Spoilers for Coronation Street are underneath.
Chris Gascoyne, who plays Peter Barlow on Coronation Street, has revealed the first information about his departure from the role.
This week, Peter took center stage in a dramatic plot turn when he mowed down Weatherfield bad guy Stephen Reid on the cobblestones.
Show executives have now announced that Peter will be detained on suspicion of murder in the episode airing Monday night (October 16). As a result, DS Swain and her colleagues will have some difficult questions for him to answer.
In spite of the fact that fans will have to tune in to find out whether Peter ends up in jail, this plot point ushers in the beginning of the end for his tenure on the Street.
Chris Gascoyne, who portrays Peter, provides a few spoilers here.
When you learned that Peter would murder Stephen, were you shocked?
“The producer, Iain MacLeod, told me, and I definitely wasn’t expecting it. However, I was happy and eager to see how the narrative would turn out.
“I liked how it seemed to come out of nowhere as I was reading it. I hope it wasn’t what the audience was anticipating. Even though Peter had tried to beat Stephen up at the apartment and was enraged, I don’t believe anyone saw that last moment coming until it really happened.
Peter was one of the few individuals who was not in the street at that time when he suddenly appeared.
How did Peter arrive to the point where he was willing to murder someone?
According to what transpired over the course of the week, Peter became increasingly agitated and lost control of his actions. He was not making logical decisions. He had entered a strange location, which he occasionally enters, and he was unable to stop it. That’s what I believe has happened there.
He became so worked up that he had tunnel vision and believed he was saving the day, but was he really? What was his true purpose is where the tale continues from here? There is still so much to come in this narrative, which I have thoroughly loved playing out.
Peter had been advised to remain out of it by Carla, but did that make him angry?
Peter disregarded Carla and refused to let it go because he believed he was doing it for her. After learning what Stephen had done to Carla, he found it impossible to remain passive.
“I was shocked that Peter was able to survive that long. He had placed it on the back burner, but as more and more things came out, it re-ignited. After learning that Stephen was back on the street, he was eager to track him down.
That being said, I don’t believe he arrived there with the aim to act as he did.
To what extent did it matter to you that this was held back as a surprise moment?
“I was happy to see it handled in that manner. There are two ways to approach this type of thing: either you telegraph it and get the audience on board with what is coming, or you take the audience on the journey, as some people choose to do.
Or, in other circumstances, you may go all out for the shock factor, and I think that approach worked well in the case of Stephen’s passing. This appealed to me since I enjoy being startled or astonished.
When Peter is detained and interrogated the next week, how will he respond?
He is in disbelief that he is being detained and interrogated about a murder. He is positive that he saved Jenny’s life as the week begins, so he finds it puzzling to be questioned about why he ran him over. That is his current state of mind, and he continues to feel some level of justification for what he did.
Peter begins to doubt himself and his intentions, isn’t that right?
“Yes, he begins to doubt himself as other witnesses to what happened begin to doubt it. He begins to slack off, and a lengthy mental monologue begins. He begins to question what he did. Jenny was it in danger? Could I have made a different choice? Would Stephen’s arrest have been preferable?'”
Does this tale now belong to Peter?
“Yes, it is what appeals to me most about this. Stephen’s narrative finishes here, and mine begins. Peter is a person who struggles much with himself. It doesn’t matter how it happened in the end; he has killed someone.
“I can’t even begin to understand how it must feel. Could you ever unwind or get some sleep? He genuinely says, “What type of person does that? I have permanently removed another human being from this earth.” What do I become as a result? He’s afraid, too.
How does Peter handle how others are reacting to him?
The other point is that he killed a person who was well-known to everyone, and whatever that person did, he has taken away someone’s son, uncle, or brother.
“I believe Audrey needs a culprit. She does hold him accountable since she thinks he didn’t need to murder him. However, in Peter’s mind, he did need to kill him because Stephen had already murdered everyone else and was holding a bottle to Jenny’s neck.Underneath it all, Peter actually kidnapped Audrey’s son. He cannot thus claim, “Oh God, I didn’t do it.” In that sense, it’s fascinating that he feels so much sympathy for Audrey’s suffering.
What impression of Peter do you believe the audience will have?
“My main concern is whether they will forgive Stephen for what he did, if they would be glad that Peter murdered him to save Jenny, or whether they will follow the sentiments of other people. Will they think of Peter as a decent guy or as someone who deserves to be punished for what he did?
“It is complex in that regard, and I hope that’s the direction they go. I don’t want people to have a dogmatic viewpoint. They’ll have sympathy for Peter and Audrey, and I hope they’ll have some sympathy for Stephen as well.
What impact does this have on Ken and Carla?
“They are genuinely concerned about Peter, and of course he is taken into custody and it appears that he will be accused. They’ll always have the possibility that he may start drinking again in the back of their minds. Peter is greatly affected when he learns that Stephen had let Jenny go before crashing into him.
Does Peter begin to feel that he has to atone for his actions?
He is in hell and is struggling with terror, but as soon as he learns that Jenny is confident she would have been okay, his mental condition starts to deteriorate.
“As we all know, Peter has gone through a lot. There is no question that he would be tempted to drink, and he is aware that doing so would be a decision to numb the agony by killing himself.
“For him, this is a dangerous area. Even if he does time in prison, he will always suffer as a result of having stolen a man’s life. It will be fascinating to watch how he handles his issues.
He is a somebody who struggles with himself. It’s a man who, as a result of it, is unable to interact with others. He is beginning to have a strong gut-level and soul-level conviction that he is a killer. What I adore about it is that. People will be able to see how much he is suffering and how alone he feels.
Will this narrative be the start of Peter’s demise given that we know you’re leaving the show?
“Yes, this will have an impact on his future, without giving too much away. Peter is battling his demons while being detained on suspicion of murder. Even though he has always had many adversaries, his deadliest opponent is ultimately himself.
“He is the one who has suffered emotionally from his own actions the most, and we can already see this happening again. Audrey begs him to make amends for what he has done, he faces incarceration, and alcohol is on his mind once more. A tumultuous period lies ahead.
Are you happy that your departure brought about this change in the plot?
“Yes, everything simply worked out at the appropriate moment. I now know a little bit more about Peter than I did previously. I like him more and more as I learn more about him and get to know this side of him. It’s been fantastic to go into his depth because he has a lot of it.
Do you have any ideas as to how Peter will cross the street?
“Well, he just killed someone, so there are a lot of potential plots and reasons why he may not be alive anymore. All I’ll say is that I’m thrilled with my departure strategy. The scripts are excellent, and I am forward to see how Peter’s exit from the street will be received.