tvweek_170896Cover: Heather Locklear (Melrose Place)

Tears for fears
The tears that you see from Tasma Walton‘s character Constable Dash McKinley in this week’s episode of Blue Heelers are real. It’s an emotional storyline in which Dash has to face up to her fears of getting behind the wheel again after seeing her best friend die in a car accident. “I didn’t find the scenes hard to do,” she told TV Week. “I like delving into that darker stuff. The situation for Dash was so traumatic and real, it was quite easy to lose myself in that and have the emotional response that Dash would have had.”

carolinegillmer_0002Caroline crashes out of Neighbours
Neighbours star Caroline Gillmer (pictured) is set to make a dramatic exit from the series in scenes to go to air next month. Her character Cheryl Stark is out on a walk with daughter Lolly (Jiordan Anna Tolli), until Lolly gets distracted by chasing a dog on the road. Cheryl runs after her daughter and straight into the path of an oncoming car. “The incident is a real tragedy,” Gillmer tells TV Week. “There’s a variety of reactions from Cheryl’s family and friends that are all very sad. But the greatest pain is felt by Marlene Kratz (Moya O’Sullivan), Cheryl’s mother.” In a tragic twist, the accident occurs just as Cheryl’s estranged husband Lou (Tom Oliver) is making his way back to Erinsborough after deciding to give their marriage a second chance.

grantbowler_0002Playing doctors and nurses
Network Ten is hoping that its new medical drama Medivac will be a highlight of its upcoming drama slate. The series is set in the emergency ward of Bethlehem West Hospital and features a field of casualties while the hospital staff have dramas of their own. Medivac stars Grant Bowler (Blue Heelers), Nicholas Eadie, Rena Owen, Lisa Forrest, Genevieve Picot, Anthony Grundy and Caroline Kennison. Bowler says there are differences between his former Blue Heelers character Wayne Patterson and his new role of Dr Archibald (Arch) Craven. “This character is more free, fun-loving, and a lot more intelligent,” Bowler tells TV Week. “You know Wayne, God bless him, wasn’t the greatest of human beings. That wasn’t a conscious decision on my part, because I think there are a great many intelligent police officers in the world, but Wayne wasn’t bright and this guy is… which is nice.”


  • Full Frontal star Julia Morris is quitting her breakfast FM radio gig in Melbourne. The 5am starts combined with her other media commitments, including interstate work, were proving too hard to juggle.
  • Teenager Andrew Bibby is the latest addition to the cast of Neighbours. Producers are still looking for a 16-year-old female to join the show.
  • With floods, earthquakes and fires threatening Summer Bay in recent times, it’s probably no wonder that the producers of Home And Away have been asked to cut back on spending.
  • Paul Mercurio, best known from the hit movie Strictly Ballroom, has signed on for his first ongoing role in the new Network Ten series Medivac. Mercurio plays the part of plumber Roy Fields, husband to Macy Fields (played by New Zealand actress Rena Owens).

TV’s National Top 10 (Week Commencing 28 July 1996):
Source: AC Nielsen Australia Pty Ltd

Rank Program Network Day(s) Viewers
1 Seven Nightly News Seven Sun 2420000
2 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven Sun 2400000
3 Olympic Games (Evening) Seven M-F 1985000
4 Seven Nightly News Seven Sat 1958000
5 Australia’s Funniest Home Video Show Nine Tue 1913000
6 60 Minutes Nine Sun 1823000
7 Olympic Games (Day) Seven Sun 1802000
8 The Nanny Ten Sun 1798000
9 A Current Affair Nine M-F 1728000
10 Our House Nine Wed 1711000

Program Highlights (Melbourne, August 17-23):
In Ocean Girl (5.30pm, Ten), Jason (David Hoflin) and Brett (Jeffrey Walker) borrow a pump to clear the water from the spaceship. When it is gone the children discover a hidden chamber. Saturday Night Football (8.30pm, Seven) features Adelaide Crows versus North Melbourne, live from Football Park, Adelaide.

Sunday: AFL Sunday features West Coast Eagles versus Carlton (2pm, Seven), live from Perth, followed by highlights of Collingwood versus Essendon (5pm, Seven) from the Melbourne Cricket Ground. National Nine News reporter Jo Hall presents the special Zoos: The Bigger Picture (6.30pm, Nine), looking at Melbourne’s three zoo attractions and their development over the decades. Sunday night movies are Silver (Nine) and Scent Of A Woman (Ten) up against the debut of mini-series Tom Clancy’s Op Centre (Seven).

Monday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), after witnessing Jude’s (Margie Bainbridge) threats, Mal (Benjie McNair) wants to know more about Darren’s (Todd MacDonald) dealings with the loan sharks. Four Corners (8.30pm, ABC) presents a special edition to celebrate its 35th anniversary.

tasmawaltonTuesday: The 7.30 Report (7.30pm, ABC) presents a special 90-minute edition for the Federal Treasurer Peter Costello‘s announcement of the 1996 Budget, including analysis by Kerry O’Brien and commentary by Barrie Cassidy. In Blue Heelers (8.30pm, Seven), Nick (William McInnes) is surprised by Dash’s (Tasma Walton, pictured) unprofessional behaviour at the scene of a fatal accident, until he learns that both the victims were her friends.

Wednesday: In Neighbours (6.30pm, Ten), Billy (Jesse Spencer) and Melissa (Aimee Robertson) start to panic when they realise they have slept through the night and may not get home in time for her parents.

Thursday: In Home And Away (7pm, Seven), Simon (Julian Garner) prepares to leave Summer Bay. Getaway (7.30pm, Nine) features reports on blackwater rafting through caves and underground springs on New Zealand’s North Island, and the Lewin Caves in the Cape Naturaliste National Park in Western Australia.

Friday: Lisa Treloar hosts the new wedding game show I Do I Do (7.30pm, Ten), where three couples compete for the opportunity for the show to host their wedding. Each couple has their families and friends in the audience, dressed in formal clothes, in the hope they will be attending the major prize — a televised wedding.

Source: TV Week (Melbourne edition), incorporating TV Times and TV Guide. 17 August 1996. Pacific Publications Pty Ltd.


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