Fenn Street Gang 2 on DVD

Friday, 23 May 2008 18:12

They're back!  It seems that no sooner has season one hit the shelves of DVD stores, than Season Two comes charging over the hill, giving us more adventures from the young school leavers of Fenn Street.

As the series begins, it’s been a year since the students left the relatively shielded and easy surroundings of form 5C, as seen in seasons one to three of PLEASE, SIR! - they left Fenn Street School expecting that they could rule the world, but it hasn’t turned out that way. They are gradually finding out that the world does not always want to know, and that things are always more complicated and tricky than how they initially seem.

 

Fenn Street Gang Series 2Duffy’s business is going painfully and slowly down the drain; the ‘multi-tasking’ Craven has become involved with a local gangster called Bowler (who eventually gets his own spin-off show) and the seemingly sensible Dennis gets himself involved with the most unsuitable girlfriend…

The Fenn Street Gang was created and written in part by the phenomenally successful writing team of John Esmonde and Bob Larbey (Ever Decreasing Circles, The Good Life), and will appeal to viewers who enjoy quality sitcoms.

Eric Duffy (Peter Cleall) and Sharon Eversleigh (Carol Hawkins) continue the up-and-down relationship they started at school, eventually marrying in the final series.

Frankie Abbott (David Barry – check out our review of his new novel Willie The Actor here) fancies himself as a "private investigator" but proves to be less than brilliant in his chosen profession. His girlfriend, Maureen Bullock (Liz Gebhardt), is training to be a nurse. Frankie continues to have problems with his mother (Barbara Mitchell).

Peter Craven (Malcolm McFee taking the role back on following the incursion by Leon Vitali in season one) goes to work for local crook Stanley Bowler (as played by the inimitable George Baker).

The show looks to focus on one or two of the characters per episode to give the format more of an anthology feel than just a straight-forward sit-com. In some respects, you almost feel that this was the youth of the time’s answer to Steptoe and Son, being that the characters seem to be stuck with the lot they have, and their background and surroundings make it very difficult for them to escape from their paths in life.

Each set runs for around 450 minutes, and has a RRP of £29.99 (or less from www.culttvstore.com).

And now, thanks to Cult TV and Network DVD, you could have had the opportunity to put one of three copies of this second series, available to win and put on to your mantelpiece, in our prize competition. All you had to do was tell us the answer to the following question: Which Space: 1999 actor played Duffy’s brother in the first episode of this season of episodes of The Fenn Street Gang? The answer was Prentis Hancock (who played the character of Paul Morrow in Season One of the space epic), and the winners were Alberto Pantrini of Harborne, Birmingham, Ian Wareing of Liverpool, and Roman Krause of Rugby.  Congratulations all!


SERIES CAST

Peter Cleall as Eric Duffy

David Barry as Frankie Abbott

Carol Hawkins as Sharon Eversleigh

Liz Gebhardt as Maureen Bullock (Series 1-2)

Peter Denyer as Dennis Dunstable (Series 1-2)

Leon Vitali as Peter Craven (Series 1)

Malcolm McFee as Peter Craven (Series 2-3)

Sue Bond as Dolly (Series 1)

Neil Wilson as Archie Drew (Series 1)

Barbara Mitchell as Mrs Abbott

George Baker as Stanley Bowler (Series 2)

Written by John Esmonde & Bob Larbey

Directed by David Askey (22-24, 27, 31), Philip Casson (25, 32, 34, 36, 38), Mark Stuart (26, 28, 29), Howard Ross (30, 33, 35, 37, 39).

SEASON TWO EPISODE GUIDE

22. The Crunch

Duffy discovers that running a small family business is not all beer and skittles. He can’t even afford the beer! Watch out for Prentis Hancock as Duffy’s brother.

Original ITV Transmission: 15 October 1972

23. Smart Lad Wanted

Bowler, the local villain who runs everything except London Transport, offers the out-of-work Craven a job. Craven’s friends warn him about getting mixed up with Bowler, but he has never been one to listen to advice that didn’t suit him.

Original ITV Transmission: 22 October 1972

24. The Woman For Dennis

The gang are delighted when the lonely Dennis Dunstable announces that he has found a girlfriend. Then they meet the ‘girl’ – battle-scarred and pushing 40. Sadly, it appears that Cupid may need a little correction…

Original ITV Transmission: 29 October 1972

25. Menagerie à Trois

Abbott’s hypochondriac mother throws off her bandages when she falls for a man. Abbott’s jealousy drives him from home, and he decides to inflict himself on Dennis. But Abbott and his mother deserve each other too much for the parting to be permanent.

Original ITV Transmission: 5 November 1972

26. The Sort Of Girl

Struggling to stay in business, Duffy needs, but cannot afford, some new ladders. Sharon enters a beauty contest to try and get enough money to buy them, but Duffy has strong views on beauty contests, and Maureen has strong views on men who have views on beauty contests.

Original ITV Transmission: 12 November 1972

27. The Left Hand Path

Working for the crooked Mr Bowler has brought Craven a flash car and flash clothes. Working for himself has brought Duffy packed lunches and overalls. Craven cannot resist showing off, but showing off with Mr Bowler’s money is not only silly, but also very dangerous.

Original ITV Transmission: 19 November 1972

28. The Lady With The Lamp

At last Maureen passes her O-levels and begins a new career as a ‘real’ nurse. Little do the patients and the staff realise what they are in for with the arrival of a modern-day Florence Nightingale gone berserk!

Original ITV Transmission: 26 November 1972

29. The Loneliest Night Of The Week

Dennis and Frankie find contact with the opposite sex difficult. With advice from Craven and Sharon, Dennis feels that dancing lessons might be a way of making friends. Abbott, of course, has a much better idea, and idea that could lead to disaster…

Original ITV Transmission: 3 December 1972

30. Father's Day

Mr Dunstable has his last drunken row with his wife – who leaves him. So, he decides to move in with Dennis. But Dennis, now making sweet, if slow, progress with his girlfriend, has other ideas.

Original ITV Transmission: 10 December 1972

31. Low Noon

Mr Bowler likes Peter Craven working for him because he has ‘style’. He very much wants Duffy on his payroll, too, because he has even more ‘style. Duffy says no, but Mr Bowler is a determined man who thinks anyone will change their mind – with a little persuasion…

Original ITV Transmission: 17 December 1972

32. And Baby Makes Four

Craven moves away from home and gets himself a flat – which he regards as a potential ‘come up for coffee and do you have to go home’ set-up. Then he gives a lift to a heavily pregnant hitch-hiker, and his love-nest begins to look like a nursing home.

Original ITV Transmission: 31 December 1972

33. Is That A Proposal, Eric?

Sharon has been Eric Duffy’s girlfriend since the Third Form at Fenn Street School, and she is beginning to think that she will still only be his girlfriend when they are drawing their pensions. This leads Sharon to take drastic steps. Eric only takes one step – but it’s a big one.

Original ITV Transmission: 7 January 1973

34. Private Eye & Public Nuisance

Frankie Abbott is enjoying life on the dole, spending his days in bed and only waking occasionally to play with his new camera. Then his mother meets private investigator Mr Drew and persuades him to re-employ her son.

Original ITV Transmission: 14 January 1973

35. Dypsomania On Sea

When Dennis is persuaded to take a holiday by the sea, his father goes too and takes a cure. But, much to the horror of the elderly residents of a certain hotel, the sea air revives the spirits in both father and son!

Original ITV Transmission: 21 January 1973

36. Is Anybody There?

The gang go other-worldly when Maureen gets interested in spiritualism. At a meeting held by Mr Grout, a medium, he tells them that one of them could easily turn out to be a medium too. Abbott immediately assumes he has psychic powers …

Original ITV Transmission: 28 January 1973

37. How To Handle A Woman

The relationship between Craven’s parents consists of Mrs Craven yelling and Mr Craven obeying. So he decides to incite his father to rebellion, and succeeds – in splitting them up!

Original ITV Transmission: 4 February 1973

38. Business Deficiency

The writing is on the wall for Eric Duffy. What he needs to get his decorating business more firmly established is to put the whole thing on a more formal footing.

Original ITV Transmission: 11 February 1973

39. Absent Friends

Duffy and Sharon’s engagement is made official at last – so, of course, there has to be a party. What better time than now for the happy couple to have all their old school friends around them? Or is it?

Original ITV Transmission: 18 February 1973

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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