Corrie Extra: Gary’s Army Diaries comes to ITV2

Gary’s Army Diaries was initially produced in three, 5 minute short films for itv.com/corrie just last month and following their huge success, shall now be re-cut and made in to a 30 minute programme exclusively for ITV2. Corrie Extra: Gary’s Army Diaries will TX Monday 31st January 2200, 0100 and Sunday 6th February 0830, 1415 and tells the story of Gary’s time at war with best mate, and the late, Quinny as they served together in Afghanistan, filling in the gaps on Gary’s current state of mind in scenes which viewers have already seen unfold on screen.

Gary has just moved in with Izzy. Unpacking his things, Izzy stumbles across the camcorder Gary and Quinny used to film their diaries of life in the army out in Afghanistan. Gary reacts badly, he doesn’t want anyone touching it, but after some gentle coaxing he offers to show her the films.

Gary and Quinny take it in turns to introduce Anna and Eddie to the camp and the other guys in the barracks. Gary and Quinny have become very good friends and their jokey banter is the lifeblood of the unit. In a quiet moment, Gary admits he’s missing Izzy. Gary and Quinny load the truck that will take them out into hostile territory and despite more horseplay, Quinny secretly ends the first film with a promise to Anna and Eddie that Gary will always “be safe as houses” when Quinny’s got his back.

Izzy is touched by the camaraderie of the lads and sees how much Quinny means to Gary. Tentatively, she suggests that it probably helps Gary to replay the videos, but is shocked when Gary offers to show her footage from the day Quinny died. She prepares herself…

Quinny and Gary get ready for their first mission into the foothills. Gary is visibly on-edge and Quinny mocks him. It’s all part of the unit banter. The convoy starts up and Gary and Quinny discuss the importance of their mission, but things don’t stay too serious for long and once again the jokey banter helps them avoid their real fears. In the distance, a lone Taliban fighter watches them with interest…

Back at camp Gary reckons he’s found what he’s supposed to be doing with his life. The lads are on a high and there’s even time for a quick game of strip pool! Gary loses to Quinny and everyone sees the funny side, except Gary that is! However, it’s not all fun and games and before long their back out on another mission. Everything is going according to plan until Gary and Quinny’s come into contact with an IED and there’s a huge explosion. The lads have been ambushed by the Taliban.

Gary is knocked unconscious and through the gunfire, flames and smoke it is only the quick-thinking actions of Quinny that saves him from certain death. Gary comes round, but it’s too late… Quinny has been hit. Gary cries out in anguish as there’s nothing he can do to help his pal.

Izzy struggles to take in what she’s just witnessed. She realises now just how close the bond was between Gary and Quinny. She also sees what Gary has now lost and tries to understand how he must feel. She tentatively asks how he was in the hospital, after it all happened…

Gary wakes up in his hospital bed. Battered and bruised, he struggles to take in his new surroundings. The nurse tells him he’ll heal in time, but Gary’s injuries cut far deeper than his skin. When his belongings arrive the nightmare really begins for Gary. He finds the camera and slowly, the horrors of Afghanistan come back to haunt him. Gary can’t escape what he’s witnessed and the flashbacks of Quinny’s death return again and again. He is stunned when he chances upon the footage of Quinny telling Anna and Eddie he’ll always look out for their boy… the tears roll as he breaks his heart for the loss of his best friend.

Izzy does her best to comfort Gary – she can see him opening up like this hasn’t been easy. Izzy reckons they are all heroes for what they’ve gone through, but Gary doesn’t see it that way. Izzy assures him things will get a bit better from now on and Gary does his best to agree, but as the lights go out and Izzy falls asleep we see that Gary still has a long way to go as the nightmares return…

Monday, 31 January 2011, 10:00PM – 10:30PM