The Cold Feet five have become six again. Creator Mike Bullen says Leanne Best’s character Tina – the new love interest of James Nesbitt’s Adam – is the show’s “new Rachel”.
The rebooted series ended this week with a sequence that brought most of the (surviving) characters and plot strands together on a Manchester rooftop as Adam celebrated his birthday.
Adam, whose wife Rachel (Helen Baxendale) was killed when the last series aired in 2003, appeared to get together with Tina as Karen saw off two marriage proposals – one from ex-husband David (Robert Bathurst) and another from ex-boyfriend Eddie (Art Malik).
And as far as Bullen is concerned, the central five characters who survived the last series – Jenny, Adam, Karen, Pete and David – now have a sixth in their ranks.
“One of the joys of this series is that Tina has now established herself as one of the six,” Bullen told RadioTimes.com. “The final shot of the show has the six characters standing on that rooftop and that is our statement to say that Tina is the new Rachel.
“She’s firmly in there and that’s why I was keen to dribble her in in this series. I think a lot of people from her first scene thought ‘oh, eye eye, something’s going to happen between her and Adam’. But I really wanted it to be very gentle. Because it’s difficult for a new character to join such an ensemble and have the audience accept them. And hopefully they will. On Twitter there has been good feeling towards Tina and hopefully that will continue.”
Bullen (below) confirmed that he did ask Baxendale, who played Rachel, whether she would make a cameo appearance in the new series “as a character inside Adam’s head” for the reboot but she turned the role down.
The plan was to have her talk to Adam before his wedding to Angela – and tell him not to go through with it. But Baxendale said no to reviving the character who was killed in a smash with a lorry in the penultimate episode of the last series 13 years ago – and Bullen admits in hindsight that it was probably the right decision.
“It wasn’t actually a very good role for Helen,” admits Bullen. “Because all she did was stand around and talk to Adam.
“She wouldn’t have been as much a part of the production as she had been [before]. She would have found it hard going up to Manchester and mixing with them all and not being part of the first team, if you know what I mean.
“I think it’s better, more realistic, to have people referencing [Rachel]. You could sense they were thinking of her but we didn’t actually show her.”
Adam did indeed go through with his wedding to Angela in the current series but it was short-lived. Bullen added that he did not expect Angela to reappear in series two but that he was currently writing a part for Ramona (Jacey Salles), Karen and David’s old nanny who reappeared in the final episode of the new series.
Bullen has currently penned the draft of the first episode of the follow-up which will begin filming in March, for an expected broadcast next autumn.
“I have cancelled Christmas,” he joked of the tight schedule he now finds he is working to.
In terms of how many more series he could make, he said: “All we have ever done is take it one series at a time and then at the end of each series saying ‘can we do another series?’. I feel there may be enough mileage for a third but obviously we have got to get the second right first. Beyond a third I don’t know.
“In the first run the audiences were higher than ever but we stopped because we didn’t feel we had anything to say. As long as we have something to say and the audience still wants to hear them we will do them.
“I would certainly be comfortable with two series, possibly three but after that… it’s far too long term to think about.”
As for his favourite moment of the most recent run, he says he has “got quite a few” but that one sticks out.
“The moment that really leaped up for me was the moment at the end of the second episode when Adam reveals that Pete (below) is depressed and it’s the final scene where Jenny walks in and sits with him on the sofa. I just think it’s beautifully acted and beautifully shot.
“It was on the page but in the hands of others it would have been ordinary. That’s what’s beautiful. As a writer what’s wonderful is when what you see is better than what you imagined in your mind. And in a way your mind is the perfect version and, when what you see is better, it’s joyous. And that moment I just teared up because it just nailed it.”
He added that the success of the rebooted show was beyond his wildest dreams.
“It was more than I expected it to be. My ambition was that people would say it was as good as the first show but a lot of people have said that it was better. I didn’t dare to dream of that reaction. When I wrote it I was just writing about me and my friends at that age and that’s all I am doing again.
“I had a lot to prove with this series. I didn’t want to screw it up. But I actually remembered to enjoy the process on this show.
“I moved up to Manchester and I just loved it and the chance to do it again is just fantastic. I am just a 56 year old kid.”
Cold Feet Series 6 is distributed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment and is available to now pre-order from Amazon.co.uk and own now on iTunes. Cold Feet Series 1-6 is available to pre-order from Amazon.co.uk