(Series 8, Ep. 16) Thank heavens for the Barry family. They might be a tad over-the-top and cartoonish, but they’re funny and watchable and the three of them (Carl Au, Abby Mavers and Brogan Ellis) are all excellent actors. The Barrys are making Waterloo Road watchable because, let’s face it, the rest of the permanent characters are a bit lacking in oomph at the moment. There’s drippy Connor and Emo Imogen, who do nothing but look pale-faced and miserable for an hour and sometimes get together and sometimes split up – I don’t particularly care which. I liked Connor a lot better when he was starting fires, but he’s put his pyromaniac career aside for now. Out of the other pupils, Scout and Kevin are semi-interesting, but that’s it.
I miss the likes of Ronan Burley, Finn and Josh, Lauren and Amy, Sam Kelly, Chlo and Donte, Michaela, Janeece etc etc. So naturally I was very happy to see Bolton Smiley (Tachia Newall) pitch up this week. Tom Clarkson was also happy to see Bolton, looking Action Man-smart in his army uniform and just back from Afghanistan. Everybody said how proud they were that Bolton was doing his bit for his country, apart from Grantly Budgen, who muttered about “cannon fodder” and quoted Wilfred Owen.
It didn’t occur to anyone to wonder why a boy who’d gone to school in Rochdale would pitch up at a school he’d never seen before in Scotland to look up his old teachers – of which there were only two, and one of those didn’t like him. When he started having flashbacks about Afghanistan and Barry Barry found a gun in Bolton’s backpack, it was only a matter of time before there’d be a “He’s got a GUN!” stand-off in a classroom and non-speaking extras hurtling for the exits in blind panic. The day was saved by Grantly Budgen’s calmness, and throughout the episode the scenes between Grantly and Bolton were real and believable.
Elsewhere, Dynasty Barry was cross that Connor was still hanging around upsetting her new mate Emo Imogen. She and Kacey decided to give Connor a punishment fitting his crime and burn him. Well, singe him a bit. Seeing her pale-faced ex-boyfriend in peril was enough to send Imogen rushing to his aid and back into his arms against a suitably miserable backdrop of a derelict block of flats. If only they could be fun goths, like Rosie and Craig used to be in Corrie.
Next time: Is Emo Imogen pregnant? Please, no. She’s miserable enough when she’s not hormonal.
Posted by PLA (more Waterloo Road here)