EastEnders cast lifted bus in crash scene

The cast of 'EastEnders' actually managed to lift the double decker bus involved in the crash scene earlier this week

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James Bye as Martin Fowler

Martin Fowler

The 'EastEnders' cast managed to lift the bus an inch off the ground during the dramatic crash scene.

Fans of the popular long-running soap were left devastated on Monday (23.01.17) when a large chunk of the characters were mowed down by the vehicle after the driver suffered a heart attack at the wheel.

But, although viewers were quick to criticise how unrealistic the scenes were when the residents attempted to lift the bus off trapped Martin Fowler (James Alexandrou), the co-director Toby Frow has revealed it was all real.

Speaking to Digital Spy, he said: "Every time someone had to jump out of the bus or run away from it, that was a stunt. We had to think very carefully about how to keep the audience's attention. If you do every stunt the same then you risk losing interest, so you have to figure out the different angles...

"In terms of lifting the bus, the cast really did lift it. What we initially said to them was when the bus is lifted by the crane, we need it to look like you're lifting it so can you put your backs into at least swaying it left to right.

"So action... let's do the first shot without the crane. And the bus did move. It came an inch off the ground. It was pretty remarkable. It was a symbol of how much commitment everyone threw into the entire thing.

"They gave everything they had for the entire shoot and threw themselves into it. It crystallised in that moment when the bus lifted. It was amazing."

Although the storyline will have complications for a number of the characters - with some expected to die - over the next few weeks, bosses were determined to strike a message of goodwill that will stick with viewers throughout.

Toby explained: "The vision was very much about us watching people who at the start of the week are in conflict with each other. But then this terrible thing happens and they find all the things that unite them rather than divides them. It's about being in touch with what makes you human at the end of the day.

"The fact you instinctively run towards someone in need, rather than run away. That happens again and again in the episode. People are just reacting instinctively to help people they know and that they don't know. I guess that's the over-arching theme of the week, the humanity."

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