Press Gang

Additional Information

[The Novels] [The Video] [The TV Movie] [Chalk Connections] [Links]

The Novels

Four novelisations were published to tie in with the first two series, each covering three episodes and including a number of pages of photographs. They were written by Bill Moffat, Steven's father, who created the original idea for the show. They are all now out of print.

PRESS GANG 1 - First Edition
by Bill Moffat (pub: Hippo Books/Scholastic 1989)
Novelisation of Page One, Photo Finish and One Easy Lesson.
The book refers to Matt Kerr's real reason for creating the Junior Gazette, without revealing what this is. This is based on one of the early outlines for the show where Norbridge was troubled by rival gangs (lead by Spike and Frazz), and the paper was created in order bring them the members together.

PRESS GANG 2 - Public Exposure
by Bill Moffat (pub: Hippo Books/Scholastic 1989)
Novelisation of Interface and How to Make a Killing.

PRESS GANG 3 - Checkmate
by Bill Moffat (pub: Hippo Books/Scholastic 1990)
Novelisation of Breakfast at Czar's, Picking Up the Pieces and Going Back to Jasper Street.
This book reveals that Julie left the Junior Gazette in order to go to art college.

PRESS GANG 4 - The Date
by Bill Moffat (pub: Hippo Books/Scholastic 1990)
Novelisation of Money, Love and Birdseed, Love and the Junior Gazette and At Last a Dragon.

The Video

"Press Gang" is not a show that has enjoyed much exposure in terms of video releases. In fact, only one volume has been released. It was issued by Central Video in 1990 and featured Page One, Photo Finish, One Easy Lesson and Deadline in their original episodic format. However, it has now been deleted, and due to poor sales it is unlikely that any more episodes will be released.

The TV Movie

As stated in the main guide, series four was originally intended to be the final season of "Press Gang". However, that was not going to be the end of the story, and plans were made for a 90 minute television film, allowing the production team to escape the restrictions of children's television. Steven Moffat produced a script titled Dead Line (strangely very similar to the title of a first season episode) and it was planned to make the film in 1992. However, when it became clear that the regular cast were free for longer than originally thought, the decision was made to make a fifth season instead. An idea to make the film back-to-back with the new series fell through when Julia Sawalha was committed to a second series of "Absolutely Fabulous", despite the fact that studio space had already been booked. A subsequent plan to film in December 1993 also fell through, and with time having marched on it is unlikely that it will ever be made.

However, some information on the script is known. It is reputedly quite dark in tone and intended for an adult audience. It is set some 5 to 10 years after the series, and due to the fact that it was intended to follow series four there is no reference to the events of There Are Crocodiles. Lynda is still editing the Junior Gazette (now called the Chronicle), but is unhappy with her career. She has split up with Spike again; he is working at a radio station along with Frazz. The film also featured Colin and both Kenny and Julie, who shared the role of assistant editor. The Dead Line itself refers to a group of cargo ships used to transport toxic waste around the world.

Despite the fact that the film is un-made, one particular scene has scene the light of day. Spike goes to interview an attractive female celebrity, using a hidden microphone and earpiece to communicate with Frazz who is outside in a van. However, Lynda finds out and gains control. With the characters changed to Eric Slatt and Susie, the scene was used in an episode of Steven Moffat's school-based comedy "Chalk" (although in a slightly different context).

Information in this section based on posts made to the Press Gang Mailing List by Adrian Petford, Nik Richardson and Mark Whittingham.

Chalk Connections

Steven Moffat's much maligned school comedy contained a number of explicit references to the world of "Press Gang":

  • There have been two references to Norbridge High; one of this also mentioned Mr Sullivan.
  • One episode featured a clinical psychiatrist called Dr Clipstone, who appeared in UnXpected when he was treating John England. Originally played by Michael Sheard, the part was recast.
  • Another episode features a pupil who is a great fan of the pop star Jason Wood, who appeared in Friends Like These when he was played by Suggs.
  • Malcolm Bullivant, the bully from Something Terrible, appears in an episode defending his sister (not as a pupil of Galfast High, so this is consistent with the timescales of "Press Gang").
  • Another pupil at Galfast High is called David Jefford. However, he is clearly alive in "Chalk" and therefore not intended to be the same character who appeared in Monday - Tuesday and There Are Crocodiles.


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

    Series 1 - Series 2 - Series 3 - Series 4 - Series 5
    Chronology - Additional Information

    [Press Gang main page]   [Newton's laws of television]