Audrey and Ray enjoy being in the yard with each other. The Walkers try to contact the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. Ken is angry at David's recklessness. Val remembers that the Ogdens don't yet know and she and Ken go round to tell them. Emily thinks that the fact that a telegram has been sent means that the car passengers' condition is critical. Audrey tells Ray she can't face Dickie in case her face gives her feelings away. Ken and Val break the news to the Hilda. She grows hysterical. Albert thinks all that's happened is just fate, annoying Lucille. The Walkers pay for a call from the hospital to come through at 8.00pm to the Barlows' flat. Stan comes home to the news. Disagreeing with Albert's statements, Lucille upsets Ena with her atheist views. Albert is furious with Dave Smith when he suggests a bet on the news from Australia. Stan blames David for taking Irma away from them and argues with Ken. As 8.00pm nears, the two apologise to each other and they all go round to the flat to await the call. Dave feels an outsider in the community as he sees them closing ranks. Jack gently takes Lucille to task for trying to change people's beliefs. At the flat, Ken regrets being such a distance from David. With nine minutes to go, he gets a sudden cold shiver down his back. Hilda gets fretful as she waits and takes her temper out on Stan. Val tries to keep all their spirits up but a morose Hilda is in no mood for gossip. Just before 8.00pm, Ken loses his temper when Dave Robbins phones, holding up the line, and he yells at Val, taking his frustrations out on her. Ray asks Audrey not to come on to him too much in public. Lucille apologises to Ena. Emily muses on the technology used to connect the phone call over such a distance. Albert joins the Barlows and the Ogdens, likening the wait to the call to go "over the top" in the First World War. The call comes through on time. Over the faint line, a stunned Ken is told that David died ten minutes ago. As Val comforts Ken, Stan takes over the call and hears that Irma is suffering from shock and Darren is critical. Hilda breaks down, determined to go to Australia to be with her daughter.
- Audrey Fleming - Gillian McCann
- Ray Langton - Neville Buswell
- Jack Walker - Arthur Leslie
- Kenneth Barlow - William Roache
- Emily Nugent - Eileen Derbyshire
- Valerie Barlow - Anne Reid
- Annie Walker - Doris Speed
- Ena Sharples - Violet Carson
- Hilda Ogden - Jean Alexander
- Albert Tatlock - Jack Howarth
- Lucille Hewitt - Jennifer Moss
- Stan Ogden - Bernard Youens
- Rovers Return Inn - Public/Snug
- 13 Coronation Street - Back room, kitchen and hallway
- 14 Coronation Street Living room, hallway, kitchen and bedroom
- Fairclough and Langton - Yard
- This episode features the (off-screen) death of David Barlow after Alan Rothwell refused to return in the role and the producers wanted to feature Irma Barlow again. David had last been seen on 10th April 1968.
- TV Times synopsis: Bad news from Australia.
- Viewing Figures: First UK broadcast - 7,400,000 homes (6th place).
Ena Sharples: "I've spent a lifetime hearing bad news and I never get used to it."
Jack Walker (to Lucille Hewitt): "People like Mrs Sharples, Albert Tatlock and me - well, we're not going anywhere. We've given up asking the whys and wherefores of life - we just accept it. We...we just cling on to a belief - That's all we've got. Take that away and we've got nowt. So if ever you set out to destroy someone's belief, no matter how daft you think it is, make sure you've got summat better to replace it, for their sake."
Ken Barlow: "There's David ten thousand miles down the road and turn left - all we do is exchange Christmas cards and birthday cards and that could go on for the next fifty years, not really bothering, and now that he's injured...I want to talk to him."
|April 1970 episodes|
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