(Series 16, ep.21) Keller has acquired a new little wing which was temporarily dubbed the “Tressler Neurological Wing,” as it was funded by Dr Posh’s dad. I say “temporarily,” because by the end of the episode the nice new sign was being removed and Tressler flounced off after calling Selfie a loose cannon.
What had happened to provoke this reaction? It seems it was Selfie’s habit of letting patients with a very poor chance of survival clutter up beds. It’s “not a good look” for a showcase neurological facility, apparently. So it’s goodbye to Tressler Sr., but what will Selfie do with himself now his neurological wing is no more? He’ll have to find something else to do, because gazing mournfully at “Zoshy” and frightening Sacha are not full-time occupations, and he never seems to do much administrating. 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.9) Being Halloween and that, this week’s episode had a sinister turn. Guest artiste Duncan Pow (Holby’s tragic Dr Linden Cullen, who lives on in the form of a memorial shrubbery) played supply teacher Frankie McGregor. Only he wasn’t really a supply teacher, and he wasn’t really Frankie McGregor. Obviously with the water-tight policies and procedures in place at Waterloo Road this was spotted at once, wasn’t it?
Erm… no. The kids spotted something was wrong when “science teacher” Frankie knew so little about Physics that he made Sue Spark look like Stephen Hawking, but Sue didn’t notice because she was immersed in wedding plans.
Frankie took a bit of a Special Interest in lonely, isolated young Lenny Brown, and that should perhaps have rung alarm bells, particularly when Frankie offered to take Lenny fishing to a remote spot. Christine wavered about giving permission for about five seconds, then decided it would be a bit of fun for the lad and gave them the go-ahead. Continue reading
(Series 9, Ep.8) With this episode, Waterloo Road gave up any pretence of being a “contemporary drama series set in a challenging comprehensive school” as the BBC website describes it, and went for full-on, hallucinogenic craziness. It was absolutely brilliant.
The teacher with the pointy face, Audrey McFall, had hatched a scheme to get everyone interested in history and put Waterloo Road on the educational map by having everyone spend a week pretending it was the Second World War. This involved a lot of dressing up (Simon, George, Audrey and Christine all dapper in military uniform; Nikki Boston in a boiler suit; and everyone else in a range of vaguely 40s costumes). Audrey apparently had a bottomless dressing up box – anyone not in period costume was told to see Audrey “and she’ll sort you out.”
Digging for victory was also on the agenda, with the students pretending to grow their own food. Audrey “planted” carrots she got from the supermarket to make the garden look good for visiting education supremo McBain. And she also borrowed a goat. The goat’s name was Wally – officially named after Wallis Simpson, it was actually so someone could say “Where’s Wally?” when the goat inevitably disappeared. Continue reading