(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.17) Family therapy time, and Yaughan, Pooky and the kids were assembled in front of a fairly useless-seeming counsellor, getting more upset by the minute. Yaughan refused to get involved, Pooky ended up in the ladies’ puffing an illicit fag and unburdening herself to Christine, Leo sulked and Justin ruined another school shirt by fighting and bleeding all over it. Continue reading
(Series 10, ep.16) Mock exam week and the pressure was on. Cycling Dale, who as we know hasn’t been eating properly/at all since we first met him (and has been purging at the other end with laxatives), is so driven that he even found a way to still train while taking his exam. Basically you ignore the exam paper, clench your fists and put your head down and visualise riding your bike. This does nothing to prepare you for those all-important exams, but Dale’s focus was all about sport anyway.
A double tragedy, then, that nobody apart from Lenny had really noticed he never eats and it all ended in him collapsing after a cycling trial. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Maggie has now determined to Keep An Eye On Him. Continue reading
(Series 10, ep.15) “Must… have… LAPTOP!” Leo Fitzgerald stormed through this episode like The Incredible Hulk in a school uniform, his eyes glazed, his hair uncombed, not allowing anything to get between him and the computer game he’s addicted to. And I mean addicted. When his laptop was confiscated he took to begging, borrowing and stealing anybody else’s, just to get back in the game. Nobody was safe – even poor Sonya received a facial/laptop whacking when she tried to get between the Shadow Warrior and his objective. 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
(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 8, Ep.27) I’m loving Waterloo Road at the moment. It’s gloriously barmy, operating in an alternative universe where the real world has practically ceased to exist and only soap rules apply.
This week it was the wedding of the teacher with the pointy face and her boyfriend, who only arrived in this country from Malawi a few short weeks ago and has now been installed in the Waterloo Road basement with an Addams Family chair and various swooning females for company. And he has his own Waterloo Road polo shirt. No one else has one, so it must have been specially made for him.
If only he’d been specially made for Audrey, but no sooner had he set foot in his new basement than he was setting other parts of himself (don’t dwell) on Less Cockney Sonya. So smitten was Sonya that she was even decorating Audrey and Ndale’s wedding cake with the words “Congratulations Ndale and Sonya.” It was the finest wedding cake moment since Ruby Fry smashed up Rachel Mason’s cake back in series five. Continue reading
(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.
I 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)
(Series 8, Ep. 15) This week, Kevin found some documents on Chalky’s laptop (which he’d “borrowed” to work on his award-winning robot design), which led him to suspect that Chalky might have had a previous life as a child molester. It turned out, after a lot of rushing around corridors and anguishing, that Chalky was a victim rather than a villain. This was Kevin’s cue to start talking like a self-help manual (Kevin talks like a 55 year-old chartered accountant at the best of times) and get Chalky to testify in court. And – heartwarming, this – Kevin wants to change his surname to Chalk.
Emo Imogen, meanwhile, told Connor that he must tell the truth about starting the fire, or she would do it for him. Emo Imogen is seriously grating on me – her whinging voice, her miserable face. Ugh. When Michael Byrne heard that it was Connor and not Jane Beale who’d started the fire, he decided to give him a chance to stay at Waterloo Road by getting him to fess up in front of the school (several regular characters and three rows of folding seats containing non-speaking extras). Then the police took him away.
The non-speaking extras may not have been speaking, but they were all laughing. Not because they’re a heartless bunch who didn’t feel Connor’s and Imogen’s pain, but because they were all stoned. The delicious brownies that Sonya had made in honour of the visit of TV’s Austin Healey (he was there to present the prize for the best robot. As PLA Jr remarked, “In the real world all you’d get would be a photocopied certificate”) had an added ingredient, courtesy of Barry Barry.
In other words, just your average day at Waterloo Road.
Next time: Bolton Smilie is back!
Posted by PLA (more Waterloo Road here)