Australian TV TV

Sullivans, The (Channel 9 1976-1983, Paul Cronin, Lorraine Bayly)

The Sullivans

Period soap style drama series. In a Melbourne suburb, the Sullivans (who lived at 7 Gordon Street, Camberwell, Victoria) and their friends and relatives cope with the hardships of the second world war. Set and filmed in Melbourne with Canterbury being the main location because of its proximity to Abbotsford which is where production company Crawfords were based. Although pretty much all of the scenes set overseas were filmed in Melbourne the production team did venture out to the Netherlands for some location work in Amsterdam.

The pub featured in the series is The Retreat Hotel in Abbotsford. Episodes one and two ran to 45 minutes each.

The series was huge not only in Australia but was also one of the first Australian soaps to transfer successfully around the world.

The Sullivans

Grace heads to London never to return.

In 1979 Lorraine Bayly was the first major character to leave the series. The production team was desperate to keep her on board and persuaded to film six months worth of short segments that saw her character embarking to London to care for her injured son John. A good idea but one that didn’t work as Lorraine, despite filming the segments, didn’t return to the series. Her character, Grace, was then killed (offscreen) by a V1 rocket whilst still in London. The series effectively ended with the war itself ending. Crawfords were still keen to carry on but by that stage star Cronin had had enough and the serie came to a close.

5 August 1979 saw the broadcast of a TV Movie called The John Sullivan Story this starred series regular Andrew McFarlane and followed John’s story after he went missing in the series. It seems after his troopship was sunk John made it to a small Madedonian village where he worked for a time as a doctor and fell in love with Jewish girl Nadia.

production details
Australia / Channel 9 – Crawford / 1112×25 minute episodes 2×45 minute episodes / 15 November 1976 – 10 March 1983

Creators: Jack Blair, Ian Jones

PAUL CRONIN as David Sullivan
LORRAINE BAYLY as Grace Sullivan
ANDREW McFARLANE as John Sullivan
STEVEN TANDY as Tom Sullivan
SUSAN HANNAFORD as Kitty Sullivan
RICHARD MORGAN as Terry Sullivan
INGRID MASON as Anna Kaufman
LEON LISSEK as Hans Kaufman