(Series 10, ep.7) “Waterloo Road is home to a bunch of highly sophisticated cyber criminals,” said Allie upon seeing the school’s IT systems being dismantled and computers being removed by the police. When did these revered and relied-upon learning aids become Evidence? When Leo inexpertly hacked into the system of that mega corporation Wire Data. Because Waterloo Road isn’t full of sophisticated cyber criminals, as Allie knew because she was being witty and ironic. It’s home to Kevin Chalk, who knows his way round a computer, and Leo Fitzgerald, who would love to be a sophisticated cyber criminal but is actually a bit of an idiot.
Were Kevin’s actions based on supporting Audrey’s campaign against Wire Data, who are endangering the crested tit (“It could become the dodo of its day,” according to Audrey)? Nope. It was all to prove that he’s still the smartest boy in the school, even after his stroke. He impressed the boss of Wire Data, anyhow, and he didn’t even have to mention his phone app fortune. And just in case Mr Wire Data was thinking of prosecuting (he was), Kevin had found a secret hidden laptop and installed a worm on Wire’s system as “insurance.”
Speaking of worms, I still don’t quite buy the Romeo and Juliet scenario that’s been developing in the Westbrook/Fitzgerald garage. Tiffany is clearly smitten by Sulky Justin, but I think he’s just using her to wind up his dad and Allie. When the news of the relationship got out, it looked like the plan was working, with Allie and Vaughan arguing about what to do. But will Allie convince Vaughan to send Justin away to boarding school?
Someone else who’s thinking of moving away is Sue Twinkle-Spark. Not having any computer backup highlighted how much she hates teaching and how useless she is at it: “All my lesson plans are on my laptop.” But the real reason she wants to flee Scotland’s most surreal school is to get away from Hector Reid and his irresistible charms. Twinkle doesn’t know that bit, obviously, but he was quite warming to the idea of moving. The problem is, Sue wants to go to That London and Simon fancies a rural location. Sue should point out to Simon that his legendary skills in helping These Kids are really wasted if he doesn’t employ them in a gritty inner city environment. He’d be on the next train to Euston faster than you could say “controversial new initiative.”
Another useless staff member who wasn’t coping without computers was Sonya. No computers suddenly meant she was thrown into an old-school world of taking dictation, writing notes by hand and photocopying. Lots of photocopying. At some point – and be careful, you might laugh so much you’ll rupture something – she managed to accidentally photocopy and distribute part of her short story, The Inebriated Adventures of Christa Meldrew. After this was pointed out to her, she had to run about trying to get the copies back before ‘Christa Meldrew’ herself could see it. Christine did see it, and shouted at Sonya, and Sonya packed up a plastic box with the cup cake candles and other essentials she keeps on her desk, and made a farewell speech in the staff room about what a fantastic teacher Christine was. So Christine told her to stay and offered her some tutoring to bring her writing skills up to speed. Heartwarming.