EastEnders' Max Branning is nearly dead, but not quite.
He was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in the 30 October episode, and, late this afternoon, was said to be 'poorly but stable' in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at London's St Soapstars Hospital near Walford.
In the episode, Max is kidnapped by Jack and beaten by him. He returns to Albert Square, and his wife Tanya comes to see him; he is in a state. They reminisce about old times, and end up embracing with a passionate kiss. Tanya pulls away, shocked, and Max is heartbroken.
Later that evening, his daughter, Abi, 12, calls round to say goodbye, as she is leaving for France with Jack, Tanya and Lauren.
Max then goes to see Tanya for the last time but, on the way there, he is hit by a car driven by Darren Miller, and left in agony in the road.
An ambulance is called, but, at the hospital, the delinquent ambulance staff are watching THAT episode of EastEnders on the television, and the rescue is delayed by some fifteen minutes, severely endangering the life of Max, who is left twitching on the cobbles.
At the hospital, Tanya sees Max with various wires and tubes coming out of him, and doctors usher her out, telling her that there has been a mix-up, and that Max has actually been given a bed in the Holby City studio.
The show ended with a doctor giving Abi advice on Family Planning.
In the tradition of the miserable BBC soap, it's not known whether the producers are intending to let Max die, or if, indeed, he can be killed. In 2007, he was buried alive in a coffin in deserted woodland by his wife and Sean Slater, but still managed to break open the coffin, and eat the soil above his tomb, before escaping back to Walford in time for supper.
Max Branning is not played by an actor; he is real.