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Jan 04 2012

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Crawfords classics on DVD

flyingdoctorsOver the last few years a selection of classic Crawford Productions series – including Homicide, Division 4, Matlock Police, Skyways, Carson’s Law and Holiday Island – have been screened in late-night timeslots on regional network WIN, which has owned the Crawfords business since the late 1980s.

Recently, Crawfords Australia (as it is now) have started to release episodes of other series on DVD.

The Flying Doctors, based on a fictional adaptation of the real-life Royal Flying Doctor Service, began as a mini-series on the Nine Network in 1985 – with a cast led by Andrew McFarlane (The Sullivans) and US actress Lorna Patterson – and its popularity led to production of an ongoing weekly series from 1986 with a mix of cast members from the original mini-series and the addition of new characters to sustain an ongoing production.  (Among those joining McFarlane in the ongoing series were Liz Burch and Rebecca Gibney, pictured above)

The series gave the Nine Network one of its few drama successes in the ’80s, among a string of failures such as Starting Out, Taurus Rising, Waterloo Station, Possession, Prime Time, All The Way and Kings. 

The Flying Doctors was a success in Australia and overseas and ran until 1992.  The series was relaunched as RFDS in 1993.  RFDS, which featured few of the Flying Doctors cast and shifted the focus of the show from the fictional town of Coopers Crossing to the real-life town of Broken Hill, failed to catch on with viewers and was not extended beyond its first series.

Crawfords Australia have recently released a DVD box set featuring 234 episodes of the series.  The Crawfords website does not mention if this also includes the initial 1985 mini-series and/or the RFDS spin-off.

The 48-disc box set is certainly one of the largest DVD releases in Australia but is still a far cry from the long-running Australian series Prisoner which has just had all 692 episodes re-released in a 174-disc set – believed to be the largest DVD release in the world.

thesullivans And another Crawfords series is also getting a new life on DVD.  The Sullivans was the highly-acclaimed series depicting the life of a Melbourne family during the time of World War II.  The series debuted on the Nine Network in November 1976 and was an immediate success.  The Sullivan family was led by Dave (Paul Cronin, formerly from previous Crawford dramas Matlock Police and Solo One) and Grace (Lorraine Bayly) with daughter Kitty (Susan Hannaford) and sons John (Andrew McFarlane), Terry (Richard Morgan) and Tom (Steven Tandy).  The Sullivans was a hit in Australia, winning a swag of awards, and sold to 20 countries.  Even though World War II ended in the series in 1981 the show continued to depict life in post-War Melbourne.

Bayly had left the series in 1979 but production of The Sullivans wound up after Cronin decided to leave in 1982.  After 1114 episodes The Sullivans came to an emotional end on screen in early 1983.

To coincide with the 35th anniversary of the show’s debut Crawfords Australia released the first 50 episodes of The Sullivans on DVD before Christmas and are planning to release the next 50 episodes this year.

Both The Flying Doctors and The Sullivans DVDs are available via the Crawfords Australia website.

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Permanent link to this article: http://televisionau.com/2012/01/crawfords-classics-on-dvd.html

90 comments

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  1. Isabel

    Skyways on DVD please?

  2. Steve

    This is a no-brainer:

    COP SHOP
    COP SHOP
    COP SHOP

    If a decision has been made NOT to release it, at least explain WHY!

  3. Henry F

    Cop Shop on DVD please, willing to spend good money on it.

  4. Mike

    Cop Shop and Skyways on DVD please

  5. Jim

    Cop shop please

  6. K

    Hi there,

    Can you please send me a BOX SET of Holiday Island DVD’s for my birthday?

    That would be the best birthday present I could have ever wish for and would love you forever.

    Thank you

    K

    xx

  7. Scott nash

    Has anyone got cop shop on DVDs, would love to watch this great show again.

  8. Scott nash

    Cop shop on dvd please

  9. Garry Edwards

    Will have to agree with Cop Shop!!! Hopefully once Crawfords finish with Homicide, Division 4 and Matlock Police they will release Cop Shop and a few other surprises (as they did with Bluey) along the way.

  10. Julie P

    Please please please when will you release Ratbag Hero on DVD .how long do we have to wait to see these great Aussie movies /series. Please don’t leave it till it’s too late.

    1. Andrew B

      Hi Julie, please note this website is not connected to Crawfords DVD. If you wish to contact them about any DVD releases please go to their website http://crawfordsdvd.com.au/ although I do not know if that company is the one responsible for Ratbag Hero.

  11. richard tropea

    I am still looking for anybody who has episodes of cop shop they are willing to share ??..crawford and 7 have said they will never release them 🙁

  12. richard tropea

    im also looking for Special Squad

  13. Greg Scott

    I always assumed that with The Sullivans having only just been completely released and with Homicide, Division 4 and Matlock Police finishing up soon by mid year that the next logical step for Crawfords to take would be to start releasing Cop Shop, one of the most popular and successful dramas to ever screen on Australian television.

    Apart from Cop Shop I would also like to see Special Squad, Skyways, Holiday Island and even Solo One, Ryan and Hunter which would all be most welcome.

    Time to contact Crawfords and let them know we want more Australian shows out on DVD!!!

  14. Cheryl

    Hi . I was interested in ordering the complete set of flying doctors for my elderly mum who is bedridden. She saw the whole Sullivan series and loved it so much. I am wondering if the Flying doctors is a continuous story or is it just new stories with each episode. If that makes sense!

    1. Andrew B

      Hi Cheryl. The Flying Doctors series was mostly separate stories to each episode but at the same time maintained a ongoing storyline among its regular characters.

  15. George

    Hunter and ryan should be next in line for crawfords.

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