More Classic Aussie TV and Radio Drama out now

Another batch of classic Australian television and radio drama has been made available for your viewing and listening pleasure.

Crawford Productions have recently released volume 13 of the long running police drama Cop Shop on DVD. In these action-packed episodes a devastated Detective Amanda King (Lynda Stoner) ends up as a widow after her husband (John Walton) attempts to import illegal narcotics into Australia, and Lorna O’Reilly (Moya O’Sullivan) is in a state of shock when an arsonist torches her coffee shop.

Romance is in the air for Constable Roy Baker (Gil Tucker) when he falls for the charms of single mother Melissa Hardie (Rosie Bailey), and not everyone is pleased when the straight-talking Peter Fanelli (Bill Stalker) is appointed as Head of Riverside CI. Bill Stalker had originally played this role in the airport drama Skyways, the character had taken up airport security after being drummed out of the police force under a cloud, but when Skyways ended production it was decided that the law enforcers of Cop Shop would clear Fanelli’s name enabling him to return to his former occupation. Tragically Bill Stalker was killed in a motorbike accident not long after joining the Cop Shop cast.

Right: The boys in blue are back on the beat in Cop Shop. Left: Peter Fanelli (Bill Stalker) transfers from Pacific International Airport in Skyways to pounding the beat in Riverside for Cop Shop.

Meanwhile the boys in blue investigate when a smack freak takes desperate steps to get his next fix, and terror strikes the women of the district when a pervert dubbed the SS Dagger Rapist goes on the rampage. A young boy is driven to suicide after years of abuse from his father, local shopkeepers are living in fear of a standover merchant who is running a rent extortion racket, and interstate crims plan to use explosives to steal a gold nugget from the civic centre.

Guest artists appearing in these episodes include Stefan Dennis, Anne Haddy, and Anne Charleston from Neighbours; Louise Howitt, Bartholomew John, Robert Coleby, and Noel Trevarthen from The Young Doctors; Paul Karo from The Box; Carol Burns and Tommy Dysart from Prisoner; Debra Lawrance from Home & Away; Les Dayman from Homicide; and Andrew McFarlane from The Sullivans. Stuart Wagstaff, Henry Szeps and John Krummel also crop up in the action.

Cop Shop Volume 13 can be purchased by fans in Australasia from the Crawford Productions website Viewers who are based in the UK or anywhere else in their world can place their order with Eaton Films.

Via Vision Entertainment will be re-issuing episodes 149-280 of A Country Practice on DVD on the 21st April. In these instalments’ plumber Bob Hatfield (Gordon Piper) is left heartbroken following his wife’s death. Charred human remains are discovered after a bushfire sweeps through the district, and councillor Alf Muldoon (Brian Moll) is seriously injured when the shoddily constructed Muldoon Memorial Wall collapses. A truckie with malaria goes on the rampage in the RSL Club, and a knife-wielding madman leaves Matron Maggie Sloan (Joan Sydney) with life-threatening injuries.

Left: Return to Wandin Valley with A Country Practice. Right: Dr Terence Elliot (Shane Porteous) has to deal with schoolyard aerosol sniffers in A Country Practice.

Wedding bells chime for Dr Simon Bowen (Grant Dodwell) and vet Vicky Dean (Penny Cook), but tragedy is on the cards when a group of schoolchildren begin sniffing aerosol cans. Brendan and Molly Jones (Shane Withington and Anne Tenney) struggle to cope when their newly born baby dies, and Sergeant Frank Gilroy (Brian Wenzel) is diagnosed with prostate trouble. Meanwhile, Esme Watson (Joyce Jacobs) is mortified to be branded a pervert after being caught photographing some skinny-dipping hippies

Familiar faces appearing in these episodes include Lucky Grills from Bluey; Briony Behets from The Box; Vincent Ball from Crossroads; Roger Oakley from Home & Away; Les Dayman from Homicide; Moya O’Sullivan from Cop Shop; Judy McBurney, Robert Coleby, Rosie Bailey and John Hamblin from The Young Doctors; Tom Oliver and Jackie Woodburne from Neighbours; and Greg Bepper from Class of 74. Others turning up in Wandin Valley include Nicole Kidman, the band The Delltones, Queenie Ashton, Georgie Sterling, John Ewart, Joy Hruby, June Salter, John Jarrett and Ruth Cracknell.

A Country Practice: Collection Two can be pre-ordered now from the Via Vision website.

Via Vision will also be releasing the complete series of The Man from Snowy River (aka Snowy River: The McGregor Saga) on DVD on the 5th May. Inspired by Banjo Paterson’s famous poem, the series follows the adventures of cattle rancher and legendary horseman Matt McGregor (Andrew Clarke) and the residents of the township of Paterson’s Ridge as they struggle to carve out an existence on the land during the late 19th century.

When the fiery widow Kathleen O’Neill (Wendy Hughes) returns from England to claim her inheritance, Matt discovers that he still has romantic feelings for her but he is not the only suitor out to win her heart. Meanwhile the scheming Frank Blackwood (Rodney Bell) is determined to get Kathleen off her land, and gold fever strikes the district.

The legendary tale of The Man from Snowy River comes to DVD.

The children of itinerant workers are blamed for a diphtheria outbreak, cattle rustlers blow into town, and the troopers vow to clamp down on the sale of illicit grog. Visiting gypsies are branded as thieves, drought causes hardship for many of the locals and Matt faces blindness following a mining explosion.

Familiar faces appearing in this series include Brett Climo, Guy Pearce, Josephine Byrnes, Hugh Jackman, John Stanton, Ross Thompson from The Young Doctors, Reg Gorman from The Sullivans, Terry Gill from The Flying Doctors, Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, Geoff Paine from Neighbours, Alan Hopgood, Kym Wilson, John McTernan from Cop Shop, Colette Mann and Tommy Dysart from Prisoner, Denise Roberts from GP, David Reyne, and Dieter Brummer.

You can pre-order The Man from Snowy River now from Via Vision Entertainment.

Grace Gibson Productions have released another selection of vintage radio serials. In volume 9 of Hunt The Man Down private investigator Dick Mallory (Frank Waters) continues his relentless war against the wrongdoers who lurk in the shadows of society. Dick lives for the full-blooded thrill of the chase as he undertakes hazardous assignments in far-flung corners of the globe.

Volume 7 of Grace Gibson Radio Classics: Crime & Mystery gives us the chance to enjoy individual episodes of some rarely heard serials from the golden days of radio drama. The selected episode of Inner Sanctum was produced in 1952 and our whimsical host Raymond (Moray Powell) transports us to a country estate where sportsman and hunter John Allerton is being terrorised by a grey wolf. This episode also stars Ruth Cracknell, John Tate and Max Osbiston.

We then have an episode of the light-hearted comedy/mystery series The Adventures of the Falcon in which freelance detective Michael Waring (George Randall) discovers that fate has a strange voice. Crime Fighters salutes the men and women who fight the criminal activities of a few for the benefit of us all, and in the episode on this release we learn of the work done by the brave souls who make up the radio car patrol.

Left: More wrongdoers face justice in Hunt The Man Down. Middle: How many cases can you solve in Grace Gibson Radio Classics: Crime & Mystery. Right: Laugh your socks off with How Green Was My Cactus.

Next up is an edition of Danger is my Business in which private investigator George Valentine (Frank Waters) and his dim-witted but appealing assistant Brooksie (Coralie Neville) attempt to solve another case. The courtroom drama Verdict offered dramatisations of actual trials taking the listener from the scene of the crime to the eventual punishment of the offender, and in the chosen episode we hear all about the Australian terror. Lastly, we are treated to a visit to the Theatre of Thrills, a serial which presented a complete mystery adventure within a thirty-minute episode, this episode stars Grant Taylor, Lynne Murphy and Ken Wayne.

On a lighter note, the latest volume of the political satire How Green Was My Cactus contends with tennis brats, Donald’s wall, labour in the wilderness, and investment for idiots.

All of these radio serials can be purchased on CD, USB or as digital downloads from the Grace Gibson website.

Photo’s copyright- Crawford Productions/WIN Corporation/Eaton Films. Via Vision Entertainment/JNP Productions. Via Vision Entertainment/Pro Films. IRS Grace Gibson Productions.

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