Network Ten is believed to be in negotiation with FremantleMedia, whose predecessor Reg Grundy Productions was responsible for the original The Young Doctors, about putting together a remake. If it goes ahead, the new series could go to air Monday to Friday nights at 6.00 – as lead-in to the recently revamped Neighbours – ending The Simpsons‘ long-running grip on the timeslot.
And one Network Ten identity is ready to queue up to be involved – Australian Idol judge Mark Holden.
Seventies pop star Holden (pictured, above) appeared in the original The Young Doctors as a 21-year-old, playing Dr Greg Mason, and is said to be keen to get back into character.
The Young Doctors originally launched in November 1976 on the Nine Network. The series was axed after only a few weeks on-air but outrage over the cancellation saw the show reinstated and became a long-running ratings success for Nine. However while the show had support of viewers both locally and overseas, it wasn’t known for its great production values, being produced on a shoestring budget (clearly not afforded the lavishness of the network’s other drama The Sullivans) and despite its long run it carries the dubious honour of failing to receive even a single award for either popularity or industry acclaim.
And in a far cry from current-day medical dramas such as All Saints, the medicos at Alfred Memorial seemed to spend very little time attending to patients but rather were more concerned about romancing co-workers and doing the hustle at Bunny’s disco.
But The Young Doctors did however create some soap icons – Gwen Plumb as gossiping kiosk operator Ada Simmons who survived the entire series, and Cornelia Frances who became famous as the nasty Sister Grace Scott and became a soapie stalwart with later long-running roles in Sons And Daughters and Home And Away – and more recently being the officious host of the Australian version of the game show The Weakest Link.
In June 1982, The Young Doctors became Australia’s longest running soap opera drama when it beat Number 96‘s previous record of 1218 episodes – though that record has now been dwarfed by current day soaps Neighbours and Home And Away.
The Young Doctors continued until March 1983, clocking up 1396 episodes. It was left to Ada Simmons to switch off the lights at the close of the final episode.