Matlock Police, the 1970s police drama, is the latest from the Crawfords Australia archive to be released on DVD.
The first volume of 26 episodes feature regular cast members Michael Pate, Vic Gordon, Paul Cronin and Grigor Taylor and include guest appearances by some of Australia’s most familiar actors — including Sheila Florance (in the first episode), Bill Hunter, Maurie Fields, Penny Ramsey, Terry Gill, Jacki Weaver, June Salter, Tom Oliver, Wendy Hughes, Queenie Ashton, John Meillon, Brian Wenzel, Joe Hasham, Harold Hopkins and Rowena Wallace.
Debuting in February 1971, Matlock Police was the third in the trifecta of cop shows from Crawford Productions. It was commissioned by Melbourne’s ATV0 on the back of Crawfords’ earlier success with Homicide for Seven and Division 4 for Nine.
It also followed 0-10’s unsuccessful attempt at making their own police drama — The Long Arm.
Matlock Police was axed after 228 episodes in 1975, the same year that Homicide and Division 4 were also cancelled, but continued to appear in re-runs well into the 1980s.
In more recent years the series was replayed overnight on regional network WIN, the company which now owns Crawfords Australia.
Matlock Police joins other DVD releases from Crawfords including Homicide, Division 4, The Box, The Sullivans, The Flying Doctors, Carson’s Law and sitcom Acropolis Now.
Source: Crawfords Australia, Classic Australian TV
I can’t recall Sheila Florance in Matlock but I have quite strong recollections of Queenie Ashton being somewhat imperious.
Sheila was Mrs Falconer, a wealthy woman who apparently owned half the town and was robbed in the first episode.
But she was not at all like Lizzie Birdsworth a decade later!
The first episode was on YouTube a while ago but it has since vanished. Other than that the only episodes I’d seen personally were re-runs in the 1980s.
Excellent although I’m still waiting for bluey to be released on DVD
I always have vivid memories Vic Gordon sitting behind the desk taking phone calls and here’s abit of trivia for you vics daughter jackie later appeared in prisoner (1981-82) episodes played runaway teen susie Driscoll
There was a half-hour spin-off series featuring Paul Cronin in his character from Matlock, but I can’t recall the character name(beyond “Garry”) nor the series title. Someone may remember these details. I do remember Grigor Taylor leaving the series, Matlock Police after about the second series. I think his replacement was an actor(?) Richards. The question mark is because I can’t remember his first name.
The spin-off was Solo One, produced by Crawford Productions for the Seven Network. It only ran for one series.
Tom Richards was the replacement for Grigor Taylor in Matlock Police
solo one yes I remember the theme music and I think it was around same time as chopper squad now there is another blast from the past
Will Matlock Police be available for US purchase? I attempted to pay for it on PayPal
I was a big fan of Michael Pate. Who else could play a cowboy vampire but Michael!
Regards, John Osterholm – Albany Oregon
Hi John, thank you for your message, hope all is well over in Oregon! I am not aware of availability of Matlock Police in the US. I would suggest you contact Crawfords DVD for details.