Waterloo Road: Back to school shocks

(Series 7, Ep.1) Waterloo Road started a new, 30 week, run last night at an earlier time slot than usual. The 7.30pm start was presumably to try and hook in some new viewers who haven’t been exposed to the delights of our favourite dysfunctional secondary school before.

Anyone who did tune in could have been forgiven for being slightly traumatised come 8.30. Indeed PLA Jr has announced her intention of spending the next few years “wrapped in bubblewrap,” as she now feels that being a teenager is just too fraught with danger.

But before we get on to that, what seasoned WR viewers want to know is who’s in and who’s out. Well, Cesca Montoya, Ruby Fry and Adina Lawal are out on the staff side. New teachers for this term are Eleanor Chaudry (Poppy Jhakra, previously seen on Corrie), who is a fierce, no-nonsense Tory who takes no crap from stroppy teenagers or softies like Tom Clarkson (a shame, this, as he’s her head of department).

Her polar opposite is Daniel Chalk the maths teacher (Mark Benton), the sort of teacher who practically has “kick me” written on his forehead. He’s been taken under the wing of new staff member number three. Robson Green (for it is he, playing Rob Scotcher) may just be an ‘umble caretaker (or “site supervisor” to give him his proper title), but he apparently knows more about teaching than you can shake a stick at. I don’t think I’m going to get very good odds for my bet that he’ll end up being promoted from the cleaning cupboard to the staffroom before very many weeks have passed. Talking of that cleaning cupboard, the Polish caretaker last term had only a small closet as his domain, but Rob Scotcher (will anyone call him “Hop”?) enjoys a bigger room than most of the classrooms to keep his bottles of Jeyes Fluid and his power tools and to flirt with Mrs Fisher (it’s time Karen had a bit of love interest, and obviously Chris Mead is out – that would be too spooky, what with Jess and all).     

Pupils-wise, Jonah’s gone, obviously, as well as Josh’s boyfriend Nate (and most of Josh’s lovely hair – did he cut it off in grief at the loss of Nate?). Among the newbies are a very amusing pair of twins Shona and Rhona (played by twins Hope and Millie Katana) and Hop Scotcher’s son Aidan (Oliver Lee), who is meant to be a hunk but actually looks older than his dad. Obviously Jess Fisher fancies him, but he seems to have his eye on Vicky MacDonald, who is Ronan Burley’s girlfriend currently. She’d be mad to dump the wonderful Ronan for him, but we’ve seen madder things on WR.

Which brings me (I got there in the end) to the plot. We saw a girl in WR uniform abandon a newborn baby in the school. It was later found by Rob, who quietly tried to alert Mrs Fisher, who was giving her traditional start-of-term address to the school. “Discreet” and “Janeece” never belong in the same sentence, though, and pretty soon Janeece was shrieking, “Miss! Someone’s left a bay-beh!” And the whole school heard, including Ali (Kirsty Armstrong), the mother of the child.

Kyle Stack thought he was the father, but it became pretty obvious pretty quickly that the real father was Ali’s stepfather. And a nasty piece of work he was, too. Karen Fisher sussed what was going on pretty quickly, but she didn’t deal with it especially well, choosing to ring the police straight away and leave Ali alone in the hospital, rather than letting the hospital staff know what was going on. Anyway, this gave Ali the chance to leg it with her baby, and she ended up back at Waterloo Road, trying to run away with Kyle Stack. Chris Mead gave chase, but he’s not as fast as he was in the days when he could pursue Fin and Amy across Formby beach for hours on end like a gazelle in a cheap suit. He still packs a decent punch though.

Anyway, all’s well that ends well, and the nasty stepfather was taken into custody, Ali and her mother were going to deal with things together, and Kyle Stack got over his disappointment at not being a father.

Meanwhile, Sambuca Kelly had been acting strangely all episode, being stroppy and horrible to Miss Chaudry, wearing glasses and producing very bad handwriting. A simple case of a trip to Specsavers being needed, perhaps? Or perhaps not, as the episode ended with her getting a nosebleed in Tom’s car and having a seizure in her front garden.

Next time: Has Sam got cancer? And who is the mystery bra sniffer?

Posted by PLA          (more Waterloo Road here)

19 Comments

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19 responses to “Waterloo Road: Back to school shocks

  1. remotecontrolled

    Good enough first episode back I thought, nice and dramatic at bits (though no exploding caravan!)

    2 things niggled me though:
    1) Clothes down the toilet wasn’t the best idea (at least that’s what it looked like) and good grief what a river of blood they produced!
    2) For Kyle to even have a chance of being the father they surely must have been together 9 months ago and assuminlgy going at least a little steady since which would take us into right beginning of last term. They did a good job of keeping that completely unlikely for Kyle’s character throughout last series.

    A little disappointed at the complete depletion of female teachers as well – always like a balance!

    Love it all the same anyway! Looking forward to the awesome blogs once again! 🙂

    • pauseliveaction

      Thank you remotecontrolled! And you’re right, even for Waterloo Road, the Kyle hidden relationship was a bit of a stretch of the imagination, wasn’t it? Never mind, we’ve learned to ignore these little implausibilities in very much the same way Grantly ignores his class in favour of The Racing Post. It’s there, but somehow in the background.

  2. BigBossyBoots

    Our telly died a couple of weeks ago, so we thought we’d go back to being the smallest minority in the country for a bit: a family without a television. Then we saw that ‘Waterloo Road’ was back so had a mad scramble over an extended bank holiday weekend to get our hands on a freely recycled one… We collected it at 8am on the morning of the Return! Was it worth it? Of course.
    I’d already mourned Ruby, and PLA had forewarned me of the disappearance of Nate, but I was unprepared for the loss of Josh’s curls (that boy needs to be out and proud about how nature made him), and Adana. I love a Pious Pastoral Care Teacher, me.
    But this series looks like it’s going to be as joyfully over the top as ever, with just the right amount of Serious Social Message about embracing Girls who like Girls who like Boys who like Boys who like Eyeliner. Or even, in the case of Kyle Stacks, Hug a Hoodie.
    (bigbossyboots is a blog alter-ego of saffronatstudy)

    • pauseliveaction

      The thought of Waterloo Road being on and not being able to watch it is unthinkable. Thank goodness you got a telly in time! Totally barking mad episode as usual, even without an exploding caravan – I’m very much looking forward to seeing more of the twins, who look like they’re going to be hilarious. And Josh’s hair has 30 weeks to grow, so it may achieve the lush loveliness it had when he first appeared.

      • Velocity Girl

        So Adana is gone? Does this mean there is no Pastoral Care Thingy Person this time round? If so, I’m thinking of running a sweepstake on which week the kids actually go properly Lord Of The Flies- style feral if anybody’s interested.

      • pauseliveaction

        Yes, she’s gone. There was a pastoral care gap between Pious Kim Campbell’s two stints in the show, which was filled – not very well, it must be said – by Tom Clarkson. I think that Lord of the Flies scenario will be held in check by Robson Green, who seems like the kind of man to not let someone speak unless they’re holding the conch. And quite right, too.

  3. idonthaveablogbutidliketocommentifthatsok

    Did anyone notice that Finn, who ended last term paralysed in hospital and told he would never walk again, was striding around cockily on a perfectly functioning pair of legs?!

  4. Emma Tyson

    I thought the girl who played Ali was a really good actor. Hope we see more of her.

    • pauseliveaction

      She was very good, wasn’t she? I bet we don’t see her again, though – it looked like one of those single-issue appearances to me.

  5. Jenny Barker

    She played that emotional part so well, very believable and natural. I think she will get more acting work from that. I hope they let the viewers know what happens to Ali though, would be a shame if we never saw her again.

    • pauseliveaction

      People usually vanish without a trace on Waterloo Road – my co-blogger Velocity Girl is still waiting to find out what happened to Jo Lipsett, but once you’ve left that staff room you’re forgotten about (unless you come back).

      • Sounds like The Silence to me… D’you think a Waterloo Road/Doctor Who crossover would work?

      • pauseliveaction

        No. Matt Smith would last about a nanosecond in that place. If the Doctor was to regenerate as Tom Baker again, I can see that working.

  6. Do you think Kyle and Ali are still together, and will Ali ever be seen there again or be spoken about?

    • pauseliveaction

      Someone (Fin?) did refer in this episode to Kyle being gutted that he wasn’t going to be a father. Sadly that’s probably going to be the last we ever hear of Ali, I think.

  7. Ellie

    has anyone noticed the kellys seem to have had about 4 different houses since they first arrived? understandable for a mother like Rose but why you would keep moving round the same estate i don’t know?

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