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"She's a liar, it runs in her blood. Her dad was the same. Dennis Watts just the same. The whole family are scum!".
~ Jack Dalton lecturing Dennis Rickman about how both the Mitchells and Watts are scum, moments before his murder.

Jack Dalton is a fictional character and major antagonist of the long-running BBC British soap opera EastEnders.

He was the unseen overarching antagonist in 1985-1989 and the secondary antagonist in 2003 who merely appeared in 11 episodes. However, Dalton represented one of the show's biggest and most significant impacts to date when he was revealed to be responsible for the events behind Den Watts' famous exit and supposed death in February 1989 - which was originally masterminded by Dalton's gangland organization called The Firm.

Biography

Jack Dalton is a fearsome gangland boss who is responsible for ordering the death of Den Watts in February 1989. But Den survived and emigrated in Spain for many years. Dalton discovered this and later arranged for the murder of Mr Vinnicombe for failing to kill Den, who had escaped abroad for a new life, and had dumped Vinnicombe's body in the canal. His teeth were bricked so as to avoid dental records identification.

Dalton then took over as leader of The Firm and started business at a nightclub in Albert Square. He first ordered Spencer Moon to be beaten up for using forged currency at his nightclub. Spencer's brother Alfie Moon took the berating to protect him. Dalton then discovered that his secretary Kate Morton was a policewoman and arranged for her to be murdered. But she was saved by her lover Phil Mitchell, who apparently knows Dalton, and requests for Dalton to let her live. Dalton agrees on the condition that Phil does a favor for him. The favor comes when Dennis Rickman, a hardman who Dalton took under his wing, begins blackmailing Dalton for money after serving prison time for him. Dalton responds by ordering Phil to kill Dennis. But this fails when Dennis offers to kill Dalton so that he and Phil can be free of him. Dennis later confronts Dalton and forces him to take them to the woods. Dennis then reveals that he is in fact Den's long-lost son and Dalton begs for his life. But Dennis kills Dalton by shooting him.

After Dalton's murder, Den returns and is pardoned by his successor Andy Hunter. Both are killed a couple year later when Den gets murdered by his wife Chrissie Watts and Andy is killed on the same night by fellow crime boss Johnny Allen. It is then Johnny finishes what Dalton started by having Dennis killed by his henchman Danny Moon.

A few months later, the murders of Dennis and Andy would be avenged when Phil and his brother Grant Mitchell bring Johnny to justice for his crimes - though not after Danny gets killed by his brother Jake Moon shortly before Johnny's daughter Ruby Allen forces her father to turn himself into the police; Johnny would later die of a heart attack whilst trying to have Ruby's boyfriend Sean Slater killed to no avail.

Following these events, The Firm and it's reputation had effectively been dismantled - along with Dalton's ruling legacy all over the square.

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Trivia

  • Despite making only 11 appearances in the show, Jack Dalton is hailed as one of EastEnders' most evil and significant villains to date.
    • This is because Dalton was the leader of The Firm at the time when they arranged for Den to be murdered in 1989, thus meaning that Dalton is the mastermind behind Den's supposed death back in February 1989.
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