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You should never have messed with me, Steve. Your life is over!
~ Saskia Duncan vowing retribution against her ex-boyfriend Steve Owen before trying to kill him in a fit or rage, which consequently leads to Steve killing Saskia in self-defense.

Saskia Duncan is a minor antagonist of the long-running British soap opera EastEnders. She served as a supporting antagonist from December 1998 to February 1999 before becoming a posthumous catalyst in the character duration of her ex-boyfriend, Steve Owen, from then onwards up until his death in March 2002.

She was portrayed by Deborah Sheridan-Taylor.

Biography

Saskia Duncan first came to Albert Square in Walford, a fictional borough in East London, on New Year's Eve 1998. She was looking for her ex-boyfriend Steve Owen, who had just moved into the square to prepare the opening of his nightclub called "The E20" for Valentine's Night 1999.

When they reunite, Steve is unhappy to see Saskia and tells her they're finished for good. But Saskia continues to harass Steve and even sets about breaking up his new relationship with local resident Mel Healy. At some point, she succeeds in seducing Steve and they have sex; however, Saskia is devastated when Steve insists that it was a mistake and refuses to reconcile with her. Saskia thereupon sets about ruining Steve's life and attempts to romance with her would-be archenemy Phil Mitchell, but he turns her down in favor for Mel's best-friend Lisa Shaw.

Eventually, Saskia plans to confront Steve on the night of the E20 opening. She laments about Steve to punters Mark Fowler before setting off to confront Steve at the nightclub. She interrupts Steve's romantic evening with Mel, who then leaves to let Steve sort out his ex-lover despite his protests. When they're alone, a heated argument erupts when Saskia blames Steve for how their failed relationship turned out in the past; Saskia had gotten pregnant with Steve's unborn child, but he made her abort it because he didn't want them to have a baby.

Saskia vows to make Steve suffer as he orders her to leave, but she refuses and instead attacks him with a wine bottle. Their argument turns physically violent as Saskia attacks Steve, just as his young DJ employee Matthew Rose walks in on the incident. Matthew attempts to help Steve by stopping Saskia, but she in turn lunges for him and lashes out until Steve restrains her. Saskia then attempts to strangle Steve with his tie. She is about to kill him when Steve grabs an ashtray and ends up hitting Saskia on the head with it, killing her as she falls dead onto the ground.

Following Saskia's death, Steve forces Matthew to bury her body in the woods rather than call the police. It is then for the next few months Steve threateningly checks up on Matthew whilst trying to build his criminal partnership with businesswoman Annie Palmer, all the while trying to move forward from Saskia's death. In June 1999, however, Saskia's body is finally discovered and her death becomes public knowledge. Steve then frames Matthew for murder when the pair are implicated for her death, which leads to the two getting arrested and charged for her demise. As such, Saskia's sister Claudia Fleming is also in the square and mourns her death.

In Saskia's murder trial, Steve and Matthew along with their respective parties each give evidence to try and exonerate the other, as Steve also faces business problems with Phil's brother Grant Mitchell during his remand in custody period over the police investigation onto Saskia's death. In the end, however, Steve gets away with the crime scot-free whereas Matthew is found guilty for manslaughter and sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Steve then becomes public enemy #1 due to framing Matthew for Saskia's murder. Soon many people believe he killed Saskia on purpose, but eventually Steve is able to convince everyone that Saskia tried to kill him and he only meant to stop her - he never intended to kill her and that he did it by accident when he had to stop her in self-defense before she could kill him. Not long afterwards, Matthew is released due to good behavior and he ultimately gets revenge on Steve for framing him for Saskia's murder before leaving the square for good.

From then onwards, Saskia's murder becomes referenced on certain occasions. At one point Phil's godson Jamie Mitchell punches Steve upon believing him to have shot Phil in 2001; during the accusation, Jamie points out what Steve did to both Saskia and then Matthew in a moment of accusation. Months later in August 2001, Saskia's death is brought up again when Mel is kidnapped by her former boyfriend Dan Sullivan and he reveals to her the extent of Steve's deception. Mel disbelieves Dan originally, but then he points out to her how Steve killed Saskia and framed Matthew for the crime in a bid to make her see the extent of Steve's deceit and criminal nature. When Mel is released, she confronts Steve and sets the E20 on fire in revenge. Steve is consequently left with financial problems due to his insurance being invalid because of his past crimes, including Saskia's murder.

In 2002, Steve ultimately gets his comeuppance when he is killed after a high-speed car chase with Phil in the climax of their intense rivalry. Years later in 2018, Saskia's death is brought up again when Steve and Mel's son Hunter learns the truth about his father from crime lady Ciara Maguire. He confronts Mel about his father and the events on Saskia's murder. This forces Mel to tell Hunter that Steve, his father, had killed Saskia before framing Matthew for the crime.

Trivia

  • She made a total of 12 appearances during her time on the show.

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