The Fenn Street Gang (1971–1973)
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Should Auld Acquaintance 



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Episode credited cast:
Peter Cleall ...
Carol Hawkins ...
David Barry ...
Liz Gebhardt ...
Peter Denyer ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Roger Charles ...
Mr. Masters
Jane Cousins ...
Pamela Cundell ...
Richard Davies ...
Mr. Price
Terry Duggan ...
Cherry Joseph ...
Larry Martyn ...


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Release Date:

17 September 1971 (UK)  »

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"I've got a glass eye in a very funny place!"
17 November 2007 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Series 3 of 'Please Sir' concluded with Bernard 'Privet' Hedges marrying the lovely Penny, and 5C graduating ( strangely we never saw them sitting exams, much less getting qualifications ).

Episode 1 of 'The Fenn Street Gang' begins with a lengthy scene in a bowling alley which was clearly written to bring viewers up to speed on the Gang's activities ( Duffy must be a good friend to Craven. He allows him to leer suggestively at Sharon as she throws the ball ). There's a lovely, touching moment as a pompous tannoy announcement provokes a cry of 'Nose! Nose!'. Looking at one another, the Gang laugh. You can take the kids out of the school, but not the school out of the kids it seems.

Concerned they might not see one another any longer, they arrange to meet up on Thursdays at eight in 'The Three Feathers' pub ( presumably they have lied about their ages to get service ).

At the first such meeting, Maureen fails to show up. While the others grumble, she is hard at work in the hospital where she works as a nurse. An explosion in a glass eye factory means her services are required round-the-clock. On leaving the pub, Frankie traps his finger in the door of Duffy's van, and has to be hospitalised. Here the Gang realises the reason for Maureen's non-appearance...

The first episode is more concerned with setting up the premise for the show, rather than being amusing in its own right. Its also one of the few to feature every Gang member - later stories would focus on individual characters, with the others appearing in supporting roles.

Two cast changes occurred - Carol Hawkins replaced Penny Spencer ( fired after asking for a pay rise ) in that year's 'Please Sir!' movie, and stayed in the role throughout 'The Fenn Street Gang'. Fans are divided over who was the best 'Sharon'. I tend to favour sultry Spencer myself, though bubbly Hawkins was equally beautiful. Malcolm McFee was unavailable, so the role of 'Peter Craven' went to Leon Vitali. Vitali lacked McFee's flair for sarcasm, and was just too similar to Peter Cleall's 'Duffy' for his own good. Fortunately, McFee returned for subsequent seasons.

Richard Davies makes a welcome guest appearance as the grumpy Welsh teacher 'Mr.Price'. Spotting the Gang in a pub, he makes various rude comments, before accepting their invitation to join them.

The day after this episode first went out, 'Please Sir' kicked off its fourth and final series with 'Identitwit', in which Liz Gebhardt made a similar cameo.

Spot the mistake - when the 'end of part one' caption is on, someone walks past the camera!

Funniest moment - it does not involve the Gang. In the hospital scene, a man with his right arm in plaster attempts with difficulty to drink a cup of tea!

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