Tag Archives: Ceallach Spellman

Waterloo Road: Long live WR!

(Series 7, Ep.10) Whenever I think of Chris Mead, I shall picture him bounding like a young gazelle across Formby sands in pursuit of Finn and Amy. It was a magnificent feat of athleticism, and one which he reprised in the final episode of this term, as he jogged gamely along the platform at Manchester Piccadilly Station to save Scout and Our Little Liam from evil drug dealer types. Not a hair out of place. Breathtaking. Scout, however, was less impressed. She didn’t want to go into “curr.” She curred so much about not going into curr that she made Denzil swurr not to tell anyone that she was planning to take Liam, a fistful of drugs money and a packed lunch to That London on a train. But Denzil is a curring type of lad and he’s seen the documentaries, so he told Chris what was going on.

Chris’s hasty departure from the school premises in pursuit was badly timed for Karen, who was busy trying to impress school inspector Alison (Tracy-Ann Obermann). Throw in Finn, Josh, Amy and Lauren taking a turn around the school car park in Tom Clarkson’s car, via the cycling proficiency class helmed by nervous cyclist Daniel Chalk, and you have all the makings of what most school inspectors would term “failure.” “Your deputy head just seriously undermined your authority, minutes after four of your pupils were caught joyriding,” summed up Inspector Alison. Put that way, it didn’t sound good.   Continue reading

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Waterloo Road: And the bride wore handcuffs

(Series 6, Ep.20) Another term almost over, and head teacher Karen Fisher sat back in her chair to reflect just how well the term had gone. Both her daughters, Bex and Jess, had been saved from the clutches of a nasty pornographer and son Harry seems to be over his own “issues;” the teacher who’d been caught having an affair with one of her pupils was safely on bail and awaiting trial (and motherhood); Tom Clarkson is healing nicely and is over his agoraphobia; a nasty racist incident was swiftly dealt with; Waterloo Road’s first openly gay couple are doing very well; no-one died; and, most importantly, exam results are improving, single sex classes are working, and there’s the end-of-term gender-bending pantomime to look forward to!

You could forgive her for cracking open a Bacardi Breezer and toasting a job well done, but, as devoted Waterloo Road watchers will know, the end of term is not the time to relax. It tends to be the time when Something Dreadful Happens.

It usually happens in front of a visiting dignitary as well, so perhaps it was a mistake inviting the chair of governors along to the panto. It was certainly a mistake casting Kyle Stack as Cinderfella. He may have all the dance moves (how Holly Kenny kept a straight face when George Sampson was required to execute a “seductive” body-popping routine in front of her I don’t know), but his greatest skill is in winding up Finn Sharkey. Hence the panto didn’t go at all to plan, what with Finn and Kyle going toe-to-toe over the lovely Sambuca, Kyle being dumped from the production and Sam going all “you’re not a real man” at understudy Finn during the actual performance, when she was meant to be falling for the blinged-up prince.

Jonah (you didn’t think I’d forgotten him, did you?) used the panto chaos to escape from the school and rendezvous with Cesca to head for a wedding at Gretna Green. Chris Mead almost managed to stop them, but Cesca persuaded him to wait a crucial few minutes before calling the police: “We love each other and we want to be together – is that so wrong?” “Technically, yes,” said Chris, wearing his best sorrowful “Don’t do dis” expression. Continue reading

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Waterloo Road: Cesca and Jonah – the secret is out!

(Series 6, Ep.19) The thing with Jonah Kirby is, one minute he looks like quite a plausible boyfriend for a 20-something year old teacher (saving her from scary dogs, being a lovely shoulder to cry on after a hard day, being ever so supportive generally and a bit of a hunk). Then the next minute he’s kicking a football against the wall, or scrapping with his mates, and he’s just a seventeen year-old schoolboy again.

The Jonah/Cesca romance has been interesting in that it’s seemed to be a perfectly mutual, completely genuine thing – no coercion, no power games, just a mature young man and an immature older woman getting together against the odds. Proper Romeo and Juliet stuff. Except that we knew it couldn’t last, and we knew that Cesca was very much in the wrong in letting her heart rule her head and take her into a taboo relationship with someone who was supposed to be in her care. “No-one was hurt!” she protested to Karen after everything unravelled this week. On the contrary, Karen told her, Jonah has been hurt.

He only started to understand the extent of this in this episode, as he realised that taking his girlfriend on cosy camping trips with his dad and his sister is never likely to be an option. That he may never have the glittering career that everyone predicted for Waterloo Road’s star pupil as he has to leave school early and get a McJob to support his imminent offspring. Ronan told him that Cesca looks like a woman who appreciates the finer things in life and wouldn’t find life on the dole with Jonah all that attractive. Though PLA Jr pointed out that Cesca’s mobile phone is rubbish so maybe she’s willing to settle for reduced circumstances after all.

So, considering they’ve been ever so discreet and only ever had sex in cupboards and the art room in broad daylight, how did the secret romance become public knowledge? Well, it was mainly due to that famous lack of discretion, and Chris Mead having a diploma in body language. He can spot the difference between people discussing Spanish homework and a lovers’ tiff even through a fire door. Add this to Jonah’s odd behaviour generally, and Cesca’s shock resignation (she told Karen her father had had a heart attack and she was going back to Spain, when in fact she was bound for Gretna Green and a quickie wedding with Rochdale’s most eligible schoolboy). Chris got the final proof he needed when Cesca fell off a ladder and went to hospital for a check-up, and Chris pulled back the cubicle curtain to find her in a clinch with Jonah, and after that it was a short step to Jonah’s father and the police being called and Karen wearing her very best “I’m so disappointed in you” expression (though she always seems to be smiling at the same time, which undermines it somewhat). Continue reading

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Waterloo Road: The Ronan Burley collection

(Series 6, Ep.18) It was nice to see attention shift away from the Fisher family and on to one of my favourite Waterloo Road characters, the magnificent Ronan Burley. I love Ronan. He’s a cheeky chancer, always looking for a money-making opportunity (which quite often fails) and he’s a show-off, witness his marvellous striptease in the school uniform debate. But he also has a more serious side – facing up to his bullying criminal of a father, or being responsible about contraception.

This week Ronan showed a flair for makeup and fashion design, in a bid to capture the heart of Vicky McDonald. Ok, so she snogged him last week, but this week an apparently more tempting prize appeared in the form of Ronan’s work mentor Dan, played by hunky Will Mellor. A series of misunderstandings, mainly by Vicky and Adanna Lawal, who is turning out to be every bit as pious as Pious Kim Campbell, led to Dan being accused of taking advantage of a schoolgirl. Dan, however, said quite firmly that he “doesn’t date children,” which makes him quite rare among the adult population of Waterloo Road these days.

While Dan had been busy entertaining Vicky with an innocent pizza and a glass of wine (Wine? During a school day? Dan hadn’t wanted to appear “tight” when Vicky said she always liked a glass of wine with her lunch), Ronan was back at school fashioning a piece of haute couture out of a tartan picnic blanket. He wanted Vicky to have something to wear for the fashion show, little realising that she was already wearing a nasty-looking red halter-neck frock that Dan had given her. Ronan’s blanket dress was actually quite stylish, and I expect Stella McCartney was sitting at home with her sketchpad on her knee, scribbling away furtively.

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Waterloo Road: Karen Fisher – thick or what?

(Series 6, Ep.15) The thing about headmistress Karen Fisher is that she doesn’t listen. People (her family, mainly) start to tell her things, important things, and she changes the subject, cuts them off, thinks they’re talking about something else. She’s completely preoccupied with her own stuff, and those around her suffer. So this week the person who probably suffers most of all, son Harry, took it upon himself to cause a bit of mayhem by taking her phone and using it to send messages to her colleagues at the school. By lucky coincidence – or else he’s a Machiavellian genius – his emails were all perfectly designed to unsettle their recipients. For example Ms Montoya received an ominous note telling her that a grave matter had come to Karen’s attention. Cesca naturally thought this must mean her relationship with Jonah had been rumbled – unthinkable, as they’re so discreet. No-one will notice anything as long as it occurs in the bike shed, the art room that is always mysteriously empty, or the cleaning cupboard. Actually, since they only had a caretaker for a day, and they don’t seem to have school cleaners, there’s probably not a lot of use for that cleaning cupboard.

The messages Ruby Fry and others got had them so upset that Grantly Budgen summoned a union rep, and it was all a good chance for people to tell Karen what they thought of her. Everything got sorted out eventually, and Karen and Harry had a mother/son bonding moment on the stairs and went out for that classic peace-making snack, the pizza.

Meanwhile, as Karen sorted out the problems of her youngest child, middle child Jess was checking into a hotel room with the sleazy Hodge, who is using her to get at sister Bex. It’s going to take more than a pizza to sort that lot out.

The plan of segregating boys and girls in lessons is not going well, with the boys falling even further behind. Even a cunning scheme to motivate the boys by getting a local businessman in to run a kind of Dragons Den workshop ended in humiliation for Kyle Stack and a small invasion by the girls, led by Sambuca Kelly, who were angry that they’d been left out. Sadly the best invention they could come up with was a dating website. I know it’s worked well for Sarah Beeny, but honestly, girls, there’s more to life than romance, particularly when Jonah Kirby is already taken, Bolton Smiley has left, Josh Stevenson is gay and Kyle Stack is thick and unpleasant. That only leaves a choice of Ronan Burley and Finn Sharkey, and even if they concentrate full-time on romance it’s not going to be enough to keep a dating site busy.

Grantly Budgen and Ruby Fry went on a date, in the sense that they arranged to have lunch together and Grantly said “It’s a date,” as you do. But when Janeece told Ruby that she thought Grantly fancied her, Ruby went all awkward and made a huge point of telling Grantly how much she loved her husband and how she soooooo wasn’t looking for a relationship. After her little racist blip last week, Ruby was back on form, and I hope that this little double-act with Grantly keeps going because it’s very funny.

Next time: We find out what Bex did in her two-year lost weekend when pictures are discovered on the internet. And she wasn’t backpacking in Thailand.

Posted by PLA                     (more Waterloo Road here)

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Waterloo Road: Destroying a W of pie

(Series 6, Ep.7) Front and centre in this episode was Harry Fisher’s bulimia, which up till now has been a secret shared only between him and us. When he told his mum that sister Jess was planning to spend the night with school bad boy Finn Sharkey and Jess was grounded, Finn decided to take bullying of Harry to new levels (as a side note, what was Harry doing in the same classes as Finn and Josh? Aren’t they older than him?). This culminated in Harry experimentally trying to drown himself during a swimming lesson, but not before he’d snarfed a considerable quantity of quiche which Ruby Fry had lovingly fashioned into the initials “WR” to celebrate the inter-schools debating competition.

Of course, it all had to come out (which I realise could be construed as a tasteless pun, given the subject matter), and Karen went into guilt-and-blame overdrive. She mainly blamed husband Charlie for running off with Maggie from Casualty (who was at Waterloo Road for the inter-schools debating comp, so was very much in the faces of the Fisher family this week). Jess and Harry mainly blamed Karen, for her obsessive hero-worship of missing daughter Bex. They do have a point.

While Karen’s anguish  occupies large swathes of screen time, you badly need some comic relief, and this was provided by (the very wonderful) Ronan Burley. Now he’s got rid of nasty dad Martin Kemp he can get back to ducking and diving, wheeling and dealing like a Rochdale Del Boy. He set up a betting scam on the inter-schools debating comp which could only fail if he himself won. The topic to be debated was school uniforms, and Ronan took the “actions speak louder than words” approach by doing a striptease (or rather “a badly debated point through the medium of interpretative dance,” as he styled it) rather than actually debate. And very flexible he is, too. On whose planet did he think that this wouldn’t be a crowd pleaser? Presumably he was hoping to be disqualified, but as young Ruth Kirby bottled it, it was either let Ronan win or let the trophy go to a rival school.

The reason Ruth bottled it was because her father puts too much pressure on her to be a genius. She finally got the courage to tell him to stuff his Mensa membership. “Laters!” she told him. “That’s not a word!” he yelled – nice to see that some teachers have standards. “It’s my word,” replied Ruth.

And Janeece gave birth to her baby. It was a girl. Prior to the birth she’d decided if it was a girl she’d call her Cheryl, and if it was a boy she’d call it Cole. You can see a theme there. Turned out it was a girl, and Ruby Fry wants to call her Poppy. Poor Janeece – only moments after giving birth she was already apparently out of the charmed circle that was the new Fry family unit.

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Waterloo Road: Fisher family misfortunes

(Series 6, Ep 2)After Wednesday’s moody series opener, Waterloo Road was back doing what it does best – throwing everything and the kitchen sink up in the air and whipping it all up with a massive wind machine. Metaphorically speaking. They certainly do pack a lot into an hour.

It turns out that Karen Fisher’s family is way more dysfunctional than we thought. As well as the missing elder daughter and the teacher-boffing  younger daughter, there’s also a son who apparently has an eating disorder and a dad who’s having an affair. You have to feel sorry for Karen. Actually, you do have to feel sorry for Karen, because she’s played by Amanda Burton who is a seriously good actress. The scene where she talked to her younger daughter (who blames her for the older daughter going missing) about her feelings was brilliantly written and perfectly acted. “And when I think I’ve caught sight of her I think, ‘I’ve found you, it’s ok.’ And then she turns round, and it’s not Bex. It’s never Bex.” Sniff.

Meanwhile, cookery teacher Ruby Fry discovered that she’s probably left it too late to have a baby. While drowning their sorrows at the pub and bemoaning the lack of babies for adoption, the Frys were joined by pregnant Janeece, complaining about feeling tired etc etc. Will the Frys want to adopt Janeece’s baby? Or, this being Waterloo Road, will it all get a lot more complicated than that?

Anyway, it’s all shaping up to be a good term, but several questions are still outstanding, namely:

1 – Will we ever get over the loss of Steph Haydock?

2 – What has happened to Jo Lipsett?

3 – Is Jonah Kirby (Lucien Laviscount, left) an acceptable substitute for Bolton Smiley?

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