(Series 9, ep.20) The end of another term at Waterloo Road, and by WR standards it went off without a hitch. Nobody died, Christine managed to stay sober and the only injury was Kacey Barry plummeting from a climbing wall and breaking her wrist (followed by dreadful first aid – how not to deal with a person who could well have had a spinal injury).
We left Connor and Emo Imogen bound for an exciting life of being a chef and a trainee actress respectively in That London; Nix and Vix off for their own exciting life in That Berlin (and what a lovely happy ending that was for Nikki Boston); Carol Barry sticking with George even though he isn’t rich; Kevin Chalk learning to walk again; Dynasty about to embark on a career in the bizzies; Kacey waiting for her wrist to heal before setting her sights on the Olympics; Christine moving in with Audrey so she can hopefully stay sober enough to teach English next year even if she isn’t head; and Simon Twinkle-Spark wondering why nobody likes him. He’d wonder that even more if he’d seen Sue Twinkle-Spark being kissed by his old buddy Hector Reid. Teamwork makes the dream work, indeed.
In other news, Gabriella Wark may just be about to turn the corner from Bitch Street to Acceptability Avenue, thanks to a timely heart-to-heart with Christine and the admission that she’s only been behaving like a cow to get her parents to notice her.
Tom Clarkson received a nice name-check from Kacey when she told Nikki that she was the only teacher since Tom Clarkson who gets her.
And Lenny won a tiny trophy for being the “most vigilant” student. Was this for his sterling work in trying to crack the imaginary sex-slave scenario?
I have to admit I’m wondering what’s going to happen to Waterloo Road now the Barry family has dispersed. They’ve been the most value-for-money characters since they first appeared in series 8 and I loved all of them. Barry was a complete legend, but I have such a soft spot for Dynasty, who’s a lovely combination of tough and vulnerable, loyal, feisty, funny and moral. Without them and without Nikki Boston, there aren’t really any “big” characters left apart from Carol (I don’t even know if Carol is staying) and George. I can’t remember a series of Waterloo Road that concluded with an episode that felt so much like an ending, in terms of so many key cast members having left. The school setting always means that there’s a turnover of the younger actors, because nobody stays at school forever (even if some of the “pupils” have occasionally seemed old enough to be on the PTA – remember Philip, the Oldest Schoolboy in the North?) but the teaching staff is also severely depleted at the moment. Let’s hope the powers that be are already working on assembling a top quality cast list for the next series, so Waterloo Road can continue to roll out its own brand of madness across the entire education authority, if not the world, for series 10.
More Waterloo Road here, and a new compilation of PLA WR reviews coming out in book form as soon as I can organise it.