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Sunday 26 November 2017


So.  Vic Reeves.  What was all that about then?

I'll say up front: I consider Vic Reeves/Jim Moir to be a comic genius.  Separately and together Reeves and Mortimer have reduced me to tears of laughter on many occasions.  So I was excited to hear he would have an extended guest stint on the show.  He's a talented, funny actor, and since he was unwilling to commit to a permanent role, absolutely get him in to mix things up a bit.

But something went wrong en route.  What was the point of Colin, in the end?  He appeared, slightly sinister, slightly creepy, smarming over Mary and Norris at the Mr & Mrs contest and hinting that he'd rig it in their favour... for some reason.  He then followed them to Coronation Street where, through manipulation, he encouraged Rita and Norris to sell the Kabin and the flat... for some reason.  After he took over, he turned out to be claiming multiple employees for tax purposes... for some reason.  Eventually, he got it into his head he was Norris's son... for some reason.  Which caused him to sell everything back and run off to Stoke with Moira, a woman he'd known for about a week... oh, you get the idea.

None of it made sense.  This wasn't a character arc, it was a rollercoaster of stuff.  Stuff happened with Colin, stuff that was entirely unrelated to one another, and then everything moved on.  Was he a villain?  Was he a funny character?  He was a little of both, but no good at either.

If you're going to have a big star make a lengthy guest appearance, plan it out.  You've got eight weeks of Jim Moir - you should know what he's there for, who he's going to affect, and how he's leaving.  It's going to attract publicity and people who might not otherwise watch the show; have the guest character's appearances reflect the absolute best of Corrie.  Make him the funniest the show's been; make him the most dramatic the show's been.  Make him something.  Otherwise it's a waste of everyone's time.

How about Colin suspected from the start that Norris was his dad?  That would explain why he wanted the competition to go in his favour.  He wanted to buy the Kabin so that his long-lost dad could finally retire.  It'd give him a reason to doggedly pursue this particular newsagents' over any other newsagents' in the world.  After weeks of investigating and searching, he finally confronts Norris, finds out the memorable time in Darlington he hinted about was a hospital stay, and skulks off, embarrassed.  The same basic parts of what happened during Colin's tenure, but, and here's the difference, it's underpinned by character and with a motivation that actually makes some kind of sense.

The show did this very well before.  Ian McKellen came in with a character who affected the lives of the residents, unfurled new facets to his character without dominating the show, and was then driven out of the Street for good, dramatic reasons.  He didn't just say "oh, Norris isn't really my dad?  In that case I'll sell the shop back to him and return to Stoke."

I'm not sure if there was a plan for Colin that was somehow derailed, a plotline that was abandoned for some reason, causing him to be lost in rewrites.  I hope there was.  Because the alternative is that the show just didn't know what it was doing.

By @merseytart

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Rapunzel said...

I couldn’t agree more, Scott. I’m from NZ and have never come across that actor before (is he Vic Reeves or Jim Moir?) so he doesn’t even warrant the benefit of the doubt with me.

The other complete disjoint was how out of left field and whirlwind his relationship with Moira was. I had just started investing in her as a character, and was especially enjoying her interactions with the McDonalds. And then whoosh! She’s gone. Like with Colin, I’m left wondering: what was the point of her exactly?

Lily Bigfield said...

Absolutely spot on,Scott. Nothing joined up in this storyline. I kept wondering where this was going and what was the point of his character. I thought the reason he wanted Norris and Mary to win the competition was that he thought he was his dad but, no, that was just random and that plot appeared to have been thrown in later. Added to that, the unbelievable speed with which he bought the shop/flat and moved in.... Colin came across as sinister, unlikeable and definitely unfunny, novelty celebrity casting that just went wrong. What a shame, the Street is badly in need of some genuine humour these days.

Anonymous said...

I think Colin & Moira should be kept in and their stories expanded get us away from the Connor family & Platt family who are just miserable, I thought they could have become more like Jack & Vera. The amusing characters like Gail Audrey Rita & Norris seem to be disappearing, and what has happened to Mary?

Anonymous said...

I-m just glad both characters are gone. Corrie is losing the plot.

Flo said...

Great post. I can't tell you how many times in the course of watching him on the screen I said "this is the dumbest story line ever." It was so badly written, I don't think an Academy Award winner could have pulled it off. And agreed, what was the point of Colin and Moira? I guess we'll never know.

Humpty Dumpty said...

I agree with everything you say, Scott, especially about Colin perhaps always suspecting Norris was his father. It would have made so much more sense. Was it a case of Jim Moir's agent pestering Corrie producers for a stint and then finally got it? Perhaps the writers expected Jim Moir/Vic Reeves to carry the role off without having to do much. There's a parallel with Pat Phelan's character. He was brought in without any expectation but the actor was so brilliant that they had to keep inventing new strands to the storyline. Granted Jim Moir was never going to stay as long as Conor McIntyre but the lesson is the same. Think the character through before they arrive (Colin) or return (Phelan).

Anonymous said...

Jeanine, Atlanta writes:
I agree with you 100% - actually I think Corrie should hire you to plot their storylines, your version made a lot more sense and would have been much more interesting to watch then have to suffer through what we did.

Anonymous said...

10000% agree....waste a time.....
Why do they hire "guest stars" when we miss out on regular cast. IE: Where is Leanne? It's been months since she's been on

Maricha said...

Great post, Scott and I completely agree with your idea that the character's motivation for staying on should have been his doubt's about Norris. Sadly I'm also certain that the reason why this storyline was mishandled is that the show dropped the ball yet again and not that any obstacle got in their way. Another missed opportunity.

Anonymous said...

They should never have tried to pair Moira up. It was a disaster waiting to happen..not funny...embarrassing scenes - especially the boink in the if.

Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis. Corrie goes from dragging things out to the point we are all bored, (ie.the Phelan story), in such detail, to the arrival of Colin with no clear reasoning and it's over in a flash. I loved Moira and wished a place could have been found long term. Sad that Corrie is losing its touch and credibility in storylines which are desperate and not well planned.


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