1 9 8 2 (USA)
6 x 30 minute episodes
This short-lived CBS comedy series starred James Naughton as Harry Barnes, dean of boys at the urban Franklin High School in St Louis, which had more than 4,500 rowdy kids.
Harry’s style and evident sincerity earned him the respect of both students and teachers alike, and he provided the focus on laughter, humanity and humour around which the series revolved.
Harry’s assistant, officious vice principal Jack Felspar (Graham Jarvis), was an inept dullard who referred to the school’s “Lords of Death” gang as a “social club”.
The newest faculty member was idealistic substitute teacher Jeff Kelton (Steven Peterman). He left law school to earn some money, but little realised the dangerous territory into which he was moving.
Beautiful and dedicated drama teacher Sara Conover (Alley Mills) had to be constantly alert to fend off the amorous attentions and physical advances of conceited, immaculately coiffed and groomed English teacher Dave Wasserman (Philip Charles MacKenzie) – who also happened to be married.
Zane Lasky played Anton Zemeckis, an intense and wiry Latin teacher and part-time travel agent (he owned the ‘I Travel, You Travel, He Travels, Travel Agency’), and George Wendt played Gus Bertola, the obtuse but wry PE teacher.
Franklin High had a “phantom principal” who was never seen, but whose memoranda, ukases and “up the down staircase” notices were referred to often.
Regular students included Mindy (Annabella Price), Walt (Dan Frischman) and Arnold (Christopher Blande).
Both teachers and students had to deal with administrative bureaucracy, absenteeism, violence, vandalism and annual nervous breakdowns.
Philip Charles MacKenzie