Tag Archives: Toyah Battersby

Corrie Street 20 May 2018

Mother and Baby

eva looks at mother and baby photoGlossy 8×10 photos of mother and baby, what Eva believes will be her only reminder of that single day she was a mother. From now on, she says, she’s Auntie Eva to baby Susie.

She had to sneak around to get those pictures. A photographer came toyah-questions-eva-having-photosinto her room on the maternity ward. Did she want some photos of the baby? Yes, he said, camera phones had been very hard on his business. But some nice pics with a real camera? No no, Eva said, not necessary. But later, when Toyah wasn’t there, she asked him to take some pictures.

They are in her purse, not shared with Toyah. Back at the cottage, in eva-reassures-toyah-with-sad-hugWednesday’s episode, Toyah is ready to leave. Baby Susie is packed up in her carrier, baby bag is packed. Eva reaches for something and knocks her purse over. The photos spill out. Toyah picks them up. Sees what they are.

baby-susieShe is upset. Does this mean that Eva wants to keep the baby? No, Eva says, she just wanted to have this little visible memory of what happened. It’s not like she’s can pretend that she didn’t give birth, after all, with or without photos. She’ll get rid of them, she tells Toyah.

But she doesn’t, of course. She looks at them and cries her heart out. Sometime, she’s going to have to come back to Weatherfield. She’ll eva-cries-over-photoshave to meet her ‘niece’ Susie. That’s the plan at least, the way it could work out best. But it’s all going to explode before then, I’ll bet. Mother and baby might be reunited. My guess, based on soap law.

Corrie Street 11 Feb. 2018

Secrets and Lies

Thursday’s episode starts with two stories packed full of secrets and lies. One is working for me, one is not. The one that works is Nicola conspiring with Gary and Seb to bring Phelan down. The one that doesn’t is Toyah and Eva deciding to pass Eva’s unwanted baby off as Toyah’s much wanted one.

gary-sees-seb-with-nicolaNicola returned to the Street this week, surprising Phelan and Eileen and me too. She says she got it all wrong about him and begs his forgiveness. Very disappointing because a) I thought she had figured him out and b) if he gets another supporter there’s going to be that many more people shouting at each other and his comeuppance is going to take that much longer.

Secret Agent Nicola

nicola-explains-planBut no! Next we see her she’s spiriting Gary off. She’s got a surprise for him. Seb went to ground at her place, and she believes what he tells her about Phelan. So she wants Gary’s help in bringing Phelan down. To that end, she will cozy up to dear old dad and get the dirt on him from the inside.

nicola-asks-are-you-certainGary wants to tell Sarah and Faye so that they won’t worry. They can keep a secret, he says. Ha! Sure they can! Nicola puts it a bit more diplomatically, and Gary gets the point. He’ll keep his mouth shut.

gary-wonders-about-danger versus secrets and liesI feel nervous for Nicola, and fear that it won’t go smoothly for her personally and for the plan. That’s how it should be. Although Nicola hasn’t been on the show long, she and this story are being written so that we do care and do fear for her. We also know there will be a lot of twists and turns and Phelan cold stares. It will be exciting, I think.

Baby Secrets

toyah-suggests-she-take-babyThe secrets and lies in the back room of the Rovers, however, I’m not looking forward to. Like a figure skater telegraphing a jump, you could see this baby swap coming a long way off. Except, evidently, for the principals.

It had to get right down to her being at the abortion clinic before Toyah suggested it. The suspense in this case was not killing me, only the dread that they were going to do yet another soap opera cliché. At least the writers had the decency to have Toyah say that she’d started thinking about it as soon she knew about Eva’s pregnancy.nurse-calls-eva-in

Toyah finds out their surrogate mother has lost the baby. So Toyah is grieving for that baby and any future baby. Then she finds out that Eva is pregnant by Aiden. Eva can’t see any good way of having, and raising, the baby of the man she defrauded and made a fool of. “I can’t have the baby you want,” she said to Toyah. Oh yes you can, I thought to myself, it happens all the time – in soap operas!eva-cancels-abortion

Already the secrets and lies have started. Toyah to Peter, and Eva to Shona, and plans are afoot for how they’re going to pull this off. Watch television or read a novel, I want to tell them, this never works!

Corrie Street 4 Feb. 2018

Metaphor in a T-shirt

Monday’s second episode, a bar fight. Must be on the production to-do roster, I thought. So now they can check that item off. Then it became a bit unusual, relatively highbrow. “Oh look, the bimbo used a metaphor,” Toyah sneers at Carla’s assertion that she is not interested in Peter.been-there-got-the-t-shirt

“Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. In fact, he was sick on the t-shirt,” Carla had said to her. “It wasn’t a metaphor, he actually did that,” she says as she throws a drink at Toyah.carla-throws-beer-on-toyah

So Toyah throws one back at Carla. Ken Barlow would be proud. The tutoring he gave Toyah all those years ago paid off. She can chuck drinks at someone while debating whether or not something is a metaphor.

In this case, it’s about Peter Barlow so it is both literal and metaphorical. Women and booze, the central parts of his life, consumed and flushed.peter-watches-fight

His relationships and his history, laid out right in front of him by his current and former squeezes. He’s got to be loving it. Four women fighting over him, the local king of two-timing, in his bar.carla-yells-michelle-glares

The fight was also a nice return to their roots for the Battersby and Connor women. They’ve dressed themselves up, literally and figuratively, but they all – Toyah and Leanne, Carla and Michelle – are hard cases. bimbo used a metaphor

Gemma Winter, the current Street guttersnipe, could take lessons from them. Gemma might be able to fight but she wouldn’t know a metaphor if it slapped her in the face. The Connor and Battersby women not only know, but can discuss what is and isn’t a metaphor while brawling in a bar. Toyah even owns the bar so she doesn’t have to throw herself or her sister out. Movin’ on up!toyah-throws-beer-on-carla.

Corrie Street 15 Oct. 2017

Conflict Management

You could see it coming a mile away. Still it was good. Conflict between the bar staff, and Toyah asserting her credentials: I’ve got a diploma in conflict management. Liz, present customer and former bar manager, rolling her eyes.sean-snipes-about-eva.

Tuesday, Eva and Sean are in a snit with each other. It’s about a lot more than who’s going to replace the empty keg. It’s Eva feeling guilty about Sean and her other mates being out of a job at the factory due to her revenge plot. Although he doesn’t know for sure, Sean suspects that Eva had something to do with the factory break-in and the subsequent loss of jobs. At least she should clear the air, he seems to think, say for sure one way or the other what she knew and when she knew it.

sean-flicks-towel-at-evaSo they’re sniping at each other about bartending minutiae – clearing tables, washing glasses, replacing kegs. Their sniping is not subtle. Both are too much the prima donna to do any performance low-key.

Their spat is embarrassing for Toyah and Peter, still finding their way as pub owners and staff managers. Especially with Liz there. They, you know, can see an invisible clipboard in her hand, checking off what they are doing wrong and how the whole place is going to pot.

conflict management with toyahLiz offers to sort things out with Sean and Eva. No, Toyah says, I can do it. I’m a trained therapist, trained in conflict management. Liz snickers. Come on, Sean, come on Eva, let’s sit down and talk this through.

Toyah put her therapist voice on and tried to initiate discussion. To little avail, Sean and Eva sat sullen and silent. Maybe Toyah would have had better luck if she’d used a talking stick, as Sally has done with her cat pepper mill. This method of facilitating discussion also worked surprisingly well for Sophie in mediation efforts.eva-and-sean-make-up

But instead of Sally and her cat stick swooping in, Liz did. Look you two, leave your differences the other side of the bar, slap a smile on and get on with your job. Now! And Eva and Sean apologized, said they hated liz-with-arm-around-toyahfalling out with each other, babe, and got back to work. Toyah seethed.

Book-learning versus old-school common sense, in the traditional Corrie mode. An easy jab, maybe, but still a funny moment.

Corrie Street 24 Sept. 2017

Beer Launch

Thursday, Newton & Ridley held a launch for a new craft beer at the Rovers. More secrets than beer got spilled.beer launch at rovers return

Tracy and Ken arrived just in time to see Peter holding a pint up to his lips. They went into full ‘no, no, no, how could you Peter, I knew ken-and-tracy-walk-in-roversthis would happen’ mode. ‘Eh? What’s the problem?’ from the brewery rep. Evidently, Newton & Ridley doesn’t do extensive background checks on their licensees. They did not know Peter’s history with alcohol. Nor did they know about his time in jail. Steve, ever helpful, let that one slip.

Evidently, surrogacy agencies also don’t do extensive background checks on their applicants. In the background of the chaos that was jackie-listens-as-peter-explains-pintthe Rovers’ launch sat a potential surrogate mother for Toyah and Peter. She had come to meet them so she could decide if she wanted to carry a child for them. So the process had moved past the administrative level to the actual nuts and bolts of surrogacy, the woman with whom you’d be sharing a joint pregnancy.

Toyah and Peter are not going the private route that Izzy and Gary did, with getting their mate Tina to carry their baby. Toyah and Peter peter-sees-tracy-and-kenare doing it the official way, through an agency with presumably vetted surrogates and parents-to-be. The individuals’ backgrounds, family structure, support system, skeletons in the closet – I’d think the agency social workers would check all that out, not the surrogates themselves. A lot of omissions on Peter and Toyah’s application form seem to have slipped past the administrative office.

toyah-hears-surrogate-has-leftSo the surrogate, Jackie, get to see Peter and Toyah and the fam in their natural habitat. Leanne snarling, Ken preaching, Tracy snapping, Steve being – well – Steve. That makes it a lot more fun for us to watch, but I would stay away from that agency on either side of their service provision.toyah-runs-after-jackie

Jackie decides to be their surrogate after all. Maybe, after hearing just a fraction of the tangled hedgerow that is the Barlow-Battersby family tree, she figures a kid born by surrogacy will feel that he or she has the most normal and boring ancestry of them all.

Newton & Ridley too maybe should review their vetting process. If only the licensee’s suitability is significant, then only Toyah’s background should matter. If the licensee’s partner and/or family is brewery-reps-aghastconsidered to be part of the pub management, which is reasonable, then Peter’s history should not be a surprise to the brewery at this late date. And if the rep at the launch just isn’t in the brewery information loop, then alcoholism, baby daddies or anything else is not any of his business.

Corrie Street 13 Aug. 2017

New Landlady

putting coin in tampon machineThe closing scene Tuesday: Toyah putting a coin in the tampon dispenser in the ladies’ room of the Rovers. Crying.

That morning, Peter and Toyah started work as publicans. Toyah’s name over the door, landlady of the Rovers Return. Arms around each other, they look up at the sign with pride. And hope – Toyah’s taking a pregnancy test next day and she has “a really good feeling.” Later on, she gets her answer in the bathroom. A dream fulfilled, a dream shattered.

toyah-takes-box-from-dispenserMonday and Tuesday’s episodes were perfect. A new era for the Rovers began and history was remembered. The kind of episode that former writer and keeper of Street history Darin Little did so well. Writers Mark Wadlow and Damon Alexis-Rochefort did an equally fine job.

Monday, Liz lets her heartbreak show in the back room of the pub. She is leaving her home and her job – her profession. But, front of the house, she wears a happy face. At the leaving party, in front of the punters and new owners, she graciously wishes them well. Toyah pays tribute to past landladies: Annie Walker, Bet Lynch, Vera Duckworth and the landlady she learned from – Liz McDonald.

Next day, in the factory, they talk about the party and the changing of the guard at the Rovers. Another owner, Fred Elliot, is remembered. I say, Fred Elliot is remembered.sign landlady Toyal Laverne Battersby

Peter and Toyah, that morning, savour the start of a new life. Who’da thunk it, that when she moved to the street all those years ago that she’d end up landlady of the pub. Don’t tell Les, Peter cautions her, he’d drink us dry in a week. Ha! Nice to hear Toyah’s dad mentioned.

Peter and Toyah happy about new businessA tiny moment of happiness, then the start of pressure building. Leanne needs a place to live immediately. So Peter says she, Simon and the baby can move in upstairs. Nice gesture, but it means he and Toyah won’t have even one day to enjoy their new space alone.

Peter’s alcoholism has been the focus for fears about their ownership of the bar. But there are less obvious elephants in the room. Toyah’s desperation about having a baby is a big one.toyah-cries-in-bathroom

There are also smaller ones. “A stroppy teenager, screaming baby” and sister and ex sharing your living space. Sean determined to show that he’s “the glue that holds the place together.” Unbridled enthusiasm can cause as much friction as no enthusiasm sometimes. I think the odds on whether Peter or Toyah cracks first have just shortened.