Season 1 of 'The Fenn Street Gang' and Season 4 of 'Please Sir!' both ended in February 1972. Only the former returned. Fenn Street School just was not the same without Mr.Hedges ( John Alderton ) and the original 5C, and no-one knew this better than John Esmonde and Bob Larbey.
Before the year was out, 'Gang' was back, only this time with Malcolm McFee returning as 'Peter Craven' and Esmonde and Larbey penning every episode. As a consequence, Season 2 is more consistent than Season 1.
At the start of 'The Crunch', Eric is sitting down to dinner with his father ( Alistair Wiliamson ) and brother Monty ( Prentis Hancock ). As Mrs.Duffy ( Hilda Fenemore ) ladles out the mashed potato, Monty gently breaks the bad news to Eric - with his wife Rosemary expecting a child, he has decided to sell his half of the family decorating business, and get a better paid job. Eric is livid as he cannot afford to run the business on his own and, after a family row, storms out. Maureen and Frankie are walking past the Duffy's garage when she spots a light on. Eric does not want to go home and plans on spending the night in the van. Taking pity, Maureen takes him back to her house instead. Frankie, Denis and Craven spot Maureen kissing Duffy in her kitchen...
A good start to Season 2, with the old gang reunited ( save for Penny Spencer ) and each getting a fair share of the action. Leon Vitali was not bad as 'Craven', but Malcolm McFee shows here why the part was tailor made for him. The only disappointing thing about this season is that we did not get John Alderton back as 'Hedges'.
This season's title sequence was composed of pictures of the gang running amok in an amusement arcade. Denis King provided a lively new theme.
Funniest moment - Frankie tries to impress Maureen by throwing a 2p coin into the air George Raft-style. It falls out of his sight. Panicking, he starts to look for it. "I can't afford to lose that!", he says, "That's tomorrow's sweet money!".
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