‘Emmerdale’ bosses have revealed the lockdown episodes will give viewers a "snapshot" of the characters’ lives during the coronavirus pandemic.
The ITV soap will end its run of pre-filmed episodes this week, and the next three weeks will let viewers visit a number of characters to see how they’re coping during the ongoing health crisis.
Producer Laura Shaw told RadioTimes.com: "They’re kind of a snapshot of what ‘Emmerdale’ would look like if all our characters were in lockdown and going through what we’re going through."
She explained that while the episodes will reference previous plots, they will also "reveal a bit of information or a secret, about these characters which will then feed into future stories".
Meanwhile, boss Kate Brooks added the episodes "are snapshots of life" at different points during lockdown, but the amount of time passing for the characters is undetermined.
It’s said each special edition will have an on-screen display to let the audience know which point in time we’re at with each character.
The six new episodes focus on Cain and Aaron (Jeff Hordley and Danny Miller), Chas and Paddy (Lucy Pargeter and Dominic Brunt), Sam and Lydia (James Hooton and Karen Blick), Marlon, Al and Ellis (Mark Charnock, Michael Wildman and Aaron Anthony), Mandy and Vinny (Lisa Riley and Bradley Johnson), and Jimmy and Nicola (Nick Miles and Nicola Wheeler).
Executive producer Jane Hudson said the team is "diving straight on in and drip feeding the time-lapse of the lockdown", and Laura noted that the storylines won’t impact future plots in a major way.
She said: "We have a whole lot of scenes pre-lockdown and a whole lot of scenes now. We end on a cliff-hanger on Friday then it’s onto lockdown episodes. The next day it will be like lockdown never happened.
"Those episodes are part shot, so we will see three weeks of Emmerdale in the same world as before – some of it will be shot with social distancing but with editing and camera trickery hopefully we won’t notice.
"Then we set a new block of filming, we will reference coronavirus. The café and Woolpack will be takeaway only. But the specifics of the isolation episodes, the secrets we find out will feed into the future but it won’t be a direct pick-up."