reappeared in Walford after having actually lived and relocated to Spain.
Den survived for two years until being killed off once more, but this time permanently.
Yet his comeback continues to be the stuff of soap opera lore.
Although Kim Tate’s initial demise was theoretically intended to be a permanent one, after seeing the state of their ratings following her death in a car accident, management soon made a U-turn.
Kim’s death evolved into a complex farce with a handy blonde body thanks to actor Claire King receiving a lucrative deal to return.
Kim arrived just in time to murder her husband Frank, rob the Tate family of their money, and take the family name for herself.
Kathy Beale – EastEnders
No one foresaw Kathy Beale’s comeback, despite the fact that in soap operas, if you don’t see a body, the character isn’t dead.
Kathy’s time in Walford appeared to be coming to an end when she was slain off-screen in South Africa by a presumably irate producer.
Up until she exited a taxi when EastEnders was being shown live and begged her ex Phil Mitchell for assistance.
A large week of EastEnders episodes featured a startling scene, and it has paid off ever since.
Now that she is back, she has established herself as the matriarch of the Beale family. Her son, who oddly appears to be older than her, has left, and everything is better as a result.
Now all Ronnie and Roxy need is for the soap to follow suit.
Kim Tate (again)
Why not try faking your own death again if your first attempt went well?
This time, Kim pushed herself into the action by portraying her own corpse among a large ensemble of actors who played fictitious police officers, paramedics, and even useful witnesses.
All in an effort to reveal Jamie, her sonmurderous ,’s scheme.
She actually gave him the notion, though, of how he could finally get away from her grasp.
Like mother, like son, yet Jamie accomplished something that not even his mother could: he remained “dead.”
Even the cunning Kim Tate was persuaded that Jamie was dead and not buried, so viewers know he is alive and well and is actually relaxing overseas with his daughter.
Kim has no idea, too.
She is disregarding all the signs that he is still alive because she is so certain that he is dead, which is setting the stage for a major comeback in the future.