Note: The following article discusses topics such as suicide that may be troubling for some readers.
Suffering from Coronation Street
Producer Iain MacLeod, of Coronation Street, has shared long-term goals for Stephen Reid's storyline, averting that he might remain a threat on the cobbles for years to come.
Stephen left Weatherfield this year with hidden financial difficulties. He has been manipulating those closest to him in the hopes of securing a large sum of money.
Stephen has focused his attention on his mother Audrey Roberts and his niece Sarah Barlow, but the story will expand further in future episodes.
MacLeod teased Stephen's character to Digital Spy and other outlets, saying, "Desperate is the word, and he will continue to become more and more desperate, and more and more dark, as the story unfolds.
"We definitely brought him back with a slightly different spin than what we've seen previously." The beauty of this character really is that he's got such a long history in terms of his connection to the show and to a heritage family.
"But really, he's a blank canvas. If you look back through his archive scenes, we don't really know a lot about him." So we thought: 'If we're going to fill in those blanks and we're going to learn more about him, shouldn't we make him dark, dangerous, interesting, and scheming?'
"It's probably too light a term, but Machiavellian might be a more appropriate description."
"Stephen is a fish out of water and doesn't quite belong there, which I think will contribute to some of the behaviors we'll see from him in the future, and possibly years." So all in all, I'm really excited to have him back.
"Our viewers are super-skilled." Everyone was like: 'Ah, I've got him marked. He'll be a wrong'un,' and they'll be proven to be correct in no small measure.
"I'm interested in hearing how the audience reacts to the unfolding narrative once they realize that he's as desperate and dangerous as they were when he first returned."
Audrey had planned to set her money aside for Stephen to run a trust fund. However, this doesn't mean that the Corrie winner is out of the woods yet.
"Absolutely, yes," MacLeod replied, adding, "I always worry about Audrey!" I think any Coronation Street fan should and should worry about Audrey, especially because she is quite fragile at the moment in comparison to what we've seen on television recently.
"Audrey has gone through this depression journey and has attempted suicide. That makes her particularly vulnerable to Stephen, because she's clinging to him as something positive, the light at the end of the tunnel for her emotionally. He's not that, I believe it's fair to say.
"Audrey will certainly be a large part of the tale. She will not be in any physical jeopardy, I should say, but emotionally the stakes for her are quite high because she's placed all of her maternal eggs in Stephen's basket.
"Audrey and Gail have always had a very tense relationship, a rather complex one. Whereas Stephen, possibly because he hasn't been around, has been put on this pedestal.
"Audrey's family is likely to have encountered difficulties in their interactions with her. Going back a few years, obviously David and Nick conspired to steal Lewis's inheritance that he had left her, and they have finally learned their lesson, but it's a bit too late for Audrey.
"Audrey is mistrusting them and putting her hat in with the person she shouldn't trust the least, which I think is really interesting."
"I'm excited to see where this goes. Todd [Boyce, who plays Stephen], is a fantastic cast member. I love his performance. He's so amazing to be back in this role and back in the program and is truly accepting some of the darker and more dangerous aspects of what we're asking him to do.
"It promises to be a really amazing story for us, I think."
Check out Digital Spy's new Coronation Street spoiler from show producer Iain MacLeod:
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We encourage anyone who disagrees with the answers provided in this article to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the United States are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Coronation Street airs on ITV Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8pm, and it is available on the ITV Hub.
On our dedicated homepage, you can find more Coronation Street spoilers.