British fans of Aussie TV classics can rip open a tinnie or two in celebration because Matlock Police Volume 4 and The Sullivans Volume 19 have just gone on sale over here in the Old Dart.
In the fourth instalment of Matlock Police, the rural cops are run off their feet with all manner of crime. Why are soldiers being targeted by a violent knife wielding assailant? A runaway tractor causes mayhem and a local wowser complains that a wild orgy is occurring down by the river. Meanwhile a mentally retarded youth mows down a young boy with his car, a farmer is blown-up by a landmine in his sprout patch, a drug pusher needs to be stopped, and a group of hoons are suspected of being cop bashers.
The action doesn’t stop there. An Aboriginal knackery worker is accused of abducting a child, an arsonist is at large, Constable Hogan’s (Paul Cronin) brother is held captive by a religious fanatic, and the raid of a two-up school reveals an illicit moonshine racket.
This volume marks the arrival of Tom Richards as Senior Detective Steve York and he proves to be an invaluable asset to the squad. Tom of course will be a familiar face to UK audiences having starred as David Palmer in Sons & Daughters, the sinister Mud Roberts in Home & Away, and through his roles in shows such as The Young Doctors.
Karen Petersen who is best known for playing Erica Shaw in The Young Doctors, guest stars in an episode which involves a group of escaped convicts who go on a violent and bloody rampage.
Karen says, “After moving with the musical Hair from Sydney to Melbourne in 1972, I auditioned for Crawford Productions. I was over the moon when I was offered the role of Mrs Fenton in the Homicide episode ‘I Love You Primrose Taylor’ which can be seen on Homicide Volume 13. Hector Crawford wrote and congratulated me on my performance.
“The following year I was cast as Elaine Ryan in an episode of Division 4 which is featured on Division 4 Volume 8, and then came the role of Jill in the Matlock Police episode ‘Terror on the Loose.’
“I have fond memories of Matlock Police; working with great actors and good friends such as John Stanton, Harold Hopkins, Gus Mercurio (Paul Mercurio’s dad) and Michael Pate was a rewarding experience.
“I also appeared in the Crawford series Ryan and in a later episode of Homicide in 1974 which will hopefully have a DVD release soon, happy times and happy memories.
“I am over the moon again, because now I can see these episodes for the first time, and share them with my family and friends around the world. Thank you Crawford Productions for making me very happy back in 1972, and for making me so very happy today by your caring about and releasing these treasures on DVD.”
Other familiar faces making an appearance include the veteran actress Babette Stephens, Ian Smith from Neighbours, Rowena Wallace from Sons & Daughters, Shane Porteous from A Country Practice, Reg Gorman from The Sullivans, and Ken James from Skippy. Keep your eyes peeled for Patsy King and Elspeth Ballantyne from Prisoner: Cell Block H.
Also newly available in the UK is The Sullivans Volume 19 which continues the saga of Australia’s first family. In this edition Norm (Norman Yemm) and Maggie (Vikki Hammond) are given permission to adopt the young Dutch orphan Carla but is she all that she appears. Tom (Andrew McFarlane) travels to Boston to bring back Patti (Penny Downie) as his bride, and Jim (Andy Anderson) goes into the plastics business. Meanwhile fair dinkum battlers Magpie (Gary Sweet) and Urger (Peter Harvey-Wright) face financial ruin over their share cropping venture.
Matlock Police, The Sullivans and a plethora of other Australian TV classics can be ordered exclusively in the UK from the Eaton Films website- http://shop.eatonfilms.co.uk/ Those of you who are based in Australasia can order your Crawford favourites from- http://crawfordsdvd.com.au/
Pictured Top: Matlock Police, Pictured Middle: Karen Petersen who stars in Matlock Police Volume 4 and Matlock Police star Tom Richards and Pictured Bottom: The Sullivans