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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3 thoughts on “Grange Hill – Series Ten, Episode Twenty Three

  1. Songs used in this series are much more audible in the later episodes. Boy George’s chart-topping version of ‘Everything I Own’ plays in the sixth form common room.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always felt Series 10 began to run out of steam towards the end.

    The Donkey plot and Radio GH just feel overdone and have diluted the series.

    Apart from Banksie, the sixth formers were also a little underused in their final year.

    This episode is a nice penultimate one, as we see Gonch & Hollo in action one last time.

    Bradley Sheppard (Hollo) would simply ‘vanish’ without trace after this series, so it is the end of their iconic partnership here.


    • I think it also doesn’t help that the pupils are protesting over something that isn’t necessarily an obvious feature of real school lives. Previous protests such as getting rid of school uniform or making the free school meals pupils sit on a particular table or trying to get a popular teacher reinstated are something that viewers can easily identify with even if the specifics haven’t come up in their own school. But access to rule books & how they’re interpreted or the keeping of profiles & who can read them aren’t so obviously relatable or something where a viewer can see the opposing arguments and start thinking about for themselves.


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