Written by Phil Redmond. Tx 29th February 1980
The series-long plotline of Penny verses Doyle is concluded here. After being berated by Miss Peterson for his poor performances as the third year rep, Doyle vows to get even with Penny (who he assumes has once more been telling tales about him).
He steals her project (which she has spent a considerable time on) and throws it away with the rubbish collected by the cleaners. But eventually his sins find him out, he loses his position as rep and he, and his friends, are forced to sort through the piles of rubbish to retrieve as much of Penny’s project as they can find.
Apart from an unexpected one-off appearance in series five, this would be Ruth Davis’ last episode as Penny Lewis. It’s something that happens time and again in Grange Hill, as pupils vanish for extended periods or sometimes forever (usually because real-life pressures, such as exams, intervene). Penny is replaced in series four by Pamela Cartwright, an almost identical character (bossy, a frequent contributor to the school magazine, etc). It’s tempting to think that the scripts for series four were originally written for Penny and they simply crossed her name out and wrote Pamela’s instead.
The final scene of Doyle and co leafing through the rubbish is an amusing, if low-key, ending to the series. Clearly the thought of concluding a series with a hook to lead into the next run of episodes wasn’t something that was considered at this time.