Grange Hill. Series Seven – Episode Eighteen

grange hill s07e18

Written by Barry Purchese.  Tx 2nd March 2016

It’s the end of term and a disco has been organised, but the news that the music’s going to be provided by Glenroy strikes fear into the hearts of many.  Glenroy likes very heavy reggae – so with his impressive sound system (Sir Lord Glenroy indeed!) the evening promises to be loud if nothing else.

Pogo’s also on hand with a selection of discs, but will Glenroy allow him the use of his equipment?  Poor Mr McGuffy draws the short straw and scuttles off to speak to him.  Unsurprisingly he doesn’t pluck up the courage but Suzanne turns up later and is more successful.

Elsewhere, Claire’s in a very stroppy mood and the hapless Stewpot is in the firing line.  He can’t seem to do anything right – not even buttering a piece of bread – which seems to be another hint that their on/off/on relationship might be heading for more stormy waters.  Check back next series for some surprising revelations …..

Jimmy McClaren, resplendent in a white suit, seems to be back on the side of the angels again – he’s concerned that Gluxo’s planning something.  A fight maybe?  Or simply absconding with the door money?  Jimmy’s not sure but he elects to stay on watch, much to Nigel’s chagrin.  What’ll happen to all the talent?  Jimmy replies that there’s never any shortage of talent when Jimmy McClaren’s about.  There’s a chance to see his lady-killing skills in action later when he asks Precious if she’d like quick spin around the dancefloor.  She says “no” which rather deflates him (but he’s later reinflated when she changes her mind!)

This is the final episode for quite a few of the regulars.  Most of the class of 80/81 depart (only Claire, Stewpot and Precious return for the next series).  On the teaching side, Mr Keating, Mr McGuffy, Miss Gordon and Mr Howard all make their final appearances.  I’ll miss Mr Keating and Mr McGuffy, although Miss Gordon and Mr Howard haven’t really been around long enough to make too much of an impression.  It’s not impossible to believe that Miss Gordon was intended to return though, as Miss Booth (introduced in the first episode of series eight) isn’t a terribly dissimilar character.

Incidentally, the series-long gag of Mr Howard’s (and to a lesser extent, Mr Smart’s) pursuit of the fragrant art teacher concludes as she declines both of their kind offers to dance and chooses Mr Knowles as a partner instead!  So both Mr Smart and Mr Howard decide to head off for a drink.  Mr Knowles is another teacher who disappears (Chris Jury would be heading off to become Lovejoy’s sidekick).

If Mr Howard’s unlucky in love, then Zammo’s a little more fortunate and is relived to find that Jackie still loves him.  She’s also on hand to break the news that the boys helping behind the bar come from Brookdale and not (as they claimed) Rodney Bennett.  Ah ha, this obviously means they’re up to no good.  Gluxo pops up to taunt Zammo about Jeremy’s death and Jimmy’s on hand to express his displeasure at such a low remark and is also able to exact a suitable revenge (which reveals where the missing bar money ended up).

With Pogo on the decks we get a snapshot of mid eighties pop (Duran Duran, New Order, Thompson Twins) ending up with Spandau Ballet’s True –  a chance for everybody to get just a little closer.  The most delightfully awkward moment comes when Mr McGuffy (no doubt out of a sense of politeness) asks Mrs McClusky if she’d like to dance, just as the record changes to True.  The look on both their faces makes it clear that they’d sooner be anywhere else but dancing together, but the pair bite the bullet and hold each other close (but not too close).

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