Waterloo Road spoilers follow.
Waterloo Road stars James Baxter and Ryan Clayton have promised a bigger storyline for their characters Joe Casey and Mike Rutherford in the show's new episodes.
Married couple Joe and Mike are a bigger focus in Series 12 of the popular school drama, which has been released on BBC iPlayer today (May 16) and begins its run on BBC One this evening.
Viewers have already seen that Joe and Mike are foster parents to brothers Dwayne and Zayne Jackson, who are students at Waterloo Road.
The new series will further explore their family dynamic, especially now that police officer Mike is a more permanent fixture at the school following the troubles with Danny Lewis last term.
Speaking to Digital Spy and other media about what's to come, James explained: "Joe and Mike want to make more of a family unit with Dwayne and Zayne, but they're coming up against it with teenage angst and also just the complications of trying to start a family.
"Mike comes into the school more regularly. No-one wants their parent or guardian in the school – let alone if they're a police officer as well – so there's clashes there.
"Joe and Mike also have very different parenting styles. I think trying to manage that within a workplace naturally brings up a lot of conflict. You've got to maintain a level of professionalism, while still having people around you who you love and care about. So it lends itself to a lot of drama."
On Joe and Mike's relationship being explored more, James continued: "In the last series, we started working together and really enjoyed it, so you naturally want more and want to wring more out of it.
"I think we were both really looking forward to having more to do and also exploring the family dynamic a little bit more.
"From my point of view, there was a bit of trepidation with wanting to get it right and not wanting to drop the ball. So hopefully we'll have done that."
Ryan, who previously starred in Coronation Street as villain Josh Tucker, told us that he's also enjoying appearing more regularly.
He said: "I'm having a great time working on the show, as it's a brilliant environment. I'd love to delve more into Mike's backstory and who he is as an individual – not just Joe's husband – and getting to see that throughout.
"As you'll see throughout this new series, Mike does get more involved in the show. I'm having an absolute ball on the show and long may that continue.
"It's interesting to explore the family dynamic, because there's a lot of dilemmas going on there with the characters. You'll see what Mike's position is about fostering Dwayne and Zayne and taking them on, how that works throughout the series and the challenges that come with that.
"In real life, we also did a bit of research into what fostering kids can mean for a relationship."
Waterloo Road’s twelfth series airs on Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC One, with all episodes streaming now on BBC iPlayer.
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