17 September 2012 5:47 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

A huge plug was pulled on literature when school days stopped beginning with obligatory immersion in the Bible

Jennifer Robins's revelation that EastEnders' never-ending plotlines have been largely inspired by the Bible spawned headlines. "The prototype of every EastEnders story," proclaimed Robins, "can be traced back to one source: David and Goliath, Daniel in the Lions' Den, Samson and Delilah, Sodom and Gomorrah, the fall, all the Bible stories."

For anyone with a half-sensitive echo-meter the title of the soap itself gave the game away. Like John Steinbeck's novel, the half-buried allusion in the title is to Genesis: "Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the East of Eden" – or, in this case, the land to the east of Tower Bridge somewhere round the Isle of Dogs (which, in its turn, always brings to my mind to the line »

- John Sutherland

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