Rob Donovan and Tracy Barlow are to scheme to get one over on Underworld boss Carla Connor when they stage a robbery.
In next week’s episodes, viewers will see the factory become a hotbed of discontent after Rob is ordered by Carla to rejoin the workforce following his incendiary stint at the bookies. But despite owning 30 per cent of the business, Rob finds himself being treated like a dogsbody. It’s a state of affairs that soon leads to him taking revenge.
“He’s being totally disrespected by Carla,” says Marc Baylis, who plays Rob. “He actually gets put in the packing department, which is the biggest insult possible after he’d been running the business for four months. Rob takes things into his own hands by teaching her a lesson and stealing her silk. The whole plan is for Rob to become self-sufficient because he’s sick of relying on his sister’s support.”
Aiding Rob in his scheming is girlfriend who hasn’t reacted well to Rob’s new position in the factory’s hierarchy: “She thinks Rob’s being taken for a mug and that their reputation and standing in life are at risk. She wants them to be as affluent as they can be, which results in a huge rivalry between the lifestyle Peter and Carla can afford and the lifestyle Tracy and Rob have. Tracy wants her and Rob to be top dogs of the Street, so she fuels him in true Lady Macbeth style to pull a scam out of the bag.”
Rob’s big chance comes when Carla asks Tracy to pick up an expensive order of silk. Revealing to Tracy that he wants to hit Carla where it hurts, Rob explains that he’s organizing for the silk to be ‘stolen’ from Tracy’s van. So what has made him decide to turn Tracy into his partner in crime?
“It’s strategy more than anything,” explains Baylis. “They need to make money from the silk but Rob can’t sell it because everyone now knows him within the industry. So he gets Tracy to get on the phone and act as his sales representative. It’s a team plan and that’s the only way it’ll work.”
So does she prove to be a help or hindrance? “A bit of both,” he laughs. “This is Tracy Barlow we’re talking about! She does help and she more than spurs him on to go through with the plan, but it’s a house of cards, really. However, the robbery goes better than expected – Tracy seriously pulls it out of the bag and her lies are through the roof! Something happens which even Rob isn’t expecting; so much so that even he thinks it’s actually happened for real!”
But does Baylis really think that Rob has what it takes to cut it in the business world? “Well, if he sees a shortcut to achieve something he’ll take it regardless of the consequences. He’s always chasing himself so that’s bound to lead to problems. He has the capacity to be successful, but that’s his tragedy, really. He just keeps falling over hurdles at the wrong time. I do want him to prosper but I can see him constantly tripping himself over.”