EastEnders’ Kat and Alfie Moon, played by Jessie Wallace and Shane Ritchie, are one of the UK’s most iconic TV couples. But as fans of the soap know, they’ve had plenty of ups and downs along the way. This slick, six-part series marks a new chapter for the resilient couple, as we follow them to the fictional village of Redwater in Ireland, where they intend to ‘search for answers to some very big questions’.

What’s the story?

For those not in the know, or with a poor memory… Before Kat and husband Alfie left Albert Square for good, we discovered that Kat had actually given birth to twins, not just daughter Zoe, at the age of 14, after being raped by her uncle Harry. Kat passed out following the birth of Zoe, and wasn’t even aware of the existence of her son, who was whisked away by nuns to be adopted in Ireland. We also found out that Alfie has a brain tumour. Still with us?

The new spin-off picks up the story as the Moons arrive in the seaside village of Redwater, where they’re determined to track down Kat’s long-lost son.

So it’s like EastEnders, but set in Ireland?

Not quite. Redwater creator, and former EastEnders boss, Dominic Treadwell-Collins promises the new show will be much grittier than the long-running soap. And while it continues the storyline established in EastEnders, Redwood is a stand-alone drama that will appeal to fans and non-fans alike. The six one-hour episodes are also expected to take a darker turn part-way through, with the fast-paced storyline uncovering much more than the couple had bargained for. Interestingly, it’s been described as Broadchurch meets The Wicker Man…

What can we expect?

The drama kicks off in episode one as Kat, Alfie and Tommy (Kat’s son by Alfie’s cousin – that’s another story) arrive in Redwater in the middle of lively celebrations for an annual fundraiser. Never one to keep a low profile, Kat throws herself into the party and is immediately on the lookout for her son. It seems too good to be true when she spots Andrew (Peter Campion), the son of local farmers, who seems to fit the bill perfectly. Kat wastes no time jumping to conclusions, despite Alfie warning her not to get her hopes up, but when did she ever listen to reason?

Sounds like the Kat and Alfie we know and love...

Absolutely, but don’t expect to see them screaming at each other in the pub. This is Kat and Alfie 2.0 – they’ve even had a bit of a makeover. Kat looks more bohemian and, dare we say it, rather elegant, while Alfie appears more worldly and sophisticated, sporting soft linen jackets and salt-and-pepper hair.  

Does EastEnders crop up in the story?

Not really – Redwater is a completely different universe to Walford. Alfie lets slip early on that he used to be a pub landlord, but that’s about it. As well as the Moons, the drama centres on four families in the village, so there are plenty of new characters for us to get to know.

Watch Kat and Alfie: Redwater on BBC One at 8pm, Thursday 18 May, or catch up on BBC iPlayer.