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Skippy Skippy

Australian TV

Skippy (Norfolk 1968-1970, Garry Pankhurst, Ed Devereaux)

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Adventure series about Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo, uses his brains to alert his best friend, the human Sonny, whenever anyone hits trouble in the outback area of Warratah National Park. The show was incredibly popular with kids and in an early example of merchandising spawned books, money boxes and the like, “skippy” even made personal appearances.

There was a film version made in 1968 utilising the TV crew and called The Intruders. The episode turnaround on the show was Two Weeks Ed Devereaux however was unhappy with his role and was quoted in TV Week as saying “There’s no challenge in it for me, if I can’t play a villain then I want a role that has social comment”. Skippy was the first production made by Fauna Studios (the creation of actor John McCallum).

Skippy Liza Goddard as Clancy

A typical publicity shot for Liza Goddard who played Clancy on the series.

In 1969 the show won both a Logie and a Penguin and was also given an award by the Cobb and Co Company for helping to promote the Australian Entertainment Industry. There was a revival of the show in the early 90’s in the form of The New Adventures of Skippy.

production details
Australia / Syndicated – Norfolk International / 91×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 1968-1970

Executive Producers: John McCallum, Bud Austin / Music: Eric Jupp / Producers: Lee Robinson, Dennis Hill

cast
GARRY PANKHURST as Sonny Hammond
ED DEVEREAUX as Matt Hammond
LIZA GODDARD as Clarissa ‘Clancy’ Merrick
KEN JAMES as Mark Hammond
FRANK THRING as Dr Alexander Stark
TONY BONNER as Ranger

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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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