Grange Hill – Series Ten, Episode Twenty Four

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Written by David Angus.  Tx 27th March 1987

The sun is (mostly) shining on the day of the great cricket charity match, with the on-field activity playing out mostly as you’d expect.  Freddie and Julia are first up for the pupils (she continues to grizzle – wondering why he picked her instead of Julie – whilst he typically takes charge, telling her only to run when he says so).

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn that those – such as Freddie – who weren’t particularly in favour of a mixed match are the ones to perish most embarrassingly.  He’s bowled by Mrs McClusky and caught by Miss Booth – something which delights them and disgusts him!

When the staff step up to the crease, Mr Glover also has a humiliating exit although Mr Bronson, by contrast, is able to leave with dignity.  The way that Mr Bronson – immaculately dressed with his cricket cap and dickey-bow – confidentially takes command of the wicket suggests that he’ll also be set for an early bath.  And so he is, but Mr Bronson displays hidden depths as he accepts the decision without a murmur, only pausing to complement Robbie on the quality of his delivery.  The normally placid Mr Mackenzie doesn’t take things so well though – leaving the crease with a very ill grace ….

The cricket match is a light-hearted spot of end-of-term fun, allowing us to see the staff (especially Mrs McClusky in something of a new light).  The way that Mrs McClusky flings herself around the pitch with wild abandon is something of a treat.

But the episode also serves to wrap up some long-running plot threads, although others are left dangling.  Zammo and Jackie finally pluck up the courage to postpone their wedding plans, although they do say it’s only postponed – not cancelled (maybe they will marry in the future, just not yet).

The relationship between Ant and Georgina has come to a more permanent end though.  This was something I thought had been wrapped up a few episodes ago, but series ten never seems to know when a story is dead and buried.  So for the umpteenth time Georgina tells Ant that she’s finished with him, leaving the boy to once again smoulder with the injustice of it all.

The Banksie/Lucy/Laura triangle remains unresolved.  There certainly seems to be an attraction between Banksie and Lucy (although since he’s working at the school where she’s a pupil, surely there’s the potential for a Mr King/Fay type problem?).  Although neither directly articulate their feelings, Laura does – she’s still cast as the jealous one – but we never see Banksie make an on-screen choice.

Before we wave goodbye to the pupils of Hazelrigg Road, there’s another opportunity to see how the presence of disabled children discomforts one of the regulars.  Hollo, collecting bets on the cricket match, takes a wager from Perry, but is apprehensive when he’s told that he’ll need to reach into his pocket to get the money.  This is pretty much Hollo’s last major scene in the series, as he’s one of a number of regulars not to return next year.

The absence of the sixth-formers is understandable (although the concept of an upper-sixth form had been established, we wouldn’t see it in operation for a few years) as is the fact that Ant Jones no longer continues to darken the doors of Grange Hill (he was already surplus to requirements this year).

There’s also something of a teacher clear-out, as Mr Kennedy, Mr Scott and Miss Partridge all vanish without a word.  The absence of Mr Scott from series eleven is slightly irksome.  Since the travails of his character was one of the major themes of series ten, it’s impossible not to feel a little short-changed by the fact that we’ll never learn if he did turn out to be a capable teacher after all.

As the staff and pupils end proceedings with a conga (all except Ant – who’s yet again positioned as the outsider looking in) it concludes the weakest season by some margin of GH to date.  There were some positives – it was nice to see Banksie receive a decent storyline, Mr Scott’s journey (despite his abrupt exit) was also not without interest – but the negatives – Harriet the donkey, slapdash and sloppy scripting (some storylines seemed interminable, others weren’t as developed as they could have been) – tended to overshadow the good moments.

Series eleven offers the chance for a fresh start, with a new roster of first years.  Will the quality pick up?  We shall see shortly.

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Grange Hill – Series Ten, Episode Twenty Three

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Written by David Angus.  Tx 24th March 1987

The day after the sit-in, the post-mortems begin.  Trevor, who played no part in it, tells the others that it was a pointless exercise which achieved nothing.  He may partly be attempting to wind them up, but it’s hard not to agree with him.  Nice though, for once, to see that Mr Scott’s tutorial is peaceful.  Maybe the fact he nearly came to blows previously with Trevor has done the trick or possibly everybody’s just too deflated to lark about.

The ringleaders, on their way to a meeting with Mrs McClusky, debate what to do if they end up with none of their demands met.  The answers simple – Roland has to go on a hunger strike.  He’s not keen …

Mrs McClusky tells them that the staff handbook will be redrafted and the issue of closed profiles was already under review prior to the pupil’s revolt.  It’s possible to wonder whether this was actually the case – maybe Mrs McClusky, always a skilled politician, is being somewhat economical with the truth.  One thing’s for certain, she never believes in conceding ground or appearing to be weak in front of the pupils.

But the likes of Freddie, equally adept with the concepts of political spin, are also able to bend the truth so that they don’t emerge humiliated.  He’s also revealed to be a man of many voices, although his Scottish accent requires a bit more work (Nicholas Donnelly’s is much more convincing).

With this plotline winding down, there’s just time to start another.  Ziggy’s participation in an upcoming friendly cricket match between the staff and pupils looks to be in doubt due to his injured leg.  Helen offers to play, although she’s met with jeers from some of the boys – she’s a girl, so of course she can’t play cricket.  The likes of Mr Kennedy are also a little dubious – could the girls face up to the awesome bowling power of Steven Banks?  Ah, the battle of the sexes is always a fruitful area for drama – a pity it’s surfaced so late in series ten, had it bubbled away for a while it would have been more entertaining than the endless adventures of Harriet.

The sixth-formers want to use the canteen on Saturday, after the cricket, as a venue to celebrate Jackie and Zammo’s upcoming wedding.  But they know that Mr Griffiths will never agree so they have to be cunning.  That’s why Fay and Julie, the minxes, con him into believing that they’re organising a party in his honour, with Mrs McClusky in attendance.  When he realises that Mrs McClusky is coming (they’re such fluent liars!) he starts to waver.

Hard to believe that the saga of the Grange Hill ghost is still lingering on.  Surely this is a horse that has been flogged to death by now?  But no, Ziggy and Gonch are able to once again convince the always-gullible Trevor that down in the basement a walled up ghost exists.  Is this a different one from the cane-wielding psychopath we’d previously learned about?

Anyway, it involves a hoover (to suck up the ectoplasm of course) and Hollo, masquerading as a ghost, stuck behind the wall.  The first Grange Hill ghost was good fun but as has happened elsewhere this year, at this point the series doesn’t seem to know when to leave well alone.  I mean, it’s been established again and again that Trevor’s not the brightest, but surely not even he would be dull enough to fall for this routine yet again?!

Zammo and Jackie continue to put on brave faces, each telling the other that they have no doubts.  But when they hug, the camera switches between both of their anxious faces.  And Jackie, a nice touch, also focuses on her engagement ring – something which has come to symbolise discord and worry, not joy.

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Grange Hill. Series Twenty, Episode Twenty Two

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Written by Barry Purchese.  Tx 20th March 1987

The atmosphere of dissent continues.  Huddled secret meetings are the order of the day whilst Mr Bronson, observing the front entrance from on high, looks down impassively.  Julia’s role as a mole is once again restated as she’s delivered to school by her father who informs Mr Bronson that “she knows what’s expected of her”.  Julia doesn’t say anything, she just stares out of the car window ….

Danny might have previously been disinclined to get involved, but he can’t help himself – he’s convinced they’re in desperate need of organising.  It’s a little embarrassing that nobody else considered what would happen if the teachers decided to cut the power – how can you broadcast your demands without electricity?  Danny suggests they set up another base in the sixth form building (which has an independent power source that can’t be switched off).  He also reveals Julia’s true role to the others, but if they feed her disinformation then she can be an asset not a hindrance.

But before the fun and games of the sit-in, school life goes on as normal.  An informal meeting between Miss Partridge and a group of sixth formers helps to restate the lessons that Banksie’s learnt whilst he’s been at Hazelrigg Road,

A nice incidental detail is provided when we see a relaxed Mr Bronson swigging from his coffee mug.  It’s garishly decorated with two parrots (last year he suffered an off-screen attack from his sister’s pet bird, so it could be that they – along with steam engines – are something of a passion with him).

Julie, Fay and Jackie (slightly grizzling about traditional gender roles) are busy making the sandwiches for the sit-in.  But when the topic turns to the catering for Jackie’s wedding, she breaks down in tears.  Nerves or are doubts beginning to creep up on her?  It’s notable that she tells the others that Zammo’s really keen to get married (she clearly hasn’t been looking at his face recently as he’s been wearing a hangdog expression for some time).  As for her, now that she’s engaged she believes that their union is binding and irreversible.  It’s also very interesting that she suggests it could be worse – at least she likes Zammo.  Likes, not loves.

Meanwhile Zammo and Banksie are at the supermarket, stocking up on sit-in supplies.  Uniting in a common cause seems to have healed the rift between them, but the main reason for this scene becomes obvious when Banksie runs into one of his brother’s friends.  He’s only a few years older than them but he’s saddled with several children (and another on the way).  His wife – in the few seconds we see her – seems less than sympathetic, so the general picture created by this brief thumbnail sketch implies that marriage = loss of freedom.  Exactly what the shaky Zammo doesn’t want to hear.

Cheryl, Freddie, Julie and Ziggy have commandeered the radio room and broadcast to the school, requesting that their fellow pupils occupy the building.  They pop on a record – Sonic Boom Boy by Westworld – which then becomes the soundtrack for a score of enthusiastic extras who use everything they can find (chairs, blackboards) to barricade themselves into the classrooms.

Mrs McClusky is calmness personified.  She’s happy to accede to one of their demands – an interview – if it takes place in her office and they abandon the sit-in.  She also suggests disconnecting the speakers might be less disruptive than cutting the power.  And she’s not too concerned that her fellow teachers are unable to get into the classrooms – since at present they know exactly where the problematic pupils are.

I do like the fact that Hollo’s following Mr Griffiths about, meaning that every time the caretaker disconnects a speaker, it’s immediately reconnected!  At this point, pop fans, The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades by Timbuk 3 is playing.

It’s also entertaining that even when the pupils outmanoeuvre them, it’s Mr Bronson and the recently arrived Mr Glover who resort to running about like headless chickens.  Mrs McClusky continues to be very laid back.

With events now having relocated to the sixth form building, the extras – standing outside – are having a fine old time, chanting “‘ere we go, ‘ere we go, ‘ere we go” with gusto whilst Miss Partridge, Miss Booth and Mrs Reagan look on less enthusiastically.

Mrs McClusky’s plan for restoring order is simple but effective.  Ring the bell for afternoon lessons and the chanting pupils outside are drawn back to the school hypnotically.  Slightly hard to believe, but there’s possibly a point being made here about the manipulation of the masses (since they were just as easily swayed by the sloganeering of the rebels, the bulk of the school community – like the electorate at large – can be capricious and unpredictable).

This leaves the others, barricaded in the sixth form common room, in something of a bind.  It’s pointless broadcasting messages of democratic freedom when there’s nobody around to listen to them ….

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Grange Hill – Series Ten, Episode Twenty One

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Written by Barry Purchese.  Tx 17th March 1987

The pupils are still revolting, as it were.  Freddie and Laura (unusual that she’s shown here to be something of an anti-establishment firebrand) are miffed at a new directive issued by Mr Bronson.  Any pupil found to be deliberately misinterpreting the school rules will face punishment.

Freddie and Laura affect surprise and shock at this, but it can hardly have come as a surprise.  So are they genuinely upset or simply pretending for Miss Booth’s sake?  It appears to be the former, but that’s slightly hard to credit.  It’s also noteworthy that Mr Bronson isn’t the one to issue this decree, instead he remains off-stage whilst Miss Booth is cast in the unusual position of the hard woman.

It later transpires that he only intends to announce his proclamation personally to specific classes – such as E3.  The reason is plain – he can’t trust Mr Scott to do so.  That he explains this to Mr Scott – in the middle of the staffroom where everybody can overhear – is typical of Mr Bronson.  But he’s called away for a meeting with Mrs McClusky, so Mr Scott is given the joy of reading the message.

When Mr Bronson later tangles with a group of fourth-formers holding a protest meeting (Freddie and Laura are again involved) he’s at his most implacable.  The conciliatory approach doesn’t seem to be on his agenda, instead he plans to stamp down hard.  But it’s this autocratic approach which is fermenting rebellion and dissent all over the school – right up to the sixth-formers.

This sudden wave of anti-school feeling is a little hard to take seriously.  Yes, some points – closed profiles – have been debated in previous episodes but for such a staff/pupil breakdown to have occurred you’d expect there to have been many more flashpoints.  The strict interpretation of the school rules (walking in the corridors at all times, etc) was one way of protesting at the inequalities inherent in the system, but ramping it up so suddenly seems a little unnatural.

Trevor, as he has all year, alternates between being a bully and a buffoon.  On the one hand he’s keen to gain revenge on Mr Scott (where he’s allowed to be rather unpleasant) but on the other he continues to be haunted (sorry) by the Grange Hill ghost.  Gonch, Hollo, Ziggy and Robbie agree to disrupt Mr Scott’s lesson (only a few episodes ago they’d elected to ease off on the troublemaking) although they have an ulterior motive – Trevor agrees to join them later in a spot of ghostbusting.  And once they’ve humiliated Trevor again, surely Mr Scott’s troubles will be over ….

Trevor has elected to use that old chestnut – humming.  If a number of people, in different positions, all hum at the same time then it’ll be impossible to determine where the noise is coming from.  Long-time GH watchers will remember that this has been done before, although not with the spectacular results we see here.  Mr Scott might have had a very long tether, but eventually he’s come to the end of it.  He heads for the door as Trevor jeers “that’s it. Run off and get your boyfriend Kennedy”.  Once the words are out of his mouth the mood in the classroom changes.

Mr Scott turns around, the humming abruptly stops and he approaches Trevor very slowly.  As with Trevor’s previous classroom taunting of Mr Scott, everybody else is now quiet and immobile, which helps to focus all of our attention on the pair of them.  Mr Scott grabs him by the throat and aims a punch at his head … but doesn’t deliver it.  Old-school GH teachers may have smacked the pupils about, but by 1987 it clearly wasn’t acceptable – or if it did happen then the teacher would have had to lose his job straight away.  Is it significant that Mr Scott pauses after Ronnie calls out to him?

There’s a lovely meeting between Mrs McClusky and Mr Bronson.  She’s very, very miffed that he’s gone ahead with his directive without consulting her.  “You sought to determine school policy without reference to me”.  She’s not a happy bunny.

Kelly George, later to return to the series as Ray, makes his debut as a St Joseph’s pupil who tangles with Danny.  Yes, Danny’s back, although he’s not interested in joining the others in their protest.  They plan to occupy Radio Grange Hill and broadcast messages of freedom.  Hmm, I can foresee that isn’t going to end well.  But for all his studied disinterest he still quickly works out that Julia is working as a mole for her father (Freddie suspected it, but he didn’t have any evidence – only the fact that her dislike for him might be a factor).

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Grange Hill – Series Ten, Episode Twenty

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Written by Margaret Simpson.  Tx 13th March 1987

Laura isn’t keen on joining Banksie and Lucy at the craft fair, which somewhat annoys him.  It’s very noticeable that Mrs Reagan’s earlier antagonism towards Banksie has now totally dissipated – a pity that we didn’t see this thaw happen though (not for the first time events are taking place off-screen).

It’s initially not clear why Laura doesn’t want to go.  Is she tiring of Banksie or is Lucy the problem?  Laura later confides to Julia that Lucy – and specifically her disability – was the reason.  This isn’t something which reflects well on Laura, but it was inevitable that at least one character would have to articulate this viewpoint.

After expressing surprise that Lucy looked nice (“I thought she’d be twisted and, well, ugly”) Laura then goes on to list a whole litany of things which upset her.  “I can’t even stand people who are fat or ugly or who’ve got birthmarks or who limp or old women with bits of hair growing out of their chins. Can’t stand that”.  Crickey! Clearly Laura is only interested in perfection.

But if Lucy’s presence has highlighted all of Laura’s negative traits then it’s done the opposite for Banksie as working at Hazelrigg School has been a revelation for him.  He tells Lucy that it’s the first time he feels that he’s appreciated and treated like a human being.

Lucy continues to be a character with depths – we’re never invited to feel sorry for her, the fact that she’s disabled is a part of who she is but it’s not something which defines her.  In other ways she’s a typically mischievous teenager (keen to do a bit of shoplifting) and – like Calley and the others – is also interested in fashion and jewellery (both Lucy and Calley buy earrings from Fay’s stall at the craft fair).

Donkey Watch.  Harriet’s finally been offloaded to the donkey sanctuary in Essex which means that a weight has been lifted off Mr Griffiths’ shoulders (and I’m sure also from the viewers).  Helen is a bit teary but I’m sure she’ll get over it.  Bye, bye Harriet.

Ant and Georgina continue to glower at each other.  He’s not terribly pleased that she’s decided to spend her Saturday with Mr Griffiths, Helen and Harriet rather than him.  And when he’s not getting aggro from Georgina then some long-haired fellow pupils at St Josephs are also on hand to taunt him that he’s a Grange Hill lad at heart.  But the truth is that Ant doesn’t seem to be happy anywhere.

Ronnie and Gonch still seem to be a couple.  Their relationship – such as it is – has to be one of the most underdeveloped we’ve ever seen.

Julie’s choosing material for her bridesmaid’s dress, Jackie’s trying on bridal gowns, whilst Zammo’s tagging along – alternately sulking and viewing the assembled wedding paraphernalia with barely concealed horror.  It couldn’t be more obvious that he still believes that they’re rushing into marriage, but he lacks the courage to speak up.

If Zammo’s educational journey this year (he passed just about all his resits) seemed slightly unlikely (he never appeared to be a particularly gifted pupil) then Fay’s journey (she failed just about all of hers) was also slightly surprising.

The reasons are teased out in this episode as it appears that, despite the passage of time, she still hasn’t put Mr King behind her.  She’s mentioned him numerous times during the year which means that his appearance at the craft fair comes as something of a jolt.  First he encounters Miss Booth (also selling her wares) who tells him that Fay’s doing okay (the way he can’t meet her eyes is a telling moment – the guilt he feels is quite palpable).  Fay’s delighted to see him but less delighted when she realises that he’s come with a girlfriend in tow.  Mr King has moved on – new job, new relationship, new life – which only serves to reinforce how in comparison Fay has remained in stasis.

Part of her might have remained hopeful that he’d return and they’d pick up where they left off (a slim part maybe) but now she knows that’s impossible.  The camera is quick to pick up on this as Fay is given an extreme close-up at the exact moment when she realises the truth.  Poor Fay.  She’s somewhat been through the wringer during the past year, but this should hopefully serve as the wake-up call she so desperately needed.

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Grange Hill. Series Ten – Episode Nineteen

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Written by Margaret Simpson.  Tx 10th March 1987

Last time E3 resolved to stop giving Mr Scott a hard time.  Their resolution didn’t last very long though (another example of sloppy script-editing?) as here we see them – even Ronnie – refusing to come into registration.  The reason?  They’re obeying the rule in the staff handbook which states that “pupils must walk in the corridors at all times”.

This is a civil disobedience action which the whole school is indulging in.  But whilst the other teachers are quickly able to take order, Mr Scott remains as ineffectual as ever.  It takes a passing Mr McKenzie to crack the whip and restore the status quo – whilst his apology to Mr Scott (given the general level of anarchy he hadn’t realised a teacher was present) seems to be a further nail in the younger man’s coffin.

Mr Scott and Mr Kennedy have another staff-room heart to heart, which again consists of Mr Kennedy barely managing to keep his temper in check.  But finally Mr Scott seems to have made a breakthrough, as his science class – where he dissects a heart – captures everybody’s attention.

It’s an obvious touch that hardman Trevor would is the one to buckle at this sight (he rushes off to throw up) but the fact that Mr Scott, when given interesting material, is able to command the room offers hope for the future.  There are numerous reaction shots of both the regulars and extras, which helps to sell the fact that the lesson was a success.

Julia and Laura were pretty inseparable during S9 but that hasn’t been the case this year.  Mainly this is due to the fact that Laura was inexplicably absent for the first half of this series, but even now – when they’re both together – there’s a feeling of discord.  This is thanks to Mr Glover, who is keen to discover the ringleaders driving the work to rule campaign and elects to use Julia as a mole.  A skiing holiday is the carrot and Julia seems only too happy to betray her friends, including Laura.  This is an interesting wrinkle, just a pity that it couldn’t have been developed a little earlier (this is one storyline that might have benefitted from being spread across a number of episodes).

Gonch, Robbie and Hollo decide to follow another directive in the staff handbook, which states that skirts should be worn for cricket.  This allows Mr Bronson the chance to utter the following wonderful line.  “You boys in skirts. Come here!”.

Mrs McClusky only makes a brief appearance, but it’s a telling one.  She wonders if, given the general state of affairs, they should have listened more sympathetically to the grievances outlined by the pupils.  Mr Bronson characteristically disagrees – this anarchy must be crushed and crushed quickly.  Mrs McClusky (particularly in her early years) was always prepared to steamroller any opposition – is she mellowing in her old age?

Roland’s sponsored diet, in aid of the Danny Kendal fund, is a boon for Gonch and Hollo who – with a crushing sense of inevitability – are running a book on how much he’s going to lose.  And when Roland’s impressive weight loss starts to make them worry they might lose a fortune, it’s equally inevitable that they decide to nobble him (by dropping handfuls of chocolate bars into his bag).  The old Roland would have scoffed them down without a single thought but the new, improved Roland seems made of sterner stuff.

Banksie’s a hit at Hazelrigg Road, interacting with the children and impressing the staff, but the time he’s spending there seems to be impacting his relationship with Laura.  It’s only hinted at here, but it seems that it’s a place she has no wish to visit.  So when Banksie tells Lucy that he and Laura will be happy to escort her to the craft fair (which is in a wheelchair unfriendly building – hence the need for two people) it’s not to hard to guess the direction this storyline will take.

Donkey Watch.  Harriet’s still not well and even Helen’s baby talk doesn’t seem to be doing any good.  And after the donkey once again nibbles the bushes (“What will Mrs McClusky say?” wails Mr Griffiths, not for the first time) everybody’s forced yet again to ponder Harriet’s future.  Gonch believes that she’d be best off as cat food(!) but moving to the countryside (to a donkey sanctuary) sounds like a better bet.

Praise be!  A pity that this couldn’t have been done some fifteen episodes previously but I believe at long last there’s a light at the end of this interminable tunnel.

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Grange Hill – Series Ten, Episode Eighteen

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Written by Chris Ellis.  Tx 6th March 1987

Fay’s received her exam results and is somewhat disappointed – only one pass.  Miss Booth – attempting to pour oil on troubled waters – sees a silver lining.  Fay’s recently shown an aptitude for designing jewellery, so maybe her future lies in that direction.

Fay is understandably a little doubtful – turn a hobby into a full-time career?  It’s possibly not surprising that Miss Booth – an art teacher – is the one to suggest that academic qualifications aren’t the be all and end all.  Fay brightens a little when the teacher suggests they both take a stall at the upcoming craft fair, although as we’ll see, this is a plot point that’s been set up for a specific reason ….

The day when Trevor takes control of E3’s tutorial period has arrived and as might be expected it’s a car crash. Mr Scott bleats ineffectively in the corner that he has to take the register (because it’s a legal document) whilst Trevor rides roughshod over him.  Given Mr Scott’s surname (he’s been dubbed Selina by Trevor), it’s not a shock that Trevor decides to make Selina Scott his topic for discussion.  As the boy continues to needle away, there’s a sense that Mr Scott’s finally reaching his breaking point …

But then we cut away to the sixth form common room.  Boo!  They’re not happy with the way that the previous day’s meeting turned out (it’s interesting that once again Miss Partridge is present – she’s very much aligned herself with the pupils rather than her fellow staff members).

You can cut the tension with a cricket stump when Miss Booth pops her head around the door.  Miss Partridge and Miss Booth had something of a difference of opinion during yesterday’s meeting and now Miss Partridge seems slightly irked that Fay (on Miss Booth’s urging) wants to swop her current studies for a CPVE course which will allow her to concentrate on her creative side.  Both are too polite to shout at each other but Miss Partridge makes the point that “supporting the kids and their ideas is not necessarily an act of high treason against the staff”.

So we’re back with Trevor and Mr Scott.  The teacher continues to stare into the distance whilst Trevor, pacing around, is having a fine old time.  Eventually Mr Scott snaps and grabbing Trevor by his tie tells him that “I’m sick of your stupid behaviour, juvenile” before storming out.  Previous tutorials have seen everybody – bar Ronnie – acting up, but it’s noticeable that here only Trevor (and maybe Vince, slightly) indulged.  The rest of the class remained silent – which was especially powerful when Trevor (left with the field of battle) proclaimed that he was the winner (“wasn’t I?”).  A pyrrhic victory then.

The rest of the class, realising that Trevor’s gone too far, decide to behave in future.  This mirrors Mr Knowles’ storyline during S6, although that took place over the course of a single episode rather than eighteen.  But even if they all agree, what about Trevor?  Gonch’s plan to cut him down to size is continuing and the next part of his plan involves Calley reading a specially doctored horoscope over the airwaves ….

One twist with Mr Scott that we didn’t see with Mr Knowles is that the girls tell him they’ve decided to behave.  If they were expecting him to be grateful then they’re disappointed, as the humiliation he feels is palpable.

Banksie and Laura have a wonderful argument.  It all starts when he calls her mother two faced!  At least with Bronson, he says, you know where you stand.  Uh oh.

Freddie (whose radio persona seems to have solidified into a young Bruno Brookes) decides to broadcast some contentious material about the school handbook.  No surprise that Mr Bronson (rather wonderfully relaxing in a classroom, reading a bumper book about Steam Locomotives) isn’t at all happy.  In double quick team he reaches the studio, where he looms in a menacing fashion.  “Right, that is enough”.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen an angry Mr Bronson (not since his running battles with Ant last year).  He doesn’t shout at Freddie though – instead his fury is restrained, making it all the more menacing.  Freddie shrugs it off, but it’s plain that in this situation there’s only going to be one victor.

Donkey Watch.  And still the saga of Harriet rumbles on, seemingly a never-ending story.  She’s right off her food and not even the sweet nothings whispered by Mr Griffiths seem to do the trick.  Then Helen pops her head around the stable door for some more words of encouragement, but Harriet remains non-committal.

The manifestation of the Grange Hill ghost is wonderfully silly.  A definite highlight from series ten.

There’s another slice of muddy football action as Ant finds himself under attack from all sides.  Freddie continues to cast unfriendly glances in his direction, whilst Ant’s teammates are convinced he’s being soft on his former schoolfriends.  Even Ronnie (who lest we forget once had a crush on him) and Jane regard him as a traitor and – by association – Georgina.  This might have been a fruitful avenue to explore – Georgina’s love for Ant making her an outcast at Grange Hill – but it never was (mainly because at present Georgina rarely interacts with the likes of Calley, Ronnie and Jane).

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