(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
Tag Archives: joe slater
(Series 10, ep.5) Waterloo Road has always been founded on a passionate belief that “these kids” deserve the very best education. They deserve to reach for the stars, ain’t no mountain high enough and any number of inspirational cliches. It’s what head teachers from Jack Rimmer through to Christine Mulgrew via Karen Fisher have sweated to achieve.
Vaughan Fitzgerald, the current incumbent of the swivel chair of power, is a bit different. He apparently thinks that too much hard work is bad for kids, who should be turning themselves into well-rounded individuals via the medium of not doing too much of that tedious revision. “Exams shouldn’t be the tail that wags the school dog,” he announced confusingly, just as exam papers were being handed out. Continue reading
(Series 10, ep.1) There are always a lot of new faces at the start of a new term in Waterloo Road, and it’s sometimes hard to remember who’s who at first. They’ve made it stunningly easy this time, as every new character belonged to the same extended family.
New head teacher Vaughan Fitzgerald (Neil Pearson) is living with art teacher Allie Westbrook (Nicola Stephenson) and her two children, Floyd and Tiffany (Leo Flanagan and Sammy Oliver). They’ve only been at Waterloo Road for five minutes when Mrs Fitzgerald turns up and dumps the Fitzgerald sons, Leo and Justin (Zebb Dempster and Max Bowden) on their father before heading off to a medical facility in Edinburgh to have a breakdown in peace. Continue reading
(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. Continue reading
(Series 9, ep.14) Lenny Brown, perpetually in the shadow of his somewhat thuggish sister Lisa, is a gentle soul. He had to sleep with the lights on for a week after watching Slash Attack 3. Possibly it was because it wasn’t as good as Slash Attacks 1 & 2, who knows?
At the start of the episode he found himself in the local shop with Darren, out for a bit of light shoplifting and a browse of the magazines on the top shelf. They were chased out by the shop’s owner and his son, but not before Lenny noticed something that made him suspicious. Females. In the back room of the shop. “Young girls, faces full of makeup, in tight tops, acting weird, what does that make you think of?” he asked Darren, who had to have a little think because he’s not especially bright. “Rhiannon Salt!” he decided. Lenny had other ideas and pretty soon he’d constructed a whole imaginary sex slave scenario and worked himself up into quite a stew. He asked George Windsor for advice about what to do in a situation where you have a feeling something’s Not Right. George, who was busy trying to impress his mother (more of whom later) said it was important to follow your instincts and to act: “No guts, no glory.” Continue reading
(Series 9, Ep.10) I’ve absolutely loved this term at Waterloo Road. There were so many barking mad highlights – the magic mushrooms, the Mandarin teacher who spoke Mandarin less well than Kevin Chalk, Grantly Budgen being poetried to death, Kacey’s boxing ambitions, Verruca’s unfortunate selfies, Barry keeping Sue Spark’s pupils in check… it’s been eventful. I even forgot to miss Tom Clarkson most of the time.
Christine Mulgrew has been an excellent head, partly because she’s a rubbish head (if she was really good at it, half the mad incidents would never occur), but mainly because I look at her and I actually believe in her as a head teacher in a way I haven’t believed in a Waterloo Road head teacher since the sainted Jack Rimmer. George Windsor and Nikki Boston have been an excellent support, and I’ve enjoyed the story arc that’s seen Simon go from being a creepy, careerist little worm to being a more humble team player.
And above all else I’ve loved the Barrys: matriarch Carol marching up the slope at the front of the school to shout at people; Dynasty with her kind heart and performing eyelashes; Kacey and her beautifully expressive, vulnerable face; and Barry, the petty criminal whose arrogant swagger is mainly front.
This end-of-term episode saw Kacey about to set forth to America to spend a term at boxing camp, all paid for by the school’s fundraising efforts. But all the money mysteriously vanished and Kacey’s dreams were in tatters. Barry was there with a comforting shoulder to cry on. “You can’t trust this lot here, Kace, they’re full of it,” said Barry, but he’s never going to be a criminal mastermind because he let slip that he knew the money had gone – before Kacey had told him. Continue reading
(Series 9, Ep.2) I was very disappointed to learn that the theatre trip to see A Streetcar Named Desire has been cancelled. There’s no better excuse for mayhem than taking the Waterloo Road pupils en masse out of school to a public event.
I wasn’t as disappointed as the sixth form were, though, and they were probably feeling the pain more acutely because they were hungry, what with breakfast club having been cancelled too.
Without the Lorraine Donnegan fortune behind it, Waterloo Road is now having to make cutbacks. So breakfast club (proven to improve results and make for happier, healthier, more settled pupils) has been binned off in favour of a Mandarin assistant (proven to be essential to Kevin Chalk, the only pupil who seems to speak Mandarin). Good decision-making, Christine Mulgrew. Or “Hatchet” Mulgrew, as she suggested we might call her.
If only cutbacks and a revolting sixth form (they had a wee sit-in in the school-house) were Christine’s only problem. She also finds herself with the most useless teacher since the last useless teacher, in the form of Sue Spark. Despite (or because of) being the daughter of the Director of Education and the fiancée of deputy head Useless Simon, Sue is absolutely rubbish at her job and found herself at one point locked in a cupboard during a fire alarm. There wasn’t an actual fire – it was a lot of smoke in a beaker caused by Verruca Salt and some jelly babies – but it was enough to give Imogen a panic attack. This led to Christine suggesting Connor might have started the fire (“It’s not like he hasn’t got form”), which made him – quite understandably – go all sulky. Sulky is Connor’s default setting, but prior to that he’d been defending his mum against all the grievances against her by moaning, “She’s in a difficult position!” every five minutes. Continue reading