Grange Hill. Series Two – Episode Eight

grange hill s02e08

Written by Alan Janes. Tx 26th January 1979

This episode sees Cathy Hargreaves move centre-stage for the first time. Up until now we’ve learnt very little about her, apart from the fact that her father died when she was a baby.

The news that a man has been spotted following several Brookdale girls sparks concern and the school is visited by a policeman who is keen to stress some basic safety tips. The reaction of the pupils to this news (they’re very unruly and Mr Llewellyn struggles to quell them) is quite interesting. It’s the first time we’ve really seen the kids behave badly en-masse – and with the SAG protests about school uniform still bubbling away it’s a taste of things to come.

Trisha and Cathy are busy collecting signatures for the petition to abolish school uniform. Trisha’s sister Carol refuses to sign, telling her younger sister (probably quite rightly) that “you’d be out here, whatever the issue. You just like stirring it.”

Later, the two girls are sent to post a parcel and after Trisha leaves to go home, Cathy is followed by a man (who was also seen hanging around the school at the start of the episode). There’s an obvious inference, but the reality is somewhat different – the man is Cathy’s father. It takes a while before this is revealed though, so the sequence of Cathy’s growing realisation that somebody’s following her is rather disturbing.

The obvious fall-out when Cathy realises that her dead father isn’t dead after all will be seen in the upcoming episodes – as Trisha and Cathy fall out and Cathy hooks up with a nasty piece of work called Madelin Tanner (Lesley Woods).

One thought on “Grange Hill. Series Two – Episode Eight

  1. This was an interesting episode for Grange Hill to cover very early on.

    In the 1970s, and even in the 80s, there were a number of high profile child abductions and murders, that were committed randomly by opportunistic male offenders (predators) who were not known to their victims. Robert Black was probably the most notorious monster from this era.

    There does appear to be an underlining message in this episode about staying safe and do not engage with strangers when you are away from school grounds.

    The twist at the end concerning Cathy’s father wraps up the episode nicely. I first watched this episode when it was repeated in the BBC2 Sunday morning re-runs in the 1990s and I still think it is an excellent story from the very early years.

    Michael Percival (Mr Mitchell) has some great scenes – such a shame he would not become a long term character.

    Like

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