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Bluey was an Australia police drama series made by Crawford Production in Melbourne for the Seven Network. Which ran from the 2nd of August 1976 to the 25th of April 1977.

Stand-up comedian Lucky Grills was cast as the titular Det. Sergeant “Bluey” Hills.

Hills character was different to other detectives seen in Crawford’s previous shows. Being obese, heavily drinking, smoking, visited prostitutes, Hills character took on a life of its own.

Bluey was set at Melbourne’s Russell Street Police Headquarters, and many scenes were shot around South Melbourne.

“Bluey” Hills heading his own squad (“Department B”), due to his inability to work within the existing police squads.

Department B was given cases which the other departments could not solve by conventional means.  Hills applying his unconventional methods to bring about their resolution.

Bluey was supported in his investigations by newly assigned Det. Gary Dawson (John Diedrich) long-time cohort Sgt. Monica Rourke (Gerda Nicolson), and undercover officer Det. Sgt. Reg Truscott (Terry Gill), who spent his time ostensibly working as a small-time burglar, and supplying Bluey with information on the activities of local criminals. 

Unlike other Australian TV series at the time the entirely show shot on colour film.

The final episode “Son Of Bluey” featured an appearance by actor Don Barker as Det. Sgt. Harry White – the same character he played in Homicide television series.

Bluey found a new audience two decades later when the dubbed clips from the show formed the basis for the popular The Late Show comedy sketch “Bargearse”.

In addition to two guest appearances as himself, Grills also reprised his role as Bluey on The Late Show in order to protest the airing of the last Bargearse sketch.

Another enduring element from the show, the theme music, is now best associated with coverage of cricket from Nine Network’s Wide World of Sports.

visit www.twistedhistory.net.au

Bargearse was an Australian comedy TV series. Made by the Late Show on the ABC from the 18th of July 1992 to the 30th of October 1993. 

Produced by Michael Hirsh, and directed by Santo Cilauro, Tony Martin and Mick Molloy. 

Bargearse was an overdubbed version of Bluey, a 1976 Crawford production police drama set in Melbourne, Australia.

The segment was originally to be an overdubbing of an Australian soap opera, The Young Doctors, titled “Medical Hospital”, but the rights to the footage were pulled at the last minute.

The ABC series Truckies was considered for overdubbing in a segment intended to be titled “Truck Wits”, before the writers settled on Bluey.

This change left the writers with very little time, and as a result the planned 20 short episodes was cut down to 10, which aired in the second half of series two.

Bargearse was named after its protagonist, Detective Sergeant Bargearse, an overweight, moustache-sporting “rough-and-tumble” cop.

The sketches exploited Bluey’s weight with plentiful fat jokes, as well as many fart noises.

Bargearse was voiced by Tony Martin, while his sidekicks, Ann Bourke (Judith Lucy) and Detective Glen Twenty (Rob Sitch), Natalie Thigh-Blaster (Jane Kennedy), Natalie Thigh-Blaster).Chromedome (Mick Molloy) and Poloneck (Santo Cilauro).

Lucky Grills, who played Bluey, appeared on The Late Show three times: as a guest in the mock press conference for the Biodome participants, as the character Bluey protesting the last episode of Bargearse and in the musical appearance as noted above.

On the 15th of August 2007 a Bargearse and The Olden Days double feature DVD was released.

visit www.twistedhistory.net.au

All the Rivers Run II is an Crawford Production television 2 part miniseries which aired on Channel Seven on the 18th of March 1990.

Starring John Waters and actress Nikki Coghill who replaced Sigrid Thornton in the leading role.

The miniseries follows on where Nancy Cato 1958 novel, Australian historical finishes. The series was directed by John Power. 

Series II takes up the story of Delie (Nikki Coghill) and Brenton Edwards (John Waters) at the turn of the century, at a moment when bad times have struck the once thriving river boat trade.

New roads and railway lines threaten the very existence of the grand old paddle steamers of the Murray and striking shearers threaten the lives of their crews.

Into the explosive situation walks Cyrus James (Parker Stevenson), a charming, but mysterious overseas entrepreneur. He is immediately attracted to Delie, but backs off when he encounters Brenton.

The three become close to friends. Trying to mediate in the dispute between the shearers and the riverboat skippers, Brenton is framed on a charge of seriously injuring a local businessman Arthur Blackwell (Tim Robertson).

He is sentenced to imprisonment in Melbourne.  Without Brenton, Delie is faced with a custody battle over her children and the not altogether unwanted attentions of Cyrus. 

Alone she must fight to keep her family and the riverboat “Philadelphia”.  In a desperate attempt to help her, Brenton escapes. When trying to reach his children, a waiting policeman, the same man in the employ of the wealthy squatters who framed Brenton in the first place, shoots Brenton. 

Brenton disappears in the murky waters of the swollen River Murray, leaving only a trail of blood behind.  All the Rivers Run II has all the romance, adventure and even more intrigue than its internationally successful predecessor.

The series was shot on location in Echuca as well as locations in Melbourne.  The paddle steamer PS Pevensey was filmed as the PS Philadelphia. 

visit www.twistedhistory.net.au

All the Rivers Run is a Crawford Production television 4 part miniseries which aired on Channel Seven on the 4th of October 1983.

Starring Sigrid Thornton and John Waters. The miniseries is based on the Australian historical novel by Nancy Cato, first published in 1958.

The series was directed by George Miller and Pino Amenta with a budget of $3 million. The series was a massive ratings success in Australia and was sold to over 70 countries around the world.

The mini-series is marketed with the tagline A sweeping saga of one woman’s struggle for survival.

The plot starts with a storm off the Victorian coast in 1890, a young English girl Philadelphia Gordon (Sigrid Thornton) was shipwrecked and orphaned.

Rescued by the only other survivor of the wreck Tom Gritchley (Gus Mercurio), the girl is taken in care by her Uncle Charles (Charles Tingwell).

Known as Delie she is an energetic and high-spirited girl who wants to paint, and not conform. She finds it difficult to understand why her Aunt Hester (Dinah Shearing), a tart and unsmiling woman, seeks to impose her ideas of womanhood, femininity, even good housekeeping on a girl who needs nothing more than the freedom to lead her own life.

It is her cousin, Adam (William Upjohn), who truly awakens in Delie the feelings of young womanhood. Tom, the seaman who rescued Delie, arrives in Echuca on a paddle steamer he bought with his reward.

It is the beginning for Delie of a remarkable ten years in her life. Her investment of part of her inheritance in the riverboat is, without her knowing it, the first step towards a turbulent marriage to a riverboat man and, indeed, to the boats who ply their great trade along the mighty, unpredictable and perilous river.

In a riverboat ceremony, Delie marries Brenton Edwards (John Waters), a cavalier riverman, who wins and loses the girl on their way to the alter.

Their years together are as unpredictable as the river, and more than once Delie is attracted to bohemian Melbourne, and the patronage of Alistair Raeburn (Adrian Wright), the gentleman art critic, who falls in love with his protégé.

Yet Delie remains magnetically drawn to Brenton and the river, the crew of their paddle-steamer Philadelphia, and the river community of Echuca, friends like Bessie Griggs (Constance Landsberg), a merchant’s daughter, and George Blakeney (Don Barker), the bluff rival riverboat captain.

Their community has grown from the 1850’s when it was merely a river crossing, established by Henry Hopwood, an English convict.

Mobs of cattle and sheep were driven across the Murray at Echuca on their way to the stockyards at Melbourne. Proudly, Delie and Brenton race the Philadelphia in dangerously narrow waters, and for a wager they cannot afford. They dare the Darling River in drought, a dash which could go for nearly 1000 miles across outback New South Wales, in the hope that rains will wash down from Queensland and allow their escape.

In tinderbox conditions, they survive a fire which all but bankrupts them. They have a son, in a way many women did at the time…on the riverbank, in circumstances far removed from Echuca, when hardened riverman became midwives.

Brenton turns against the law to find a way out of their financial maze, and the couple part before coming together again. Brenton is critically injured in a riverboat accident. It inspires Delie to turn her talents towards being a riverboat captain, to winning her own Master’s Ticket. 

The series was shot on location in Echuca as well as locations in Melbourne.  The paddle steamer PS Pevensey was filmed as the PS Philadelphia. 

visit www.twistedhistory.net.au

 

Solo One was an Australian television series made by Crawford Productions for the Seven Network and premiered on the 18th of June 1976. There were 13 half-hour episodes. The series was a spin-off from the police show Matlock Police with Paul Cronin reprising his role as Sen. Const. Senior Constable Gary Hogan is the officer in charge. In fact, he’s the entire staff of Emerald Police Station. In this Victorian country town, in the Dandnong Rangers, Snr. Constable Gary Hogan becomes involved in the good times and bad that the people of any town go through. He’s sympathetic, but can rough it with the best of them. If there’s a problem in town, just call for Solo One. The show used the original Emerald police residence and police cells – 15 Kilvington st, Emerald. (Both are still standing 2016)

Acropolis Now is a cult Australian television sitcom set in a fictional Greek cafe in Fitzroy, Melbourne.

The title of the show being a play on the film Apocalypse Now. Its brand of cross-cultural humour still resonates today in such shows as Pizza and Here Come The Habibs.

The show was produced by Crawford Productions and ran for 63 episodes from 1989 to 1992, airing on the Seven Network. It was created by Nick Giannopoulos, George Kapiniaris and Simon Palomares, who also starred in the series. They were already quite well known for their comedy stage show, Wogs out of Work.

Each episode was 20 minutes in length and was filmed in front of a live audience. Although the Acropolis cafè/hotel was filmed at HSV-7 Studios the exterior is still standing and looks almost identical to the show, being located at 251 Brunswick Street, and corner of Greeves St, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria Australia.

The premise of the show is based around Jim’s father Kostas “Con” Stefanidis (Warren Mitchell) asking Jim to run the family business, the Acropolis café, when he suddenly leaves Australia to return to his homeland of Greece. The series centres on the activities of the cafe staff. Greek Jim Stefanidis (Giannopoulos), is the immature owner and his best friend, Spaniard Ricky Martinez (Palomares) is the sensible manager (seasons 1-2 only). Memo (Kapiniaris) is the traditional Greek waiter, while Liz is the liberated Australian waitress. Skip is the naïve new cook from the bush and Manolis is the stubborn cook from the old cafe. ‘Hilarity’ prevails from the clash of cultures and beliefs. Jim’s hairdresser cousin Effie, played by Mary Coustas, became a hugely popular and enduring character during the run of the show. Coustas later reprised the role for several TV specials and series including Effie, Just Quietly, an SBS comedy/interview show, and Greeks on the Roof, a short-lived Greek Australian version of the British talk Show The Kumars at No. 42.

Although the show itself did not win any awards, Mary Coustas won the 1993 Logie for Most Popular Comedy Performer for her role as Effie. With the ethnic popularity of the show, Acropolis Now helped popularise the term “skippy” or “skip” to refer to Anglo Celtic Australians and others of European but non-Mediterranean descent. This term (inspired by the iconic 60’s TV series Skippy The Bush Kangaroo) became popular with Mediterranean-Australians, and to a lesser extent non-Mediterranean people, especially in Melbourne.

60 years of Australian TV

Homicide premiered on the 20th of October 1964 and ran till 1977. The show was an Australian television police procedural drama series made by production firm Crawford Productions for the Seven Network. It was the television successor to Crawfords’ radio series D24. The series dealt with the homicide squad of the Victorian Police force and the various crimes and cases the detectives are called upon to investigate. Many episodes were based directly on real cases, although the characters (including the detectives) were fictional. 510 episodes were produced, and aired from October 1964 to January 1977. It remains as the longest-running Australian drama series to date. The police station was filmed at the Russell St Police HQ 336/376 Russell St, Melbourne.

60 years of Australian TV

Solo One was an Australian television series made by Crawford Productions for the Seven Network and premiered on the 18th of June 1976. There were 13 half-hour episodes. The series was a spin-off from the police show Matlock Police with Paul Cronin reprising his role as Sen. Const. Senior Constable Gary Hogan is the officer in charge. In fact, he’s the entire staff of Emerald Police Station. In this Victorian country town, in the Dandnong Rangers, Snr. Constable Gary Hogan becomes involved in the good times and bad that the people of any town go through. He’s sympathetic, but can rough it with the best of them. If there’s a problem in town, just call for Solo One. The show used the original Emerald police residence and police cells – 15 Kilvington st, Emerald. (Both are still standing 2016)

Division 4 was an Australian television police drama series made by Crawford Productions for the Nine Network airing on the 5th of March 1969 and ran till 1975 for 301 episodes. The series was one of the first dramas to follow up on the enormous success of the earlier crime show Homicide and dealt with the wide variety of cases dealt with by police in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Yarra Central (modelled on St Kilda). The series was both popular – winning 10 Logie Awards, including two Gold Logie awards (for Australia’s most popular entertainer) for Gerard Kennedy – and critically acclaimed, winning a number of Penguin and Awgie awards for its scripts and actors. After Kennedy decided to leave Division 4, the Nine Network summarily cancelled the series; only one episode was made with his replacement John Stanton. Yarra Central Police Station was filmed on location at 95 Montague St, South Melbourne. The building has since been demolished.

Matlock Police was an Australian television police drama series made by Crawford Productions for the 10 Network between 1971 and 1976. The series focused on the police station and crime in the Victorian town of Matlock and the surrounding district, and the backgrounds and personal lives of the main policemen.

The series was the 10 Network’s attempt to come up with a police show to rival Homicide (shown by the Seven Network) and Division 4 (on the Nine Network). Matlock Police was different from its Melbourne-based predecessors by being set in a small country town, the fictional Matlock, Victoria (a real Matlock does exist in Victoria, but it is much smaller than the town depicted by this series, which is loosely based on Shepparton). These program’s introduction featured an overhead shot of a town with a divided road, thought to be of Bairnsdale in Victoria. Series writers had a reference manual giving full details of the town’s geography, amenities, social structure, etc., as well as that of the surrounding area – neighbouring towns included Wilga, Chinaman’s Creek, Possum’s Creek and Burrabri, and there was an offshoot of the Great Dividing Range called the Candowies. The town’s colourful history included the local Aboriginal tribe (the ‘Bangerang’), the town founder (George Matlock), a gold rush, a bushranger (‘Holy’ Joe Cooper – so called both for his theft of a shipment of holey dollars and because he was a preacher) and a town patriarchy (the Falconers). About the only landmark the Matlock district lacked for dramatic purposes was a beach. The first episode was broadcast in Melbourne on 22nd of February 1971. Initially filmed in black and white, the series switched to colour in episode 162, “Loggerheads”. Matlock Police was cancelled in 1975 after 229 episodes had been produced. Matlock Police Station was in fact the Ringwood Police Station in Melbourne. A new frontage has been added to the building.

60 years of Australian TV

Homicide premiered on the 20th of October 1964 and ran till 1977. The show was an Australian television police procedural drama series made by production firm Crawford Productions for the Seven Network. It was the television successor to Crawfords’ radio series D24. The series dealt with the homicide squad of the Victorian Police force and the various crimes and cases the detectives are called upon to investigate. Many episodes were based directly on real cases, although the characters (including the detectives) were fictional. 510 episodes were produced, and aired from October 1964 to January 1977. It remains as the longest-running Australian drama series to date. The police station was filmed at the Russell St Police HQ 336/376 Russell St, Melbourne.

60 years of Australian TV

Solo One was an Australian television series made by Crawford Productions for the Seven Network and premiered on the 18th of June 1976. There were 13 half-hour episodes. The series was a spin-off from the police show Matlock Police with Paul Cronin reprising his role as Sen. Const. Senior Constable Gary Hogan is the officer in charge. In fact, he’s the entire staff of Emerald Police Station. In this Victorian country town, in the Dandnong Rangers, Snr. Constable Gary Hogan becomes involved in the good times and bad that the people of any town go through. He’s sympathetic, but can rough it with the best of them. If there’s a problem in town, just call for Solo One. The show used the original Emerald police residence and police cells – 15 Kilvington st, Emerald. (Both are still standing 2016)