Over 10 million viewers tuned in to see Ronnie Branning hand back baby Tommy to his rightful mother, Kat Moon, on Friday night, but the scene was not the original one filmed more than a month ago.
Producers of the BBC1 soap confirmed that a decision to re-film the scene in a different location, with different cast members, was made at the last minute shortly before the episode was due to air.
Originally, the scene that had been filmed saw Ronnie (Samantha Womack) storm into the crowded Queen Vic pub, in the middle of Tanya and Greg’s wedding reception, confessing to everyone in attendance what she had done, and handing the baby back to Kat (Jessie Wallace), who reacted furiously and had to be held back by Alfie (Shane Richie) when she flew at Ronnie screaming that she was going to kill her.
The scene en-captured not only Kat and Alfie’s reaction, but also the reaction of everyone around them, and the producers decided, after reviewing the episode, that a lot of emotion and tension was lost in the over-crowded scene, and that by including so many other cast members in the discovery, it diluted the plots main characters feelings.
Therefore, the decision was made for the confession and handover to be made in the back of the bar, originally just between Kat and Ronnie, but being joined half way through by their husbands, Jack (Scot Maslen) and Alfie.
With this change, the BBC accomplished the intensity, that such a conclusion to this controversial storyline, deserved, and the results were very powerful. In particular Jessie Wallace’s performance was breathtaking.
The bosses at the BBC had a huge amount of responsibility on their shoulders bringing this storyline to an end, 8 months earlier than originally planned, due to the overwhelming public criticism of the story. And although some people are still upset that the story was ever produced in the first place, i am sure you will agree that all the actors involved in this storyline played their parts fantastically, and considering the intense research and hard hitting acting they had to produce, admits such criticism, was outstanding.