Coronation Street finally fixed a mistake in Max's story

With a bomb planted at the Peace Market and a stabbing incident at Speed Daal, it's been a dramatic start to the year in Coronation Street.

The long-running soap's decision to explore the issue of far-right extremism with teen character Max Turner has provided opportunities for heightened stories and situations – the only problem is, nobody seems to care.

We're not talking about Corrie viewers but the Street's characters themselves, who've barely batted an eyelid over the dangerous times the Weatherfield community has faced.

Soaps have leaned towards exploring grittier storylines in recent years, but we've always argued that they're right to do so if they're explored with depth and sensitivity.

One key factor is the aftermath test: does the latest big event or shock moment provide genuine consequence and change for the show's characters, or does everyone quickly move on to the next crisis?

In the case of the extremism storyline, it's largely been the latter. When the Peace Market was nearly blown up by far-right gang leader Griff Reynolds in January, the incident largely passed without comment from many of our favourite characters.

While there were some cursory mentions of the community's terrifying near-miss, most of the Corrie characters who weren't directly involved seemed isolated away in their own storylines, seemingly oblivious or uncaring over what had happened.

There was a similar lack of response to Alya Nazir being stabbed at Speed Daal a few weeks later – a popular resident of the Street nearly lost her life, but it barely caused a ripple among the community.

alya, coronation street

It's a shame that this approach has been taken, as there's plenty to like about the storyline. Choosing Max as the character to be groomed into extremism by Griff, rather than a throwaway guest character who could be easily written out afterwards, was a bold choice that provided strong material for the Platts.

The show also cleverly mapped out ways to involve different characters – Maria as local councillor, Daryan as a refugee seeking help from the community, Spider as an undercover cop.

Corrie could have similarly worked out ways for the bomb and stabbing incidents in the story to cause a genuine impact among the wider Street, at least in the episodes immediately afterwards. Perhaps showing some nervousness over the nature of the subject matter, Corrie skipped over much of the aftermath and didn't dwell on what had happened.

One of the standout moments from Corrie in recent years was Gail Rodwell's mournful monologue at her front window when Aidan Connor tragically took his own life in 2018.

Gail didn't know Aidan well and they'd rarely crossed paths, but her reaction was incredibly powerful and a fantastic example of soaps' community feel at its strongest.

In a similar fashion, it might have been interesting to see a Weatherfield stalwart like Rita Tanner reflecting on Griff and Blake's actions and how they'd affected the Street. Or a child character could have asked a parent or guardian to explain the recent dramatic events – Stu and Eliza would have been perfect for this since they live with Alya, but again, there was nothing.

Meanwhile, some of the best moments in Max's story involved Gail's reaction to her grandson being groomed by extremists. Sadly, she has only appeared in a small handful of scenes and has been missing from key moments.

If Gail had been more closely involved, it could have been a great opportunity to reboot the character. Once a fierce and formidable presence on the cobbles, Gail has spent too many years only appearing for silly moments or being the butt of the joke.

alya nazir, yasmeen, coronation street

In Wednesday's episode (February 22), there was finally a shift in tone as Alya powerfully read out her planned victim-impact statement to her grandmother Yasmeen, ahead of facing her attacker Blake in court.

Revealing what she planned to say, Alya recalled: "My injuries only tell part of the story. I wasn't Blake's target. That was councillor Maria Connor. But even then, hurting her wasn't his goal.

"Well, it was – but he really wanted something else. To send a message to people who look like me that we don't belong here. To make us scared to go out in our own communities. To make us second-guess whether we'll be welcome when we set foot outside our doors.

"And for a second there, Blake succeeded. He did make me question whether or not I belong. He did make me wonder if I should go back 'to where I came from'.

"But I come from this country. I was born here, I grew up here, I work here. I'm proud to walk onto my street and know that I make a positive difference to the people around me."

alya coronation street

As Alya reached the end of her speech, she broke down and was comforted by Yasmeen. It was a stunningly-written scene with tear-jerking performances from Sair Khan and Shelley King – and it all came completely out of the blue after Alya's recent ordeals had previously felt brushed under the carpet.

Other highlights in recent days have included Alya seizing back her power by confronting Max at the secure training centre.

The Platts have also featured in well-pitched, hopeful scenes showing David, Shona and Lily visiting Max, where they heard about his genuine remorse and his plans to slowly redeem himself.

Suddenly, there seems to have been a shift in tone with this story – focusing on the characterisation, family and consequences that should have been there all along.

Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.

Read more Coronation Street spoilers on our dedicated homepage

If you're concerned about someone who's expressing extremist or hateful views then ACT Early has further information. If you've seen or heard something that could potentially be related to terrorism, then report via or call 0800 789 321.

If you've been affected by racism and racist hate crime, then organisations including the Equality and Advisory Support Service (EASS), the Monitoring Group, Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI) and Stop Hate UK are among those which can offer help and support.

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