The Young Doctors proves a DVD hit.
Fans of the serial which ran from 1976 to 1983, have been sharing their joy on social media about being able to rewatch the first 250 episodes for the first time in twenty years. Cast of the show have also been recalling their memories of The Young Doctors to various media outlets to make sure as many people as possible know the doors to the Albert Memorial Hospital are open once more.
“My boxset arrived and I’ve got it sitting there on my table… but I haven’t touched it yet, its sort of like a holy grail because I wake up in the morning and I see it there and it puts a big smile on my face… We had wonderful writers who gave us wonderful scripts… [and] such wonderful devoted fans, thank you fans because you enabled us to continue with the show.” -Karen Peterson speaking to Inspire Radio
After decades of campaigning by cast, crew and fans the first 250 episodes of the Australian medical drama were released on DVD on the 16th June. The Young Doctors followed the lives and loves of the staff and patients of the Albert Memorial Hospital where kiosk attendant Ada Simmonds (Gwen Plumb) kept the gossip, coffee and curried egg sandwiches flowing.
The programme became the longest-running commercial television drama in Australian television history when it took the title from Number 96, and it was the first Grundy serial to sell internationally. The Young Doctors was a ratings smash in the UK and it knocked The Benny Hill Show off the number one spot in New Zealand.
“When I look back on The Young Doctors, I’ve been reflecting since all this interest being shown in it now, and I realised that that period was one of the happiest of my acting career and I was trying to figure out why, and it has to be the people. The people we worked with all of us together were just fantastic… it was a joy to work on. -Judy Lynne speaking to Rossco’s Roundup
Darren Gray runs through what to expect on the DVD if you’re thinking of revisiting the series…
In these thrilling opening episodes, a night of passion in a motel room with playboy doctor Craig Rothwell (John Walton) will lead to tragedy for the bored and lonely Laura Denham (Joanna Moore-Smith). Will her son Toby (Rodney Bell) pull through following a hit-and-run incident, and will she be able to save her marriage or will her husband Brian (Michael Beecher) continue to bury himself in his work as medical superintendent of the hospital.
Brian couldn’t cope without the help of his personal assistant Helen Gordon (Lyn James) but Helen will have more than a few personal trials and tribulations to contend with on the home-front with her children Jill (Joanne Samuel) and Roger (Ric Herbert).
Return to the glory days of Australia’s most beloved medical drama.
The terrified Edna Curtis (Vivienne Benson-Young) attempts suicide in order to escape from the clutches of her violent husband Frank (Iain Finlay), and goodtime girl Jo Jo Adams (Delvene Delaney) plays with fire when she begins playing around with a much older married man. Several members of the staff are implicated following the murder of a wealthy patient, and Dr Gail Henderson (Peta Toppano) will end up as a patient in her own hospital.
The suave senior surgeon Dr Raymond Shaw (Alfred Sandor) is a man with a gambling problem which he funds by giving members of the blue-rinse set the odd nip and tuck, but when larrikin orderly Dennis Jamison (Chris King) also catches the gambling bug his debts begin to mount up.
There is heartache waiting in the wings for the prickly Dr Graham Steele (Tim Page) when he falls for the charms of the terminally ill singer Abbie Singleton (Jewel Blanch), and a messy love triangle develops between Dr Tony Garcia (Tony Alvarez) and nurses Tania Livingston (Judy McBurney) and Lisa Brooks (Paula Duncan), but Dr Chris Piper (Bartholomew John) also has his eye on Lisa.
Sister Grace Scott (Cornelia Frances) is the dragon lady of the hospital who rules her nurses with an iron fist but she’ll be left mortified after being jilted at the altar.
Cast, crew and fans campaign for The Young Doctors to be released on DVD back in 1995. From left are Darren Gray, Joyce Jacobs, Chris King, Gwen Plumb and Tim Page.
There are a few surprised faces when ladies man Dr Greg Mason (Mark Holden) finds himself attracted to the staid Nurse Julie Warner (Margaret Nelson), and the spoilt Deborah Kendall (Louise Howitt) causes havoc among the male members of the staff when she’s forced to begin working as a nurse in order to claim her inheritance.
After a hard day’s work the medics of the Albert Memorial head across the road to unwind over a drink at the hip and happening Bunny’s Place, but when the proprietor Bunny Howard (Ugly Dave Gray) collapses we wonder if their skills will be able to save his life.
Meanwhile, Jim Howard (John Dommett) could be left a widower following a terrifying accident, and Sister Susanne Gibbs (Susanne Stuart) is accused of being a thief.
Lots of your other favourite cast members return in these episodes including Kim Wran, Ros Wood, Judi Connelli, Brian Moll, Mark Hembrow, Greg Apps, Anne Lucas, Judy Lynne, Anna Hruby, and Barry Creyton. Other familiar faces turning up at the Albert Memorial include future movie star Russell Crowe, Abigail from Number 96, Noel Trevarthen from Carson’s Law, Brian Wenzel from A Country Practice, Richard Meikle, and Willie Fennell.
All of your Young Doctors favourites are back on DVD.
Photos copyright- Via Vision Entertainment/Grundy Organization/Fremantle Australia. Darren Gray/Doug Moody.