Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Mini-bus slippery slope

Holy crap, Batman! I knew the minibus was going to crash (who didn't?) but wow, didn't it look convincing? I didn't doubt it would be great to watch, visually, after what they were able to pull off with the tram crash. Well, they actually did flip the bus with a stunt driver so it was real in that respect. This might not have been quite as dramatic as the tram crash but it still caught my breath. The Manchester Evening News has an article on the night shoots and some behind the scenes info here.

Here's a run down with lots of screen captures:

It's awards night and everyone's up for a party. But Beth gets drunk and misses the bus.

Never mind, Tracy Barlow bags her spot. In case you forgot, Tracy used to be an Underworld packer. I suppose the only reason she wanted to go was the free booze and drinks because I can't see any other reason she'd want to celebrate her arch enemy's success! Michelle is also an ex-employee and contributed significantly to the factory's success. She's also Carla's best mate so her presence made more sense.

We're all in the bus and off on a road trip! I'm surprised nobody started a round of 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. I bet they would have if Beth had been there!

Oh dear, joyriders acting like pillocks on the road. (I absolutely detest that term "boy racers" and have nothing but contempt for it!). Steve is cut off and loses control of the vehicle which flips over onto the side of the road.

Which.... we discover, slopes down dangerously to a cliff. With no guard rail whatsoever and if I was in that van, I'd be suing the heck out of anyone from as many government agencies as possible. Maybe the bus might still have flipped but a good, strong guard rail might also have prevented it, bouncing the bus back onto the road, who knows?

Sinead had undone her seatbelt to retrieve a phone. Texting, kills, people! Ok, she's not dead but she's very badly injured. Everyone else is mainly bruised and battered. Great stunts here, with people hanging upside down inside the bus.

Steve is the first one to regain conciousness. Looking back, he probably thought he was in hell, in a bus full of his dead friends. He crept out, completely in shock.

Julie and Sean are next out of the bus and all they can see is a spaced out Steve who, after passing Julie his phone, gets up and walks off. He can't handle it. He's probably blaming himself but we know there was nothing he could have done. Walking away isn't going to look good on him but in his current state, this kind of shock very likely could break him completely.

Maddie and Julie are the heroes of the hour, taking charge and organizing everyone.

Everyone is milling about, helping to get the last few out of the bus, freaking out as it creaks and wobbles on the edge, comforting each other while Julie hollers at the Emergency operator to come now, when she's got a signal that is. Terrifying! Kirk is frantic. Everyone has regained consciousness except Sinead. They have to move her, they can't leave her in the bus so they must risk further injury to get her out.

Michelle has gone off to find Steve and find him she does, huddled in a pile of brush. He's sitting but he's bent over himself in an upright fetal position, clearly distressed.

But where's Carla? They all think she's been thrown clear or was the first one out. No, we can see she's wedged under a seat. Tracy's out of the bus and walking around to the edge and sees her through the window. Carla's trapped and whispers to her "Help me!" going by the look on Tracy's face, we're not sure if she's going to. Will she let her worst enemy go down with the ship? We have to wait for Wednesday to find out.

It's Wednesday, now. 
Tracy saves Carla's life. The others want to help but Tracy can feel the bus rocking while she's in there trying to help Carla out. You didn't think she'd let her go over the edge, did you? It might seem odd to you but think about it. She *saved Carla's life*. Carla now owes her. That, my friends, is the ultimate leverage. Tracy will be milking that for some time to come!

But Holy Crap, it was tense. Tracy pulled Carla out but then got caught herself, a seatbelt tangling around her boot! She nearly got dragged over the edge with the bus! That's Tracy's face after she managed to get out just in time
 .while watching the bus do this. Everyone is out and that last shift in weight is all the bus needs. It goes crashing over the gorge and down, smashing at the bottom. Empty, thank Heavens.

Out in the forest, we can hear the approaching sirens of the emergency vehicles as Steve is babbling about Lloyd's heart attack and Tina's death and none of it makes any sense to Michelle who can't talk Steve into getting up. But help finally arrives (they must have been told Steve went off and Michelle off to find him)

I love listening to the background music as it's often very much related to what's going on. In the pub, just as Beth is taking the call and the news then spreads about the accident, we can  hear Bon Jovi's Living on a Prayer from the jukebox. They all rush to the hospital to find out what's happened to their loved ones.

For the passengers of the bus, mostly, everyone's ok, bruised and shocked and shaky, but ok.

One by one, they emerge to the arms of their family and loved ones. Julie is a mess, no, she's not ok, and clearly suffering from delayed shock. Sally and Maddy are surrounded by Tim and Sophie and even Kevin comes to make sure they're ok. Kal is determined never to let Alya cross the street without holding his hand ever again! (He did try to contact Gary but Gary's phone was left in the Rovers Gents' and Jason wasn't contactable either... Gary and Jason had gone into town). Beth hugs her new husband who's really worried about Sinead.  Steve is having a panic attack and he finally admits to Michelle  that he needs help and the penny drops and all the pieces now fit together. Steve has just hit bottom as hard as that empty bus did when it finally slid down the cliff and shattered on the quarry floor.

At the end, Sinead is finally awake but she's got a back injury. Kirk worries that they had to move her to get her out but there isn't anything else he could have done. She'd have gone over with the bus if they hadn't moved her. She is scared stiff and admits to Chesney that she can't feel her legs!

So we wait for the fallout (no pun intended) and the recovery. Looks like Sinead has an uphill battle in front of her.

Steve will probably face accusations of his friends for not helping get people out of the bus. I'm sure they realize down deep that the accident isn't his fault though he will blame himself anyway. Walking away while people are trapped, though. That's cold (in their eyes), something you do when you don't care about your friends. It might be something you do when you're in deep shock and in a shattered state of mind. It might take some time but they'll realize it eventually. Steve also has an uphill battle for his recovery, a very different road than Sinead will have.

I don't mind telling you, my heart was in my throat during the crash and later, while Tracy was getting Carla out. though I knew everyone would be rescued. It was a close call, though. Real edge-of-your seat stuff. Coronation Street really pulled off an exciting few shows this week. The star of the week, though, has to be Simon Gregson for his portrayal of Steve. I think it was the best stuff I've ever seen him do and he sure knocked it right out of the ballpark. (forgive me, what's the UK expression? "Back of the net" just doesn't seem enough here. )

Superb stuff. Top notch stunts and effects. All the actors nailed it, true to their individual characters and situations. Full marks, ITV, cast and crew.

1 comment:

John Boisvenue said...

Must agree. I was on the edge watching this. I thought Steve might bounce back at the crash scene, however he was too far gone and went into further depression. Great week for Corrie fans.

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