More Aussie Drama released from the Archives

Another assortment of classic Australian television and radio drama has just been liberated from the archives.

Crawfords DVD have released the complete series of the action-packed wartime saga Spyforce on DVD. It’s 1942 and World War II rages on. The menacing Japanese forces have swept through the South Pacific and are rapidly heading towards the Australian mainland. Faced with the threat of imminent invasion, a group of civilian planters including Erskine (Jack Thompson) and Gunther Haber (Peter Sumner), join commissioned soldiers to form highly trained espionage teams which are called Spyforce.

Under the command of Colonel Cato (Redmond Philips) these brave men are dropped deep behind enemy lines throughout the Pacific region to carry out top secret sabotage operations. We follow Erskine, Gunther and their cobbers as they kidnap enemy agents, help Allied prisoners-of-war escape from inhuman conditions, and as they try to foil plans which are intended to cause carnage on Australian soil. The action continues as Spyforce set out to blow up Japanese railway lines and bridges, and as they try to infiltrate a German forgery racket which is flooding the Australian economy with counterfeit money.

Familiar faces appearing in this series include Tom Oliver from Neighbours; Alfred Sandor, Judy Lynne, Willie Fennell and Anne Lucas from The Young Doctors; Reg Gorman, Steven Tandy and Lorraine Bayly from The Sullivans; Gordon Piper from A Country Practice; Rowena Wallace from Sons & Daughters; Lew Luton from Crossroads; and Gil Tucker from Cop Shop. Others cropping up in the action include Chips Rafferty, John Meillon, Enid Lorimer, John Ewart and Russell Crowe.

Those of you that are located in Australasia can order Spyforce from Crawfords DVD UK and international fans can place their orders with Eaton Films

World War II rages on in Spyforce.

Via Vision Entertainment have just released episodes 281-400 of A County Practice on DVD. In this box set a bushfire threatens to engulf Wandin Valley, and Brendan Jones (Shane Withington) is inconsolable following the tragic death of his wife Molly (Anne Tenney). In happier news Dr Simon Bowen (Grant Dodwell) and his wife Vicky (Penny Cook) become the proud parents of twins, but Sergeant Frank Gilroy (Brian Wenzel) must investigate when it appears a nursing sister is abusing the elderly men at her boarding house.

Vet Ben Green (Nicholas Bufalo) uncovers a sickening dog fighting racket, Esme Watson (Joyce Jacobs) flees to Mudgee when a prowler begins snow-dropping in the district, and an obese boy is being bullied by his schoolmates. Meanwhile local farmers are living in fear of a suspected anthrax outbreak, Shirley Gilroy (Lorrae Desmond) helps to set-up a halfway house for some psychiatric patients, and Jo Loveday (Josephine Mitchell) is admitted to the bush nursing hospital with what appears to be typhoid.

Familiar faces appearing in these episodes include Tom Oliver, Terence Donovan and Beth Buchanan from Neighbours; Brian Moll, Chris King, Tim Page, Lyn James, Willie Fennell, John Ewart, Louise Howitt and Vince Martin from The Young Doctors; Les Dayman from Homicide; Denise Roberts from GP; Ray Meagher from Home and Away; Betty Bobbitt from Prisoner; and Reg Gorman from The Sullivans. Other cropping up in the action include Sir Robert Helpmann and his sister Sheila, John Meillon, Aileen Britton, June Salter, Margo Lee, Georgie Sterling, Jeff St John, Ben Mendelsohn, and Nick Enright.

You can order A Country Practice: Collection 3 now from the website of Via Vision Entertainment.

Return to Wandin Valley with A Country Practice: Collection 3.

Grace Gibson Productions have released another batch of vintage radio serials from their archives. Dick Tracy fans won’t want to miss out on volume two of the Australian version of his adventures which feature Harp McGuire in the title role.

Based on the famous comic strip character this series follows the renowned police detective as he protects the innocent and smashes crime with the assistance of his off-sider Sam Catcham. This release boasts fifty-eight action packed episodes and other cast members include Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, Ray Hartley, Margaret Christensen and Pat Shay.

On a more light-hearted note we discover susware botox, action hero implants, bogan immunisation, Good Friday mayhem and the memoirs of a monarch in the latest releases of the long-running political satire How Green Was My Cactus.

Left: Dick Tracy comes hurtling out of the Australian archives to smash more crime rings. Right: Political humour abounds in How Green Was My Cactus.

Grace Gibson Productions have also released the vintage crime drama Spiral Ten which first aired in 1960. This serial follows the adventures of private investigators Frank Connor and Joe Mintz as they track down wrongdoers from their offices in King’s Cross, the colourful and seedy red-light district of Sydney where quite literally anything goes.

Meanwhile volume one of Short Story Library features six tales from this popular programme which was a huge hit in the 1960s. Each story is written by a different author covering everything from romance to mystery, and light-hearted adventures through to subjects with a darker undertone.

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

Left: Head down to the Cross for shady goings-on in Spiral Ten. Right: Short Story Library features some of Australia’s leading radio actors.

Photographs copyright Crawford Productions/Eaton Films/WIN Corporation. JNP/Via Vision Entertainment. IRS Grace Gibson Productions.

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