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Episode Five - "Old Boys"

Scheduled for transmission on 18th March 1987 but not shown

In a boys' toilet, Slasher is selling the answers to exams that are due to take place that day. He is also selling pills which can make the children ill and thus provide a perfect excuse to get out of completing their exam.

In one of the rooms in which an exam is taking place, Mr Fowl warns the pupils against using answers that they may have purchased in a boys' toilet, advising them that the answers are wrong. Mr Philpott is there to watch over the pupils while the exam is completed. Mr Fowl points out to the class that at the top of the exam papers they are asked to write in their name and that if anyone struggles to answer this question they should see Mr Philpott afterwards. He adds that a 'cross or palm print won't do'.

Mr Fowl departs, at which point the exam begins. Shortly, the silence is broken by the unmistakable sound of flatulence.

In the staff room, Agnes, the school secretary, arrives with some post, including complaint letters for Mr Fowl to respond to. Mr Flashman has a quick peak at the letters before Mr Fowl arrives. Mr Flashman enquires if Mr Fowl is concerned about any backlash from his insulting responses to the complaint letters and Mr Fowl shrugs off any concerns, claiming he has had 'military training'. Mr Flashman then informs him that he had bumped into two former pupils, named Lenny and Tiny, in a pub the previous night and that they had been asking about Mr Fowl. It turns out that Mr Fowl had arranged for Lenny and Tiny to be sent to a borstal. Mr Fowl immediately panics at the prospect of being confronted by them.

In her office, Agnes is typing letters. Mr Fowl dashes in and bellows that if anyone arrives at the school asking after him that she should tell them that he has died. Mr Fowl then hurries away and hides in a storage room. Meanwhile, in the class room that Mr Philpott is watching over, the flatulence continues relentlessly.

In another class, Slasher and one of his gang members are doing cookery. Predictably, they are making an appalling mess whilst creating a foul concoction which is supposed to be rock cakes (they are using real pebbles).

Mr Magnusson passes by the storage room that Mr Fowl is hiding in and hears a soft voice calling out to him. Mr Magnusson looks around but sees no one. He assumes the voice is coming from a fire extinguisher!

Mr Magnusson visits Agnes in her office and asks about Mr Fowl, whom she advises has died, as per Mr Fowl's instructions. Mr Magnusson faints upon hearing this news.
Back at the storage room, Mr Savage is passing by and he hears Mr Fowl calling out in a soft whisper. Mr Savage stops and spots a hand reaching out and gesturing for him to come forward. Mr Fowl promptly bops him on his head and drags the unconscious Mr Savage into the storage room.

Outside, a Mini pick-up van screeches into the school grounds, knocking over sign posts and rubbish bins. When it comes to a halt, the notorious Lenny and Tiny step out. They are kind of dressed like undertakers and Tiny is sporting crocodile skin platform boots.

They are soon prowling the corridors in their search for Mr Fowl and encounter Slasher, who is wearing an apron from his cookery class. They demand to know where Mr Fowl is and this is the only time in the series in which Slasher is overpowered and humiliated; they throttle him and grab him by his genitals. Slasher directs them to the class room in which Mr Philpott is overseeing an exam, but Mr Fowl had already left there some time ago.

Emerging from the class room, Lenny and Tiny bump into Miss Crabbe and are actually quite respectful towards her.  They don't exactly fear her but actually seem attracted to her. They tell her that they work for an insurance company as sort of debt collectors (but it seems more likely that they run a protection racket). They tell Miss Crabbe that they have returned to the school to thank Mr Fowl for sending them to a borstal because it taught them the error of their ways and made them into better citizens. In reality they are there for revenge and Miss Crabbe guesses this. She is delighted to help them locate Mr Fowl and also uses Tiny's real first name of Arthur when talking to them.

Back in the class room, Mr Philpott has been stripped down to his underpants and has been hung upside down on the blackboard, obviously the handiwork of Lenny and Tiny.

Mr Fowl ventures from the storage room and has disguised himself as Mr Savage. Elsewhere, Miss Crabbe cajoles Agnes into making an announcement over the tannoy system asking Mr Fowl to go to the staff room because a representative from Readers Digest is there with a prize draw gift for him. Mr Fowl hears this announcement and  falls for it. He hurries to the staff room, only to find Lenny and Tiny waiting for him. They move in menacingly with a makeshift flame thrower but Mr Fowl jumps through the window and lands in a bush below.

Outside, Mr Magnusson is burying the fire extinguisher, foolishly believing that Mr Fowl (who he thinks has died) has either morphed into it or his spirit has entered it. After the burial, Mr Magnusson mournfully heads back into the school but hears Mr Fowl groaning from beneath the bush he landed on. Mr Magnusson freaks, thinking that Mr Fowl has either morphed into the bush or his spirit has entered it.

Up in the staff room, Miss Crabbe, Agnes, Lenny and Tiny tuck into a bowl of rock cakes.

In conclusion, there is nothing disturbing, or unsettling, or controversial in this episode, and in the view of the writers of this website, it is the best of the series. Rik Mayall (Lenny) and Adrian Edmondson (Tiny) make terrific guest stars, and when viewing it again it feels like a great shame that not only was "Hardwicke House" not screened in full but that it didn't get a second series either.

A Mini pick-up van like this one is used in this episode
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