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Australian TV

Matlock Police (Channel 10 1971-1976, Paul Cronin,Vic Gordon)

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Matlock Police was a crime drama series revolving around the lives of a group of country based policemen whose backgrounds and private lives were an integral part of the series. At the time Matlock Police had the biggest budget and was the most highly publicised show yet. The town of Matlock was on the central Highway about 100 miles from Melbourne and with a population of 17,300, there were 75,000 people in the surrounding district, the town had a long history of settlement and featured all classes from the landed gentry to the displaced settlement dwelling Aboriginals.

When the show started the focus was on four main characters; Sgt Bert Kennedy who was in charge of the station, Kennedy had been at the station 7 years; Detective Allan Curtis; Curtis was a city boy and resented his country posting; Detective Sergeant Vic Maddern; Maddern had spent all his life in the Melbourne area apart from a spell in the army for the Korean War and Constable Gary Hogan youngest of the four main players, Hogan was a highway patrolman.

The show was an immediate top ten hit and Crawford’s initial budget for the show was $20,000 per episode and filming began in November 1970. In the TV Week of 5 June 1971 Michael Pate said that “we have the best Australian show on TV and we intend to keep it like that, Homicide and Division 4 had better watch out”.

matlock-police-channel-10

This sense of rivalry between all three Crawford cop shows helped make them all better shows. Guest stars over the course of the series included George Lazenby, Jack Thompson, Andrew McFarlane, Judy Morris and Sigrid Thornton.

In 1976 a brief spin off with Paul Cronin emerged this was called Solo One.

The series was filmed in black and white until episode 162.

production details
Australia / Channel 10 – Crawfords / 229×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 22 February 1971 – 1976

Creators: Ian Jones, Terry Stapleton

cast
PAUL CRONIN as Gary Hogan
VIC GORDON as Sgt Albert Kennedy
PETER GWYNNE as Detective Sergeant Jack Maloney
MICHAEL PATE as Det Sgt Vic Maddern
TOM RICHARDS as Senior Detective Steve York
GRIGOR TAYLOR as Detective Allan Curtis
SUE DONOVAN as Policewoman Irene Bishop (debut Episode: Still-Life)

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Australian TV

Murcheson Creek (Channel 9 1976, Mark Edwards, Rowena Wallace)

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Channel 9 Logo

In one off thriller Murcheson Creek Andrew Murcheson returns to his home town to take over his father’s medical practice (the town being named Murcheson Creek in honour of his family.) He begins an affair with an old flame Karen Fields and also finds himself stirring up secrets that should have stayed buried after trying to settle his father’s accounts.

cast
Mark Edwards as Dr Andrew Murcheson
Rowena Wallace as Karen Fields
Abigail as Donna Lewis
Sandra Lee Paterson as Dr Myfanwy Mckenna
Gordon Mcdougall
Lew Luton
Philippa Baker
Dennis Miller
Anne-Louise Lambert
John Orcsik

crew details
Director: Terry Bourke
Writer: Robert Caswell
Producer: Ross Hawthorn
Executive Producer: Bill Harmon

production details
Country: Australia
Network and Production Companies: Channel 9 – Cash Harmon
Duration: 1×90 minute episode
Aired From: 1976

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Australian TV

Australian Gangster (Channel 7 2018)

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Channel 7

Australian Gangster is a crime drama that will have a distinctly modern vibe. No real plot details have been released as yet but it’s being talked of a grand tale of crime in Western Sydney where glitz and glamour vie with drugs and laundered money. The behind the scenes crew have impressive pedigrees – it’s been written by Gregor Jordan (of Two Hands fame) and Romper Stomper author Malcolm Knox.

Producer John Edwards said “Just as Two Hands was an oblique take on a familiar form a generation ago, Australian Gangster will be a genre-bending crime drama series – confronting, affronting, touching and often laugh-out-loud crazy.”

Filming will begin early next year in and around Sydney.

crew details
Writer: Gregor Jordan, Malcolm Knox
Producers: Dan Edwards, John Edwards
Director: Daina Reed

production details
Country: Australia
Network and Production Companies: Channel 7 – Roadshow Rough Diamond – Screen Australia – Create NSW – Red Arrow International
Duration: Not sure as yet
Aired From: In production

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Australian TV

And The Big Men Fly (ABC 1973, John Hargreaves, Frank Wilson)

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Comedy drama And The Big Men Fly saw a young farm lad becoming a big star of Aussie rules football, his special skills involve him playing barefoot. In 1981 there was a sequel called And Here Comes Bucknuckle.

Made in black and white

cast
Frank Wilson
John Hargreaves
Dennis Miller
Barry McQueen
Reg Evans
George Mallaby
Colin Mcewan
Diane Criag
Maurie Fields

crew details
Writer: Alan Hopgood
Producer: Oscar Whitbread
Director: Keith Wilkes

production details
Country: Australia
Network and Production Companies: ABC
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 1973

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