Tag Archives: Craig Tinker

Corrie Street Sept. 4/16

Swing Set

slide at o'connell parkLooking at a photo on my wall of the slide at O’Connell Park in Sussex, near the swings. Swings! Bethany broke the swing set! Bethany thinks she’s fat. It doesn’t matter that it was missing a bolt, she thinks her weight broke Lilly’s swing set.

That happened half a day after I’d watched Thursday’s episodes. I’d seen her open the package she had received. I’d realized the bottle of pills she quickly hid were diet pills. I recognized that, ok, Bethany’s storyline about bullying and body image is going to start up again. bethany on swing setBut I hadn’t connected it with the breaking swing.

I was worried about the bolt that was left over. It’s not just an extra, I thought. I was surprised, but glad, that Lilly refused to test drive her new swing set. If it was going to break on someone, it was good that it was Bethany. She’s old enough to take the fall without real damage, and also young enough.

swing-collapsesBut, for her self image, she was absolutely the wrong person. The laughter of the others echoed a bit maniacally, like it would in her mortified head. And Max teasing, “Bethany’s fat.” Exactly what Bethany thinks.

David’s laughter was a release for him, one he clearly needs. I don’t david-grips-boltknow how tightly wound he is. Way too tight if he grips a bolt so hard it cuts his hand as deeply as that one did. Maybe, like me, he was glad it wasn’t his little girl on the swing.

Despite the laughter, it might have been just an embarrassing moment for Bethany. It was, after all, in her own back yard with only her family and Craig around. And he, as he told her later, knows what it’s like to be picked on.

But he took a photo of her as she hit the ground and shared it on craig-takes-photosocial media. A thoughtless act, not intended with any malice, but one that cannot be taken back. Bethany was right to be upset about it. It would give loads of ammunition to those horrible girls at school. And taking it down after the fact does no good. It’s out there and probably had already been reshared. Removing it gives it greater significance than it had.

bethany-on-groundSo good writing and good construction, Corrie people. The two events – the swing set breaking and the diet pills – come from different angles back to Bethany’s storyline of teenage angst, self image and bullying.

Corrie Street Dec. 20/15

looking at baby pics in photo albumsHow wonderful to be young! Learning about life and love, with your mother there to guide and comfort. Wednesday, Beth reminded us of just how much we forget – if we’re lucky – about adolescent life at home with the parents.

The baby pics. The embarrassing photos shown to the girl or boy that we are trying to impress, and mother’s commentary on each and every one of them. Oh, that will impress all right! And you will never forget, nor be allowed to forget, the total humiliation.

craig-puts-hands-over-faceIt may start out innocently. Mom shows a photo of you last summer, one you look really good in. But then it’s “Oh, look at this one, I just love it,” and next thing you know she’s telling the story of giving birth. “Like passing a ten pound bowling ball.” Please Lord, just take me now.

Here’s some hints, kids, for when you start seeing someone. Go out the door to meet him or her, yell ‘won’t be late’ back to your parents beth-discusses-nappy-rash-on-craigand keep on going. If your girl- or boyfriend has a car, tell him or her to stay in it and honk for you to come out. Your parents won’t like either of these, but dealing with their annoyance is preferable to dealing with the photo show.

You’ll probably never avoid the show and tell, but you can try to postpone it until you know the person you’re going out with a bit better. With luck, you’ll get to see his or her baby pics before having to go through it with your own.

craig-puts-face-on-tableI would love to know how many takes were needed to get the scene of Beth showing Craig’s baby photos to Caitlin. The expressions on each actor’s face was perfect. I don’t know how they could do it without breaking up laughing.

The entire sequence of dinner-with-the-family was brilliant. kirk-and-beth-see-caitlin-offFrom Craig’s cooking preparation, with Beth looking at him and the kitchen as if he were performing an exotic ritual that she had never before witnessed. To her satisfied “that went well” to Kirk after Craig walked out, looking daggers at her, to walk Caitlin to the bus stop.

craig-glowers-at-his-motherAnd Kirk’s final bemused look at Beth. He knew full well that this had not gone well but did not know how to explain the wrongness of it to her. It’s as well you didn’t try, Kirky, she would never understand or accept your critique. This is something you just do when you’re a mother.

Corrie Street Feb. 22/15


Sometimes it’s not the great speech, not the grand gesture. A look tells the story; underacting makes the impact. Three such moments from three actors.  Emotional scenes that, in lesser hands, could become melodrama.

“Take your time, Roy”

take-your-time Roy perfect underactingMonday, Roy is aware that he’s taking up Tyrone and Chesney’s time, going through the woods along the waterfront, from spot to identical spot. He’s looking for the right place to scatter Hayley’s ashes. He finds it, and starts the ritual he has practiced so many times in his head. He can’t continue. His anxiety is in his words, face and the frustrated flap of his hand. Take your time, says Tyrone. And Roy pauses and looks at him. He calms, and proceeds with his words of goodbye.

The pause, more than his words, conveys the importance of this event, the reconciliation he is making with his past life ending and a new one beginning.

Owen’s Ex

Thursday, Owen sees his ex-wife Linda with Katy. He confronts them, how dare Linda me-from-seeing-hersneak back to meet with Katy. How dare Katy have anything to do with this woman who abandoned her. They challenge him, why should they not talk to each other, hear out the other’s side. In one sucked in breath, Owen shows twenty years of pain. For just a heartbeat, he is silent.

In that instant, we see the hurt he still feels from Linda leaving him and their children, the fear that his daughters will be hurt again, and the fear too that they will abandon him. Then he goes back to yelling and threatening, being Owen again.

“Could you be…”

Friday, Craig consults Dr. Google to help Faye find possible reasons for her gain in weight. After they dismiss Cushing’s Disease, he continues scrolling then looks at the possible-thenscreen with shock. He asks, “could you be…?”

The pause and the look in his eyes is all we need to know what he is asking. Could she be pregnant. He is embarrassed and horrified but he waits for her answer. Not possible, she says, also looking embarrassed and horrified. But he perseveres with an ungainly but lovely sensitivity, making her aware she has to be honest with him and with herself.

All three situations are ones in which overacting would be easy. In all three, it’s the tiny pause the actors give that sets up the dramatic strength of the words that follow.

Corrie Street (Sept. 29/13)

Miss a few episodes and all hell breaks loose!   We returned to two weeks of Corrie Hayley-homerecorded so feasted on two or three episodes a night to get caught up.  Hayley and Roy’s story has been painfully wonderful and wonderfully painful.  Nice to see Ozzy the dog have a star turn in Audrey’s story as a houseguest, a welcome one for Ozzy and Liam, not so much for Maria and Marcus.  Ozzy also came to Max’s birthday party.  It seemed to me the fastest way to get Max out of his sulks would have been to take Ozzy upstairs to him.

has-karl-got-to-do-with-itThe scene for me, from this week, was Dev and Jason deciding which of them would confront Karl.  The big story of the week, of course, was the downfall of Karl. The long scene where Craig tells his story was brilliantly done.  From the first part where Beth literally hauls Craig to Dev’s shop through to her realization that the situation having-a-cigis much more serious than him stealing sweets or Dev maligning her child and then to Beth and Dev listening with horror as Craig tells all.

When Jason comes in and Dev says “we’ve got him”, both are quietly pleased that they were vindicated in their suspicions.  Jason wants to head to the registry office and save mother-of-my-childrenStella – he was involved with her, he tells Dev.  Dev quietly trumps that card, “and Sunita was the mother of my children.”  Both men showed the strength of their dignity and sorrow in this scene, with neither flailing about nor shouting.

Eventually, both do ride to Stella’s rescue.  stella-pounds-on-doorAnd she needs it.  One of those police officers ought to suggest a refresher course to her on how to get out of your own premises in a hurry.  During the fire, she was unable to open the upstairs window either by unlocking and lifting it cornmazeforblondes.comor by breaking it.  This time, trying to get out the front door, she pounded at the glass right beside the lock.  A quick turn of that knob and she’d have been outside.

Somehow the finale of the story was unsatisfying.  I don’t know exactly why or how.  That Dev, regaining consciousness after the blow to his head, sent a text to Jason – even signing it – seemed odd.  Wouldn’t a 999 call be more likely?  And we didn’t see Craig again after the detective took him in to give his karl-saves-craigstatement.  It really was Craig’s story, and presumably it was what he said that caused the police to arrive at the pub.  Even a moment in the interview room with the detective realizing his story was credible would have been enough.  It also was Karl’s story.  Perhaps another moment in the cellar when he realizes he has no choice but to give himself up would have explained to us why exactly he chose to come outside.

karl-and-stellaI am sorry to lose Karl.  He played a wonderful villain, but he would have been an excellent long-term layabout in the tradition of Stan Ogden and Jack Duckworth.  We have had a lot of villains in recent years and not so many of the classic Corrie idlers.  I think Karl could have become one of the greats

karl-camMy favourite camera shots ever were at the end of last week:  first Karl then Gloria* looming into the faces of the two unlikeliest school “bullies” in the world.  I was delighted that Corrie Canuck made a “Karl cam”.

For reasons unknown to me, the final moment that had Gloria frightening the children was cut in CBC’s online episode.  What, another programme is going to start?

Corrie Street Sept 1/13

one-lousy-fagIf ever an argument was made for the value of civics education in schools, it was Craig’s face as Karl told him what would happen if he confessed to throwing a still-lit cigarette butt away.  That butt, Craig believes, started the fire that burned down the Rovers and killed two people.  Murder, Karl told him, means years in juvenile detention, then transferal to an adult prison for 30, 40 years, heartbreak for his mother, and suicide as the only way out.

did-you-wake-up-that-dayWhen Craig first told Karl the secret that was bothering him, Karl told him the truth, mostly.  The butt didn’t start the fire.  Sunita did according to the police, so it was not Craig’s fault.  Still, Craig wanted to confess.  He started the fire, he said over and over, he murdered those women.  If you didn’t plan it beforehand, Karl said, it’s an accident so don’t worry about it.  It’s not your fault.  Call me anytime.

Still, Craig feels so guilty he wants to tell the police and let them decide whether or not driving-me-crazyhe is a criminal.  Karl has trouble keeping up his best friend and “go-to guy” façade in the face of Craig’s determination to make a clean breast of it.  If it were only Craig carelessly disposing of a butt, Karl likely wouldn’t care.  The problem is that Craig saw Karl leaving the back door of the Rovers and locking up behind him at the time when he supposedly was in the Bistro doing the Full Monty.

am-a-nobodyAs Thursday’s scene in Karl’s car progressed, I wondered how he was going to convince Craig to keep schtum.  No reassurances or allusions to the rigours of ‘boy-prison’ were working. What will Karl tell him next?  Will he tell him that he will hang for the crime?  Craig may well not know the difference.  And yes!  Karl leaned in closer and best-way-you-can-face-upsaid you’re right, it was your fault, you are a murderer.  And he began piling on the list of punishment ahead of Craig.  He painted a vivid picture.

It was horrible to watch that poor gormless boy be scared witless.  It was also laugh-out-loud funny.  Karl does the friendly/scary looming thing very well.  He honestly doesn’t want to hurt anyone.  But if backed in a corner, well, not a lot of choice.

carry-your-secretKarl is having to dream up excuses for Stella while dealing with a child carrying a load of guilt.  That guilt could be Karl’s own undoing, something he can’t explain to Stella as he goes AWOL from Rovers work and wedding preparation events. He is ready to pop from the pressure.  It is, my husband reminded me, similar to John Stape coming unglued as one after another coincidence occurred to foil what seemed like a perfect plan to cover up lies and deaths – good-ladall because he just wanted to teach. Karl thought he had successfully got away with murder and now a young boy unknowingly threatens to topple his whole happily-ever-after.  The ‘go-to guy’ has to get up and take action.

(Here is my take on my favourite John Stape moment.)