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Australian TV

Rush (ABC 1974-1976, John Waters, Paul Mason)

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Period drama series Rush detailed episodes in the lives of a group of people involved in the Aussie gold rush of the 1850’s. John Waters was cast in the main role of Sgt Robert McKellar and in fact he ended up being the only cast member to appear in both seasons of the show. The first season was set in Melbourne in the 1850’s whilst the second moved the action to 1860’s New South Wales.

Season one was filmed in black and white which was probably not the wisest decision as Australian TV was about to move fully into colour and it also pretty ensured that there was no prospect of overseas sales in key market.

The first season was set in Crocker’s Creek (filmed in Melborne) whilst season two (which didn’t appear until 1976 was set in Turon Springs and filmed in Sydney (on the sets used for the show Ben Hall in fact). Season two was co-financed by the French company Antennae.

“Uppermost in our minds was the type of series we didn’t want to make,” Peter Whitbread told the TV Times in Feb 1975. “We were strongly against other people’s concepts of ‘Westernising’ Australian history, and had in mind that horrible disaster Whiplash.”

The production team also went to a lot of trouble ensuring the sets were as authentic as possible “We have built banks which we hope will contain the floods, and constructed a dam with sluice gates 1850’s style,” said Production Manager Frank Brown in the TV Times (March 23, 1974). “Much of the series is set in winter months so we want it pretty wet and muddy – but we hope we don’t get more rain than we bargain for!”

production details
Australia / ABC – SCE – Antenna Z France / 26×50 minute episodes / Broadcast 1974 and 1976

Creator: James Davern / Music: George Dreyfus / Producers: Oscar Whitbread (1974), James Davern (1976)

season one cast
JOHN WATERS as Sgt. Robert McKellar
OLIVIA HAMNETT as Sarah Lucas
BRENDON LUNNEY as Commissioner Edmund Fitzalan
ALWYN KURTS as Lansdowne
MAX MELDRUM as George Williams
PETER FLETT as Dr. David Woods

season two cast
JOHN WATERS as Sgt. Robert McKellar
ALAIN DOUTEY as Const. Emile Bizard
JANE HARDERS as Jessie Farrar
VINCENT BALL as Supt. James Kendall
PAUL MASON as Capt. Richard Farrar
DOLORE WHITEMAN as Rosie Morgan

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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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