Emmerdale fans heap praise on actor John Middleton after special dementia episode airs

Viewers saw the world from Ashley's point of view

Ashley Thomas Emmerdale

by Hannah Mellin |
Published on

After months of careful storytelling and extensive research,Emmerdale viewers watched on in awe as they watched vicar Ashley Thomas' vascular dementia battle entirely from his point of view. We were in his mind, in his head and watched him tackle the world on his world, coming into contact with a variety of different strangers.

The one-off special episode was never going to be an easy watch, especially as the situation is extremely heartbreaking and completely relatable.

Emmerdale John Middleton

Actor John Middleton, who has played Ashley for over twenty years, took on the important storyline, playing out the harrowing portrayal of a man living with stroke-related early on-set vascular dementia, a condition that is only becoming more relatable in today's society.

Fans took to social media in their droves, praising the writers, the producers and everyone involved in the episode:

But mainly, they chose to praise the astounding acting force that is John Middleton, with some hailing him as 'oscar worthy':

For some, the episode reminded them of their own experiences with dementia:

However, some viewers were more focused on the fact that Ashley was wearing different clothes in some of the shots, making for a noticeable continuity error.

Does it even matter when they're tackling such an important and emotive subject?

Earlier today, Emmerdale producer Iain MacLeod voiced his concerns about the special episode airing, just because a storyline of this size and scale has never been done before in the world of soap.

"You have to be brave," he told Daily Mirror.

"But I did have a tiny voice inside my head that wondered if we'd lost our way. What we are doing is very controversial.

"However, I think thanks to everyone involved, I can categorically say this is a very successful episode showing what it's like to be Ashley."

What did you think of the episode? We thought is was absolutely astounding. Let us know over on Twitter and Facebook

You may also like to read:

7 Things you should know if you are caring for someone with dementia/Alzheimer’s disease

Emmerdale spoilers: John Middleton reveals all about 'remarkable' and 'experimental' dementia episode

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