Delve back into the Australian Archives

More classics from the Australian TV and radio archives have been dusted down for our viewing and listening pleasure.

Via Vision Entertainment will be re-releasing episodes 401-532 of A Country Practice on DVD on the 21st July. In these episodes Bob Hawke, who at the time was the Prime Minister of Australia, turns up in Wandin Valley to speak at an anti-nuclear concert organised by the children of Burrigan High School. Unfortunately, the same schoolkids later bully an obese student teacher over her weight problem, and Bob Hatfield (Gordon Piper) is shocked to learn that his young niece is in the family way.

Pictured top: Return to Wandin Valley with A Country Practice: Collection 4.

A man with severe facial deformities takes matters into his own hands when he discovers that he’s being done down by a so-called friend, this storyline was written especially for the late actor Doug Mealing who began to develop his facial disorder at the age of three. Meanwhile a relaxing fishing trip turns into a horror story for Dr Terence Elliott (Shane Porteous) when he finds a young abused girl living like a derelict in the bush, and a middle-aged woman has to make a difficult decision when she learns that she could give birth to a handicapped child.

Jo Loveday (Josephine Mitchell) is left in a coma following a serious car accident, and tragedy strikes when drunken Ron Kelly (Tom Richards) gets behind the wheel of his vehicle and does for nurse Donna Manning (Caroline Johansson) as a result. There is more carnage on the treacherous rural roads when a pregnant hitchhiker is mowed down by a truckie, the bush nursing hospital is threatened with closure, and Esme Watson (Joyce Jacobs) gets the gambling bug when a new pokie machine is installed at the RSL Club.

Familiar faces appearing in these episodes include Brian Moll, Eric Oldfield, John Hamblin, and Judi Connelli from The Young Doctors; Peter Phelps from Sons & Daughters; Johnny Lockwood and Elaine Lee from Number 96; Vincent Ball from Crossroads; Richard Morgan and Jamie Higgins from The Sullivans; John Orcsik and Gil Tucker  from Cop Shop; Norman Coburn, Lyn Collingwood, Sharyn Hodgson and Justine Clarke from Home & Away; Tom Oliver, Geoff Paine and Rebekah Elmaloglou from Neighbours; and Amanda Muggleton from Prisoner. Others cropping up in the action include Wallas Eaton, Queenie Ashton, Nadine Garner, June Salter, Lisa Hensley, June Townsend, Georgie Sterling, and Richard Meikle.

You can pre-order A Country Practice: Collection 4 from the Via Vision website now.

Grace Gibson Productions have released another batch of vintage Australian radio serials on CD, USB and as digital downloads.
Fans of medical drama will enjoy Rebel in White.

Rebel in White is a gripping serial which follows the exploits of Dr Peter Page (Kerry Francis), a brilliant young surgeon who dares to flaunt convention if it will save a patient’s life. Despite having a great medical mind this angry young man finds himself at odds with many of his colleagues and patients due to his arrogant attitude and his new-fangled ideas.

More laughs are to be had in How Green Was My Cactus.

Dr Page is determined to save the life of a woman with an aneurism by using a ground-breaking technique despite her husband insisting that she should be given a more conventional operation. A fascinating array of medical conditions are explored in the series including a woman suffering from psychosomatic pains, and a wealthy young girl who will end up blind unless she has an urgent but tricky corneal transplant.

Go back on the beat with Randy Stone in Night Beat.

Meanwhile, the good doctor suspects that the wife of an agricultural chemist is being bashed by the artistic type that she’s been having an affair with, and Page believes that he can save the life of a man with brain damage despite other medical professionals claiming that the patient can never be cured. Other cast members in Rebel in White include Diana Perryman and Moray Powell.

The latest release of the hilarious political satire How Green Was My Cactus deals with bogan teeth, redundant bank robbers, and the church of eternal salvation. In volume nine of Night Beat private detective Randy Stone (Harp McGuire) gets to grips with another selection of intriguing assignments including a case of blackmail for marriage.

A killer struggles with his conscience in Gabrielle.

Meanwhile, Dinah Shearing and Frank Waters top the bill in Gabrielle, this serial follows a man who accidentally takes the life of a young girl. His conscience gets the better of him and when he begins investigating his victims past an amazing story unfolds.

You can order all of these radio serials directly from the Grace Gibson website.

Photos copyright JNP/Via Vision Entertainment. IRS Grace Gibson Productions.

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