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.