(Series 10, ep.18) The appearance of Ianto Jones off of Torchwood at the end of this episode has finally made sense of ten series’ worth of barmy madness. Waterloo Road is the centre of an alien invasion! Most of the staff and pupils are humanoid(ish) visitors from other worlds! There was another clue in this episode when New Marco told his science class that extra-terrestrial life was a “mathematical certainty.” Thank heavens that Torchwood are finally on the case (though I seem to recall that Ianto Jones is technically dead…). Continue reading
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(Series 10, ep.17) Family therapy time, and Yaughan, Pooky and the kids were assembled in front of a fairly useless-seeming counsellor, getting more upset by the minute. Yaughan refused to get involved, Pooky ended up in the ladies’ puffing an illicit fag and unburdening herself to Christine, Leo sulked and Justin ruined another school shirt by fighting and bleeding all over it. Continue reading
(Series 10, ep.16) Mock exam week and the pressure was on. Cycling Dale, who as we know hasn’t been eating properly/at all since we first met him (and has been purging at the other end with laxatives), is so driven that he even found a way to still train while taking his exam. Basically you ignore the exam paper, clench your fists and put your head down and visualise riding your bike. This does nothing to prepare you for those all-important exams, but Dale’s focus was all about sport anyway.
A double tragedy, then, that nobody apart from Lenny had really noticed he never eats and it all ended in him collapsing after a cycling trial. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Maggie has now determined to Keep An Eye On Him. Continue reading
To the action, then, and there was a Controversial New Initiative which involved a bike borrowing scheme which apparently had been cooked up by Vaughan and local bike dealer Mubbs from Holby (last seen on Waterloo Road as Sam Kelly’s oncologist). This led inevitably to a high-speed bike chase around the playground and the wider vicinity, and to Kevin Chalk coming off his bike and ending up in hospital with Maggie the Dinnerlady staring compassionately at him, like she does. He’s now planning to move to Havelock High because of their superior IT teaching and also to get away from being gazed at compassionately by Maggie. Continue reading
(Series 7, Ep.3) My usual approach to writing about Waterloo Road is to be all flippant and (ideally) amusing about it. Do they not know how hard they’re making it for me at the moment? It’s very tricky to be F and A when a beloved character has been smitten by a terminal illness. So let’s get the serious stuff dealt with first. This week, Sambuca Kelly discovered that her brain tumour is incurable. She didn’t find this out from her mum (who already knew and couldn’t think of a way to tell her) or Tom Clarkson (who knew but was too busy ringing round hospitals trying to find someone who just might have a cure that no-one else had thought of). She did a bit of research on the internet then took herself off to the hospital to ask her consultant which of the many pills she was on was going to shrink her tumour. He told her the truth – none of them would. She was dying. Holly Kenny is playing this difficult role with astonishing skill, maturity and honesty. Every tiny emotion is there on her face, and it’s quite heartbreaking.
Talking of heartbreaking, what is Vicki McDonald playing at? She was proposed to in front of the whole school (well, a representative selection of regulars and extras, anyway) by the magnificent Ronan Burley. It was all very romantic, with Grantly summing up the joyous mood: “The countdown to teen pregnancy and messy divorce starts now.” Continue reading
(Series 7, Ep.2) It’s 7.30pm on a Wednesday evening. You’ve had your dinner, done the washing up, homework is finished, everyone’s winding down nicely and settling down for an evening’s telly. And what does Waterloo Road decide to hit you with? A young girl with her life apparently ahead of her, being told that she has a brain tumour and the outlook isn’t good. So you’re already tugging that box of tissues closer to your chair just in case. Then, to pile on the agony, they throw in the story of a boy who’s always felt that he was really a girl, whose predicament makes him bullied, lonely, misunderstood and suicidal.
Then somehow it doesn’t turn into the misery-fest it could have done. Somehow it turns into a story of people coming to terms with the hard realities of their lives and deciding they won’t give up and give in, but that they’ll face it, no matter how hard “it” gets. And people are there to help them.
And somehow, even that doesn’t turn out as mawkish as I’m making it sound. It’s not one of those golden-sunset, soaring-strings endings from a TV movie on the True Movies channel. It’s Rose Kelly getting bladdered on vodka and Tom Clarkson having to sober her up and give her a pep talk about how it’s time to finally be the parent to her kids and be a support to Sam as she goes through her treatment. It’s Josh Stevenson trying to talk to gender-confused Martin and being knocked back because Martin isn’t gay; Chris Mead trying to talk to Martin about the problems of being a normal, hormone-filled lad, and being knocked back because Martin never has felt like a “lad” and never will. Continue reading
There haven’t been any regular Obs/Gynae specialists on Holby since the departure of the very much missed (by me) Mubbs and Owen. Can we start a petition now to have Paradis Bloom (Ella Kenion) join the cast full time? She was absolutely brilliant as the feisty, eccentric private obstetrician Sacha Levy drafted in look after Chrissie when she developed pre-eclampsia and the baby had to be delivered by caesarean.
I’m delighted to say that mother and baby (boy) are doing well, and grandad Mark “Jesus” Williams is delighted. Sacha was lovely as well – apart from insisting on Paradis he kept in the background, respecting Chrissie’s wish that he didn’t get involved. Right at the end, though, Chrissie told him it was ok to tell everybody, which was just as well because he was bursting with pride, and Michael Spence was bursting with curiosity.
While all this was going on, Jac’s mother got the news that only a perfectly tissue-matched kidney could save her. Guess who probably has one? Of course – Jac. She secretly tested herself, and has agreed that she’ll have more tests to see if she’s compatible. This doesn’t mean that she’s forgiven her mother for dumping her hen she was 12. Some broken fences aren’t fixed by something as simple as donating an organ.
Faye needed to think of something profound to put on Archie’s headstone. She went to Joseph to ask his advice, and he told her, huffily, to go to Linden.
It was the 500th episode! Hurrah!