The Sullivans’ war secrets
Jovan, the Yugoslav name for John, is the name of the telemovie telling the story of the missing years of John Sullivan (Andrew McFarlane, pictured), the eldest son of The Sullivans. McFarlane returned to reprise the role, describing it as “the most satisfying and stimulating role of my career.” Jovan also features Frank Gallacher (Against The Wind), Olivia Hamnett (Rush), Carol Burns (Prisoner) and, in her first acting role, Vera Plevnik. The telemovie was written by Brian Wright, who wrote the Biggles and Hop Harrigan serials for radio and was a founding member of the management team of ATV0 in the mid-‘60s before becoming a scriptwriter for ABC and Crawford Productions.
96 team back in harness
The team behind the top-rating series Number 96 have re-united to make a new drama series for the 0-10 Network. Producer Bill Harmon, script editor Johnny Whyte and writer-director David Sale are devising a new series, tentatively titled Arcade, to begin production later this year and to debut early in 1980. Details of the new series are sketchy, though it is believed that it will be shown once or twice weekly. Arcade will be produced at TEN10’s Sydney studios where The Steve Raymond Show was produced before it was axed last week. Harmon said the new show will not be like Number 96: “It’s not 96 set in a shopping centre. At this stage, with only four scripts in hand, it’s too early to tell you what it will be like. All we can say is what it will not be like.” Casting for the new series is to commence in the next month.
Cop Shop shock: Paula’s ‘recaught’
Actress Paula Duncan (pictured) has decided not to drop out of the popular series Cop Shop. Several weeks ago, Duncan informed producers that ill-health would force her to leave the show. However, a successful operation, followed by a Queensland holiday, has given Duncan a clean bill of health.
Nine plans new series for kids
The Nine Network has commissioned an action/drama pilot for a children’s TV series from the Reg Grundy Organisation. The new series, proposed for the ‘C’-rated 4.00 to 5.00pm timeslot, will be produced by Roger Mirams, a veteran of many children’s productions including The Terrible Ten, The Magic Boomerang, Animal Doctor and The Lost Islands.
Busy time for Paradise people
Some of TV’s most familiar actors and actresses are taking part in what could be the first drama series to be based on the Gold Coast. A pilot for a new series, Paradise Village, is being produced by McCabe-Paradine Productions and BTQ7 Brisbane, with financial assistance from the Queensland Film Corporation. The pilot stars Gerard Kennedy (Division 4), Syd Heylen (Sunnyside Up), Lynette Curran (Bellbird), Joan Bruce (Certain Women), Dennis Grosvenor (Chopper Squad), Anne Haddy (Play School, Prisoner) and Bill Kerr. Other names cast in the pilot include Suzy Gashler, Stephen O’Rourke, Paul Chubb, Olga Tamara and Christine Broadway.
How Bunney stays together going to bits
Barely three years ago, Bunney Brooke (pictured) was on TV screens several nights a week as the much-loved Flo Patterson in Number 96. Since the show wound up late in 1977, Brooke has been keeping a much lower profile on screen, playing smaller bit parts in dramas including The Young Doctors, Kirby’s Company, children’s series Wayzgoose and telemovie Good Thing Going. Her latest role is as Granny Jones in ABC’s Ride On Stranger. “I love doing these character parts. They’re a challenge and they pay the rent,” she says. Brooke has also just finished the outline for a TV comedy series which, after a brief rundown, suggests that there could be parts for herself and former Number 96 colleague Pat McDonald.
Peter Couchman is suddenly going to be seen a lot more on Melbourne’s TV screens. From this week, ATV0’s late-night program Peter Couchman Tonight extends to early evenings with Peter Couchman’s Melbourne. The new program comes after some other ill-fated attempts to fill the 7.00pm timeslot since the demise of Blankety Blanks.
Denise Drysdale is about to wed actor Chris Milne, and for the former ‘60s go-go dancer and Ernie Sigley Show co-host, her new married life will be a lot quieter with the pair settling in a country property outside of Melbourne. “From now on I will be working a lot less. I don’t want to earn a fortune – just enough to pay the bills.”
TV Times’ Eric Scott recently spent a day on location at the mock version of Singapore’s Changi prison, constructed in Melbourne by Crawford Productions for an upcoming storyline in The Sullivans. Freezing in the middle of a Melbourne winter, wearing nothing but a wet sarong and having brown make-up dabbed on with a cold, wet sponge, Scott wonders why anyone would want to be an actor.
Viewpoint: Letters to the Editor:
”Surely the skipper of the warship in the series Patrol Boat should be wearing a naval cap, and not that awful American baseball cap?” M. Tringham, NSW.
“As I once wrote a letter to you complaining about Cop Shop not being what it should be, I thought it only fair to express my new reaction to this series. I am happy to say that it has improved beyond all I ever expected of it, and has now become one of our favourite programs.” D. Dickey, NSW.
“Congratulations to the complete staff and printers on a fine example of an Australia publication – TV Times on its 21st birthday (TV Times, 7 July 1979). May the same standards apply to all future issues. I find the features included most absorbing and palatable and the simplicity of program layout most rewarding.” N. Gray, NSW.
What’s On (August 4-10):
Just The Way We Are, featuring The Four Kinsmen, is this week’s Saturday Special on ABC.
On Sunday afternoon ABC presents live coverage of Round 6 of the Australian Sports Sedans Championship, from Calder Raceway. Geelong and Collingwood are this week’s teams in the Sunday afternoon Commodore Cup on HSV7, live from St Kilda Football Ground, and ATV0 presents live coverage of VFA Football.
On Monday, ATV0 debuts Peter Couchman’s Melbourne, an extension of the late-night Peter Couchman Tonight. The new 7.00pm program includes special reports and contributions from Derryn Hinch, Marie van Maaren, Tony Porter and Bob Maumill.
In Skyways (HSV7, Monday and Thursday), MacFarlane (Tony Bonner) leaves his assistant, Louise (Tina Bursill) in charge of the airport while he attends to a domestic problem. Her dismissal of a drunken baggage handler sparks off a strike.
Sunday night movies: Westworld (HSV7), Jovan – The John Sullivan Story (GTV9), Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (ATV0). ABC presents a two-hour BBC special, Einstein’s Universe, presented by Peter Ustinov. The documentary coincides with the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s birth.
Source: TV Times (Melbourne edition), 4 August 1979. ABC/ACP