All eight episodes from the first season of the popular Channel 4 drama series set in the fictional Summerdown Comprehensive, where the teachers are just as juvenile (if not more so) than the teenagers they are supposed to be educating. In Episode 1, Simon (Andrew Lincoln) makes an alarming discovery about his girlfriend after breaking into the school and stealing a statue as a prank. In Episode 2, Simon starts to imagine Jenny (Nina Sosanya) as Madame Whiplash after sharing a joint with a pupil. Episode 3 sees Simon being kicked out of his father's flat and dumped by his girlfriend within the space of a couple of days. In Episode 4, Simon's sex education class gives rise to all kinds of complications and uncertainties. Episode 5 finds Simon and Jenny locked in a passionate tryst after getting locked in a book cupboard together. In Episode 6, Susan (Raquel Cassidy) breaks down after the open day turns out a disaster and her husband Peter (Alisdair Simpson) proves to be less than supportive. In Episode 7, Simon doesn't know what to do when a pupil makes a sexual complaint against Bob (Lloyd McGuire), the head of department - who will be interviewing him for the permanent post. Finally, in Episode 8, it's the end-of-year staff party and a few unexpected liaisons are forged...
Depending on where you get your recommendations, you'll see Teachers
described as a comedy, a drama, an irresponsible depiction of the teaching profession and a (fairly) sympathetic reminder of how teachers are expected to be morally unimpeachable despite being ordinary human beings like the rest of us. In fact, it's all of the above, which perhaps does more for the show's realism than all its supposedly controversial elements put together.
The series stars Andrew (This Life) Lincoln as the feckless Simon, who, like several of his colleagues, is no more mature or advanced in terms of his ability to manage his own life than his pupils. The staff at the fictitious Bristol school are given to in-fighting, petty factionalism, bad behaviour, inappropriate nookie and dishonesty, both on and off-duty. That said, they also have to wrestle with professional and moral dilemmas and deal with their dysfunctional relationships: sometimes they succeed, often they don't. It makes for a superb, bittersweet concoction. If you want yet more social comment, it's worth noting that the series was filmed in a disused, empty LEA school.
On the DVD: Teachers, Series 1 bucks the take-it-or-leave-it convention of many television series releases by actually providing some interview material as part of this two-disc set. Simple extras such as this cost little enough to include and do at least add some value to the package. --Roger Thomas
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.