As if poor Tyrone Dobbs hasn’t suffered enough, having been threatened, hit and made to feel increasingly isolated by abusive partner Kirsty Soames. But next week’s episodes will see Ty endure his worst beating to date – and it’s an act that forces him to consider leaving Weatherfield.
After finding text messages from Fiz on his mobile, Kirsty decides to surreptitiously take Ty’s phone and keys to work with her, effectively imprisoning him in their home with baby daughter Ruby. So does Tyrone suspect what she’s up to and how does he go about broaching the subject when Kirsty returns from the factory?
“He just kind of flippantly says, ‘oh you haven’t seen my keys have you, or my phone?’ And she gives him the keys back and says it must have been a mistake, but I think Tyrone knows better,” says actor Alan Halsall. “She claims that she doesn’t have the phone, which does worry Tyrone.”
Later on, he finds his missing mobile and confronts Kirsty with his discovery. Mad with jealousy, Kirsty accuses Tyrone of being untrustworthy and lashes out with her worst attack to date. In a scene that will make for uncomfortable viewing for some viewers, Tyrone is beaten to the floor where he cowers as the blows rain down. So how does the confrontation leave him feeling?
“It’s a really touchy situation for him this time because he’s now at a different stage in his life. I don’t think he is in love with Kirsty, whereas I think, with the other beatings, he was in love with her. He’s just been taking it for the sake of the baby but now he starts to see that there is no way out – and that is when he starts to think about doing other things.
“This is quite a bad beating because he ends up on the floor and then she kicks him. So the physical side is bad, but then she makes him apologise for the things that he’s done. When he doesn’t really apologise, she pulls his hair and he’s screaming. It’s a horrible place for him to be, not just physically but mentally. It puts him in a really dark place.”
So much so that, while taking painkillers afterwards, we see Tyrone contemplating a bottle of pills. Are we supposed to think that he’s thinking of suicide?
“In all honesty,” says Halsall, “I remember doing the scene, and I thought, I’m not sure that Tyrone is at that place where he would contemplate taking his own life. I genuinely don’t think he’s there. I think he is just stuck for a way out. It’s a cry for help. The problem is that he knows he’s at a crossroads, he knows something has to change, but he just doesn’t know how to go about it. And I think that is what creeps into his head regarding the painkillers.”
Thankfully, Tyrone snaps out of his bleak state of mind following a murmur from Ruby and, after realising that his daughter is the most important person in the world to him, the desperate dad decides to take decisive action:
“He knows something has to change in their life and their relationship. He’s really struggling for options and the only way he way can see through it is to take Ruby while Kirsty isn’t there and just run, otherwise he can’t see a way out, which is why he’s been trapped in this situation for so long.”
So after begging Tommy for help to get him away from the neighbourhood, Tyrone puts in motion plans to take a bus out of Weatherfield. What he hasn’t counted on though is his ally Fiz coming up with another option. Her plan? For Tyrone to stay on Coronation Street so that he can wed Kirsty and gain parental rights for Ruby in the process:
“Tyrone gets to that place where he’s on the bus and he is going. He really is devoid of ideas now. But Fiz stops him and says that he needs to his name on the birth certificate. Tyrone is very confused and conflicted because he knows that if he goes through with the plan then he has to go back to Kirsty. And that is not where he wants to be right now.
“I’m not sure he fears for his life, but I think he is becoming more and more scared of her and scared of the violence. But actually I think he is really scared at the prospect of losing Ruby.”
Find out whether Tyrone turns his back on Weatherfield or goes through with Fiz’s plan in next week’s episodes of Coronation Street.