Peter Barlow Arrested For The Murder Of Stephen Reid
Actor Chris Gascoyne has revealed that he is delighted that Peter Barlow is the person the Coronation Street producers chose to kill murderer Stephen Reid.
Chris says it was perfect timing that he had decided to leave the show just as they were exploring the end of the serial killer storyline, and that the aftermath of the death will have a huge effect on the recovering alcoholic in the coming weeks.
On Friday night millions of viewers were shocked when Peter Barlow mowed down Stephen Reid on the cobbles in front of Stephen’s horrified family and Peter’s wife Carla.
As these photos show Peter will find himself arrested on suspicion of murder in Monday night's (October 16th) episode and hauled in for questioning by DS Swain and her team.
Will Peter find himself on trial for Stephen’s murder or can he persuade the police that he was in fact the hero of the hour who stopped Stephen killing again?
Here Chris Gascoyne explains what is coming up in the aftermath of Stephen’s reign of terror coming to its dramatic end
Were you shocked when you found out that it was Peter who finished off Steven?
It was Iain the producer who told me and I was not expecting it that’s for sure. But I was pleased and I was keen to see how the story would pan out. When I read it I loved that it kind of came out of nowhere, hopefully it was not something that the audience was expecting. They knew that Peter was angry and was looking for Stephen but although he had tried to beat him up at the flat I don’t think anyone saw that last moment coming until it happened. Peter was one of the few people who was not on the street at that point and then he came out of nowhere.
How do you think Peter got to the stage where he was prepared to kill someone?
What has happened throughout the week is that he'd got himself more and more wound up. So he was not in control of what he was doing. He was not thinking rationally. He'd gone into some weird place that he can sometimes get into, and he can't stop that. I think that's what has happened there. He wound himself up to a point where he had tunnel vision and thinks he is being the hero, but was he being a hero? That is where the story goes from here, what was his real intention? I've really, really enjoyed playing this story out and there is so much more to come.
The biggest thing that is driving Peter is knowing what Stephen has done to Carla, was he frustrated that she wanted him to keep out of it?
Because he felt he was doing it for her he ignored her and wouldn’t let it drop. It was too hard for him to sit back and do nothing once he knew what Stephen had done to Carla. I was surprised he managed to last as long as he did. He had put it on the backburner but it was ignited again as more and more things started to come out. He was determined to find him and once he knew he was back on the street he was determined to get to him. That said, I don't think he drove there with the intention of doing what he did.
Was it important to you to have the shock value of that moment, that the audience didn't see it coming?
I was delighted that it was done that way. There are two ways you can do these sort of things, you can telegraph it and get the audience on board with what is coming and some people like taking the audience on the journey. Or in certain situations you can go all out for the shock value and I think that worked brilliantly for Stephen’s death. I am someone who likes to be shocked or surprised so this appealed to me.
So here we are, Peter is now under suspicion and being questioned by the police. What frame of mind is he in and how does he feel about that?
He is shocked that he is being arrested and questioned for murder, as the week starts he is certain that he saved Jenny’s life and he can't understand why he is being asked about his motivation for running him over. At this point that is his frame of mind and he is still feeling a certain amount of justification for what he did.
How do we reach the point where he also starts to question his own motive and doubt himself?
When other people who saw what happened start to question it he starts to doubt himself. He starts to lose control and a whole internal monologue starts in his head. He starts to think ‘What have I done?’ ‘Was Jenny in danger?’ ‘Could I have done something different?’ ‘ ‘Would it have been better if Stephen had been arrested?’.
So this story shifts now and becomes Peter's story?
Yes, that is what is great about this for me. This is where Stephen’s story ends and mine picks up. Peter is a man who is in deep conflict with himself. At the end of the day it doesn't matter how it happened, he has killed someone. It is impossible to imagine what that must feel like. Could you ever rest, could you sleep. He actually says “I have taken another human being out of this world forever, what kind of person does that? What does that make me?” And he is terrified.
How is he coping with the reaction of those around him?
This is the other thing, he has killed someone that everyone knew and whatever that person did he has taken away someone’s son, uncle, brother. I think Audrey needs somebody to blame. She does blame him because she believes he didn't have to kill him. But in Peter’s world he thought he did have to kill him because he had killed everybody else and he had a bottle to Jenny’s neck. The truth is underneath it took away Audrey’s son. So he can't say, oh, God, I didn't do it. He feels deeply for Audrey's pain. You know, so in that way, it's interesting.
How do you think the audience is going to feel about Peter?
Now the thing is here, what I’m really interested in is whether they will forget that Stephen did what he had done, and will they be pleased that Peter killed him to save Jenny or will they be led by other people’s feelings? Will they see Peter as a good person or will they think that he should face justice for what he did? It is multi faceted in that way, and I hope that that's where they go. I don’t want people to have a straight down the line opinion. They will feel for Peter and feel for Audrey, and I hope they'll feel for Stephen to an extent.
What about Ken and Carla and the rest of Peter's family, how is this going to affect them?
They are really worried about him and then of course he is arrested and it looks as though he is going to be charged. It will always be in the back of their mind that he could end up drinking again. And when he finds out that Stephen had let Jenny go before he drove into him that really affects him.
Does he start to feel that he should pay for what he has done?
He is in hell and he is fighting through fear, but when he knows that Jenny is pretty adamant she would have been ok, that really starts to affect his mental state of mind. As we know Peter has been through a lot and there is no doubt that he will be tempted to drink which really would be a decision to kill the pain and kill himself through alcohol, he knows that. This is a real danger zone for him. He has taken a man’s life and even if he goes to prison he will have to live with that, he will always suffer. It will be interesting to see how he deals with his demons.
Are you enjoying getting into Peter’s head through this story?
Yes he is a man in conflict with himself. And it's a man who can't communicate with other people because of it. He is starting to believe he is a murderer and it is deep in his stomach and in his soul. That's what I love about it. People will be able to watch how much he's suffering, he feels completely alone.
We know you are leaving the show - is this storyline the beginning of the end for Peter?
Yes without giving too much away this will affect his future. He has been arrested on suspicion of murder, he is struggling with his demons. He has always had lots of enemies but at the end of the day he is his own worst enemy, he is the one that has suffered at his own hands the most emotionally and we can see this starting to happen again. He is facing prison, the drink is on his mind again, Audrey wants him to pay for what he has done. It is a turbulent time ahead.
And are you pleased that your decision to leave has resulted in this in this storyline, and you being part of Stephen’s exit and this different exploration of Peter’s character?
Yes it just came together at the right time. I've learned a bit more about Peter than I knew before. The more that I know, the more that I see this side of him the more I like him, he's got a lot of depth and it has been great to explore that.
Can you give us any hints on how Peter will leave the street?
Well he has just killed someone so there are so many storylines that can come out of that and so many reasons that he might not be around any more. All I will say is I am delighted with my exit storyline, the scripts are superb and I can’t wait to see the reaction to how Peter leaves the street.