Interactive Storyline 2006/2007: "Who Killed Tom King?"
In October 2006, ITV announced plans for a fully interactive storyline, surrounding the death of Tom King, who was killed on Christmas Day 2006. The ensuing weeks were full of twists and turns as some of the show’s most popular characters were placed at the centre of the enquiry, facing fierce interrogation in the hunt for the killer - the police are determined to leave no stone unturned.
In a world first, the whole storyline was fully interactive allowing viewers the opportunity of becoming super sleuths to help solve the crime via a dedicated ITV online portal. Launched in November, it consists of blogs, clues, secret e-mails and voicemails. Emmerdale Online was created for ITV by Branded Storytelling producers Hoodlum.
The viewers were taken inside the show and had direct online interaction with the storyline. The cast was seen trying to piece together the murder and their findings will, in turn, be immediately available for viewers to tap into online.
To add to the mystery, and for the first time, Emmerdale filmed 10 secret scenes, each showing a different suspect committing the murder and therefore enabling 10 different possible outcomes. As a result, even the cast and crew didn't know who the killer was.
On the same day, he married Rosemary Sinclair in a lavish ceremony, he headed up to the bedroom but somebody hit him with an ornament (a bronze horse head statue) and pushed him through the bedroom window to his death.
As so many people wanted Tom King dead, the list of suspects was narrowed down to ten:
- Jamie Hope
- Chastity Dingle
- Matthew King
- Jimmy King
- Carl King
- Len Reynolds
- Bob Hope
- Rosemary King
- Grayson Sinclair
- Terry Woods
All suspects had their own ending recorded to stop viewers finding out who killed him.
An eleventh ending was filmed which sees three from the line-up kill Tom together: his sons - Jimmy, Matthew and Carl. Carl and Matthew held their father still, while eldest brother Jimmy whacked Tom over the head with the horse statuette that figures in all eleven murder scenarios.
After a few months, it was determined that one or all of the three of his sons had killed him after DNA found that there was fibres of the sons' wedding suits under Tom's fingernails.
Tom King's final video has come to light. It was intended for his close friend Chief of Police Charles Vaughan. It sees Tom speaking candidly to camera about who, of those around him, would have had the motive to kill him. This first part shows Tom discuss Bob Hope, Jamie Hope and Terry Woods.
The second part of Tom King's final video shows Tom speak of Len Reynolds and how he doesn't know his three sons as well as he thought. The third, and final part of Tom King's video shows Tom speak of Chas Dingle, Rosemary and Grayson Sinclair and why he thinks everybody hated him so much.
Eventually, nearly five months after the murder was aired on TV, it was revealed that Carl King, his son, had killed him. Carl had gone to his dad's bedroom to argue with him about Tom attempting to pay Chas Dingle (Carl's girlfriend) to split up with him. Tom gave him an ultimatum, split up with Chas or lose his multi-million pound inheritance. In a fit of frustration, Carl hit him over the head with a bronze horse's head statue, and as Tom clung on to him, he pushed him away. This made him fall out of his bedroom window, to his death.
Carl was never prosecuted for killing him, as there was not enough evidence to prosecute one particular brother. When all three brothers was charged for conspiracy to murder, their trial collapsed when it was revealed that two key witnesses had lied in their statements for money, and there was insufficient evidence to find the brothers guilty without the statements.
At the Broadcast Digital Channel Awards in 2008, Emmerdale won the award for 'Best use of Interactive' for the storyline.
Read more about this topic: Major Emmerdale Storylines
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