Drama (2006-Present) set in a dodgy version of The Good Old British Comp.The new headmaster of Waterloo Road, a failing comprehensive in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, has to turn the school around when it faces closure. Or at least that's how things were in the first season. The show quickly developed a large revolving cast and uses the school setting to explore many different storylines and characters. The end of seasons seven saw the show move filming location and setting to Scotland where it remains based. Currently midway through its ninth season, the show has already been renewed for a tenth.It should be noted that we only actually see a few of the teaching staff and everything seems to happen to them. And a disproportionate number teach English. This extends to the students as well. While the show makes use of single episode characters to explore some more involved storylines, primarily the core student cast will be involved in just about everything. It's not specified what size Waterloo Road is (it's filmed in an old primary school, considerably smaller than most high secondary schools in the UK) but there are probably many more we haven't seen. Of course this can all be brushed off as part of the nature of setting a television show in a school.Of particular note is that revolving cast which easily stretches to well over seventy principal cast members over the course of eight seasons. The show can be reasonably divided based on headteacher, of which there have been four so far (with a fifth soon to step up). The tone especially changes with each headteacher. Initially, the headteacher was a world-weary cynic with a more idealistic deputy but the more cynical perspective tends to be sidelined, and occasionally vilified, as the show evolves.Things have been a little bit crazy here. So far- see the recap.
British Brevity: While Series 1 stands at eight hours, and Series 2 at twelve, the trope is averted for all seasons from Series 3 onwards.
Series 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9 get 20 episodes a piece, including a 90-minute opener in Series 4
Series 7 and 8 avert the trope to an extreme, with 30 hours per season. (The former premièred just 4 weeks after Series 6's finale)
Broken Bird: Lindsay James in particular. The girl just doesn't catch a break... Further deconstructed in that her hidden issues make her more short-tempered and aggressive towards others, rather than just being a shut-in.
Book Ends: The first episode introduces Tom Clarkson going up the school roof to help someone in need. The finale of Series 8 shows Tom going up to the school roof to help someone in need, but this time, events take a more tragic turn.
But Not Too Gay: Josh and Nate's romance in Spring Term of Series 6 was consistently less explicit than every other couple on the show.
In 6.13, when Nate is staying over at Josh's place, what would be their first (on-screen) kiss is interrupted by the doorbell.
Toward the end of the series, at a party, Josh and Nate dance together, but while their straight classmates are getting hot and heavy, the boys dance with excessive space between them. A couple of background moments show them giving each other a comforting hand on the back.
By the time Nate leaves the show, they still have not kissed even once.
This despite 6.04 showing Josh making a pass at Finn, kissing him squarely on the lips against Finn's will
Possibly due to viewer backlash, this trope is averted in 7.23, when Josh's drug dealer is shown openly flirting with him, and kisses him outside the school gates.
Idiosyncratic Block Naming: Although not used explicitly by The BBC or in promotional materials, the DVDs assign names to each series' 10-episode blocks, starting with Series 3. The first block of 10 episodes in a series is titled "Autumn Term", and the second block is titled "Spring Term". For Series 7 and 8, with 30 episodes, the final 10 episodes were given the title "Summer Term".
This system is by analogy with the British academic year, with the Series individually representing school years.
No Communities Were Harmed: Averted by filming and setting it in a real town, though they goofed once or twice in the first season.
Noodle Incident: Whatever Danielle keeps going on about with her friends that involves "a bottle of Diet Coke, some chips and a night out in Rochdale town centre". Also, Karla's background and her Asperger's Syndrome.
Oop North: A reasonably authentic portrayal, less the more over-the-top plotlines.
Parental Abandonment: Kevin's father left him and his mother when he was 5. His mother and step-father then left him homeless at the age of 10, thus sending Kevin in and out of numerous foster homes before arriving at Waterloo Road.
Put on a Bus: Mika, who is stated on the official website to have gone to university.
Real-Life Relative: Steph and Dave the security guard are played by actors who are married to each other in real life.
Real Life Writes the Plot: a particularly ludicrous case. The BBC decided it needed to make more of its programmes in Scotland, including Waterloo Road. So at the end of series 7 the local authority closes the school. Meanwhile a rich philanthropist and former pupil of headmaster Mr. Byrne has decided to set up a private but non-fee-paying school for local children in a deprived area near Glasgow...so Mr. Byrne decides to move there, along with most of the named teachers and even some of the pupils (the new school will have a boarding house). All this is about as realistic as an episode of Doctor Who.
Similarly, the Diabolus ex Machina at the end of that series happened because the writers didn't yet know which of the cast would be moving to Scotland.
Actually, there are some non-fee paying schools which have boarding houses. Just not many of them.
Sexy Schoolwoman: As yet averted. It looks wrong for the time slot (8pm) and the people who wear school uniforms are school-age characters, who don't do that sort of thing.
Stalker with a Crush: Philip goes from sending Flick cheesy cards to leaving a set of his aunt's underwear in her school bag.
Stern Teacher: Mr Treneman. On his first day, when he sees a pupil take another boy's bus pass in the queue for the school bus, he calls the police. He then introduces the "cooler" for those who misbehave.
Stock Punishment: Mr. Budgen gets sponges thrown at him for a fair to raise money for Rwanda aid projects.
Viral Marketing: Inverted. The semi-regular appearance of WRTL 2600 and Delta streetlights in outside broadcasts makes it look that way, anyway. No, the streetlighting firm WRTL does not have any involvement with the show, despite popular belief.