Australian TV TV

Love Child (Channel 9 2014, Jessica Marais, Jonathan LaPaglia)

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Period drama series Love Child takes us back to 1969 when young Joan Millar returns home from London to take up a position at Kings Cross Hospital in Sydney. Joan is a midwife and looks after the women who are staying at Stanton House which is a home for unmarried pregnant girls. At the heart of the series is the issue of forced adoption that so many unmarried young girls of the era were faced with.

Patrick McNaughton is the doctor in charge and Frances Bolton is the matron, initially Millar comes into conflict with both of them. By the start of the second season, which moves into 1970, Joan has become a fully fledged Doctor and by the end of the season Stanton House has been closed down. Season three, still in 1970, saw the Vietnam War impacting on the lives of the Doctors and Nurses at Kings Cross and Matron is determined to see the reopening of Stanton House.

Love Child Season 2 Sophie and Harriet - Photograph by David Dare Parker.

Love Child Season 2 Sophie Hensser as Viv Maguire and Harriet Dyer as Patricia Saunders – Photograph by David Dare Parker.

Love Child is quite the big budget drama for Channel 9, very similar in concept in a way to the BBC series Call The Midwife but moving the action forward to the late sixties from the fifties. It’s a very modern idealised version of the era though as the Sydney Morning Herald says “this is an idealised slightly soft focus Cross with the serious unpleasantness largely airbrushed out, leaving us with a location that is effectively a metaphor for a changing Australia.”

production details
Australia / Channel 9 – Playmaker Media / 26×50 minute episodes / Broadcast from 17 February 2014

Creator: Sarah Lambert / Producers: Sue Seeary, Sarah Lambert, Tim Pye / Executive Producers: Jo Rooney, Andy Ryan, David Taylor, David Maher

cast
Jessica Marais as Dr. Joan Millar
Jonathan LaPaglia as Dr. Patrick McNaughton
Mandy McElhinney as Matron Frances Bolton
Ella Scott Lynch as Shirley Ryan
Harriet Dyer as Patricia Saunders
Sophie Hensser as Viv Maguire
Gracie Gilbert as Annie Carmichael
Miranda Tapsell as Martha Tennant
Ryan Johnson as Phillip Paige
Ryan Corr as Johnny Lowry (seasons 1–2)
Matthew Le Nevez as Jim Marsh (seasons 2–)
Maya Stange as Eva McNaughton (seasons 1–2)
Ben Lawson as Colin Ryan (season 1)
Ben Toole as Pete (seasons 1–2)
Lincoln Younes as Chris Vesty (season 2)
Jessica June as Tania (season 2)
Andrew Ryan as Simon Bowditch (season 2)
Marshall Napier as Greg Matheson (season 2)
Ian Bolt as Bob Flannery (seasons 1–2)