EastEnders: Did you spot unusual format for this week’s episodes?

There’s a very good reason.

EastEnders viewers experienced something pretty unusual this week – something they might not have noticed initially.

Building up to serial killer Gray Atkins’ downfall episodes, which’ll air throughout next week, the crew kept things close and personal indoors while the finishing touches were added to the new Albert Square set.

The old Square featured on screen for the final time earlier this month, while recent episodes were almost entirely set indoors aside from a couple of scenes on-location.

When that fresh air hits, you’d better strap in.

“In the fourth episode [next week], there’s a chase sequence – to show off as much of the new area as we possibly can,” revealed production manager Rona McKendrick to the Radio Times.

Meanwhile, director Richard Lynn weighed in on the new opportunities this structural update allows: “Chase scenes on the old lot would inevitably have gone in one direction only, because there were so many dead ends.

“There is much more flexibility now – more places for the goodies to hide and the baddies to come together. I’d really like to do a foot chase in the alleys or back gardens.”

Portrayer of Gray since 2019, Toby-Alexander Smith is poised for a frantic week ahead.

Teasing the conclusion of Gray’s sinister storyline, he exclusively told “I think he’d go to any length to protect himself. He is very much a coward and will do whatever it takes to keep himself safe.”

And what did he think of the new set? “Everyone has done such an amazing job replicating the old set, even down to there being rust on the bars in the Square.

“It does look pretty identical, so in that sense it doesn’t feel too dissimilar but it is more the energy and the freshness of the cast and crew just being on this new set and being part of EastEnders history.”