Thursday, 9 December 2010
Corrie Live - Recap/Review
50 years ago today, a programme debuted on UK TV which would change the way we looked at television, introducing the soap opera to Britain. That show is of course: Coronation Street.
Half a century on the show is still going strong, and to celebrate, the show was specially extended to a full hour long episode, which would go out LIVE, and it was announced that a whopping four regular cast members would die before the week was out.
On Monday night’s show, a tram came off the viaduct, destroying the night club and the corner shop, leaving carnage throughout the street, and many members of the cast left trapped in the wreckage, and over the last few episodes the aftermath has left devastation.
The first casualty of the week seemed to come in that first show, as John took a hammer and smashed it over Charlotte’s head, although he quickly becomes distracted, the crash coming before he has time to hide the body.
Last night, fan favourite Ashley Peacock’s 15 years on the street came to an end as the last remnants of the club collapsed, just moments after he left an emotional voicemail for his wife Claire.
As the live episode finally got under way Nick stumbled out of the Joinery, informing Deirdre, and in turn Claire herself, that Ashley didn’t make it.
In a superb performance, Julia Haworth, who plays Claire, screams at Audrey as she says that Ashley was a hero for saving Nick and Peter. “What good is a hero if he’s dead”, she moans. “I’d take a coward any day if he was here to tuck his sons in at night.” In that single moment, the heart of a nation cried out for her.
It’s not over for Claire though, and when later on Ashley’s message finally comes through, and she plays it on speakerphone to the crowd in the Rover’s, I defy anyone to have not let out a tear.
At the hospital, Fizz is gives birth to a baby girl, Hope, introducing a new life even in amongst the Armageddon going on else where. It’s not all easy though, as John finds out that Chesney has left the hospital to return to the house to get Fizz’s things, and John is forced to run home to hide Charlotte’s body.
The biggest shock of the night though comes as he drags the body out, and a paramedic who spots them both check’s Charlotte’s pulse and confirms that she is still alive, even if only barely.
Molly (Vicky Binns) is still trapped in the corner shop, and Sally Webster (portrayed by Sally Dynevor) convinces the firemen to let her go in, and be with her friend in what could be her final moments. In any normal episode these would be the best scenes by a mile and Dynevor and Binns act their asses off to really bring the fear and danger of the situation to the fore. Molly finally concedes that she is going to die, and with her final breath utters the words that will change Sally’s life forever. “If I’m gone, Jack won’t have his mummy. He’s going to need his daddy…. It’s Kevin. I’m so sorry”. With that her hand goes limp.
In another touchingly tragic sequence, we see Peter and Leanne tie the knot in the hospital, with Leanne finally telling Nick that she doesn’t love him, and that she wants to be Mrs Barlow, even if it’s only for a few minutes. As heartbroken as Nick clearly is, he agrees, knowing that she is making the right decision.
As Peter and Leanne kiss, Peter’s heart stops, and despite the doctors rushing to rescuscitate him as we leave the hospital for the last time this episode, we can only assume that Devastation Street has taken its penultimate casualty.
The episode ends with Tyrone returning, only to hear that he is moments too late, and that Molly is gone. He hugs a speechless Sally, and we are left to wonder how long it will be until Sally is forced to reveal what she knows.
Overall, this was a terrific episode. So much was going on, with over 65 regular cast members involved, and for a live episode this was a truly colossal undertaking.
It felt completely seamless though, and if you hadn’t known it was live, you would never ever have known. Every scene flowed perfectly into the next, every performance was as flawless as it would have been had they had 20 takes to get it right.
Eastenders attempted a live episode earlier this year, and as good as it was, it felt live. You could see the cracks. The greatest praise I can possibly give to Corrie as it celebrates its half century: this was FLAWLESS.