Grange Hill. Series One – Episode Four

grange hill s01e04

Written by Phil Redmond.  Tx 1st March 1978

Episode four was the first (but certainly not the last) time that Grange Hill found itself courting controversy. This centered around the unsupervised swimming lesson which saw Tucker and his friends running amok in the pool.

Given that there were two teachers, Mr Mitchell and Mr Malcolm (Christopher Coll) on duty, it does feel slightly contrived that both of them were absent. The reason why one of them had to leave (a boy injured his foot) is reasonable enough, but when he only suffered a fairly small cut, did they really both have to carry him away?

Tucker, Benny and Alan decide to throw some of the benches into the pool and have a race – whilst being cheered on by the other boys. The only one who doesn’t join in is Justin (who’s no doubt still smarting from the fact that Tucker stole his trousers during their previous swimming lesson). He runs off to find the caretaker and when Mr Malcolm returns he has his own way of dealing with the miscreants.

His punishment (a ban from swimming for three weeks and a detention) does seem incredibly lenient though – anything could have happened in his absence and it’s remarkable that there’s no further action taken. Perhaps this is because Mr Malcolm is well aware that he and Mr Mitchell were at fault and considers it to be best to leave things as they are.

Tucker would later turn into something of a loveable rogue, but he’s simply a rogue here. His wild behaviour would continue in episode six, but the events there seem to finally bring him more into line.

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2 thoughts on “Grange Hill. Series One – Episode Four

  1. The character of Tucker is strikingly disruptive in the first series, always physically imposing himself on any space or person, usually by shoving other children and knocking things out of their hands. Todd Carty was a very likable performer right from the start, but the early Tucker would be a really irritating boy. Its only once Doyle, an actively malicious character, gets introduced that Tucker’s qualities become more apparent in comparison.

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    • It’s hard not to feel that when Tucker receives the cane (after the misadventure with Justin) that he’s certainly earned it! But that seems to bring him to his senses and from then on he becomes the rogue with a heart of gold.

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