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Grange Hill : Complete BBC Series 1 & 2 Box Set [DVD]
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To celebrate Grange Hill's 30th anniversary, the BBC releases the first four series of Grange Hill.
This DVD box set contains the trailblazing series 1 and 2 of this ever-popular BBC teen drama set in the fictional comprehensive of Grange Hill. With its wonderful mix of actors and actresses and entertaining coverage of teen issues, Grange Hill has become an institution. The show is one of the longest running on British television.
Originally broadcast between 1978 and 1981, the original four series revolve around Tucker Jenkins and his motley crew, his rivalry with Benny Green and run-ins with the staff and school bullies. During this time, the show's creator Phil Redmond was also its executive producer before moving on to set up Brookside in 1982. Colin Cant directed the first nine episodes in 1978 and produced series 3 and 4.
Tucker Jenkins? Benny Green? Trisha Yates? If these names mean nothing to you, then youve missed out on a hugely influential part of British childrens television programming. Fortunately, the release of Grange Hill Series 1 & 2 on DVD gives a whole new generation the chance to see where the enduring drama all began.
Set in a fictional London comprehensive school, Grange Hill was, from the off, a gritty and down-to-earth programme, far out of keeping with the childrens shows of the time. Introducing pupils such as those mentioned back at the start (and not for nothing is Tucker regarded as the first hero of the show), they were matched by a now-legendary roster of teachers: who can forget Mr Baxter the PE teacher, for instance?
The secret to Grange Hills success is inherent in these two maiden series. And it was the marrying up of a terrific cast of characters to storylines that felt real, without any attempt to gloss anything up. Plus, while its Tucker and his gang that are at the centre of much of the drama, theres plenty going on in the background too to hold your attention. Nostalgics may be surprised at just how much they remember!
But does it all hold up today? Absolutely. This is Grange Hill arguably at its rawest, and its all the better for it. And while controversial storylines would really push things out in the years to follow, its surprising just how well these early episodes have endured. Whether youre new to Grange Hill or not, this DVD set is a real treasure from the archives, and a long overdue release. --Simon Brew
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Top Customer Reviews
The series was terrific, right from the first. Times were hard and often brutal in the 1970s - this was the era of Punk, Sid and Nancy and the Winter of Discontent and Grange Hill never shied away from the realities of life.
The Benny Green/Michael Doyle racism storyline was absolutely groundbreaking in children's drama.
Grange Hill was a tremendous influence on schoolchildren across the land, I remember my own school set up a school council, based on the Grange Hill model, in 1980!
The militancy of the kids as they confronted the school uniform issue in series 2 was another sign of the times.
Whatever type of child you were - a jack-the-lad Tucker Jenkins, studious Justin, up-front Trisha or terrified Judy, this show is for you. And the setting is not a pretend, romanticised 1970s - it IS the 1970s. So much has changed - back then there was no World Wide Web, no mobile phones...
But the adventures of Trisha, Tucker and co in the big bad comprehensive school are as compelling now as they were way back then!
Series one looks and feels fairly dated but despite this the context is recognisable to anyone who has ever started secondary school and to the legions of bullies' victims and angst-ridden pubescents down the ages (so basically most people over eleven!) The fashions, transport and mannerisms may be archaic but Peter `Tucker' Jenkins, Benny Green, Alan Hargreaves (later Humphries), Trisha Yates and Justin Bennett are, and always have been, in every school throughout the land. The series' first proper bully - the odious Michael Doyle - wheedles and whines his way throughout, whilst the teachers are also well-represented by the legendary `Bullet' Baxter, too good to be true form master Mr Mitchell and soppy music teacher `Sooty' Sutcliffe. Other notable characters from the first series are the hilarious Hughes, prototype-Imelda Davies Jackie Mann and thoroughly wet girls Ann Wilson and Judy Preston, both with RP accents to die for. Interestingly, seemingly key characters have been weeded-out by the second series; sadistic games master `Doctor' Foster and sensitive art teacher Mrs Preston disappear without mention whilst Judy moves to Brookdale and Ann is dismissed by Trisha as having `moved away' during half-term.Read more ›
1 Things were easier back then. Parents used more discipline, teachers were more respected and children were better behaved. In many ways, the Grange Hill of 1978 was an almost twee institution compared to a typical school and it's problems today. It's funny to think that 30 years ago many of the issues raised in this show were seen as too controversial and gritty for child viewing.
2 Certain curios on the show, long forgotten, zoomed me back in an instant to when I was very young - the leather purse necklace worn by Madeline Tanner. I had one, I'd totally forgotten about it and seeing them again brought fresh memories of when I'd purchased it as a 6 year old. I could even smell the texture of it. The shopping mall scene - kitsch plastic fountains, garish public seating and facades of shops no longer in existence.
I would highly recommend this dvd - the plotlines are enjoyable and the timeline a nostalgic treat. Tucker Jenkins and Trish Yates became household names and deserve to be brought to a new generation of schoolkids.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What's not to like, with Tucker Jenkins and Trisha Yates nothing but great 1970s comprehensive school drama. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Deputy Dog
I remember watching the Episode when in the school Judi Jeffries fell from a top window to her death after Alec accidentally set fire to the stationary cupboard where he and Judi... Read morePublished 4 months ago by mathew andrews
Oh my word, a trip down memory lane. Seems amazing that this was seen as fairly edgy when it started in the 70s and 80s; my Mum still doesn't like it but my daughters (8 and 10... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Small Penguin
I enjoyed grange hill as a teenager,so got this dvd but was really disappointed as some of the chapters kept skipping parts I returned.Published 7 months ago by beverley