Tim Metcalfe is a hapless Englishman, stuck in the middle of others’ drama, in a suburb called Weatherfield.
If you thought Steve MacDonald or Peter Barlow had fairly hard existences, think again.
Tim entered the show in 2013 as the birth father of Faye Windass, who is the adoptive daughter of Anna and Eddie Windass.
Initially he bonded with Faye, and became Preferred Parent, mainly because he had no ostensible rules or skills, and Faye could break free from Anna’s earnest, caring and loving parenting style for a bit.
To facilitate this, Faye cooked up a cracker storyline about how Anna was an unfit parent, with a view to going to live with hapless party Tim.
Initially it worked, with Faye happily moving in with Tim, and within two days he’d left her home alone, and by the Friday she’d only eaten toast for three days straight.
Poor Tim, we thought, it was a big step, and good on him for having that frosty pint at the Rovers all day.
It was as if he had loser stamped all over his shaven pate, and then along came …
Web of Doom
And if he thought life was a bit confusing and unfair up until that point, he hadn’t seen anything yet.
For Sally breaketh the balls, slowly and surely, and Tim was no Kevin Webster.
He was jobless, and (once the bogus allegations about Anna were proven to be fake, and party time at Cool Dad’s had come to a grinding halt – childless) Tim, without even a ladder like Graeme Proctor with which to start a climbing empire, nor a brass razoo to rub against another, craved a powerful career.
But with a bit of gentle fishwifery from Sal, he built a window washing empire from the ground up, and could reach the dizzying heights of success across the many windows of the Street; even Norris might put his hellish judgemental baby-boomer seal of semi-approval on it.
And Tim just sits through it all, eyebrows cocked in bemusement and sometimes bewilderment at the machinations of the partial humans falling apart around him.
He is Everyman, the bystander in his own life, the observer.
Most of the characters need affairs, whiskey, a light murder here and there to distract from the gutter boredom of Weatherfield.
Tim needs only a pint of Double Diamond and a space in which to stare ahead, one thousand yards.
He is the greatest character on the show, of this era.