No doubt returning disappointed from their soap award defeat, the cast of Coronation Street are about to set the screen alight this week, quite literally, with an explosion, a fire, a kidnapping, a proposal, the revelation, revenge and even, quite possibly, a murder or two!
Broadcast every night from Monday to Friday, the residents of Weatherfield will find themselves caught up in a huge fire at Victoria Court – but who is behind the blaze?
There are surprises and shocks in store in each episode as secrets and lies are exposed.
Tracy Barlow is out for revenge after Carla Connor unwittingly scuppers her evil plan to take over the Rovers with secret lover Tony Stewart.
With her Rovers dream in tatters, Tracy will be consumed by rage for those she feels have wronged her –
Tracy chooses Steve and Michelle’s wedding day to bring the whole house of cards tumbling down. She tells a stunned Liz McDonald about her affair with Tony before turning her attentions to Carla, sneaking into her flat as she sleeps. Does she have murder in mind?
And when fire takes hold at Victoria Court it seems Tracy’s revenge has gone to a whole new level.
Also in this roller coaster of a week Leanne is thrilled when Kal asks for her hand in marriage, and Maddie is stunned to discover the truth about Jenny Bradley’s plans for Kevin’s son Jack.
The fire at Victoria Court is the biggest fire ever seen on Coronation Street and was created by Danny Hargreaves and his BAFTA winning team from Real SFX, the team also behind the Tram Crash and the Rovers Fire.
Danny said: “This is the biggest fire and explosion we have ever worked on for Coronation Street. Bigger than the tram crash explosion and the Rovers fire.
“We had 30 large gas bottles and a huge amount of explosives. A special effects team of six controlled the fire ignition and we worked alongside the fire-fighters from Rapid Fire who also work on a lot of TV and film fires.
“The temperatures within the sets were extreme and I was very impressed by the cast who did some of their own stunts. Everyone had to wear fire-proofed clothing and all the sets are coated to ensure that nothing actually catches fire. The fire can literally be turned on and off in seconds.
“A set of the interior of the flats was built off site in a huge warehouse. For the exterior filming a drone was used in some of the shots and we had to be aware of where that was at all times so we didn’t blow it out of the sky with the explosion!
“The local fire brigade were advised of what we were filming but the effects were so realistic that a resident nearby heard the explosion and dialled 999. Even though they knew we were filming they still had to come out and check everything was ok.”
Behind the scenes, we can reveal that Carla’s flat was shot across 2 locations. At the beginning of the episode as Carla and Michelle prepare for the wedding, the flat is in the Coronation Street studio as usual and was shot on day 1. Once that filming was finished the set was stripped all of the dressings, including pictures and even the light switches, to be re-dressed in a completely new location – the Burn Stage – situated in another part of Trafford Park.
Carla’s Flat was completely re-constructed using a mix of fireproof materials called Superlux and a double skin of plasterboard and took 5 weeks to build and dress. New sets like Carla’s bedroom and the Victoria Court hallway, as well as a duplicate balcony, were also built in this stage.
All fabrics, including soft furnishings and clothing had to be made from natural fibres and the filling of the cushions, sofa and the padded “feature wall” were re-stuffed using a ceramic wool.
The exterior night shoots were shot between 7pm and 6am over a period of 7 nights and the interiors at the stage took 3 days.
The full week of episodes took 5 weeks to shoot and involved 80 crew members as well as most of the principle cast.
There is no doubt that this week will keep Corrie fans on the edge of their seats, the only hope being that everybody remembers the drama in time for next year´s soap awards.