Tag Archives: Philip Martin Brown

Waterloo Road: Grantly Budgen poetried to death

grantly waterloo road(Series 9, Ep.6)  I suspected Grantly’s days were numbered as soon as I heard that Philip Martin-Brown and Melanie Hill were pitching up on daytime TV. It’s almost always a bad sign. Then Grantly turned up for his first day back as a teacher, looking apprehensive at first but quickly morphing from being a feckless, feet-up-on-desk, Racing Post-reading curmudgeon to being the kind of inspirational mentor figure that people fondly remember in their later years. Like Sidney Poitier in To Sir With Love, or Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society. Actually, that one is particularly apt because it was a very poetical episode – in the sense that there was a lot of poetry in it.

grantly barry waterloo roadTom Clarkson’s legacy to Waterloo Road was, apparently, that he’d set up some kind of poetry competition. I can’t imagine Tom Clarkson would have had time for such a thing, what with running up and down corridors with his eyes filled with tears and coaching the football team and that. Anyhoo, now all that was required of Grantly was to get the kids producing a few poems and to announce a winner.

Harley, who has a bond with the miserable old git for some reason I can’t quite remember, produced a few lines which rhymed, scanned and made sense, so Grantly jumped to the reasonable conclusion that he must have copied it from th’internet. Harley went huffy and threw his masterpiece in the bin and tricked Grantly into putting a bet on Kacey Barry’s boxing prowess as revenge.   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: Drugs, head lice, boxing, Mandarin… welcome to Series 9

kacey nikki simon waterloo road(Series 9, Ep.1) Ring the bells! The school bell, anyway. It’s another new academic year at Waterloo Road and another series of barking-madness for us.

They didn’t try and brush Tom Clarkson under the carpet, though. Even before the title sequence rolled we’d been treated to a flashback of a Mulgrew’s-eye-view of him plummeting from the roof. Grantly gave a speech at assembly, to his credit not even appearing bitter and twisted about his promised kidney being dashed on the playground surface. There was a minute’s silence, and Kacey Barry (my gosh Brogan Ellis is a good actress) ran from the room, as no amount of silences (with added sniggering) will bring back the man who gave her the confidence to be proud of herself.

Nikki Boston is attempting to fill the Tom gap in Kacey’s life by giving her boxing lessons, and repairing the wee shrine that Kacey lovingly built out of candles, a photo of Tom and some wood.

lenny lisa waterloo roadThe shrine needed fixing because it was shattered by Lenny, a new pupil and twin brother of Lisa, another new pupil. These two were familiar faces to the teacher with the pointy face (for convenience I might have to start calling her “Audrey,” like everyone else does), who’d taught them at her previous school. It was her birthday, and in the absence of any cards, gifts or acknowledgements (how soon Ndale has forgotten her), she needed a hobby. So her hobby became helping Lenny and Lisa, who were a tad unwashed, hungry and uncared for.   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: End of term, and the end of an era

waterloo road(Series 8, Ep.30) It was the last day of term at Waterloo Road, a day when traditionally the whole school comes together for an Event of some sort, and something goes very badly wrong.

Given that we knew Jason Done was done with Waterloo Road, the chances were high that the thing that went badly wrong would involve Tom Clarkson. For weeks my money has been on him dying on the operating table as he waved one of his kidneys off in the general direction of Grantly Budgen, but that’s probably because I watch too much Holby.

Obviously things were more complicated than that, and it was going to be something to do with Kyle Stack, the disturbed youth with the hunted-animal eyes and the seductive dance moves (not on display here) who turned up at Waterloo Road fresh from prison and apparently ready to get himself some book learning.

(if you haven’t seen it yet, there are spoilers ahead)  Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: At least three people not pregnant

jade waterloo road(Series 8, Ep. 17)  By the end of the episode we’d established that three people weren’t pregnant. Emo Imogen wasn’t (can you imagine Connor’s sperm having the energy? He looks like he can barely blink without having a lie down afterwards). Jane Beale wasn’t, because Michael Byrne had “been careful” (don’t make me imagine that – I’d have to have my brain wiped), and Jade wasn’t because she’d just given birth five minutes before the episode ended.

maggie waterloo roadShe gave her baby to a woman who hardly ever blinked (welcome to Connor’s world), who would give her a better start in life. The alternative for the poor child was too ghastly to contemplate. It would have been grandmother-smothered by dreadful dinner lady Maggie, who was being ridiculously manipulative and emotionally blackmailing in trying to get Jade to keep the baby. And it would have had a fine succession of “aunties and uncles” of the likes of Scout, Harley and Rhiannon – who at least were more realistic than Maggie about the downsides to having a baby on the premises.   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: Barry Barry’s got Bolton’s gun!

barry barry waterloo road(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.

bolton smiley waterloo roadI 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)


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Waterloo Road: Twisted firestarter

(Series 8, Ep.4)  Connor and Imogen, the James Dean and Natalie Wood of Waterloo Road, didn’t have an easy week this week. There’s Connor’s mother (Jane Beale) for starters. Being an alcoholic is one thing – Rose Kelly was an alcoholic but she was fairly charming with it and used to smile a lot – but Jane Beale is a nasty piece of work. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to believe that it’s all the fault of the drink and she’d be a shining example of maternal cuddliness if she was sober, because we haven’t seen her sober yet. She’s perfectly horrible to Connor and was also perfectly horrible to his new girlfriend Imogen. Connor’s go-to strategy for dealing with his mother seems to be arson, and this week it was a bit of fire-setting in the WR basement. Guess who put the fire out? Tom Clarkson, of course. Everybody’s hero. It was Connor who got the blame, which was fair enough because he was to blame, but where’s Pious Kim Campbell when we need her to (a) be on top of arson and (b) spotting a cry for help when she sees one?   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: We need to talk about Tariq

(Series 8, Ep.3)  I’m getting used to the weird new setting, with its Scottish accents, Toblerone-shaped school and bizarre boarding house. This means I can now concentrate on the everyday madness that is Waterloo Road.

I have to say I’m a little concerned about Tariq. The poor lad only broke his back at the start of the summer holidays, yet a mere couple of months later he seems to have been left to fend for himself. When his wheelchair rolled off out of reach while he was in the bath, the poor lad had to haul himself out of the tub and ended up lying on the bathroom floor waiting for Grantly to break the lock and come and help him.  Added to this indignity the fact that his father isn’t speaking to him, his sister Trudi is in Canada with Finn (awww, bless!), the other sister is too young to understand what he’s going though and the Adorable Josh thinks the way to help is to dish out motivational self-help books, and poor Tariq was feeling like he’d be better off as a memorial tree.   Continue reading


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