Waterloo Road Review: Uniform Beatings

October 28, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews


waterloo300WATERLOO ROAD: Wednesday 28th October, BBC1, 8pm ALERT ME

Max Tyler must be the first teacher since the days of Plato to get a standing ovation upon entering a classroom.

But while the writers of Waterloo Road can definitely be accused of sensationalism, they must also be credited with creating an extremely entertaining TV show.

This third season opener is at times ridiculous, but also very relevant and littered with intriguingly emotive characters.

Term starts with a bang as the dysfunctional Rochdale comprehensive is merged with John Fosters (the local ‘posh’ school). Predictably enough the first day is filled with staff-room shouting matches, the odd murder and a playing field battle between the two sets of pupils that wouldn’t seem out of place in Braveheart.

After giving several speeches on new school unity, you might think that someone would bother to making all the kids wear the same uniform!

Unfortunately not and before you can say ‘bottom of the league table’ some girl gangs emerge who use language that would have given the average Grange Hill pupil an embolism.

As a drama, this is right on the money. New larger-than-life characters add a highly divisive aspect to the ensemble and former Holby City boy and Strictly Come Dancing winner Tom Chambers is weirdly alluring as Mrs Mason’s new boss, Max Tyler.

If he looked down his nose at his new colleagues and pupils any more than he already does, he will be walking around constantly cross-eyed (“Better isn’t always good enough I’m afraid Mrs Mason?).

However as per usual, to achieve good drama it’s necessary to check realism at the door, (how I wish I had gone to a school where teachers openly slagged each other off in front of pupils).

Roll on day two…

Sean Marland