BBC One sparked controversy last night after politicising the return of popular drama Waterloo Road – with a storyline about Black Lives Matter protests that swept Britain in 2020.
The iconic noughties school drama that ended in 2015 burst back on to screens on Tuesday night (January 3rd), but the writers decided to make the programme very “on-trend” with a divisive storyline about slavery, white supremacy and Black Lives Matter.
The series started with an all out statue-pulling down protest in the first ten minutes – sparking some to accuse to BBC of promoting a “woke left wing bias”.
The storyline revolved around the fictional Greater Manchester comprehensive high school battling to change its name from a White Supremacist slave-trader called William Besick – which leads to the school being renamed “Waterloo Road” – just like the more raw and gritty 2005 original.
As a new school year begins, a peaceful protest turns into a school riot and the events of the day will have huge ramifications for everyone involved.
The BBC said: “Across the term, Waterloo Road’s teachers and parents are going to have to learn on their feet as they try to navigate the ever changing social landscape – from teen homelessness to the cost of living, being LGBTQ+, racism, sexism, mental health and everything else facing young teens today.”
Amongst the chaos, the students, faculty and parents still make time for friendships, fun, and a few romances.
The pupils have a lot to contend with this term, but they will learn to lean on one another to survive the year and try to stay out of detention as much as possible.
Riots, scandals, fractured families and challenging kids – for Headteacher Kim Campbell and her team, fire-fighting is a way of life. Who said education was easy?
Waterloo Road airs Tuesday’s at 8pm on BBC One. All episodes are available on BBC iPlayer.