The good news keeps coming for fans of the Australian police drama Cop Shop because Volume 5 of the series is now available in the UK.

In this thrill a minute box set the law enforcers of Riverside Police Station investigate the abduction of a four-year-old girl, two men conspire to do away with their troublesome wives, a crazed arsonist targets a wealthy financier, and a random sniper is on the loose – he’s already murdered three people and it seems likely that he will strike again.

Over at the local knitting mill a payroll heist has all the hallmarks of being an inside job. The payroll clerk (played by Joanne Samuel from The Young Doctors and Skyways), the factory foreman (Mel Gibson), and a former cat burglar (Steve Bisley) who is working as the mill’s maintenance man are amongst those who find themselves in the frame.

Elsewhere a prostitute is found unconscious on a beach following a brutal beating; the suspects include her bludger who is well known for belting the girls he pimps for, and a punter who was unable to perform sexually during an encounter with her. Meanwhile, a cricketer resorts to violence in order to prevent his homosexual ex-lover from marrying a girl who is totally oblivious to the fact that he bats for the other team.

Joanne Samuel and Mel Gibson worked together on the movie Mad Max; they are reunited in Cop Shop.

A simple fellow holds up a liquor wholesaler before going on a shooting and bashing spree, the receptionist at the Riverside Motel pleads confusion when $75,000 is stolen from the motel safe, and down at the docks a documentary filmmaker takes an incriminating photograph of two men which sparks off a vicious chain of events involving some very nasty pieces of work.

Young Gayle Taylor (Jo-anne Moore) is charged with shoplifting, her parents (played by Rowena Wallace from Sons & Daughters, and George Mallaby) consider fostering a child but soon discover that it won’t be all plain sailing, and Detective Jeff Johnson (Peter Adams) finally tries to deal with his spiralling gambling debts which have got way out of control.

Left: Things don’t go to plan when Glenn and Pamela Taylor (George Mallaby and Rowena Wallace) consider fostering a child. Right: Valerie Johnson’s (Joanna Lockwood) past life as a stripper comes back to haunt her.

Jeff’s wife Valerie (Joanna Lockwood) decides to take on some part-time work typing for a gay liberation newsletter in order to help make ends meet but comes unstuck when she finds herself caught up in a gay rights demonstration. When that job folds Valerie takes a waitressing position in a restaurant, this is a decision that she will live to regret when she starts receiving unwelcome advances from a very shady customer who is involved with a prostitution and hardcore pornography racket. This mongrel will turn poor Valerie’s existence upside down with threats and blackmail which leave her life in ruins.

Detective Danni Francis (Paula Duncan) unofficially joins forces with Father Joe Carroll (Neil Fitzpatrick) of the East Riverside Mission to try and get a young country girl off the game, but Joe soon has another fight on his hands when he learns that the church authorities want to close down his drop-in centre.  There is plenty of heartache in store for Danni when she finds herself drawn romantically to this man of the cloth, the attraction proves to be mutual and Joe must make a choice between his love for her and his love for God.

Right: Danni Francis (Paula Duncan) and Catholic priest Father Joe Carroll (Neil Fitzpatrick) find themselves becoming romantically entangled. Left: Louise Howitt from The Young Doctors, Young Ramsay and The Henderson Kids guest stars in Cop Shop Volume 5.

Back on the work front, Danni puts herself in serious danger when she goes undercover with a religious sect where young girls are kept doped to the eyeballs and forced to work as prostitutes.  She then finds herself on another dicey mission trying to expose the driver of a panel van who has been bashing and raping young girls after they leave the late night disco at a local beach club.

In another part of town a man gives his mistress Rhonda Keogh (Louise Howitt) a huge sum of money, and shortly afterwards his car plunges off the edge of a cliff in very mysterious circumstances. What follows is a complicated investigation involving company embezzlement, cooked books and a spate of small-time SP bookies being brutally bashed by stand-over merchants.

A new recruit joins the Riverside team in the form of Constable Amanda King (Lynda Stoner); unfortunately, she instantly puts a few noses out of joint with her ambitious and off-hand nature. Amanda’s work colleagues find it impossible to pin down exactly what makes her tick, and she appears to be a lady who has no interest in making friends with those around her. Her ice cold image is shattered when a drunken old derelict is picked-up by the boys in blue and he exposes a little about her troubled early life.

Right: Lynda Stoner is best known to UK audiences as Nurse Kim Barrington in The Young Doctors, in Cop Shop she plays the ambitious Constable Amanda King. Left: Claire O’Reilly (Louise Philip) and her father Eric (Terry Norris) prepare to walk down the aisle.

In happier developments, Senior Constable Tony Benjamin (Gregory Ross) and Claire O’Reilly (Louise Philip) finally tie the knot, but a day of happiness is soon overshadowed by the constant stream of criminal activities in the Riverside area.

The detectives have to deal with a spate of car thefts involving a crooked used car lot, and a man returns home to find a stranger in his flat with his wife and young daughter missing. The local brickworks are targeted by a prolific team of safecrackers, and Jeff Johnson finds himself at the mercy of a psychopathic transvestite who holds up a bank armed with a shotgun and an impact bomb.

Illegal drag racers leave a devastating trail of death and destruction on the public roads, a pregnant woman is viciously bashed, and Detective Mike Georgiou (John Orcsik) becomes too emotionally involved in the marital problems of some friends.

Left: Detective Jeff Johnson (Peter Adams) is at the mercy of a heavily armed transvestite (George Spartels) during a bank siege. Right: Mike Georgiou (John Orcsik, left) and Glenn Taylor (George Mallaby) confront another vile thug in Cop Shop.

Guest artists in this DVD box set include- Cornelia Frances, John Walton and Anne Lucas from The Young Doctors; Michael Long from Sons & Daughters; John Diedrich from Special Squad; Terence Donovan and Moya O’Sullivan from Neighbours; Terry Gill from The Flying Doctors; Roger Oakley from Home & Away; Fred Parslow from The Sullivans; Brian James from Skyways; Briony Behets, Monica Maughan, and Ken Snodgrass from The Box; and Judith McGrath, Gerard Maguire and Maggie Millar from Prisoner: Cell Block H.

Other well-known faces cropping up during the investigations include Colleen Hewett, Deborah Coulls, Jacqui Gordon, Brandon Burke, Sandy Gore, Stacey Testro, John Wood, and Diane Craig.

Cop Shop Volume 5 and a wealth of other Australian television classics can be ordered in the UK exclusively from Eaton Films. Those of you who are located in Australasia can place your orders with Crawford DVD. Customers who are based anywhere else in the world should email Eaton Films for shipping details.

Its action all the way in Cop Shop Volume 5.


All photographs copyright Crawford Productions/Eaton Films/WIN Corporation.
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