Tonight, as Coronation Street kicks off Super Soap Week, Stephen looks to add to his body count after he’s caught out. Has he really killed Tim Metcalfe?
It’s the moment Coronation Street viewers have been waiting for this week, as Stephen Reid’s (Todd Boyce) spell as Weatherfield’s latest serial killer finally comes to an end in a suitably dramatic fashion.
As we explore what’s in store, we hear from Todd, Joe Duttine (who plays Tim) and director David Kester about the filming of the episode.
After the recent discovery of Leo’s body, Stephen’s first victim uncovered on the building site that Ed was starting work on, Stephen couldn’t help but visit the canal to check on the status of Leo’s father Teddy, who he unceremoniously dumped there in his car roof box.
Tim (Joe Duttine) happened to be nearby at the time, having just dropped off a fare, and was curious as to why Stephen was poking around in the canal with a large stick. But when Tim’s phone went off, Stephen was spooked and made a quick escape without spotting Tim nearby.
As last week’s episode came to a close, Stephen was looking forward to escaping to Thailand with Jenny (Sally Ann Matthews) in the not-too-distant future.
However he hadn’t banked on Carla (Alison King) finally having undeniable proof that she had been spiked with LSD, or that she would realise that he was the only one with ample opportunity and motive.
Although Carla’s chat with DS Swain (Vicky Myers) didn’t get her anywhere, with the evidence of Stephen’s guilt only being circumstantial, off the record she told Carla that she believed her, and if they had any chance of catching Stephen, he couldn’t know that they were onto him.
Naturally Stephen just happened to be passing and overheard the whole thing, and when he then heard Tim’s distinctive Birdie Song ringtone as they passed in the street, Stephen realised the net was finally beginning to close in on him fast.
In this week’s dramatic episodes, Stephen is looking to make his escape as soon as possible, unaware that more residents are starting to put together the jigsaw that could see him live the rest of his days behind bars.
After discovering a printout of a one way ticket to Thailand in the office, Carla immediately informs DS Swain that Stephen is a flight risk.
Ignoring Swain’s warning to keep things quiet, Carla can’t help but try and implore Jenny not to leave for Thailand with Stephen, pointing out that he’s under police investigation and she could be about to head off into the sunset with a murderer.
Meanwhile, having heard about Stephen’s interest in the local canal dredging project, Tim begins to put two and two together and returns to the towpath where he saw Stephen acting shiftily.
Rooting around in the water with a discarded boat hook, Tim is shocked when a corpse’s hand rises to the surface.
Tim rushes back to his cab and calls 999, and whilst he is able to report the dead body, the call suddenly cuts off. Tim is aghast when Stephen then climbs into the back of his cab!
As Tim drives, Stephen picks his moment to strike, attempting to strangle Tim with a tie.
Although Tim manages to make his escape from the cab, Stephen soon catches up with him and whacks him over the head with an iron bar.
As an annoyed Sally (Sally Dynevor) waits at home for Tim, believing he’s skipped their wedding anniversary celebration to attend the Weatherfield County match with Kevin, little does she realise that her husband has now been dumped in the boot of his taxi.
Driving the car to some remote woodland, Stephen douses it in petrol and strikes up a lighter.
Is Tim about to become Stephen’s latest victim?
Stephen’s cool as a cucumber as he returns home and smoothly bypasses Jenny to take a shower to remove the blood and petrol. Later, once Jenny is out of the way, Stephen calls the airline to confirm his flight…for tomorrow!
“Johnny [Joe Duttine’s real name] is a dream to work with,” Todd Boyce told EverySoap and other media whilst talking about the scenes during a press event last week. “I had to cover his mouth with my hand and pinch his nostrils and I really didn’t want to do that. Well, I DID want to do that, but I wanted it to look good.”
“It was very up close and personal and I was there putting hand sanitiser on my hands and thinking ‘Poor Johnny!’.
“But it was great to do, I had to garrotte him with my tie but we didn’t really have to discuss it, we were just sort of in sync with one another. It’s just great when two actors can trust each other.”
“It was great to do something different,” Joe added. “It’s great to get out of the building, we were using this building a lot during lockdown so when you get to go out on location it adds a certain reality to it. For some reason you feel a bit closer to the crew when you’re on location, it’s like you’re getting a sleepover.”
“Todd’s just got no ego,” Joe continued. “He’s playing the main part but he’s really down with that. He turns up, does his job and sits where he wants for his dinner, he was a real joy.”
“You just sort of get on with it,” Joe says of the strangling scenes. “There’s no point making a song and dance about it, just trust each other and go for it.”
Although Joe had a stunt double, Tom Boney, he opted to do as many of the shots as possible himself.
“I think the only time I saw the stunt double was when he fell on the floor,” Joe explains. “And I thought ‘his jeans are a bit tighter than mine!’ as he hit the deck.
“I said that if we can, I want to do it. Obviously as a stunt man he’s fitter than me, stronger than me, and a little bit sleighter than me.”
“It’s very much for the stuff that’s dangerous,” director of this week’s episodes David Kester adds. “We can’t afford to have Joe injure himself. This guy was incredible, he literally just threw himself onto concrete.”
“There were a couple of shots up this street where I had to have my face on the the tarmac and they said ‘Yeah we’ve cleaned it‘” Joe laughs. “But I was like ‘Yeah right, how MUCH have you cleaned it!‘”
EverySoap can reveal that the scenes of Tim’s showdown with Stephen were filmed around Bilbrook and Peary Streets, just off Rochdale Road to the NE of Manchester city centre.
David explained how the choice of location was particularly important.
“We spent a long time looking for the urban location,” he said. “That place was incredible, we literally sent a team in to make it safe for filming, who just went and cleaned up all the syringes and other awful things that were lying around.
“Once it was safe we then we came in and replaced them with all our own clean syringes and bits of rubbish!”
“It was a great location as it’s not a million miles away, it’s hiding in plain sight. You know that Tim’s in danger and he’s not going to be found easily, and you’ve got these trains going past every five minutes which makes it feel like help is almost there but JUST out of reach.”
With Tim’s seemingly lifeless body now out in the middle of nowhere in the woods, will he be found or is it already too late?