Bad Education (TV series)

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Bad Education
Bad education.jpg
Created by Jack Whitehall
Written by Jack Whitehall
Freddy Syborn
Dan Swimer
Directed by Christine Gernon
Starring Jack Whitehall
Mathew Horne
Sarah Solemani
Michelle Gomez (1–2)
Harry Enfield (2–3)
Nikki Runeckles
Kae Alexander
Layton Williams
Ethan Lawrence
Charlie Wernham
Jack Binstead
Jack Bence
Weruche Opia (3)
Samantha Spiro (2)
Leila Hoffman (1)
Composer(s) Vince Pope
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 19
Production
Executive producer(s) Ben Cavey
Producer(s) Pippa Brown
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Tiger Aspect Productions
Distributor Endemol UK
Broadcast
Original channel BBC Three
Picture format 1080i 16:9 (HDTV)
Original run 14 August 2012 (2012-08-14) – 21 October 2014 (2014-10-21)
External links
Website

Bad Education is a British sitcom produced by Tiger Aspect Productions for BBC Three. It stars Jack Whitehall as young teacher Alfie Wickers – "the worst teacher ever to grace the British education system" – at the fictional Abbey Grove School, in Watford, Hertfordshire.[1] Mathew Horne played Fraser, the headmaster of the fictional school alongside him.

At the time of the series launch it broke BBC Three's record for the highest-rated first episode of a comedy, which was previously held by Horne & Corden, but is now held by Cuckoo.[2][3] The second series premiered on BBC iPlayer on 27 August 2013, a week before the television air date of 3 September,[4] as part of BBC Three's plans to premiere all its scripted comedy programmes online.[5] This experiment proved successful, as the first episode of the second series received 1.5 million requests prior to its television airing.[6] A Christmas special aired on 17 December 2013.[7] The third and final series of Bad Education began transmission on 16 September 2014, and concluded on 21 October 2014.

Synopsis[edit]

The series focused on Alfie Wickers (Whitehall), a posh, newly graduated secondary school history teacher at the fictional Abbey Grove School, in Watford, Hertfordshire. Ever determined to impress his crush, Rosie Gulliver (Solemani), who became his girlfriend in Series 2, Wickers made repeated efforts to appear "cool", such as coaching the school football team, organising a weapons amnesty and fielding a candidate for the school elections. Usually, in these efforts, he turned to his mismatched class for help, despite them often disapproving of his actions. They were teacher's pet Joe (Lawrence), tough guy Mitchell (Wernham), wheelchair-bound emo Rem Dog (Binstead), inappropriately flirtatious Chantelle (Runeckles), feminine homosexual Stephen (Williams), the studious yet rebellious Jing (Alexander) and outwardly fiery Cleopatra (Opia).

At the same time, Wickers found himself having to deal with the shenanigans of his eccentric headmaster, Shaquille "Simon" Fra$er (Horne) and meet the expectations of a string of deputy heads; at first demanding dictator Isobel Pickwell (Gomez), then the ruthless yet cringeworthy Professor Celia "Pro Green" Green (Spiro), and then his own father, dramatically inappropriate Martin Wickers (Enfield). It is clarified in the final season that the entire show spans a single academic year.

Production[edit]

The first series started airing on 14 August 2012. On 23 August 2012, it was announced that Bad Education would have a second series.[8] The second series began airing on BBC Three on 3 September 2013.[4] Part of the second series was filmed at St. Michael's Catholic High School, Finchley, London. Bad Education was also partly filmed at the former site of Ashmount Primary School on Hornsey Lane on 12 and 13 May 2013.[citation needed] Scenes were also filmed at the former Salesian College in Battersea, South West London. Parts of Series 3 were filmed at Ricards Lodge High School in Merton.

Characters[edit]

Staff[edit]

  • Alfred Frufrock "Alfie" Wickers (portrayed by Jack Whitehall) – Alfie is a history teacher at Abbey Grove School. He has a hard time managing and disciplining his students and was often mocked and bullied by them, but frequently recruited them to help rescue him from difficult situations. His classes are unusual, using teaching techniques such as Class Wars (re-enacted battles with tables as trenches and wheelchairs as tanks) and seances to summon the spirit of Hitler in his lessons. Though he pretends in front of the staff that he fully respects school rules, he frequently lets his students break them and breaks them himself. Born 17 June 1988, he attended the posh Middleton House school, where he was often bullied by students and staff, something he is still quite embarrassed and insecure about. His pupils wrongly maintain that it was a posh, upper-class boarding school where students practice homosexuality. Before coming to Abbey Grove, he worked at a B&Q home improvement store. He is terrible at football and athletics in general, but is an accomplished Irish dancer, and does manage to win the "Parent vs Teacher" race in "Sports Day". Alfie has a big crush on one of his fellow teachers, Rosie Gulliver, and spent a lot of time trying to figure out ways to impress her, though he was frequently unsuccessful. By the end of Series 1, he had begun a relationship with her, but when Series 2 began, the relationship had been over for some time. In the first episode of Series 3, he and Rosie were now living together, but she moves out after he wrongly accuses her of cheating. Alfie openly agrees that he doesn't know if his relationship with Rosie is over or not. He was horrified when his father Martin Wickers (Enfield) started a relationship with his old flame and Abbey Grove's short-lived Deputy Headmistress Professor Celia Green. Alfie later learnt that Martin and Celia were engaged. Though outraged at this at first, he later accepted it, since Celia makes his father happy. He briefly felt sorry for his father when the relationship ends, allowing his father to move in with him, and annoying Rosie. But this quickly turned into a rivalry when his father becomes the new Deputy Headmaster. He is also shown to be a fan of Michael Bublé and was given his album Christmas by Rosie in the Christmas Special. He returns to his old job for one week because he finds saying goodbye to graduating students too difficult. But he is persuaded by his students and Rosie to return to teaching. In the first 2 series, students make jokes about him being gay because he went to a private school, but in Series 3, there are many hints that he is bisexual, including cross-dressing as a child and admitting to having a threesome with another man present. He is often called "Dickers" by people who do not like him.
  • Shaquille Banter "Simon" Fra$er (portrayed by Mathew Horne) – Shaquille Fra$er, usually referred to by his surname, was the Headmaster of Abbey Grove. He was eccentric, often ridiculous, and generally unsuited for the position which he held. He fancied himself quite a clever person and enjoys wordplay and metaphor, though it embarrassed his staff frequently. In the first episode of Series 1, he shows some romantic interest in Rosie Gulliver, but does not pursue it throughout future episodes and series. On several occasions he showed that he was bad at communicating with parents and is insensitive to religious and racial issues, such as when he mistakenly believed England had instituted a religious items ban in the school and went around confiscating crucifixes from students, and when he said the word "nigger" to a black person, later remarking that "that word is probably best left to rappers". He was generally unfazed by such incidents and had a very casual attitude about them. He legally changed the spelling of his surname to "Fra$er", but it often appeared on signs as "Fraser" or "Frazer". In the Bad Education Handbook, it is implied that he legally changed his middle name to "Banter", a word that he is often obsessed with. In the Series 1 finale, he underwent a review by the educational board when a video of him accidentally showing an inappropriate video to students goes viral. He retains his job, but admits in season 3 that he is no longer allowed to supervise exams. In Series 2, he was conned for all the school's remaining finances, meaning that they are forced to make 'swingeing' cuts. In Series 3, it is revealed that he lost all of the money raised in "Fundraiser" at the end of Series 2 by investing in his own clothing range. As a result, one member of staff was going to be fired, but when Alfie resigned, he sold his flat so that Alfie could keep his job. He is continually undermined by his Deputies and did not, with the exception of Martin, have a good relationship with them. In the final episode, he becomes very emotional about Alfie leaving the school, hiding his upset behind childish insults.
  • Isobel Pickwell (portrayed by Michelle Gomez) (Series 1 – 2) – Miss Pickwell was the Deputy Headmistress at Abbey Grove. She was a very severe woman who believed in rigid discipline. Alfie often compared her to an SS Officer and made fun of her fascist tendencies. She was deeply conservative and religious, with contempt for what she believes are Rosie's attempts to turn the school into a "hippie commune": during her own sexual education class, she read passages from the Bible to her students that forbid premarital sex. Her classroom and office were dark and bleak, with the only decorations being various pictures of right-wing leaders and fascist heads of state. She frequently schemed for more power, and nearly succeeded in unseating Fraser as Headmaster in the final episode of Series 1, until Jing proved that she had been stealing money from the school by lying about her expenses. Alfie and Rosie blackmailed her into telling the board that Fraser is an excellent headmaster in exchange for them not exposing her. In the same episode, she revealed that she hasn't cried since 1990 – "when [Thatcher] was hounded out of office by her own party." In Series 2, upon learning of Rosie's lesbian relationship with Alex Scott, she secretly confessed to having previous lesbian relationships and attempted unsuccessfully to flirt with Rosie. Although in the Bad Education Handbook, she (correctly) predicted that Rosie's sexuality was a phase and that she would soon return to heterosexuality. In Funeral, she is believed to have died after committing suicide over the abuse received from Alfie's class, culminating in her being covered in glue whilst being distracted when answering a staged "phone a friend". In her suicide note, she directly blamed Alfie for her decision. However, she revealed to Alfie that she faked her death in order to escape debtors and to live with her penpal, "The Beast of Bergendorff", a German dentist who lived in Argentina. In the same episode, her ringtone is revealed to be California Love. She returned in the final episode of Series 2 and bought Alfie at a man auction for £25,000, more than enough to save Abbey Grove. She revealed she has become a millionaire as her penpal mysteriously died and she inherited all his fortune. It is not known what Pickwell did with Alfie after she won him in the man auction; but the only relating shot showed Pickwell riding on Alfie like a horse complete with saddle, while both were in their underwear. She was never mentioned or ever appeared again after that.
  • Rosie Gulliver (portrayed by Sarah Solemani) – Rosie was the biology teacher and former interim Deputy Headteacher at Abbey Grove School. She was openly bisexual and was one of the few teachers who took pride in inspiring and teaching her students. She was passionate about charity work, animal rights, human rights, feminism, and the struggles of people with disabilities. When teachers were asked to do a sexual education class, she was the only one who leads a frank discussion of human sexuality, which inspired one of her students to come out, and showed acceptance and support of the changes that the students were going through. When mistakenly believing Alfie was sexually abused by a teacher at Middleton House when he attended it, she urged him to accept that he was a victim and speak for all those who have had their "voices silenced". In "Funeral", Fraser asked her to become interim Deputy Headteacher, and, to Alfie's alarm, began to develop similarities to Pickwell's dictatorial style. Her tenure ended with the appointment of Professor Green in "Valentine's Day". At the beginning of Series 1, she broke up with her old boyfriend, stating she was too "physical" for him. At first, she found Alfie immature and did not share his feelings for her, though over time she became more attracted to him. At the school dance in the finale of Series 1, she compared him to a student who really frustrates her, but has potential and is "perfect" after all, and kissed him in front of most of the student body. In the second series, however, Alfie is upset to learn that they are not together, and that she has formed a same-sex relationship with her former student, Alex Scott. In the fourth episode of the second series, this relationship comes to an end, and Rosie's feelings for Alfie return. She got a job offer in Soweto in the final episode of Series 2, but decided to decline it when Alfie declared his feelings for her, and she returned them. They shared another kiss. By the beginning of Series 3, they were living together, but she moved out after Alfie wrongly accused her of cheating. She refused to acknowledge the status of their relationship until "Prom", when the thought that Alfie would no longer be around showed her that she still cared deeply about him.
  • Professor Celia "Pro Green" Green (portrayed by Samantha Spiro) (Series 2) – Green was Mrs Pickwell's replacement as Deputy Headmistress after Pickwell's (faked) death. It is quickly revealed that Fraser hired her because he thought she was the British rapper Professor Green, and she retains the nickname "Pro Green" in tribute. When Alfie and she first met, she came across as very friendly, but in reality she was just as strict about the school rules as Miss Pickwell was, with Alfie even at one point saying that he preferred Pickwell. Later in the episode, she ended up sleeping with Alfie's Dad, Martin, when he invited her over to Alfie's apartment for a Valentine's Day dinner. She continued to act like a dictator, and continued her relationship with Martin. In the Series 2 finale they got engaged. She is absent from the Christmas special due to her and Martin being on their honeymoon, but by the first episode of Series 3, she left Martin and took his money, causing Martin to live at first in his car, then alongside Alfie and Rosie.
  • Martin Wickers (portrayed by Harry Enfield) (Series 2 – 3) – Martin Wickers, né Martin Stool, was Alfie's father. His wife left him for a Spanish man named Javier. He started a relationship with Celia who went to teacher training with him and in the Series 2 finale they got engaged. He was absent from the Christmas special due to him and Celia being on their honeymoon, but by the first episode of Series 3, Celia and Martin had already married, and she had already left him, taking all his money. Martin has been living in his car and moves in with Alfie and Rosie. He got a job as the new deputy head at Abbey Grove. He eventually began a relationship with Frank Grayson's mother, implying that he planned to move in with and marry her. However, it appears that this relationship is over in "Exam" when it looks like a student accidentally killed her dog Coco while she was in Martin's care (Coco is shown to be alive and unharmed in his office after the incident, but it is never mentioned if she was returned).
  • Olive Mollinson (portrayed by Leila Hoffman) (Series 1) – Olive was the Art teacher and Head of Maths at Abbey Grove. She was the oldest staff member, having worked at the school since at least the 1970s. She did not appear in Series 2 and 3.

Pupils[edit]

  • Chantelle Parsons (portrayed by Nikki Runeckles) – Chantelle was the sultry female pupil in Alfie's form. She appeared to be sexually promiscuous and this was often remarked on by both herself and her fellow pupils. She also had an obvious crush on Alfie and attempted repeatedly to seduce him, as does her mother in "Parents' Evening". In "Valentine's Day", she had self-confidence issues, and just wanted Alfie to notice her, so pretended to have fallen pregnant. She is obviously jealous of Miss Gulliver due to her relationship with Alfie.
  • Jing Hua (portrayed by Kae Alexander) – Jing was a Chinese pupil, who often spoke in her native language to insult Alfie (which he interpreted as a compliment or a correct answer to a question). Jing appeared to be the most intelligent and the most serious of the group and had previously taken the register, carried on working while everyone else was asleep, and helped Alfie take down Pickwell at the end of Series 1. In Series 1 she was constantly frustrated that Alfie hardly taught them anything, but in Series 2 she came to Alfie's aid and commented that he was a "good and decent man". She had previously helped Fraser keep his job by exposing Pickwell had been stealing money from the school. In Series 3, she underwent a personality change, having become much more moody and quoting various artists and writers. She reveals in "Exam" that her attitude change is not because of Alfie, but because of the pressure from her parents. She intentionally sabotages her biology GSCE to avoid being sent to the university that her parents want her to attend. In the finale, she is believed to the the only person in the class who would stay in school to do their A levels, but she admits that she applied to a creative writing class in Paris. She helps Alfie one last time by convincing him that he was a good teacher and insisting he should continue teaching.
  • Joe Poulter (portrayed by Ethan Lawrence) – Joe appeared to be Alfie's closest ally in the class. He often helped out his teacher, having falsely come out, pretended his mum had a life-threatening illness, and cooked for Alfie's father. He is often the butt of jokes and pranks by other pupils, although they did seem to have affection for him. In Series 2, he had a "mop top" haircut that is not fixed, and then in Series 3 he had a shaved head, but the hair slowly grew back. Also in Series 3, he appeared to grow in confidence and intelligence.
  • Mitchell Harper (portrayed by Charlie Wernham) – Mitchell appeared to be the tough guy of Alfie's class. He often poked fun at fellow pupils and his teacher. However, Alfie would usually get his own back by poking fun at Mitchell's family life, commenting that he didn't know who his dad was and how he lived in a caravan. He is a huge WWE fan and he cried at the end of Toy Story 3. He had a friendship with Rem Dogg which sees them constantly making insulting comments about each other and their respective mothers. Despite not liking Alfie, Alfie describes him as one of his favourite students in the Bad Education Handbook, and they develop a friendship during Series 2. In Series 3, they get along much better. In Series 3, he becomes infatuated with Cleopatra. In the second episode of Series 3, Mitchell left Abbey Grove after his father's fairground is shut down by the council. It is implied that he had moved and transferred to another school, but by "The Exam", Mitchell is shown in a youth detention centre.
  • Leslie "Rem Dogg" Remmington (portrayed by Jack Binstead) – Rem Dogg is a pupil who uses a wheelchair and constantly wears a pair of headphones and baseball cap. He came across as a cheeky chap who poked fun at Alfie, and is very close friends with Mitchell. In Series 3, he became an emo and rarely spoke, going some episodes without saying a word, which could often lead to him putting himself in compromising situations: in "Strike" he spent 24 hours chained to the school gates. He becomes emotional when Mitchell gives him an impassioned goodbye, but is called "gay" in response, as a reference to the nature of their friendship. He takes offense when a teacher pretends to be paralysed, and when a careers advisory computer program said he should become a stunt man, then a male escort. In the Bad Education Handbook, it is revealed that he doesn't get along with his father, who is blind in one eye.
  • Stephen Carmichael (portrayed by Layton Williams) – Stephen is a gay member of the class. It is not known if he had ever openly came out, but offered to in "Sex Education" in order to aid Alfie's sex education class. That said, it was a well known fact to Alfie and other students, and he made no effort to hide his camp nature. This was best expressed in "Prom" when he ignored common advice and attended the prom in his drag queen persona. He has a passion for dancing, musicals and films. He was best friends with Chantelle and in the Christmas special began a relationship with Frank Grayson after they were both in Alfie's Christmas Play, "Robocracker" (a mash-up of Robocop and The Nutcracker). He appears not get on with Frank in season 3, but Frank agrees to be his date for the prom and they are later crowned Prom King and Queen. He often stuns people by being good at things that homosexuals are stereotypically believed to be bad at; including football and advanced martial arts.
  • Frank Grayson (portrayed by Jack Bence) – Frank Grayson, usually referred to by his surname only, was the school bully, who intimidated his fellow pupils and in particular Alfie, having once stolen his shoes and on another occasion forced him to buy him and his friends cider after it was originally confiscated by Miss Pickwell. After Pickwell's departure, he was controlled by Professor Green. At times, however, he appeared to be insecure about himself, breaking down in Alfie's arms after Pickwell died (not knowing she was actually alive) and exploring his sexuality in the Christmas special, beginning a relationship with Stephen when Frank buys Stephen a ticket to watch West Ham United. In "Fundraising", Frank had been held back at school, but had been held back so many times that he was therefore the same age as Alfie. In the same conversation, he was officially moved to Alfie's class. The same episode revealed that Martin moved him in order to avoid expelling him, which would have upset his new girlfriend, Grayson's mother, meaning that Alfie and Grayson could become step-brothers if they married. In "The Exam", Grayson and his mother have moved in with Alfie and Martin, despite Martin saying the he would move in with her. But this arrangement appeared to be over by the next episode. In the same episode, he finally bonds with Alfie for real. In Series 3, he appears to no longer gets along with Stephen, but agrees to be his date to the prom and they are crowned Prom King and Queen. It is revealed in the final episode that he has an older brother named Dean who now works at Alfie's old DIY workplace.
  • Cleopatra Ofoedo (portrayed by Weruche Opia) (Series 3) – Cleopatra was a female pupil in Alfie's class, introduced at the start of Series 3. She was aggressive and did not like Alfie or Mitchell in particular. She was of ethnic origin, and, as a result, she was oversensitive to racial issues and accused people of racism at every opportunity, even when no such inflection was made. She accused Alfie of assuming she is a good sprinter because she is black when her name was drawn randomly to run the 100 metres in "Sports Day". She agreed to make out with Mitchell, but still did not like him. After Mitchell leaves, she began making jokes at Alfie's expense like Mitchell used to. Despite her hostility, she admits in the final episode that she liked Abbey Grove. She claims to have been to 12 schools, but plans to get kicked out and sent to a new one (even though she was no longer required by law to stay in school).

Guest Characters[edit]

  • Mrs Carmichael (portrayed by Hillary Whitehall (mother of Jack Whitehall)) was Stephen's mother who wanted him to leave Abbey Grove thinking it wasn't the right school for him but in the end let him stay. She is later seen attending Abbey Grove's fundraiser where she gets one of Fraser's band members in the Man Auction, and supporting her son at "Sports Day".
  • Mr Carmichael (portrayed by Delroy Brown) was Stephen's father who wanted him to leave Abbey Grove thinking it wasn't the right school for him but in the end let him stay.
  • India (portrayed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) was a drug counsellor who came to talk about drugs at Abbey Grove but actually took drugs herself.
  • Kevin Schwimmer (portrayed by Kyle Soller) was employed as a new history teacher in Series 2, who claims to be American and had lots of wild experiences that impress Mr Fraser. His short tenure at the school ends after Alfie and Jing expose him as a fraud and is actually from Dudley.
  • Mr Harper (portrayed by Sam Douglas) was Mitchell's father who works at a fun fair and rents out his stalls for Abbey Grove's fundraiser.
  • Alfie's Mum (portrayed by Frances Barber) was Alfie's mother. She left Alfie's father Martin and now lives in Spain with her new husband Javier. She appears in the Christmas special where she was told by Fraser that Alfie was in a car crash so she would come to Abbey Grove's Christmas play.[7]
  • Javier Garcia-Ramires (portrayed by Jake Canuso) was the new husband of Alfie's mother. He appears in the Christmas special where he at first mistakes Rem Dogg for Alfie.[7]
  • Bonehead (portrayed by Greg McHugh) was a homeless man who appears in the Christmas special. He was first seen at a soup kitchen Alfie and Rosie are volunteering at and later attends Abbey Grove's Christmas play.
  • Preet van der Plessis (portrayed by Harry Peacock) first appeared in Self Defence as a Cape Dutch self-defense tutor hired to teach self-defense lessons at Abbey Grove. However, he was arrested for genuinely attacking Alfie and bringing dangerous weapons into the school. He later appeared in Sports Day where he was hired as the school's new P.E. teacher. Alfie strongly objected to his hiring due to the previous incident, and concern that Preet sought revenge against him. However, he asked Preet to train him to defeat Rosie's ex-boyfriend Richard in the "Parents vs Teacher" race. Just before the race, Preet cornered Alfie in the changing room and admitted that he hated Alfie for getting him put in jail. However, he realised that his aggression towards Alfie was out of frustration for not being able to express his romantic feelings for Alfie. During the aforementioned race, Preet tries to shoot Richard with a tranquilliser gun, but ends up shooting Alfie instead and is last seen being taken away by police.
  • Mrs Katherine Grayson (portrayed by Katherine Kingsley) was Frank's mother who appeared in "Fundraising" and "The Exam". She was very keen for her son to stay at Abbey Grove despite nearly every class not wanting him. At the end of the episode, she is revealed to be in a relationship with Alfie's father Martin. She has a pedigree chihuahua called Coco who she considers a princess, showing more affection towards Coco than Frank. She and Frank briefly live with Alfie and Martin for one episode, despite Martin saying that he was going to move in with her. This arrangement comes to an abrupt end when it appears that a student may have killed Coco while it was in Martin's care (Coco is later shown to be unharmed). In the final episode "Prom", it is revealed that she has another son named Dean who works at a DIY store that Alfie briefly worked in.
  • Coco who appeared in "The Exam" is Katherine Grayson's pedigree chihuahua who is considered a princess by her and receives more affection than Frank. She appears to be accidentally burned to death inside a handbag whilst she is in Martin's care but later revealed to be unharmed.
  • Richard (portrayed by James Fleet) was an ex-boyfriend of Rosie's who first appears in "After School Clubs". He, along with Rosie, attended the same reading club, which Alfie also briefly attended, where he thought that one of the other club's members, Orlando, was Rosie's ex-boyfriend but was surprised to learn it was Richard (owing to the age gap between him and Rosie). He later appeared in "Sports Day" where he took part in the "Parents vs Teacher" race. He did not appear after this, but is referred to often.
  • Dean Grayson (portrayed by Tom Davis) is Frank's older brother who works at a DIY store that Alfie also briefly worked in. It is also revealed that he also went to Abbey Grove and was taught by Rosie.

Episode list[edit]

Series Episodes Originally aired DVD release date
Series premiere Series finale Region 2 Region 4
1 6 14 August 2012 18 September 2012 9 September 2013 20 November 2013
2 7 3 September 2013 17 December 2013 29 September 2014 TBA
3 6 16 September 2014 21 October 2014 TBA TBA

Series 1 (2012)[edit]

# Title Original airdate Viewers
(in millions)[9]
1 "Parents' Evening" 14 August 2012 (2012-08-14) 1.385

It is parents' evening at Abbey Grove School and Alfie is under pressure from the deputy headmistress Miss Pickwell to mark his mock exam papers, otherwise she will fail his whole class. However, news that biology teacher Rosie Gulliver has split from her boyfriend only serves to distract him as he becomes fixated with securing a date with her. But with the unpredictable headmaster Mr Fraser also keen to make a move on Miss Gulliver, Alfie resorts to desperate measures both to mark the papers and beat Fraser to a date.[10]

Debut: Jack Whitehall as Alfie Wickers, Mathew Horne as Shaquille Fra$er, Sarah Solemani as Rosie Gulliver, Michelle Gomez as Isobel Pickwell, Leila Hoffman as Olive Mollinson, Layton Williams as Stephen Carmichael, Nikki Runeckles as Chantelle Parsons, Kae Alexander as Jing Hua, Ethan Lawrence as Joe Poulter, Charlie Wernham as Mitchell Harper, Jack Binstead as Leslie Remmington, Jack Bence as Frank Grayson.
2 "Sex Education" 21 August 2012 (2012-08-21) 1.119
Abbey Grove School parents are worried about the impending arrival of the French exchange students, after Jean Claude and his French classmates ran riot leaving a wake of lovestruck teenagers behind them the previous year. This year, Fraser is determined to prove to the angry parents that he has got everything under control, especially with his right-hand man Alfie by his side. But is Alfie really the right man to entrust with a sex education class? Things are relieved when it turns out that Fraser had screwed up and accidentally arranged an exchange with the town of Hoogeveen in the Netherlands. But keeping things with them is easier said than done, thanks to one exchange student who every woman in the school seems to want.[11]
3 "Self Defence" 28 August 2012 (2012-08-28) 1.301
A new computer game craze hits Abbey Grove School that has got the children imitating a dangerous move called the 'blitz kick'. Fraser decides to buy a copy of the game to see what all the fuss is about but inadvertently turns his staff into addicts as well. Alfie decides to support his beloved Miss Gulliver in taking a stand against all this violence by organising a weapons amnesty. While Fraser hires a very inappropriate self-defence tutor, Preet, to help demonstrate the dangers of violence.[12]
4 "School Trip" 4 September 2012 (2012-09-04) 1.208
Banned from organising his own trip after a disastrous previous outing, Alfie's class are sent on Miss Gulliver's field trip to a combined petting zoo and ink museum. Alfie's pretty upset to learn she has a blind date later that day, but things get even worse when the bus gets lost in the woods.[13]
5 "Football Match" 11 September 2012 (2012-09-11) 1.372
Alfie reveals a hidden 'talent' when the annual football match between Abbey Grove and the school he attended, Middleton House, approaches. Will the benefit scroungers pull it off, or will it be Middleton's snooty toff boys who clinch the win?[14]
6 "Politics" 18 September 2012 (2012-09-18) 0.784

Fraser's on professional suspension after an unfortunate incident involving a projector. With the school elections due to take place, Pickwell's determined to show the governors that she can run something successfully, and Alfie's keen to show Miss Gulliver he can take politics seriously.[15]

Final Appearance: Leila Hoffman as Olive Mollinson.

Series 2 (2013)[edit]

# Title Original airdate Viewers
(in millions)[16]
1 "Swimming Gala" 3 September 2013 (2013-09-03) 0.975
Abbey Grove's new term kicks off with the annual swimming gala and headmaster Mr Fraser decides to pay homage to the fact the UK recently hosted the greatest show on Earth, Splash!, by ending it with their very own synchronised diving competition. Alfie and his class don't usually take part in the gala, but lured by a cash bet with deputy headmistress Miss Pickwell he decides to bribe them with a group trip to a restaurant and enter the event. The first day back is also a chance for Alfie to catch up with his girlfriend Rosie, but he's shocked to find out that he isn't in a relationship with her at all, and even more shocked to find out that she is in a lesbian relationship with a former pupil.[17]
2 "The American" 10 September 2013 (2013-09-10) 1.096
Alfie is shocked by the arrival of new teacher Kevin Schwimer (Kyle Soller) at Abbey Grove and even more shocked to learn that he will be taking over Alfie's own class. Desperately upset that his class seem to be having a great time and actually learning proper, real-life GCSE history with their new teacher, Alfie is even more unhappy when he finds out which class Miss Pickwell has given him instead. With headmaster Fraser and Miss Gulliver both increasingly charmed by Mr Schwimer it is left to Alfie and Jing to uncover the truth behind this American imposter.[18]
3 "The Funeral" 17 September 2013 (2013-09-17) 0.953
Abbey Grove is rocked by the news that deputy headmistress Miss Pickwell is apparently dead and Alfie is left particularly on edge when her suicide note clearly lays the finger of blame on him after one of his class's pranks pushes her over the edge. Haunted by guilt, will Alfie be able to put her unquiet spirit at rest with the perfect memorial service? With Pickwell gone, headmaster Mr Fraser decides to advertise for her position with less-than-successful results, which may mean Rosie is offered the role full-time. But will the power change her? [19]
4 "Valentine's Day" 24 September 2013 (2013-09-24) 0.927

It is Valentine's Day and headmaster Mr Fraser has planned a special Abbey Grove 'Take Me Out' to help the shy kids find love. New deputy headmistress Professor Celia Green is rubbing everyone up the wrong way, apart from Alfie's father Martin, who happened to go to teacher training college with her. Alfie is desperately trying to persuade Rosie to come to dinner with him, but is distracted by some shocking news from Chantelle. Will Rosie turn up to dinner and who is Martin Wickers's surprise dinner date? [20]

Debut: Samantha Spiro as Celia Green, Harry Enfield as Martin Wickers.

Absent: Michelle Gomez as Isobel Pickwell.
5 "Drugs" 1 October 2013 (2013-10-01) 1.076

Headmaster Mr Fraser has organised a special guest speaker India for Drugs Awareness Day, much to Rosie's annoyance. Alfie's class is alarmed by the news that Stephen's parents want him to leave Abbey Grove. Can Alfie persuade Stephen's parents to let him stay or will his attraction to drugs councillor India threaten to jeopardise everything?[21]

Absent: Michelle Gomez as Isobel Pickwell.
6 "Fundraiser"[22] 8 October 2013 (2013-10-08) 0.961

Abbey Grove is plunged into financial ruin when headmaster Mr Fraser gives the "Nigerian Minister of Finance" all their money with the promise of huge returns on the investment. With Professor Green executing an austerity drive which sees the school pillaged of resources, Rosie thinks it's time to move on and applies for a job for a school in Soweto. Will Alfie come up with a plan to save the school and stop Rosie from leaving? And how will he react to the big announcement Professor Green is hiding from him about his father?

Final Appearances: Michelle Gomez as Isobel Pickwell, Samantha Spiro as Celia Green.
7 "Christmas Special" 17 December 2013 (2013-12-17) 0.800

It's time for the Abbey Grove Christmas Play and with Miss Pickwell no longer around Fraser decides Alfie is the obvious replacement to direct this year's production. But with the class undecided about whether to put on the Nutcracker or Robocop, will Alfie's decision to write and direct a plot mash up of Robocracker and casting school bully Grayson as co-star prove successful?

Absent: Harry Enfield as Martin Wickers.

Series 3 (2014)[edit]

On 11 June 2014, Jack Whitehall announced that the third series of Bad Education had gone into production and the first episode would be broadcast on 16 September 2014.[23]

# Title Original airdate Viewers
(in millions)[16]
1 "Strike" 16 September 2014 (2014-09-16) 1,004,000

It's summer term and Alfie Wickers is back in high spirits to get his class through their exams. But there is a shock for Alfie with the revelation that his dad Martin Wickers has been appointed as the new deputy head whose first jobs are to increase class sizes and fire a member of staff after Fraser has badly invested the school's money in his own clothing range, Dolce and GaBanter. For Alfie this means a new class member, Cleopatra, and a tough decision to make – stand by his girlfriend, Miss Gulliver when she leads the teachers on strike, or sacrifice himself to save his class from failing their exams.[24]

Debut: Weruche Opia as Cleopatra Ofoedo.
2 "After School Clubs" 23 September 2014 (2014-09-23) 886,000
Mitchell announces he is leaving Abbey Grove, but there is the perfect opportunity for a farewell party when Fraser decides to rent out rooms to after-school clubs for extra cash. However, things get complicated for Alfie when he promises to attend Gulliver's book group, Fraser's LARPing club and Mitchell's leaving party. Alfie wants to use the book group as an opportunity to impress Gulliver, but when he gets his class to write the chapter summaries things quickly go from bad to worse. Simultaneously, he has got to help Fraser win a fantasy battle against two very self-important LARPers and survive Mitchell's leaving pranks.[25]
3 "Sports Day" 30 September 2014 (2014-09-30) 826,000

It's Abbey Grove's sports day and Fraser has hired the most inappropriate new sports teacher to oversee events – Preet. Alfie sees this as the perfect opportunity to challenge Miss Gulliver's ex-boyfriend Richard (James Fleet) to an endurance event, which Preet offers to design. But with a steroid scandal rocking the school and Alfie desperate to win by any means possible, will he make it over the finish line with his dignity intact?

Absent: Charlie Wernham as Mitchell Harper.
4 "Fundraising" 7 October 2014 (2014-10-07) 754,000

Martin Wickers's attempts to teach Alfie to drive end in disaster when they run over Pod, the school caretaker. Alfie and his class start fundraising for Pod's urgent surgery. However, when the school bully Grayson is transferred to Alfie's class it soon becomes clear that their noble intentions might be difficult with him around. Soon Alfie and his class find themselves no longer leading a charitable enterprise, but being taken on a joyride in a stolen ambulance. While Alfie is giving a tracheotomy after being mistaken for a paramedic, his class spot Pod walking around instead of being in a wheelchair. Fraser has taken up pole dancing and sees the fundraiser as the perfect opportunity to demonstrate his skills. Meanwhile Alfie ends up sexting his dad by mistake after Miss Guilliver's phone is swapped with his, and Alfie tries to find out if she is sleeping with Richard.

Absent: Charlie Wernham as Mitchell Harper.
5 "The Exam" 14 October 2014 (2014-10-14)

Fraser discovers that Alfie never passed his Biology GCSE, so Alfie must go back to school himself to be taught by Gulliver and sit the exam with his own class. It should be the perfect opportunity to prove to Gulliver that he can motivate his class and lead by example, but Alfie decides there is only one real option: cheating. But, with the revelation that the notorious ball-breaking invigilator Mr Hewston will be overseeing the exam, it becomes clear that this is going to be a battle of wits. Meanwhile Martin Wickers is babysitting his girlfriend's dog and Fraser is organising the end-of-exam skip party.

Final Appearance: Charlie Wernham as Mitchell Harper.
6 "Prom" 21 October 2014 (2014-10-21) 806,000

With exams over it's careers advice day for Form K, but it is Alfie who makes the biggest decision of all when he realises he can't go on teaching without his beloved class and quits Abbey Grove. Fraser is devastated to lose his best friend and takes the news badly. Alfie reveals he has landed himself a job at the Playstation factory, even though in reality it is at DIY Home Stores, and cannot be tempted back despite Gulliver and his class begging him to return. Miss Gulliver tries unsuccesfully to cheer up the class by being a cooler teacher. Meanwhile the school Prom takes place and the Prom king and queen are crowned. Alfie gives a final emotional goodbye to his class.

Final Appearance: Jack Whitehall as Alfie Wickers, Mathew Horne as Shaquille Fra$er, Sarah Solemani as Rosie Gulliver, Harry Enfield as Martin Wickers, Layton Williams as Stephen Carmichael, Nikki Runeckles as Chantelle Parsons, Kae Alexander as Jing Hua, Ethan Lawrence as Joe Poulter, Weruche Opia as Cleopatra Ofoedo, Jack Binstead as Leslie Remmington, Jack Bence as Frank Grayson.

American adaptation[edit]

A pilot for a U.S. adaptation of Bad Education, named An American Education, was ordered by ABC with Whitehall set to reprise his role as Alfie Wickers.[26] The pilot began filming in Los Angeles in January 2014. However, ABC passed on the pilot on 22 May 2014, but Whitehall would continue with the original UK series of the show.[27]

Reception[edit]

The series received mixed to negative reviews from the British press. The Guardian called it "in poor taste" and accused Whitehall of "phoning it in". The Telegraph gave the show a rating of 2 out of 5, claiming that the show "uses too many stereotypes" and that Whitehall "tends to repeat many jokes" rather than creating new ones. Both The Mirror and The Sun gave the sitcom a rating of 2 out of 5. Despite this, the show currently holds a 7.7 out of 10 rating on IMDb, and a 4.11 rating out of 5 on SideReel from their respective users.[28][29]

DVD release[edit]

The first series of Bad Education was released on DVD on 9 September 2013.[30]

The second series of Bad Education was released on DVD on 29 September 2014. [31]

A boxset containing both the first and second series of Bad Education was released on DVD on 29 September 2014. [32]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bad Education, episode 3
  2. ^ "Jack Whitehall's 'Bad Education' breaks BBC Three comedy record". Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Andy Samberg's 'Cuckoo' smashes BBC Three comedy record". Retrieved 9 October 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Munn, Patrick (23 August 2013). "BBC Three Sets Premiere Date For 'Bad Education' Season 2". TVWise. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  5. ^ Fletcher, Alex (30 July 2013). "iPlayer first: BBC Three will debut all scripted comedy online". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  6. ^ Fletcher, Alex (4 September 2013). "Jack Whitehall 'Bad Education' iPlayer experiment proves a hit". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c Munn, Patrick (7 October 2013). "BBC Three's 'Bad Education' Gets Christmas Special". TVWise. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Jack Whitehall sitcom 'Bad Education' gets 2nd series". Comedy.co.uk. 23 August 2012. 
  9. ^ http://www.barb.co.uk/whats-new/weekly-top-10?_s=4
  10. ^ "Bad Education, Parents' Evening". BBC. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "Bad Education, Sex Education". BBC. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  12. ^ "Bad Education, Self Defence". BBC. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Bad Education, School Trip". BBC. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Bad Education, Football Match". BBC. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  15. ^ "Bad Education, Politics". BBC. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "Top 10 Programmes". BARB. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "Bad Education, Swimming Gala". BBC. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "Bad Education, The American". BBC. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Bad Education, The Funeral". BBC. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Bad Education, Valentine's Day". BBC. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "Bad Education, Drugs". BBC. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  22. ^ "Bad Education, Fundraiser". BBC. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  23. ^ https://twitter.com/jackwhitehall/status/476710165669249025
  24. ^ "Bad Education, Strike". BBC. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  25. ^ "Bad Education, After School Clubs". BBC. Retrieved 15 September 2014. 
  26. ^ Klompus, Jack (9 November 2013). "'Bad Education': Jack Whitehall comedy to get US remake". Digital Spy. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  27. ^ "Bad Education USA cancelled – News – British Comedy Guide". 
  28. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2337840/?ref_=sr_1
  29. ^ http://www.sidereel.com/bad_education/user_reviews
  30. ^ "Bad Education [DVD]". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  31. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Education-Series-Two-DVD/dp/B00M94YQS2/ref=sr_1_12?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1407410090&sr=1-12&keywords=bad+education
  32. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Education-Series-And-DVD/dp/B00M94YQNM/ref=pd_sim_sbs_d_h__3?ie=UTF8&refRID=06KHT398JKV2PFCXPKWK

External links[edit]