Fans of the classic Australian soap opera The Young Doctors are campaigning for the entire series to be resuscitated and released as a DVD box set.
Darren Gray who manages a number of the cast and crew who worked on the serial is heading up the campaign on behalf of the fan base and says, “Fans have been calling for the complete series of The Young Doctors to be released on DVD for years, they just want the chance to enjoy their favourite show again and we are hoping that this huge outpouring of support will persuade FremantleMedia to come to the party and give them what they want. The demand is certainly out there for this to happen.”
Over 15,000 supporters belong to The Young Doctors Appreciation Society on Facebook where they reminisce about the show and learn what cast and crew members are currently up to. Meanwhile the fledgling ‘The Young Doctors DVD Campaign Page’ (also on Facebook) is starting to gain momentum.
The Young Doctors followed the lives and loves of the staff and patients of the Albert Memorial Hospital which was headed up by medical superintendent Dr Brian Denham (Michael Beecher) and his ever loyal secretary Helen Gordon (Lyn James). Kiosk lady Ada Simmonds (Gwen Plumb) kept the gossip flowing and larrikin orderly Dennis Jamison (Chris King) was the jack the lad of the wards. The suave senior surgeon Dr Raymond Shaw (Alfred Sandor) became the pin-up of the blue rinse set, whilst hunky doctors such as Peter Holland (Peter Lochran), John Forrest (Alan Dale) and Greg Mason (Mark Holden) became the heartthrobs of the day. Male viewers were equally well catered for with good time girl Jo Jo Adams (Delvene Delaney), the voluptuous Kim Barrington (Lynda Stoner) and sweet natured Tania Livingstone (Judy McBurney) setting pulses racing.
The Young Doctors was Reg Grundy’s first truly successful soap opera, in its heyday it became the longest running drama serial in Australian television history and was the first Aussie soap to sell internationally. It proved to be a ratings winner around the world and still has a loyal fan base in the UK and Australia. It is these loyal British and Australian fans who want to see the show given a fresh lease of life on DVD.
The show ran for 1398 thirty minute episodes from 1976 until production ceased in 1982. Alan Coleman who produced the show was credited as being the driving force behind the series and ensured that viewers were kept entertained with pacey storylines and a good mix of drama, comedy and tragedy.
Amongst the many memorable storylines were Helen Gordon coming a cropper in a seaplane accident, poor Ben Fielding (Eric Oldfield) being jilted at the altar, Liz Kennedy (Rebecca Gilling) being electrocuted by a faulty table lamp, Dr Steel (Tim Page) being done over by a crooked babysitter, Julie Holland (Lisa Aldenhoven) being gunned down whilst saying her marriage vows, Sister Scott (Cornelia Frances) falling down a lift shaft and poor Toby Denham (Rodney Bell) being skittled by a hit and run driver. And who could forget poor Erica Shaw (Karen Petersen) battling Multiple Sclerosis.
After a hard day of saving lives everyone would head across the road to Bunny’s Place where Bunny Howard (Ugly Dave Gray) kept the drinks flowing, well he did until he suffered a fatal coronary.
“The Young Doctors is still a much loved and much missed series,” continued Darren Gray, “it starred some of Australia’s finest performers, was produced by a highly skilled crew and is a show which deserves to be seen again. We truly hope that FremantleMedia (who now own the Reg Grundy Organisation) will give audiences the chance to be able to enjoy The Young Doctors once again by releasing the entire series as a DVD box set.”