Australian TV TV

Doctor Blake Mysteries, The (ABC 2013, Craig McLachlan, Nadine Garner)

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Crime drama series The Doctor Blake Mysteries takes us back to the 1950’s when Doctor Lucien Blake returns to his home town of Ballarat after 30 years away. He has come back to take over his late father’s medical practice and to also take on the role of Ballarat’s police surgeon. This of course gives him ample opportunity, in best Quincy style, to get a little bit too involved in the solving of the murders he is working with the police on.

As the series progresses we learn that Blake had practiced medicine in Scotland and London before joining the army and serving in the Far East. It was here that Blake married a Chinese woman with whom he had a child, they both died at the fall of Singapore. Meanwhile Blake is struggling to settle into his new role, helped and hindered in equal measure by his housekeeper/receptionist Jean Beazley. By the fourth series Lucien has fallen in love with Jean.

There is a huge amount of period charm on display in the series, Craig McLachlan in something of a change of pace for him, is excellent as the somewhat world weary Blake. In fact even the production team were unsure whether he would be the right man for the role with series creator George Adams saying “we auditioned the usual cast of suspects (older actors) and I had one particular guy I was leaning towards when I heard that Craig, who was in Los Angeles, knew about the show and wanted to do a test. Craig brought a physicality to Blake that no-one else had shown. He had a lightness and a quirkiness that we wanted to capture.”

production details
Australia / ABC – December Media / 36×60 minute episodes / Broadcast from 1 February 2013

Creators: George Adams, Tony Wright / Music: Dale Cornelius / Producer: George Adams / Executive Producers: Tony Wright, Carole Sklan, Christopher Gist

cast
Craig McLachlan as Doctor Lucien Blake
Nadine Garner as Jean Beazley
Cate Wolfe as Matilda “Mattie” O’Brien
Joel Tobeck as Chief Superintendent (later Chief Inspector) Matthew Lawson
Rick Donald as Constable Daniel Parks (Season 1)
Charlie Cousins as Constable (later Sergeant) Charlie Davis (From Season 2-)
Belinda McClory as Alice Harvey (From Season 2-)
John Wood as Patrick Tyneman
Craig Hall as Chief Supt William Munro (Season 3)
John Stanton as Douglas Ashby (Seasons 1–3)
David Whiteley as Sergeant Bill Hobart
Ian Rooney as Cec Drury
Rodger Corser as Chief Supt Frank Carlyle (From season 4-)
Anna McGahan as Rose Anderson (From season 4-)

Doctor Blake Mysteries

Season One 1 February – 5 April 2013
1. STILL WATERS
2. THE GREATER GOOD
3. DEATH OF A TRAVELLING SALESMAN
4. BROTHERLY LOVE
5. HEARTS AND FLOWERS
6. IF THE SHOE FITS
7. BEDLAM
8. GAME OF CHAMPIONS
9. ALL THAT GLITTERS
10. SOMEONE’S SON, SOMEONE’S DAUGHTER

Season Two 7 February – 11 April 2014
1. THE HEART OF THE MATTER
2. THE FOOD OF LOVE
3. A FOREIGN FIELD
4. SMOKE AND MIRRORS
5. CROSSING THE LINE
6. MORTAL COIL
7. THE SILENCE
8. THE TIES OF THE PAST
9. THE SKY IF EMPTY
10. AN INVINCIBLE SUMMER

Season Three 13 February – 3 April 2015
1. KING OF THE LAKE
2. MY BROTHER’S KEEPER
3. THIS TIME AND THIS PLACE
4. BY THE SOUTHERN CROSS
5. A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
6. WOMEN AND CHILDREN
7. ROOM WITHOUT A VIEW
8. DARKNESS VISIBLE

Season Four 5 February – 25 March 2016
1. THE OPEN ROAD
2. GOLDEN YEARS
3. LUCKY NUMBERS
4. AGAINST THE ODDS
5. THE PRICE OF LOVE
6. A DIFFICULT LIE
7. FOR WHOM THE BELLS TOLL
8. THE VISIBLE WORLD