Reg Watson of the Reg Grundy Organisation was responsible for penning the scripts for some of the most popular and successful soaps on Australian TV – The Young Doctors, Prisoner, Sons And Daughters, Neighbours, to name a few – but here is one that he was perhaps less likely to add to his CV and, thanks to the 21st century, it is now documented on YouTube.
The Two-Way Mirror was a pilot produced by Grundy’s in 1975 for the Nine Network as a potential competitor to sexy and successful soaps Number 96 and The Box. The latter being a concept that had earlier been knocked back by both the Seven and Nine networks before being picked up by the 0-10 Network.
This clip on YouTube (WARNING: contains nudity), with scenes from the pilot, features a couple of actresses that would later become regular soap opera stalwarts – Cornelia Frances (later in The Young Doctors, Sons And Daughters, Home And Away) and Anne Charleston (Prisoner, Possession, Neighbours and UK soap Emmerdale). Others to be included in the pilot include Jill Forster (Motel, Number 96, The Box, Starting Out, The Power The Passion), Sue Smithers (The Restless Years) and Brisbane showbiz veteran Babette Stephens playing an eye-patch wearing business matriarch.
But if the show’s theme tune sounds familiar, that’s because it was later re-instated as the signature for a later Nine Network series that couldn’t have been more removed from the sleazy goings on behind the two-way mirror – The Sullivans.