TV Week has the rundown of what to expect in TV’s returning dramas:
- Blue Heelers, the hit new show of 1994, is back with cast regulars John Wood, Lisa McCune, William McInnes, Martin Sacks, Damien Walshe-Howling, Julie Nihill and Grant Bowler. An early episode sees Maggie (McCune) and Adam (Walshe-Howling) caught in a volatile and life-threatening situation in a nightclub. Detective Rose Egan (Dale Stevens), who appeared in the last episode of 1994, will continue at Mount Thomas police station going into 1995.
- In Home And Away, the wedding plans of Shane (Dieter Brummer) and Angel (Melissa George) are thrown some hurdles. Shane’s visiting mother, Ros (Angela Punch-McGregor), is meddling too much and sent back to the city, and Angel suffers severe injuries from a car accident with Alf (Ray Meagher) at the wheel.
- Georgie Parker (pictured) heads the cast of Seven‘s new series Fire as firefighting recruit Morgan Cartwright, who finds herself tackling the sexist attitudes of her male colleagues at South East Fire Station. The series’ central plot focuses on the hunt for an arsonist who has a penchant for torching empty buildings. The investigation throws suspicion on the fire brigade itself and Morgan is pressured by the arson squad to be its mole at South East and report anything out of the ordinary. Fire also stars Peter Phelps, Max Phipps, Shane Feeney-Connor, Deborra-Lee Furness, Andy Anderson, Wayne Pygram, Aaron Jeffrey and Tayler Kane.
- Heartbreak High returns to Ten in 1995 but without its Heartbreak Kid (Alex Dimitriades). Ernie Dingo will be a prominent guest star in the returning series, and other actors to make guest appearances include Joy Smithers and Grant Dodwell. Kym Wilson is returning as teacher Sam Robinson, and joining the cast is Vince Poletti, who plays the school principal’s nephew, Matt Logan.
- When Janus (ABC) returns for another series, Steve Hennessey (Leon Teague) has escaped major drug charges, but big brother Mal (Brett Swain) is up before the bench on murder charges — and an armed hold-up and confrontation with the Tactical Response Squad ends in a fatality for the Hennessey family. Returning for series two of Janus are Chris Haywood, Tracy Mann, Jeremy Kewley, Louise Siversen, Denis Moore, Pauline Terry-Beitz and Simon Westaway.
- Law Of The Land (Nine) will feature a controversial episode focusing on the relationship between a journalist (played by Bradley Hume) and his former lover (played by Michael Pope). The town of Merringanee is rocked by the journalist’s allegations that a youth rehabilitation centre has been built with “dirty” money. Law Of The Land will again star Lisa Hensley, Wyn Roberts and Peter O’Brien. Guest stars include Terry Serio, Tottie Goldsmith and comedian Peter Rowsthorn (pictured) in his first dramatic role.
- Joining Police Rescue (ABC) in its new series are Frankie J Holden and Ada Nicodemou. A tragic bus crash and a siege in which the behaviour of the media is under the spotlight are major storylines in the new episodes. Returning cast for the new series includes Gary Sweet, Sonia Todd, Steve Bisley and Tammy MacIntosh.
- In the series return of Banjo Paterson’s The Man From Snowy River (Nine), the Reverend Colin McGregor (Brett Climo) faces danger when his church is burnt to the ground as a result of his preaching on the wickedness of alcohol. The fire is a sign of disapproval by one of the local residents. Guest stars in the new series include David Gulpilil, Kym Wilson and Olivia Newton-John. Newton-John’s character, Joanna Walker, makes an impact in the high country after placing a newspaper advertisement looking for the father she hasn’t seen since she was a child. Matt McGregor’s (Andrew Clarke) support for Joanna is misinterpreted as a romantic interest.
- Zoe Carides joins the cast of GP (ABC) as Dr Sonia Kapek. In new episodes of the series, Julie Winters (Denise Roberts) moves in as William’s (Michael Craig) new boarder after Martin Dempsey (Damian Rice) moves out to seek more independent living arrangements. Love is also in the air for William when his friendship with Eva (played by his real-life wife, Sue Walker) turns to romance. Guest stars during the year include Noel Hodda, Peter Sumner, Victoria Longley, Elaine Smith and Kym Wilson.
- When Neighbours (Ten) returns, after being ditched at the altar by Mark (Bruce Samazan), Annalise (Kimberley Davies) finds support from Sam Kratz (Richard Grieve). There are still tensions when Mark re-affirms his decision to become a priest. Lou Carpenter’s (Tom Oliver) secret meetings are revealed not to be with another woman, but rather a daughter (played by Khym Lam) from a love affair that Lou had in Hong Kong many years ago. There is tension for Cody (Peta Brady) as she awaits her high school certificate results, and is hoping to score well enough to get into medical school. After the death of his wife, Julie (Julie Mullins), there is a hint of romance for Philip (Ian Rawlings), but this is not welcomed by daughter Hannah (Rebecca Ritters).
- Children’s entertainment group The Wiggles, who have performed at around 370 sold-out concerts and who have sold 90,000 albums, are set to do a pilot for a TV series and there is also talk of them doing a film.
- Over The Hill star Nic Testoni has signed on for a 12-week stint in Home And Away. He will appear as Travis, a drifter who arrives in Summer Bay and decides to stay.
- TVTV‘s return for 1995 has been postponed by two weeks to 27 February. The series will return with a new look and pacier stories. Tiffany Lamb will be back, but co-host Mark Mitchell‘s future with the show is still to be determined.
- Is Terence Donovan about to join son Jason in the upcoming Nine Network telemovie, The Last Bullet? Producers are looking for an actor to play Jason’s character as an older man and so his father seems a logical choice.
- Mary Coustas‘ comedy series based around her character Effie was meant to go to air in 1994 but was shelved when Seven Network executives felt it wasn’t up to scratch. However, footage from the series, which includes Effie interviewing celebrities such as Bryan Brown and Elle Macpherson, may resurface in another project.
TV’s Top 20 — 1994:
|1||Rugby League: NSW v Qld. 2nd||Nine||Wed||3149000|
|2||Rugby League: NSW v Qld. 3rd||Nine||Mon||2952000|
|3||Rugby League: NSW v Qld. 1st||Nine||Mon||2662000|
|4||Movie: Crocodile Dundee||Nine||Sun||2499000|
|5||Movie: Strictly Ballroom||Seven||Sun||2487000|
|6||Movie: Pretty Woman||Seven||Sun||2378000|
|7||Movie: Patriot Games||Nine||Sun||2186000|
|8||Very Best Worst Drivers||Nine||Tue||2161000|
|9||Movie: The Bodyguard||Nine||Tue||2146000|
|11||Movie: Naked Gun 2||Seven||Sun||2040000|
|12||Winter Olympics: Day 11||Nine||Thu||2020000|
|13||Movie: The Last Of The Mohicans||Seven||Sun||1979000|
|14||The World’s Greatest TV Commercials||Seven||Sun||1942000|
|15||Movie: The Naked Gun||Seven||Mon||1942000|
|16||Movie: Back To The Future Part III||Ten||Sun||1917000|
|17||The Very Best Of The Don Lane Show||Nine||Wed||1910000|
|18||Farm Aid: The Best For The Bush||Nine||Wed||1898000|
|20||Movie: Under Siege||Nine||Wed||1718000|
Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“It seems that, like their UK counterparts, Australian producers and networks have always been so much more daring than US producers in terms of nudity and sexual explicitness. But when it comes to confronting social issues head-on through comedy or drama, or creating the occasional anti-hero, we haven’t shone. The British, whose good television is very good, excel with their anti-heroes, none better than Neil Pearson‘s flawed copper Tony Clark in my favourite imported series of 1994, Between The Lines. The Americans, after years of their powerful moral majority keeping television’s petticoats tied to its toes, have relaxed a bit through, for instance, some of the Steve Bochco-produced dramas, such as NYPD Blue, and comedy series such as Grace Under Fire and Mad About You.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne/Regional Victoria, December 31-January 6):
Saturday (New Year’s Eve): Peter Mitchell presents 1994: The Big Picture (6.30pm, Seven/Prime), looking at the biggest moments of the year. The German-made comedy skit Dinner For One (7pm, SBS) makes its traditional New Year’s Eve appearance. The 2Day-FM/Coca-Cola Skyshow (11.55pm, Seven/Prime) brings in the new year from Sydney.
Sunday (New Year’s Day): Sport includes Baseball, Perth Heat v Waverly Reds (12pm, Ten), from Perth; Third Test, Australia v England (10.50am, Nine/WIN), live from Sydney; and Hopman Cup tennis (1pm, ABC), live from Perth. Sunday night movies are Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (repeat, Seven/Prime), The Last Emperor (repeat, Nine/WIN) and A Handful Of Dust (repeat, Ten). Sunday Stereo Special (7.30pm, ABC) features the annual New Year’s Day Concert by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Monday: The Third Test (10.50am, Nine/WIN) continues through to Thursday, and Hopman Cup (1pm, ABC) continues to Wednesday. In the series return of Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Lou (Tom Oliver) reveals he is not having an affair, but the young Asian woman is his daughter.
Tuesday: In Jennifer Keyte’s World Around Us (7.30pm, Seven/Prime), Greg Grainger travels through Italy, from the Tuscany region through to the opera at Verona and a gondola regatta in Venice.
Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Annalise (Kimberey Davies) sets her sights on Elliot Patterson (Jon Concannon) as the next man in her life. The documentary Cowboys And Asians (8.30pm, SBS) examines Australia’s relationship with Asia.
Thursday: In The Best Of Beyond 2000 (7.30pm, Ten), a look at how doctors are doing face lifts without surgery; winning the war against weeds with hot water; and the future of entertainment, Las Vegas style. The Hopman Cup (11pm, ABC) resumes from Burswood Entertainment Complex, Perth.
Friday: The Hopman Cup (1pm,ABC) continues competition.
Source: TV Week (Victoria Country edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 31 December 1994. Southdown Press