Written by Margaret Simpson. Tx 16th January 1990
Some of the events from the previous episode are briefly touched upon. Robbie remains anxious about the pub fight (fretting that the man was badly injured) although Mike seems blithely unconcerned. Aichaa and Georgina are more than happy with their glamour photos while Ronnie is still seething at Calley (more than a little displeased at being used as an alibi to explain Calley’s all-night absence).
Mr Hankin takes the third-years down to the canal. As you might expect it’s a slightly chaotic trip, although the reassuring presence of Mr MacKenzie means that events don’t spiral out of control. Although Mr Hankin does receive a certain amount of teasing, there’s also frustration from the likes of Chrissy – who doesn’t understand exactly what they have to do and why, thanks to Mr Hankin’s rather vague utterances.
The trip also allows Tegs and Justine to have yet another argument, which leaves both of them frustrated. Later, they both pour out their troubles (Tegs to Matthew, Justine to Andy). This episode allows us to take the first proper look at Andy – who doesn’t impress. Not only does he come across as a jealous type (convinced that Justine and Tegs have a closer bond than mere friendship) he’s more than happy to leave Justine hanging when Trev breezes in with the offer of taking part in a card school.
Rod, of course, is running the card school – snugly ensconced in the caretaker’s office, with mugs of tea all round (although he won’t allow Mauler to smoke!). Given that Mr Griffiths has previously been portrayed as a man who loves his office, it’s a little surprising that Rod feels so comfortable (although maybe Mr G, incensed at the presence of the younger man, has decided to work just a little harder – hence his more regular absences).
The lunchtime disco is in full swing, although they could do with getting some more up to date records (Always on my Mind by the Pet Shop Boys was heard drifting out of the door). And I was intrigued to see that the disco ran from 12.15 pm to 2.00 pm. That’s a very generous lunch hour, unless the school operates split meal breaks.
The key part of the second half of the episode revolves around Tegs and Matthew’s attempt to steal a photograph from Mr Griffiths’ office. Matthew is depressed about his home life, so Tegs decides that stealing the photo will cheer him up (hmmm). We haven’t seen any criminal activity from Tegs for a while, so I did wonder if that character trait had been quietly written out, but today’s episode confirms otherwise.
Tegs has a touch of the Artful Dodger about him as he corrupts the innocent Matthew (Oliver). This whole plot doesn’t really go anywhere though – they drop the picture and break the frame, steal another frame from Mr Hargreaves’ office and return the picture with the new frame to Mr Griffiths’ office. Something of a waste of time then ….
The subplot of Mrs Monroe locked in the stationery cupboard did raise a smile though.
One thought on “Grange Hill. Series Thirteen – Episode Five”
Random thought, but is Mr Griffiths the only cast member to appear in the opening credits? He can be seen opening up the school but the schoolkids and teachers that appear don’t seem to be series regulars, from what I can tell.
A couple of semi-interesting music notes. Trevor’s dialogue makes reference to the Buddy Holly song that is playing in the caretaker’s office and Cally says, as I recall, “Never you mind…’ just as the chorus of “Always on My Mind” kicks in. The former is obviously deliberate, but the latter might just have been a happy accident.
Grange Hill’s odd tradition of ignoring the departure of key characters is very obvious in these opening episodes with the Matthew and Tegs pair-up, with no mention of Clarke, who was clearly Matthew’s closest friend for the last two years, whatsoever.