Written by Phil Redmond. Tx 2nd March 1979
The end of the school year is approaching and Grange Hill chooses to mark it with an open day and a series of projects. The first years project is “The History of Grange Hill” – a subject which doesn’t fill Cathy with a great deal of enthusiasm. She wonders which crawler thought that one up (possibly it’s not a surprise that it was Penny Lewis – embarrassingly she happened to be sitting opposite Cathy at the time she made the comment!)
For many of the first years, it’s the last time we’ll see them in school uniform as when series three opens, uniform has been made optional. Cathy and Trisha are given the job of designing a project about school uniform through the ages, which gives them an early chance to wear something a little more casual.
There’s a nice bit of continuity as Judy Preston makes a reappearance. Along with a few of her classmates at Brookdale, she’s come to propose a quiz between Brookdale and Grange Hill. Mr Llewellyn agrees and this brings the series to its conclusion.
It’s also the last time we’ll see Sean Arnold as Mr Llewellyn. Although Llewellyn remains headmaster for series three, he’s only ever referred to and never actually seen (after a while this becomes obvious – he’s always away at conferences or otherwise unavailable). And it won’t be the last time that Grange Hill will have a head teacher who’s conspicuous by their absence.
There’s a bit of a kerfuffle at the quiz after Doyle and his friends lock Hughes (who’s dreading taking part anyway) in a cupboard. With the clock ticking down to the start, there’s a mild crisis when he can’t be found. It’s very mild, to be honest, as it’s hardly the most gripping of plots, but it fills a few minutes.
The news that Mr Mitchell is leaving comes as a surprise, although Doyle (thanks to his family connections) already knew. But whilst teachers and pupils come and go, life at Grange Hill goes on.
2 thoughts on “Grange Hill. Series Two – Episode Eighteen”
Mr Mitchell was one of the first ‘central’ teachers in Grange Hill and one of the few adult characters to survive beyond Series One, as several casting changes were made after the first year.
Michael Percival was a key part of the early episodes and it was a shame he bowed out here. His final scene is quite ‘low key’ and bittersweet – there’s no big farewells, he simply tells the kids he’s moving on at the end of term.
Michael Percival continued to appear in guest roles on TV and film for a number of years. He was even a guest on Todd Carty’s ‘This Is Your Life’ where he offered some kind words about his time with Todd on GH.
Sadly, I believe Michael died a few years ago, although his death was never made public in the media, due to the fact he wasn’t acting at the time.
Yeah I hope the actor was moving onto other things.Not just the production team looking to shake things up with new teachers.With new first years coming in series 3 Mitchell would have been a good head teacher to have for their scenes.