Wow!! I was disappointed when I learned the big event to mark the 50th anniversary would be a tram crash. I had hoped for something uplifting. But, having seen it now, it was truly spectacular. Many great scenes, so here’s my highlights of the week.
Charlotte going well and truly off the rails in Monday’s episode. A lovely meal she made for John, and chitchat about her exes and what happens to students who annoy her. John reaches his limit over her demands on “Colin’s” time. She likes his display of forcefulness. “I never knew you had it in you” then she croons to herself “He’s big and strong, the man I love.”
Tuesday, her pretend life continues with dinner with her parents – her mother apparently as loopy as Charlotte and her father perhaps not far off.
Wednesday, the horrible moments with Tyrone and Molly – first when she says she’s leaving him then when she tells him baby Jack is not his. She didn’t have a lot of choice, but the hurt and numb disbelief on his face was horrible to witness. His words “I miss Jack, you know,” then “Can’t you just take pity on me?” and Molly’s chilling response, “I have been.”
At Leanne’s hen night at the Rovers, Nick again hauls her outside to talk her out of marrying Peter and into marrying him. Despite my dislike of Nick and what he’s doing, I actually felt sorry for him when she told him she was going to marry Peter come hell or high water.
Thursday, hell comes. Everyone is panicking for one reason or another. Frenetic action. Kev goes out for ice cream for his family dinner, and learns Molly is leaving Tyrone and won’t be back. He won’t see his son unless he goes with her. Sally phoning him, dessert bowls on the table, where is he? The girls at the hen night at the Rovers are rocking to Leader of the Pack. John Stape has another body – Charlotte’s – to remove from his and Fizz’s living room. Little Max has disappeared from his bed. Becky and Steve search frantically. The animosity between Lloyd and Chris explodes in a fistfight at Peter’s stag at the Joinery. Then boom.
The Joinery explodes, a tram coming on the viaduct can’t stop and derails, swinging wildly about the street. Fire everywhere, screams, shock and panic. And it continues that way, that night, for the rest of the week.
In the horror, there are moments of loveliness. Sean is Mr. Efficient in setting up the Rovers as a first aid station. Getting Janice to use her First Aid skills then organizing the supplies she needs. Then “start dishing out the brandy, and make them large ones.” Eileen and Gail, tending the wounded in the Rovers. Gail says how much she appreciates Jason going in the ruins to search for Nick. Eileen says she’d have liked to pin him to the cobbles to stop him. Gail says “I know Nick would do the same if it were Jason, and I’d feel exactly the same as you do.” Gary hearing the explosions and having flash-backs to Afghanistan. We see and hear it with his eyes and ears. First time I’ve seen that in Coronation Street.
New and old production methods blended seamlessly. The crash and fire used both computer-generated images and real props and fire. The week culminated with a live to air episode – the last half of our Friday episode and the first half of this coming Monday’s. It was shown as a special hour-long episode last Dec. 9th in the UK. A stunning week, bringing long-standing plotlines to the boiling point in a huge new one. And it’s goodbye to some loved characters. RIP Ashley Peacock.