Contrabandits was a crime drama series detailing the activities of the Sydney Customs Department. The show made ample use of location shooting in and around Sydney.
At the time ABC had recently implemented a plan of copying the BBC in the UK’s formula of producing plays, serials and series with Contrabandits being the first production.
Heading up the team was Ted Hallam who was very much a no nonsense kind of guy. The rest of the team included underwater expert Bob Piper, Jim Shurley, Mardi and Ross (driver and radio operator). Although unofficially known as The Controbandits the teams official name was Special Branch, CB Division of the Department of Customs and Excise.
The series had a reasonable budget too, the season two opener for example (which guest starred Sir Robert Helpmann) used a luxury mansion in Palm Beach, NSW and utilised a a helicopter, a private plane, a speedboat and several luxury cars.
Australia / ABC / 29×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 1967-1968 (First Episode: 22 September 1967) Season one contained 13 episodes whilst season two had 16.
Design: Desmonde Downing, Douglas Smith / Producer: Eric Taylor / Directors: Brian Faull, Ken Hannam, Eric Taylor
DENIS QUILLEY as Ted Hallam
JANET KINGSBURY as Mardi
JOHN BONNEY as Bob Piper
BOB HADDOW as Ross