Press Gang

Series Two

A Richmond Films & Television Production in assocation with Central Independent Television. Episodes are approximately 25 minutes in duration.

Written by Steven Moffat
Series based on an idea by Bill Moffat
Produced by Sandra C. Hastie
Executive Producer for Central Television Lewis Rudd
Music by Peter Davis, John Mealing, John G. Perry
Casting Director Liz England
Directors of Photography Alec Mills BSC [1,2,6], James Devis BSC [3-5,10,11], Michael Reed [7-9,12,13]
Designer Alan Cassie

REGULAR CAST: Lynda Day Julia Sawalha, James "Spike" Thomson II Dexter Fletcher, Kenny Philips Lee Ross [not 6], Sarah Jackson Kelda Holmes [not 6], Colin Mathews Paul Reynolds, Frazer "Frazz" Davis Mmoloki Chystie [not 6], Sam Black Gabrielle Anwar [not 6,11], Toni "Tiddler" Tildesley Joanna Dukes [1-4,7-13].

RECURRING CHARACTERS: Mr Sullivan Nick Stringer [1-4,6,8,13], Chrissie Stuart Angela Bruce [1,5,7,9], Sophie Jenkins Rosie Marcel [1,4,6,9,12,13], Laura Wilmot Claire Hearnden [1,4,6,9,12,13], Lynda's Mother Penelope Nice [3,7,9,11,12], Matt Kerr Clive Wood [5,6,13], Billy Homer Andy Crowe [8-11], Kevin Jeremy Hodge [2,3,7-11] (credited as a news team member for 2,3,11), Kate Sophie Newton [2-5,9,11,13] (credited as a news team member for all except 9).

THE NEWS TEAM (as credited): Adriano Agostino [2-5,11,13], Casey Anderson [3,13], Tony Annis [2], Mark Baxter [2-5,11,13], Peter Cunningham [13], Simon Davidson [3-5,13], Rafaello Degruttola [4,11,13], Linda Frith [13], Michelle Gayle [2,3], Rebecca Hamilton [2-5,11], Anna Kipling [2-5,11,13], Dominic Kipling [4,5,11,13], Mitchell Knight [3,5,11,13], Peter Laxton [2,3,5,13], Kevin Mathurst [2], Sonya May [2-5,11,13], Corinna Reardon [5], Ryan Romain [3,5,11,13], Matthew Rose [2], Bonnie Sullivan [4], Darren Traynor [11], Joanne Varney [13], Linda Wells [3-4,11,13]

2.01   Breakfast At Czar's 18 January 1990

Directed by Bob Spiers
When it is revealed that Wellside Community Centre is actually closing the team must scrap an issue of the Junior Gazette concerning how they saved it. Lynda decides to produce a whole new issue overnight despite overwhelming opposition from parents and teachers. Several questions must also be asked. Why was the paper mislead? And what is in the large box that Colin has brought to the newsroom?
GUEST CAST: Charlotte Rendell Siri Neal (the character's surname is revealed in Love and the Junior Gazette), Councillor Peter Mayhew Raymond Sawyer.


NOTES: The season opens with a pre-credits sequence ("Here we go again!") and brings about some changes. It was originally intended that Julie's part would be greater this season; however Lucy Benjamin left the show and her role was effectively given over to a new character, Sam, Julie's replacement as head of the graphics team. Sam was played by Gabrielle Anwar, who had auditioned for the part of Lynda. The newsroom has also changed for the new season. For series one it was actually filmed on location (inside the building that served as its exterior). However, the building was due to be demolished (which is why the exterior is never seen after series two) so the newsroom was re-created at Pinewood. This episode almost features Spike and Lynda's first kiss, although they are interrupted by Kenny at the crucial moment. This scene was filmed later when the episode was under-running (this can be seen by Julia Sawalha's hair being shorter for this one scene).

TRIVIA: Sam has only been working for the Junior Gazette for two weeks. We learn the star signs of some of the characters: Kenny is Aries, Lynda is Virgo, Tiddler is Sagittarius and Mr Sullivan is Libra. Frazz is also said to be a Libra, but he claimed to be Scorpio in Page One (perhaps his birthday is close to the split between the two and he gets confused!).

CONTINUITY: There are references to the time that they team put together an issue of the Junior Gazette in only three hours (Deadline) and Spike describes to Charlotte how he broke the paper's first lead story (Page One/Photo Finish). Lynda also hears about the closure on Wellside on Radio Sherrington, the station which the Phone Ranger worked for in Both Sides of the Paper.

CHOICE QUOTES: Sam: "For every hour I work past 1 o'clock I want an hour off next week, okay?"  Lynda: "Catching up on your sleep I expect."  Sam: "Absolutely. I put a lot of work into this face. I don't want it getting creased."  Lynda: "Why not, it might give you some character."  Sam: "Well you've got enough character for both our faces."  Lynda: "Both of ours or just both of yours?"
      Lynda (on Sam): "She's arrogant, self opinionated and impossible to deal with. Who does she think she is?"  Kenny: "You?"
      "Can you imagine it. For two hours the audience sat and watched a box with a spotlight on it. Not many came back after the interval. At the end there was just these four drama students who gave it a standing ovation and asked me to join their drama group. Kenny, have you any idea how humiliating it is to take your escape artist home in a box?" (Colin).

2.02   Picking Up The Pieces 25 January 1990

Directed by Gerry O'Hara
Colin turns his attention on Suzy Norton, a brilliant schoolgirl chessplayer, with a plan making use of an unwitting Frazz. Meanwhile, it appears that Spike is in danger of returning to his old ways when he beats up a sixth former who wrote something on a common room wall.
GUEST CAST: Suzy Norton Abigail Docherty, Kennyís Mother (Lynne Philips) Janet Allen, Librarian Tessa Shaw, Car Owner Andre Thornton Grimes.

END CREDIT VOICEOVER: Frazz, Spike and Lynda.

CONTINUITY: Lynda mentions the incident with her and Spike almost kissing from the previous episode. Jenny Eliot is mentioned when she dumps Kenny. Mr Sullivan appears to be driving the same car that he did in Deadline.

TRIVIA: The telephone number of CM Enterprises is Norbridge 53279.

CHOICE QUOTES: Lynda: "I can't imagine you sending love letters."  Kenny: "I can't imagine you getting any."
      "Suzy, I caught one of your matches the other day and I was impressed. Just a little word of advice though, show you legs more..." (Colin).

2.03   Going Back To Jasper Street 1 February 1990

Directed by Bren Simson
A grotesque wooden figure brings back memories for Lynda of the events of Kenny's birthday ten years previously. Meanwhile, Ruby Grogan has a crush on Spike, much to the disgust of Colin who is interested in her.
GUEST CAST: Young Lynda Kate Williams, Young Kenny Simon Bright, Ruby Grogan Julie Foy, First Street Boy Steven Szczebiot, Second Street Boy Neil Ketternhorn, Mrs Williams Rose Hill.


NOTES: The episode title is in large childish lettering. The episode features some lovely direction in switching between the two time zones, particularly the jump between the two Lyndas at the start of the episode and the "He's always following me" sequence

CONTINUITY: The episode builds on Kenny and Lynda's long friendship as established in How To Make A Killing.Jenny Eliot is mentioned again and Spike refers to Ruby Grogan as Ethel Stuttgart 2, referring to the girl fancied by Colin in Monday - Tuesday. Lynda has a framed copy of the first edition of the Junior Gazette (from Photo Finish) on her bedroom wall.

TRIVIA: When children Kenny and Lynda used to ring people's doorbells and run away - well, Lynda used to run away whilst Kenny stayed and apologised! Lynda is 16 years old.

CHOICE QUOTES: Kenny: "Graphic Department spending proposals. An HB pencil and a sunbed?"  Sam: "Well, I can explain the pencil."
      Lynda: "How could anyone be madly in love with you?"  Spike: "I don't know. But then again, I'm the only person in this conversation who isn't."  Lynda: "No, I am."
      "Well, it's obvious isn't it? A freak worm hole has opened up in the fabric of the space-time continuum. This seemingly insignificant woodcarving has been sucked back in time ten years to the bedroom of the infant Lynda Day. But what awesome celestial forces are behind this strange phenomenon? And what, Lynda, is their evil purpose? We shall have to act quickly to save the entire Universe!" (Mr Sullivan's theory as to how Sarah has the unique wooden carving which Lynda was given ten years ago).

2.04   The Week And Pizza 8 February 1990

Directed by Bren Simson
It's a typical week in the life of the Junior Gazette. Spike and Tiddler have got to interview a local children's author, Sam wants to fire a member of her newsteam and Colin is looking for something with which to blackmail Lynda.
GUEST CAST: Claire Pearson Fay Masterson, Virginia Hume Barbara Hicks, Yvonne Morley Louisa Haigh.


NOTES: This episode features Spike and Lynda's first kiss, although it is initiated by Lynda in order to spoil Spike's latest relationship.

CONTINUITY: Kenny mentions that he has "hidden depths". These would be revealed later in the series in Rock Solid.

TRIVIA: The Junior Gazette is published on a Wednesday (this is a change from the first series when it was a Tuesday according to Photo Finish).

CHOICE QUOTES: Lynda: "I'm telling you Kenny, Spike has absolutely no effect on me whatsoever."  Spike: "Hey Lynda, is it okay if I borrow your pencil?"  Lynda: "Will you stop making stupid suggestive remarks!"
      Colin: "Do you want to buy a sucker gun?"  Spike: "What are those for, shooting your customers?"
      Spike: "I remember when Lynda used to need two for a conversation."  Sam: "I don't."
      "You've been through more girls that rubella." (Sam to Spike).

2.05   Love And The Junior Gazette 15 February 1990

Directed by Bob Spiers
Lynda needs to take someone to an important cocktail party at the home of the owner of the Junior Gazette and the rest of the newsteam seem to have decided who is going with her. Meanwhile, Kenny is enjoying a blossoming relationship as the results of a wrong number and Sarah has a dilemma when she starts dating an actor.
GUEST CAST: Dublin Girl Aisling Flitton, Raymond Adams Atlay Lawrence, Shop Assistant Sarah Collins.


NOTES: This episode ends with a caption: NEXT WEEK THE DATE. The character of the Dublin girl, played by Aisling Flitton, would return in Chance Is A Fine Thing during the following season. The character is then named as Kelly.

CONTINUITY: Kenny tells the Dublin girl about the events of How to Make a Killing (which is dated as being about three months earlier). Spike mentions Lynda dying Charlotte's hair twelve different colours in Breakfast At Czar's (revealing her surname). Lynda mentions Spike beating up Barry Crowther from Picking Up the Pieces.

TRIVIA: The Junior Gazette (as well as the Norbridge Gazette) is owned by Mr Campbell

CHOICE QUOTES: Lynda: "Please."  Kenny: "I can't."  Lynda: "Itís only a cocktail party."  Kenny: "I'm visiting my aunt in Sherrington."  Lynda: "Of course - your dear old aunt in Sherrington. What is it this time? Ill? Dead? Tell me, how do you justify being off work at her funeral on no less than eight separate occasions?"  Kenny: "She is my aunt!"  Lynda: "Kenny - this woman has died eight times!"  Kenny: "How do you think I feel?"
      "That's not what lasting relationships are based on. I should know, I've had hundreds of them." (Sam).

2.06   At Last A Dragon 22 February 1990

Directed by Bob Spiers
Lynda is nervous about attending the cocktail party, since she will be meeting lots of very important people and it may be the launchpad for her career. Also at the party is a very familiar looking Arab...
GUEST CAST: Robert Mayer John Ronane, Mr Adams Nick Burnell, Cameron Campbell Peter Burton, Mrs Campbell Kate Greenaway.

END CREDIT VOICEOVER: None (and the end credits use a more up-beat version of the theme tune).

NOTES: The episode opens with a sequence including clips of Spike and Lyndaís first meeting from Page One, partly to explain the very clever title. Julia Sawalha, Dexter Fletcher and Paul Reynolds are the only regulars to appear but Lee Ross is in these flashbacks. This is also the only episode to have no scenes set in the newsroom (with the exception of the flashbacks).

CONTINUITY: Julie is mentioned.

TRIVIA: Mr Campbell first name is Cameron (later references to the character would change this to David). Lynda has two pet goldfish, one of which is called Sullivan. At the start of the episode she is reading "The Catcher In The Rye".

CHOICE QUOTES: "I don't do conversation. Anything I say comes out like an order. I say hello and people salute.Ē (Lynda).
      Lynda: "Why do you keep following me?"  Spike: "Mostly the view."
      "Colin, Lynda's here tonight. It's very important for her to make a good impression and it's not going to look too good if her financial advisor is here dressed as an A rabian night trying to sell oil fields under the highschool!" (Spike).

2.07   Something Terrible 1 March 1990

Directed by Bob Spiers
While Lynda tries to keep her relationship with Spike a secret, Colin has gained an admirer in the shape of an 11 year old girl called Cindy. Colin has a feeling that she is trying to tell him something, and he has a nasty suspicion what it is...
GUEST CAST: Benjamin Drexil Gian Sammarco, Malcolm Bullivant Sean Gascoine, Cindy Watkins Natasha Knight, Czar Arthur Whybrow, Mr Watkins James Curran.

END CREDIT VOICEOVER: None; the credits are accompanied by more serious sounding music than usual.

NOTES: This is the first episode of a two part story, again tackling a difficult subject, although still with plenty of comic relief in the shape of the Benjamin Drexil and Malcolm Bullivant characters. Sean Gascoine's name is mis-spelt Gascoigne in the end credits.

CONTINUITY: The episode takes place four days after Mr Campbell's party. Cindy mentions Colinís mistake in going to Warner Eddisonís funeral in a pink rabbit costume (A Night In) and his exploitation of the pings as seen in One Easy Lesson. Some pings can even be seen in Colinís office. Czar, first seen in Photo Finish, reappears, although now played by a different actor.

TRIVIA: Colin takes four sugars in his coffee, although he tells everyone that it is only three.

CHOICE QUOTES: Colin: "Height?"  Benjamin: "Four foot two - not including my head."
      Colin: "Who hates me enough to want to get me battered senseless by Malcolm the shaving gorilla?"  Frazz: "Iíll get the list."

2.08   Something Terrible Part Two 8 March 1990

Directed by Bob Spiers
Colin suspects that Cindy is being abused by her father, but his attempts to help are hampered by everyone believing he is just involved in another of his schemes. However, help comes from an unexpected direction...
GUEST CAST: Cindy Watkins Natasha Knight, Miss McGuigan Hilda Braid, Colinís Mother Janet Legge, Teacher Sam Howard.

END CREDIT VOICEOVER: Colin and Cindy (the only time a guest character is involved).

NOTES: This episode was a ground breaking piece of television, being one of the first "children's" programmes to deal with the subject of child abuse. The NSPCC are thanked on the end credits for their collaboration, presumably with the aim that the episode could have the same effect as the special edition of the Junior Gazette. Both parts of this story, particularly this second episode, give probably the most sympathetic portrayal of Colin, in contrast to episodes like Shouldn't I Be Taller? and The Week and Pizza where he is virtually the villain of the piece.

CONTINUITY: Sam Howard played a teacher, then named as Mr Harvey, in Both Sides Of Yhe Paper. Cindy again talks about Colin's pink rabbit escapades, virtually describing the whole event, and Lynda refers to the time when Colin became editor of the Junior Gazette (Shouldn't I Be Taller?). In Colin's office there is a poster for the stress relief suckers that Colin was trying to sell in The Week and Pizza.

CHOICE QUOTES: Colin: "Why does no-one ever take me seriously?"  Mr Sullivan: "Colin, don't forget your lizard net."
      "I'm the wrong guy. You've got to go and see someone else, Cindy. I'm no use... My own mother won't believe a word I say unless she's got three independent witnesses and death threat." (Colin).

2.09   Friends Like These 15 March 1990

Directed by John Hall
Jason Wood, a pop star renowned for his dislike of journalists, is stuck at Norbridge station. Sarah is the only person suitable to undertake an interview. However, she has just resigned from the Junior Gazette...
GUEST CAST: Jason Wood Graham "Suggs" McPherson, Station Master Dutton Jim McManus.


NOTES: Graham McPherson, best known as Suggs from Madness, appears as Jason Wood. There is great attention to detail in creating the character of Wood, with posters for his tour and album (simply called "Jason Wood - The Album") seen at the station. Sophie Newton is credited as Kate for the first time. She appears regularly, both credited and uncredited, as a member of the newsteam in many episodes but her character had been named as early as Both Sides Of The Paper.

CONTINUITY: Sarah's inability to cope with exams (the basis of Both Sides Of The Paper) is mentioned (apparently now cured thanks to the Junior Gazette), as is her problem with her review of "An Inspector Calls" from Love and the Junior Gazette. Julie is also mentioned again; she left the Junior Gazette two months previously.

TRIVIA: During this episode we learn a little about the beginning of the Junior Gazette. It has been running for nine months and right at the start Sarah was on the shortlist for editor but failed the interview. Lynda's nickname in the newsroom is Vampira - and she actually likes it when she finds out! During the episode Colin, Sophie and Laura are wearing turtle-like space monster costumes for no explained reason! This episode also allows us to date the events of the series. It is mentioned that Jason Wood was playing a concert in London the previous evening. The poster for Wood's concert tour seen at the station gives the date of this concert (at the London Dominion) on Tuesday 2nd May, meaning that the episode takes place on Wednesday 3rd May. Now these days correspond to 1989, when the series would have been in production. This also means that the Junior Gazette started in September 1988.

CHOICE QUOTES: Tiddler: "Why does anyone always ignore me?"  Spike: "Who said that?"
      Sarah: "Can you explain to me how I have just argued myself into doing exactly what you wanted me to do in the first place? You are a devious, unfeeling, calculating, manipulative bitch."  Lynda: "Well you were asking what made me a better choice for editor."

2.10   The Rest Of My Life 22 March 1990

Directed by Bob Spiers
The team learn that there has been an explosion at a local record shop and immediately mobilise to cover this important story. However, the scale of the disaster soon starts to hit home, especially when Lynda learns that Spike is missing...
GUEST CAST: Voice of Mary Brien Abigail Docherty, Man in Phone Box Colin Alldridge, Boy at Party Jake Wood, Mrs Boyd Carole Dance, TV Reporter John Peters.

END CREDIT VOICEOVER: None; the sombre end theme is used again.

NOTES: This is probably a unique episode with the natural humour of the programme totally dominated by the heavy drama generated by Spikeís brief relationship with the dying Mary Brien. Abigail Docherty, who supplies the voice of Mary Brien, appeared earlier in the season as Suzy Norton in Picking Up the Pieces.

CHOICE QUOTES: Kenny: "I'm not going to let you go to pieces while there is nothing to go to pieces about."  Lynda: "So what are you saying, I should go in there and edit a newspaper?"  Kenny: "Put it this way, what would Spike want you to do?"  Lynda: "The usual. Wear tighter clothes and show more cleavage."
      "Laughter is the secret of life. Laugh and the world...throws record shops at you." (Spike).
      "She has a temper as short as her skirt." (Spike on Lynda).

2.11   Yesterday's News 29 March 1990

Directed by Lorne Magory
A feud develops between Spike and Lynda leading to them competing in a reporting contest. Spike appears to be his usual cheerful self, but it soon becomes clear that he has been deeply affected by his experiences after the explosion - with consequences for his relationship with Lynda...
GUEST CAST: Beth Davenport Janie Booth, Waitress Maria McErlane, Secretary Jackie Bucknall, Roderick Marsh Robert McBain.

END CREDIT VOICEOVER: None; sombre end theme again.

NOTES: After such a dramatic episode things return to normal here with the humorous NV Gillespie subplot combining with the effects of the explosion on Spike and the end of his relationship with Lynda after just six episodes. The start of the end credits come up over the last shot of the episode, instead of various stills from the episode as usual. Gabrielle Anwar does not appear (Sam is on holiday in Scotland), although she is heard laughing on the other end of a telephone.

CONTINUITY: The episode is dated as taking place two weeks after The Rest of My Life. Maria McErlane had previously played a waitress at Czar's (then named as Maria) in How To Make a Killing.

TRIVIA: This episode reveals that Colin has a back door to the newsroom, something which would be used frequently in the future. Here it is operated by moving a model of the leaning tower of Pisa.

CHOICE QUOTES: Lynda: "Do we have to involve the entire newsroom in any little fight we have?"  Spike: "I don't know. Shall we take a vote?"
      Roderick Marsh: "NV Gillespie is someone I've been trying to arrange to appear at this office for months now, always unsuccessfully, and now I've got two of you!"  Lynda: "Well I hope that makes up for time youíve been waiting."

2.12   Rock Solid 5 April 1990

Directed by Bob Spiers
Spike has quit the paper and Lynda is upsetting more people than usual, leaving Kenny to clear up after her. However, Colin has discovered that Kenny writes and performs songs and has plans for him...
GUEST CAST: Cathy Lindy Layton, Telegram Woman Liz Hickling, Little Boy John Savage, Little Girl Charlotte Payne, Humphrey Burke Jon Sloane, Raymond Hoggart Anthony Lennon, Zedron Andrew Livingstone.


NOTES: Kenny is again the main character in this episode with the opening scenes perfectly illustrating Kennyís strengths as he holds the newsroom together. Lee Ross himself wrote "Purses and Souls", the song played by Kenny when he is being recorded by Colin. An instrumental version is also used occasionally as incidental music. With its cliffhanger ending the episode leads directly into The Big Finish?, the season finale which continues the story of Kenny and his pop career. This is also the last episode to use a conversation during the end credits.

CONTINUITY: The Pavilion, the venue of the talent contest, was mentioned in Money, Love and Birdseed as the place where the Dreadnoughts were playing. Kenny also mentions Jenny Eliot for the first time in several episodes. Also on Kenny's bedroom wall there is a poster for Jason Wood's album (from Friends Like These).

TRIVIA: Kenny's birthday is eight months after the episode.

CHOICE QUOTES: Kenny: "What are you doing in my wardrobe?"  Colin: "Well your mum said I could wait in your room."  Kenny: "I don't think she meant in my wardrobe."  Colin: "Would it have killed her to be a little more specific?"
      "Normally beautiful woman just ignore me. I see I'm entering a new stage." (Kenny after his encounter with the telegram woman).
      Colin: "Kenny, where do you see yourself in ten years time?"  Kenny: "Being nice to people in a new and older age group, being dumped by all my girlfriends for being too boringly nice, and never getting further through a sentence than 'But Lynda..'"
      "You know, you're the one thing in my life I can always rely on. Whatever happens you're always there. There are never any surprises with you Kenny." (Lynda).

2.13   The Big Finish? 12 April 1990

Directed by Bob Spiers
It looks as if things will never be the same at the Junior Gazette. Spike is returning to America and Sullivan is intending to replace the current staff with a new generation. Things only come to a head on the day of Kenny's concert...
GUEST CAST: Brian Magboy Simon Schatzberger, Humphrey Burke Jon Sloane, Raymond Hoggart Anthony Lennon, Zedron Andrew Livingstone.

END CREDIT VOICEOVER: None; all of the credits scroll over footage of Kenny's concert.

NOTES: This wonderful episode closes the season with a terrific cliffhanger that was originally intended to resolve the entire series. The song performed at Kenny's concert is called "You Don't Feel For Me" and was written by Lee Ross and performed by Lee Ross and the Gift. There is a great in-joke when Spike and Lynda are arguing again and Tiddler says that "We've all been following this dopey love story since page one", a reference to the title of the very first episode.

CONTINUITY: The episode is a continuation of the story from Rock Solid and the instrumental version of "Purses and Souls" is again used as instrumental music. Jon Sloane, Anthony Lennon and Andrew Livingstone all reappear as Kennyís musicians. There is a reference to the rabbits named after Spike and Lynda in Something Terrible and Sarah says that she has split up from Raymond Adams (who she met in Love And The Junior Gazette).

TRIVIA: The Junior Gazette has been running almost for a year.

CHOICE QUOTES: Sarah: "Is Kenny ever wrong about anything?"  Lynda: "I know someone who says they saw it happen but I think they were just talking big."
      Kenny: "Thanks."  Lynda: "For what?"  Kenny: "I don't know. Everything."  Lynda: "I'm not responsible for everything. I just make it look that way."

This guide is copyright Matthew Newton and may not be reproduced without permission.

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