Sunday 2 November 1997
A somewhat lazily paced Sunday starting with Liz McDonald leaving the old marital homestead she used to share with her fiery husband Jim. The two shared a kiss on the doorstep and although Jim was keen to reiterate to all and sundry that they weren't necessarily back together Liz seemed to have a dangerously optimistic view to the contrary.
In the Rovers meanwhile Alec and Jack plotted away regarding the downfall of Betty Williams who they both felt was now too old to be on the Rovers wage list. After all they had invested in sending Vera to cookery classes in the hope she could pick up the reins where Betty would soon leave off. Of course there was the matter of actually sacking the old dear which was going to be the hardest part of all. Jack and Alec wanted nothing to do with this part so they elected Vera to add the woman's touch to proceedings. Little did they know however that being nervous of the task would make her span it out for the best part of the day.
Natalie forgave Kevin his sins of the other night over the breakfast table. They planned their day out with something of a quiet drink in the Rovers to make use of Kevin's day off. However Kevin would have to drop some money off at Sally's place first.
Speaking of Sally she was enjoying Chris's company again today. It was nice for them to chat because Sally confessed not having another adult around was driving her up the wall as a child's company could sometimes not be enough on an intellectual level. Chris explained how he felt uncomfortable lying about their budding relationship to Kevin. However Sally advised him to keep shtum as the matter would only cost him his job in the end if he let it slip. Chris agreed to what Sally said but nearly got found out anyway as Kevin dropped by to hand over the support money.
Fiona was getting her wedding dress fitted today and as a result wanted something of a veil of secrecy thrown over proceedings. This was nearly ruined when Alan came home early from work which was strange because he said he was going to be late. Maxine stopped him on the stairs and told him he couldn't see Fiona right now. As a result Alan looked angry and suspicious which visibly disturbed Maxine. However luckily she stalled him long enough for Fiona to get changed. Maxine did make a point of voicing her opinion to Fiona about her over jealous fiancee.
Steve reported back to his father about how tongues were wagging with regard to his potential relationship with Liz. On hearing Fiona's name mentioned a nerve was touched and he fired up claiming that there was nothing for anyone to get pleased about as he and Liz were simply good friends seeing each other as single people. It was clear his little torch for the hairdresser was still burning brightly.
Alec tried to get Vera to ring Betty by dialling the number and dropping her into a live "let's give you the sack" scenario. Vera however managed to avoid the situation when Betty mentioned how she had been a bit ill by giving her a touch of sick leave. Alec was troubled by this and said if Vera didn't sack Betty then he would do the job himself. If I were her I would say "fair enough" and let the little tyrant get on with it.
All in all : O.K
Monday 3 November 1997
The episode started with Vera still dithering about the sacking of Betty. The subject was clearly becoming something of an annoyance to Alec and he was talking about taking his own hard line sacking measures to sort the matter out once and for all. He didn't start the day off well by getting into something of a ruck with Fred Elliott of all people and as a result jeopardised his pie supply meaning the pub was without food.
Why was this you ask ?, well Betty was mysteriously absent from the pub that morning and Alec suspected Vera had tipped her the wink and she was keeping out of harm's way. In turn Alec decided enough was enough and he would write her a letter explaining her services were no longer required.
Liz was celebrating her birthday with Jim and once again appeared to be getting her feet under the table at chez McDonald. Jim however was blowing cold once again and despite buying Liz a nice gift wanted to make it clear that things were going to have to move more slowly than they had been doing. Liz didn't seem to take a blind bit of notice as to what he was saying though. She was more wrapped up in her new love affair with the old man in her life.
Maxine and Fiona had something of a mini tiff as they quibbled over who was going to do Fiona's hair for the impending big wedding day. Maxine had been promised the job but now Fiona was planning on going to a big Manchester salon. There was a distinct sound of noses being put out of joint thanks to this little move but luckily Ashley would talk her round later on that day.
We discovered why Betty was absent from the pub that morning. It was news that had tragic consequences because as the day had started in the Williams household poor Billy had keeled over from a heart attack. Despite the best efforts to save his life the attack had proved fatal and now Betty was with her son Gordon. She would be returning home shortly but then would travel on to London to grieve with her family.
Of course this left Alec in a dilemma, he had posted the letter from the Rovers through her letter box and needed a way to get it back as even he wasn't that heartless. He decided he would use young Ashley as his entrance into the house as he had a key to get in. Why did he have a key you ask ?. Well the answer is simple, he had been asked to deliver a leg of lamb from the butchers shop and last time I looked most meat produce of this size doesn't fit through a letter box. Besides he is a trustworthy sort anyway isn't he :)
While all this was going on Natalie was playing (or at least trying to play) Cupid. Her niece was helping her with the computer at the garage. The young girl looked like a younger version of the old monster herself and it was clear she had the hots for Chris right from minute one. Natalie tried to capitalise on this by inviting Chris round for supper. He wasn't interested but he was badgered into going by Natalie and after clearing it with Sally whom he seemed most keen on went round for a meal. For the most part he looked disinterested in proceedings and was avoiding Natalie's niece like the plague with her obvious attempts to flirt with him.
John meanwhile unfolded another chapter in his master plan whatever that might be. Safely back in his wife's house he spun Dreary another yarn about being at a train station using an extractor fan in the background to play at Ron Granier's BBC Sound Effects Workshop. With this all going on in the background he told Dreary there was a problem with the house they were buying as the chain had apparently collapsed. They would have to begin hunting again more than likely.
All well and good until his wife got home. She had looked at their cash point account and seen that he was holding Dreary's £5000 deposit in their account. She wanted to know where this mystery amount came from and John tried to pass it off as a bonus from work (I'd work there like a shot). Of course wifey then wanted to go on a spending spree now that Christmas was coming up leaving John looking a tad worried for the first time..
All in all : Good
John still intrigues me although when he comes on he makes my skin crawl with all the bullshit he spouts. He does make some fundamental bloopers though IMO such as hiding the money under his wife's nose...not good especially when he is so clever in other areas.
Wednesday 5 November 1997
Fiona and Alan were both counting down to the big day. Alan was preparing for his stag night out with the boys in blue from work while Fiona had intentions for a quiet night in with Maxine for company. Elsewhere the day had more morose overtones as Billy Williams was laid to rest. Jack and Vera represented the Rovers while Alf and Audrey with Dreary tagging along attended the funeral.
Fiona's brother turned up to wish Fiona well and was promptly invited to attend Alan's stag night. He reluctantly agreed but then reluctance was his middle tonight. He was one to shower doubt on Fiona's choice of husband what with the nature of his job and the lifestyle it would include. There was also an element of racial intolerance involved as well and the well know stereotype British police have must have been at the front of his mind.
The McDonalds simmered or at least Jim and Steve did. Jim's mood had become more and more fiery as the days had counted down to the wedding and he was taking it all out on all and sundry. Liz buzzed round him like an annoying fly round his head once more trying to wheedle her way into his life thinking they were an item again. Surely she realised she was mistaken just by looking at the distaste etched on Jim's face every time she saw him.
Steve meanwhile was slowly sinking into the depths of depression realising his one true love was going out of his life forever and never to be seen on the streets of singledom again. It was making working with his equally intolerant father a nightmare. Still Steve did bite the bullet and wish Fiona well in an effort to clear the air between them.
The lunchtime session in the Rovers saw Kevin and Natalie trying to match make a disinterested Chris up with Lorraine who as we now know is Natalie's niece. Chris bolted though when he saw Sally and figured she might have got the wrong idea. When he explained what the truth of the matter was though Sally still explained she wanted to take things slowly between them...very very slowly indeed. She didn't want to be hurt again.
Alan's stag night kicked off down at a local pub with his police friends there en masse. Lee turned up and got a decidedly frosty reception although Alan made an effort to make him feel welcome. Lee tolerated the crowd for a good portion of the night even though Alan's best man was getting borderline offensive towards looking at him with disdain because of his obvious affluence gained through selling computers. He left the party early and a good impression didn't appear to have been left by Alan's crowd.
Fiona meanwhile was tricked into a surprise knees up in the Rovers with all and sundry in attendance. Fiona was tipsy and even invited Liz to the wedding which gave a clear sign of her inebriation (unwise while pregnant surely) however she did switch to orange juice later in the night.
Jim and Steve meanwhile got down to brass tacks and hit a bottle of whisky. While Steve cradled his broken heart Jim poured scorn on the fact that he had paid the price for leaving Fiona in the first place. He told Steve that the only person he had ever loved was himself and that he was incapable of showing true affection to anyone else.
An argument brewed and home truths began spilling until the biggest bombshell of them all dropped off Jim's tongue. He confessed that he was in love with that wee girl Fiona and explained how she had come to him for comfort when she split up with Alan. Poor Steve needed the details spelling out to him when Jim had to come clean that he had slept with her. His reaction was one of rage and he launched a whisky bottle at the wall hitting a mirror before storming out of the house
All in all : Good
Wedding should be a blinder :)
Friday 7 November 1997
Friday It was something of a bombshell episode tonight as the day of Fiona and Alan's wedding loomed. Starting with a distraught Steve McDonald hanging around outside her flat still in shock from his father's announcement the night. Steve was desperate to know the truth for himself from Fiona... had she slept with Jim or was it simply the ravings of a drunken man ?
Steve barged into Fiona's flat as she was getting ready and asked her outright without any fuss. Fiona's immediate reaction was silence which told Steve all he wanted to know. When she tried to bluff her way out of the scenario Steve simply didn't believe her anyway. The collapse of the day had just began.
Alan meanwhile was nursing a sore head from the night before but all in all was looking forward to his big day with a hint of nervousness. His best man was doing his bit in keeping Alan calm before he set off for the church and all going well thought within a couple of hours Alan would be a married man.
Jim meanwhile elected to stay away from the church while Liz and Andy the only invited McDonalds got ready to go. None of them would guess that the McDonald name would be mud by the end of the day.
Time passed on and before too long the church was starting to fill with guests Audrey stood outside to watch for the arrival while Jack and Vera compared this wedding to the recent re taking of the vows in Las Vegas which they had gone through. It was indeed a blatant plug for the imminent Corrie video soon to be released and I was surprised that Jack didn't conclude his lines with something along the lines of "available from all good stores priced...".
Just before Fiona's arrival Steve turned up and quickly ducked into the church. Maxine tried to stop him but it was no good he was too quick for her and before you knew he was seated near the front with Andy and Liz. Fiona turned up looking the part stepping out of the wedding car all set for the big day.
The ceremony began without any real hitches to speak of, Steve was always going to be a loose cannon sat in the crowds but while he was nonchalantly slouched in the pews he did manage to keep his mouth shut while the vows were being read. However as it was asked if anybody knew of any just cause or impediment why they shouldn't marry...someone stepped forward.
Jim McDonald dressed in his usual scabby jacket tottered near the back of the church and began screaming at Fiona not to marry Alan. He ranted about their love for each other which as we know is completely one sided and told Fiona he would wait for her and that Alan should know the truth. He was then manhandled from the church by some of Alan's police friends. The vicar gave the assemblage five minutes to regain their composure before they would continue.
While Liz tried to get some sense out of Jim outside (and believe me he was making little), Fiona and Alan retreated to the vestry where Alan wanted some answers. Fiona didn't help matters by simply standing dumbstruck while her husband to be asked her what had been going on. In the end Fiona was frank and honest and told Alan about the time she had slept with Jim McDonald. She explained how he had been kind to her in her time of upset and one thing had led to another.
As far the wedding was concerned that was it. Alan went outside and announced the big day was cancelled and any explanations would be forthcoming from his ex - bride to be. Fiona was left in the vestry her plans and her immediate life ahead in ruins sobbing her heart out..
Of smaller importance tucked in amongst all this was the fact that Fred was trying to buy Maureen's shop for as little as possible. He sent a friend along to act as an estate agent and put in a ridiculously low bid for the shop so he could walk in and take the shop for a song and work one on old Maud Grimes.
All in all : O.K
Sunday 9 November 1997
Oh What a mess Jim McDonald had left behind him
Starting and concentrating on the wedding that never was the episode dealt with the aftermath of Jim's actions in the church the episode before. Jim was still at the scene and taking great care to goad a devastated Alan to the best of his ability. A fight could have broken out but luckily it was avoided by the intervention of Alan's friends who were huddled around him keeping his spirits up in a time of need.
Fiona meanwhile was still in the vestry a mess of mascara all decked out in white and the tears still flowing down her face. Maxine was on hand as ever as support but she alas was still in the dark as to why things had turned out like they had done. Fiona decided it was time to tell her best friend the truth and explained about her one night stand with Jim. Maxine was surprised to hear what had happened thinking the culprit between the break up would more than likely be Steve. However her opinion of her friend was unchanged and she stood at her side in her time of need.
The church was showing scenes of unrest as the friends and well wishers were wondering just what was going on now Alan had wandered off. Of course the likes of Audrey were coming to their own conclusions about what had happened and the gossip machines of Weatherfield were cranking up to get moving in full force. Alec meanwhile was more concerned with the possibility of getting drinkers back to the Rovers and as the church had a schedule to stick to he managed to manoeuver everyone back to the Street.
Alan was by now with his parents, his mother was most upset at the way things had turned out but his father could do little but thinly veil his gloating. He had never liked Fiona or her family on account of his racial prejudice and seeing the ruination of their marriage had been what he had been looking for all along if truth be told. The matter would only serve to drive a wedge between Alan and his father as Alan was being forced to listen to an "I told you so" lecture.
Liz meanwhile was on Jim's trail and she didn't have to look far to find him. He was back at the house getting stuck right into a bottle of whisky. She asked what had driven him to commit such an appalling act against Fiona and Alan but Jim was being secretive and giving nothing away. Liz decided that she would try and find out from Fiona what had happened.
Fiona however was being vetoed for visitors by Maxine. Liz asked if it was Steve that had been responsible for all the commotion that day. Maxine got decidedly snappy at Liz and told her to look closer to home than Steve because the root of the problem was Jim. Poor Liz...everyone seemed to know about what had happened bar her and when she tried to find out everybody got cryptic on her.
Eventually Alan did show up at Fiona's flat wanting to speak to her. The audacity of the man had to be seen to be believed. It would appear Alan was all set to forgive Fiona for her sins and if they worked quickly they could cover up all the mess that had happened that day. He then told Fiona that she should have a blood test to determine that the baby was his. If by any chance he continued the child was Jim's she would have to go for a quickie abortion and they would make a story up that she had lost the child.
It was at this point that Fiona realised what she was getting into and decided she would go no further. She told Alan she would be keeping the baby regardless who the father was and that she wanted no further part of his life. She explained her reasoning for this claiming Alan was a bully and she would forever be spending her life afraid of him.
The truth stung Alan and he grabbed Fiona by the scruff of the neck and it looked like he might put a hand to her. In the end though he managed to control himself and stormed out of the flat claiming that the child would never be a son of his. It was like watching his father's prejudices come boiling through.
All in all : Gripping Stuff
I never usually have time for Fiona's acting but tonight she did a fine job IMO. Alan was a bit garbled in some of his scenes but then that's Alan.
Monday 10 November 1997
The aftermath of Fiona and Alan's non wedding was still being felt around the Street but tonight took a further look into the McDonald perspective of things. The relationship between Steve and Jim was at something of an all time low with the younger McDonald wanting nothing to do with his father.
Liz was still wandering round with her head in the clouds oblivious to what had really been going on in the recent months. She still mistakenly believed that Steve was the reason why Jim had botched up all the wedding plans. Little did she know that Jim's real motive was his "love" for Fiona.
Elsewhere Fred was pushing to get his hands on the corner shop and as it stood his was the only offer worth talking about. Little did Maud Grimes know that Fred was not adverse to a bit of skullduggery to get his own way and had sent a friend to put in a deliberately low bid.
Dreary was starting to stamp her feet over the fact that she might not be getting her dream house after all. She was chiding a somewhat reluctant looking John into making moves and chasing up the people in the house buying chain and getting things moving. John however was playing it cool, what could he have up his sleeve I wonder ?
Fiona's family came trooping round en masse to find out the truth behind Fiona being jilted by her ex husband to be. Fiona explained the truth was going to be hard for them to take but they demanded to hear what she had to say. Slowly Fiona recounted the tale of her and Jim to her shocked family about how in moment of loneliness she had turned to Jim for comfort and regrettably sex.
At this point Alan came to collect his things and he and Fiona were left in private although there looked to be something of a face off brewing between him and Lee. It was a chance for Alan to collect his belongings and to sling some more mud in a half hearted way at his ex. Fiona listened to all his abuse and it did seem to skim off her like water off a duck's back. Anyway within a short while he was gone and out of her life it would seem forever.
However before he left the Street he happened across Liz McDonald who was absolutely itching to know just exactly what was going on between her ex and Fiona. Alan told her the whole sordid truth and seemed to take a delight in Liz's disbelief.
She went to Jim's house to confront him about what she had been told in the hope Alan might have been lying. There was no such luck though, Jim's silence was all that she needed to confirm that he had indeed slept with Fiona and that he was in fact in "love" with her. A devastated Liz then stormed out of the house.
All in all : Good
Wednesday 12 November 1997
Another emotionally charged slice of Weatherfield life tonight moving on to Liz McDonald's side of things in this bizarre Fiona and Jim and Alan love triangle. Fiona herself was putting on a brave face as she went back to work with backing from the likes of Sam rooting in her corner. Liz however was soon in the picture spitting venom at the woman who had possibly decimated her future chances of happiness with Jim.
Meanwhile Fred Elliott was on the prowl dissuading a potential buyer from putting in a decent bid on the corner shop with a set of cock and bull stories about the property being infested with mice and a tenant upstairs playing loud music at all. Fred quickly achieved his goal of keeping himself and himself alone in the running for the shop much to Ashley's disgust.
Jim was being more or less disowned by Steve who declared that once his current work with Jim was finished he would never work with him again. Jim hated to see a good business breaking up on account of what he had done but no amount of apologising would turn back the clock.
Liz meanwhile spent her lunch time in the Rovers with Dreary letting her steadily building emotions get the better of her. She broke down in tears and let the pub know just exactly why Alan had ditched Fiona at the altar. She also tried to pummel the life out of Jim when he walked into the pub making a public display well worth watching for the regulars.
It was all too much for Andy who decided enough was enough and packed his bags and left a message for his father on the table and left the Street for pastures new. He was keen to get as far away from the tainted McDonald legacy as possible. Something which would inevitably be another hammer blow in the heart for an already downcast Jim.
Dreary came home to John mentioning how she had been consoling Liz after her thoroughly lousy day. She mentioned how good it was to be with someone like him and how she wanted it to last forever. John assured her it would last and she wanted to affirm that and asked him to marry her.
All in all : Good
Corrie is really on a supercharged emotional roller coaster at the moment making me wonder how much longer it can maintain this break neck pace.
Friday 14 November 1997
Friday Jim's name continued to be mud tonight especially as Andy McDonald had jumped ship in a bid to escape his own personal family from hell. It seemed like everyone was lining up to play "kick the idiot" for what he had done. Steve was the first to one to reiterate his point about how he hated his father while Liz was along soon enough to pour scorn on him for separating her from the one son she could talk to about almost anything.
Maud was in a spin (although not literally, I don't think her chair is built for that) over the selling of the shop. Fred was trying to appear like the good fairy trying to do deeds all well and true but in essence he was doing little more than applying pressure on the old dear so she would sell the shop to him with all haste in mind.
Dreary and John were enduring a slightly awkward atmosphere tonight following her impromptu proposal of marriage the day before. Both seemed keen to avoid the subject and John did sneak off to work early as well. Later that evening he would confront the subject head on and tell Dreary he would marry her if he was given just a little more time.
Fiona needed a break, everybody told her so. As a result she took the advice and nipped off for a few days leaving Maxine holding the fort with Audrey stood in as a hairdresser for the time being. Hopefully things would run smoother this time than they had last.
The afternoon made Fred a happy man as the shop became his for the right money. Maud was plagued with doubt and expressed her annoyance that she felt a touch duped by Fred. Nothing however could dampen Fred's spirits though and he prepared to celebrate with a night on the town with the friend he had used to help dupe old Maud in the first place. Young Ashley was also shocked to discover he would be running the grocer's shop form now on. Odds on he will employ old Maud as his assistant.
Alec was playing a strange little game with Ken in the respect he seemed to be trying to set up on a blind date with some woman by the name of Geraldine. Apparently she was a cultured sort who liked the opera and fine food and wine. According to the mischievous Gilroy she was at a loose end and needed taking out for the evening.
Ken wasn't biting though and refused Alec's offer on the grounds there had to be a catch. However his curiosity was piqued and by the end of the night he agreed to see this woman. This scenario stunk though because looking at the phone calls Alec was making to the woman it looked almost like he was running some sort of sideline as a dating agency.
Leanne and Nicky2 planned some nookie in their makeshift love nest. Keeping the noise to a minimum they sat and eat and drank in relative piece and quiet. However before they could get amorous Leanne managed to break the radiator on the wall of the house where she was sitting for warmth. The room began to flood and they had to call a plumber out to sort the situation out. It literally dampened any passion they had planned for the night.
The night ended with Alec phoning the mysterious Geraldine and confirming her "date" with a cultured and well preserved gentleman by the name of Kenneth....
All in all : O.K
Sunday 16 November 1997
It was something of a coasting episode tonight but with some nice little plotlines showing signs of imminent resolution. First off the bat was Fiona's salon now sat in the capable hands of Maxine and the golden girl of the hairdressing industry Audrey. Maxine wasn't took keen on having the somewhat mouth driven Audrey aboard but would be glad of her experience when it came to stroppy antics of Toyah Battersby who refused to pay for a styling she received from Maxine which she claimed wasn't up to scratch.
Maud Grimes found out she had been somewhat conned by Fred Elliot purely by accident while talking to young Ashley outside the shop. He mentioned how Fred had been on a bender with a friend the night before and the name of the chap rang bells with Maud and she realised that he had been in cahoots with Fred from the start of her endeavours to sell the shop on Maureen's behalf.
Ashley was disgusted to hear how his uncle had taken advantage of an old woman and made his opinion of Fred very clear to his face and in the Rovers. Fred was upset to hear his only heir to his shops and fortune turn against him like this and explained later to Ashley that it was out of a misguided sense of revenge that he had struck such a cruel financial blow against Maureen and her mother. It had undoubtedly put something of a strain on their working relationship.
Elsewhere John's lies were spreading like a oil across water as he went out and borrowed a very flash Saab car from a company using his "pilot's credentials" to get the ball rolling for him. He showed off the car to a very impressed Dreary who as ever was taken with John and his Billy Liar lifestyle. However tonight showed signs of John coming unstuck as he accompanied Dreary to a company party with the press there taking photos for all and sundry. John was nerve wracked as the cameras began taking photos and it got worse because the photographer asked Dreary what her partner's name was. All this was going to be plastered all over the local rag and someone who knew his wife had to see it if not his wife herself.
Gail was on her high horse again regarding Nicky2 staying out late with Leanne Battersby. He had lied to her about going to the pictures with his friends but Gail had discovered that he was with Leanne by going and talking (shouting) to Janice on her doorstep. Nicky and Leanne of course were in their new little love nest and Leanne informed Nicky2 about Zoe being the real mother of the Mallett's baby and how she had sold it to them. A possible case of loose tongues for the future..
Ken was all set to meet Geraldine for a night at the opera. They met at a swanky hotel with Ken looking his very best for the part all snazzed up in a suit and with a fresh haircut. Geraldine was no spring chicken but she was very classy and it would seem right up Ken's street with her somewhat cultured ways. I was waiting for the catch but as the night wore on it seemed like there wasn't going to be one. However at the end of the night it was Geraldine footing all the bills and as they parted she handed Ken an envelope. It was marked "Golden Years Introduction Agency" .Alec had played Ken for a bit of a mug and set him up as an escort for the night.
I say there was no harm done though and Ken did get paid for his troubles....why not do it again :)
All in all : O.K
Monday 17 November 1997
Vengeance for Maud Grimes was on the cards tonight as she hung around the corner shop watching her daughter's once pride and joy being torn apart for something of a refit by a bunch of shopfitters as part of Fred's plans to dominate the world of local commerce. Ashley meanwhile was still most unhappy with his Uncle's conduct and was most vocal in his protests.
Maud however didn't seem to worried about Fred's behaviour and we were soon to learn why. While nobody was looking she deposited a fish down the back of one of the new units being installed in the shop. Within no time the fish would be sealed up in the new cupboards and be free to leave a lingering smell. Needless to say Maud was out on her wheels before any such pong could get under way.
John the liar was up to his old tricks again tonight. The new car which he had taken delivery of the day before was conveniently stolen when he came out of Dreary's this morning. Gosh, what a shame and after only owning it for a day as well. It was more a case of the garage must have wanted it back from him on the understanding it was only a test drive situation. Dreary of course commiserated with John about what had happened as he sloped off to work in a taxi.
There was arguments over the breakfast table in the Platt household as Gail once again bawled him out about his liaisons with Leanne Battersby. They were calling his friends and so he called theirs, Nicky shot off his mouth about the Mallett's and their bought baby. A case of someone shooting off their mouth in a most dangerous fashion. Of course the Platts would never believe their friends could be guilty of committing such an action could they ?
Ken stormed over to Alec Gilroy's with a bee in his bonnet about being used a date for the night for the enigmatic Geraldine the night before. He tore up Alec's cheque right in front of his face and decided he would have nothing more to do with the man. However Alec would be able to persuade him otherwise later that night when Geraldine insisted she would pay extra money to see Ken again. The prospect of good money being waved under his nose was a tempting one for Ken as money at the moment was indeed a bit tight.
Fred tried to sweeten Ashley with an offer of using his house until it was sold as a place for him and Maxine to spend time together. Ashley turned the offer down on principle until Maxine stuck her foot down hard and told him that he had best reconsider or else. Poor Ashley was faced with little choice as Maxine with a temper looked like a force to be reckoned with.
John's real wife had the pleasure of his company tonight. It was all a bit tricky though because the Sunliner's promotional photos with his face on were cropping up in the local newspapers. John however did seem to intercept them all and managed to cut them out before his wife saw them. He claimed they were vouchers for some free gift or other on the other side of them.
John's wife then reckoned it might be time for them to book a holiday together. After all John had his £5000 bonus (Dreary's money) in the bank and they could truly have the holiday of a lifetime with it...
All in all : Good
Wednesday 19 November 1997
What is John the lying pilot up to and just how far will he go? . He certainly was a point of interest tonight but the episode started off with the whining Gail Platt harping on to Nicky about his relationship with Leanne Battersby. It was made worse when she called for him and faced a tongue lashing from Gail about spreading malicious rumours about the Malletts and their bought baby.
Ken decided to go against his better judgement tonight and do some more of the escort work that glib tongued Alec had arranged for him. Alec was overjoyed at the prospect of having such a "charming, handsome, intelligent" candidate on his book and as a result Ken's next night out would be tomorrow in a full tuxedo dinner job.
Ashley opened up the shop to face the smell of rotting fish. As he staggered out of the shop gagging for air he and his Uncle Fred still had no idea Maud had deposited a piece of fresh fish down one of the counter backs just before the workman had sealed it up and put it together. The result was a shop that was nigh on uninhabitable to humans because of the rotten stink, still Ashley soldiered on though.
More of John's plan became apparent tonight. It would appear the dream house he was buying with Dreary was apparently owned or rented for that matter by a friend. John spoke to this friend who was leaving for Singapore for six months and it appeared he would be house sitting for him in the mean time. No sooner had this bloke vanished out of the door and off the scene for six months than John began using his identity as Ian Jenkins to set up a mortage on the place. This was getting seriously deep because John was using his friends documents fraudulently while using Dreary's cash as a deposit. Looking at the strain etched on John's face at certain points the strain had to be telling on him by now.
Steve and Jim maintained their strained relationship as they prepared to finish the job they had been working on for months. Payment was to be due and for some reason Steve appeared to be acting cagey about getting the cheque. His plan was most surely to get the cheque while his father wasn't around to see him making this situation look like he was about to do something dodgy to rip Jim off perhaps. He found himself reacquainted with his old girlfriend who he had dumped during his infatuation period with Fiona and after unleashing his charm on her they looked like they were back on as an item.
Nicky2 and Leanne had their little love nest broken up by the evening arrival of Ashley and Maxine who had agreed to live rent free together in Fred's old marital home. In they came only to find the two love struck teens about to sneak upstairs. Maxine went critical over the matter and insisted on calling the police in to intervene in the matter but Ashley the soft hearted clod elected to take a more moderate approach and the two got away with a warning.
John took his lies one step further as the episode closed. He got down on one knee and proposed to Dreary :()
All in all : What is John on :)
Friday 21 November 1997
A rather good little episode with things hotting up nicely in the Street for some of the residents. A pot boiler of a story which has been around for quite some time is the Judy/Gary baby "adoption" storyline. Tonight saw it take on a bit of a wider scope thanks to the rumours that have been fired up primarily by Nicky2 who tonight told rent a mouth Audrey about the adoption plot. In turn Audrey who was doing a stint at Fiona's salon told the likes of Maxine and Maud which meant the rumour mill got spread a little further.
The corner shop still smelled awful only now it was starting to get to Ashley to the point where he was finding it impossible to work. Jim McDonald turned up to check the drains but found nothing untoward in that area. Roy Cropper even sauntered round to add some of his wacky theories about what might be causing the stench. He called the smell "evil" and said it might be representative of the "the smell of fear" he concluded it might even be a smell akin to a rotting corpse which made Ashley's overactive imagination begin to work overtime.
Audrey was following up her interest in Judy and Gary's private life by picking on the subject of adoption and surrogacy in the Rovers with Martin and Gary. She was hardly being subtle and Gary was quickly made to feel awkward. After a quick drink he went home and told Judy what had happened and how he was afraid the game might be up and they might have been caught out. Judy assured him that it was just Audrey being nosey and there was nothing to worry about.
We were then cut across to Sunliners where a love struck Dreary was about to serve a fresh customer. It was a woman who had come in with her children ready to treat herself to a nice family holiday abroad. Her husband had just picked up a nice bonus so she wanted to surprise him with the idea of a package holiday in the new year.
Dreary began to take details and smiled to herself as the woman revealed her name was Lindsay Lindsay. The smile faded though when her husband's name was revealed to be none other than John Lindsay. Dreary's mind began to work overtime until Lindsay told her she had misspelled her surname. It would seem John had covered his tracks just enough to avoid being caught out....this time.
Judy went to see Martin about the conversation he had with Gary in the Rovers Return that dinner time. Martin explained that he didn't believe a word about what had been said and explained how the rumours had been started by none other than Leanne Battersby. Nicky2 came home just in time to hear Judy explain away Leanne's story by saying Zoe had actually stolen £2000 from them before doing a runner.
Ashley and Maxine relaxed at home as he could no longer face working in the shop with such foul odours under his nose all the time. However something Roy had said along with Maxine's imagination firing up Ashley's own had the couple now thinking that Fred might have buried Maureen under the floorboards after killing her in a crime of passion. It was made worse by the fact that Fred turned up on the doorstep only moments later brandishing a rent book for the pair of them. The two love birds shivered at the prospect of Fred possibly being a murderer after all his first wife had died young...
Nicky2 told Leanne she might be wrong about the Malletts and explained what Judy had said to him earlier that day. Incensed that her old friend Zoe was being painted as a liar and a thief Leanne stormed round to the Malletts and began shouting the odds at their front door.
She screamed out loud for all the world to hear about how Zoe had sold her daughter to the Malletts for £2000 because Judy could have no children of her own. She bawled out about how Judy had a child aborted at the age of 16 but she didn't say any more. Judy took a well aimed swing and smacked her right in the mouth sending Leanne tumbling back into Nicky2's arms. Gary tried to restrain Judy and ended up pulling her inside the house and slamming the door while Leanne ranted on outside.
Judy and Gary stood at the foot of the stairs looking at each other while Katy began to cry. It looked like their game was up.
All in all : Good
Sunday 23 November 1997
Starting the day with John the liar presenting Dreary not only with breakfast in bed but also with a Visa Gold Card enabling her to start doing some shopping to furnish her new dream house. For Dreary it was like she was living in a fantasy world with all her wildest dreams coming true. John also had a card to be a bit lavish with if the fancy took him but just how far are his bizarre fantasies going to continue.
Judy was sat with a headful of regret following her previous night's performance of belting Leanne Battersby in the mouth. Gary was by now working up some serious worry about the consequences of Judy's actions because in the end the girl knew the truth and sooner or later it could blow their entire tissue of lies out of the water.
Leanne was nursing a swollen lip and a wobbly tooth but her pride was bruised more than anything. Les was vexed his daughter was hurt but then again he didn't yet know the full facts. He decided to remedy this by going round to Judy's and finding out what had happened.
Gary explained what had happened and how Leanne had flown off at the mouth over this "ludicrous" story about Gary and Judy buying the baby. Judy apologised but it didn't matter because Les was now cross at his own daughter for showing too much mouth yet again. He didn't realise she was actually telling the truth.
Fred was systematically destocking the shelves and "starting afresh" with a friend of his who was round to do some commercial cleaning. Fred explained he was going to ditch the entire stock and buy in fresh to appease the customers and somehow lose the smell. It was all a public relations ploy and under cover of darkness Fred intended to sneak everything back into the shop.
In the meantime Fred's friend finally discovered the location of the smell by cracking open some of the counter where the till stood. He discovered the fish deposited there by Maud days earlier. The mystery was now solved but Fred was still left wondering who planted the little "present" there in the first place.
Alec called Ken into the back of the pub and explained he had another cultured evening's entertainment arranged courtesy of the Golden Years Dating Agency. Ken took the job because his monetary situation was a little tight at the moment. Little did the two know but Jack was more listening keenly at the door while they discussed details.
I was surprised to see Alec come clean and tell Jack what he was doing later in the episode however I could see Jack visualising himself as something of a dashing male escort. I could see his old nightclub singer persona starting to ooze out all over again coming back from the days when he signed up for a dating agency using the name "Vince" of all things.
John the liar now safely back with wife and family managed to get out of the holiday she had booked for the family. He claimed he was on a training course down in Southport and couldn't avoid going because it was so important to the company. I reckon she will end up going to cancel the holiday and maybe end up having a chat with Dreary.
Speaking of Alec he was also off and about trying to re-enlist the aid of Natalie Horrocks behind the bar claiming he was now working as the big chief in the Rover's hierarchy. He reckoned because that was now the case there would be no objection to her being back behind the bar. However Vera had no idea what was going on but when she did find out you can bet on trouble.
Leanne clashed with Gail again over the matter of the Mallet's baby. It was something of a test of faith for Nicky2 and he was to be honest found a little wanting. He didn't seem sure of his girlfriends version of events in the story and as a result she would have ditched him by the end of the episode.
All in all : Good
Monday 24 November 1997
Leanne was out for revenge tonight and a chance to clear her name and I was strangely enough rooting for her if for no other reason than to shut that glib gob of Gail Platt (say that with your mouth full...I dare you). In truth Leanne's name was mud so the only way she was going to clear it was by tracking down Zoe the mother of the Mallett's baby. Gail of course was stood on the street corner with Judy looking very pleased with herself because her precious Nicky2 was no longer going out with such lowdown street trash as a Battersby.
The Rovers were enjoying another meeting between the partners with Alec once again stirring the waters and insisting on getting some fresher looking barstaff to please the punters. For the time being all he could come up with as a solution was Natalie Horrocks. The idea of the bleached wonder working behind the bar was enough to put Vera off her cornflakes. However Alec began flexing his financial muscles and started making noises about back out of the partnership if he didn't get his own way on this subject.
Vera could say nothing for once because without Alec the Rover's financial status would become severely embarrassing to say the least and everyone would lose out in the long run. It would seem Natalie was back on the books although Vera didn't agree with a willing heart.
Ashley confessed his and Fred's worries about the shop and the possibility of industrial espionage to Maud. Since the fish incident Ashley was on his guard awaiting petrol bombs and bricks through the windows. Maud confessed her part in the incident to put his mind at rest and explained it was revenge for being scammed out of the true asking price for the shop. Ashley was annoyed and told Maud she was as bad as his Uncle Fred for pulling such a foolish stroke.
Dreary had carte blanche authority from John to do a "spend, Spend, SPEND" shopping spree on the new Gold Card he had given her. Dreary had never had it so good and was nervous about hitting the shops with the plastic but John said it was all on him so who was she to argue. How John will ever juggle this amazing tissue of lies I don't know.
Natalie was back behind the bar by lunchtime. Vera was treating her coolly but it would seem for now as fairly as she could muster. It made me wonder if it was about time Sam made a reappearance behind the bar as she has been gone a long time.
Leanne traced Zoe and began spinning a story to lure back to the Street. It would seem the £2000 was long gone and Zoe was now once again on her uppers and living in a hostel. Leanne explained how not only was her name mud but it would seem the Mallett's had branded Zoe a thief as well.
All this served to wind Zoe up and get her to come back to the Street to face off against her former benefactors who she was now being misguided into believing had ripped her off in the first place. Leanne led her erstwhile friend back to Coronation Street and told her to go the Mallett's and wade in all guns blazing. Zoe was nervous about doing this but with Leanne behind her she knocked on the door and a shocked Judy answered..
All in all : Good
Wednesday 26 November 1997
Judy Mallett looked down from her doorstep to be confronted by her worst nightmare come true tonight. The hard faced little urchin Zoe had returned and at this point her agenda was unknown. In something of a knee jerk reaction she slammed the door and rang Gary begging him to come home for fear of what might happen if he didn't .Gary tried to calm his wife and told her he would be on his way.
Zoe meanwhile was comforted by her friend Leanne Battersby. In truth it was Leanne's goading that was keeping Zoe going on this little harassment trip. If left to her own devices i'm sure Zoe would never have set foot back in Coronation Street.
Meanwhile Sam faced the first in a barrage of somewhat saucy compliments from leering Les Battersby. She seemed hard enough to laugh it off and even Des reckoned it was just a bit of harmless tom foolery. However we would see how this developed as the night wore on.
Fred was also planning to rename the corner shop "Elliott's" in something of an egotistical homage to all things Fred. Ashley of course would be in the driving seat behind the counter while Fred would be responsible for running the butcher's shop as always.
Ken was getting a touch agitated about Jack's somewhat beneath the belt comments about the Golden Years Dating Service he was involved in with Alec Gilroy. It wasn't long before Alec was having words with Jack after all he couldn't risk losing his number one mature hunk could he ?
Gary was by now home and trying to calm Judy down. It was hard work but he convinced Judy to see Zoe and allow them all to talk rationally and find out what Zoe wanted. By this point Zoe was encamped on the doorstep and refusing to move but while Gary let her in Judy bolted out of the back door with Katy and set off for the local shopping centre in a vain attempt to hide from her worst fears.
Gary spoke to Zoe and it was surprising how things seemed to turn for the sake of a bit of chat. Zoe reckoned she had not come to claim her daughter back although she was curious as to how she was getting on. She explained that she wanted to know why she had been branded a thief and a liar by the Malletts. Gary explained the circumstances with Leanne shouting off her mouth about the baby sale and it looked like things might be clearing up. Gary blew it though by offering Zoe some more money which if anything offended her because for her all faults she didn't want to be known as little more than a scrounger proving there was some pride in her after all.
In the Rovers we listened to Dreary witter on about how wonderful life was for her now John had made her a lady of leisure with a gold card and a house to match her new extravagant spending habits. In fact she was so infuriatingly boring that I am rubbing my hands with glee at the prospect of her little world falling apart in the not to distant future when John slips up somewhere.
Natalie warned Les his chat up lines on Sam were upsetting her and he tried to apologise to her but Des waded in and played the protective hero bit which annoyed Sam who after all likes to fight her own battles. Vera was miffed as well because a good customer had just stormed out in a huff. Ken set off for his hot date with Jack grinning like an idiot and wishing him well with a salute and a bawdy wink while Dreary and Liz wondered just who Ken was off seeing tonight.
Gary and Zoe's good start was in tatters with their relationship back on stormy ground. Gary told her to leave and never return but Zoe vowed that at some point she would be back and nothing he could do would stop her from returning. However for now it would seem the crisis was past and with a phone call from Judy to see if the coast was clear he went to collect her from the shopping precinct.
All in all : O.K
Friday 28 November 1997
Much to Judy's alarm Zoe was still in the Street the morning after her row with Gary. Once again his little white lie about money said to protect his wife's feelings came back to haunt him as Zoe explained her true reasons for coming back to Weatherfield. No matter what though she got a frosty reception from the Mallett's and they told her to leave and never to return. I somehow doubt though we have seen the last of Zoe as her desire to see Katy seemed to burn quite strongly.
Fred's Corner Shop was trying to pull in the customers with offers of a free glass of red wine and some nibbles laid on to attract customers. Needless to say Les was quickly on the scene and propping up the corner of the counter with a plastic cup in his hand determined to drink the shop dry while ever the booze was on free offer.
Dreary talked John into a shopping trip of unparalleled extravagance as they went looking for furniture for their new house. It was a case of money being no object as they hammered or rather Dreary hammered her credit card with luxury items for the bedroom. You might think there was nothing new there then as Dreary has been spending lots over the last couple of weeks anyway. However tonight had a development because John signed over the house into Dreary's name as a gift making me think she was about to become something of a fall guy and half.
It was getting even more complex because as the loving twosome were trying out a bed who should come drifting up the escalator but John's real wife. It was almost sitcom in style as Dreary went off to find an assistant to help her with a purchase leaving John to clock his real spouse just in time. He managed to fob her of with the excuse that he was buying her a Christmas present and could she please get lost or the surprise would be lost. Against all odds John's plan came off and his wife vanished from view a deliriously happy Dreary came bounding up like a grinning idiot.
Les was drunk and there was no question about that. He had drained a good chunk of Fred's freebie stock and was now in the Rovers finishing getting into a stupor. Once again being drunk made him flirtatious and being flirtatious meant he was homing in on Sam. She was capable of defending herself against any Battersby but Les was finding a hard time of it keeping a lid on his jealousy and his temper.
Ashley meanwhile was determined to have an assistant in the Corner Shop and as a distracted Fred (busy chatting to Natalie while trying to read her palm)told him to pick whoever he felt was suitable for the job he decided to elect Maud Grimes for the role as his second in command. Fred wouldn't like it but then Fred had gone ahead and given him a free run of the shop.
The Malletts had a disagreement again as Judy announced she had booked the church for the purpose of getting Katy christened. Gary saw this as needless expense for the sake of some religious mumbo jumbo and explained how his job prospects were starting to look shakey and they should be keeping money by for a rainy day. The two of them were at loggerheads over the subject so we would have to wait and see what would happen.
Les drank up and walked out of the Rovers but on his way home he got an unexpected visit from jealousy's current most successful customer Des Barnes. Les was warned in no uncertain terms about messing with Sam and when he didn't take it seriously it looked like things might turn nasty. Les ended the night by telling Des he had messed with the wrong man and he wouldn't succumb to threats.
All in all : O.K
A fair fight, Les or Des who would win ?
Sunday 30 November 1997
It was animosity all round tonight starting the day with Des's car looking distinctly like it had been visited by a brick in the middle of the night. In fact that was more or less the truth as Martin reported the news to Des over breakfast that morning. All the windows on his vehicle were put through and Des immediately had to mind a possible culprit for the crime.
Only the night before he had been facing off against Les Battersby for the crime of leering and attempting to chat up his girlfriend Sam. This left him with a distinct motive but as Sam explained it was going to be hard to prove as he would obviously deny doing the deed.
There was more ill feeling in the Corner Shop as well as Fred ranted on at Ashley for employing the Weatherfield Witch Maud Grimes. He was incensed that his old enemy who he had spent enough cash getting rid of would now be back behind the counter helping Ashley learn the ropes. Of course Maud loved every minute of the drama and revelled in Fred's anger.
>From here I take you to the Mallett household where there is yet more tension building in the air as Judy and Gary continue their argument over the relevance of having Katy christened in church. Gary was uneasy about such a big public occasion and felt as he wasn't the child's real father he was going to have a tough time playing the part. However he decided it would be easier not to argue the point as Judy would only win in the end so he decided to go along with the christening idea but strictly under duress.
One person who was enjoying the day though was Dreary who as we know was now moving into her new posh house with John. She was clearing out her old flat ably assisted by a somewhat dejected looking Liz McDonald and then making her way to a new life which judging by appearances should be nicely self destructed by Boxing Day.
In the Rovers the usual crowd were congregating behind the bar with Les and Janice on one end and Curly, Des and Sam (who was working a shift) at the other. It was all frosty stares across the floor from Des and Les and you could see a tinderbox atmosphere was waiting to explode. Within minutes it had and the possibility of a punch up was narrowly avoided thanks to Curly wading in and breaking the two would be combatants apart. All this was caused by Des's jealousy and the fact that Les was trying to talk to Sam once again.
The unfortunate side effect of all this was it caused a nasty atmosphere back home for Des and Sam. Judy Mallett came to the house and offered the two of them to be Godparents to Katy and Des still in a huff declined claiming he wasn't a Christian. Maybe he was sticking to some religious belief but I like Sam deduced would rather think it was more a case of being in a bad mood that influenced his decision. Instead the duties of Godfather were bestowed on none other than a very chuffed Curly Watts.
Dreary was conducting a grand tour of the new house for the likes of Liz and Alma and Mike. Of course on usual blunt form Mike wanted to know where all the money was coming from as he reckoned there was a lot of money invested in the place. Dreary came up on the defensive claiming that she intended to pay her way when everything was sorted and it was down to John's insistence that he was footing all the bills so far.
Chris was seen sneaking out of Sally's house after what looked like a little love tryst. He seemed much like the cat who had got the cream and as we saw earlier in the episode he seemed keen to let the world know that he and Sally were together. Sally however was still advising caution and he respected her wishes.
At the Battersby's though things were nowhere near so rosy as Janice wanted to know why Des would accuse her husband of putting a brick through his car windows. Les annoyed at being interrogated put on his jacket and went out for the night.
As the episode ended we saw (although not clearly) a man with a brick in his hand wandering towards chez Barnes. The next thing we saw was the brick being hurled and the tinkling of glass..
All in all : Good, if a little tense :)
Let's flip to the end shall we, I will hazard a guess and say I don't think it's Les who put the windows through.
My reasoning is as follows : Les left the house and put on a light blue denim type shirt over his t-shirt but the bloke who did the window had a dark jacket on. Although he did appear to have a similar colour shirt on underneath.....Doh!, theory possibly quashed there then :)