The Split creator reveals why major character was killed off in dramatic first episode

Warning! Spoilers ahead for episode one of the BBC drama…

The Split returned with its first episode of series three on Monday evening and it's safe to say the first instalment of the new season did not hold back.

MORE: Nicola Walker drops big hint about The Split series three finale

Viewers were left speechless after a dramatic moment towards the end of episode one saw the Defoe family's world turned upside down. And now, the writer of the show explained why this had to happen. Warning! Spoilers ahead…

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Towards the end, Rose (played by Fiona Button) was seen leaving a voicemail to her husband, James 'Jimbo' Cutler (played by Rudi Dharmalingar) as she told him how much she couldn't wait to adopt children with him. But, while this was taking place, James was out riding his bike but was then suddenly hit by a lorry.

Rose's sister, Hannah (Nicola Walker) delivered the news to her distraught sister as they rushed to the hospital – only to find out that James sadly didn't make it.

MORE: The Split: viewers saying the same thing about season three’s return

MORE: The real reason why The Split is coming to an end after three seasons

Episode one saw Rose's husband, James, hit by a lorry while riding his bike

Speaking to HELLO! and other reporters at the recent press event for The Split series three, writer and creator of the show, Abi Morgan, explained why she made the choice to kill off James.

"I mean it was so hard actually because he's such a wonderful actor, and I really love the chemistry of the two of them," she began.

"I've had some really quite major life changes over the last three of four years and they've been the sweetener to life and they've made me really recognise that life is short and it's not a rehearsal.

Series three also sees Hannah navigate her divorce from Nathan

"To kill a much-loved character is always hard but in a way I felt the arc of his journey… one of the last things he says is 'I don't want to miss life, Rose' and I felt like if that's what the audience is left with, what an amazing gift to have given everybody.

Abi continued: "But and then the other simple thing is: it's a drama and I've got to [expletive] it up a bit! You don't want to watch three couples where it's all okay. So, I ran out of ideas basically, and it just felt like 'okay come on it works, let's try it – and it did!"

Elsewhere in episode one, viewers saw Hannah and Nathan continue on their tricky divorce journey which has been made complicated by Nathan's (Stephen Mangan) new girlfriend, Kate. Not only that, they're expecting a baby. We're predicting some more tear-jerking episodes ahead. 

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