Friday, 13 May 2011

Whatever happened to Elsie Tanner?

It's been the unresolved question hanging over Weatherfield for over a quarter of a century. How did Elsie Tanner's life pan out once she had left the cobbles. In a wonderful scene tonight, Dennis Tanner finally solved the puzzle. In a heart to heart with old flame Rita, he told her that Elsie had lived a long and happy life in Portugal, married to Bill Gregory. However, she had died aged 81 in a car accident, her wonderful red sports car having left the road and ended up at the bottom of a cliff.

Personally, I think it was a fantastic idea to bring closure (I hate that phrase but it had to be used) to the Elsie story. Plus Rita asked the question that long-standing fans had often mused over.

Were you happy with this piece of Corrie history being brought to a close or should Elsie have remained unspoken about, forever knocking back a vodka and tonic on the Algarve?

As Elsie once said . . . "Now there's a question!"

25 comments:

Paul said...

Nice to hear of Elsie's fate..... and such a fitting end to such a great character!

I wonder if the Producers of Corrie consulted Tony Warren on how Elsie passed?

David said...

Tonight's first episode was excellent and full marks for even considering giving Elsie a mention!

Ado said...

Twenty odd years ago Granada released a video entitled, "The life and loves of Elsie Tanner" in which Linda Cheveski paid a nostalgic visit to the Street. On meeting Linda on the cobbles, Emily Bishop commiserated with Linda saying she was sorry and told her that everyone had heard about Elsie's passing. Yet Dennis tells Rita Elsie had only been dead for six or seven years?

David said...

Ado, I believe this is what is known as a 'ret con' (someone please correct me if I'm wrong!) whereby the fictional events of the past are slightly altered. Also, I'm not sure that the spin-off videos are regarded as canon so it may be wiser to ignore them!

Merseytart said...

I love the final closure on Elsie, especially since there was no reason for it really. It was lovely to hear she died happy.

Anonymous said...

Ado, I agree. I have watched that video over the years and the demise of Elsie was etched in my mind. Now Dennis has revealed a new ending for the character my brain is torn. Dennis was not always a friend of the truth so who is to say that this was not a slightly embelished ending for Ritas benefit. Either way it was fitting that she was mentioned and may go someway to explaining Dennis' current situation afterall whatever fallouts the Tanners had over the years Elsie would never have seen her son on the streets. I wonder if linda will be mentioned at all?

Nathan Lloyd said...

Why would anyone not want to accept this as the ending? It was beautifully described and romanticised. I'm sure Pat Phoenix would have been so pleased to know that Elsie went on to live 20 years in paradise having finally found the man of her dreams, and when she did finally die it was as tempestuous as the life she'd led. It's a perfect ending for Elsie Tanner and one that I commend everyone involved for making.

Jane said...

A lovely scene between Rita & Dennis.Closure for an iconic character and what a fitting end for her .....life in the fast lane just the way I'm sure Elsie would have wanted it!!!

Corriepedia said...

Lovely scenes tonight - now tell us what happened to Ena and Annie!

Nemo said...

Beautiful "closure" for good old Elsie, I agree!

BTW I wouldn't take those videos as canon personally - best to ignore them IMO. :D Anyway, this ending sounds much nicer than Elsie dying after just two happy years!

Chewy said...

Brilliant ending, fantastic to know Elsie didn't die a slow death, that wouldn't have been fitting, also, she got over another 15 years added to her life.

TRUE, the video hints she died back then, but:

A. It's a video, not the main show
B. It was never said outright that she had died, from what I heard

Anonymous said...

You are right Chewy, Emily just says ' We heard about Elsie'.

John McE said...

The reason many of us "can't just accept" Dennis's new explanation of Elsie's death is because we've always accepted the previous version. It is silly to say that a video produced by Granada in-house, featuring various episodes in Elsie's life, and with additional interlinking scenes featuring Coronation Street characters and written by (I believe) John Stevenson, one of the main writers of the show for many years can't be regarded as canon.

Do I prefer Dennis's version? Of course I do, but nevertheless it does jar because it's 25 years or more after being led to believe she was already dead... and also, not least because the idea of an 81 year-old hurtling round some cliff-top road in an open top, red sports car is IMHO slightly ridiculous.

It was nonetheless lovely that we got scenes of Rita asking after Elsie, rather than simply ignoring hers and Dennis's history.

John in Cincinnati said...

I disagree with John McE's comments..who BUT Elsie would be driving a red sports car at 81?? I for one am glad to hear that she died in her old age having fun.

Merseytart said...

Wasn't Ray Langton married to a man in the Viva Las Vegas video? Not to mention the fact that he was living in Vegas in the first place. None of which was brought up when he returned...

Dolly Tubb said...

Well, I'm a long-time Corrie fan and I haven't seen the video in question so I am very happy with this explanation of Elsie's demise. It's a really suitable, well thought through and dramatic end to one of the Street's iconic characters.

And as to it being slightly ridiculous having an 81 year old in a sports car - I'll just go and ask my 86 year old Aunty Sarah to leave the MR2 behind next time she goes shopping. ALthough it is a blue one - perhaps that's OK and age appropriate, John McE?

Nemo said...

Merseytart - I have the Viva Las Vegas video. Ray comes out with all that "I'm married to a bloke" because he doesn't believe Vera's stories from the Street since he's been gone, and puts it down to her being tiddly ("No more for 'er - sad ol' drunk!"). His claim of being married to a man is purely fantasy to mess with Vera's tipsy head! And I'm definitely sure Vera/Jack mentioned the Las Vegas thing when Ray returned in 2005.

JohnMcE - those events may have happened in the video, but Elsie's death (not to mention Linda's apparent 1987 return to the Street) have never been referred to in the series proper. The video is standalone... something not part of the series canon!

Anonymous said...

The thought of Elsie driving over a cliff hand in hand with Bill is one that fits the character. I imagine a small stream of blood lining from her mouth, a fag in her fingers out the window, As for Ena, I wish someone would uncover her demise. There are so many iconic characters who we hear no more of who we should. Does Betty ever hear from Maggie? Is percy still the neighbourhood watch warden at mayfield court? Answers to these questions would add a touch of realism. I love the way we now know how Elsie passed.

John McE said...

You are of course entitled to your opinion Nemo, but I really don't see why you would think that a video produced by the same team that made the TV programme, to be sold to the then current watchers of the show wouldn't be canon. It certainly doesn't make sense to me.

And I'm fairly certain that, some years after Ena left the show, there was a brief mention that she had died.

Tvor said...

I'm loving the image of Elsie, 80 years old but still dying her hair flame red, zipping about in a red sports car!!

Anonymous said...

John McE, the only reference I can think is when Ken has said of Ena, 'long since passed' but no more than that. Perhaps one day her grandchild colin will return and let us viewers know....

Anonymous said...

I think Pat Phoenix would love the ending described by Dennis for Elsie. Julie Goodyear once stated that in her opinion the reason Pat left the show was that she would not have wanted Elsie to end up in the snug wearing a hairnet- this ending provides us with the image of Elsie doing quite the opposite, living life to the full right to the end. Elsie was always a dirty great optimist and looks like she found her pot of gold at the end of the rainbow in the end afterall.

Nathan Lloyd said...

Deirdre also said in the late '80s that recent events on the Street would have had "Ena Sharples spinning in her grave." So her death has been confirmed within the show's continuity and the characters were clearly informed off-screen. I'm hoping that Dennis will ask about what happened to a lot of the residents and then Emily or Rita will be able to explain what happened to the likes of Annie Walker and Ena Sharples, thus solving all of the Street's greatest mysteries.

Anonymous said...

I can't pass through Whaley Bridge without thinking of little Minnie Caldwell.

Anonymous said...

Which episode, and which events, Nathan? I have all the late 1980s epiaodes and Deirdre doesn't say any such thing.

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