Waterloo Road: Noble Thoughts, good intentions and a miracle

waterloo road(Series 8, Ep.29) It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new head teacher. Time to knuckle down and get those all-important qualifications, yes?

Of course not. The start of the Christine Mulgrew Era, despite the loss of Cockney Lorraine and her ever-changing dress codes and the loss of Michael Byrne and his miserable face, was as mad as a box of frogs.

Carol Barry, unhappy that elder daughter Dynasty has plumped for a life of book learnin’ and domestic bliss with junior mobile app magnate Kevin Chalk, phoned up a fictional version of Jeremy Kyle to volunteer to air the Barry laundry on daytime TV. I can’t help thinking that if only Dynasty had mentioned the Chalk App Millions, Carol would have been  rather more well disposed towards young Kevin and would have been off sourcing a fascinator from a store with lightish security in preparation for the wedding.

noble thoughts waterloo roadBarry Barry, ever one for a money-making opportunity himself, laid on a mini bus to take half the school to join the audience of ‘Noble Thoughts.’ We’ll leave the issue of the TV studio’s lax door policy to one side (teachers just bobbing in and out practically at will) and focus on the show itself, which would have had Ofcom in uproar and the Daily Mail self-combusting. Kevin thought he was there to help Dynasty confront her issues with her mother, but the show was angled at him being a nasty little family-wrecker, and just to underline how dreadful he was, they’d dredged up his own horrible mother to tell everyone what a monster he really was. The point of this was to make Carol look like a paragon of maternal virtue, which she succeeded in doing stylishly by punching Kevin’s mother on stage. Kevin was embraced into the Barry family bosom and was invited for tea. Everyone bonded around a feast of Generic Fried Chicken.  

christine waterloo roadYou’d think Christine would have had an easy day of it back at Waterloo Road, what with the majority of her speaking pupils going AWOL for the day to the TV studio. But she had to contend with Nikki Boston being all snippy and undermining and Imogen’s mother taking exception to an alcoholic firestarter being in charge of the school and Imogen still seeing Connor. Naturally Imogen’s mother was not thrilled to learn that her daughter was now Mrs Mulgrew Jr, either. Angus Deayton properly arrived, as in he’s now in the opening title sequence. He’s gloriously offensive to everyone and has a high-maintenance Chinese wife. He put his name on the door of Grantly’s classroom, which he’s currently using. This made Verruca Salt and Harley have a meltdown because they revere Grantly and don’t want him to die.

grantly tom waterloo roadMaggie the Dinnerlady doesn’t want him to die either, but the doctor said it was time to unplug him. Tom Clarkson tried not to heave a sigh of relief at the prospect that he could keep both his kidneys, and instead concentrated on looking tearful at the bedside (in what was actually a very sad scene). But then – a miracle! Grantly started breathing unaided. Maggie’s prayers might have been answered after all, but Tom’s grip on his second kidney is suddenly looking more shaky.

Next time: Kyle Stack.

Posted by PLA          (More Waterloo Road here)


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7 responses to “Waterloo Road: Noble Thoughts, good intentions and a miracle

  1. remotecontrolled

    I really liked this episode. I think it was my favourite of the series – maybe because it doesn’t have Michael and Lorraine, Christine went all badass and stopped being a bit pathetic (and i think will actually be a pretty good head), the scritp writers made Nikki likeable and not pathetic (plus I couldn’t help but giggle at Heather Peace having to walk into the room with that crazy plant and say “Peace Offering”), Mrs Barry was glorious in chavtastic fashion and I thought Tommy Knight pulled off some pretty good squirming as a kid who’se bonkers mother drudged up a childhood of horrendous memories without ever laying out the story completely.

    I also loved the consistency irony that the two mothers they used as examples of parents concerned with Christine’s appointment were both mothers who came into the show in previous episodes for having their way with school children. And my absolute favourite bit I think was Audrey trying to control the kids in the studio and bobbing back down at the sight of security.

    Christine gives the best angry glares as well! Almost better than Karen Fisher.

    I’m dreading next week in a way – scared for Tom’s fate and maybe Grantly’s. We’ll see! I’m just glad they seem to have turned the show around again.

    • remotecontrolled

      Oh and not to mention Angus Deayton! “I’m sorry, was that English?”; “You must have been in it.”

    • pauseliveaction

      Agree with you about Tommy Knight’s squirming. Poor Kevin always seems to be given the most cringey dialogue, but Tommy’s a good actor.

      • remotecontrolled

        I love this interview with Jason Done, purely for the line of

        “Tom doesn’t exactly welcome [Kyle] with open arms, as Kyle shot his son Josh with a crossbow!”

        NB: full article contains spoilers but nothing the majority of us don’t already know

      • pauseliveaction

        Thanks for that link – interesting! The bit where he says he and PMB were the last men standing echoes what Tom said to Grantly last night. I thought that scene was really touching and heartfelt.

      • remotecontrolled

        Yes – I thought it was a nice tribute to both characters in a way as we all know the result. A poetic hat-tip that that era is completely coming to an end. I’m feeling more confident that it will be able to survive it though, I’m preferring to see it as a different show almost – but one with the same bonkersness and underlying relationships that I like!

      • remotecontrolled

        oh and by result I don’t mean the specific result obviously, just that the end is nigh in some shape or form!