Blue Heelers stars Lisa McCune and Martin Sacks (pictured) are such good friends off-screen that it was hard for the pair to be romantic on-camera. Their characters, Constable Maggie Doyle and Detective Sen-Constable PJ Hasham, are sent undercover and discover their attraction which leads to a kiss, but neither is prepared to admit their feelings to the other. “Marty and I get on famously off screen,” McCune told TV Week. “But taking it that step further on screen and trying to get romantic chemistry happening is quite hard.” Sacks summed it up as “it’s like kissing your sister. It’s so technical that it can’t possible be enjoyable. There are camera angles to think of, and the equivalent of the Essendon Football Club standing round making comments. People assume it’s like this heavy affair but it’s not like that at all.”
Summer Bay ablaze
Summer Bay is about to be threatened by a bushfire in episodes of Home And Away to go to air later this month. The fire, triggered when Jack (Daniel Amalm) steals a car which crashes and explodes, sees buildings destroyed, the town evacuated and Fisher (Norman Coburn) battling a fire at the school, unaware that his own home is burning down. “The fire results in some permanent changes. A lot of things are lost,” Amalm told TV Week. “It’s not all Jack’s fault but the blame falls on him, so I hope he might get a bit of sympathy from the audience.” Shane (Dieter Brummer, pictured) heads up the team of volunteer firefighters and works alongside Fisher to save the school.
The ABC series Correlli might be enjoying all sorts of hype but behind the scenes the actors have voiced their disappointment and a dispute has led to six of the show’s scriptwriters walking off the job. “We were led to believe when we went into Correlli that we were doing one thing, and when it came to the crunch it was something entirely different,” one cast member told TV Week. “There was a lot of ill feeling, and six or seven of the lead actors on the show would back me up on this.” The discord on the set was the result of extensive re-writing of scripts. Six of the show’s writers have had their names removed from at least one of their episodes as they felt the finished product did not represent their work. Executive producer Sue Masters conceded that the ABC had not fulfilled its obligation to negotiate significant script amendments with the writers involved, but says it was an outcome forced by production relocating from New South Wales to Victoria. Such a change presented challenges in modifying pre-written scripts to be based on the Victorian prison system rather than New South Wales, which presented significant changes. One actor said that a frustration with the series was the constant change of tack. “The episode that was meant to be my character’s big moment became a token gesture,” he said. “What we were all led to believe about that episode just didn’t eventuate. It was extremely disappointing. They got some wonderful actors in and I don’t believe they used them to their full potential.” The production hassles with Correlli come after similar behind the scenes disruption over the production of The Damnation Of Harvey McHugh, where Masters was brought in to replace producer Denny Lawrence and production was halted while scripts were re-written.
Off to a shaky start
Former Seven Network newsreader Naomi Robson had not long arrived in Los Angeles when she experienced some middle of the night aftershocks from the big earthquake that hit the city a couple of years earlier. “There were three tremors,” she told TV Week. “After it was over I went back to bed and went straight back to sleep, even though my heart was going bang-bang-bang. When I woke up in the morning I thought I had dreamt it.” American-born Robson, whose family moved to Australia when she was two, had knocked back an attractive offer to stay with the Seven Network and intends to stay in the US for at least a year and is currently working on developing a documentary series. “It wasn’t that I was unhappy at Seven or anything, but it was something that had always been on my mind — that I’d been born here and that perhaps I should come back.”
- Beyond International — the company behind Beyond 2000, Fire, Just Kidding, Wild Life With Olivia Newton-John and Fish International — has announced a new $9 million production slate for 1995-96. Included in the package are new series of those titles plus a new 10-part series, Invention, for the Discovery channel in the US. The company is also committed to producing another 18 hours of an American version of Beyond 2000, also for Discovery.
- Artist Services‘ exclusive contract with the Seven Network has now expired and the company has been pitching projects to all of the networks — except Ten — and pay TV providers. Some of the planned projects include The Sound Of One Hand Clapping, Siam Sunset and Dead Letter Office. It is also proposing two mini-series — Making Babies, about four women who make a pact that each will have a baby within a year, and Mountains Of The Mist.
- Christmas is a few months away but there seems to be some uncertainty as to who will be hosting Nine‘s Carols By Candlelight on Christmas Eve. The show’s usual host, Ray Martin, is said to be unhappy about disrupting his family Christmas to commute to Melbourne for the event. Hey Hey It’s Saturday‘s Daryl Somers, already based in Melbourne, has been mooted as a possible replacement.
- Production of ABC‘s new drama series Mercury, set behind the scenes of a newspaper, is to begin in November.
TV’s Top 20 (Week Commencing 30 July):
|2||National Nine News||Nine||Sun||2072000|
|4||Lois & Clark||Seven||Mon||1877000|
|5||The Footy Show||Nine||Thu||1843000|
|6||National Nine News||Nine||M-F||1816000|
|7||Sale Of The Century||Nine||M-F||1806000|
|8||Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show||Nine||Tue||1802000|
|9||A Current Affair||Nine||M-F||1797000|
|10||Seven Nightly News||Seven||Sun||1745000|
|13||The X Files||Ten||Wed||1735000|
|17||Hey Hey By Request 3||Nine||Mon||1701000|
|19||Seven Nightly News||Seven||Sat||1674000|
Lawrie Masterson: The View From Here
“The ABC itself is lucky enough — smart enough — to have its own Natural History Unit, under Dione Gilmour, and it has been responsible for some brilliant offerings in recent years, including Wolves Of The Sea and The Big Wet. But David Attenborough, who is now close to 70 and a BBC man for more than 40 of those years, is regarded as the doyen of this genre, and probably rightly so when you consider past achievements such as Life On Earth, The Living Planet and other universally acclaimed series. The Private Life Of Plants quite possible surpasses them all, however, because while Attenborough grows older, the technology becomes and newer and more sophisticated. Thus, a microscopic caterpillar can turn up on the screen in your living room and assume the proportions of your forearm; in the space of a minute you can see the dramatic changes that take place in a week in the life of a plant.”
Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 19-25):
Saturday: Hayley Lewis, Kieren Perkins, Samantha Riley, Glen Housman, Daniel Kowalski, Stacey Gartrell, Rob Hansen, Emma Johnson and Susie O’Neill are among the Australian swimmers competing in the Pan-Pacific Championships (1pm, ABC) in Atlanta, the host city of the 1996 Olympic Games. Beyond 2000 (5.30pm, Ten) takes a spin in the rocket car, the closest thing to a racing car on the road, and Andrew Waterworth goes on safari to spot the creatures of the night. Gladiators (7.30pm, Seven) continues its Ashes series of Australia versus the United Kingdom. AFL Saturday (8.30pm, Seven) includes live coverage of Adelaide Crows versus Sydney Swans from Football Park, Adelaide.
Sunday: AFL Sunday (1pm, Seven) includes Brisbane Bears versus Richmond, live from Brisbane, followed by Fremantle Dockers versus Footscray, live from Perth. In Heartbreak High (5.30pm, Ten), everyone is surprised when Sam Robinson (Kym Wilson) turns up as a casual relief teacher; and Bart (Ryan Lappin) kisses Effie (Despina Caldis) but she is distressed because she does not know how to respond. Sunday night movies are Quick (Seven), Bitter Blood (Nine) and The Doors (Ten).
Monday: In children’s series Ocean Girl (4.30pm, Ten), Mera’s (Lauren Hewett) unfamiliarity with the island’s habitat puts her life in danger. In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Ren (Raelee Hill) needs time to think about Luke’s (Bernard Curry) marriage proposal. In Frontline (8pm, ABC), when a Frontline cameraman films a savage assault, the story with aired with disastrous results.
Tuesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Ren (Raelee Hill) gives Luke (Bernard Curry) the answer he has been waiting for; while Danni (Eliza Szonert) gives Mal (Benjie McNair) an ultimatum. In GP (8.30pm, ABC), Sally (Paris Jefferson) is so desperate to find a compatible donor for her 10-year-old daughter who is dying of leukaemia that she falls pregnant, hoping the baby will provide the compatibility.
Wednesday: In Echo Point (6pm, Ten), the bones discovered on Daniel’s (Phillip Gordon) property are identified. Science program Quantum (8pm, ABC) returns for a new series, hosted by Karina Kelly. In Correlli (8.30pm, ABC), Helen (Denise Roberts, pictured) is fighting hard to regain her position of power after the shooting. Gordon Bray presents delayed coverage of the rugby union match David Campese XV versus Australian Barbarians (11.40pm, Seven), from the Sydney Football Stadium.
Thursday: The Young Performers Of The Year Awards (8.30pm, ABC) feature four finalists in the categories of percussion, vocals, piano and strings, performed with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Werner Andreas Albert.
Friday: Model Kate Fischer guest stars in Echo Point (6pm, Ten). Friday Night Football (9.30pm, Seven) features delayed coverage of Melbourne versus Adelaide Crows from the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Ian Turpie guest stars on Roy And HG Tonight (10.30pm, ABC).
Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 19 August 1995. Southdown Press