The drama continues all this week on ITV1 and ITV HD as Robbie continues his mission to round up those on Tony's hit list - and during tonight's edition, Hayley ends up with a gun to her head!
Not that I condone gun crime or violent behaviour, but I love it - take one of the serial's most unlikely and loveable characters and throw them into a hostage situation. Superb.
Anyway, back to business!
At last week's press screening, I secured a quick chat with departing producer Kim Crowther about Siege Week. As part of the handover period with new leading man Phil Collinson, Kim was able to spend a lot more time in post-production of her final eps - and by 'eck, what a swansong!
Here, in her last chat as Corrie producer, Kim takes centre stage to discuss Siege Week - the most expensive episodes Corrie have ever produced. What feel did Kim go for with the special bank of episodes? How much did the 9pm timeslot change the makeup of the eps? How difficult was the transition to HD? And where does Kim go from here?
"The only criteria I had was that Corrie should feel like Corrie, whatever we do. I don't really have any interest in making a different show within this one! We play some darker storylines sometimes - and this is one of them - but we always keep one foot in reality and believe the characters as we know them to be. And our characters are warm and funny, so even in the ridiculous situations, we believe them because they're still who they are."
Do you have any favourite lines from the episode?
"There are loads from these scripts. I really like Tony and Carla arguing almost like school children at dramatic points, where you'd least expect it. That's very Corrie. The bits where Hayley starts talking about liking working for Carla when Tony's becoming volatile are great, too - it's so Hayley for her to defend her boss! I also love it when Becky says 'does this look like my funny face?' that's a fab line. I'm going to use that at home with the kids!"
Are you proud that they're your swansong?
"I don't know how much has been made of this, but the timing of these episodes has just fallen like it. They told me that they had a special week of scheduling and they asked me to make it before I left, so I did! Luckily, it fell at a time where I was able to finish off with storylines and scripts when filming began on Siege Week and concentrate on production. I was very hands-on with these episodes as I had more time to dedicate."
"Yeah, definitely. There are shots in there that couldn't have been shot the way they are any earlier. However, I still think it remains Corrie. There's no swearing and it certainly doesn't suddenly turn into a different animal. That was my main concern at the time - I had to make sure that we kept true to the show, so as to not turn off the loyal viewers."
Did the switch to HD cause any difficulties?
"Yes, massively. It was quite a late decision to go HD for this week of episodes and with the amount of episodes we make, we couldn't stop filming while we installed the equipment. Bit by bit, we had to work around the clock fitting the cameras, conducting tests on the set, in post-production, in makeup, design on the Street - lots and lots of work was having to be done throughout the night while we were still filming other episodes."
Did any specific element cause the most problems?
"We're still having teething problems. It's all coming together, but post-production is the main hub of activity - it's all about getting certain systems 'talking' to one another. There have been lots of issues along the way and we're still learning."
Did you achieve all your Corrie ambitions while working on the show?
"There's loads more I'd have liked to have done. That's the problem, though, you can always be excited by it and never finish. But you'd kill yourself doing it. When we were working on these episodes, we had James Fleet join [who plays Robbie] and at the same time, Ian Puleston-Davies started filming as Izzy's father, Owen. I'd have loved to have stayed to shape Owen's character. You can go on and on."
"Absolutely. There are lots of stories that have had a lot of build up and are still playing out, so there's lots to come from him!"
Where do you go from here?
"I'm going home to have two-and-a-half weeks off with my children! Beyond that, I'll be working in the ITV drama department with a view to develop new shows. I haven't even thought about that, though, because I've only been able to think about Siege Week until today!"
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