List of Chalk episodes

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Filming outside of Acland Burghley School, Tufnell Park, London. This part of the school is seen on the show's opening titles.

Chalk is a BBC Television sitcom. The show was produced by Andre Ptaszynski for the independent production company Pola Jones and screened on BBC2. All twelve episodes from the two series were written by Steven Moffat and directed by Juliet May. The first episode of the series was transmitted on 20 February 1997, and the final transmitted on 22 October 1997.[1]

The series focuses upon deputy headteacher Eric Slatt (David Bamber), permanently stressed over the chaos he creates both by himself and some of his eccentric staff. His wife Janet (Geraldine Fitzgerald) and new English teacher Suzy Travis (Nicola Walker) attempts to help him solve the problems.[2]

Due to the positive reaction of the studio audience during recordings, a second series was commissioned before the first had aired.[3] However, the first series attracted criticism, inflamed by the BBC's decision to compare the show to the highly respected Fawlty Towers in its publicity materials.[1] The first series was released on DVD in December 2008.[4]

Series[edit]

The first three episodes were released on VHS in the United Kingdom on 7 September 1998 by BBC Video.[5][6] The complete first series was released on Region 2 PAL DVD by ReplayDVD, the independent label that was established to release Moffat's Joking Apart, on 15 December 2008.[4] The second series has never been released in any format.

Series Episodes Originally aired DVD Release
Release date Extra features
1 6 1997 15 December 2008
  • Audio commentaries on all episodes
  • Retrospective documentary featuring the cast and the producer.
2 6 1997 n/a n/a

Series 1[edit]

The first series was broadcast on BBC1 on Thursday evenings between 20 February and 27 March 1997. The first four episodes were transmitted at 21:30, but the final two episodes of the second series were moved to 22:20.[7]

Episode title Original airdate[1] #
"Suzy Arrives" 20 February 1997 1
New teacher Suzy Travis (Nicola Walker) joins the staff of Galfast High, only to find that the rest of her colleagues appear to be insane. She discovers that the headteacher (John Wells) has locked himself in a cupboard, and that the previous English teacher has died whilst teaching a class. Slatt (David Bamber) attempts to remove the corpse without upsetting any of the pupils.
"The Interviews" 27 February 1997 2
As the headteacher and Eric are up for the same job at another school, the panel decide to interview them both at Galfast High.
"The Staff Meeting" 6 March 1997 3
The staff are locked in the staff room by a pupil protesting over human rights issues in Estransia (a country invented by Mr McGill). As the protest continues, a TV crew arrive outside, whilst Eric desperately needs a pee.
"Both Called Eric" 13 March 1997 4
Star pupil Helen gives birth to twins and, as a result of her infatuation with the deputy head, decides to name them both "Eric". Meanwhile, Suzy takes an immediate attraction to the new religious education teacher, Mr Cockfoster (Damien Matthews).
"The Inspection" 20 March 1997 5
Three inspectors (Deborah Norton, Steven Beard and James Saxon) are about to visit the school as the Department of Education is looking to close a school in the area. Eric is determined to create the best possible impression but he's reckoned without music teacher Amanda Trippley (Amanda Boxer), who has decided to expel all of the students. Slatt and colleagues attempt to disguise the fact that the school has no pupils.
"Mother" 27 March 1997 6
Suzy finds a vase with a dedication to Eric's apparently dead mother. Assuming it's an urn, Suzy is surprised when his mother turns up at the school, and is the spitting image of his wife.

Series 2[edit]

Due to the positive reaction of the studio audience during recordings, a second series was commissioned before the first had started to be transmitted.[3] The second series was broadcast on BBC1 on Wednesday evenings between 17 September and 22 October 1997, mostly at 10:15pm.[3][7]

As John Wells was too ill to film the second series, Duncan Preston played Galfast High's new headmaster, Mr Kennedy, who appeared almost identical in character to Wells' Mr Nixon.[1]

Episode title Original airdate[1] #
"New Student" 17 September 1997 7
Student teacher Ronald Langham (Richard Lumsden) is assigned to Galfast High for a week and develops an unusual relationship with the deputy head. As a senior education official, Ronald's mother (Richenda Carey) arrives to check on her son's progress at the school. Meanwhile, Dan is jealous that Suzy has been dating other members of staff.
"Amanda" 24 September 1997 8
After years of failing to dismiss Amanda Trippley, Slatt believes her time may be up when an inspector from the Local Education Authority, Archie Munt (Trevor Cooper), visits the school to investigate financial irregularities and reveals her hobby.
"Bungee" 1 October 1997 9
After Slatt humiliates sixth former Maureen Bullivant (Hayley Keogh-Green) at the school assembly for her poor exam performance, her brother Malcolm (Marc Bannerman) arrives at the school for revenge. Mrs Slatt has problems too, as medical photographs of her that were used in lectures fall into Eric's hands. Meanwhile, it transpires that Dan has been spreading rumours about religious education teacher Jason Cockfoster.
"Dream" 8 October 1997 10
Suzy's revelation that she has dreamed about a sexual encounter with Slatt leads to the two desperately trying to dispel accusations of any attraction between them. Meanwhile, Galfast High recruits a new pupil, Bartholomew (Toby Ross-Bryant), who is recovering from schizophrenia.
"Exam" 15 October 1997 11
It is the morning of an A level examination and nothing can go wrong for a star pupil Edward (Kristopher Milnes). Seeing his pet rabbit and receiving a message from his pop idol, Jason Woods, will fully prepare him for the exam. Dr Eleanor Gillespie (Doreen Mantle) arrives at the school to invigilate the examination.
"Party" 22 October 1997 12
The staff hold an end-of-term party. Suzy and Dan uncover a videotape of a recording Slatt has made of himself talking into a camcorder.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e After the Chalk Dust Settled, featurette on Chalk Series 1 DVD, ReplayDVD.co.uk, prod. & dir. Craig Robins
  2. ^ Evans, Jeff (2003). The Penguin TV Companion (2nd ed.). Penguin Books Ltd. p. 130. ISBN 0-14-101221-8. 
  3. ^ a b c Lewisohn, Mark. "Chalk". BBC Guide to Comedy. Archived from the original on 2007-02-03. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  4. ^ a b Kibble-White, Graham (2008-11-17). "Chalk dusted off". Off the Telly. Retrieved 2016-08-13. 
  5. ^ "Chalk – Suzy Arrives". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  6. ^ Steven Moffat & Jack Davenport, Coupling, "The Freckle, the Key, and the Couple who Weren't", Series 3 DVD audio commentary
  7. ^ a b "The Staff Meeting" DVD audio commentary, Chalk Series 1 DVD, ReplayDVD

External links[edit]