Grange Hill. Series One – Episode Six

grange hill s01e06

Written by Phil Redmond. Tx 15th March 1978

Tucker’s still very much a loose cannon. His latest trick is seeing how often he can throw his woodwork chisel into a piece of wood – which is rather dangerous to say the least. The fact that the teacher remains oblivious to this no doubt would have upset those watching at home who already found him and some of the other pupils to be less than ideal role models.

His next wheeze is to persuade Benny to explore an abandoned building which he claims is an ammo dump. Rather unexpectedly, Justin asks to join them. Tucker’s reluctant (since the incident at the swimming pool) but Benny is happy for him to come along, so Tucker eventually agrees.

The abandoned building offers plenty of scope for unusual camera angles and tension is ramped up by mysterious noises (which turn out to be a cat!) But the abandoned building isn’t quite as abandoned as it seems – two workman turn up. As the three boys attempt to escape, Justin loses his footing and falls.

At first glance, it looks as if he might be dead. But it would have been a daring move (and probably a step too far) to kill off a pupil so early in the run. Although at the time the first series was made it was far from certain that a second would go into production, so you could argue that they had nothing to lose.

But after the fall-out that occurred over the swimming pool incident, they were probably wise to ensure that Justin only suffered broken bones and concussion. We’d have to wait a little longer before the series started killing off its pupils.

Mrs Jenkins and Mrs Green are called to the school and it’s refreshing that neither find fault with the school – they both put the blame onto their children (whilst also accepting that they have to shoulder responsibilty as well). After some deliberation it’s decided that only corporal punishment will fit the bill – and this is enough to finally wipe the smile off Tucker’s face (although, brave to the end, he does insist that he can take more punishment than Benny!)

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

  1. After the first series of Grange Hill there was a letter of complaint in Radio Times from a parent who watched the episode where Tucker and his friends went exploring in an old warehouse. She thought that this was a good idea as sh thought it would be a warning about the dangers of playing in old buildings, and sure enough one of the boys was injured and ended up in hospital.

    But in the last scene the headmaster seemed more concerned about punishing the other two boys than about the welfare of the injured boy, and the correspondent thought that it undermined the safety message.

    Some people say Grange Hill was never the same after Tucker left. Some people say Grange Hill jumped the shark when the school merged with Brookdale. Some people say Grange Hill jumped the shark after the wedding episode when production moved to Liverpool. But there are some people say Grange Hill jumped the shark at least as far back as the warehouse episode.

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  2. One of the rare occasions corporal punishment was used in Grange Hill, the only other time it’s used is by the psycho games teacher Mr Hicks, who only lasts one episode, and when Cathy gets caned for skipping school in series 4. Then it’s never seen or mentioned again, and presumably has been abolished at the school in the early eighties, and when it was in use, was only as a last resort. Probably true to life, as schools were phasing out corporal punishment at the time and the practice was being made illegal.

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