Review: Waterloo Road

Anna Reynolds 21 October 2014

Given this series of Waterloo Road is the last, the scriptwriters of the BBC show could probably be forgiven for any far-fetched story lines that occur. Fans are used to the somewhat implausible plotlines (we’ve had multiple murders, an abundance of pregnancies and a number of suicides), but it does feel like this final series will be the final test to see just how much we can believe.

In a school where we know only a handful of teachers by name, there are only so many relationship combinations we can have. To get round this problem, two new teachers have joined the school with their own emotional baggage becoming apparent right away. Neil Pearson’s portrayal of new head Vaughan Fitzgerald is one that is particularly likeable (and much more believable than alcoholic Christine being allowed to run the school), if somewhat ‘cushy’. He seems a bit out of depth, which means he’ll fit right in at Waterloo Road.

The first episode contained a number of intertwining plot lines: George and Carol’s relationship was on the rocks, Vaughan’s sons were dumped on him by his ex-wife (one of which just happens to have some kind of anger problem and is all set to become the new ‘Barry Barry’ of the series) and poor Darren’s mum dies of an overdose (and not, as he thinks, at the hands of her partner). In other words, the series began with what Waterloo Road does best: drama. Whether the scriptwriters can keep this up is another matter, after all, there aren’t many characters left who have yet to suffer a bereavement…