THERE might well be talk of a comeback for failed BBC soap Eldorado.
But a trip back down memory lane proves the ‘sunshine soap’ was destined to go wrong right from the start.
The first time the BBC had ever contracted an independent company to produce a series outside of the UK, it is incredible that they chose the ‘Costa del Crime’ as the testing ground.
Based out of Coin, producers John Dark and James Todesco were given the job of pulling together the biggest soap opera launch for a decade.
A former producer of James Bond films, Dark hoped that Eldorado would soon take on EastEnders.
Yet, after a few episodes it was hamstrung with an enormous amount of problems and ratings were sinking fast.
“The BBC was caught with its pants down,” contends Alhaurin-based Robert Zdrill, who worked as a video editor on the series. “There was lots of mischief going on and it turned out to be a huge disaster.”
The problems were enormous. Poorly-built sets, actors who couldn’t act and poor production left the drama with three million less than its target 10m viewers. It was eventually axed after one year in March 1993.
“To be fair it was rushed through onto the schedules too early,” says Zdrill, who has since produced music videos for the likes of Simple Minds.
“The top brass wanted it ready for Expo 92 and there was no way it was going to be ready in time.”
In particular, he cites the poor lighting, the set made of breezeblocks which ruined the sound and the ‘abysmal acting’.
“On the first night at the launch party, you could practically hear a pin drop it had gone so badly,” he recalls. “It spelt the end of my career and a lot of others too.”
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