The Teacher is the role for Sheridan Smith, who literally has to be in everything these days. At the start of January, she was in BBC1’s Four Lives, and then next week, she’s in ITV’s four-parter, No Return.
But to this drama – told over four nights – and as Jenna Garvey, she’s off to work after waking from a drunken one-night stand. All should be fine if no-one notices she’s steaming, but eventually, a promotion to become Head Of English, plus a lot of drink in a nightclub leads to a human making poor decisions.
Before it gets to the meat and potatoes of the issue at hand, at least one other teacher sees a caring gesture that might be misinterpreted as affectionate, and they don’t take too kindly to her. However, after her crazy-heavy night out, did she take things too far with 15-year-old schoolboy Kyle (Samuel Bottomley)? Either way, news – or at least, the rumour – gets round fast.
Sherdan Smith is on top form, and even though I’m posting my episode 1 review after the episode has aired, the drama does a good stab at keeping us in the dark as to her actions. If she has done the business, she certainly can’t remember, because even she doesn’t know one way or another. Unless she does know, and she’s masking it from everyone around her?
So, the way I’m treating the plot after the opener is that she might be innocent.
However, what I am curious about is that the credits state the series is filmed on location in Budapest and Bradford. Hang on, how did a drama set around an English school get to take in Hungary??
The premise raises some interesting questions. Every now and again in the news, there’s a story about a teacher who’s had an affair with a pupil, and I once even knew of such a situation which led to marriage I understand they were very happy. Dealing precisely with the situation of a male pupil and a female teacher – and in the continuation of giving no names – if any straight 15-year-old schoolboy said they didn’t have the hots for any of their female teachers, they were lying. Van Halen even sang the song, Hot for Teacher.
At that age, you’re still trying to find your way in life and working out what you want to do with it (some of us still are!), but when I hear that these stories have come to the press because the lad has complained about it, or perhaps he couldn’t keep his mouth such and blabbed to friends, although it’s the teacher who will take the blame because they’re an adult, I will still apply the blame wholly to the lad.
There were a few incredible female teachers when I was back at school, and had any one of them engineered an after-school game of “How’s your father”, I’d have kept my mouth shut AND been eternally thankful; the stuff of fantasy would have become a reality.
Of course, some people will say I’m completely mad and that in such a situation, the teacher is breaking the law. True, to the latter at least, but then the law is sometimes an ass.
Any further updates will be after broadcast for each respective episode.
UPDATE Episode 2:
UPDATE Episode 3:
UPDATE Episode 4:
The Teacher continues tomorrow night on Channel 5 at 9pm, and is on nightly until Thursday. It is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
If you miss it, you can watch the each episode on My5 after transmission.
Check out the trailer below:
Episode 1 Score: 8/10
Episode 2 Score: 8/10
Episode 3 Score: 7/10
Episode 4 Score: Hmm…
Director: Dominic Leclerc
Producer: Jyoti Fernandes
Writers: Barunka O’Shaughnessy, Jon Gilbert, Mike Benson
Music: Edmund Butt
Jenna Garvey: Sheridan Smith
Kyle: Samuel Bottomley
Pauline: Cecilia Noble
Roger: David Fleeshman
Mary: Sarah-Jane Potts
Izzy: Tillie Amartey
Jack: Kelvin Fletcher
Brian: Ian Puleston-Davies
Nina: Sharon Rooney
Brian: Ian Puleston-Davis
Ken Mills: Anil Desai
DI Sowerby: Karen Henthorn
Adnan: Aaronveer Dhillon
Jojo: Matt Devere
Reporter: Roderick Hill
Shopkeeper: Barnabás Réti
Ava: Karen Bryson
Gabriel: Harry Hepple
Denise: Yemisi Oyinloye
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.