Cover: Luke Perry (Beverly Hills 90210)

Sophie the scientist!
Sophie Lee has admitted that she has a daunting task ahead as she tackles the role of a genetic scientist in the New Zealand-based mini-series Typhon’s People — a series set after the year 2000.  “When I read the script I couldn’t believe how convoluted it is,” she told TV Week.  “It’s also a multi-layered plot, so I found the audition really tough. I had to get through a lot of jargon. As an actor, it’s obviously very hard to research a role that’s set in the future. This is really big, a huge challenge for me.”  Lee will be based in Wellington for the next three months for production of Typhon’s People.  When she returns to Australia, she will seek work in the theatre. In the meantime, Australian viewers will soon see Lee back on screen in the upcoming series return of The Flying Doctors, now known as RFDS.

Paradise found
Family Feud host Rob Brough and his family have moved from the Gold Coast and settled into a new beachfront home on Queensland’s north coast. “During my break last year we came up here and found this block of land,” he told TV Week. “We loved it at first sight and within days we found the house plans we wanted.  I love the beach and so do the kids.  Our dream was to live near the beach.  We can’t get much closer than this.”  Meanwhile, Brough’s game show colleague, Wheel Of Fortune host John Burgess and his wife have left their Perth home of 15 years to start afresh on the Gold Coast. Because of his various corporate commitments for Seven, aside for hosting the Adelaide-based Wheel Of Fortune, the regular commute from Perth was becoming an inconvenience. “Living on the Gold Coast, I can fly from Coolangatta or Brisbane and be in Sydney in an hour or Melbourne in two,” he said.

A stroke of bad luck
The first episode of RFDS, the new-look The Flying Doctors, includes some very dramatic and emotional scenes for showbiz veterans, husband and wife team Maurie Fields and Val Jellay.  In the episode, their characters Vic and Nancy Buckley are involved in a life-threatening car accident after Vic loses control of the car after suffering a stroke. “I’ve never done scenes like this,” Jellay told TV Week. “It made me realise these sorts of things can happen to you when you’re thinking everything’s all right. There was none of the usual joking between takes. It was very emotional for both of us.”


  • The storyline for Bobby’s (Nicolle Dickson) planned exit from Home And Away is set to centre around her husband Greg (Ross Newton) having an affair.
  • Former Fast Forward star Gina Riley is to release her own album.  “It will be a serious change for the people who know me only from my musical parodies on Fast Forward,” she says.
  • Cartoon Connection co-host Ann-Maree Biggar is hoping for bigger things with plans to move south from Brisbane.  Her name has been suggested in connection with plans for a new-look Tonight Live.

Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here

“When I heard that Crawfords Australia and the Nine Network had agreed to inject some new life into The Flying Doctors, I did not realise that the surgery was going to be so radical.  And it’s not just the new cast, either.  It is the whole approach to the series, from the way it has been scripted and shot, to the locations and general feel.  Leaves have been ripped from many books here to give RFDS a multi-layered, busy atmosphere, particularly in scenes set in the Royal Flying Doctor Service radio room and the Western Base Hospital at Broken Hill.”

Program Highlights (Melbourne, January 17-23):
Sunday:  Afternoon sport includes tennis on both ABC (Oz Charity Day event from Melbourne) and Seven (Women’s Final of the NSW Open). Sunday night movies are Dead-Bang (Seven), The Color Purple (Nine) and The Milagro Beanfield War (Ten).

Monday:  Nine’s early morning programs Business Today (6.30am) and Today (7.00am) return for the new year, now without the competition from Ten’s Good Morning Australia. Seven’s tennis coverage moves to the sport’s premier event, the Ford Australian Open, with two weeks of live coverage from Flinders Park, Melbourne, with both daytime (11.00am to 5.30pm) and evening sessions (8.30pm to 1.00am).  In the series return of A Country Practice (7.30pm, Seven), Bernice (Judith McGrath) is suspicious of Perce’s (Allan Penney) response when a human skull is found on the farm. Ten begins a repeat screening of two-part mini-series Shadows Of The Heart, starring Josephine Byrnes, Marcus Graham, Jason Donovan and Barry Otto.

Tuesday:  In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten),  Stephen (Lochie Daddo) reacts to some disturbing news on the eve of his wedding to Phoebe (Simone Robertson).

Wednesday:  Nine has two hours of coverage of the Third Final of World Series Cricket from the MCG, with a one-hour highlights package at midnight. In the series return of E Street (7.30pm, Ten), Elly (Diane Craig) is worried about Penny (Josephine Mitchell), who is taking sedatives, while Max (Bruce Samazan) is pursued by a beautiful girl — much to Bonnie’s (Melissa Bell) disgust.

Thursday:  The premiere episode of RFDS (7.30pm, Nine), the new-look The Flying Doctors, with new cast members including Simone Buchanan and Peter Phelps (pictured). In E Street (7.30pm, Ten), Ernie (Vic Rooney) is delighted when Sally (Joanna Lockwood) turns up in Westside, but Jojo (Kelley Abbey) is convinced that Sally is after Ernie’s money.

Friday:  ABC crosses to the Melbourne Golf Club for the Tournament Players’ Championship.  In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Cameron (Benjamin Mitchell) and Gaby (Rachel Blakely) uncover some interesting facts about Haywood (Peter Hosking).

Saturday:  Nine crosses to Adelaide for the Fourth Test — Australia versus West Indies, while ABC has more golf and the Australian Open continues on Seven. In World Around Us (6.30pm, Seven), Rolf Harris presents Rolf’s Walkabout — 20 Years Down The Track, revisiting the sites he covered in the 1960s series Walkabout.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide.  16 January 1993.  Southdown Press

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