(Series 10, ep.19) The penultimate episode, and a few plot strands were resolved. Justin was permanently excluded for cyber-bullying Bonnie, but a bit of detective work from Kenzie soon uncovered the real culprit to be mild-mannered younger Fitzgerald brother Leo. Oh, Leo. That’s no way to impress people. Continue reading
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(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
(Series 10, ep.13) There were three new guys in the school this week. Technically only two of them were guys (the other was a girl) and literally speaking only one of them was called Guy. He was the one everyone had a problem with, on account of him having come via some fast track route which meant he’d only had six weeks’ teacher training. He was also the one who seemed a tad too friendly with new girl Carrie. 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 10, ep.11) This review comes to you through a fog of apathy only partly induced by the horrible cold virus I’ve had since Boxing Day. Most of the apathy is due to the fact that the episode just wasn’t very good.
As usual at the start of a 10 episode “term,” there were a bunch of new characters. These were:
– New deputy head Lorna, who fulfils the WR teaching remit of being fairly useless at her job. Her chief skill is annoying Christine with her upstart ways.
– Vaughan’s estranged wife Olga, who is working as a supply teacher. Despite Leo and Justin spending the last ten weeks bleating about how much they missed her, they’re a tad mortified to have both their parents on the teaching staff. I would say “Oh, the fickleness of youth,” if I didn’t agree with them. Continue reading
(Series 10, ep.10) It wouldn’t be a proper end-of-term at Waterloo Road without an art teacher telling her class to use their imagination in turning the canteen into a sparkling fairytale ballroom. And it would definitely not be the end of term without someone being injured and at least one branch of the emergency services being involved. For good measure this time there was also a hastily improvised explosive device.
No surprise that most of this mayhem (apart from the jazzing up of the canteen with streamers) was caused by Justin Fitzgerald. It was his eighteenth birthday, but he behaves more like he’s eight than eighteen, sulking and snivelling his way through life like the spoiled brat he is. I’m sorry, but I’ve got no sympathy for the weasel. After he punched Allie in the face and Vaughan marched him down to the police station, I was really hoping they’d follow through on the “worst case scenario” of a year in prison. Later on, as he threatened his father with a gas canister and a lighter (meant for Allie), was I the only one who was hoping he’d light it and blow himself and his useless lump of a father to kingdom come? Or am I just a very bad person? Continue reading
(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.” Continue reading
(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.2) In the parallel universe of Waterloo Road, it’s a perfectly normal idea to throw open the doors of your school to anyone who wants to wander in and make it into a “community hub.” Why not throw in a helpline so that people can ring you and ask for tasks to be performed – cleaning, DIY, whatever. If only somebody at Waterloo Road had absorbed the lessons of the various Mentoring Initiatives or the Apprentice Initiative, they’d have raised a few practical questions, the funding of the free tea and biscuits being the least of them. If Grantly Budgen (RIP) had still been around, he’d have at least had a good grumble about it all, but apart from George Windsor, everybody else was thrilled with the scheme. 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