Jason Done chats about Tom's return to Waterloo Road and his attack on Kyle... How is Tom holding up since he was attacked by homophobic father Matthew Gurney (Reece Dinsdale)? "Tom is in denial and obviously hasn't recovered from the attack. But rather than stay at home moping and reliving the ordeal over and over he wants to get back to work." Has he returned too soon? "Definitely! He's still shaken by the attack but because it's knocked his confidence and made him feel emasculated he feels he has to return to school with his head held high. But as the story unfolds it's clear he's not ready yet." He's on a short fuse all day, can you tell us what happens when he steps in between sworn enemies Finn and Kyle (George Sampson?) "Tom misreads the situation and thinks Kyle's about to attack Finn. Instinctively he steps between the boys and throws Kyle to the floor - which is obviously completely unacceptable. Head Karen (Amanda Burton) steps in and for a second, it looks like he's going to lash out at her, too!" How does he react when she suspends him pending further assessment? "Initially, he apologises to Karen because he wants her to change her mind. But when she insists he goes on leave and sees a professional counsellor he's angry because he thinks he is going to lose his job. Because Tom hasn't yet accepted he needs help, it sends him into a tailspin." Now you've pushed George Sampson, are you prepared for a possible backlash from his fans? "I'd like to reassure all the many fans of George Sampson, who plays Kyle, that he wasn't injured during filming! No George Sampsons were hurt during filming!" Waterloo Road is on Wednesdays at 8pm on BBC1
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.