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Australian TV

Cop Shop (Channel 7 1977-1980, Paula Duncan, John Orcsik)

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Soapy crime drama series Cop Shop told episodes in the lives of the coppers (both uniformed cops and the plain clothes branch) working out of Riverside station. Sgt Glenn Taylor was the stations C.I. boss, in charge of the running of the station, much of the early action centred around the home life of Taylor and his family, wife Pamela and teenage daughter Gayle.

Paula Duncan who played Policewoman Danni Francis became the pin-up girl of the show. Other main characters included Detective J.J. Johnson (a womanising and drinking copper who ended up married to a stripper). One interesting aspect is that the character of Detective Peter Fanelli had previously been seen in the series Skyways before appearing in this. When the Show began, many people expected it to be merely a filler program. Its drawing power was an unknown quantity to the bosses at Seven and Crawfords, and its artistic value was judged to be next to nil by many critics. But things improved. The actors expanded and developed their characters. and, slowly but surely, the show gained a good following.

The series was shot on videotape and was an attempt to show the human face of policing by also showing the coppers outside of work. The exterior of the station was the Russell Street Police Station in Melbourne (as seen in the opening credits). Cop Shop was also one of the first Australian cop series to show women cops at work. Adams and Lockwood won Logies for their roles on the show.

Paula Duncan and John Orcsik married both in the show and in real life, when Paula fell pregnant in real life, the producers wrote it into the script. Orcsik was actually only brought in to replace Tony Bonner but ended up becoming one of the main players. Unusually for an Australian show, Cop Shop went abroad for one story, filming a segment in Rome, Italy. Working titles for the show included Palace Guards and Saints and Sinners.

production details
Australia / Channel 7 – Crawfords / 582x60m-e / Broadcast November 1977 – 1980

Creator: Terry Stapleton / Producers: Terry Stapleton, Marie Trevor / Executive Producer: Hector Crawford

cast
GEORGE MALLABY as Detective Glen Taylor
ROWENA WALLACE as Pamela Taylor
GREGORY ROGER
JO-ANNE MOORE as Gayle Taylor
PETER ADAMS as Detective Jeff ‘JJ’Johnson
TERENCE DONOVAN as Vic
PAULA DUNCAN as Danni Francis
GIL TUCKER as Roy
NICHOLAS EADIE as Sam
ALAN FLETCHER as Frank
JOANNA LOCKWOOD as Valerie Johnson
TERRY NORRIS as Senior Sgt Eric O’Rielly
LYNDA STONER as Amanda King
JOHN ORCSIK as Detective Mike Georgiou
LIZ BURCH
TONY BONNER as Det Don McKenna

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Australian TV

Above The Law (Channel 10 2000, Nicholas Bishop, Scott Burgess)

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Crime drama series Above The Law detailed life for the residents of an apartment complex which features a police station on the ground floor.

cast
NICHOLAS BISHOP as Matt Bridges
SCOTT BURGESS as Bill Peterson
KIRSTY WRIGHT as Belinda Clark
MEME THORNE as Sunny Rodriguez
BRIDIE CARTER as Senior Constable Debbie Curtis
ALYSSA JANE COOK as Olivia Murray
TEO GILBERT as Skeez
JOLYON JAMES as Constable Stavros

crew details
Creators: Tony Morphett, Inga Hunter
Script Editor: Christine Milligan
Producers: Hal McElroy, Rocky Bester
Executive Producers: Hal McElroy, Di McElroy

production details
Country: Australia
Network and Production Companies: Channel 10 – Columbia Tristar
Duration: x50 minute episodes
Aired From: 2000

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Australian TV

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

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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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