A Country Practice: episode guide

1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994

In General Practice

Episodes 1 & 2
Premiere: November 18, 1981
Script: James Davern
Director: Chris Thomson

A mysterious woman arrives at the Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital in the final stages of labour. Simon's perception of Terence is changed when he witnesses Terence's skilled performance in the operating theatre, but the mystery surrounding Dr. Elliott only depends when Simon later finds him passed out drunk in his flat. Simon borrows a dog so as to have a reason to see Vicky at her surgery, but his advances are once again parried. Mrs. Myers rejects her new-born daughter.

Dr. Bowen refuses to prescribe the contraceptive pill to a fifteen-year-old girl without her father's permission. The girl is torn between her father and her insistent boyfriend. Shirley consents to go on a date with Frank but vows that it will be their last. Simon struggles to determine the cause of a young boy's Monday morning migraine headaches.

Guest Cast: Arkie Whiteley as Jenny Secombe, Ric Herbert as Tony, Tom Richards as Hal Secombe, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Dasha Blahova as Mrs. Myers, Jon Ossher as Mr. Myers, Betty Lucas as Mrs. Bourke, Michael McGlinchey as Andrew Bourke.

Notes: As the series begins, Terence has lived in the valley for three years and Simon for just four months. Joyce Jacobs makes her first appearance in an uncredited guest role as "Norma."

Town Tragedy

Episodes 3 & 4
Script: James Davern
Director: David Boutland

A very serious car accident upsets the townsfolk leaving questions unanswered. Dr. Elliott battles to save the life of a woman injured in the accident. Brendan and Molly Jones arrive in Wandin Valley.

Questions arise about the exact nature of the relationship of the two people involved in the tragic accident. Bob Hatfield shows Molly Jones how a "swift kick in the guts&quot, will fix her troublesome generator.

Guest Cast: Colleen Clifford as Miss Bird, Peter Corbett as Ian Sutton, Rouna Daley as Elaine MacKay, Ron Graham as Andy MacKay, Betty Lucas as Mrs. Bourke, Scott McGregor as Peter Gleeson, Ruth Osbourne as Nurse Hammond, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield.

Note: Gordon Piper's first appearance as Bob Hatfield

The Itinerants

Episodes 5 & 6
Script: Anne Brooksbank (5) and Graeme Ellis (6)
Director: Mandy Smith

Dr. Elliott fights to save a child's life despite opposition from the boy's mother who is leery of doctors since her husband's death. Hoping to deter Frank, Shirley makes an attempt at preparing an exotic dinner, but Frank's culinary prowess more than compensates for Shirley's poor cooking skills. Molly barters her hand-made clothes in exchange for services. Doris eats the rose bush Frank gives to Molly as a house-warming gift. Bob brawls with fruit pickers who are in town for the harvest. Molly disturbs a prowler.

Simon Bowen faces making a decision about a difficult patient whom he believes to be a drug addict. Molly tries to get Doris to mate with Jerry Percival's pig but Doris kicks the unworthy beast out of her pen. Brendan cheers up a young patient by playing super-nurse.

Guest Cast: Bill Charlton as Bill Ferguson, Hans Farkash as Alex Popovich, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Nina Landis as Sandra Popovich, Ray Marshall as Cameron, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Justin Ridley as Lexy Popovich, Martin Sharman as Michael Harris, Baz Luhrmann as Jerry Percival

They Shoot Cows Don't They

Episodes 7 & 8
Script: Luis Bayonas (7) and Leon Saunders (8)
Director: Igor Auzins

A woman who has remained tied to her home in order to look after her curmudgeon of a father seeks Terence's help to allow her to get away for a few days—Terence admits Arty Turner to hospital and leaves him in Brendan's care. Molly goes to the Sales yard to buy a dog but comes home with an old cow that already has two hoofs in the abattoire. Simon treats a woman who knew his grandfather and is visited repeatedly by a young woman looking for company.

Arty causes a fire at the hospital with a carelessly disposed cigarette. Bill Ferguson proposes to Sandra Popovich. Vicky recommends that Molly's "no name" cow be put down. Pat Turner decides to put her father in a care home. Emily Page prepares to take her life following a final dinner with Simon, but after her leaves her house, Simon clues in to what she's planning and returns to save her. Bill and Sandra bring Molly a calf in exchange for her designing Sandra's wedding dress, Molly calls him No Name II.

Guest Cast: Aileen Britton as Emily Page, Bill Charlton as Bill Ferguson, Sue Fox as Sheree Smythe, Julie Hamilton as Pat Turner, Nina Landis as Sandra Popovich, Alan Penney [sic] as Arty Turner, Justin Ridley as Lexy Popovich.

Note: Nearly a decade before he would take on the regular role of Perce Hudson, Allan Penney makes his first guest appearance as a character quite similar to that of Perce Hudson.

Coming Home

Episodes 9 & 10
Script: Anne Brooksbank (9) and Moya Wood (10)
Director: Mike Murphy

On her rounds as district nurse, Matron Kertesz meets Lachie Hughes, a young man paralysed from the waist down as the result of a recent accident. Lachie's doting parents are a challenge for him but he makes friends with Molly and Brendan. Frank meets Jack Bates while fishing. Jack, a businessman who's returned to the valley after a forty year absence, talks Terence into performing a practical joke on Frank. Simon runs over a wombat and is forced to adopt it after Vicky finishes treating it. Marta pulls Lachie from a dam when he tries to go swimming by himself. Lachie takes a shine to Marta but she tells him she wants their relationship to remain strictly professional. Simon looks for the cause of a young girl's illness and weight loss.

Lachie rushes his mother to the hospital when she suffers a spontaneous pneumothorax. Sgt. Gilroy gives Simon a rough time over his keeping the wombat (given the name Fatso by Simon). Shirley Dean receives special treatment from a real man about town and the policeman about town has his nose put out of joint. Marta tells Lachie the story of how she escaped from Hungary. Marta sleeps with Lachie after first consulting Terence about the logistics. Simon and Vicky's date is sidetracked when Vicky spots a cow stuck in a mud hole and asks Simon to help her get it out. Jack Bates has a heart attack and dies. Lachie makes plans to return to Sydney after receiving a letter from his girlfriend who wants to give their relationship another go.

Guest Cast: Gordon Boyd as Jack Bates, John Darling as Man, Jane Farrugia as Sally Finch, Judith Fisher as Mrs. Finch, Graham Harvey as Lachie Hughes, Terrie Lynn as Catherine Owen, Brian McNevin as Graham Owen, Jessica Noad as Bonnie Hughes, Don Reid as Arthur Hughes, Angie Ayers as Jessica Owen


Episodes 11 & 12
Script: Luis Bayonas (11) and Bavid Boutland (12)
Director: Leigh Spence

When Shirley is involved in a minor car accident, Frank hounds her for a breath test but she resists on principle, insisting an erratically driven bus forced her to swerve into the other lane. Brendan Jones saves a young asthmatic's life but the boy's overprotective mother takes offence at Brendan's suggestion that she is contributing to her son's dependency. Molly gets a new dog, Fang, but a rash of animal poisonings has her worried.

Dr. Bowen tries to get Maurie Wilson to stop driving his bus and seek medical attention for his seizures. Jan Hardy, wife of town councillor John Hardy, dies in hospital as a result of liver damage caused by her heavy drinking—which her husband encouraged her to keep secret in an effort to protect her (and more importantly his) reputation in the community. Vicky discovers the cause of the animal poisonings when a woman brings in her cat after it had gotten into the remnants of the bait she had been using on her neighbours' dogs.

Guest Cast: Maggie Dence as Jan Hardy, John Ewart as Maurie Wilson, Leila Hayes as Mrs. Burns, Peter Phelps as Jeff Wilson, Mark Spain as Tim Burns, Jon Darling as Mrs. Pearson. Martin Lewis as Peter, Lynn Murphy as Mrs. Kidd, Michael Petrovich as John Hardy


Episodes 13 & 14
Script: Leon Saunders (13) and Hugh Stuckey (14)
Director: Mandy Smith

Bianca Forbes-Hamilton, Molly's glamorous model friend, comes to visit her at the farm, driving Brendan crazy and causing Vicky some moments of jealousy after Simon is introduced to her. Concerned about her grandson's health, Mavis Carmody takes him to the see Dr. Bowen without telling the boy's mother. When Willow Carmody finds out what her mother-in-law has done, she reveals to her that Rama has had leukaemia for the past eighteen months. Mavis is shocked by the news but is dismayed to learn that the boy's mother and her boyfriend, Alan Wheeler, have been avoiding treating Rama to avoid the debilitating side effects. Stumpy Black is hospitalised when he is injured while blasting tree stumps to clear his land. In hospital, he reunites with Lily Bauer, the woman who left him at the alter thirty years earlier. Rama is hospitalised but Alan sneaks him out in the middle of the night. Simon and Bianca's date ends traumatically when they attempt to move a sheep.

Mavis Carmody contacts her son in Sydney to encourage him to seek custody of Rama. John Carmody arrives in town, and after learning that Terence plans to testify on behalf of Alan and Willow, confronts Terence and threatens to discredit him by dredging up his past. The next morning, Simon finds Terence in a drunken stupor in his apartment agonising over the implications of John Carmody's threat. Simon in turn threatens John with the long legal arm of his own family, who could impede John's promising law career. In the end however it is Terence who convinces Mavis not to contest the custody issue and to allow Willow and Alan to pursue alternative treatments for Rama. Bianca accidentally blows up the Jones' famous "leaning loo," breaking her ankle in the process, after Molly takes Bianca's advice to add in kerosene. "Fabulous!"

Guest Cast: Tina Bursill as Bianca Forbes-Hamilton, Adam Fernace as Rama Carmody, Lorna Lesley as Ruth "Willow" Carmody, Bill McClusky as Alan Wheeler, Pat McDonald as Lily Bauer, Gordon Poole as Roy "Stumpy" Black, Bettina Welch as Mavis Carmody. Neil Melville as Olsen, David Foster as John Carmody