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A Fortunate Life A Fortunate Life

Australian TV

A Fortunate Life (Channel 9 1986, Anthony Richards)

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In the 1980’s television in Australia was all about the big budget mini series, inspired by major successes like A Town Like Alice and Sara Dane, the period drama was king and Bert Facey’s best selling memoir A Fortunate Life (which although based on his early years from the beginnings of the 20th century onwards was only published in 1981 after his grand children contacted a publisher) was prime candidate for an adaptation.

Narrated by the legendary Bill Kerr the 4 part serial begins in 1897 when Albert Facey is 8 years old and dealing with the death of his father before being quite literally farmed out to a farming couple who actually show him some real love. As the years progress Fancy becomes a boxer and eventually finds himself in the army about to be shipped off to Gallipoli.

Lavishly filmed, with a $6.3 million budget (huge for 1985!) A Fortunate Life is a marvellous recreation of one man’s life.

production details
Australia / Channel 9 Nine Network-PBL Prod / 4×120 minute episodes / Broadcast 1986 First Episode: 9 March

Writer: Ken Kelso / Biography: Albert Facey / Camera: Peter Levy / Design: David Copping / Costume: Bruce Finlayson / Music: Mario Millo / Producer: Bill Hughes / Executive Producer: Ian Bradley / Directors: Henri Safran, Marcus Cole

cast
ANTHONY RICHARDS as Young Bert Facey
BENEDICT SWEENEY as Teenage Bert
ANTHONY RICHARDS as 9 year old Bert
SCOTT BARTLE as Bert aged 6
PETER CUMMINS as Bill Simpson
RAELENE HUGHES as Alice Jr McCall
CAROLE SKINNER as Shalagh Phillips
MARTIN VAUGHAN as Frank Phillips
DOROTHY ALLISON as Grandma
BILL HUNTER as Charlie Bibby
KRISTY CHILD as Mrs Bibby
PAT BISHOP as Alice McCall
DALE RANDALL as Roy Facey
JOHN LEY as Eric Facey
LESLIE WRIGHT as Jack Lander
JOY HRUBY as Ma at Cave Rock
RAY MEAGHER as Bab Bob
JOHN STONE as Harry
BILL KERR as The Narrator

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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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