A Country Practice: episode guide

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

Golden Fleece

Episodes 15-16
Script: Margaret Kelly
Directed by Bruce Best

Frank tracks down the troublesome youth responsible for a series of dangerous pranks and delivers him to the hospital where he is to work off his punishment. Molly hires Bob Hatfield to install a new toilet and bidet at the farm, a task which results in the expected complications. While on one of his regular trips to Sydney, Terence falls for a female truck driver who comes to his assistance at the side of the road. Frank comes to the rescue when an anxious patient of Simon's holds Shirley at letter-opener point in the clinic.

Trudi's arrival in town causes quite a stir when Terence brings her to the dinner dance at the club. With the local dentist out of town, Simon and Terence break into the dental surgery to get the tools necessary to pull Bob's tooth themselves—they even convince Frank to help in the break-in! Their many strained efforts ultimately fail and Vicky must be called in to pull the tooth as she has "the knack." Jason looks after Mr. Harris in hospital following his stroke but is heartbroken when the man dies. Trudi regales an audience at the club with her truckin' songs while collecting donations for the hospital.

Guest Cast: Norman Coburn as Neville Roebuck, Willie Fennell as Eldred Harris, Kris McQuade as Trudi, Jeremy Shadlow as Jason, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Janet Foye as Mrs. Royal, Jo Fielder as Mrs. Archer, Carmel Cullen as Mrs. Reeves. Rena Bourne as Nurse, Frank Hogewind as Guitar Player, James Neill as Councillor Mills.


Episodes 17-18
Script: Leon Saunders (17) and Ann Brooksbank (18)
Directed by Mike Murphy

Simon's plans for a weekend getaway to Sydney with Vicky are derailed by the arrival of his father, a skilled specialist himself, who is quick to offend Simon when he takes over one of his scheduled operations. A young diabetic woman on a school field trip is taken to hospital after collapsing. While staking out her chicken coop, Molly catches the dog belonging to the bank manager who earlier turned down her loan application. When Frank asks Shirley to proofread the article he's written on rose diseases, she's amused to find it filled with police jargon. While in hospital, the young woman dreams of a bus crash.

Frank comes across the bus accident and all of the town's resources are quickly put into action to rescue the victims. One injured man who was not recovered from the accident scene makes his way to Molly's front door looking for help. Frank, with burnt and bandaged hands suffered at the accident scene, moves in with Shirley and Vicky until he recovers. Molly comes up with a colourful solution to her problems with her chauvinistic bank manager and his chicken killing dog. Simon comforts a patient whose boyfriend died as a result of the injuries he sustained in the bus accident. Vicky's conscience is eased when Molly quits as her veterinary assistant before Vicky can gather the courage to fire her.

Guest Cast: Alistair Duncan as Mr. Bourke, Janice Finn as Mrs. Levy, David Franklin as David, Keith Lee as Robert Bowen, Ray Marshall as Mr. Cameron, Brian McNevin as Guy Sutcliffe, Oriana Panozzo as Julie. John Darling as Mr. Pearson, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson.

Suffer Little Children

Episodes 19-20
Script: Denise Morgan (19) and Agi Schreck (20)
Directed by Leigh Spence

After treating a young aboriginal girl, Simon tries to confirm his suspicion that she is a victim of child abuse but instead he finds a medical explanation for her condition. Terence invites Marta to his vineyard for the weekend. Molly conducts market research to determine the viability of raising turkeys to sell locally. Vicky treats Neil Stevens' sick horse and is introduced to his wife Jill and daughter Robin. Jill Stevens sees Dr. Elliott about being sterilised but Terence won't do anything without Neil's involvement. Meanwhile, Neil is pushing his daughter to be a show jumper and after raising the bar to an unattainable height, Robin falls and is taken to hospital where Brendan points out to Simon that Robin's previous injuries could indicate a history of abuse.

Shirley helps Frank rewrite his article on roses and gives herself a writing credit. Simon confronts Terence about his reluctance to pursue a child abuse investigation against Neil Stevens. Molly abandons her plans to raise turkeys in favour of starting a yabbie farm. Neil's demure wife Jill, stressed and lacking any emotional support, is found to be the one abusing Robin, who Terence has to take to hospital with a fractured skull after one of Jill's attacks. After assaulting her daughter in the hospital, Jill Stevens is taken away to receive therapy. Frank is all set to leave the care of the Deans, much to their delight, when a frustrated Shirley accidentally shoves a hot pan into his hands.

Guest Cast: Benita Collins as Jill Stevens, Sheryl Dumas as Alice Bowles, Joseph Furst as Alex Popovich, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Bob Maza as Bill Bowles, Brian McDermott as Neil "Stevo" Stevens, Anna Oxenford as Robin Stevens, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield.

Notes: Syd Heylen's first appearance. Bob Maza appears again in the 1993 episode "Carpe Diem" alongside his daughter Rachel.


Episodes 21-22
Script: Margaret Mitchell (21) and Christine McCourt (22)
Directed by Alister Smart

Doug and Keith Abbot, two life-long bachelors with a very close relationship, are heralded as heroes and community role models after Doug saves a young boy's life when he gets electrocuted while climbing a tree. Later, an accident sends Doug and Keith Abbott to hospital. The seriousness of Doug's injuries will require him to be sent to Sydney for regular dialysis. Knowing how close the two brothers are, Terence approaches his Keith about possibly donating one of his kidneys. Keith agrees but a blood test shows that the two are incompatible prompting Keith to reveal that he and Doug are not in fact brothers. Frank's article on roses is published but he is shocked to see that Shirley has been given the sole writing credit—and the cheque. Frank moves back home.

A phone call to the Abbott's shop by Doug's sister while it is being looked after by one of the townsfolk starts the local rumour mill talking about the true nature of Doug and Keith's relationship. Joe McNeil volunteers to donate one of his kidneys to Doug as a repayment for Doug saving his son's life, but he soon reneges on his offer when his wife tells him the rumours about Doug and Keith. Community support for the Abbotts quickly evaporates as the news of their alleged homosexuality makes its way through the community. It even begins to affect Brendan who is on the receiving end of some comments directed at him as a male nurse. Marta tells Alex Popovich that she would like to keep their relationship strictly platonic. Shirley tries to give up smoking. Simon tries to hold the community responsible when the strain of their backlash drives Keith to commit suicide. Unfortunately, that night at the club, a distasteful stage performance by a trio of footballers dressed in drag (Bob's infamous "Hatfield Follies") proves that not much has changed in the small town.

Guest Cast: Pat Bishop as Helen McNeil, James Condon as Doug Abbott, Don Pascoe as Keith Abbott/Mills, Joseph Furst as Alex Popovich, Alistair Duncan as Mr. Bourke, Tony Wager as Joe McNeil, Troy Wilkinson as Billy McNeil. Janet Foye as Mrs. Royal, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield.

Sons &amp, Lovers

Episodes 23-24
Script: David Boutland (23) and Margaret Mitchell (24)
Directed by Mandy Smith

Terence treats Margaret Skilton, a woman he diagnoses with agoraphobia, after Frank brings her to the clinic. Her sudden anxiety attacks have arisen since learning that she is pregnant again (her and her husband's first son, born with Down's Syndrome, was killed in an accident ten years ago). After Margaret attempts to abort her foetus, Terence convinces her to allow him to test for the presence of Down's Syndrome in the baby—a test that reveals her baby to be a normal and healthy girl. Wayne Hall's three-year-old son is rushed to hospital after he falls off his father's tractor. Despite having gone under the plow, Wayne's son escapes with no major injuries. Vicky refuses to let Simon examine her when she is sick, but for Simon, being the one to administer the three week course of injections that she requires more than makes up for his hurt feelings. The Hospital Worker's Union goes on strike.

Simon performs his first operation, but what was initially believed to be a simple appendectomy turns out to be a case of gonorrhoea, giving doctors the delicate task of tracking down the carriers of the disease among the community, with embarrassing results for a mother and her teenage son.. Terence sees a student with anxiety problems, and his eventual discovery of the source of the boy's troubles sheds some light on the doctors' other problem.

Guest Cast: Les Foxcroft as Alfred, Anthony Martin as Wayne Hall, Ray Meagher as Tom Skilton, Lynn Rainbow as Margaret Skilton, Anne Evers as Lady Shopper, Julia Stewart as Nurse Dobson, Shane Thomson as Gary Hall.

I Know Where She's Gone

Episodes 25-26
Script: Luis Bayonas (25) and David Boutland (26)
Directed by Mike Murphy

When Frank receives word that the future of the Wandin Valley police station is in jeopardy, he lays down the law to prove his importance in the small town. Phil Sheppard, an eighteen-year-old with the mind of a child, is convinced he's gotten his "girlfriend" Linda pregnant as the result of an innocent kiss (she coincidentally happens to be pregnant). Both Linda and Dr. Bowen try to explain to Phil that he's not the child's father and he later has trouble understanding what Linda means when she says she's having an abortion. Later, while he's attempting to release Fatso back into the bush (one of Frank's enforcements), Simon finds Linda's body and soon two homicide detectives from Sydney arrive to investigate her murder. Marta and Molly organise a demonstration to stop the destruction of a grove of trees but when Marta wins a delay and fails to tell Molly, Molly ends up chained to a gate with no one around to free her (an incident for which she will long be remembered). Shirley goes on a diet but temptations are abundant.

Detectives Donnolly and Cairns are eager to charge Phil with Linda's murder so that they can wrap up the case. Unconvinced, Frank and Simon return to where Linda's body was found to look for more clues. Armed with what they discover, and in conjunction with the results of Terence's autopsy, Linda's death is attributed to a lightning strike and the corresponding pressure wave that knocked her down the hill where she hit her head. The homicide detectives remind Marta of Hungary's secret police and she wants to back out of the demonstration. Molly talks her into participating but despite their efforts, the trees are bulldozed. Shirley goes jogging with Frank—in a trench coat. It is announced that the Wandin Valley police station won't be closed.

Guest Cast: Danny Adcock as Det. Donnolly, Jeff Ashby as Det. Cairns, Les Dayman as Blind Freddie, Mark Ferguson as Phil Sheppard, Syd Heylen as Cookie, John Morris as Ted Sheppard, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Tanya Urenne as Linda.

A Little Knowledge

Episodes 27-28
Script: Patricia Johnson (27) and Keith Thompson (28)
Directed by Leigh Spence

Molly is branded as an eccentric and a nuisance when she reports Trevor Lang to the RSPCA for the neglect of his dog. Vince and Carol Glover are the new owners of the Valley Hotel. Vince spends all his time at the club, spending what's left of their savings, while Carol, a hypochondriac, makes repeat visit to the clinic convinced she has cancer. Steve Morton, a travelling drug salesman, tries to convince Carol to leave her husband and run away with him, it appears he is also contributing to the cache of pills Carol can't do without. The General is suspected of having strangles, a deadly equine disease. Brendan gets into sausage making.

A young girl is brought to hospital after a football injury damages her knee. Carol Glover is hospitalised after she is found collapsed at the hotel, and while she is in hospital, Terence is able to inform her that she is pregnant. The General's condition worsens and he dies. Marta blames herself for not seeking help earlier and Vicky is upset for not being able to save the horse. Terence destroys the medical report when Vince Glover's sterility test shows he could not have fathered his wife's child. A restaurateur visits Molly to inspect her yabbie farm but they soon find that all of Molly's yabbies have escaped back into the river. Shirley feigns an injury to avoid having to go jogging with Frank.

Guest Cast: Brian Anderson as Mr. Lang, John Clayton as Vince Glover, Liz Harris as Carol Glover, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Sydney Jackson as Steve Morton, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield. Jan Kingsbury as Marilyn Jamieson, Rebecca Rigg as Kerry Jamieson, John Smythe as Mr. Orsini.

A Pit to Hiss In

Episodes 29-30
Script: Judy Colqu[h]oun (29) and Sheila Sibley (30)
Directed by Bill Hughes

Having abandoned her yabbie farm, Molly decides to visit her parents in Adelaide but the town gossips believe that she has left Brendan for good. Shirley attends an Eaters Anonymous meeting and goes on a strict diet. Simon moves in with Brendan while Molly is away but the farm quickly falls apart without her. Susan Flett is bitten by a snake while walking in the bush and is driven to the hospital by Claire Willis, one of her students. Molly fails to arrive in Adelaide. Claire Willis falls off her bicycle while riding home at night.

On the way to her dinner with Simon, Vicky finds Claire wandering in the bush. After rejoining Simon at the Jones' farm, Vicky and Simon sit down to dinner only to be serenaded by the Jones' noisy livestock. Brendan is almost at the point of believing that Molly may have left him when she phones from a farm near Burrigan to tell him that she'll be staying there a few days to learn how to run a farm properly. Shirley is given a "Miss Piggy" mask to wear when her Eaters Anonymous group learn that she has gained two pounds since their last meeting. At first Shirley refuses to wear the mask but she quickly dons the handy disguise when Frank shows up to give a talk entitled "Vegetables Can Be Fun." Despite the administration of an anti venom, Susan Flett is brought back to hospital with the same symptoms and Terence discovers that she is suffering from the effects of exposure to the insecticide that Susan's landlady has been using copiously inside her house. Simon refers Claire to an eye specialist but after the doctor's alarming worst-case-scenario diagnosis, Simon gives her a rational explanation of her condition (retinitis pigmentosa) before sending her to see another specialist in Sydney.

Guest Cast: Faye Donaldson as Aunt Vera, Leanne Ellis as Claire Willis, Susan Haworth as Susan Flett, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Pam Morrissey as Mrs. Parker, Margaret Sneddon as Alice Cooper. John Barnes as Dr. Thompson, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield.

Sore Throat

Episodes 31-32
Script: Tony Morphett (31) and Margaret Mitchell (32)
Directed by Alister Smart

The news of the possible arrival of big industry in Wandin Valley divides the community and causes tempers to flare. Frank's sudden financial windfall has the townspeople speculating about the source of his wealth. Simon contracts the measles and is admitted to hospital. A reporter in town to cover a local politician's campaign to bring a smelter to Wandin Valley takes an interest in Vicky. Molly changes her image in order to head up the opposition to the smelter.

Simon is diagnosed with encephalitis after Vicky arrives at the hospital and finds him convulsing. Terence determines Bluey Ashdown's chronic throat troubles are a result of nervous strain, he also confirms that Meg Ashdown, who has already had a mastectomy, has a lump in her remaining breast. Despite Terence's findings, neither is too eager to seek medical attention. Bluey reverses his stand on industry when the proposed smelter is lost to the Premiere's electorate. Marta gives Terence another chance after he backs off when things between them begin to get serious. Shirley attempts to hide her jealousy when Frank is seen around town with Laurel Davies.

Guest Cast: Robert Brunning as Bluey Ashdown, Shirley Cameron as Meg Ashtown, Kevin Leslie as Chas Foster, Roger Newcombe as Adrian Short, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Henri Szeps as Perc Hobbs, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson (uncredited). Elaine Lee as Laurel Davies.

Beatin' Round the Bush

Episodes 33-34
Script: Luis Bayonas (33) and Roger Dunn (34)
Directed by Mike Murphy

Rowena Elliott, Terence's ex-wife, makes a surprise visit. Amateur boxer Mickey Lewis, his manager Harry Lyons, and Harry's daughter (Mickey's girlfriend) Sharon, arrive in the valley to challenge the local pugilists. Molly tries to dissuade Smudger Willis from fighting, which he sees as his only way to make it out of Wandin Valley. Simon is voted World's Worst Patient by the hospital staff. Mickey is taken to hospital after breaking his nose in a fight. While Mickey is rooming with Simon, Dr. Bowen determines that Mickey has a bleeding ulcer, but despite Simon's caution not to fight, neither Mickey nor his manager heed the warning.

Rowena reveals to Marta her hopes for a reconciliation with Terence. To make up their financial debt resulting from Mickey's loss, Harry asks Mickey to throw his fight against Smudger. Mickey refuses to take a dive and during the fight his ulcer ruptures and he must be rushed to hospital. Mickey's injury effectively ends his boxing career at which time he sees just how little he ever meant to Harry and Sharon. Smudger makes the most of Mickey's injury and asks Harry to take him along when he leaves town. Needing another fighter to keep his racket going, Harry doesn't hesitate to agree. When Frank begins to see how Laurel is beginning to control his life, he arrives on Shirley's doorstep, uncharacteristically intoxicated, to ask for her forgiveness. Realising that any chance of getting back together with Terence is merely wishful thinking, Rowena goes back home to Sydney.

Guest Cast: Carmen Duncan as Rowena Elliott, Elaine Lee as Laurel Davies, Ned Manning as Benny Benson, Robert Noble as Smudger, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, David Robson as Mickey Lewis, Graham Rouse as Harry Lyons, Diane Smith as Sharon Lyons, Henri Szeps as Perc Hobbs, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson (uncredited). Carmel Cullen as Mrs. Reeves.

Note: In an episode that features the appearance of Terence's first wife, Diane Smith has a guest role four years prior to her assuming the character of Alex Fraser, a future wife of Dr. Elliott.

Never Called Me Mother

Episodes 35-36
Script: Margaret Mitchell (35 and 36)
Directed by Leigh Spence

Vicky's early morning cleaning spree lands Shirley in hospital with a broken wrist. The arrival of a new vet to the district concerns Vicky who's worried about losing business. Similarly, Simon objects to Terence's friendly approach to a new doctor who's set up shop ten miles down the road. Terence quickly changes his tune however when he finds out the new doctor in severely undercutting their fees. A young pregnant woman collapses in the supermarket and is taken to hospital by Sgt. Gilroy. The seventeen-year-old girl is in Wandin Valley looking for the birth mother who gave her up for adoption shortly after she was born. Terence locates the girl's mother and she and her husband agree to take the young girl into their home. Frank is called out to investigate a reported vegetable thief but is unimpressed to hear from Mrs. Coote that the alleged culprits are gnomes.

After getting in an argument with Judy, Dianne tells her she's not her daughter but was simply trying to take advantage of her and Ken thinking they were a wealthy family. Dianne goes into labour and is taken to hospital where, after giving birth, Ken confronts her at which time she tells him about Judy's real daughter who used to tell stories about the wonderful family she had waiting for her in Wandin Valley. After she died of an overdose, Dianne decided to impersonate her and search out this "wealthy" family herself. Not wanting to keep her child, Dianne gives it to the Harpers to raise. Molly tells Mrs. Coote that Simon is an expert on gnomes and convinces him to drive them out of Mrs. Coote's garden. Dr. Johnson is found to be giving dodgy medical advice to his patients. After a number of bizarre encounters, Dr. Johnson is hospitalised and Terence learns that he is schizophrenic. Shirley takes Frank to task for taking her for granted.

Guest Cast: Queenie Ashton as Mrs. Coote, Peter Carmody as Dr. David Johnson, Diane Craig as Judy Harper, Neil Fitzpatrick as Peter Juillet, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Anna Hruby as Dianne Nelson, Sean Scully as Ken Harper.

Shootin' Through

Episodes 37-38
Script: Margaret Mitchell (37) and Leon Saunders (38)
Directed by Mike Murphy

A camping accident puts a woman in hospital with severe burns. The accident came as her family was on their way to Broken Hill where her husband was to start a new job. Molly and Brendan agree to take in the couple's two boys while their mother is in hospital, allowing their father to leave to start his new job. Unfortunately, the two brothers are constantly feuding and tragically, the elder brother accidentally shoots his sibling after finding his father's loaded gun. Vicky finally introduces her new boyfriend, the new French veterinarian, to Shirley who takes an immediate dislike to the man. Simon sees a patient whom he believes may have contracted an illness from his pet bird. A radio drama captivates the town.

The stars of Green Pastures arrive in town but when the complaining, drunken, primadonna thespians come down with food poisoning, their public apearance is threatened. The Jones' new labourer arrives at the farm but her "free spirit" approach to life fails to impress Brendan. While Terence is waiting for the right time to tell Hazel about her cancer (after the actors' visit to the hospital), her own realisation that her condition is more serious than originally thought forces Terence to break the news to her. Hazel takes the news in stride and her "perfect day" culminates in a personal visit by the cast of Green Pastures. Shirley is not pleased to hear that Vicky has chosen to stay with Peter even after he told her that he is married.

Guest Cast: Michael Aitkens as Eric Brewer, Jim Clifford as Mr. Fletcher, Neil Fitzpatrick as Peter Juillet, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Brett Jankowiak as Mark Brewer, Derek Mendl as Mr. Wells, Judy Nunn as Nancy Brewer, Shane Wilkinson as Tommy Brewer, Patrick McGrath as Farmer Gunn. David Kerslake as Clive Williams, Ruth Osbourne as Nurse Hammond, Julia Stewart as Nurse Dobson.

Pig in a Poke

Episodes 39-40
Script: Patricia Johnson (39) and David Sale (40)
Directed by Bruce Best

The town is eagerly anticipating the arrival of a group of actors from the popular radio serial Green Pastures. Despite Bob Hatfield being the one to get them to come to the valley, it is Councillor Muldoon and long time fan Hazel Walmsley who are heading up the preparations for their arrival. When Hazel is hospitalised for appendicitis, her biggest concern is missing the next episode of Green Pastures, but during what should be a routine operation, Terence discovers that she has cancer. Molly takes up Jerry Purcival's latest offer to mate Doris with one of his pigs. Brendan and Molly get a reply to their ad for a casual labourer. The relationship between Frank and Shirley is deepening, however, Frank is concerned about town gossip. Vicky returns upset from a date with Peter but she won't tell Shirley what is wrong.

The stars of Green Pastures arrive in town but when the complaining, drunken, primadonnas come down with food poisoning, their public apearance is threatened. The Jones' new labourer arrives at the farm but her "free spirit" approach to life fails to impress Brendan. While Terence is waiting for the right time to tell Hazel about her cancer (after the actors' visit to the hospital), her own realisation that her condition is more serious than originally thought forces Terence to break the news to her. Hazel takes the news in stride and her "perfect day" culminates in a personal visit by the cast of Green Pastures. Shirley is not pleased to hear that Vicky has chosen to stay with Peter even after he told her that he is married.

Guest Cast: Neil Fitzpatrick as Peter Juillet, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Sheila Kennedy as Hazel Walmsley, Baz Luhrmann as Jerry Purcival, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield. Dorothy Dunlop as Leila Blake, John Bonney as Stewart Chisholme, Maxwell Donithorne-Sims as Brian Holland, Sian Pugh as Skye, Barbara Wyndon as Lavinia Lancaster.

Note: Brian Moll makes his first appearance as Councillor Muldoon. A young Baz Luhrmann makes his second of three guest appearances as Jerry Purcival.

Did She Fall

Episodes 41-42
Script: Marcus Cooney (41) and Luis Bayonas (42)
Directed by David C. Wilson

After Norbert Lawson is admitted to hospital following a bar fight with Bob, Marta sends Brendan out to look for Norbert's lost dog. Skye's communal value system is too much for Molly to bear. Vicky is professionally undermined by Peter when he joins her on a routine business call. Marta's efforts to improve staffing at the hospital are dismissed by the hospital board. Vicky moves into a new flat and is surprised to hear from Peter that his family will soon be coming to the valley.

Simon launches a verbal tirade upon Vicky for choosing to stay with Peter. Before Molly can summon the courage to fire Skye, she tells Molly that it is time for her, and her goats, to be moving on. Vicky ends her relationship with Peter, using the same reasoning that Simon expressed to her earlier. Frustrated over staff and equipment shortages, Marta considers accepting a job at the hospital in Forbes. Shirley has a nagging suspicion that she may be pregnant. Vicky patches up her relationship with Shirley. Molly sets Simon up on a blind date with Vicky.

Guest Cast: Tom Farley as Norbert Lawson, Neil Fitzpatrick as Peter Juillet, Faye Francis as Nurse Bristow, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Christen Mann as Bill Sykes, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Sian Pugh as Skye. Earle Cross as Ben Whittle, Janet Foye as Mrs. Royal, John Kelly as Farmer Grogan.

Loves Labour Lost

Episodes 43-44
Script: Tony Morphett (43) and Agi Schreck (44)
Directed by Leigh Spence

News that Doris is pregnant inspires Molly and Brendan to consider starting a family of their own. A newborn baby is rushed back to hospital where Terence discovers that the child has tetanus and must quickly be sent to Sydney for treatment. After Shirley tells Frank and Vicky that she may be pregnant, she sees Terence who, despite an early confirmation, must inform Shirley that she is not pregnant but has a tumour. An efficiency expert arrives to evaluate the hospital staff. A farmer won't seek help for his chronic hay fever.

A sombre mood settles over Shirley's friends and family as they are told the news. Upon hearing about Shirley, Frank returns the teddy bear he had bought for her when he thought she was pregnant and instead gives her a five-year diary, accompanied by a proposal of marriage. Shirley's friends gather at the Dean home the night before she is to be admitted to hospital. After Terence successfully operates on Shirley to remove the tumour, along with her uterus, Terence admits that he is "reasonably sure" that the tumour is benign but cautions that he will only be sure once the test results come back. Merve Winters begrudgingly agrees to an allergy test that reveals he is allergic to rye grass, of which his land is mostly covered with. Molly volunteers to fill in as clinic receptionist until Shirley recovers. The efficiency expert leaves but promises his report will be favourable.

Guest Cast: Colleen Clifford as Miss Bird, Lisa Crittenden as Charlene Simpson, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Harold Kissen as Raymond Burnett, Dennis Miller as Merve Winters, John O'Brien as Len Simpson, Beverley Phillips as Glenda Winters, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield. Carmel Cullen as Heather Reeves, Janet Foye as Dulcie Royal.

Close Encounters of the Wrong Kind

Episodes 45-46
Script: David Boutland (45) and Margaret Kelly (46)
Directed by Geoffrey Nottage

Jason Spencer [episodes 15-16 previously] returns to the hospital to help out and his return is none too soon for Matron Kertesz who continues to be challenged by staff shortages. Frank and Shirley announce their engagement but of the community, it seems Vicky is the only one opposed to their romance. Molly's first day as clinic receptionist sees her add a bit of colour to the normal receptionist's attire along with the implementation of an unusual scheduling scheme (day one is "below-the-waist, non-urgent day"). Jason is admitted to hospital suffering from strange burns to his arms but his tale of an encounter with a UFO seems too far fetched—until other people come forward with sightings and patients begin to show up at the clinic with unusual rashes. As a secret military operation is carried out on a nearby abandoned farm, Terence begins to grow suspicious of what is going on in the area and his concerns peak when test results indicate that Jason has been exposed to radiation. Simon vies for Vicky's flat when she considers moving back home.

With the town engrossed in "UFO fever" following an article in the Burrigan Examiner about Jason, a mysterious doctor arrives in town claiming the authority to take Jason to a military hospital for treatment. Dr. Elliott relents, but upon hearing that the military doctor found no evidence of radiation sickness, Terence is concerned that the military's cover-up may pose a long-term threat to Jason's health. Vicky gives Shirley her blessing to marry Frank and Shirley informs Frank that she has no intention of moving into the house he shared with his first wife after they are married. Terence and reporter Olsen uncover the truth about what happened the night Jason believes he found a UFO—a Soviet satellite crashed to Earth. Unfortunately, after the newspaper ran a story about Bob and Cookie's UFO hoax, they now have no interest in printing the true story. Simon finds the cause of the farmers' rashes—chemically treated wheat bags that farmers held between their knees as the sewed them up. Terence confronts Mr. Bourke, a hospital board member, about his scheme to replace Marta with his sister-in-law and about his cousin's high priced contract work for the hospital. After their meeting, Marta receives the board's support and is given the funding to hire two new nurses.

Guest Cast: Ken Burnett as Mr. Puls, Colleen Clifford as Miss Bird, Jon Darling as Mr. Pearson, John Davies as Farmer Taylor, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Tony Ingersent as Marcus Hamilton, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Jeremy Shadlow as Jason Spencer. Alastair Duncan as Mr. Bourke, Kati Edwards as Ivy Spencer, James G. Steele as Mr. Olsen.

Note: James G. Steele reprises the character of Mr. Olsen, portrayed previously by Neil Melville in episode 15.

The Second Coming

Episodes 47-48
Script: Margaret Mirchell (47) and Hugh Stuckey (48)
Directed by Bruce Best

After her release from hospital, Shirley gets a ride home from Father Sean in the sidecar of his motorcycle, but the two are quickly called back to the hospital to allow Father Sean to attend to a man who collapsed outside the club. Father Sean introduces Simon to Barbara Walsh, a woman struggling to maintain her home and raise her two sons after her husband walked out. After their poor first encounter, Barbara takes an interest in Simon, finding reasons to call him back out to her farm. Shirley's mother arrives unexpectedly to oversee her daughter's convalescence and is promptly welcomed to the valley by Sgt. Gilroy who gives her a parking ticket. Father Sean collapses while arguing with Councillor Muldoon about a proposed youth centre. Taken back to hospital, Father Sean is on hand to give last rights when the man who was brought in earlier dies. When the dead man's brother arrives and it is revealed that the man Father Sean gave last rites to was Jewish, Father Sean apologises but the man's brother bears no ill will stating that God hears all prayers said for the dying. Molly places an ad for a new "patient liaison" for the clinic. Frank and Shirley plan their engagement party.

Simon tries to tactfully explain to Barbara Walsh that their relationship is strictly professional. After collapsing a second time at the club, Father Sean is readmitted to hospital. Father Sean plays up his weakened condition to curry favour with Muldoon, he even takes the opportunity to confess to stealing the councillor's hubcaps. Frank and Shirley's engagement party is in full swing when Terence is called back to the hospital, but he arrives only to learn Father Sean passed away moments earlier. In keeping with Father Sean's wishes, the party goers are not told of his death, allowing the event to unwittingly double as a wake. Bob MCs the engagement party but has to contend with an overly enthusiastic Bev on the piano. When her music repeatedly stretches into his announcements, Bob gets into a heated argument with Bev that ends with him being knocked to the stage by a quick right jab coming out from behind the piano.

Guest Cast: Jon Darling as Mr. Pearson, Gerry Duggan as Father Sean, Michelle Fawdon as Barbara Walsh, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Marie Lloyd as Ruby Jacobson, Jenny Lovell as Pregnant Woman, Kevin Manser as Sol Manning, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield. Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson.

Come Blow Your Horn

Episodes 49-50
Script: Denise Morgan (49) and Luis Bayonas (50)
Directed by Chris Thomson

Molly unsuccessfully tries to pass on her scheduling methodology to the clinic's new receptionist. Doris gives birth to nine piglets (Tom, Dick, Harry, Flo, Beau, Heathcliff, Freddie, Nerile, and Tammy). Jerry Percival gets a cleaning job at the hospital. Vicky confronts Ruby over how she's been trying to put Shirley off Frank. As Bob heads up preparations for Anzac Day, Soapie Armstrong regales his friends with stories of his wartime heroics. Drs. Elliott and Bowen both find themselves attracted to the clinic's new receptionist.

The arrival of Bunny Wilcox, an author and war veteran who served overseas with Soapie Armstrong, causes Reg Armstrong to have some nervous moments when he realises his masquerading as his brother may finally be revealed. Bunny soon realises what is going on but doesn't publicly identify Joe as the real Soapie. After saving his brother's life, Reg is hospitalised when he suffers a mild heart attack. When he later dies, the town gives him a funeral with all the honours befitting a war hero. After realising that Sally, the new receptionist, has been spending time with both of them, Terence and Simon decide to do the only fair thing—fire her—but before they can, Sally informs them she's moving back to the city. With the clinic in chaos, the doctors are happy to see Shirley return to work. Molly tells Brendan she's too busy tending to the piglets to work on starting their own family. When not hitting on Marta, Jerry Percival somehow find the time to pass his drivers exam and get a job with the funeral home driving the hearse.

Guest Cast: Deryck Barnes as Joe Armstrong, Colleen Clifford as Miss Bird, Claire Crauther as Sally McGregor, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Frank Lloyd as Reg "Soapie" Armstrong, Marie Lloyd as Ruby Jacobson, Baz Luhrmann as Jerry Percival, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield. Vincent Ball as Bunny Wilcox, Jon Darling as Mr. Pearson.

Note: Vincent Ball returns in later years to play Ted Campbell.

Frankie and Johnny

Episodes 51-52
Script: David Boutland (51) and Leon Saunders (52)
Directed by Geoffrey Nottage

Molly is upset with Frank's lackadaisical response to her report of gunshots being fired at her by a pair of kids. Simon finds an injured man wandering down an empty road. Back at the hospital, the man's vague recollection of an auto accident and of a mysterious hitchhiker who has since disappeared leads Frank into a confrontation with an escaped murderer who has returned to Wandin Valley. After his argument with Molly over her objections to a pig hunt and of the use of firearms by those under the legal age, Brendan spends the night in the barn sleeping off his indulgences. Terence sends a young girl who sees nursing as a way out of the valley to Marta for career advice.

Frank rushes Johnny to hospital after having shot him but must wait in line while Terence operates to save the life of Snowy Rogers who accidentally shot himself after getting caught up on a fence during the pig hunt. Shirley's shower-tea is livened up by the arrival of the entertainment—sent courtesy of Shirley's mother. Terence successfully operates on Snowy but Johnny dies on the operating table. Frank is shaken by Johnny's death, as Johnny was the first person he's ever had to shoot, but the community and his colleagues make him out a hero. While discussing the day's events with Frank, Terence reveals the details surrounding the death of his own son.

Guest Cast: Alfred Bell as Johnny Reynolds, David Goddard as Murray Bennett, Jody Hanson as Jennifer Kealey, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Roger Oakley as Bill Rogers, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Brett Woodhill as Snowy Rogers, Janet Foye as Mrs. Royal, Charles McCallum as Patient. Tony Dearly as Sizzling Sam, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Ruth Osbourne as Nurse Hammond.

The Odd Couple

Episodes 53-54
Script: Agi Schreck (53) and Margaret Kelly (54)
Directed by Leigh Spence

Vicky concerns herself with Laurie Walker, a local area farmer, who after having to put down his arthritic dog, is brought to hospital with severe lacerations to his arms after apparently falling through a window. Amidst the drinking at Frank's bucks night, Bob steals Frank's handcuffs and shackles Simon and Frank together. The next day, after not being able to find the key, Frank is forced to accompany Simon as he is called out to deliver a baby. With the pressures from her impending wedding weighing on her shoulders, Shirley drives off to consider her future. Marta gives Jenny a tough but fair trail as the young girl continues her work at the hospital.

Frank's son Kevin arrives for the wedding in time to accompany Frank to the Jones' farm to see Shirley, who has since returned from her getaway to Burrigan. At the farm, Frank goes up to the house to talk to Shirley but makes a quick retreat when he sees Shirley in what he thinks is her wedding dress—an orange kimono Molly is making for the Theatrical Society. Jenny is prepared to give up on her dream of becoming a nurse over what she sees as Matron Kertesz's displeasure with her work. Jenny finds Laurie Walker after he slashes his arm with a broken thermometer in another attempt to kill himself. Afterwards, Terence talks to Bob about getting Laurie involved in the local social club committee. A young boy brings Vicky his very pregnant snake, causing moments of panic when the animal disappears somewhere into the Dean house. Frank shows up for his wedding in a silk kimono to match what he believes Shirley will be wearing, but he must retreat yet again when he sees Shirley in her dress. Rain forces the wedding ceremony indoors, into the realm of the snake, but the event goes off as planned with Vicky deftly capturing the snake afterwards. Marta supports Jenny's wish to become a nurse and Laurie encourages her to go to Sydney to study. Jenny returns Mr. Walker's kindness by giving him a new puppy. Not invited, Esme enjoys the wedding reception from her seat at the bar, and after a friendly chat with Cookie, catches the bouquet—much to Cookie's dismay.

Guest Cast: Tim Elliott as Laurie Walker, Shendelle Franklin as Mrs. Musgrave, Jody Hanson as Jennifer Kealey, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield. Andrew James as Kevin Gilroy, Martin Lewis as Luke, Max Meldrum as Celebrant.

Note: Cookie's real name, Vernon Locke, is used for the first time.

A Fearful Thing

Episodes 55-56
Script: David Boutland (55) and Tony Morphett (56)
Directed by Bruce Best

Shirley and Frank return from their honeymoon to face the daunting task of living together. Their first confrontation is over the placement of the urn which, unbeknownst to Shirley, contains the ashes of Frank's first wife. Katrina Saunders is hospitalised for a simple foot infection but while she's in hospital, Terence discovers that her condition is much more serious when he diagnoses her with leprosy. Molly hopes to rally the district's women farmers to achieve a greater voice for themselves, hoping to bring them out from under the "iron heal of male despotism." A baby is found abandoned at the hospital. The young mother is later identified when she comes into the clinic, but she refuses to acknowledge that she has given birth. Frank solves his dilemma by mixing Alma's ashes with the roses he transplants into Shirley's backyard.

Terence's concern over how the town will react to Katrina's illness proves correct as the local rumour mill and fear mongers learn of her condition. Vicky lies to Frank in an attempt to keep his pianola out of the house. Simon suggests to Vicky that she move in with him when she tells him how hard it is living with Frank and Shirley. Bob and Daisy's request to adopt the abandoned baby is dismissed (Bob planned to name the baby Bob Menzies Hatfield). Molly's effort to become the next president of the Farmers Co-Op is thwarted by Bess Pickering who uses Molly's tactics to win the position for herself. Simon and Terence accompany Katrina to Sunday morning church services in an attempt to force the community to face their fears regarding her disease. Despite her illness, Katrina decides to return to Africa to continue her missionary work. Debbie Mason decides to put her baby up for adoption.

Guest Cast: Olive Bodill as Katrina Saunders, Ken Goodlet as Alistair McDonald, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Vivian McGrath as Debbie Mason, Pam Morrissey as Bess Pickering, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, May Pusey as Sister Grace Doherty, Ken Wayne as Merv Jeffreys. Kerrie Oldfield as Ruth Forsythe.

Win Some, Lose Some

Episodes 57-58
Script: Leon Saunders (57) and Luis Bayonas (58)
Directed by David C. Wilson

Vicky makes the decision to move in with Simon, who is more than pleased with the decision. Simon's car breaks down, and mechanic Graham Porter lends him a beat up Volkswaggon Beatle until his MG can be repaired. Terence's daughter Sophie makes a surprise appearance on his doorstep. Despite not telling her mother she was leaving to come see her father, it is agreed that she may stay for a while. A minor bicycle accident brings young Michael Porter to the clinic where Simon discovers a suspicious mole on the boy's leg. Brendan mocks Molly for her numerous visits to area doctors looking for one who will pronounce her pregnant, although a home test that seems to give Molly the answer that she has been waiting for.

A visit to Terence confirms that Molly is eight weeks pregnant. Michael Porter is quickly admitted to hospital for an operation to remove the mole from his leg. After a pessimistic conversation with one of his nurses about the extremely small possibility of a leg amputation, Michael runs away. Frank gets Terence to delay Michael's operation and organises for the BMX regional championship race to be moved up to allow Michael to compete. Nurse Cotteril's rubber-rat-in-the-drawer practical joke upsets night nurse Grace Doherty so much that she gives an insulin injection to the wrong patient. Afterwards, Nurse Doherty tells Marta of her time spent in a Singapore POW camp during the war. After operating on Michael, Terence's determination of the mole's malignancy puts an end to Michael's dreams of becoming a BMX champion and sets a difficult and uncertain future before the young boy.

Guest Cast: Jad Capelja as Nurse Cotteril, Joy Hruby as Mrs. Farrow, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Mark Kounnas as Michael Porter, Gabrielle Mason as Sophie Elliott, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Julia Stewart as Nurse Dobson, May Pusey as Grace Doherty, Nick Tate as Graham Porter. Colleen Clifford as Miss Bird, Tim Bowman as Young Boy.

Quotes: "I never did like children, they're far too… young" (Esme). "I like mine squeezed from the bottom… the tube." (Simon to Vicky about his preferences… regarding toothpaste)

Eyes of the Beholder

Episodes 59-60
Script: Marcus Cooney (59) and Hugh Stukey (60)
Directed by Brian Lennane

Morning sickness and food cravings descend upon the Jones' household—for Brendan. Sophie Elliott's first days attending Burrigan High prove eventful as she first rebels against her "fascist and sexist" principal and then organises a protest for what she perceives to be the cover-up of a trachoma outbreak among the local aboriginal population. Vicky discovers the cause of a poodle's lead poisoning—old batteries leaking onto the animal's favourite chew toy. People are noticing how Frank's work seems to have gotten backed up since his marriage. Vicky recommends to Molly that Doris should fattened up and sold for slaughter.

Molly's pig-is-product mantra soon changes to one of pig-is-pet after Simon volunteers to pay for Doris' medical treatments when Molly tells him of her plan to get rid of Doris. Shirley and Frank abandon their short-lived resolution to try one another's hobbies when they discover a mutual interest—bridge. Sophie enrages Terence by bringing her protesters to the front of the hospital. Sister Doherty decides it's time to retire after Brendan finds her asleep on the job, an incident that Marta would be forced to report. Bob's filthy towel is found to be the cause of the eye infection that has since spread to all the players on Frank and Bob's football team.

Guest Cast: Mal Carmont as Michael Hunt, Richard Gilbert as Jack Collins, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Gabrielle Mason as Sophie Elliott, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, May Pusey as Sister Grace Doherty, Lorna Stewart as Mrs. Broadhurst, Michael Watson as Johnno. Syd Heylen as Cookie, James C. Steele as Rick Olsen, Candy Williams as Cary Williams, John Wingrove as Mr. Bocking.

Note: Michael Watson returns in 1990 to take on the reoccurring guest role of park ranger Trevor Jackson.

Weight for Age

Episodes 61-62
Script: Agi Shreck (61) and Gaylia Hardy (62)
Directed by Alister Smart

Andy Collins, a fifteen-year-old boy with dreams of becoming a jockey, goes to extreme measures to keep his weight down. When he begins taking his mother's diuretics, she is soon hospitalised as a result of taking the peppermints her son swapped for her medication. Terence asks Marta to invite Sophie to the Pony Club as a means of providing Sophie with a hobby. The plan works but Sophie's true interest seems to be in trying to get Marta and her father together. Frank responds to a personal ad hoping to find Bridge partners for Shirley and himself. Hearing of Andy's use of diuretics, Mel Doogan, a professional jockey and an idol of Andy's, casually tells the boy of some of the more unusual methods jockeys have been known to use to lose weight. The next day, Mel and Vicky find Andy passed out and buried up to his head in a manure pile attempting to sweat off weight.

Andy sneaks out of the hospital hoping to ride Time Step in a demonstration for Mr. Munro, a famous horse trainer from Sydney, but Mel capitalises on the boy's illness and rides the horse himself. Molly moves Flo and Beau into the house to keep them away from their siblings who are about to be sent off to slaughter. A last meal is prepared as well, but Molly is appalled at Brendan's lighthearted suggestion that she is trying to fatten them up. Frank and Shirley are shocked when they finally clue in to just what sort of players their new friends are. Simon informs Andy that he'll grow to be too big to be a jockey. When an accident injures both Mel and Time Step, Mr. Munro offers Andy a job training the horse through its recovery and offers him a position as a trainer trainee.

Guest Cast: Gabrielle Mason as Sophie Elliott, Bill Pearson as Garth Simpson, Lynne Porteous as Dawn Collins, Lynette Riches as Nerida Simpson, David Waters as Mel Doogan, Brent Willison as Andy Collins. Syd Heylen as Cookie, Frank James as Driver, John Larking as Mr. Munro.

Prisoner of the Valley

Episodes 63-64
Written by Sheila Sibley (63) and Judith Colquhoun (64)
Directed by Bruce Best

Robin "Bobbi" Nichols returns to Wandin Valley twelve years after, at the age of sixteen, she ran off with the married man with whom she was having an affair. She receives a cool reception from those who remember the details of what happened and when Simon tries to befriend her, Vicky feels the need to explain to him the situation. Bev "overhears" Sophie bragging to her friend over the phone about the affair she's been having with a married man. The affair is purely fictional but rumours soon spread through town and an unsuspecting Brendan, with whom Sophie seeks solace after an argument with her father, is quickly fingered as the adulterous male in question.

Robin tells Simon the truth about her now notorious past. After Molly tells Brendan about the rumours surrounding him and Sophie, Brendan pays Terence a visit to set the record straight. Lisa Jenkins and Barry Hall, two sixteen-year-old youths with bright futures, decide to set aside some of their ambitions to give marriage a try when it is learned Lisa is pregnant. Terence helps Sophie confront the reasons behind her sleepwalking.

Guest Cast: Faye Anderson as Helen Hall, Brett Climo as Barry Hall, Kristen Gardner as Lisa Jenkins, Rebecca Gilling as Robin Nichols, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Gabrielle Mason as Sophie Elliot, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield. Robin Bowering as Mr. Jenkins.

Cheap Dream

Episodes 65-66
Written by Luis Bayonas (65) and David Boutland (66)
Directed by David C. Wilson

The tension surrounding the arrival of a group of bikers is heightened when one of them is run off the road by Bert Griffiths, an elderly resident of Wandin Valley who refuses to wear his glasses and has subsequently become notorious for his bad driving. Despite her engagement to Jim Higgins, a man twenty years her senior, barmaid Marilyn Doyle finds herself drawn in by the lure of the bikers. Sophie and Fredo, a classmate, petition Cookie to open up the back room of the club for use as a games room for local kids. After Cookie's prompt dismissal of their idea, Sophie and Fredo turn to graffiti to get their message across. Simon concerns himself with Fatso's nocturnal wanderings. Frank hears it from all sides as he contemplates whom to charge in connection with the motorcycle accident.

When evidence forces Frank to charge Bert with negligent driving, Frank soon feels the backlash from the community for believing the bikers over one of their own. When stress lands Jim in hospital, Terence has a word to Marilyn to suggest she reevaluate her involvement with Wayne. In an emotional state, Molly makes the rash decision to get out of Wandin Valley and move back to Adelaide. It is not long however before that plan is abandoned and, after a brief period of not wanting a baby at all, Molly settles down and begins to create some "mini-Molly" baby clothes. Vicky helps Simon diagnose the skin disease affecting the local pet shop owner and in exchange, gets Simon to assist with a cow's birthing. Shirley persuades Bert to admit his guilt to the community. Sophie faces the fallout from spray painting the wall at the club and Bob's car. After his night on the town, Simon is relieved to see Fatso finally return home—with his girlfriend.

Guest Cast: Alyson Best as Marilyn Doyle, John Davies as Mr. Grey, Kristoffer Greaves as Cuddles, Chris Haywood as Duke (Wayne), Syd Heylen as Cookie, Edward Howell as Bert Griffiths, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Gabrielle Mason as Sophie, Richard Meikle as Jim Higgins, Peter Parkinson as Honk, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Gerry Sont as Fredo.

Note: The first of many memorable appearances by Edward Howell as local curmudgeon Bert Griffiths

Occupational Hazard

Episodes 67-68
Written by Marcus Cooney (67) and Patricia Johnson (68)
Directed by Brian Lennane

Vicky once again has her professionalism questioned when Merv Cameron publicly accuses her of killing his livestock with a vaccine she administered. Hoping to determine the cause of the animals deaths, Vicky ventures onto Merv's property to check on the cattle but is quickly thrown off. Undeterred, Vicky returns that night with Simon to obtain samples for testing. When the results come in, Vicky confronts an armed Merv to tell him that, apart from knowing that he's been cattle duffing, his livestock have Anthrax. The hospital staff decide it is time to move Miss Bird into a nursing home and Sophie decides that it is time to move back to Sydney. A thrifty Frank gets Shirley to take up painting again hoping that it will be cheaper than buying art for the house. Rain brings drought relief, but is it too much rain for Molly's Brussels sprout crop? Fatso's companion walks out on him, taking their offspring with her.

As Esme worries about a Russian germ warfare attack on the valley, Vicky and Simon pay another visit to Merv Cameron who again chases them off. When Vicky and Simon return with Frank, Merv collapses and is rushed to hospital where he dies as a result of his exposure to Anthrax. Brendan takes Miss Bird to the nursing home but when word gets back to him about the conditions at the facility, he rushes back to rescue Birdie and the other residents from the abusive staff. Complicating matters is the fact that the nursing home bought Anthrax contaminated beef from Merv Cameron and the elderly residents are now showing the side effects. Terence's plans for a quiet evening with Marta are interrupted by a medical call which leaves Marta to have dinner with Bruno, the telephone repairman. Bob helps Molly humanely kill the slugs and snails that now threaten her crop.

Guest Cast: Colleen Clifford as Miss Bird, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Ray Marshall as Merv Cameron, Gabrielle Mason as Sophie Elliott, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Julie Stewart as Nurse Dobson. Bruno Baldoni as Bruno, Syd Heylen a Cookie, Dennis Miller as Ben Prescott, Pat Thomson as Matron Calvin.

Hear No Evil

Episodes 69-70
Written by Beverley Phillips (69) and Michael Aitkens (70)
Directed by Alister Smart

Brendan meets young Jimmy Hartley when he comes across the boy sitting in the middle of the road. Taking him home, Brendan realises that Jimmy is deaf, his mother however denies this and states that Jimmy is just a bit slow. Betty eventually brings her son to the hospital for an examination at which time a simple operation to restore Jimmy's hearing is performed by Dr. Trevor, a visiting specialist. While Betty is at the hospital, Terence notices the numerous bruises on her arm, obvious signs of abuse which Betty does her best to brush off as the result of an accident. Terence finally gets Betty to tell him about her abusive, alcoholic husband, but when she returns home, Tom flies into another rage. When he turns on their son, Betty reaches for a nearby iron and strikes Tom over the head. As Betty goes for help, Jimmy, frightened at being left alone with his father, overturns a cabinet onto his collapsed father. Simon's father takes the liberty of volunteering Simon's "spare" room to a colleague who is visiting Wandin Valley. Frank gets Shirley to give up her oven-monopolising, pasta-texture art in favour of portraits, but Shirley wants Frank to be her first subject. Ben Prescott's picnic with Marta ends abruptly when he pushes his advances too far.

Terence is summoned by Betty but he arrives at the Hartley home too late as Tony is already dead. Seeing what has happened in her absence, Betty alters her story of the night's events to protect her son when it appears that it was the fall of the cabinet that killed Tom. Frank is given the task of investigating the case and is quick to see that Betty is attempting to protect her son. In hospital after the incident, Betty keeps Jimmy on a short leash, trying to keep him from being questioned about what happened. However, while alone with Brendan, Jimmy admits that he was the one who killed his father. Autopsy results surprise all however as Terence discovers that Tom did not die from his injuries but as the result of a brain haemorrhage most likely suffered just moments before Betty struck him. Dr. Trevor moves on but not before a heated argument with Vicky and the revelation of her disgust at Simon for keeping his "filthy wombat" in the house. Terence finds himself alone yet again as he watches a reconciled Marta and Ben leave the hospital together. Shirley finishes her nude portrait of Frank who, after a conversation with Esme, thinks Shirley is planning to display it in a shop window before having it raffled off by the CWA.

Guest Cast: Debbie Angus as Dr. Lee Trevor, Syd Heylen a Cookie, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Ivar Kants as Tom Hartley, Caz Lederman as Betty Hartley, David Manning as Jimmy Hartley, Dennis Miller as Ben Prescott, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield

Note: Part one of this episode is preceeded by a message from Shane Porteous who provides a warning about scenes of domestic violence which may not be suitable for younger viewers.

The Luck of the Draw

Episodes 71-72
Written by Sheila Sibley (71) and Judith Colquhoun (72)
Directed by Bruce Best

Shirley's decision to throw out all of her artwork alarms Frank when he cannot locate the nude portrait she painted of him. Alone on the farm and frightened by strange noises, possibly from a ten-foot frog, Molly mistakenly hits Brendan over the head with a frying pan as he walks in the front door. Marta spends the day with Ben Prescott who convinces her to take up riding again, something she has not done since the death of The General. Simon's father offers him a job at his Sydney practice. Tessa Stavrou, the local grocer's wife, is in poor health but refuses to seek medical attention. Bob finds the portrait of Frank on the curb with the Gilroy's other garbage and takes it to the club where he and Cookie hang it in the women's washroom. The painting is adorned with a fig leaf that sets off a buzzer in the club whenever it is lifted and before long, the club is filled with buzzing and riotous laughter as a bewildered Frank wonders what all the commotion is about.

Tessa Stavrou is diagnosed with liver cancer and George is forced to tell his wife that he has gambled away the money they have been saving for a trip to Greece. Terence and Frank decide to help out and recruit Bob and Cookie to help raise the money to give the Stavrous their vacation. When Molly finds Doris drunk and later missing, she and Brendan begin a search and discover Bob and Cookie's still in a barn on the neighbouring property—and Bob, Cookie, and Doris all passed out drunk around it. After two incidents at the club, Ben admits to Marta that he is a recovering alcoholic. Simon gets the reassurance he's been after and decides to stay in the valley. Esme wins the grand prize in the raffle fundraiser, it's Shirley's infamous painting of Frank—"suit"ably retouched much to Esme's obvious disappointment.

Guest Cast: Tessa Mallos as Tessa Stavrou, Syd Heylen a Cookie, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Dennis Miller as Ben Prescott, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Teresa Ransom as Miss Oakley, Bruno Walter as George Stavrou. Connie Hobbs as Miss Sims, Norton Howarth as Jed Birkett.

One for the Road

Episodes 73-74
Written by Luis Batonas (73) and Anne Brooksbank (74)
Directed by David C. Wilson

While out riding, Josh Prescot's horse collides with Vicky's car. Terence, who was in the vehicle with Vicky, tends to Josh while Vicky sees to his horse. Marta is called back to the hospital from Ben's house but only discovers it was Josh who was in the accident when she sees him on the operating table. Terence's operation on Josh is successful as is Vicky's roadside surgery on the horse. A glass of brandy innocently offered to Ben by Brendan at the hospital to "calm his nerves" leads Ben back to the bottle and soon he is heavily into the booze with Bob and Cookie. Molly says goodbye to her animals before leaving on a week-long trip to Adelaide to see her mother.

After walking in on Ben and Marta as she's trying to wrestle a liquor bottle away from him, Vicky asks Terence to go to Ben's home to help Marta with Ben. Initially reluctant to get involved, Terence helps Marta get Ben to hospital where he can sober up. Ben releases himself the next day, but after a visit from Marta, he decides to return to the hospital where he asks for help with his alcoholism. While Molly is away, Simon is again staying with Brendan. While he's there, Doris runs away forcing Simon to spend the day looking for her. Following Doris' rampage through town, Simon returns to the Jones' farm to find that Doris too has returned home.

Guest Cast: Ann-Marie Gale as Nurse, Adam Garnett as Josh Prescott, Syd Heylen a Cookie, Dennis Miller as Ben Prescott, Ruth Osborne as Nurse [Sophie] Hammond, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Ron Stephenson as Farmer Harris. Janet Foye as Mrs. Royal

A Fair Day's Work

Episodes 75-76
Written by David Boutland (75) and Marcus Cooney (76)
Directed by Peter Smith

Jack Coombes believes his days as manager of the Darcy farm may be numbered when owner Kate Darcy returns to Wandin Valley and begins cutting staff. Doris' rampage through Molly's sprout crop forces Brendan to buy replacements in an attempt to surreptitiously supplement the harvest so as to not upset Molly when she returns home. Unfortunately, a fire resulting from faulty wiring engulfs the barn and the entire sprout crop stored within. Sister Judy Loveday arrives from Burrigan to fill in as a temporary replacement. Bob is convinced the stray cat Cookie has brought into the club is the cause of his poor health. When the cat is found dead, a distraught Cookie accuses Bob of killing the cat. Vicky clears Bob in the cat's death but while explaining this to Bob, he is overcome by severe abdominal pains. Molly informs Brendan that her mother will be coming to stay with them for a while. Ben and Josh Prescott are released from hospital.

Hospitalised until he can pass his kidney stone, Bob's belief in the "Hatfield Curse" coupled with Cookie's tales of his "dear old uncle (God rest his soul)" convince Bob that he is near death. Bob asks Cookie to contact a woman with whom he had an affair not long after getting married. Amused at who the woman is, Cookie contacts her and enjoys reporting back to Bob that she has no recollection of him whatsoever. Kate Darcy fires Jack Coombes as her farm manager when she discovers that apart from stealing her livestock, he has been faking his back troubles for the past decade, something Terence finds out for himself when Jack purports to be miraculously cured during a visit to the clinic. Molly has Brendan begin fixing up the farm in preparation for her mother's arrival.

Guest Cast: Adam Garnett as Josh Prescott, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Veronica Lang as Kate Darcy, Harry Lawrence as Jack Coombes, Dennis Miller as Ben Prescott, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday. Curt Jansen as Man in Club

Note: Wendy Strehlow reprises the role of Judy Loveday after first appearing in the series' pilot episodes.

No Apparent Reason

Episodes 77-78
Written by Galia Hardy (77) and Hugh Stukey (78)
Directed by Geoffrey Nottage

Ros and Bernie Petersen's much-anticipated new baby is born with Down's syndrome. Making an already difficult situation worse is a paediatrician whose crass recommendation that they simply put the child in a home, take a vacation, and have another child infuriates Simon. Terence is angered by Kate Darcy's presumption that he agreed to sell her his vineyard land so that she can expand her farm. Simon sets Terence up with a bubbly young woman with a passion for nude skydiving.

Simon hopes to bring in another woman who is raising a child with Down's syndrome to talk to Ros and Bernie but Ros refuses to see her and the Petersens ultimately decide to give up their baby. Shirley engineers a dinner meeting for Terence and Kate but the evening is marred by Kate's unusual behaviour. Molly and Brendan contemplate what they would do if their child was born with a disability. While apologising to Marta for his recent behaviour towards her, Terence tells her that he's happy that she has found happiness with Ben and admits that at one time he thought they might have a future together themselves, a revelation that seems to surprise Marta. That evening at the club, Ben announces that he and Marta have gotten engaged.

Guest Cast: Tony Barry as Bernie Petersen, Beth Buchanan as Amanda Petersen, Tina Darby as Zeo Clegg, Max Height as Dr. Davis, Veronica Lang as Kate Darcy, Dennis Miller as Ben Prescott, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Wendy Playfair as Gwen Bowman, Mary Ann Severne as Ros Petersen. Meg Chilcott as Mrs. Brookes, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Heather Christie as Mrs. Whitehead (uncredited).

Road to Nowhere

Episodes 79-80
Written by Judith Colquhoun (79) and Sheila Sibley (80)
Directed by Bruce Best

Kate Darcy's continued physical deterioration causes Terence to ask her to visit him professionally. Unfortunately, an unwelcome diagnosis leaves Terence with the unenviable task of telling Kate that she has Huntington's disease. A young girl's visit to the clinic prompts Simon to campaign for a "personal development" programme in the schools but when he sees the graphic nature of the material he'll be expected to present, the once eager doctor looks for a way out. Molly ropes Brendan into painting the roof and presents him with an elaborate, multicoloured rising sun design. Ben gets a fantastic job offer but his lack of consideration for Marta's work in his relocation plans doesn't sit well with the Matron.

Councillor Muldoon attacks Shirley and Simon's sex-ed classes when he sees the material his daughter has been bringing home. Opposed to the "muck and filth" being taught, and hoping to protect the eyesight of the town's young boys, Muldoon tries to rally support but when public opinion comes down in favour of the classes, Muldoon makes a sudden and opportunistic reversal on the issue. Marta and Ben, recognising the conflicting plans they have for their lives, call off their engagement. Kate, struggling to cope with her diagnosis, is seriously injured in a car accident. Terence valiantly operates hoping to save her life but she passes away. Frank suspects her accident may not have been so accidental but Terence, left a last note from Kate, refuses to let Frank see its contents and suggests to Frank he report the cause of her death as a simple death by misadventure.

Guest Cast: Brenda Gale as Mrs. Hodges, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Veronica Lang as Kate Darcy, Dennis Miller as Ben Prescott, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Stephanie Wishart as Lindy Hodges. Warren Kermond as Man, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Barry Hughes as Man 2

Coming Ready or Not

Episodes 81-82
Written by Margaret Kelly (81) and Agi Schreck (82)
Directed by Alister Smart

Brendan is quick to ask for more time at the hospital when Molly's mother unexpectedly arrives two weeks ahead of schedule, but despite his best efforts of avoidance, disputes with Caroline soon arise. Simon feels he is being professionally undermined when Terence takes over the treatment of one of his patients. The feud between Norm Tomkins and Trev Bennett is brought into the hospital when both men are admitted for care. Shirley gets a look at Frank's dull side when he proposes signing them up for a bowling league and later purchases them two cemetery plots from Jerry Percival.

Caroline takes Brendan to hospital where his stomach pains are determined to be sympathetic labour pains. Left alone on the farm, Molly goes into labour but makes it to hospital, eventually, when Bob drops by the farm. Before being called back to the hospital, Simon has a frank discussion with Terence about his recent behaviour towards him. Trevor Bennet and Norm Tomkins finally resolve their long-standing feud (Trevor married Norm's girlfriend) when the two men find themselves roomed together at the hospital. Molly gives birth to a daughter.

Guest Cast: Martin Harris as Norm Tomkins, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Margo Lee as Caroline Smithers, Ray Meagher as Trev Bennett, Ruth Osbourne as Nurse Hammond, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Simone Wajon as Judy Bennett. Sarah Lucek-Rowley as Baby Jones.

What It Takes

Episodes 83-84
Written by David Boutland (83) and Don Townshend (84)
Directed by Peter Smith

Simon's car breaks down en route to his holiday destination forcing him to try and hitch a ride to a phone. After watching as a truck and a very slow moving tractor pass him by without stopping, Simon gratefully accepts a ride from a farmer and his attractive young daughter. Terence finds himself thrust into Simon's shoes when the semi-retired Dr. Clarke (from whom Terence took over the clinic) makes an appearance and offers to fill in while Dr. Bowen is away. Nadia Khoury, a young Lebanese girl with a promising future as an athlete, finds herself fighting her father and his strict traditional beliefs. A domineering Caroline undermines Molly's ability to care for her own daughter.

Joe Khoury finally agrees to the minor operation Terence has been suggesting, but Joe plays up the seriousness of his condition to keep his daughter from running off to Sydney with her boyfriend. Nadia agrees to stay but only on the condition that she not be forced into a prearranged marriage. Bob let's slip Caroline's plans to move to a nearby farm with her boyfriend. Fred Parnell reluctantly agrees to follow Vicky's advice on how to keep his dog from fighting. Terence admonishes Dr. Clarke for his negligence in the way he's been treating his patients. Recognising his failing health, Dr. Clarke decides to retire and heads off for a vacation in Hawaii. Shirley calls Simon and manages to pull him away from the farmer's daughter and coaxes him to return home.

Guest Cast: Kim Antonios as Nadia Khoury, Laurie Butler as Fred Parnell, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Phillip Hinton as Joe Khoury, Doug Holloway as "Gibbo" Gibson, Margo Lee as Caroline Smithers, Sarah Lucek-Rowley as Baby Jones, Yves Stenning as Warren Bailey, Frank Wilson as Dr. Rupert Clarke. Leanne McDermott as Farmer's Daughter [Jenny], Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Carol Tonkin as Mrs. Swain.

The Secondly Deadly Sin

Episodes 85-86
Written by Mary Wright (85) and Marcus Cooney (86)
Directed by Geoffrey Nottage

Mining engineer Warwick Larsen approaches farmer Max Grainger about reopening an abandoned gold mine on his property. Larsen has high hopes for the site and offers Bob, Cookie, and Max a share in the action. Simon returns from his week-long vacation but no one believes his tales of the time he spent with the farmer's daughter. Esme's pickled onions sicken several and send Muldoon to hospital when he suffers an allergic reaction to the sulphur contained in the agent used to sterilise the jars. Molly fails in her attempt to put Caroline off country life. Muldoon cuts funding to the club and proposes a new wing be built on the hospital. Bob's hopes are dashed when his gold strike is revealed to be pyrite, commonly known as "fool's gold."

Gold fever has settled over Wandin Valley as its residents dream of the potential riches. Curiosity gets the better of young Teddy Grainger and he winds up falling down the mineshaft when he attempts to climb down to look for gold. The town rallies to rescue the boy but after he is pulled to safety, the unsettling discovery is made that Warwick Larsen, who has quickly and quietly left town, is a con man who salted the mine with gold samples to stir up the community and loosen the purse strings of investors. Cookie quits as the club's chef and barman when Muldoon refuses to let him help with the rescue effort. At the end of the day however, Bob encourages Muldoon to give Cookie his job back. Caroline makes peace with Brendan and gives Molly and Brendan a practical going away present. An offhanded remark by Brendan gives Baby Jones a name, Chloe.

Guest Cast: Michael Caton as Max Grainger, Les Dayman as Warwick "Wok" Larsen, Kristian Harper as Teddy Grainger, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Margo Lee as Caroline Smithers, Sarah Lucek-Rowley as Baby Jones, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday. Jon Darling as Mr. Pearson

The Seeds of Discontent

Episodes 87-88
Written by Chris Thomson (87) and Luis Bayonas (88)
Directed by Bruce Best

Fundraising efforts for Muldoon's proposed new geriatric wing for the hospital are in full swing. The new addition will be built where Marta's flat is currently located so she is looking for a new place to live—and will not move in with Terence as Sister Loveday suggests. The petty rivalry between two elderly sisters escalates until one of them collapses and must be hospitalised for tonsillitis. Having put up with her sister's antics for too long (Nellie has recently given away Thelma's belongings without asking, volunteered her sister's time and, after releasing Thelma's pet bird, shocked her sister by saying that she ate it), Thelma is strangely eager to care for Nellie when she is released from hospital. Simon is invited to fill in for a vacationing doctor on a 2BU radio programme but the talkative host keeps Simon from presenting his commentary on home remedies. Bruno helps Molly prepare a therapeutic wrap to put on Beau's bad leg. Sister Loveday's casual and humour filled work ethic livens up the hospital. Vicky brings home a depressed cockatoo while Simon continues to look after his baby possum Bruce.

Thelma is attempting to poison her sister by spiking her tea with a toxic herb, but when Terence makes a house call to see Nellie, he gets a healthy dose of the strange brew himself. Terence returns to the sister's home from the hospital after having figured out what Thelma is doing, but Nellie and Thelma, having since made amends for their past indiscretions, cover up the incident by claiming it was an unfortunate accident. Bruno worries Molly when he disappears with Chloe, but he returns two hours later after taking her to see the flowers in the cemetery. Craig Thompson's continued worrying about the effect that his case of the mumps is having on his sterility is remedied by a change of diagnosis by the doctors. Vicky discovers the strange noises she and Simon have been hearing are being made by the cockatoo. Vicky gives the bird to Nellie who passes it on to Thelma to replace the bird she set free. Cookie's chocolate mousse is the upset winner of the cake contest at the hospital fundraiser. Esme, disgusted that her fruit cake lost, storms off. Sister Loveday returns to Burrigan.

Guest Cast: Bruno Baldoni as Bruno, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Sarah Lucek-Rowley as Chloe Jones, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Lois Ramsey as Nellie Dickenson, Martin Sacks as Craig Thompson, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Mary Ward as Thelma Thomas.

Notes: The Burrigan radio station would later be known as 2BR. Bruno reveals that a judge "encouraged" Jerry Percival to join the army (speeding again?), which is why Bruno is the new hearse driver.

Sign of Affection

Episodes 89-90
Written by Sheila Sibley (89) and Agi Schreck (90)
Directed by Alister Smart

The quest is on for a Miss Wandin Valley, and Councillor Muldoon's niece is the leading candidate—she was the Burrigan Turnip Queen in 1981 after all! Esme thinks it is quite nice that Terence and Marta are looking for a house, he's just helping Marta look for a new home but in Esme's mind, they're all but engaged. Simon wins a bull calf in a raffle and Vicky recommends that he keep the animal at the Shaw farm, but when the Shaw's cattle begin dying from arsenic poisoning, Simon becomes concerned for his future champion. Vicky's effort to discover what is poisoning the cattle at the Shaw farm allowsher to renew her friendship with the family's eldest daughter, Fiona, who is deaf. Molly is at her wit's end trying to cope with a baby who won't stop crying—except when daddy's around.

The Shaw's youngest daughter is admitted to hospital where it is discovered she is also showing signs of arsenic poisoning. The hospital decides to sponsor Fiona's entry into the Miss Wandin Valley Quest, but despite her strong showing, Muldoon's niece wins on account of his last minute rule change. Simon discovers the source of the arsenic poison on the Shaw farm and delights in telling Vicky, since as a vet, she might have suspected the old sheep dip as the source of the contamination. Vicky however has the last laugh when she gives Simon some distressing news about his so called "prize bull" calf. Ray Wallace's temporary hearing loss, resulting from a prank his friends played on Fiona, gives him insight into her world and draws the two closer. Molly learns the reason behind Chloe's colicky behaviour and comes to accept the necessity of giving up breast feeding.

Guest Cast: Jon Blake as Jim, Glen Butress-Grove as Merv, Arianthe Galini as Rhonda Shaw, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Julie Jones as Bronwyn Muldoon, Rosemary Lenzo as Fiona Shaw, Sarah Lucek-Rowley as Chloe Jones, Scott McGregor as Ray Wallace, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, uncredited as Jessie Shaw. Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield.

Field of Thunder

Episodes 91-92
Written by Christine V. Schofield (91) and Leon Saunders (92)
Directed by David C. Wilson

Stewart Lawson, a depressed, bitter, and withdrawn man who is fighting a losing battle with leukemia, returns to the Wandin Valley hospital to die. The arrival of a writer interested in interviewing Stewart for a series of articles on the Marilinga A-bomb tests sheds some light on Mr. Lawson's past, but because his concerns at the time were ignored and he was forced out of the armed forces for raising them, Lawson is in no mood to talk to anyone about his experiences now. Simon comes up with the idea of putting on a stage show to raise money for the hospital. Shirley secretly plans a vacation to Bali but must alter her plans when Frank refuses to go. Marta has second thoughts about the dilapidated house she's purchased but a visit from Molly helps with her optimism. Brendan discovers why his old clothes have been disappearing—Molly has been composting them. A lonely boy who wets his bed regularly is burned while stoking a wood stove.

Lawson discharges himself from hospital and later collapses after spraying the town's war memorial with red paint in an attempt to raise community awareness about his struggle. After returning to hospital, Lawson makes a deathbed confession to Brendan about his involvement in the Maralinga testing. In light of recent events, Frank decides not to put on a production of The Desert Song but instead plans to go ahead with Simon's review. While he's in the hospital, Darryl's parents make a decision intended to ease both his loneliness and apprehension about being sent away to a boarding school. Incensed at what Stewart Lawson had to endure, Molly tears into Bob at the club over his comments about Lawson. Simon gives his bull calf to a farm for underprivileged children located near Forbes.

Guest Cast: Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Sarah Lucek-Rowley as Chloe Jones, Norman Yemm as Stewart Lawson, Jeanie Drynan as Audrey Matthews, Alan Becher as Noel Matthews, Beau Cox as Darryl Matthews, John Howard as Hamish Dalton, Julia Stewart as Sister Dobson.

The Push

Episodes 93-94
Written by Margaret Mitchell (93) and Judith Colquhoun (94)
Directed by Juliana Focht

Shirley returns from her solo vacation to Bali bearing gifts, and a case of Bali Belly, but Frank's Indonesian cooking pot is accidentally broken by Louisa Kennedy, a young woman with a tendency be around when accidents occur. Bob finds Molly a new cow (Bluebell) that she can use to satisfy her desire to have fresh milk available for Chloe. When Roger Morrison, the young man finishing the renovations on Marta's new home, suffers a stroke, his friends refuse to let him be sent off to Sydney for rehabilitation. With one glimpse at Frank's comedy writing for the review ("Why did the chicken cross the road? For some fowl reason"), Simon decides to abandon that effort in favour of a play. Marta acquires an anonyomous admirer in the form of patient Billy Blake and soon finds herself receiving mysterious phone calls.

Spike and his friends convince Matron Kertesz to allow them to conduct Roger's rehabilitation themselves. When Marta experiences more break-ins at her new house, Frank discovers the person responsible is Billy Blake, who says he's only been "looking after" Marta. Photos of, and phone calls from a man Shirley met while on vacation cause Frank to question her commitment to their marriage. Simon continues to cast actors for his play.

Guest Cast: Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Liddy Clark as Louisa Kennedy, Simon Burke as Roger Morrison, Ian Gilmour as Spike, Curt Jansen as Billy Blake, Jon Darling as Mr. Pearson, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Sarah Lucek-Rowley as Chloe Jones, Kev Golsby as Mr. Stevens, Lulu Pinkus as Tracy, Martin Sharman as Murph, Sam Tooney as Ritchie.

Note: New scenes are added to the opening credits with Joyce Jacobs, Gordon Piper, and Syd Heylen promoted to the main cast (although they also continue to be listed as a guest actors until episode 102).

Acts of Kindness

Episodes 95-96
Written by Patricia Johnson (95) and David Boutland (96), Directors: Bill Hughes and Bruce Best

With the task of casting complete, rehearsals for Simon's production of The Importance of Being Ernest are underway—with Wandin Valley's finest amateur thespians doing their very best to drive the show into the ground. When progress stalls after lead "actress" Jean Martin walks out, Frank campaigns to have his comedy review revisited while Bob champions a return engagement of the Hatfield Follies. To get the play back on track, Simon takes Vicky's advice and Australian-ises the play, transposing it into a "rural drama of a shearers' strike." A former Rugby League player who had his career ended as the result of a knee injury becomes addicted to painkillers. Molly and Vicky attempt to fix up Louisa Kennedy and Stanley Crockett, but Vicky leaves Stanley with the impression that she's interested in him. Brendan shows off his collection of baby photos. Pharmacist Harry Martin, the beleaguered husband of Jean Martin, telephones Dr. Bowen to inform him of his wife's death.

The nature of Jean Martin's sudden death demands a coroner's inquest and autopsy, and Harry's adamant refusal can do nothing to stop the investigation. The autopsy is performed by Terence, who has just returned from a wine growers convention in Sydney, and armed with the results, Dr. Bowen confronts Harry who finally comes clean about his attempt to cover up his wife's drug problem. The play continues on a steady descent to its inevitable self destruction which, when finally realised, leaves Simon in tears and provides an opportunity for Bob to revive the infamous Hatfield Follies. Vicky and Molly decide to write Louisa a script for her real life that she can use to attract Stanley. Their scheme works and the clumsy Louisa and the forgetful Stanley soon announce their plans to run away to be married. Molly is not welcoming the prospect that she may be pregnant again.

Guest Cast: Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Sarah Lucek-Rowley as Chloe Jones, Elaine Cusick as Jean Martin, Ron Graham as Harry Martin, Liddy Clark as Louisa Kennedy, Tim McKenzie as Stanley Crockett, Su Cruikshank as Thelma Fremantle, Jim Holt as Kevin Carson, Darren Clarke as Dave, Ingrid Shears as Nurse Dobson.

A Human Reaction

Episodes 97-98
Written by Margaret Kelly (97) and Marcus Cooney (98)
Directed by Leigh Spence

Frank organises a games tournament as part of the continuing fundraising efforts for the hospital's new wing. Craig Thompson comes to the hospital to have a minor cut looked after but his allergic reaction to a penicillin injection almost takes his life. While Simon is reluctantly releasing Bruce (the baby possum) back into the bush, he and Vicky are met by Melanie Smythe-King who is rushing her son to hospital. Simon performs an emergency tracheotomy to keep the boy alive and when they get to the hospital it is discovered that Roland Smythe-King, who was never been vaccinated, now has diphtheria. News of Roland's illness causes Molly to reconsider her opposition to having Chloe vaccinated—although she is adamant that she will continue to raise her concerns when they arise. Arthur and Nan Ryan lose one of their two cows to illness. Esme throws a bowls match against Cookie.

Vicky's autopsy on the Ryan's calf reveals it died from tuberculosis. Mass screenings are carried out at the hospital to determine if anyone in the community may have been exposed to TB from contaminated dairy products originating on the Ryan farm. The only person found to be infected is Arthur Ryan, and after further testing, it is found that contrary to initial belief, Arthur Ryan is the original source of the disease and was responsible for passing it on to his livestock. Molly and Brendan's disagreement over what to do in case of another pregnancy is quelled by Terence's report that Molly is not pregnant. Shirley faces off against Frank in the finals of the darts competition, and despite Esme's suggestion that it would be better for their marriage if she lost, Shirley claims the championship.

Guest Cast: Syd Heylen as Cookie, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Sarah Lucek-Rowley as Chloe Jones, Judy Ferris as Nan Ryan, Richard Meikle as Arthur Ryan, Louise Howitt as Melanie Smythe-King, Matthew Jeffs as Roland Smythe-King, Martin Sacks as Craig, Jill McKay as Mrs. Shaw, Alan McQueen as Club Patron, Robyn Williams as Nurse Davies

Show Down

Episodes 99-100
Written by Luis Bayonas (99) and Ro Hume (100)
Directed by Alister Smart

The arrival of an inspector from the Department of Health causes hospital staff to speculate on the future of the facility. Molly continues to plan out her chook farm while sewing a costume for a boy in hospital. The hospital's alcoholic gardener livens up the inspection with a lawn mower rampage through the hospital corridors. Courtney Fraser, a riding instructor who has come up from Sydney for Show Week in Burrigan, manages to come down off her high horse long enough to have her foot trod on by one of her student's horses. The new health minister informs local government member Bluey Ashdown of his plans to close the Wandin Valley hospital.

The community rallies to fight the planned closure of their hospital and show up to protest the health minister's visit. Courtney Fraser is released from hospital, but when the plane taking her back to Sydney crash lands shortly after takeoff, she quickly finds herself back at the hospital, once again sharing a room with Mrs. Coote, or in her current guise, the Queen of the Fairies. Terence and Marta take their relationship to the next level when they spend the night together. Health minister Michael Christie reveals to Bluey Ashdown the government's reason for announcing the hospital's closure—they want Bluey to resign his seat and are simply using the threat of closing the hospital as a means of forcing the issue by placing the blame on his shoulders. Realising his untenable predicament, Bluey resigns thereby ensuring the hospital's survival.

Guest Cast: Queenie Ashton as Mrs. Coote, Maggie Dence as Courtney Fraser, Allan Penn[e]y as Alf Trotter, Nigel Lovell as Bluey Ashdown, Martin Vaughan as Mr. Wolfe, Julia Stewart as Nurse [Valerie] Dobson. James Condon as Michael Christie, Brian Anderson as Doug, Jon Darling as Mr. Pearson, Kate Ferguson as Gloria [Simpson], John Stone as Pilot [Brian].

Pie in the Sky

Episodes 101-102
Written by Gwenda Marsh (101) and Peter Kinloch (102)
Directed by Gary Conway

The Burrigan Show continues to attract spill-over crowds to Wandin Valley, most notable are two men who hitchhike into town looking for work, and three "ladies of the night." Arnie and Hotwire find work at the Jones' farm, while Rita, Gail, and Peggy set up shop in the local caravan park. Councillor Muldoon learns of the women's business and takes Sgt. Gilroy out to the caravan park to shut them down, but when they arrive, there are no signs of any illicit goings on. In an effort to keep his whereabouts more private (especially when he's with Marta), Terence buys beepers for himself and Simon hoping to reign in Beverly's constant telephone calls to determine where he is at all times of the day—and night. Hotwire seeks Rita's help to get Arnie to hospital when he falls ill, but once at hospital he is reluctant to give Dr. Elliott Arnie's medical history as it would reveal that they are ex-cons recently released from prison.

The townspeople turn against Arnie and Hotwire when news of their incarceration gets out, Brendan fires Hotwire against Molly's protests, Shirley accuses Frank of harassing the two men, and Hotwire is kicked out of the local boarding house. Shirley's sarcastic remark that Esme and her friends should form a lynch mob inspires the women to trash Rita's trailer. Hearing about what happened, Frank takes Esme out to apologise for her friends' actions. Despite all the talk around town, a naive Bob Hatfield remains ignorant of the woman's profession and continues to defend their honour at the club. As Arnie dies in hospital, Hotwire withholds information about what has been happening to him so as not to spoil Arnie's steadfast belief in the basic goodness of country people. Simon and Vicky judge Burrigan's beauty pageant and return home to discover that Fatso has swallowed Simon's beeper, devices which have proven ineffectual in keeping Terence and Marta's budding relationship a secret.

Guest Cast: Joyce Jacobs as Esme Watson, Syd Heylen as Cookie, Gordon Piper as Bob Hatfield, Sarah Lucek-Rowley as Chloe Jones, Anne Phelan as Rita [Parsons], Susan Haworth as Gail, Heather Mitchell as Peggy, Don Crosby as Arnie Griffiths, Serge Lazareff as Hotwire [Peter Keene], Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon. Heidi Stein as Miss Country Girl, Heather Christie as Mrs. Whitehead.

Stirring the Possum

Episodes 103-104
Written by David Allen (103) and Sheila Sibley (104)
Directed by Geoffrey Nottage

Alwyn Watson, Esme's wheelchair-bound nephew and his wife Mary arrive in the valley for a visit. Also arriving is Mr. Brown, a mysterious stranger who goes about asking questions of everyone he meets and making notes. Mr. Brown's behaviour has everyone suspecting that they are whom he has came to see. Molly suspects he's come about her bartering, Cookie thinks he's been sent by his ex-wife for lapsed maintenance payments, while Frank, who has recently asked Burrigan for an assistant, thinks he's now being investigated. Marta however seems to be who he's interested in as he goes out of his way to question her about her past. Vicky discovers the cheap veterinary drugs she has bought from a friend are stolen. Mary returns home to find Alwyn walking about the house and has been faking his condition in order to claim a $200,000 compensation package.

"Guilt, thy name is Wandin Valley," or so Brendan says as more members of the community come to believe they are the person the mysterious Mr. Brown has come about. Vicky's purchase of stolen veterinary drugs has her wary, Simon gets nervous thinking he's been targeted for his income taxes, Terence comes to believe he's a target of the licensing police for selling his wine, while Alwyn is sure he's being investigated by his insurance company. After Alwyn lashes out at Esme when she tells him that she has been talking to Mr. Brown about him, Bob finds a distraught Esme at the club and tells Cookie who then confesses his previous marriage to her thinking she has found out about it. When Mary walks out on Alwyn after telling him she's leaving him for Clive, Alwyn has Esme push him down the street in his wheelchair in pursuit of Mary. Frustrated by Esme's slow progress, Alwyn gets to his feet, before numerous startled onlookers, and continues the chase on foot only to be struck down by a truck as he crosses the street. To assure Esme that her family name has not been tarnished by her nephew's deception, Terence tells Esme that Alwyn, despite having nothing physically wrong with him, may have been suffering from hysterical paralysis. Frank, having already determined Mr. Brown's identity, introduces him to the others at the club. Mr. Brown is really Peter Debroun, a Dutch author in town doing research on his latest book.

Guest Cast: Jenny Ludlam as Mary Watson, Peter Whitford as Alwyn Watson, Peter Corbett as Clive, Peter Carroll as Mr. Brown, Jon Darling as Club Patron, John Kelly as Cabbie, Sarah Lucek-Rowley as Chloe Jones, Alan McQueen as Patient, Derek Mendl as Jim. Heather Christie as Ivy, Grant Page as Stunt Co-Ordinator.

Notes: The first mention of Cookie's ex-wife (he married a barmaid in Darwin after getting out of the Navy). Marta's mailbox provides the correct spelling of "Kertesz." Our first look inside Esme's house.

Cup Fever

Episodes 105-106
Written by Luis Bayonas (105) and Peter Kinloch (106)
Directed by Robert Meillon

As the town prepares for the annual Wandin Valley Cup, Molly unsuccessfully tries to rally support for a protest. Kerry and Adam Burgess, two siblings bringing their promising race entry to town, break down near the Jones' farm and Brendan offers to put up their horse until the race. As the only holder of the list of starters for the race, Frank quickly becomes everyone's best friend as people try to get some inside information before the list is officially posted. Dr. Bowen diagnoses Adam with pleurisy. Adam tries to keep knowledge of the seriousness of his illness from his sister but he is soon admitted to hospital. Horrie Hopkins, one of the town's most compulsive punters, admits himself to hospital before the big race, in perfect health, believing that his death is imminent. Retired jockey Lew Cosgrove receives a last minute offer to ride in the big race.

When Adam's illness keeps him from racing, Brendan suggests that Kerry take his place, and despite rules prohibiting female jockeys, she agrees. Lew Cosgrove is asked to fake a heart attack by his horse's owner to allow a ringer to ride the horse in the race. Lew complies but Frank sees through the scam and has Vicky disqualify the horse on dubious medical grounds. Cookie fills in as race announcer, replacing his "mongrel brother-in-law," while Bob attends the race in disguise to avoid Maudie Plackett [see episode 76]. However, upon seeing her, Bob becomes flustered and places his and Cookie's money on the wrong horse. Kerry rides Spinafex to victory but is disqualified resulting in the long odds second place horse winning—the same horse Bob bet on, if only he hadn't tore up his ticket! Horrie Hopkins dies suddenly in hospital while watching the race.

Guest Cast: Debra Lawrence as Kerry Burgess, Andrew Tighe as Adam Burgess, Jon Ewing as Lew Cosgrove, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Willie Fennell as Horrie Hopkins. uncredited as C.D. Price, uncredited as Maudie Plackett.