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|Created by||Paula Burdon|
|Written by||Richard Hall and Simon Wright|
|Directed by||John Stroud|
|Starring||Roy Kinnear, Pam Ferris, Duncan Preston|
|Theme music composer||Peter Brewis|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||7 (of which 5 were untransmitted)|
|Running time||1 x 50 minutes (Episode 1), 6 x 25 minutes (Episodes 2-7)|
|Original release||24 February 1987 – 25 February 1987|
Hardwicke House is a 1987 seven-episode sitcom produced by Central Independent Television for the ITV network. It was so negatively received that only the first two episodes were transmitted in February 1987.
Plot and episode titles
The series is set in the large comprehensive school of the title, the staff of which are as dysfunctional as the pupils. One teacher is a multiple murderer, while the deputy headmaster lusts after male pupils. One teacher, Moose Magnusson, is on an extended exchange placement, because his own school in Iceland refuses to have him back.
- Episode 1 - The Visit (24 February 1987)
- Episode 2 - The First Day of Term (25 February 1987)
- Episode 3 - Interview Day (scheduled for 4 March 1987)
- Episode 4 - Prize Giving (scheduled for 11 March 1987)
- Episode 5 - Old Boys ("scheduled" for 18 March 1987)
- Episode 6 - Inspector Calls ("scheduled" for 25 March 1987)
- Episode 7 - Passion Play ("scheduled" for 1 April 1987)
Production and curtailed broadcast
The series was extensively trailed, and also featured on the front cover of the TV Times for the week of the first two episodes - a double-length premiere and a "regular" episode - which were shown on consecutive Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Later episodes were scheduled for subsequent Wednesdays, but the public and press outcry against the series was so great that the series was pulled and replaced with re-runs of Chance in a Million before the third episode was aired. The decision to pull the show was taken at such short notice that TV Times was unable to change its listings and Hardwicke House feature.
The remaining five untransmitted episodes included appearances by John Fortune, Bryan Pringle, and - in the roles of highly dangerous ex-pupils recently released from borstal - Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson. A second series had been prepared but abruptly halted in the light of the uproar.
Reports were in the media that Central had wiped the master tapes of the whole first series, but this was later revealed to be untrue. Indeed today all seven episodes are listed as being available for any broadcaster that's interested (via itnsource.com). That being said, the series has never been transmitted outside the United Kingdom or released on home media - when Network DVD approached ITV with a view to releasing the series on DVD, it failed compliance.
References and notes
- TV Times, 28 February to 6 March 1987
- TV Times, 7 to 13 March 1987
- School's Out!, December 2006
- Chalk - another comprehensive school-set sitcom
- Bromwell High - animated comprehensive school sitcom, also not shown in full
- Hardwicke House at the Internet Movie Database
- Off The Telly review (via wayback machine)
- Bad Show, Goons
- Fan site
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