Tag Archives: David Platt

Corrie Street 27 May 2018

After a suicide

Tuesday’s episode – that’s my pick of the week. People on the street are trying to wrap their heads around Aiden’s suicide. So there’s the johnny's hands on body bag - after suicidestory of the suicide and the intersection of it with other stories. My only criticism is that its story arc is more like a spike. Johnny and all can’t be the only ones wondering when and why Aiden decided to kill himself. Still, despite the ‘huh?’ element in the storytelling, it is done brilliantly.

Gail’s Monologue

gail-looks-out-at-streetGail looks out her front window and says to her mother, “Forty-odd years I’ve lived on this street…” She continues to speak, but we see other people, other houses. People reacting to the news that Aiden has killed himself. “Oh no, American soap trick again,” I thought. But it quickly drew me in.

maria-prepares-to-tell-liamHer words were powerful. Wondering what exactly you were doing when someone else was going through the worst crisis imaginable. Thinking your problems are the worst in the world, only to find out someone else’s were far worse.

Listening to Gail while watching the faces of others as they tried to absorb what they were hearing. The factory. Maria telling Liam. You gail-says-aiden-not-coming-homedidn’t need to hear – you knew what they were saying. It’s what you’d say yourself. So very effective dramatically. Also time-effective in terms of storytelling. It conveyed an important message in Gail’s words and showed all those who were feeling what she was saying.

Pub Postmortem

table-full-in-rovers discuss suicideEveryone gathered, like you would, in the neighbourhood pub. They hashed out their thoughts on suicide. Tragic? Selfish? Who is hurt the most by it? Could it have been prevented? All the thoughts that we all have, if we’ve been touched by suicide or not. Important sentiments to have voiced.

“I don’t half love you”

johnny-looks-at-aiden-in-body-bagThe morgue attendants taking Aiden out, covered completely in a body bag. Johnny asks them to stop for a minute. He touches his hands to where his son’s face is, inside the bag. “I don’t half love you,” he tells him. I lost it then. Twenty minutes of pent-up emotion spilled out in my tears for Johnny. For Aiden. For everyone so deeply affected by this action.

“I was raped”

David heard about Aiden as he is leaving for court and possibly david-tells-shona-about-rapeprison for his attack on Gary Windass. He takes off. Shona finds him. Finally the words he needs to say come out of him: I was raped. He tells her what happened with Josh. For him, his personal hell has become entwined with what must have been Aiden’s own hell. But he says, he’s realized he wants to live.

There’s a good article on BBC about the writing of the two episodes of Aiden’s suicide.

Corrie Street 22 Apr. 2018

David lectures Sarah

David-calls-sarah-a-sapDavid stopped me in my tracks Thursday. He lectures Sarah about Gary and about trusting people. About what people will do to you, given half a chance, about hurt and hurting.

Part way through, it became clear that he was not talking to Sarah and Gary, who was also there. He was talking to, and about, himself. Well, it was clear to everyone except Sarah and Gary.

sarah-asks-what-is-wrongAfter David left following this meltdown, they sat and ate their sandwiches. Trying to puzzle out ‘what was that all about’. If they put their brain cells together, they still wouldn’t have enough to spark a synapse!

David was talking about Josh, about believing someone is a friend. Then being drugged and raped in return for that trust. He has pushed Shona away because he feels he can’t tell her what happened. Also he fears passing on to Shona any infections that Josh may have passed on to him.

david-lashes-outHe is carrying around a huge load of guilt and anger. And to make it even worse, his household is full of people equally damaged by sex and love. His sister, with Gary’s two-timing resulting in a baby on the way. His niece, with Nathan’s grooming then the lap-dancing club. At least his mother and grandmother, for now, are free of emotional and sexual entanglements.

Later in the episode, David sees the next part of his nightmare coming true. He sees Josh all palsy-walsy with Chesney. Josh even david-puts-hands-over-faceinvites Chesney to his place. Then David sees Josh very close – too close – with Alya. He sees that Josh is inclusive in his targeting of victims, selecting only on the basis of vulnerability. That is putting even more stress on him, taking it outside himself and into his neighbourhood. And he hasn’t even yet seen Josh cozying up to Shona.

Teaching Stories

This overwrought man, family and street, isn’t by accident. The gary-tries-to-console-davidwriters have created it. All part of the education of the public. Of course, education and awareness is an important part of continuing stories. Sometimes deliberately, sometimes accidentally, soaps have always shown other ways of living and thinking to audiences.

david-pushes-gary-awayBut there are dangers in educational storylines, or ‘public service announcement’ stories as they’re sometimes called. They can be clunky if just dropped in to make the point. They can be heavy-handed, even preachy, if the emphasis is too much on the message and not the story. If there are too many, they become irksome.

Coronation Street for many years avoided teaching storylines unless david-says-stay-awaythey could embed them well in their characters. Now it seems the philosophy has changed. There have been a lot of issue-oriented stories of late, from Bethany’s sexual grooming to Robert’s testicular cancer. They have been done well. But there have been so many that I am wary when another one starts.

gary-and-sarah-confusedSo far David’s rape story has been done well. In no small part, that is due to the talent of Jack Shepherd. And Ryan Clayton, as Josh, is also brilliant. He’s just slimy enough.

Corrie Street 1 Apr. 2018

Rehab

They tried to make me go to rehab
But I said no, no, no 
(Amy Winehouse, 2006)

Phelan holds billy down and tells him he is a junkieGive Phelan a few minutes with anyone, and rehab starts to look good. Billy found that out on Tuesday. He started with no, no, no, but after a talking to by Phelan, it was yes, yes, yes.

phelan rehab techniqueSo if the bottom falls out of the building industry, and if Phelan avoids jail, maybe that’s a career path for him. Counsellor at a rehab facility. If he does get caught, maybe it’s still his future. Jailhouse rehab counsellor. He’s good at it.

Billy broke into Eileen’s house, planned to steal the money in the biscuit tin. Got caught by Peter, who tried his hand at sponsorship and counselling. But then he left Billy alone. He did take the precaution of locking him in, but Billy broke out.

billy-crawls-on-couchThey found him again, and that’s when Phelan told Eileen that he’d keep an eye on him. As soon as she was gone, he made Billy wish he’d stayed a long, long way away from that house.

phelan-says-no-more-chancesWhen Eileen returned, Phelan was seated alongside Billy. His hand resting on Billy’s arm, as if comforting and supporting him. Oh yes, they’d had a nice conversation and, yes, Billy was willing to go to rehab. Billy looked willing to go anywhere that Pat Phelan was not. His frantic wish for a fix was well and truly supplanted by fear of Phelan. Good job, Pat. I think he’ll remember you for quite a long time. If nothing else motivates him to get his act together, that memory will.eileen-consoles-billy and pat looks angelic

I wonder what our trained therapist Toyah would say about Phelan’s counselling approach. She is using her professional skills to guide Eva toward healthy pregnancy choices. And that’s working so well!

Shocker scene: mate-rape

Josh date- or mate-rapes David. Josh has become increasingly creepy. With so much talk of Martin and Gail’s other husbands, I wondered if Josh was the son of one of them. There is some reason we’re having this wander down memory lane.david-on-bed-and-josh

It was clear that Josh had an agenda for David and/or his family. His beating up of Lee also showed he enjoys violence. So looking for revenge for his childhood and his dad disappearing? His roaming hands showed the direction he was going. But out-and-out rape? Wow, didn’t see that coming!

Corrie Street 14 May 2017

David the Dog

All week I waited, worried. Where was David the dog? Finally, Friday, there he was trotting along with David the human.

david the dogI hope David the dog doesn’t just disappear with no explanation. He came with an explanation – and a big packet of cash. And aside from avoiding unexplained loose ends, David’s arrival brings up issues that should not be ignored.

A client of David’s, Mrs. Moss, died and, in her will, left her dog – named David as well – to him. She also left David £20,000. He was much happier about the cash than the dog. The two are inextricably connected. But I’m not sure David the human realizes that.

Mrs. Moss’s intention, I’m sure, was that the money would provide for the dog’s care and also be of help to his new carer. So a thank you and a way to ensure that David the dog is not a financial burden. But if she spelled that out in her will, it went right over David’s head. None of the Platts seem to have added two and two and realized that looking after David the dog is a trust agreed to by accepting the terms of the will – and the money.

Pets in wills

Last week, after the dog escaped, Gail asked if it would be such a bad thing if he got lost! It reminded me of what my lawyer had said to me about including provisions for a pet, and care-taking money, in a will. Make sure there’s a system for accounting, otherwise it’s ‘whoops, cat’s dead, thanks for the cash!’, he said. Mrs. Moss should have talked to him, I think.

two davids out for walkI don’t think that Coronation Street writers included the legacy of David the dog as an “issue story”, but it is. Pets are abandoned, taken to shelters or killed after their owners die (see my Pet Heirs). It happens even when people think they have made provision for their pets. That is what Mrs. Moss did, and I hope the Platts will not continue to be so cavalier in their attitude toward David the dog and his £20,000.

I think she cannot have known David or any of his family very well. Otherwise she would not have entrusted her beloved dog to him. But she did, and she rewarded him well for it. David has given the money away, but I hope he shows that he is aware of his continuing obligation to David the dog and to Mrs. Moss.

Corrie Street 7 May 2017

Raise a monster

Gail tells Shona nobody sets out to raise a monsterWednesday, Shona tells Gail her truth. She’s Clayton’s mother. Yes, the kid who killed Kylie. “Nobody sets out to raise a monster,” says Gail. Gee, thanks, that’ll make her feel better! A backhanded show of support if ever there’s been one.

Enough to raise an eyebrow, and Shona does. But she’s very gracious about it. She ignores the insult and just talks about trying to do your best for your kid and never imagining what might happen. Hoping things will get better, ignoring or making excuses for what is.Shona says Clayton is not a monster with photo of david in background

Meanwhile, Shona now knows about David’s attempt to kill Clayton. In an explosion that also would have killed the guards and other prisoners in the van and anyone who was near. She knows too that it took David a long time to plan and set it up. He didn’t do it only because other people realized something was up and stopped him. Raise a monster, eh? Gail might know a bit about that.

shona says to gail i pretty much gave upShona doesn’t know that rest of David’s history, his attempts at killing some or all of his family. She certainly doesn’t know about Callum, not that she would likely mourn him but still. It takes a pretty steely heart to bury a body under your mother’s bed and carry on living in the house as if all is normal. Psychopath is one word, monster might fit too.

Gail doesn’t see the irony of her words, of course. In the long run, David can do no wrong in her eyes. Because that would reflect badly a mother always feels responsibleon her. You could see the flicker of realization in her eyes, though, when Shona said “a mother always feels responsible, don’t you.” Gail, I think, does feel responsible for a short time. But then she gets caught up with justifying her own and her children’s actions. So it was just a flicker.

So Gail and Shona have agreed to keep mum, as it were, in order to protect themselves vis a vis their sons. I won’t tell if you won’t tell. I gail and shona make a deal to keep mumthink Shona has integrity. That’s the only hope there is in this unholy alliance of motherhood if – when – whatever hits the fan in this story that must have to do with the demise of Callum.

Corrie Street 6 Nov 2016

Too much

eva-gemma-choose-all-we-doNot a scene this week. Too many, too much. It was extremely good, so this is both a compliment and a criticism. Edge of seat exciting, but too much to fully appreciate the separate parts.

Last week, we were left hanging with Ken. Was he alive or dead? Alive, barely, in hospital. Whew! Peter was still around. But Tracy found out he and Ken had been arguing just before the stroke. That was it – Peter, get out. Then she, Amy and Simon appear by Ken’s bedside. She tells him that they are there for him, always and ever more. Yikes! I half expected Ken to grab his pillow and smother himself.gemma-superimposed-on-hospital

But Ken and the Barlow clan were quickly overshadowed by David Platt’s car. First, Kevin welding right beside it. He had not noticed the cans of gasoline in the back. It’s a hatchback, it’s not like they too much for him peter-in-hospital-family-roomwere hidden from view. Sparks fly and Kevin says how happy he is that Anna is moving in with him. Words of Doom.

David escapes from the Bistro cellar and carries on with his plan to blow himself, Clayton and the courthouse sky-high. But his old clunker won’t start. All the Platts and others circle the car, screaming at David to stop.peter-superimposed-on-hosp-room

Lily escapes from babysitter Fiz’s back yard. She heads to the street, just of course as the car starts. David’s got his foot to the floor and the car takes off – straight toward Lily. Gary grabs her, car flips, gas doesn’t immediately explode. David crawls out, Gary and Lily are trapped underneath.

Everybody lifts the car and Lily and Gary are pulled out. Gas explodes. The Rovers is demolished yet again. Anna catches on fire.tracy-and-kids-with-ken

Meanwhile at the hospital, Ken regains consciousness but cannot speak. People go in and out of his room.ken-superimposed-on-shower

I wanted to savour each of these storylines. In the car scenes, I wondered about Ken. Then with Ken, I wondered about the crash. Stepping outside the story, I wondered if these were special episodes marking some anniversary that I didn’t know about. Because that’s what Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday felt like. A really big shew, as Ed Sullivan would say.david-superimposed-on-hosp-monitor

Usually in Coronation Street, music plays in the scene to which it belongs. The juke box in the pub or a radio on in a house. Music overlaying other scenes is an unrealism they usually do not do. But at the end of Wednesday’s episode, I liked “All We Do” continuing from the pub through the final shots. We saw the state of the central characters, and the music helped assimilate the whole.anna-surrounded-by-equipment

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.

Sharing a “funny” picture

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 Aug. 28/16

Goodbye to Kylie

Her funeral was the formal goodbye to Kylie. But after all that, late at david says goodbye to kylienight, David said his own goodbye at her grave. He needed to be with her. He needed to not have to be strong for his kids, to not have Gail, Audrey, Bethany, Sarah wittering around him asking if he was ok. Just cry and pour his heart out to her, lying in the ground.

The Funeral

The funeral and the circus that accompanied it took a lot out of him. He was a part of some of the circus. In the street while paying respects to the hearse, Todd confronted Sarah about what he had done to protect her. Finally she realized that he thought she had killed Callum and had blamed Tony only to protect her. No, she said, david-head-down-at-graveshe hadn’t killed him. Who did then? She nodded her head toward the coffin, meaning Kylie had. But Todd looked at the person standing behind it – David.

So a big confrontation between Todd and David at the cemetery with Todd vowing he would go to the police and clear Tony’s name. He was willing to protect Sarah at the expense of his own brother’s happiness, but not David.

David feared that Todd would do what he said and turn him in. He also feared that Todd would learn that it was in fact Kylie who had done the murdering. He also wanted to keep the whole thing from his whole family, planning to sort Todd out on his own. Stress, on top of making nice at the funeral and seeing that his kids were ok. Stressful just standing by your little son’s side as he gives a eulogy for his mother. Hoping he’d be ok, hoping that the doubting family wouldn’t be proven right. They weren’t. Max did fine. His words about his mother were lovely.kylie-platt-cross

Funeral Side Stories

After breathing a huge sigh of relief that all went off well, David didn’t know half of what else was happening. Sean came to the church just in time to see Billy breaking up the fight between Todd and David. Billy then held Todd back, just a little too long, a little too close, with a little too much care. Sean knew exactly what was happening and why he’d been dumped.

And Kylie’s mourners from The Dog and Gun didn’t show up at the funeral, but they did send flowers. David saw those and stomped david-talks-to-kyliethem to shreds. Macca turned up on the street afterwards, and attacked Gemma. Craig saw, intervened and called the police. He feels his action redeemed his inaction the previous time, when Kylie was killed. Gemma warned him about the perils to him and herself about involving the police. But, in gratitude to Craig perhaps, she spoke to the officer truthfully about what happened.

The funeral was a colourful goodbye to Kylie, literally and figuratively. David did right by her in his planning of it. But now, with the public mourning done, how does he cope?david-clenches-hands

Corrie Street Aug. 7/16

Kylie Died

It is fitting that Kylie died protecting her friend. Her loyalty was fierce. Her defence of those she cared about was also. She killed for Sarah’s sake, and died for Gemma’s.david-holds-kylieI didn’t see it coming. Seeing her with bloody hands clasped over her chest, I thought it was Gemma’s blood. I thought Clayton had attacked Gemma with the knife. So thank you, those who knew, for keeping online lips zipped.kylie-tells-david-she-loves-himHer death was a powerful scene. Long, but that was okay. We needed time to think this through, to come to terms with it. I knew that actress Paula Lane was leaving but didn’t know how she was going to be written out. I didn’t like the thought of her going to jail for killing Callum, but it would mean she could return.david-looks-for-ambulanceGoing to Barbados? Much better. It was nice to think of Kylie and Becky on the beach, sipping umbrella drinks. Even if Kylie and David split up, there still was a way back for them and for Paula Lane.kylie-looks-at-davidAs she lay dying, I didn’t even mind her not telling David a key point – who did it. Not once saying, by the way, Macca’s friend Clayton did this. Gemma knew, Craig saw the whole thing. It was okay that Kylie spent her last moments telling David that she loved him, loved the kids. Take all the time you need, David and Kylie, to say goodbye. This is sorted.gail-with-david-and-kylieBut I forgot a key element that the writers did not:

Class history

Gemma clammed up, no way is she a grass. Craig planned to tell what he saw, but his mother stopped him. Beth is familiar with the code of survival: you saw nothing, you know nothing. The way to take care of yourself and others is by yourself, so you do not bring the authorities into what is your business.kylie-criesIn the end, however, the old boundaries gave way, At David’s urging, Gemma agrees to help bring Clayton to justice at the hands of the state. She fears retribution from her old friends and, on principle, hates grassing them up. But Kylie died for her. Gemma has no other way to repay that.

Craig went against his mother’s advice. He wants to do right by Kylie and her kids. He believes the police are best equipped to find her killer. What he saw will help them.  His conscience will not let him keep quiet.kylie diedDavid catches Clayton, and nearly kills him. A shout from Max makes him stop, and that pause gives Clayton time to escape. Soon after, the police catch him. And Max has got a lot for a child’s mind to absorb. A violent bio-dad – murdered, a mother – murdered, a step-dad brought to the point of murder himself.

Corrie Street Sept. 13/15

Don’t Do It!

Gail, David, Kylie and Max hustle along the street, Callum gets out of gail-says-ignore-himhis car as they pass. Max cringes and hurries away from his father. What’s up, Callum wonders, surprised at Max. Kylie and Gail try to keep the little party moving along, away from Callum.

But David just can’t resist Callum’s jibes. He stops and turns back. He wants to wipe that smile off Callum’s face. Max saw  kick Jason. That politeness-costs-nothingis why he wants nothing to do with him. And soon the police will know, and you won’t be smirking then will you.

No, no, don’t do it! Keep walking! Kylie is trying to get across to David, trying to push him along away from Callum. I’m praying for the same. Kylie doesn’t want Callum to get a heads up that they are going to the police station. I don’t want to witness one of the biggest soap clichés ever: blabbing your guts and thereby allowing the villain to thwart your plans.

But David blabbed

wipe-that-smileNeither Kylie nor I got our wish. David blabbed, Kylie worried about what Callum would do now he had warning, and I felt deflated. I don’t expect to see hackneyed dramatic devices in Coronation Street writing, heavy-handed in their furthering of a plot. There’s been a few lately, and that’s too many.

In this case, it was especially unnecessary. Max’s behaviour itself was for-god-sakeenough to clue Callum in that something had happened that wasn’t to Callum’s advantage. He could probably figure out for himself what it was. A word, or flinch, from Bethany or Sarah, both nearby and easily located, might confirm it.

Alone, either of them might have told him whatever he wanted to know. Neither of them know enough to keep their mouths shut. Neither does David on his own, but he does know how high the who-the-police-are-going-to-believecustody stakes are and Kylie was right beside him almost dragging him away from Callum. There was no need for the ‘I’m going to expose your evil ways and you’ll be sorry’ type lines that make soaps the butt of jokes (and that got Tina killed).

Later in the week, there were great scenes. Beautiful suppressed annoyance from Roy about Cathy leaving toast crumbs in the butter. Mary bullying everyone to seek their artistic muse. Sean and Sally discussing modes and means of listening to music. Tony struggling to support his son and Eileen instead of taking revenge on those who nearly he-saw-you-attackkilled Jason. Finally and gloriously, the week’s end with Tony slamming the wits out of Callum. Despite all these small gems, I couldn’t get the click-click of a plot device turning over out of my head.