I seen this on the Network site the other week, it caught my eye because the actor Jamie Foreman was in it and for some reason I always thought he was a gangster type figure before going into acting with Eastenders. Not sure how I came to that conclusion, but obviously not true.
Have to say until then I had never heard of it and certainly have never seen it.
Post by Albert Wendell on Oct 30, 2017 14:16:14 GMT
I have seen the first series and have just started watching the second, it's along the lines of Grange Hill but where as the first series of that concentrated on first formers A Bunch Of Fives is about a group of fifth formers. It centers around the school magazine the title of which is A Bunch Of Fives that the group write they try to cover edgy stories and ones that are not just connected to the school but also the local area.
It's good but not as good a Grange Hill there is a smaller cast and it doesn't have the magic that Grange Hill had from the start. Jamie Foreman is ok in it but Lesley Manville is the best of the youth actors. Darryl Read appeared in series 2 playing a character similar to the one he played in Minder.
The first series debuted in 1977 and the second in 1978, it was filmed at Ravenscroft School in Barnet and there is plenty of outside filming.
I have now finished watching the second (and final series) so I will post an update but first to answer the OP's question Jamie Foreman wasn't a gangster however he was the son of Freddie Foreman who was a gangster and associate of The Krays. Jamie was also married to actress Carol Harrison who was so underused in her Minder appearance.
The second series of A Bunch Of Fives centres more on the lives of the pupils both at home and school and not just the school magazine as it does in Series 1, this I feel is better and Series 2 definitely has the edge over Series 1. The main characters are Chis Taylor (Jamie Foreman), Helen Wyatt (Lesley Manville), Dave Jenner (Richard Willis) and Ken McCall (Andrew Rinous) (although Ken gets less screen time in Series 2) and the main teachers are Miss. Walsh (Julia Carey), Mr. Buck (Chris Sanders) and the Headmaster Mr. Oakley (Richard Mayers) other pupils and teachers appear but these are the main ones. The cast is smaller than that of Grange Hill but then it gives the writers a chance to delve deeper into the characters. The actress who plays Miss. Walsh (Julia Carey) is brilliant as a teacher and although I went to senior school from 1990-1997 she was very similar in her way's and mannerisms to the teachers who taught me I would go as far to say that her portrayal of a teacher is one of the finest I've seen on television strange that A Bunch Of Fives was the last thing she appeared in considering she must only have been in her 30's. Chis Sanders also does a good job of disliked teacher Mr. Buck. Interesting that the boys with long haired 70's cuts in the first series (1977) had lost them for the second (1978) I think they also mention this. Jerome Willis (The Sandbaggers) stars as Dave's dad and there is a good story line involving him and look out for actor Nigel Rathbone who is famous for his role as Steve Forbes in The Gentle Touch he is an uncredited extra.
From a production point of view I love the fact that the opening and closing credits form part of the story in that we see a character/characters (normally outside filming) walking in/arriving (on opening) and leaving (on closing) which is of course different each episode and there's a catchy theme tune to sing along too as well.
The final episode of Series 2 is excellent and Mr. Buck's last scene is very well done. I can't believe this didn't get a third series as with the success of Grange Hill you think it would have. If you're a Grange Hill fan then I do recommend it.