ONE advantage of being married to a nurse is that she can tend your wounds when your psycho stalker stabs you, as happens to Martin Fowler in EastEnders (BBC1). Mind you, wife Sonia's record of keeping fiances alive isn't good. Little Jamie, her previous beloved, died after a car accident.

And guess who was driving the car? None other than Martin, the man Sonia later married (and who earlier got her pregnant although she didn't realise until she started giving birth - but that's another story).

Martin's fall from grace (and being the tallest man in Soapland, he has a long way to topple) has been a short, sharp shock. A one-night stand with Sarah left him feeling guilty for betraying Sonia and frustrated that Sarah wouldn't leave him alone.

Now Sarah the Stalker turns into Sarah the Slicer, a modern-day female Jack the Ripper stalking the East End of London. She's already pushed Martin's interfering mum Pauline off a ladder. This may be bad manners, but understandable as we've all wanted to do it.

Now Martin's carted off to the cop shop accused of assaulting Sarah. He returns home to find Sarah's told Sonia about their fling.

It's only a matter of time before one of them takes a knife to Martin and gives his dangly bits a trim. But Sarah decides to carve up Sonia first. If only Martin hadn't got in the way. Now's the time for Sonia to put her nursing skills to the test as hubby Martin bleeds all over the living room carpet. What will Pauline say about the stains when she gets out of hospital?

Things aren't much better at the Vic as Kat returns home drunk. Other people leave a pub the worse for drink, she arrives there in an alcoholic haze. What's it all about?, Alfie.

Round at the Ferreiras, a dose of food poisoning kills them all. Only joking. Just wishful thinking. What happens is that Ronny propositions Sacha and gets punched by her boyfriend/his brother Adi. Sacha's response is to slap them both, which is preferable to Sarah the Slicer pulling out a knife.

I'd like to report things are more peaceful in Coronation Street (ITV1) but alas not, thanks to Shelley's jealousy over anyone doing so much as look at boyfriend Charlie, the builder with the bulging toolbox. Shelley gets the wrong idea on seeing Charlie leaving Gail the hamster's house.

A confrontation on the cobbles follows with Gail, wearing the dressing gown she reserves for open air punch-ups, squaring up to Shelley. The police can't break up the fight as they're busy arresting Tracy. Not before time, I hear you say. The mixing minx and her partner-in-crime, Ciaran, are bundled away in a cop car after penniless Penny, the woman who financed their restaurant, discovers she's been swindled.

Mad Maya returns - certainly not by popular demand - and toasts soon-to-be-wed lovebirds Dev and Sunita in the celebrations in the Rovers. We all know she'd like to toast them over a log fire.

And so to the peace and tranquillity of the peaceful Yorkshire country in Emmerdale (ITV1) where the only sounds are the cries of Frank the reformed rapist being beaten to a pulp by friendly locals Scott and Syd.

This isn't half as alarming as the sight and sound of a gathering of the Dingle clan. Lock up your daughters and, most importantly, your beer.

Published: 14/10/2004