Coronation Street is gearing up for its dramatic ‘Super Soap Week’ this month, which will see at least one resident tragically die…
Coronation Street boss Iain MacLeod has teased the far-reaching consequences that the upcoming death will have on Christmas and New Year on the cobbles.
The ITV soap is gearing up for its dramatic ‘Super Soap Week’ this month, which will see at least one resident tragically die.
Among those front and centre of the drama are the Alahans; Johnny and Jenny; Abi and Corey; and Leanne and Harvey.
A storm will wreak havoc on Corrie, resulting in the sinkhole in the Platts’ back garden to open up and plunge various residents below the surface.
Teasing the ramifications of the big week, the soap’s producer Iain confirmed that it would continue through Christmas and into 2022.
He said: “Yes, having done a number of event weeks, it’s only worth doing if the aftermath is more interesting than the week. It’s all very well blowing up the Street so to speak, but it only means so much if it doesn’t change lives or have an aftermath.
“There are brilliant final chapters but exciting novel and new chapters in other stories – some of which are surprising. It’s a launch pad for Christmas and New Year, absolutely.”
Opening up about what viewers could expect from the big week, Iain said: “What you can expect is truly massive. We talked about doing something in the autumn, where money is no object, we just go nuts, and show Coronation Street is back.
“I wrote down my outline and I thought there’s no way we can do it, it’s too ambitious. When the crew said yep, I picked my jaw off the floor; we created something visual, dramatic, heartfelt and full of twists which I hope that will have some moments you will never see coming.
“It’s got spectacular stuff and the end result is anything more ambitious than we have ever done before. It exceeds everything we have done due to the technical elements.”
Iain revealed that it took over a month to film the explosive week as it was “very technically challenging” but that it was “worth all the blood, sweat and tears”.
The stunning episodes were filmed over three weeks of day and night shoots and special effects were used for the storm and the intricate underground sewerage system was designed and built at Space Studios in Manchester before being attached to a sophisticated pulley system so it could be lowered into a swimming pool for filming.
Using the sinkhole for a huge week-long storyline had been in the pipeline ever since the Platts’ garden had been collapsed.
Originally, Iain had wanted to do something with the sinkhole for the 60th, but Covid restrictions meant that they were unable to do what they wanted.
He said: “Production keep saying, ‘shall we fill this hole in?’ NO! We have a plan for that! I was adamant! We have finally got a stage due to the professional graft of our crew that we are finally able to do what we had in mind. It was always the plan and a frustrating wait. Every time the sinkhole is referenced I thought, ‘Oh I just want to get on with it!’
“The Platt sinkhole happened during the Roy Crosby story – so maybe more than a year ago now? Since then, I have been desperately waiting for the moment. The specifics for the week, it arose in March and April when the network asked for this big week to really showcase the show. We plan things six months in advance – if you’re like me, you hate delayed gratification so it’s been a long old wait!”
In order to film the week, Corrie build a “subterranean universe” and “elaborate complex of tunnels and storm drains”.
“There’s water involved,” he said. “They say don’t work with children and animals but we should add water – that’s always a challenge. It has to rise and fall and it needed to be fast flowing at times to be high jeopardy.
“I gave the design team a nearly impossible shopping list and they went and did it. We needed a huge water tank and there were tricks to adjust the depths. We needed to connect the surface world with this subterranean world so sets were 20-30m high so we could drop actors between the worlds for real.
“People from other productions who have worked on higher budgets – their design teams were open mouthed at what our design team had managed to achieve. When I went in to see the sets for the first time, it felt like being on a movie set. All that effort has created something incredibly cinematic.”
Coronation Street airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV