Sunday, 3 September 2017

Videos Of The Week #15: Closedown Street Promo



It's late. It's very late. many apologies. This is all due to reasons. But here we are - the latest Videos Of The Week. Let's get on with it, you kinky bastards.

I didn't do it

First up, we have a beautiful promo for ITV's Coronation Street that has recently appeared, in which various iconic scenes throughout the years are re-created and shown from the perspective of the crew filming them.

I really love the effort they have gone to in creating this short piece, almost to the point of forgiving them certain technical inaccuracies, such as the director watching the action from the studio floor back in the 60s and 70s, when they would have actually been up in the gallery. These kind of things irritate someone like me, who knows how TV used to be made, but I suppose they have to use some creative shorthand in order to condense 57 years of history into 70 seconds. 

It's really nice when promos like this appear, seemingly for no real reason such as an anniversary or milestone and as someone who hasn't really been impressed by anything done by ITV in a very long time, I feel it's a bit of a shame they don't put more effort into the majority of their output. Put it this way: ITV are currently running this gorgeous promo, as well as the latest series of X Factor, which has surely jumped several sharks and really needs to be sent packing by now. At least Corrie warrants the above treatment.

There'll be a few tongues hanging out tonight

One sequence that sadly wasn't depicted in the above promo was the dramatic fire that destroyed the Rovers Return in 1986. Back in the days when such major incidents were few and far between in most soaps, it often seemed more impressive when they did happen. With apologies for the poor quality of the following clips (as the better version on Youtube has vanished), here is the great Corrie Fire of 1986, in all it's raw, shouty glory...

The action continues here...

Compared to the rather glossy, CGI-heavy efforts you often see these days in soaps, I actually prefer the raw effort seen here, in which you feel more immersed in the action. Also, you see something here that you probably wouldn't see now: realistic shock in the form of Bet vomiting shortly after stumbling back into her smoke-filled bedroom. It's a little thing, but I feel it really helps add to the raw terror unfolding and the real feeling that her number may well and truly be up. 

One thing that does pull you out of it a little is during the early stages of the fire, when you can clearly hear the sounds of the controlled special effects gas valves and the gas itself - something which is usually replaced with more realistic roaring fire sound effects. Indeed, such sounds are dubbed onto the later sections, as the fire brigade begin to battle the inferno. Clearly an oversight, but a bit of an irritating one. The moral of the story: Don't let Jack Duckworth near your fusebox.



We're off to bed now, however

We end with an ending, as we travel back to September 3rd 1988 and witness a rather ordinary end to daily proceedings on BBC1, back in the days when it actually closed down for the night and there was no more telly until breakfast. The worst thing was falling asleep during the last programme of the night and being rudely awoken as the tone kicked in after closedown. Talk about Shit Yourself Central. Thankfully, the tone is missing from this clip, but if you listen carefully, you may here the announcer clunking the fader just before she starts to speak after the last programme ends...

I'm off to play murder in the dark. Bye bye!

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