Australian TV TV

Cop Shop (Channel 7 1977-1980, Paula Duncan, John Orcsik)

Cop Shop

Soapy crime drama series Cop Shop told episodes in the lives of the coppers (both uniformed cops and the plain clothes branch) working out of Riverside station. Sgt Glenn Taylor was the stations C.I. boss, in charge of the running of the station, much of the early action centred around the home life of Taylor and his family, wife Pamela and teenage daughter Gayle.

Paula Duncan who played Policewoman Danni Francis became the pin-up girl of the show. Other main characters included Detective J.J. Johnson (a womanising and drinking copper who ended up married to a stripper). One interesting aspect is that the character of Detective Peter Fanelli had previously been seen in the series Skyways before appearing in this. When the Show began, many people expected it to be merely a filler program. Its drawing power was an unknown quantity to the bosses at Seven and Crawfords, and its artistic value was judged to be next to nil by many critics. But things improved. The actors expanded and developed their characters. and, slowly but surely, the show gained a good following.

The series was shot on videotape and was an attempt to show the human face of policing by also showing the coppers outside of work. The exterior of the station was the Russell Street Police Station in Melbourne (as seen in the opening credits). Cop Shop was also one of the first Australian cop series to show women cops at work. Adams and Lockwood won Logies for their roles on the show.

Paula Duncan and John Orcsik married both in the show and in real life, when Paula fell pregnant in real life, the producers wrote it into the script. Orcsik was actually only brought in to replace Tony Bonner but ended up becoming one of the main players. Unusually for an Australian show, Cop Shop went abroad for one story, filming a segment in Rome, Italy. Working titles for the show included Palace Guards and Saints and Sinners.

production details
Australia / Channel 7 – Crawfords / 582x60m-e / Broadcast November 1977 – 1980

Creator: Terry Stapleton / Producers: Terry Stapleton, Marie Trevor / Executive Producer: Hector Crawford

GEORGE MALLABY as Detective Glen Taylor
ROWENA WALLACE as Pamela Taylor
JO-ANNE MOORE as Gayle Taylor
PETER ADAMS as Detective Jeff ‘JJ’Johnson
PAULA DUNCAN as Danni Francis
JOANNA LOCKWOOD as Valerie Johnson
TERRY NORRIS as Senior Sgt Eric O’Rielly
LYNDA STONER as Amanda King
JOHN ORCSIK as Detective Mike Georgiou
TONY BONNER as Det Don McKenna

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