Saturday, 29 October 2011

John Stape: In loving memory?

And so the Grim Reaper once again pays a visit to Weatherfield and this time collects "Mr Chips" himself. John Stape is no more. Weep for him. Or maybe not. Given that the character had only been around for a few years, he certainly packed a fair bit in. Sometime teacher, sometime café assistant, sometime murderer. It would be fair to say that he didn't particularly excel at any of these. He was a useless kidnapper too as dozy Rosie discovered on two occasions. John was like one of those shambolic supply teachers you used to get in schools years ago. Eyes like Bambi caught in the forest fire, paper trailing from an hastily locked briefcase, gravy stains down his tie.

For all of this though, John retained some sense of humanity and, even to the bitter end, a sense of humour. The character craved normality and a family yet was thwarted in all attempts to secure this - usually thanks to his own stupidity. Will he be remembered as a classic Corrie character or will we forget him? John has certainly been unique - deranged schoolteacher with misguided principles. Will his death be the making of Fiz who can now bloom, free of a disfunctional marriage?

John Stape - Hero or Zero?

8 comments:

Danny-K said...

No, I don't think he will be remembered as a classic Corrie character. Mainly, I believe, because the whole saga of the John Stape storyline from start to finish was utterly, utterly, ridiculous and one of the reasons I stopped watching Corrie so avidly. (That and the mad Tram crash, and the continuing obsession with crime plots - even though they've promised less devotion to 'crime' storylines).

Talking of crime - why hasn't Owen ever been punished for hiring some thugs to beat up Jim so badly that he ended up in hospital? - That's breaking one of the sacrosanct laws of soapland:

- cheaters never prosper!

But he is! And a betrayal of an unspoken but expected covenant between soap viewers and soaps.

However, even though I'm no longer watching Corrie 'avidly' I did catch the John Stape death scene last night and I must say that not only was it the character's finest hour on Corrie, it was also classy acting by Graeme Hawley. Watching Fizz sobbing alone over his dead body in the scene that followed felt flat lifeless - because Graeme Hawley as Stape had put on such a fine performance it cleared him, head and shoulders above all others, leaving the other actors trailing in his wake. In fact Fiz sobbing afterwards should have been cut as it diminished the powerful death scene prior to it.

Fiz of yeateryear was fine as a 'cheeky, gobby, factory girl', but giving that character deeper emotional scenes to play always fall flat on me, and 'break' the spell.

- But as goodbye death scenes go - the Stape one was top notch - and that was due, in my 'umble' opinion, almost entirely due to the actor alone.

Anonymous said...

I missed the second episode of corrie last night and I've tried twice to watch it today (usual story: got disturbed by phone call/door)
So I've seen John Stape being defibbed twice... defib.. hmm.. defib the fibber...

Stape will be remembered for kidnapping Rosie and being the worst accidental murderer there is.

Paul said...

A total comedy farce from start to finish brilliantly played by all involved. Although I dnt understand the decision to kille him off. Corrie has a bad habit of doing this to bad "men" characters. Charlie Stubbs, Richard Hillman (would have been better had he got away, left a lingering doubt over the platts) Jez Quigley..Probably more, seems an easy way out just to kill them off

Banana said...

ZERO. Sorry, but I really didn't like him or the storyline. :(

Tvor said...

No he wasn't a hero but by no means a zero either. As others have said, this was pure farce and black comedy. And played out brilliantly. I've enjoyed every moment though i do hate how Fiz has been taken down from a spunky independent woman to a spineless shadow of her former self.

Of course the men always come to a sticky end because men are usually set out to be the bad guys. But Anne Malone found her end frozen and Maya did end up crashed in her car and presumably banged up in prison once she recovered. So it's not just men!

corrierules said...

The accidental murderer! A perfect description Anonymous. I hope Fiz can regain some of her spunk. She never should have broken up with Tyrone... he's twice the man John was. Even Kirkeh was a better bet.

Frosty the Snowman said...

I always liked Stape and he was excellently played by Grahame Hawley but the powers that be ruined him with that ridiculous Rosie kidnap plot. Now he has gone (which is a real shame) I really think Fiz should be written out as well, the character wasn't missed at all whilst in prison and her screwed up face mode of acting does nothing for Frosty. And take the Totally Pointless girlfriend of Chesney with her, she is so nondescript I cant even remember her name.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they could have kept the character on instead of killing him off. He probably would have had to serve some time for disposing of Colin's body and for manslaughter (Charlotte). Tracy did far worse and actually did murder Charlie Stubbs but she's out and life goes on. I was sort of hoping for a better performance from Fiz but they destroyed that character when John Stape came on board. I don't get why they would have him tie up Rosie and try to have her memorize the sequence of events on the night Colin died, or how he killed Charlotte. He knows what a dumbass she is. Oh well. Goodbye Mr. Chips. There... I said it!!

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