Tag Archives: Robson Green

Grantchester: Downton with vicars

ROBSON-GREEN-as-Geordie-Keating-and-JAMES-NORTON-as-Sidney-ChambersIt had the cosy, rural setting, the received pronunciation English accents, the urgent violin soundtrack, the ridiculously high-waisted costumes and just the right amount of sexual scandal and intrigue. Yes, Grantchester was pretty much Downton Abbey, just a bit racier.

It was a comfortable drama, a none too strenuous watch and held my attention (which is no easy feat; ask my long suffering wife) for the full hour. It focused on the vicar of a small village, who found himself embroiled in a murder investigation after looking too deeply into an apparent suicide. The vicar, with the almost porn-star name of Sidney Chambers, held a funeral for the ‘suicide’ victim where all others would not, which won him the respect and attention of the victim’s secret lover, who suggested that all was not as it seems.

Unable to resist the conspiracy, Sidney sought the advice of a policeman called Geordie, played by Geordie Robson Green of Waterloo Road and Extreme Fishing fame. Geordie was a no nonsense, chain smoking, backgammon winning, Simon Cowell trouser wearing arm of the law who took some heavy persuading to buy into Sidney’s murder theory. But Mr Chambers kept up his Sherlock Holmes act and before long, the pair set out to crack the case.

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Filed under Detective/police drama, Drama

Waterloo Road: Long live WR!

(Series 7, Ep.10) Whenever I think of Chris Mead, I shall picture him bounding like a young gazelle across Formby sands in pursuit of Finn and Amy. It was a magnificent feat of athleticism, and one which he reprised in the final episode of this term, as he jogged gamely along the platform at Manchester Piccadilly Station to save Scout and Our Little Liam from evil drug dealer types. Not a hair out of place. Breathtaking. Scout, however, was less impressed. She didn’t want to go into “curr.” She curred so much about not going into curr that she made Denzil swurr not to tell anyone that she was planning to take Liam, a fistful of drugs money and a packed lunch to That London on a train. But Denzil is a curring type of lad and he’s seen the documentaries, so he told Chris what was going on.

Chris’s hasty departure from the school premises in pursuit was badly timed for Karen, who was busy trying to impress school inspector Alison (Tracy-Ann Obermann). Throw in Finn, Josh, Amy and Lauren taking a turn around the school car park in Tom Clarkson’s car, via the cycling proficiency class helmed by nervous cyclist Daniel Chalk, and you have all the makings of what most school inspectors would term “failure.” “Your deputy head just seriously undermined your authority, minutes after four of your pupils were caught joyriding,” summed up Inspector Alison. Put that way, it didn’t sound good.   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: From now on, it’s strictly professional

(Series 7, Ep.9) Last night’s Waterloo Road reminded me of an episode (any episode) of Brothers & Sisters, where everyone starts off promising they “won’t tell Mom,” and five minutes later somebody tells Mom and all hell breaks loose.

Chris Mead didn’t promise he wouldn’t tell his mom anything, but he did promise Karen that he’d be on his best behaviour, and in particular he’d steer clear of any contact with Scout that wasn’t classroom-related. “From now on, it’s strictly professional,” he told his boss. But that was before Scout’s feckless mother (Lisa Riley) decided to have a bit of “me time” by leaving Scout and her three year old brother to fend for themselves while she went on holiday with her latest bloke. Scout couldn’t risk not going to school, so she left little Liam parked in front of In The Night Garden while she went off to do some gardening herself, courtesy of a community initiative overseen by Kelly Crabtree from Corrie (Tupele Dorgu, whom I would love to see joining Waterloo Road on a permanent basis).

Scout wasn’t the only reluctant gardener with thoughts elsewhere. Eleanor Chaudery, who’d been co-opted because a female staff member was needed, was completely out of her comfort zone in wellies. She was a troubled soul, too – it seems that enjoying the pleasures of Tom Clarkson had made her rethink the way she’d been telling tales about Karen to the Slimeball from the local authority.   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: Scout’s honour


(Series 7, Ep.9)  If doctors make the worst patients, then surely teachers make the worst pupils. Has Chris Mead not learned anything, either from his own life or anyone else’s? Look at the mess he got into trying to help out Vicki when she was pole dancing. Look at the mess Cesca Montoya got into when she confiscated drugs and didn’t tell anyone. Look at how cross Karen got with him for not sharing his concerns over the mysterious Evie.

But he’s got a heart of gold, has our Chris. If we hadn’t seen the inside of his flat for ourselves, when Jess was trying to re-seduce him, I would picture it stuffed full of stray kittens and other unwanted pets. He’s one of life’s born rescuers. This week he tried to rescue Josie “Scout” Allen, she of the unwashed hair and aptitude for maths. It turns out that the unwashed hair etc (but probably not the aptitude for maths) is because she lives with a feckless lump of a mother who is happy for her to supplement the family income by being a drugs courier. And having a paper round.   Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: That boy needs neutering

(Series 7, Ep.7) Sambuca Kelly’s time at Waterloo Road will not be forgotten, as she’s been given a beautiful memorial of a little tree with a tupperware box of pens buried beneath it. They were her pens. Sniff. Poor little Denzil has taken to carrying her bright pink hoodie around in his bag (it smells of her), but it was appropriated by a new girl, Scout (Katie McGlynn). We know Scout is trouble because she has greasy hair and she’s good at maths. Both of these attributes make her stick out a mile in a school where you can slump glassy-eyed in front of Grantly Budgen all day long, but you must have shiny hair while you do it.

In a scenario which would have Jeremy Kyle frothing at the mouth and spitting out the words “Why didn’t you put something on the end of it?” every five minutes, Aiden Scotcher has succeeded in getting not one, but two of his fellow classmates pregnant, apparently in the same week. It’s not the first time he’s done it, either – we’re led to believe that this is why he left his previous school.

He may be firing on all cylinders in the reproductive department, but as a person he’s a cringeing, oily little worm who runs crying to his mummy when he messes up. When Vicki told him she was pregnant, his first question was “Is it mine?” Her reply was that she and Ronan were “always careful,” which I think sums up the contrast between Aiden and Ronan nicely. Not only is Ronan always careful, but even though Vicki has broken his heart he was still willing to take the fall for her when Aiden stole an exam paper so she wouldn’t fail it.  Continue reading


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Waterloo Road: Every day’s just another last time


(Series 7, Ep.6) I write this through a fog of tears, having just watched last night’s episode. Oh my good lord, that was emotional. My usual defence mechanism when it comes to sad things on  telly or films is to picture the actors all surrounded by camera people and sound people and so on, but I got so absorbed in Sam’s story that I forgot to do that. The result is not a pretty sight.

My cynical side should really have been spending the time ticking off the cliches: final visit to the seaside; attempting to bequeath your boyfriend to your best friend so they can share their grief; going to a funfair and actually winning a cuddly toy; realising that your biological father isn’t as important as the man who’s always there for you and who loves you. But my cynical side wasn’t working, and I’m filling up again, because it was all played out with such sincerity and sensitivity by the main players, and of course particularly Holly Kenny, who’s been an absolute star as Sam.

Her death was gentle and quiet and happened while Rose held her and Tom dozed next to them. “It’s okay – she’s alright,” said Rose. “She’s alright now.” “I fell asleep,” said Tom. “Oh, so did she, Tom. She just went.”

Oh-oh. I’m going again. Let’s move swiftly on to the light relief, which was happily provided by Jodie Prenger (of I’d Do Anything fame) playing Linda, a PR lady Karen had drafted in to try and rebrand the school. “Whoever said you can’t polish a turd hasn’t met me,” she pronounced. She proceeded to try and polish the turd that is Waterloo Road by taking lots of carefully edited photographs. The Lovely Josh was deemed a bit too spotty to feature. “Hormones don’t sell,” Linda told Karen, who replied in her best frosty-knickers voice, “It’s a secondary school. Hormones live here.” Karen wasn’t happy with Linda’s make-believe portrayal of the school, particularly as she’d decided to feature caretaker Rob Scotcher as the face of the school: “Handsome! Dynamic! Trustworthy!” And back with his wife, presumably dashing Karen’s hopes of romance.

Meanwhile, horrible Miss Chaudery had called in the man from the education department, who is not happy with Karen spending money on PR people, and with her dallying with the site manager.

Next time: It’s the circle of life, isn’t it? This week we lose Sambuca, and next week it looks like nearly everyone is hearing the pitter patter of tiny feet. And I don’t mean Janeece in a new pair of heels.

Posted by PLA          (more Waterloo Road here)


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Waterloo Road: The mystery girl and the mystery woman

(Series 7, Ep.4) A bit of a mixed episode, this. A large chunk of it was taken up with one of these stand-alone stories where you know you’re never going to see the character again, so it’s hard to care. There are exceptions to this, such as the brilliantly-done story of a boy who wanted to become a girl from a few weeks back. Last night’s wasn’t anywhere in the same league.

Evie was a mystery girl – we knew that Evie wasn’t her real name, and we saw a man coaching her about how to respond if people started asking too many questions about her. My guess was witness protection, but it turned out that Evie had drowned her five year old cousin. She’d done the crime, done the time, and was now being reinserted into society without society being made aware of who she was.

Chris Mead found out after about five minutes, but decided not to tell anyone, then when Evie threw a strop and almost strangled Finn (he didn’t actually appear to be in any danger), Karen discovered what Chris knew, and got all tetchy about it. I could hear Pious Kim Campbell’s voice in my head muttering, “We should have been on top of child murderers!” Karen spent the rest of the shift calming down irate and upset parents.

So far so meh. In between all this, ongoing plots were nicely going on, and, to be fair, the Evie story did shed some additional light on some of them. On what a totally rubbish teacher Eleanor Chaudery is, for one thing. And indeed what a rubbish school Waterloo Road is in the way they handle new pupils. After a quick pep talk about how lovely and friendly the school was, Chris Mead despatched Evie “upstairs” to find her first lesson. Could he not have gone with her? Could they not have appointed a buddy to look after her till she settled in? Instead she was left to face a double bitchy onslaught from Amy and Lauren who thought she was moving in on Finn (she was) in Sam’s absence, and she was publicly humiliated by the incompetent Miss Chaudery.   Continue reading


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