Bianca Jackson is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders played by Patsy Palmer. The character was introduced by executive producer Leonard Lewis and appeared from 1993 to 1999, when Palmer opted to leave. In 2002 executive producer John Yorke brought the character back for a special spin-off show, she returned to EastEnders as a full-time character in April 2008, reintroduced by executive producer Diederick Santer. Palmer took maternity leave in 2010, Bianca left the series on 21 January 2011; the character returned for a four-month guest stint on 15 December 2011 and left again from April 2012 to November 2012. Palmer quit EastEnders in 2014, Bianca departed on 12 September 2014. During her first run on the show during the 1990s, she was known for her bizarre sense of style, her sharp tongue, fiery temper and for screaming "Rickaaaaaaay!" at her husband. Bianca has been featured in storylines including affairs, bereavements, family problems, spina bifida and abortion, two problematic marriages to Ricky Butcher, her troubled and dysfunctional reconciliation with her estranged biological father David Wicks, the revelation of her 15-year-old ward Whitney Dean being sexually abused by her fiancé Tony King and his subsequent arrest for paedophilia, her friendship with Tiffany Mitchell and relationship with Terry Spraggan.
Bianca arrives with her family, mother Carol Jackson, Carol's partner Alan Jackson, her half-siblings Robbie Jackson, Sonia Jackson and Billie Jackson. She works at her uncle Ian Beale's fish'n' chip shop before becoming the market assistant of Sanjay Kapoor, she runs her own clothing stall on Bridge Street market. Bianca has a short relationship with an older man, Richard Cole, but he swiftly dumps her when he grows bored and Bianca gets revenge by harassing him with pranks and stealing his credit card. David Wicks enjoys mutual flirtation with Bianca until Carol informs David that Bianca is his daughter. Horrified, David promptly keeps his distance, Bianca remains unaware of their biological relationship. Bianca enters into a relationship with Ricky Butcher and they move into a bedsit together. Bianca spends much time clubbing with her childhood friend Tiffany Raymond and Ricky starts an affair with Bianca's other childhood friend Natalie Price; when Bianca discovers the affair, she drives Natalie from Walford.
One night an intoxicated Bianca is nearly assaulted. She is rescued by David and when she tries to kiss him, he confesses that he is her father. Bianca is left humiliated, she feels hostile and resentful over David's absence for the majority of her life. Bianca has a change of heart and comes to accept David as her father, becoming keen to bond with him; the relationship is further complicated, when during July 1995 David confides in the Samaritans charity that he still feels sexually attracted to Bianca despite the knowledge that he is her biological father. A case of GSA, this was one of EastEnders' most controversial and daring storylines at this point in the show's history. There is further tension when Bianca makes David uncomfortable by reconciling with and dating his stepbrother Ricky again. Bianca is confused by David's unexplained strange and hostile behaviour. David never admits to Bianca the truth behind his initial feelings towards her, but she and David bond as a father and daughter.
Ricky and Bianca reunite and get engaged but she has sex with Lenny Wallace, but soon regrets it when she fears she is pregnant by him. It's a false alarm, she becomes pregnant. Distraught, Bianca has an abortion. Ricky learns of her infidelity with Lenny after a STD scare. Ricky considers ending their marriage, but Bianca convinces him to give her another chance and she becomes pregnant again, she gives birth to baby Liam on Christmas Day in The Queen Vic, helped by her enemy Grant Mitchell --her best friend Tiffany's volatile husband. Bianca's mother Carol returns to Albert Square with her new fiancé Dan Sullivan, unaware that Bianca had a past relationship with him when she was underage. Bianca and Dan rekindle their affair behind their partners' backs until Carol discovers she is pregnant by Dan. Bianca and Ricky plan to move to Manchester. After finding an old photo of Bianca and Dan together, Carol demands to know their history. Dan tells Carol they had a romance years ago and swears on his unborn child's life that it's all over, but Bianca confesses when questioned and is disowned by Carol.
Bianca leaves for Manchester after confessing to Ricky. In the two-part special episode, "Ricky & Bianca", Ricky visits Bianca in Manchester in 2002, to discuss Liam. Bianca is working in a nightclub. Struggling to support Liam, Bianca gets caught up in a plan to steal £50,000 from her drug-dealing boss, Vince. Ricky persuades her to return the money but Vince catches them and forces them to become his drug couriers, he sets them up, the dealers turn violent, Bianca and Ricky narrowly escape when armed police raid the establishment. Fleeing and Bianca spend the night together in a hotel room and decide to reunite. Ricky breaks the
A soap opera is an ongoing drama serial on television or radio, featuring the lives of many characters and their emotional relationships. The term soap opera originated from radio dramas being sponsored by soap manufacturers. BBC Radio's The Archers, first broadcast in 1950, is the world's longest-running radio soap opera; the first serial considered to be a "soap opera" was Painted Dreams, which debuted on October 20, 1930 on Chicago radio station WGN. Early radio series such as Painted Dreams were broadcast in weekday daytime slots five days a week. Most of the listeners would be housewives. Thus, the shows were consumed by a predominantly female audience; the first nationally broadcast radio soap opera was Clara, Lu, Em, which aired on the NBC Blue Network at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time on January 27, 1931. A crucial element that defines the soap opera is the open-ended serial nature of the narrative, with stories spanning several episodes. One of the defining features that makes a television program a soap opera, according to Albert Moran, is "that form of television that works with a continuous open narrative.
Each episode ends with a promise that the storyline is to be continued in another episode". In 2012, Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Lloyd wrote of daily dramas, "Although melodramatically eventful, soap operas such as this have a luxury of space that makes them seem more naturalistic. You spend more time with the minor characters. An individual episode of a soap opera will switch between several different concurrent narrative threads that may at times interconnect and affect one another or may run independent to each other; each episode may feature some of the show's current storylines, but not always all of them. In daytime serials and those that are broadcast each weekday, there is some rotation of both storyline and actors so any given storyline or actor will appear in some but not all of a week's worth of episodes. Soap operas bring all the current storylines to a conclusion at the same time; when one storyline ends, there are several other story threads at differing stages of development.
Soap opera episodes end on some sort of cliffhanger, the season finale ends in the same way, only to be resolved when the show returns for the start of a new yearly broadcast. Evening soap operas and those that air at a rate of one episode per week are more to feature the entire cast in each episode, to represent all current storylines in each episode. Evening soap operas and serials that run for only part of the year tend to bring things to a dramatic end-of-season cliffhanger. In 1976, Time magazine described American daytime television as "TV's richest market," noting the loyalty of the soap opera fan base and the expansion of several half-hour series into hour-long broadcasts in order to maximize ad revenues; the article explained that at that time, many prime time series lost money, while daytime serials earned profits several times more than their production costs. The issue's cover notably featured its first daytime soap stars, Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes of Days of Our Lives, a married couple whose onscreen and real-life romance was covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press at large.
The main characteristics that define soap operas are "an emphasis on family life, personal relationships, sexual dramas and moral conflicts. Fitting in with these characteristics, most soap operas follow the lives of a group of characters who live or work in a particular place, or focus on a large extended family; the storylines follow personal relationships of these characters. "Soap narratives, like those of film melodramas, are marked by what Steve Neale has described as'chance happenings, missed meetings, sudden conversions, last-minute rescues and revelations, deus ex machina endings.'" These elements may be found from EastEnders to Dallas. Due to the prominence of English-language television, most soap-operas are English. However, several South African soap operas started incorporating a multi-language format, the most prominent being 7de Laan, which incorporates Afrikaans, English and several other Bantu languages which make up the 11 Official Languages of South Africa. In many soap operas, in particular daytime serials in the US, the characters are attractive, seductive and wealthy.
Soap operas from the United Kingdom and Australia tend to focus on more everyday characters and situations, are set in working class environments. Many of the soaps produced in those two countries explore social realist storylines such as family discord, marriage breakdown or financial problems. Both UK and Australian soap operas feature comedic elements affectionate comic stereotypes such as the gossip or the grumpy old man, presented as a comic foil to the emotional turmoil that surrounds them; this diverges from US soap operas. UK soap operas make a claim to presenting "reality
Phil Mitchell is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Steve McFadden. Phil was introduced to the soap opera on 20 February 1990, was followed by his brother, sister Sam and mother Peggy. Phil is one of the major introductions made by executive producer Michael Ferguson, who wanted to bring in some macho, male leads. Phil and his brother Grant became popularly known as the Mitchell brothers in the British media with Phil portrayed as the more level-headed of the two thugs. Storylines featuring the Mitchell family dominated the soap opera throughout the 1990s, with Phil becoming a popular and long-running male protagonist into the 2000s and the 2010s. McFadden temporarily left the series in late 2003 returned in April 2005 for a brief stint, before making a permanent return in October 2005. McFadden took a hiatus from the series at the end of Phil's liver cirrhosis storyline with the character departing on 6 February 2017, he returned on 24 July the same year. He was absent from the show from August 2018 but returned in November 2018.
Phil's most prominent storylines include his battles with addiction. In 2016, Phil was revealed to be the father of Denise Fox's baby. One of the most culturally significant storylines featuring the character aired in 2001 and was dubbed "Who Shot Phil?". The plot saw Phil shot in a whodunit mystery, with the assailant revealed as his former girlfriend Lisa Fowler; the storyline captured viewer and media interest and the culprit-reveal episode was watched by 22 million viewers. Phil and Grant arrive in Walford to open an automobile repair shop, known as The Arches. Two years Phil goes into partnership at The Queen Victoria public house with Grant and his wife Sharon Watts, moves in with them. Phil grows close to Sharon. Sharon and Phil have sex but she stays with Grant, unaware of their betrayal. Sharon and Grant's reconciliation is brief, amidst more rowing and physical violence, Grant is arrested and imprisoned. In his absence and Sharon continue their affair but when Grant is released, Sharon reconciles with him, leaving Phil heartbroken.
On the rebound, Phil enters into a marriage of convenience with Nadia Borovac, a Romanian refugee, enabling her to stay in Britain, with Nadia departing after the wedding. Phil begins a relationship with Kathy Beale, but Nadia returns, needing Phil to prove he is her husband to prevent deportation, she moves in with him. Nadia sleeps with a drunken Phil, he regrets it, denying it to Kathy so Grant threatens to kill her to make her leave but Phil bribes her into agreeing to a divorce. Kathy agrees to marry Phil in 1994, despite discovering that he torched Frank Butcher's car lot in an insurance scam, accidentally killing a homeless boy trapped inside. Intent on winning him back, Sharon kisses Phil but he ends things there. During Phil and Kathy's engagement party, Grant listens to a cassette of Sharon admitting to the affair and plays it at the party. Kathy is incensed, Grant beats Phil so badly that he has to go to hospital, due to a blood clot in his brain. Phil undergoes surgery, he pressures Phil into blaming Sharon for their affair and Grant forces her to leave Walford.
Phil and Grant make peace but things between them are not the same. Kathy and Phil sort out their differences and have a son, making Phil feel neglected and depressed so he turns to alcohol and develops an addiction; this makes him abusive and neglectful towards Kathy and Ben, so Kathy takes Ben and moves out. Realising what he has lost, Phil gives up alcohol and attends Alcoholics Anonymous, which helps reveal the basis of his problem – the physical abuse he received from his father when he was a boy, his fear that he may abuse Ben, he and Kathy reconcile when he attends counselling until he begins an affair with fellow alcoholic Lorna Cartwright, who starts stalking him. With his marriage in jeopardy, Phil takes Kathy to Paris and admits his affair with Lorna so Kathy throws her wedding ring into the river. Phil begins sleeping rough and blaming Kathy for his decline so she decides to leave Walford for South Africa, letting it be known that an offer of reconciliation from Phil would make her reconsider
Dorothy "Dot" Branning is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera, EastEnders, played by June Brown since 1985. Dot first appeared in EastEnders in July 1985 as the mother of criminal Nick Cotton; the character has worked as a launderette assistant for most of that time, along with original character Pauline Fowler. Dot moved away with her son and his family in 1993. In reality, Brown left the show in 1993, unhappy with the axing of her co-star Peter Dean, who played Pete Beale from the show's first episode to early 1993. Brown returned to the role in April 1997, on 28 April 2017, Dot overtook Pat Butcher as the second-longest-serving character in EastEnders, surpassed only by original character Ian Beale. In a special episode entitled EastEnders: Dot's Story a young Dot was played by Tallulah Pitt-Brown in flashbacks. In April 2012, Brown took a six-month break from the show to write her memoirs. Dot temporarily departed on 18 May 2012, she returned on 14 January 2013. In February 2015, Dot began appearing less due to Brown losing her eyesight.
In January 2016, it was announced that Brown had renewed her contract with the BBC until March 2017. In January 2017 it was reported. In April 2018 it was announced that Brown had renewed her contract again until 2019. Brown will be returning to the show in October 2018, after a break due to her health, alongside Harold Legg. Dot returned in the episode broadcast on 15 October 2018. A tragicomic character, Dot is known for her devout Christian faith, chain smoking and motherly attitude to those in need. A recurring storyline in the serial has been Dot's continuous forgiveness of her son's villainous crimes. Married at the start of the series to conman Charlie Cotton, Dot married again in 2002 to pensioner Jim Branning and the union proved to be popular with fans. Brown and Bardon won awards for their screen partnership. On 31 January 2008, Dot became the first character to appear in a monologue episode, "Pretty Baby....", of a British soap. The acclaimed episode saw Dot reminiscing about her years of loss and grief into a tape recorder as a message to her ailing husband Jim.
Dot has been used to explore topical and controversial issues such as euthanasia, cancer and homophobia. Dot has been well received by critics: she has been referred to as a cultural archetype and Brown has won multiple awards for her portrayal. However, aspects of the character such as her smoking and her religious beliefs have been criticised, with religious groups suggesting Dot's faith is used in a pejorative manner; the character has made an impact on popular culture. Dot's backstory states that she was born in Walford, the main setting for EastEnders, was evacuated to Wales as a child during the Second World War, her guardians and Will, wished to adopt her, but Dot returned to Walford after Will's death and spent the remainder of her childhood helping her neglectful mother care for her younger half-siblings: Gerry and Rose. Aged 18, Dot married Charlie Cotton; the following year, he forced her to have an abortion. While Dot was giving birth to their son, Charlie was having an affair with her sister, Rose, in Liverpool.
She raised Nick alone, with Charlie making unannounced returns and departures sporadically, although Dot doted on Nick, she was not an affectionate mother. Dot is introduced to EastEnders soon after its launch as the gossiping, chain smoking, Christian friend of Ethel Skinner and Lou Beale who works with Pauline Fowler at the Walford launderette, she has a difficult life with a criminal husband and their son Nick, who appeared in the first episode. Charlie comes and goes, always treating Dot badly and stealing from her, until he dies in a lorry accident. Nick is a criminal, he is unsuccessful. Despite Nick's deeds, Dot believes. Dot associates herself as Walford's Good Samaritan taking in residents when they are homeless. Amongst these include Colin Russell and Donna Ludlow, who becomes addicted to drugs. Dot believes that she can help Donna change for the better, but comes home one day to find Donna dead in her lounge, it is concluded that she died after choking on her own vomit, Dot is devastated.
However, Dot causes trouble for certain residents too, although not intentionally. She is responsible for the break-up of Saeed Jeffery's marriage to Naima Jeffery. Due to the lack of lust in his marriage to Naima, Saeed begins visiting sex workers. After continual pressure, Naima relents and consummates her marriage to Saeed, improving things between the couple, but their marital bliss is short-lived. Naima receives an anonymous letter from Dot. Dot feels it is her Christian duty to inform Saeed's wife, when Naima confronts Saeed, he does not deny it so she leaves him. In 1993, Nick's girlfriend Zoe arrives in
Lisa Fowler is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Lucy Benjamin. The character was introduced as a "home-wrecking blonde" by executive producer Matthew Robinson on 7 December 1998. Show scriptwriters and BBC controller of drama, Mal Young, doubted Benjamin's casting in the role. Lisa is characterised as "a loyal, romantic Earth Mother", "feisty and ambitious". However, after a volatile relationship with Phil Mitchell, Lisa became an "eternal victim"; the characters became instrumental in one of EastEnders most publicised and anticipated storylines, dubbed Who Shot Phil? in 2001, where an unknown assailant guns down Phil. An estimated 22 million viewers watched Lisa confess to Phil's attempted murder, causing the third-largest power surge on record. Lisa became pregnant with Phil's child although opted not to tell him and claimed that her partner, Mark Fowler, is the father. Lisa gives birth to Louise Fowler and in the show's Christmas 2001 episodes, Louise's parentage is revealed.
Benjamin was written out of the serial in 2002 by executive producer Louise Berridge and Lisa departed in October 2002. Berridge reintroduced the character on two occasions in 2003. Despite several reports stating she would return, Benjamin did not reprise the role until 2010 when Bryan Kirkwood brought the character back for a single episode on 5 August 2010; the actress reprised the role again in 2017 for a brief stint, returning on 21 July 2017 and departing on 3 August 2017. Lisa moves in with Mark Fowler. Although Mark has feelings for her, Lisa does not notice, having a fling with Gianni di Marco and a relationship with Phil Mitchell, resulting in Lisa's pregnancy. Phil asks her to have an abortion but she refuses so he asks her to move in after coming round to the idea but she miscarries and blames Phil. Lisa loses her job when Ian Beale reports her for being absent, so she becomes dependent on Phil, he is happy with the situation but she loses her confidence and becomes jealous of Phil's former wife, Kathy Mitchell and son Ben Mitchell, hiding letters and a video from them.
This irritates Phil and he has sex with Mel when she is upset, following a fight with Lisa on Christmas Day. Regretting this, Mel agrees not to tell Lisa but does when Lisa says she intends to get pregnant again. Devastated, Lisa ends her relationship with Phil and moves in with Mark but she is pregnant, she keeps this secret as Phil keeps belittling her, on Mel and Steve Owen's wedding night, Phil says that he never loved her and suggests Mel give her tips in the bedroom. In revenge, Lisa steals a gun from shoots Phil, he survives and confronts her after leaving hospital but realises that he drove her to it and frames his enemy Dan Sullivan instead. Wanting to keep Phil away from her child and Mark marry, claiming that he is the baby's father. Everyone believes it and their romance becomes real. Lisa gives birth to baby Louise, Lisa tells Sharon Watts, that Phil is Louise's father. Sharon, tells Phil that Louise is his daughter and he forces them to accept he will be part of Louise's life. Despite initial animosity, when Lisa sees Phil with Louise, old feelings resurface and they reconcile.
However, Phil wants Louise, not Lisa, when she realises and Louise emigrate to Portugal. Phil finds her and brings Louise home after blackmailing Lisa about shooting him and making her think she is unstable and an unfit mother. Phil leaves her standing on the edge of a cliff, she is presumed dead. On Phil's wedding day to Kate Morton, Lisa returns to reclaim her daughter, he is difficult, leading her to plan to shoot him again but Den Watts persuades her to let him do it. He and his son, Dennis Rickman, frame Phil for armed robbery and Lisa reclaims custody when he is imprisoned, she leaves the Square with Louise. Several years Jack Branning, a formerpoliceman, tells Phil that Lisa and Louise are living in South East London. After seeing Louise call another man "daddy", Phil decides. Two years Louise arrives alone in Walford, saying that Lisa has gone on holiday but not returned. Louise is taken into care but when Phil discovers this, he has a DNA test to prove Louise is his daughter and gains custody of her.
That year, Phil is visited by a social worker, Derek Evans, who says that Lisa has made an application to see Louise. Phil does not want Lisa to have contact with Louise, but Phil's mother Peggy Mitchell takes her to see Lisa on Louise's request. Peggy slaps Lisa for abandoning her daughter, Lisa reveals she had a breakdown and thought Louise might be better off without her, but the neighbour she left Louise with promised to look after her. Lisa worries. Peggy is unable to assure her. Peggy allows Louise to stay with Lisa permanently as long. Phil steals the social worker's bag to get Lisa's address, drives there to confront her but finds the house abandoned and empty. Seven years Louise is burnt by bullies Madison Drake and Alexandra D'Costa, Lisa visits her in hospital. Lisa and Sharon argue, she tells Sharon that Louise wanted to live with Phil when she got a new boyfriend, which she admits was a relief. Lisa tells Phil she has had help with her life and has chan
Ian Beale is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Adam Woodyatt. He is the longest-serving character and the only remaining original character to have appeared continuously since the first episode on 19 February 1985; the character appeared in his 2000th episode in the show on 26 March 2007, his 3000th on 27 May 2016. Ian is the most-married character in EastEnders history, with five marriages to four women and two aborted engagements, he has fathered three children, acted as a father figure to Peter and Lucy's half-brother and half-sister, Steven Beale and Cindy Williams, respectively. As of 2019, Ian is the current owner of 45 Albert Square, traditionally represented within the series as the family home of the Beale and Fowler family, has been on the show for 34 years; as a teenager, Ian argues with his father Pete Beale over his desire to become a caterer but his grandmother Lou Beale encourages him. He buys a local café soon after graduating from catering college.
Ian has several failed romances, including with Sharon Watts. Sharon becomes interested in Simon Wicks, believed to be Ian's half-brother, but they remain close friends; when his cousin Michelle falls pregnant, he is suspected to be the father by Pete and Kathy. He starts a relationship with Tina Hopkins and the pair decide to move in together, renting one of Kelvin Carpenter's father Tony Carpenter's flats. Ian loses his virginity to her, to his glee. Ian and Tina break up when Tina's parents make an unannounced visit and are unhappy with their living conditions, so they take Tina to Ilford. Ian's uncle Kenny Beale and cousin Elizabeth Beale visit from New Zealand and Ian and Elizabeth taking a liking to each other, but they break up when Elizabeth flirts with men and she returns home. Ian begins to develop a relationship with Donna Ludlow, not knowing she is his half-sister until his mother Kathy Beale tells him she was raped as a teenager and gave Donna up for adoption. Ian gets engaged to Cindy Williams in 1989.
Cindy marries Ian and claims that the baby she is expecting, Steven Beale, is his, resulting in Ian attempting suicide when he learns the truth. He recovers and causes Simon to have a car accident in revenge so Simon and Steven leave Walford together. Ian immerses himself in his catering business but his exploitative working practices alienate his friends and family, he and Cindy reconcile and Ian is overjoyed to become a father to twins, Peter Beale and Lucy Beale. After opening a fish and chip shop, Ian becomes so obsessed with building his business empire that he neglects Cindy, who decides to leave him for his half-brother, David Wicks. Ian wins custody of their children, makes Cindy so miserable that she hires John Valecue, a hitman to kill him. Ian is only clipped by the bullet and recovers. Cindy leaves the country with Steven and Peter and spends a year in Italy before Ian traces them and retrieves the boys. Cindy is implicated in Ian's shooting, she is jailed on remand and dies several months in prison during childbirth.
Ian has a serious romance with the manager of his bric-a-brac shop. She proposes to him but cheats on him with Steve Owen. Suspecting that she is planning to leave him, Ian manipulates her by falsely claiming that Lucy is dying from lymphoma, they marry in 1999, but she leaves him during their wedding reception after discovering that Lucy is fine. Ian pursues a new business venture: development of high-market flats, he begins a casual relationship with his nanny, Laura Dunn, but only commits to her after being declared bankrupt. Laura buys back the fish and chip shop and, despite fearing that Ian is only interested in an inheritance she has received, they marry in May 2001, their marriage deteriorates. He refuses to have a child with Laura, who belittles him. Steven learns that Ian has been visiting local prostitute Janine Butcher, tells Laura, before moving to New Zealand to live with Simon. Laura forgives Ian on the condition. Although he agrees, Ian has a secret vasectomy and throws Laura out when she becomes pregnant that year after conning her into signing over control of their businesses.
Laura's son Bobby Beale requires a blood transfusion shortly after his birth, making Laura realise that Ian must be his father, as her lover Garry Hobbs is not a match. Laura dies in 2004. Ian takes custody of Bobby and takes in his half-brother Ben Mitchell, following the death of their mother. Ian fights Ben's father Phil Mitchell for custody, worsening their long-standing enmity which stems from Phil's disastrous marriage to Ian's mother Kathy. Ian meets a new romantic interest, Jane Collins, in 2004, he helps her to come to terms with the death of her husband, David Collins from Huntington's disease, although their relationship is tested when Jane has a brief affair with Phil's brother, Grant Mitchell, they marry in July 2007. Steven returns to Walford and stalks Ian, escalating to holding him hostage for several weeks
Jill Marsden (EastEnders)
DCI Jill Marsden is a fictional character in the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Sophie Stanton. She made her first appearance on 5 March 2001 investigating the shooting of Phil Mitchell, part of the whodunit storyline "Who Shot Phil?". Marsden returned in 2002, 2003 and 2009, she returned on 5 January 2012 for her third whodunit storyline, "Who's Stalking Phil?", departing four months on 10 May 2012. Marsden returned for two episodes on 17 August 2012 to conclude the latter storyline. On 16 July 2015, she returned for part of the "Who Killed Lucy Beale?" whodunit storyline. When she was brought back in 2009, Marsden's feelings were explored in a segment of the BBC EastEnders homepage entitled "Marsden's Video Diaries", documenting the character's thoughts about the storyline in which she was involved. Marsden's relationship with Phil has been explored since her first appearance, with the BBC describing their relationship as a "romance in negative...her ultimate dream is that some day she'll get behind bars" and the Daily Mirror's Tony Stewart calling her Phil's "arch enemy".
The character has been criticised by police detectives who felt that Marsden's habit of discussing investigation details with suspects did not properly represent their profession. In response, the BBC said it had sought advice from a police consultant for storylines involving Marsden. Marsden first arrives in Albert Square in March 2001, investigating Phil Mitchell's shooting in her first case as detective chief inspector, she identifies the five main suspects: Ian Beale, Dan Sullivan, Steve Owen, Mark Fowler and Lisa Shaw. Marsden arrests Dan for the shooting, although he is acquitted due to lack of evidence. Dan was set up by Phil but it was, in fact, Lisa who shot him. Marsden arrests Little Mo Slater for the attempted murder of her husband Trevor Morgan. Little Mo claims self-defence, since she has been a victim of domestic violence at the hands of Trevor; the trial ends, with Trevor's treatment of Little Mo revealed. In 2003, Sonia Jackson visits Marsden with evidence. Jill helps set up a honey-trap for Phil in order to obtain a confession from him, with PC Kate Morton and DI Dominic Price, but it fails when Kate falls in love with Phil and Marsden fires her.
Marsden arrests Phil. It emerges that Lisa is safe and well, Phil is innocent. Marsden arrests Phil when Dennis Rickman and Den Watts set him up in an armed robbery. Marsden reappears on Albert Square in 2009, she arrives on the scene when several people say they suspect Janine Butcher, but Marsden waits before questioning her, questions the Mitchells first. She makes a televised appeal for witnesses and interviews Phil, but he is provided an alibi by his girlfriend Shirley Carter. A few days a red fingernail is found at the scene of the murder. Seeing an upset Heather Trott, knowing that she is vulnerable and lives with Shirley, she talks to Heather about Christmas Day and Heather accidentally tells Marsden that Phil wasn't there. Marsden interviews Phil and visits his home, asking to see the clothes he was wearing on Christmas Day. Shirley shows her a clean shirt. After a tip-off Marsden arrests Sam Mitchell. Marsden confirms that she was there to talk to Peggy, questioning Peggy and Sam at the police station.
Peggy is released without charge. Marsden visits Janine, she asks Janine why she was out in the cold on Christmas Day, asks if Janine knows where Archie's laptop as it had gone missing. On 18 January, Marsden arrests Ian after Janine told her that Ian took advantage of her, stole Archie's laptop, which had a recording of them having sex on it, dumped it in the canal. Ian refuses to talk, but when Marsden shows him CCTV footage of him dumping the laptop, shows him the recovered laptop, he admits visiting Archie on Christmas Day, claiming that Archie was threatening him, he wanted to delete the recording and denies murdering Archie. Days Janine tells Marsden she saw Ian leave the Queen Victoria on Christmas Day but the bust of Queen Victoria was on the bar after he left. Marsden places Janine at the scene, but she denies murdering Archie. Marsden tells Ian that although the murder charge will be dropped, he will still be charged with burglary and theft of Archie's laptop, she and DC Wayne Hughes attend Archie's funeral, watching people's reactions in the hope of a new lead.
Peggy returns to Archie's grave. The following week, Ronnie Mitchell spots her ex-boyfriend Jack Branning talking to Marsden. With no new leads, Marsden's boss threatens to take her off the case, she reviews the suspects and decides to question Jack, since he is asking more questions than he has answered. In the café Marsden and Hughes discuss new information she has obtained, ensuring that she is overheard