Monday, 30 September 2013

Corrie A-Z: V is for Villains

Corrie has had its fair share of villains over the years and each have kept viewers on the edge of their seats.

The first villain I believe was Joe Donnelli, who murdered Elsie Tanner’s second hubby Steve in 1968 and who held Irma Barlow and Minnie Caldwell hostage and held Stan Ogden at gunpoint in 1970. He shot himself in the end.

For the next 18 years or so, Coronation Street didn’t have any villains – apart from the odd burglar, robber and wife beater. Then Alan Bradley came to the fore. Introduced in 1986 as the dad of Jenny who became Rita Fairclough’s boyfriend, Alan became villainous in 1988 when he stole from and cheated on Rita. It was established that he had a temper, but nonetheless it was a shock when he stole Rita’s house deeds and impersonated her dead hubby Len. When she found out in 1989, he tried to kill her by suffocation. He was arrested and imprisoned until he appeared in court and got scot free. He returned to Weatherfield to terrify Rita by visiting her when she was alone and intimidating her and taking away her self-confidence. She suffered a breakdown and fled to Blackpool. Alan went after her and while chasing her on the promenade, he was hit by a tram. Rita’s nightmare was over.

While Corrie and EastEnders are very different soaps, I’m afraid Corrie did copy EastEnders with one character. While Terry Duckworth had first appeared in 1983, by the 1990s he’d become similar to EastEnders’ Nick Cotton – a sinister character who relished in hurting his family and neighbours. He often returned to the street to con his parents and even to sell his own son!
 
In the late 1990s, con men ruled the street. In 1997, Deirdre Rachid met charming ‘pilot’ Jon Lindsay. But as we know, Jon worked in an airport tie shop. Although he’d lied to her, Deirdre made the mistake of sticking with Jon and they planned to marry. But Jon had committed huge fraud and had included an unwitting Deirdre in his crimes. Jon had managed to avoid being accused while Deirdre was left to face the music. Jon’s actions led Deirdre to court and prison. But another woman who Jon had also conned and even married came forward and Deirdre was released. While poor Deirdre recovered, another Corrie woman fell for a conman’s charms. Sally Webster fell for Greg Kelly’s charms. But Greg was aware that she had inherited a lot of money after her mother’s death. He managed to manipulate Sally into investing in his new business but quickly turned nasty and assaulted her and kept her and the girls hostage. She eventually escaped his clutches and he was jailed.
 
At the turn of the millennium, Corrie’s villain was drug dealer Jez Quigley who made Steve McDonald and Leanne Tilsley’s lives hell and who was behind the death of Tony Horrocks and the manslaughter of Des Barnes in 1998. Jez and his henchmen nearly killed Steve after he testified against him at his trial for Tony’s murder, and dad Big Jim sought revenge by attacking Jez. Although Jez survived the attack, he later died from a punctured lung while attempting to smother Steve in 2000. Big Jim was sent to prison for manslaughter.
 
The next villain on the street is my all-time favourite – Tricky Dicky – Richard Hillman! Introduced as the cousin of Alma in 2001, he quickly charmed Gail Platt and eventually married her. But behind the family man hid an evil man. He left Duggie Ferguson for dead, hit his ex-wife Patricia with a spade, tried to kill mum-in-law Audrey and Emily Bishop and killed Maxine Peacock. And all because of money – well, apart from Maxine – she just knew too much! When he was cornered, Richard kidnapped his family and drove them into the canal. He was the only one who perished.
 
While Richard was trying to smother Emily on Christmas Day 2002, Tracy Barlow returned to the street and became the local bitch – ruining the marriages of Steve McDonald to both Karen and Becky and murdering Charlie Stubbs. Other Corrie bitches during the 2000s include Cilla Brown who neglected her son Chesney and tried to ruin Rita’s life by falsely accusing her of GBH; and Maya Sharma who was a love interest of Dev Alahan’s and when he dumped her for Sunita, she reacted badly by putting all of his seven shops on fire, and keeping Dev and Sunita hostage above a burning corner shop. When she found that they’d survived, she attempted to drive them down but was hit by a lorry and admitted to a mental hospital.
 
Builder Charlie Stubbs was a control freak who manipulated girlfriend and later fiancĂ©e Shelley Unwin by telling her she should lose weight and then making her agoraphobic. She accepted his marriage proposal but when she reached the altar she dumped him – much to the delight of her mum Bev. Charlie then moved on to Tracy Barlow but made the mistake of having an affair with Maria Sutherland. Tracy sought revenge by making out that Charlie was abusing her before hitting him on the head with a statue that eventually kills him. Tracy was imprisoned for his murder.
 
Demonic David Platt is another Corrie villain of late. He was traumatised by his stepfather Richard Hillman and sought revenge on his mother Gail for bringing him into their lives. He sent her cards, seemingly from Richard. And in 2008 he pushed her down the stairs when he found out she told Tina McIntyre to abort David’s baby. He also vandalised the street and assaulted many people and was sent to youth detention. He led a quiet life after that, marrying Kylie Turner. But then in 2013 he found out about Kylie’s affair with brother Nick and sought revenge by making a hate campaign against Nick. 

Tony Gordon was introduced as a business client of Underworld’s and became a business partner. He soon became unpopular when he planned to expand the factory and attempted to convince both Rita and Kevin to sell their businesses. While Rita was willing, Kevin was not. Tony then enlisted someone to sabotage the garage’s business. He also bullied pensioner Jed Stone to sell his house so he could redevelop the site. He became engaged to Carla Connor and when he found out she was having an affair with brother in law Liam, he arranged for Liam to be run over and killed. Tony and an oblivious Carla later marry. Carla confessed about the affair and Tony also confessed that he’s a murderer. Carla fled to Los Angeles. Tony then became involved with Liam’s widow Maria and they become engaged. While Maria was away, Tony suffered a heart attack and thinking he was dying he confessed to Roy Cropper about his misdeeds. When he survived, Tony tried to silence Roy by pushing him into the canal. Having a crisis of conscience, Tony jumped in and saved Roy and handed himself to the police and was imprisoned. But months later he escaped and held Carla and Hayley hostage at Underworld. He released Hayley before setting the factory on fire, determined to kill Carla and himself. Carla managed to escape and Tony perished.
 
John Stape was a very different baddie compared to the likes of Hillman and Gordon. Stape was a hapless villain – he didn’t mean to kill the people he did. His first misdeed was kidnapping Rosie Webster and holding her hostage at his gran’s house. He was imprisoned for that but married Fiz Brown in prison before being released and trying to rebuild his life. But yet again, John went down the wrong path. He committed identity fraud (pretended to be Colin Fishwick); he covered up the death of the real Colin (who collapsed of a heart attack during an argument); he suffocated Colin’s mum Joy; he murdered Charlotte Hoyle when she threatened to expose him; and held Charlotte’s parents and Chesney hostage in a cellar. John then went on the run before crashing his car and he died in hospital. But many of the situations he got himself to were hilarious and used a lot of black humour.
 
In the last few years, villains have included the likes of Lewis Archer (who stole money from the bookies and from Gail McIntyre); Frank Foster (who raped Carla Connor and ousted her from the factory); Kirsty Soames (who abused and manipulated partner Tyrone Dobbs and falsely accused him of abusing her!); and Karl Munro (put the Rovers on fire and killed Sunita Alahan).
 
Who’s your favourite villain? Vote in the poll below. And if you haven't, you can vote for your favourite moment from Corrie in the 1960s here. Voting closes at midnight tonight.


 
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6 comments:

Peter Parps said...

She may be an octegenarian but she is still a fine looking woman

Anonymous said...

If Richard Hillman had been better at what he did, might we have been spared the Platts? Cilla hardly seems a villain. She was too funny and not nearly mean enough. If being a bad mother were a crime, most of the Corrie women would be locked up.

70sStreetFan said...

Isn't it interesting that the only real villain in the show's first 25 years was Joe Donnelli- who wasn't even a regular character.But,then the show wasn't really a soap opera- in the true sense- until the late 80s. The characters were very true,and in real life you don't get many villains- at least not in the "soap" sense. Personally I find the modern soap "villain" very boring. Most of em are bad just for the sake of it,and that's just not interesting for me.
I've always found it particularly annoying when characters who were originally flawed but believable turn into the devil incarnate. Alan Bradley was the first of this breed,and Karl the most recent. The programme has lost many good characters because of this- when they turn evil their time on the show immediately is limited.
Interestingly,Owen- who seemed destined to become the next Charlie Stubbs- seems to have turned in the opposite direction. Now,he seems to have settled into a somwewhat headstrong,but ultimately believable character- somewhat akin to Len Fairclough,the type of character the show needs. I'm hoping he doesn't turn again. Ditto for Joe. I think he works really well as the type of feckless fella the Street's always had. But,then Karl started that way and look what became og him...

Defrost Indoors said...

Tony will always be my favourite bad'un. Btw I couldn't help noticing that the post shifts periodically from past to present tense. :)

Tvor said...

Alan Bradley was a great villain. Richard Hillman was more of an accidental one, he pretty much fell into villainy out of desperation, I think. Stape was hapless indeed, pretty useless as a proper villain but I really enjoyed watching him get tangled up in his own webs! I think up to now, Tony Gordon has been my favourite villain, really cold and ruthless and manipulative. Frank Foster has probably been the nastiest and lowest of the low since Alan Bradley and the only one i really felt deserved to die!

Anonymous said...

The on-going creep-show that is David Platt is my favorite. I love this character. He's such a loser and why any hot woman (Tina/Kylie) would even take a 2nd look at him is beyond me but there you go - only in soap land. He's got some 'splainin to do when Nick gets his senses back and then the $hit is gonna hit the fan big-time - or so I hope.

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