Hunter: Australian TV’s James Bond


YouTube: Conniptions886

Fifty years ago saw the debut of the Nine Network‘s new spy drama, Hunter.

Produced by Crawford Productions, Hunter‘s first episode aired on GTV9, Melbourne, on 5 July 1967 — with sister station TCN9, Sydney, following suit the next night. However, given the vagarities of Australian network programming at that time, the series actually made its debut in Adelaide, on NWS9 on 4 July.

The title role of COSMIC (Commonwealth Office of Security and Military Intelligence Co-ordination) secret agent John Hunter was played by Tony Ward, an actor who had also been working as a current affairs reporter. He had joined the Melbourne-based Hunter after working on Sydney current affairs shows Seven Days and Telescope.

Hunter also made a star of acting newcomer Gerard Kennedy, who played Kragg, a chief agent working for the fictitious Council for the Unification of the Communist World (CUCW). Kennedy went on to win a TV Week Logie Award for Best New Talent for his performance in Hunter.

Hunter‘s regular cast also included Nigel Lovell, Fernande Glyn and Ronald Morse.

Unlike Crawfords’ other series Homicide, which was set in Melbourne, Hunter came with a more impressive budget and worked from a much wider landscape and which gave it more sophisticated look. Although the series was based in Melbourne, production went out on location to Sydney, Queensland, central Australia and even to Singapore.

The series ran for 65 episodes, with Nine and Crawfords opting to pursue a new Melbourne crime drama, Division 4. Gerard Kennedy went on to the new show’s lead role, winning two TV Week Gold Logies for his popularity.

Ward, who had left Hunter before the end of its run, having been somewhat upstaged in profile by Kennedy, went on to dramas The Long Arm, Delta and Dynasty and would go back to current affairs reporting, working for Nine’s A Current Affair.

Source: Classic Australian TV, IMDB. TV Times, 5 July 1967. Sydney Morning Herald, 6 July 1967. TV Week, 15 June 1968, 10 August 1968.

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: https://televisionau.com/2017/07/hunter-australian-tvs-james-bond.html

9 comments

Skip to comment form

    • Peter Strange on 5 July 2017 at 9:15 AM
    • Reply

    I wonder what ever happened to Fernande Glyn ?|
    She seemed to disappear after about 1970.

      • Caroline Bolton on 12 April 2019 at 1:25 PM
      • Reply

      She was the daughter of well known radio actress, Neva Carr Glynn and her husband – forget his name – also a radio veteran. They appeared in daily serials on our radio for housewives. These actors went out of work when TV took over. We also had the ARGONAUTS for children and serials for then in afternoons. It kept these qualified people in regular work. So many radio stars gone now Stewart Ginn, John Ewart, Moray Powell, Gwen Plumb, Hilary Bamberg – the latter I met when visiting 2GB studios in 60’s to watch a serial being recorded. At that time the writing was on the wall about the end of these serials. Neva’s son was also in radio.

        • Caroline B on 13 April 2019 at 11:56 AM
        • Reply

        to add – Neva was married to John Tate, actor and producer [I think] and their son was Nick Tate, actor too. A very accomplished family in the radio and television acting.

    • Peter Strange on 5 July 2017 at 9:15 AM
    • Reply

    Loved the Ericofon too !

    • Andrew M on 5 July 2017 at 10:43 PM
    • Reply

    He would made a good James bond

  1. Interestingly, Gerard Kennedy had been doing drama plays on Brisbane TV as early as 1963, before coming to notice in 1966 via guest roles on “Homicide”.

    Tony Ward had also done a couple of ABC drama plays in the early 60’s, and returned to acting briefly in “Sons & Daughters”.

    • Mr T on 16 February 2018 at 5:32 PM
    • Reply

    What a great website !. I’d like to see something about SKIPPY….Has anyone Pictures of the Ranger Uniform Sleeve Patches ?.

    1. Hi Mr T. Thanks for the kind words. Here is a recent post about Skippy https://televisionau.com/2018/02/skippy-turns-50.html

    • TD on 7 April 2019 at 12:54 AM
    • Reply

    Great to read about Hunter. When I mention the series to family and friends no one seems to remember it! I’m relieved to confirm it wasn’t a figment of my imagination. 🙂

Leave a Reply to Peter Strange Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.