A Country Practice: episode guide

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Little Voices

Episodes 107-108
Written by Agi Schreck (107) and Hugh Stuckey (108)
Directed by Leigh Spence

Yvonne and Ross McLean, a prosperous couple in their 40s who desperately want a child, have their dreams crushed when they learn that not only is Yvonne not pregnant as she suspected, but her health problems will prevent her from ever conceiving a child. Shirley takes an interest in a young girl who has been selling fruit door-to-door. Nothing is known of the girl, whom everyone playfully calls Mrs. Kafoops, but Shirley becomes concerned when she comes into the clinic to ask her for medical advice. Terence and a rather eager Simon are busy repainting the clinic. Brendan offers to supply the raw material when Cookie organises an eating contest to showcase Bob's considerable talents.

Janis Burnett (aka Mrs. Kafoops) arrives at the Gilroy's seeking help for her baby brother and leads Shirley and Frank to the abandoned house where she has been staying with her brother since their mother left. The baby is taken to the hospital where Terence makes the startling discovery that the child is going through heroin withdrawal. Simon's campaign to have an animal crossing sign put up on the highway receives lacklustre support but Vicky eventually gives the project her endorsement when a wombat dies in her surgery after having been struck by a car. Yvonne and Ross McLean come forward to become foster parents to Janis and her brother. Bob's attempt to break a world record in Cookie's "Snagathon" comes up short.

Guest Cast: Maurren Edwards as Yvonne, Tony Blackett as Ross, Jessica Noad as Mrs. Leckie, Beth Buchanan as Mrs. Kafoops, Kristian Thunig as Baby Mickey, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones. Ruth Osborne as Nurse Hammond, Troy Wilkinson as Peter.

Notes: Future cast member Maureen Edwards makes an early guest appearance, Emily Nicol makes her debut as Chloe Jones, and Beth Buchanan (Neighbours) makes the second of several noteworthy guest appearances early in her acting career.

Grace & Favour

Episodes 109-110
Written by Leon Saunders (109) and Anne Brooksbank (110)
Directed by Robert Meillon

A long-standing feud between the families of Rex Munro and Clarrie King escalates over an arguement regarding an access road. Rex puts a lock on the gate denying Clarrie access to his land, and after Clarrie drives straight through the gate, Rex intensifies matters by blowing up a bridge leading to the King farm. Shirley has Dr. Bowen pay a visit to Ada Chaffey to encourage her to make the appointment at the clinic that she has so far been reluctant to make. Trucker Ned Shelton sees Dr. Bowen for his bad shoulder. Molly decides to scale up her free range chicken operation after visiting a battery farm. Terence and Marta go public with their relationship. Feeling bad about the outcome of the snagathon, Bob decides to have a go at setting another record, this time on the piano.

Injured in the bridge explosion, Rex Murno makes his way to hospital, but upon hearing that Clarrie has torn down a section of his fence to create a new access road (and in doing so has also allowed their cattle to "mingle"), Rex leaves the hospital in a rage and, with gun in hand, confronts his neighbour at the cattle auction. Frank breaks up the confrontation and handcuffs the two men together to allow them to work out their differences. One rotten egg spoils Molly's attempt to demonstrate to the CWA the benefits of her free range eggs. Ned visits Ada in the hospital and the two lonely people become quick friends. Bob's 48 hours on the piano appear to have set a new record until a phone call from Bev reveals the true record, her record, to be 48 Days! Terence is disgusted by a patient's interpretation of his advice on healthier living.

Guest Cast: John Ewart as Clarrie King, Fred Abbott as Rex Munro, Paul Chubb as Ned Shelton, Georgie Sterling as Ada Chaffey, Jack Allen as Piano [Player], Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones. Barry Donnelly as Jerry Paine.

Breaking Point

Episodes 111-112
Written by Luis Bayonas (111) and David Boutland (112)
Directed by Bruce Best

Brendan is upset by the hospital board's decision to place an ad for an Assistant Director of Nursing, a position he has unofficially held for the past thirteen months. Billy Perkins, a patient of Dr. Elliott and a man dying from emphysema, commits suicide. Terence and Marta's dinner party, held to officially announce their relationship, is nearly ruined by Vicky's foul mood. Terence suffers a heart attack while working at the clinic.

After Terence is rushed to the hospital, word of his condition quickly spreads through town. Marta blames herself for Terence's heart attack because of all the work he did renovating her house and for encouraging him to take up jogging and other physically demanding activities. Vicky lashes out at Marta for not being allowed to see Terence. Later, Shirley confronts Vicky about her bad mood and tells her that she knows Vicky has been carrying a torch for Terence since he arrived in the valley, but that it is now time to put that fantasy aside and move on. Simon must operate on a young girl who is brought into hospital after being hit by a car.

Guest Cast: Ben Gabriel as Billy Perkins, Wallas Eaton as Ashely Banks, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones. Robert Hughes as Tony West, John Cobley as Man, Noela Steel as Mrs. Muir, Kia Taylor as Kylie Jamison, Jane Hamill as Nurse.

Just Another Patient

Episodes 113-114
Written by Ro Hume (113) and Judith Colquhoun (114)
Directed by Gary Conway

Brendan prepares to resign if the hospital board votes to appoint Judy Loveday the new deputy matron. Fortunately for Brendan, despite a panel stacked in Judy's favour, Brendan wins on account of Judy's sexist uncle voting against her. Shirley arrives to pick up Frank's eccentric aunt at the bus terminal but watches her arrive on the back of a motorcycle after having been left behind at the last stop. Former cricket player Des Ward, whose career was ended when he was shot in the knee, refuses Frank's invitation to work with the local youth team. Molly successfully talks her way through a visit from an inspector of the Egg Marketing Board. Terence is beset by visitors while recovering in hospital and is taken to recuperate at Marta's after he is released.

Shirley and Frank encourage his aunt to see Dr. Bowen when they come home to discover she has left the gas on and is about to light the stove. At Terence's suggestion, Simon performs a blood test and discovers that she has lead poisoning resulting from the work she does restoring furniture. Molly has another visit from the Egg Marketing Board inspector, but this time he catches her with her hens and gives her one month to get a license and meet quota. Frank drags Des out to the under 12 cricket match where, upon seeing the efforts of a boy with a bad leg, decides to give the team lessons.Vicky visits Terence and tells him about the crush that she's had on him. Terence comes out of his bad mood and asks Simon to bring in a locum, a move Simon was only going to make if Terence asked. Molly donates six of her hens for a raffle but is upset to see Esme walk off with her birds, plucked, dressed and ready for cooking—"What am I going to tell the girls!"

Guest Cast: Aileen Britton as Aunt Dapne, Andrew Clarke as Des Ward, Slim De Grey as Mr. Owens, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Alastair Duncan as Mr. Bourke, Julia Stewart as Sister Dobson, Kristoffer Greaves as Rabbit, Robert Hensley as Angus, Darren Handley as Ian Howard, Adam McHugh as Bobby Mulligan. Cynthia Turner as Mrs. Timms.

Truth and Consequences

Episodes 115-116
Written by Gwenda Marsh (115) and Marcus Cooney (116)
Directed by Leigh Spence

In the midst of a heat wave, new nurse Sandy Wright begins work at the hospital. She's replacing Judy Loveday who left after not getting the Deputy Matron's job. Terence moves back to his flat above the clinic. Dr. Nigel Fairbairn, the locum brought in while Terence recovers, arrives in the valley. Vicky is immediately drawn to him but neither Simon nor Shirley think too highly of him. Karen Murdoch is brought into hospital to give birth but when complications bring about the possible need for her newborn daughter to receive a blood transfusion, doubts are cast on the baby's paternity. Karen's refusal to name the child's father, the last possible donor of a rare blood type, endangers her newborn daughter's life.

Harry Taylor, long-time friend of Clive and Karen Murdoch, comes forward to donate blood when he learns that he is the baby's father. Clive begins to question why neither he nor his wife are compatible donors and soon realises that he cannot be the baby's father. Meanwhile, the town mobilises to fight a bush fire that has broken out. Harry is killed while battling the fire and Clive is able to conclude that Harry is the father of his wife's child. After having watched his friend die before him, Clive makes the decision to stay with his wife and daughter. Brendan continues to battle Sister Wright over her opinions of small town hospital methodology. Molly puts herself on display in a cage at the Poultry Farmers' Association dinner to protest the living conditions of chickens at factory farms but Bob locks her inside and Cookie closes the curtains on her protest.

Guest Cast: Amanda Muggleton as Karen Murdoch, Sydney Jackson as Clive Murdoch, Terence Donovan as Harry Taylor, Susan Lyons as Sister Sandy Wright, Robert Grubb as Nigel Fairbairn, Norman Hodges as Jim Marshall, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones.

Note: Molly's chook costume, first worn by Molly in Episode 100, makes another appearance

Who Cares?

Episodes 117-118
Written by Leon Saunders (117) and Agi Schreck (118)
Directed by Robert Meillon

Molly turns her garden hose on Bob when he comes over to apologise for locking her inside the cage. Frank first encounters Nathan Webster when he passes by the boy while jogging. Later, feeling that something isn't right, Frank returns to where he saw the boy and finds him hanging from a tree by his neck. At the hospital, Nathan is found to be unharmed, but he refuses to talk to anyone about what happened. Vicky has trouble getting Frank, who still has the boy on his mind, involved with an illegal cattle duffing and slaughter operation being carried out in the area. During their lunch together at his flat, Sandy Wright calls Terence pompous, as a compliment mind you, as she compares him to her father. Simon sits in on Vicky's dinner with Nigel and manages to drive him off with his incessant talking. Nathan leaves hospital, and after making his way to a bridge that he stopped by when he entered town, does what he told Sister Wright he was going to do and throws himself off.

Nathan survives his fall from the bridge with numerous broken bones and internal injuries. Despite the complete lack of concern expressed by Nathan's father when he is contacted by Frank, Frank seems to be successful in turning around Nathan's bleak outlook on life. A posse of local farmers is successful in driving off the cattle thieves but not before Bob realises that he and Cookie have been distributing their illegally slaughtered meat around town. In a tragically ironic twist, Nathan dies suddenly during a routine operation to reset a fractured limb. Terence returns to work to perform the autopsy which clears Nigel and Simon of any wrongdoing in regards to Nathan's death.

Guest Cast: Robert Grubb as Nigel Fairbairn, Susan Lyons as Sister Sandy Wright, Miles Buchanan as Nathan Webster, Trevor McCasker as Patient [Mr. Wilkins], John Kelly as Truck Driver. Brian Harrison as Tom Brennan, David Manning as Boy (1), Darren Flynn as Boy (2), Robert Spain as Patient (1), Trevor Prior as Patient (2), Emily Nicol as Chole Jones.

Note: Following his sister Beth, Miles Buchanan becomes the second of the three Buchanan siblings to guest star on ACP. Simone will follow in later years (episodes 259-260 and 853-854)

September Song

Episodes 119-120
Written by Sheila Sibley (119) and Patricia Johnson (120)
Directed by Bruce Best

Muldoon leads the council's effort to drive out the permanent residents of the town's caravan park by cutting off their services. Vicky, unusually clumsy and forgetful of late, is not pleased to discover that Nigel left town without saying goodbye, news that Simon is reluctant to divulge. A friendship develops between Syd Kitter, a retired solicitor living in the caravan park, and Kath Thompson, a grandmotherly woman whose son continually takes advantage of her good nature. The end of road repairs brings an end to the detour traffic patronising Molly's vegetable stand. Sister Wright paves the way for Wandin Valley's first nursing strike.

Frank has a few cryptic words to Terence about his socialising with Sandy Wright in public. The latest Melanie Shields novel captivates the community, but the characters seem a little too familiar. Kath Thompson accepts Syd Kitter's offer to go travelling together, a decision that upsets her selfish son. Terence chastises Sister Wright for her indifference to the patients when he is forced to amputate Malcolm Roberts' leg after he is involved in an accident. Sid stands up to Muldoon on behalf of the residents of the caravan park when Muldoon tries to evict them. The nurses' demands are met and Sandy Wright announces she's leaving to take a new job.

Guest Cast: Moya O'Sullivan as Kath Thompson, Kit Taylor as Ronnie Thompson, Peter Gwynn as Sidney Kitter, Andy Anderson as Malcolm Roberts, Gordon McDougal as Mr. Bradshaw, Susan Lyons as Sister Sandy Wright, Frank Lloyd as Neville Potts, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Betty Dyson as Mrs. Timms. Emily Nicol as Chole Jones.

Note: Frank Lloyd appeared previously in episodes 49-50 as Reg "Soapie" Armstrong.

The Reckoning

Episodes 121-122
Written by Chris Thomson (121) and Ro Hume (122)
Directed by Peter Smith

Terence's proposal to Marta is overheard by Bob Hatfield who quickly spreads the news. Bert Griffiths, the town's notorious bad driver, runs down Carpenter, the town's bus riding dog. Graham Randall gets a second job working at the club to help make ends meet. Hilary Randall, Graham's wife who is a bit of a free spender, encourages Molly to take out a bank loan to finance renovations to her "run down" house. For his birthday, Simon receives photography equipment from his father. Shirley ponders who in the town could be writing under the Melanie Shields pseudonym.

Graham Randall is taken to hospital after he suffers a stroke. Upon learning about the problems that her husband has kept from her, Hilary gets a job and begins to learn to cope with her husband's health problems and their financial woes. Marta is confronted by her mysterious observer who gives her a letter from Bela Szollos, the man who was shot while trying to escape Hungary with her. Molly and Brendan's bank loan is approved but not for the amount Molly was making her extravagant plans around. Esme, whom Shirley suspects may be Melanie Shields, is upset at not being told of Marta and Terence's engagement. After having his driver's license revoked, Bert adopts Carpenter when the dog stands by him after an accident. Simon is drawn out to the Jones' farm for a surprise birthday party.

Guest Cast: Edward Howell as Bert Griffiths, Max Meldrum as Andre Gitane, Ros Wood as Hilary Randall, Danny Adcock as Graham Randall, Robert Hensley as Bus Driver [Angus], Hans Farkash as Zanussi, Todd Ingham as Fred. Ruth Osborne as Sister Hammond, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones.

Note: Max Meldrum appears in later episodes as Arnold Hodgekiss

The Winds of Change

Episodes 123-124
Written by Hugh Stuckey (123) and Judith Colquhoun (124)
Directed by Leigh Spence

Brendan's ongoing feud with the hospital's chef spills over into the club where he lambastes Cookie over the poor quality of his food. Marta deceives Terence about not having been in contact with Bela, and when he arrives in town, after having entered the country illegally, Marta allows him to stay at her house. Marta's sudden indifference towards Terence drives him back to drinking. Gale-force winds wreak havoc on the valley. Sylvia Noland is electrocuted when a power line falls on her shed but Neville Potts is on hand to summon Dr. Bowen, who arrives on the back of Neville's motorbike, who tends to Sylvia and aids Vicky in the delivery of a baby goat. Gerald Wilkes, who is on vacation with his wife and grandson, is injured by a fallen tree requiring his grandson Hew to go for help.

After listening to Shirley tell him about her suspicion that telephone operator Beverly Little is Melanie Shields, Neville reveals to Shirley that he is in fact the romance writer, and that his job as postman is what allows him to keep tabs on the people in the town. Hew makes his way to Marta's house looking for help for his grandparents. Terence and Marta return with the boy and attend to Gerald and Vi until Frank arrives with the ambulance. A romance quickly blossoms between Neville and Sylvia, culminating in Neville's announcement of their intention to get married—and for Neville to give up writing. Molly makes Bob a "comfortable garment" (a caftan) similar to the one she made for Brendan and has him wear it to the club. Marta invites Terence over to her house and introduces him to Dr. Bela Szollos.

Guest Cast: Marion Edward as Sylvia Noland, Frank Lloyd as Neville Potts, Barry Otto as Bela Szollos, Peter Collingwood as Gerald Wilkes, Dorothy Allison as Vi Wilkes, David Manning as Hew Wilkes, Max Meldrum as Andre Gitane, Ruth Osbourne as Sister Hammond.

Love & Glory

Episodes 125-126
Written by Sheila Sibley (125) and Marcus Cooney (126)
Directed by Bruce Best

Bela Szollos's presence in the valley continues to impact upon Marta and Terence's relationship, made all the worse when Bela informs Terence of his intentions to ask Marta to come back to Europe with him. Marta tells Terence to be patient with her when he confronts her about the state of their relationship. The nursing staff takes up sides with hospital chef Andre Gitane and implement a work-to-rule policy in protest of Brendan's apparently simple request that dinner be served to the patients at a decent hour, and preferably not in the middle of the afternoon. While Frank lectures four young boys after he catches one of them shoplifting, Bob is telling anyone who will listen about the latest communist threat to the community. Esme walks in on Marta and Bela, who has since been introduced to the town as her cousin, during an intimate moment. Frank is visited by Henry Gill, a member of the Australian federal police.

Vicky confronts Marta with what Esme has seen and is told in no uncertain terms to mind her own business. With Henry Gill asking questions around town about the whereabouts of Bela Szollos, for whom he has a deportation order, Bela jeopardises himself to help the town's medical community rescue and treat four young boys injured by a homemade bomb. Terence speaks to Michael Ferguson, the father of one of the injured boys whose life was saved in the operating theatre by Bela, about using his airplane to fly Bela to safety in New Zealand—he agrees. After sneaking Bela out of the hospital, and with some help from Bob and Cookie who manage to detain Henry Gill in Marta's house with the aid of a burlap sack and a few lengths of rope, Bela makes it safely to the airfield. Back at the hospital, Terence tells Marta that he cannot allow her to remain with him as she says she wants, as Bela would always be in their thoughts, and in a selfless act, Terence drives Marta out to the airfield where Marta boards the plane with Bela and flies out of Wandin Valley and Terence's life.

Guest Cast: Barry Otto as Bela Szollos, Tom Oliver as Henry Gill, Max Meldrum as Andre Gitane, Richard Busfield as Craig, David Jeffs as Anthony, Adam Fernance as Mark, Kenneth Talbot as Ron, Ruth Osbourne as Sister Hammond, Jane Alquist as Female Patient, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones. Doug Howard as Michael Ferguson.

So, Life Wasn't Meant to be Easy

Episodes 127-128
Written by Anne Brooksbank (127) and Anthony Wheeler (128)
Directed by Leigh Spence

Pam Foley, a young widow raising two sons on her own, struggles to survive the additional strain of running a drought-ravaged farm. In the aftermath of Marta's sudden departure, Terence finds his relief in alcohol, but still must contend with the opinions of Esme Watson and Councillor Muldoon, going so far as to punch out Muldoon in the club, breaking his nose, when the councillor utters some disparaging remarks about Marta. Brendan brings in Sister Judy Loveday (beggars can't be choosers) to help fill the void created by Marta's departure, but soon has Terence on his back for stepping into the Matron's role so quickly. Pam Foley's frequent visits to the clinic with her sons for what are rather minor matters irritates Terence who is unable to see that she is really seeking help for herself but is unable to come out and ask for it directly.

As renovations begin on the Jones' farm, Molly, who has since resolved her pricing issues with the marketer of her Molly Jones' Kitchen products in Sydney, steps up production of her jams. Shirley presses Terence to visit Pam Foley. He refuses so Shirley goes out herself but Pam hides her troubles well and Shirley leaves not knowing what to think. Terence comes apart during a procedure in the OR and Simon must take over for him. Andre Gitane quits as hospital chef after one last argument with Brendan but fortunately, Sister Loveday is able to call in a friend from Burrigan to replace him ("and they said I would never work again"). Young Tim Foley sells his prize ram to Mr. Gunn to help support his family. In his sole moment of lucidity, Terence pays a visit to Pam Foley after hearing Cookie talk about the Foley's plight. He meets Frank at her farm and they soon discover that Pam has killed off her remaining livestock and appears to be set to turn the gun on herself and her two sons. When Terence finally talks Pam into relinquishing her rifle, he sees that Pam and her family begin to receive the help they need, and for starters, allows the Foley's stay in Marta's now unoccupied house. Simon and Frank convince Councillor Muldoon to drop his lawsuit against Terence.

Guest Cast: Penne Hackforth-Jones as Pam Foley, Simon Levshin as Tim Foley, Carl Brand as Scott Foley, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Max Meldrum as Andre Gitane, Alastair Duncan as Mr. Bourke, Ron Hackett as Farmer Gunn, Alan Wylie as Farmer Barber, Anne Roy as Female Patient. Bill Steller as Ali Singh, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones (uncredited).

Another Man's Poison

Episodes 129-130
Written by Leon Suanders (129) and Peter Kinloch (130)
Directed by Bruce Best

Fang's death from exposure to a poisonous substance, coupled with the hospitalisation of Leanne McGuire for a mild exposure to the same substance, unites Molly and Peter McGuire against a fellow neighbour whom they suspect of contaminating a creek running through the Jones' farm. Terence's continued moodiness has his patients deserting him in favour of Dr. Bowen. Vicky confronts Terence about his attitude when she calls to asks him, in his role as District Health Officer, to contact the Pastures Protection Board about the poisonings. Terence packs up Marta's belongings to allow the Foley's move into the house (the Foley's farm has since gone into receivership). Judy Loveday encourages Brendan to apply for the matronship hoping that she may then finally achieve the position of Deputy Matron. Frank presses Muldoon to do something about a flock of abandoned sheep.

Molly's discovery of broken drainage pipes on Chas Foster's property clearly implicats Foster in the creek poisonings but Foster has the pipes fixed in time for a visit by an inspector of the health commission. Frustrated by Foster's ability to sidestep the law, Peter McGuire makes an announcement at the club that he has poisoned the town's water supply. Later, as emergency plans are being made, Peter admits he lied and was only trying to get his point across. Fed up with Foster, Molly is prepared to move to get away from him. When Cyril Redman is hospitalised for a bad hip, Brendan offers to take over Cyril's droving contract, and after he moves the abandoned sheep to council land, Cyril offers to sell his farm to Brendan and Molly. Justice comes to Chas Foster eventually when Frank tracks the dumped sheep back to Foster who now faces with a stiff fine.

Guest Cast: Grigor Taylor as Peter McGuire, Suzanne Hawley as Alison McGuire, Desmond Tester as Cyril Redman, Natasha Ferguson as Leanne McGuire, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon. Kevin Leslie as Chas Foster.

Hair of the Dog

Episodes 131-132
Writer: Tony Morphett
Directed by Brendan Maher

Molly sits down with her animals to prepare them for their impending move. The death of one of the hospital's elderly residents requires Frank to look for a new home for her dog. After failing to interest Brendan, he gives the dog to Vicky to look after for a few days, but the dog soon finds its way back to the hospital. Tracy Power, a young girl struggling in school and faced with the additional pressures associated with being the child of a teacher, turns to alcohol for relief. Terence and Simon pressure Councillor Muldoon to hire a new Matron but succeed only in firing up Shirley who demands to known why Muldoon has revoked the council's tender for the hospital's new geriatric wing. Muldoon soon finds himself in hospital with peritonitis after collapsing in the clinic. A moving party is held at the Jones' farm, the event is marked by a short speech from Frank and a disturbing drunken display by young Tracy Power.

Jennifer Power takes her daughter to see Terence after confronting her about her drinking. Terence takes Tracy to an AA meeting but Tracy is uninterested as she doesn't feel she is an alcoholic. Tracy is finally forced to confront reality however when two of her friends are killed after a night of drinking with her. Recognising her problem with alcohol, Tracy decides goes back to AA. A working bee is organised to help Brendan and Molly fix up their new home. Brendan arranges for Mrs. Coote to take Goldie home with her.

Guest Cast: Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Queenie Ashton as Mrs. Coote, Cecily Polson as Jennifer Power, Geordia Car as Tracy Power, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon. Betty Dyson as AA Chairwoman, Frankie Davidson as Burrigan Bert, Adele Dreifuss as AA Woman. Uncredited as Dane and Karen.

Note: The first appearance of Esme's famous Lamingtons (she brings them to Muldoon in the hospital)

See Ya

Episodes 133-134
Written by Judth Colquhoun (133) and Sheila Sibley (134)
Directed by Bill Hughes

While Simon is attempting to show Vicky how to golf, the pair encounter young entrepreneur Robbie Quinn, a young boy with a knack for finding ways to extract money from those he encounters. When Shirley's demands to know the whereabouts of the hospital funds, Muldoon makes the mistake of using sexist rhetoric to dismiss both her and her concerns. After promising to Molly that he would turn down a promotion, Brendan must then tell his overworked and overstressed wife that he's been appointed the hospital's new Matron (and thereby elevating Judy Loveday to Deputy Matron). Terminal cancer patient Dorothy Edgar is admitted to hospital to live out her final days under Terence's care. An eye injury lands Robbie in hospital, but permanent damage appears to have been done when he fails to respond to treatments.

Simon moves up his planned trip to Sydney to accompany Robbie to the Eye Clinic for his operation. Before Dorothy Edgar dies in hospital, she decides to donate her corneas for transplantation. Despite learning that she can't specify a recipient (she was wanting to help Robbie), Terence convinces her to follow through on her donation, and despite her daughter's initial resistance, her wish is realised. After learning that she and the rest of the town's women have been kept in the dark about Muldoon's investment of the hospital funds (and his plans to buy a limousine with the returns), Shirley pressures the councillor to begin the tendering process for the new hospital wing. Simon cancels his big dinner with a specialist in tropical medicine to observe Robbie's operation (it is almost certain his new cornea was one of Dorothy's). Afterwards, with the procedure successfully completed, Simon shows Robbie around Sydney. Brendan decides to turn down his promotion.

Guest Cast: Jacqueline Kott as Dorothy Edgar, Mark Spain as Robbie Quinn, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Lynn Rainbow as Mrs. Quinn, Alan McQueen as Ray. Ric Hutton as Dr. Thornleigh, Liz Burch as Meredith Buckley. Uncredited as Nursing Sister.

Warning Signs

Episodes 135-136
Written by Agi Schreck (135) and Michael Brindley (136)
Directed by Leigh Spence

Frank welcomes Constable Perry Nolan, his new partner, to Wandin Valley. Brendan can't bring himself to tell Judy that he's turned down his promotion, and has thereby kept her from getting hers, but he eventually meets up with Judy's wrath when Terence lets the news slip. Shirley tries to get Muldoon to improve a dangerous crossroads when Vicky is nearly run off the road. Unfortunately, Shirley concerns are accentuated when Steve Marsh and his family, who are relocating to Sydney due to poor job prospects in the valley, are involved in a fatal accident at the very same location.

A different side of Judy Loveday is displayed as she cares for Steve Marsh in hospital. Shirley receives lacklustre support when she decides to run for a vacant council seat after all, "she's just a woman." Cookie arrives late for his dinner with Esme after having a few drinks with Bob, but when he passes out on her couch, the next morning Esme is reluctant to let Vernon leave her house in broad daylight lest the neighbours get the wrong impression. Nevertheless, Beverly quickly spreads the news of Cookie's overnight stay at Esme's but Bob get back at Bev by parking Cookie's car outside her house—all night. Frank has a word to Perry about his tendency to avoid paying his bills at the club. Simon works on improving his image until he overhears Vicky defending him to Judy.

Guest Cast: George Mallaby as Perry Nolan, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Louise Lenay as Elly Marsh, John Jarratt as Steve Marsh, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Ruth Osborne as Sister Hammond, Grant Page & Peter West as Stunt Co Ordinators, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones (uncredited). Uncredited as Jessica Marsh.

No More Mr. Nice Guy

Episodes 137-138
Written by Hugh Stuckey (137) and Anne Brooksbank (138)
Directed by Bill Hughes

Terence receives a letter from Marta (she's in Vienna) telling him that she and Bela are going to be married. Complaints from the community about Constable Nolan's corrupt behaviour force Frank to call Superintendent Burke to report him. Simon causes a stir when he swats an unruly boy in the clinic. Giving the incident further thought, Simon examines the boy and discovers that he is diabetic. Unfortunately, the boy's mother, whose colitis Simon is also attempting to treat, continues to avoid putting in the effort that her and her son's treatment requires.

Molly discovers the snake that has been stealing her eggs when she falls down a hole while out gathering wood. After she gets out, the diamond snake follows her back home where it receives a name, Jules, and a place in the Jones' household. Simon lays down the law in his dealings with the Lang family and finally manages to get their routine adjusted to properly manage Nicky's condition. Molly and Brendan's house-warming barbecue is ruined by two events: Judy Loveday's arrival with the unpopular Perry Nolan, and Bob and Cookie's bringing of Alice for dinner—Alice being one of Molly's sheep that recently had to be slaughtered. Vicky is called away from the party, prompting a mass exodus, to attend to Carpenter's broken leg back at her surgery and Terence assists her during the operation. When Frank learns that Perry has been stealing articles from a dead woman's house, he finally has enough, and before suspending Perry and telling him that he's put Internal Affairs onto him, Frank hits him.

Guest Cast: George Mallaby as Perry Nolan, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Jane Ahlquist as Marg Lang, Andre Eikmei[e]r as Nicky Lang, Jon Darling as Mr. Pearson, Edward Howell as Bert Griffiths.

Fruit of the Vine

Episodes 139-140
Written by Gwenda Marsh (139) and Leon Saunders (140)
Directed by Bruce Best

Cookie's night at the pub drinking with travelling lingerie salesman Hilton Mercer ends in trip to the hospital, with the pair clad in some of Hilton's finer garments, when Hilton breaks his arm. Vicky becomes involved with hobby farmer Frances McNichol and her son Robert when called out to look at their animals. After being forced to put down Robert's dog, she is later called back to the McNichol farm to discover all their chickens have been killed. Shirley proceeds with her run for shire council, her opposition being one of Muldoon's cronies. The distributor of Molly's jams asks her to put preservatives in her products. The hospital board appoints a new matron, Margaret Sloan.

Vicky is held at gunpoint by Robert McNichol when she is called out to the McNichol farm. A phone call from Mrs. McNichol brings Simon out to the farm and he goes off into the bush in search of Vicky. Vicky manages to get away from Robert and is eventually found by Simon. Afterwards, Vicky and Frank choose not to press charges on the condition that Robert, who is schizophrenic, receives proper care. A long day of grape picking at Terence's vineyard culminates with Esme and Cookie announcing their engagement to their friends. Judy Loveday receives a proposal of marriage from Hilton Mercer and resigns after discovering that "Maggot" Sloan will be the hospital's new matron.

Guest Cast: Graeme Blundell as Hilton Mercer, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Arna-Maria Winchester as Frances McNichol, Kelly Dingwell as Robert McNichol, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones. Tony Ingersent as Lloyd McNichol.

A Woman's Place

Episodes 141-142
Written by Sheila Sibley (141) and David Allen (142)
Directed by Brendan Maher

Judy Loveday's warnings about Margaret Sloan are quickly confirmed upon the new Matron's arrival. After handing off her "Molly Jones Kitchen" business to the CWA, Molly finds a new interest when she finds a hoard of vintage agricultural implements in one of the barns—more compelling however, is her discovery of a body in the back paddock. Believed to be dead, the unknown woman is taken back to hospital where she "miraculously" revives after coming out of a self-induced trance. Esme hopes to get a ring from Cookie that she can show off, but his gift, purchased from Hilton Mercer, is clearly not in that category. Deborah Koonig's strict religious father pulls her out of school over his objection to her study of Romeo & Juliet. Later, upon finding her at the bus stop with Sarah, Piet, enraged at her disobedience, grabs her at which time she collapses in a fit. Piet thinks his daughter is possessed and accuses Sarah of whichcraft.

Terence's discovery that he worked with Maggie Sloan (then Maggie Ellard) when he was an intern saves neither himself nor the other hospital staff from her lectures regarding her strict rules and regulations. Deborah Koonig is brought to hospital where Terence must contend with Piet's religious superstitions while trying to inform his daughter about her epilepsy. Shirl's campaign speech at the club is hijacked by Sarah who gives her own rousing commentary. Inspired by Sarah's writing, Deborah openly defies her father by going out on her own to pursue her own interests, and although her father objects, her threat to move out helps to overcome his obstinacy. Brendan opens another old shed and is delighted to find a vintage 1950s FJ Holden inside.

Guest Cast: Joan Sydney as Margaret Sloan, Maggie Blinco as Sarah, Jackie Woodburne as Deborah Koonig, Bryan Marshall as Piet Koonig, Ruth Osborne as Sister Hammond, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon.

Note: Joan Sydney's first appearance

Still Life

Episodes 143-144
Written by Judith Colquhoun (143) and Patricia Johnson (144)
Directed by Kevin Dobson.

Terence rents out his vineyard cottage to an artist friend of Rowena's. The woman's passing remark about using a macrobiotic diet to cure her cancer sparks a debate with Terence about the merits of alternative therapies, a subject in which Terence later expresses an interest. Vicky hits Ollie, a kangaroo whose appearances in town usually coincide with rain, with an errant shot while out golfing with Simon. With the help of her friends, Vicky covertly operates on Ollie at the hospital and arranges for him to recuperate in Frank's lock-up. Terence later confesses their deed to Matron Sloan when she begins questioning him about a patient named A. Nimal. Molly asks for Shirley's official support when she learns her neighbour's property will be used by the local gun club. Molly's cause is fuelled by a late-night drunken shoot-up involving Bob Hatfield and later, Simon and Vicky's discovery of Ollie, dead from a gunshot.

Molly confronts Boney and Clyde about Ollie's death when she learns the pair are professional roo shooters. They deny involvement and eventually put Frank on to the individuals responsible. In a bid to improve their withering social lives, Vicky and Simon consider living seperately. The worsening rat problem at the Jones' farm culminates with Chloe being bitten on the face. The infestation is eventually solved by Vicky who calls upon the services of the gun club to implement her "sure fire" fix. Terence and Zoe's budding romance comes to an abrupt end over artistic differences (he calls her a "line and squiggle merchant," while Zoe responds by branding him a Luddite—"look it up!"). Shirley suffers a landslide defeat in the council elections.

Guest Cast: Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, Belinda Giblin as Zoe Parker, Rupert Burns as Boney, Michael Winchester as Clyde, Yvonne Hayes as Mrs. Parsons, Heather Christie as Mrs. Whitehead, Lou Barnett as Farmer. Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Max Meldrum as Arnold Hodgekiss (uncredited). Uncredited as Nursing Sister and Cathy Nesbit.

Lost Weekend

Episodes 145-146
Written by Luis Bayonas (145) and Michael Brindley (146)
Directed by Bill Hughes

Terence accompanies Vicky on a trip to Magnolia Vale to recover her stolen truck. Simon was hoping to go with her, but as Terence wanted to check on some wine making equipment up for sale, he took Simon's place. Brendan can't bring himself to tell Matron Sloan of her forgotten drunken advances towards both himself and Councillor Muldoon at the club the night before. Cookie is thrown out by his "mongrel brother-in-law." Bert Griffiths is hospitalised. Simon and Carpenter accompany Frank and Shirley on their anniversary picnic. Brendan begins his restoration work on the FJ Holden with some help from Bob. Terence and Vicky kick up their heels when their stay in the seedy town of Magnolia Vale is prolonged.

Terence and Vicky's remaining time in Magnolia Vale is highlighted by Terence's truck being stolen, an epic bar brawl that forces Vicky from her hotel room, and Terence being treed by a vicious dog named Attila before he's finally tranquillised by Vicky—Terence, not the dog. Cookie calls around looking for a place to spend the night after trying to sleep in the club. Molly finally evicts Brendan, Bob, and their noisy restoration project from her kitchen in the wee hours of the morning, but her tranquillity is short lived as Cookie soon arrives looking for a place to stay. Simon spends the night waiting up for Vicky before finally being called back to the hospital to attend to Bert, a diagnosis is finally made but not until Terence returns to make it.

Guest Cast: Michael Caton as Dwayne Kerby, Trev Kerby, and Lennie Kerby, Edward Howell as Bert Griffiths, Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, Julia Stewart as Sister Dobson, Jon Darling as Mr. Pearson, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon (uncredited). Bill Charlton as Biggins, Keith Holloway as Hogg.

Notes: Magnolia Vale barman Dwayne Kerby explains to Terence how the town got its name: "named after me cousin. // She was called Magnolia? // No, Betty." We also learn that Magnolia Vale is 225 km from Wandin Valley.

The Wandin Valley Connection

Episodes 147-148
Writer: Marcus Cooney
Directed by Bruce Best.

Frank hopes to keep quiet news that Brendan's FJ Holden, discovered to be bulletproof, was once owned by outlaws, but trouble is soon to arrive on the Jones' doorstep when a story about the car is printed in the local newspaper. Terence is called out to the scene of a logging accident in the state forest where a man has lost an arm, but when the man dies, his friends raise questions about Terence's competence. A young boy is admitted to hospital to recuperate after an operation on his knee but his stubborn refusal to cooperate with the staff makes matters difficult. Simon's jealousy finally forces himself to asks Terence about what happened between him and Vicky while they were in Magnolia Vale. Cookie puts himself in jail to avoid having to stay with Esme.

A pair of retired gangsters prove to be more bark then bite when they try to intimidate Molly and Brendan. Molly eventually finds what is left of their loot inside the FJ's spare tire—apart from what the rats let behind, a sum totalling all of 85. Knuckles and Wheels' boss is surprisingly amused by his henchmen's story and despite their being on the run from him for the last thirty years, he rehires them—it seems Big Mac is now in real estate! Matron Sloan's persistence pays off with Shane Peters as he is able to ride his new bike out of the hospital, he even manages a hug for Maggie before leaving. Terence more than lives up to his claim of producing a "wine to remember" when he debuts his first bottling at the club.

Guest Cast: Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, Carla Hoogeveen as Alison Peters, Adam Fernance as Shane Peters, Frank Wilson as "Knuckles", Ken Goodlet as "Wheels", Ruth Osborne as Sister Hammond, Terry Redell as George, Paul Gillett as Bill. Ron Shand as Big Mac, uncredited as Olive.

The Sentimental Bloke

Episodes 149-150
Written by David Boutland (149) and Leon Saunders (150)
Directed by Brendan Maher

After Muldoon finds him sleeping in the club, Cookie talks his way into a brief overnight stay in hospital before disappearing altogether. Medical reports from a Sydney hospital confirm that Daisy Hatfield has cancer. She is finally admitted to hospital by Terence after Doreen calls him out to their home to examine her. Daisy tells Bob of her condition once she's hospitalised but he refuses to accept the seriousness of her illness and returns to work, all the while maintaining his belief that she'll soon recover and return home. Doreen Hatfield asks Vicky to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, Molly is making the dresses.

Terence discharges Daisy from the hospital so that she may go home, at which time she is finally able to sit Bob down and talk with him about her illness and their life together. Cookie returns in time for Doreen's wedding, the reception for which is held at the club. Unfortunately by this time, Daisy is back in hospital where she spends her final hours before passing away with Bob at her bedside. Terence and Brendan are at the hospital and offer their condolences to Bob who, after leaving the hospital, pauses briefly by his ute before deciding to walk home, a mode of transport Daisy was known for. Simon and Brendan invite Matron Sloan to the farm for a game of poker but the boys are unprepared for the skills of Maggie Sloan, card shark.

Guest Cast: Joan Bruce as Daisy Hatfield, Kim Deacon as Doreen Hatfield, Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Colleen Kennedy as Wendy, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones.

Notes: the second episode ends with a touching scene showing Bob silently walking home alone, made more so in that it runs the entire length of the end credits. Poetry recitals are from C.J. Dennis' The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke, specifically The Mooch O' Life.

A Lady's Choice

Episodes 151-152
Written by Luis Bayonas (151) and Hugh Stuckey (152)
Directed by Catherine Millar

Molly scolds Chloe for ripping up the linoleum in the kitchen but she herself is soon down on hands and knees pulling up the flooring in an attempt to uncover an old newspaper from 1942 that contains a story about a ten-year-old Robert Hatfield winning a wood carving contest. Bob's friends do their best to reinvolve him in the community: Molly foists Chloe on him for the afternoon, and Cookie creates a plumbing job for him at the club. Declining school enrolment threatens to cost the town another teacher. A homeless Cookie butters Bob up with a homemade dinner and before long, Bob comes up with the idea of having him move in. Mandy Marshall arrives at the hospital to report that she has been raped by Evan Forbes—twice.

A detective from Burrigan arrives to investigate Mandy's assault but suggests to her that she not pursue the matter as her case would be difficult to prove in court. Frank further tests Mandy's resolve by giving her a taste of the kind of questions she would be likely to face in court. The community shows their varied opinions about Mandy and her alleged rape, and surprisingly, Vicky is among those who believe she had somehow been asking for it, although Simon's blunt demonstration of the realities of an assault quickly changes Vicky's point of view. Molly rallies support for the school. Bob lends Molly his support, after initially declining her offer, and comes up with an idea for a new fundraiser—the Wandin Valley Chook Olympics. A toupee-wearing Muldoon approaches Maggie in the club. Mandy begins her recovery by contacting the Rape Crisis Centre in Sydney, her husband ultimately lends his support as well. There is no indication of whether Mandy will lay charges against Evan.

Guest Cast: Geraldine Turner as Mandy Marshall, Duncan Wass as Evan Forbes, Penne Hackforth-Jones as Pam Foley, Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, David Downer as Gil Marshall, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones. John Paramor as Detective Martin, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon (uncredited.)

Bush Lore

Episodes 153-154
Written by Gwenda Marsh (153) and Michael Aitkens (154)
Directed by Bill Hughes

Shirley tries to involve Councillor Muldoon and the rest of the shire council, finally resorting to blackmail, when she learns a homeless man and his children were forced to sleep in a barn while one of his sons was in hospital. Shirley takes time to write her will, but Vicky is upset to learn that she will not be inheriting the house. Pam Foley, who has been volunteering at the hospital lately, appears to be on the verge of another breakdown when she meets with Terence after overhearing Muldoon comment about how the less fortunate are a drain on the community. Dave Patterson leaves town with his remaining children, with plans to come back for Gus when he recovers. In anticipation of the Chook Olympics, Simon brings home an impressive bird.

While in hospital, Gus Patterson admits to Terence that his family's real name is Lawson (they prefer Banjo's writing to that of Henry). Dave Patterson becomes pinned under his car while making repairs but due to the quick thinking of his children, he is soon rescued and brought to hospital. Vicky informs Simon that Confucius, his escaped Chinese chook, is really a goose. Simon diagnoses Gus Patterson as having liver flukes, no doubt acquired while his family were living off the land. Shirley mistakenly sends her letter to a cryonics company to the shire council and before long a confused Muldoon is at the clinic trying to sell her an esky—perhaps the family size? Simon wins a raffle, first prize for which is a dinner of Cookie's "Goose a la Chinese," or as Simon previously knew him, Confucius. Molly and Frank propose to Dave that he stay in Wandin Valley, his kids would ensure that Wandin Valley Primary would not lose another teacher while he could find work in the building of the new library and hospital wing. Simon's late entry of Narelle the "Chookatoo" wins him the flight distance competition in the Chook Olympics but his by-the-foot sponsorship proves costly when the bird takes to the sky.

Guest Cast: Penne Hackforth-Jones as Pam Foley, Tony Barry as Dave Patterson, Greg Peters as Gus Patterson, Leaf Nowland as Joe Patterson, Clinton Inch as Bill Patterson, Nicole Bolton as Mary Patterson, Ruth Osborne as Sister Hammond, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon. Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan.

Notes: Writer Michael Aitkens (this is his second ACP writing credit) appeared in episodes 37-38 as Eric Brewer. Molly's chook costume (first worn by Molly in Episodes 100) appears again, this time worn by Brendan.

Kicking the Habit

Episodes 155-156
Written by Sheila Sibley (155) and Anne Brooksbank (156)
Directed by Robert Meillon

Seeing Cookie firmly entrenched at Bob's house, Esme takes her feelings of betrayal and public humiliation to Shirley who does what she can to convince Esme that she is too good for Cookie, who Esme has finally come to realise never had any intention of marrying her. Molly is adopted by a sick stray dog that arrives on the farm, and despite failing to convince Brendan to take on another pet, she makes Vicky send away for an expensive serum to save the dog's life. Pam Foley continues her struggle to cope with her anxiety but finally loses control while on a picnic with Terence and her sons. Shirley has Frank inventory his belongings when he can't find a particular pianola roll. Terence brings out his wine for a successful encore tasting.

Simon finds another tick on Scruffy when Molly asks him exam the dog. Hoping to tactfully explain his successful treatment of the dog to Vicky, Simon makes dinner for her but Molly blurts out the information prematurely. Pam Foley is in a car accident while driving herself to hospital. She claims to have driven off he road after hitting a boy who was standing in the middle of the road. Her eventual revelation to Terence about her excessive Valium use confirms suspicions that the boy never existed at all but was a hallucination caused by her withdrawal. A woman answers Brendan's ad and arrives at the farm to claim her dog, Charlie. She and her husband however beat a hasty retreat when Brendan mentions the $73 vet bill. Brendan organises a poker game for Maggie with Bob and Cookie. Esme's practice of giving Cookie the cold shoulder eventually elicits an apology from Cookie for the way he's been treating her, but Esme will have none of it and ends their engagement. Shirley explains to Frank why she has left Vicky most of her belongings in her will—statistics, and her tarot cards, indicate that she'll outlive him by at least ten years. Matron Sloan warns Terence that Pam Foley may be transferring her dependency onto him.

Guest Cast: Penne Hackforth-Jones as Pam Foley, Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, Carl Brand as Scott Foley, Simon Levshin as Tim Foley. David Lovelock as Boy, Tricia Jones as Mrs. Blake, Alan McQueen as Wally Pope.

Never Count Yer Chooks

Episodes 157-158
Written by Agi Schreck (157) and Judith Colquhoun (158)
Directed by Kevin Dobson

Vicky is introduced to unconventional ruralised city restaurateur Ralph Bianchi when she returns his escaped horse—he exits his swimming hole in the nude, wraps a towel around himself, greats her and Wendy Hales, mounts his horse and rides away. Wendy's father Alec, whose chronic smoking has already cost him one leg, appears to be on the verge of losing the second unless he can overcome his addiction—something it is clear he doesn't want to do. Frank's beloved Romberg & Hammerstein musical The Desert Song is being put on in Burrigan, but if Ralph's vocal performance for Wendy is any indication, Frank will certainly face stiff competition from him for the lead role of El Khobar. Brendan informs Maggie about an airline's promotional contest, and although she is reluctant to enter, she wins second prize—a trip to the gambling mecca of Las Vegas. Alec's decision to hire on a man to help Wendy run the farm angers his fiercely independent daughter. Shirley takes up smoking again when she puts herself on another diet. Narelle the cockatoo returns home to Simon and Vicky's flat to nest. Alec falls down the stairs in his home.

Alec's sudden death may have been more merciful than what he would have faced otherwise, but what upsets Wendy is that he left the family farm to her two city dwelling brothers—and they now want to sell it. Frank interrupts Ralph's impromptu Desert Song sing-along at the club to issue him a parking ticket. Like his previous tickets, Ralph refuses to accept it, forcing Frank to arrest him and lead him out of the club to a chorus of boos. Brendan asks Pam Foley to help him cover up Matron Sloan's Las Vegas vacation, a daunting task considering she'll be gone ten days! Shirley brings Ralph dinner while he's in jail, and once Frank leaves the station, a party erupts when Bob and Cookie stop by. Ralph quickly pays up his $2045 in parking tickets—in cash—in order to make the auditions for The Desert Song. He is then handed the lead role while Frank is relegated to that of General Birabeau, meaning he will be playing Ralph's father. Ralph buys out Wendy's brothers and offers to partner with Wendy to run the farm. Fatso eats (?) Narelle's eggs, but by this time, Nerelle had long since flown the coop. In a poorly planned attempt to win Esme back, Cookie, with some vocal assistance from Ralph, serenades her empty house—she's gone to visit her sister in Mudgee.

Guest Cast: Henri Szeps as Ralph Bianchi, Barbara Stevens as Wendy Hales, Syd Conabere as Alec Hales , Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, Penne Hackforth-Jones as Pam Foley. John Sheerin as John Hales.

Note: Henri Szeps appeared in episodes 31-34 as Perc Hobbs, Cookie's cousin.

All Fired Up

Episodes 159-160
Written by Marcus Cooney (159) and Peter Kinloch (160)
Directed by Bruce Best

Alan Ackerley, captain of the local bush fire brigade, is checking on the community's fire preparedness—and not liking what he finds, except for Molly however who earns his praise. Molly's opinion of Captain Ackerley changes when he turns a stubble burn on her land into an impromptu training exercise. Declining use of the club is stretching its finances (Shirley's win at the pokies doesn't help either) and Muldoon proposes raising membership fees while turning the facility into a "more exclusive country club style of operation," a change he says that should also keep out the "riffraff." Volunteer firefighter Kevin Thomas collapses at the club after returning from the Jones' farm, in hospital he is eventually found to have been bitten by a snake. Vicky makes arrangements with a young girl to treat her pony. Brendan continues to cover up for Matron Sloan. Shirley vows to fight Muldoon, again.

Shifting winds sweep a bush fire into the valley, quickly prompting the mobilisation of the community to fight the blaze. Vicky goes out to free Joanna Perrin's pony and becomes caught amidst the fire when her vehicle breaks down. Concerned for her son, an emotional Pam Foley tries to drag Terence away from the hospital to help her search for him, but when he refuses to leave his post, she becomes frantic. The strain on the hospital's staff forces Brendan to admit that Matron Sloan is on vacation. With the club being used as an emergency centre for victims of the fire, Muldoon proves himself uncharacteristically useful but afterward presents Cookie with an itemised bill for the supplies used. Molly refuses to leave her farm despite Bob's warnings. Simon leaves the hospital to go in search of Vicky, he finds she has taken refuge in her vehicle and drives her back to town. With Vicky's safe return, and the fire now under control, Shirley turns her attention to Frank, who cannot be accounted for. The end of the disaster brings a return of Esme's indifference towards Cookie. Al Ackerley is hospitalised after collapsing while fighting the fire, Frank is found by Bob, Chloe takes her first steps.

Guest Cast: Redman Phillips as Captain Ackerley, Peter Corbett as Eddy Parker, Peter Farmer as Kevin Thomas, Ruth Osborne as Sister Hammond, Penne Hackforth-Jones as Pam Foley, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Yolanne Guberina as Joanna Perrin. Greg Saunders as Benny, Warwick Moss as Man at Hospital, Barbara Phillips as Mrs. Clayton, Emily Nichol as Chloe Jones.

Raking Over the Ashes

Episodes 161-162
Written by Anthony Wheeler (161) and Roger Dunn (162)
Directed by Brendan Maher

As the community recovers from the bush fire, Cookie volunteers to look after his sister Coralie's three boys while she accompanies Ray (aka Cookie's "mongrel brother-in-law") to Sydney for his burn treatments. When a meal prepared by Cookie gives Bob and two of his nephews food poisoning, concerns about a possible epidemic arise when numerous members of the community become sick as well. Bobby Norton is sent to stay with Molly and Brendan, but he too eventually falls ill, but what was initially thought to be a mild dose of food poisoning is later identified as appendicitis when Terence is called out to examine him. Pam Foley informs Terence that she'll soon be regaining custody of her sons and will be moving to Burrigan to look for work. While out looking for looters, Frank meets up with Jack Dean, Shirley's ex husband. Vicky, who has been having a rough few days, is happy to see her father and Frank even offers Jack a room while he's in town, but Shirley is not at all pleased to see him. Vicky asks Simon to move out of their apartment to allow her father stay in his room but an unannounced visit allows Jack to meet Simon, although Vicky manages to cover up Simon's presence as a professional visit—despite Simon being in his pyjamas.

Terence operates on Bobby Norton when the young boy's appendix bursts. Terence's original failure to diagnose Bobby's condition brings back memories of an identical, but fatal, situation involving his own son, and in his attempt to revisit the past, Terence takes it upon himself to see Bobby through his recovery. While having dinner with Vicky and Simon, Jack confronts Simon and tells him that his living with Vicky is turning off potential suitors and "spoiling her chances." A conversation with Esme at the club results in Cookie's discovery of the source of the food poisoning—faulty wiring has been shutting down the club's freezer. Pam challenges Terence over his return to drinking when the crisis surrounding Bobby passes. Before leaving town, Jack tries to convince Vicky to move to the city for her own good. Terence helps Pam pack up her things for her move to Burrigan. Matron Sloan calls Brendan from Las Vegas seeking financial reinforcements. Molly discovers a dead possum in the farm's water supply.

Guest Cast: Deryck Barnes as Jack Dean, Penne Hackforth-Jones as Pam Foley, Robert Nicholls as Bobby Norton, Shane Sheeran as Kenny Norton, Jamie McIroy as Denny Norton, Ruth Osborne as Sister Hammond, Jill McKay as Mrs. Patchett. Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Ron Hackett as Farmer Giles. uncredited as David Elliott and Jason McGuire.

Note: Cookie's oft-mentioned "mongrel brother-in-law" is finally identified by name: Ray Norton.

A Good Cause

Episodes 163-164
Written by Anne Brooksbank (163) and Michael Brindley (164)
Directed by Bruce Best

While returning from a house call with Simon, Vicky stumbles upon the charred remains of an individual who apparently died in the bush fires, however, Terence's autopsy shows the woman died of a gunshot to the head. In an attempt to restore the community's interest in the club, Cookie devises a plan for a charity fundraiser to benefit victims of the fire. Mounting pressures begin to affect Shirley, prompting her to ask Terence for some time off. Aubrey Knight, an elderly man in hospital for treatment of his burns, is eager to leave hospital, and expresses his desire to join his wife in Sydney where she is receiving treatment for her Parkinson's disease. Molly presents Brendan with a number of exotic vacation ideas.

Meryl and Dennis Bellamy, a hard working couple who don't easily accept charity, are released from hospital only to discover that after having lost everything in the fire, their insurance won't cover them. Frank arrests one of the looters. Police investigators identify the charred body as that of Aubrey's wife Rose. When Frank connects Aubrey to his wife's death, he comes clean and admits to killing his wife as part of a suicide pact, but he was kept from completing his part by the fire. Cookie's "entertainers" for the Gala night arrive in town, but the gregarious girls' prove too much for Esme. Bob arranges for the Gala night proceeds to go to the Bellamys and arranges with Muldoon to make it appear that the money is part of their insurance payout. Shirley returns home early from her vacation in Sydney where she spend time working at a friend's refuge for street kids. Molly suggests to Brendan that their vacation plans be cancelled—she's pregnant again.

Guest Cast: Keith Eden as Aubrey Knight, Peter Carmody as Det. Sgt. McLaren, George Carter as Mr. Taylor, Fred Welsh as Mr. Lucas, Lynette Haddrick as Nurse, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones. Annie Byron as Meryl Bellamy, Russel Newman as Dennis Bellamy, Shirley Cameron as Irene, Lola Brooks as Topsy, Jack Weiner as Terry, Jack Allen as Piano Player.

Positive Steps

Episodes 165-166
Written by David Allen (165) and Sheila Sibley (166)
Directed by Brendan Maher

Vicky drops Simon off at the gate to the Haywood farm, but after his "short walk" up the driveway, he learns his intended patient in a horse. The trip however is not without its benefits as he meets the lovely, and rich, Cynthia Haywood. Maggie Sloan's attempt at a surreptitious return to work fails but she is able to divert Terence with a gift when he tries to confront her about the burden her sudden disappearance caused (she also gives Brendan a $500 poker chip—redeemable only in Las Vegas). When Bev asks Brendan to look in on Laura Nash, a woman stricken with Multiple Sclerosis, he arrives at her home to find her on the floor with a broken ankle. After learning about Laura's past as a promising young dancer, Brendan takes a personal interest in her recovery. Molly blames the recent deaths of a number of her hens on Cynthia Haywood's new gliding club, she believes the "girls" are seeing the gliders as large predatory birds and are dying of shock. Vicky is quick to back Molly, the least of her reasons being to spite Cynthia, whom Simon has become infatuated with. Vicky talks to Shirley about going to Sydney and finding a way not to have to stay with her father. A young girl from the refuge in Sydney contacts Shirley. Bob is still AWOL, he was last seen heading to Burrigan with the Hijinks girls.

Simon brings Cynthia by the farm to ask Molly if the Gliding Club could use her paddock, Molly refuses and takes the opportunity to raise the subject of her hens' deaths. After having his suggestion of an alternative, relaxation based treatment vociferously rejected by patient Derek Clayton, Terence rethinks his approach to treating the angry man and his arthritis. After going to the trouble of getting Muldoon to act as an official observer of the effect of the glider overflights, Vicky discovers that Molly's hens have not been dying of "glider fright" but a parasitic infestation. The community's overbearing support and good intentions push Laura into a setback but afterwards she asks Brendan, who has been pushing her to get back into dance through choreology, to allow her to move on with her life as she sees fit. Simon's infatuation with Cynthia ends when he receives an invitation to her wedding. Gabe phones Shirley at the clinic again. Muldoon mistakenly drinks the bottle of hair restorer given to him by Matron Sloan. A party is held to mark Chloe's first birthday.

Guest Cast: Linda Newton as Laura Nash, Patrick Ward as Carl Nash, Anna Lee as Cynthia Hayward, Roger Carroll as Farmer, Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, Ruth Osborne as Sister Hammond. Tom Farley as Derek Clayton, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon.

Kith and Kin

Episodes 167-168
Written by Hugh Stuckey (167) and Judith Colquhoun (168)
Directed by Robert Meillon

Before leaving to visit Brendan's parents, Molly decides to rip up the rest of the kitchen linoleum, revealing more old newspapers underneath. She quickly becomes enthralled with the newspapers which date back to the 1930s and contain stories ranging from the opening of the world's first milk bar and Donald Bradman's oversees cricket exploits to the tale Cissy Holt, a local woman who went missing. Simon must quickly depart for Sydney when his father telephones to tell him that his mother has been in a serious car accident. Esme's encounter with a drunken Bert Griffith's at the club, in which he questions her claim to be descended from "the Irish Kings" prompts her to look into her past. Bert's exploits at the club continue when mocks Bob and Cookie about their domestic partnership but end when he punches Bob in the nose and has to take him to hospital. While she's in hospital, Mrs. Coote sheds some light on the mystery of Cissy Holt. It seems that she was Esme's aunt and went missing for six months in 1930. Having been asked by Simon to deliver some anniversary gifts to his parents' home while in Sydney for a seminar, Vicky learns of the car accident and goes to the hospital to be with Simon at his mother's bedside.

Although Mrs. Coote can provide no further information about Cissy Holt, Molly learns of Cissy's suicide in an old newspaper article. Molly's discovery of a box of letters Cissy wrote to a friend after her parents sent her away when she got pregnant help shed some light on events. Most surprising is Molly's discovery that Cissy gave up her baby to Mona Watson and her husband to raise, and that child, born Harriet Holt, was renamed Esme Watson! Brendan and Molly burn the letters without telling Esme but one question remains: who was Esme's father? Their only clue is his nickname: Ginge. Simon's mother regains consciousness and is on the road to recovery. Vicky passes up her date with Andy Robinson to spend the day with Simon. Their eventual return to Wandin Valley brings with it an awkwardness due to their newfound closeness. Esme's discovery of her certificate of baptism seems to satisfy her quest to prove that she exists. Terence plays poker with Maggie. When Bert comes to pick up Carpenter from the Gilroy's, a twist in their conversation prompts him to reveal a nickname his friends used to call him due to his red hair.

Guest Cast: Queenie Ashton as Mrs. Coote, Edward Howell as Bert Griffiths, Keith Lee as Robert Bowen, Lynn Murphy as Alieen Bowen, Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, Peter Schwarz as Andy, uncredited as Nurse.

Notes: Our first glimpse at Simon's family, and apart from his parents, we learn he has two older brothers, John and Nicholas, both of whom are living overseas. Some hilarious scenes with Bert Griffiths at the club, standouts include his numerous confrontations with Esme, and his punch up with Bob—"I done him!"

Running Away

Episodes 169-170
Written by Luis Bayonas (169) and Forrest Redlich (170), Directors: John Jacob and Marie Trevor.

Shirley invites Vicky and Simon over for dinner in an attempt to determine what exactly went on between the two in Sydney. Shirley can see a change in them, and even Vicky admits that their relationship has been altered. Gabe turns up at the clinic after having runaway from the refuge in Sydney. Shirley lets Gabe stay with her and Frank, but Gabe's story about hitchhiking to Wandin Valley is challenged by Frank when a stolen car is found abandoned outside of town. Jose Salvador, a man whose wife recently passed away in hospital, sees Terence for treatment of his persistent cough and becomes a friend to Paul, an extremely inquisitive young boy. Molly and Brendan leave for their holiday in Adelaide (taking the FJ which now appears to be their only car). After turning down Molly's offer to stay at the farm, Bob changes his mind after an argument with Cookie, and Vicky, after deciding to take her relationship with Simon back to it's pre-Sydney form, decides to move out to the farm as well. Cookie and Bob look for a way to keep Frank out of town during their Monte Carlo night—Cookie suggests "an ominous" phone call.

Unable to stay at her mother's due to Gabe staying there, Vicky settles on staying at the Jones' farm with Bob. Maggie talks Councillor Muldoon into reconsidering his opposition to the planned Monte Carlo night at the club the mention of big profits seems to turn him around. After connecting Gabe to two stolen cars, Sgt. Gilroy is forced to charge her. When her mother refuses to come up for Gabe's trial (she's going on vacation with her boyfriend), Gabe faces becoming a ward of the state until Shirley convinces Frank to allow her to stay with them. Paul turns on Jose when he shoots his sick dog. Jose believed the dog had rabies, a disease that does not exist is Australia, but Vicky finds the dog had distemper, an untreatable condition that would have eventually taken dog's life. The unlikely friends eventually mend their differences and come to a quiet understanding. Simon and Vicky continue their awkward dance when around one another, with Simon getting drunk at the club and then skipping the gala to avoid her. Muldoon is taken aback by Maggie's announcement that the Monte Carlo night proceeds will be donated to charity.

Guest Cast: Hans Farkash as Jos&eacute, Salvador, Jason Morris as Paul, Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, Rebecca Rigg as Gabe, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones.

Note: Hans Farkash's third guest role on ACP, he previously played Alex Popovich in episodes 5-6 and Zanussi in 121. Rebecca Rigg also returns, she played Kerry Jamieson in episode 28.

My Son, My Son

Episodes 171-172
Written by Marcus Cooney (171) and Agi Schreck (172)
Directed by Bruce Best

The magistrate releases Gabe into the Gilroy's custody on a twelve month good behaviour bond. Vicky invites Simon out to the farm for dinner but Bob's unexpected return from the club turns company into a crowd. The Wandin Valley Wanderers defeat the Burrigan Bandits in the big football match. Festivities are quickly quelled however by a violent collision between two cars outside of town. One car is that of Billy Tyler who was driving two of his fellow Wanderers home, the second is that of expectant parents Roger and Pru Wallace. As Roger is transferred to the Burrigan hospital, Pru is taken to Wandin Valley where she undergoes an emergency cesarean section to save her baby. Of the three footballers, most critically injured is Marty Simpson, a promising young athlete with a chance of a professional career. Marty's injuries require him to be placed on life support and after additional tests, Terence must break the news to his mother that he has severe brain damage.

Bob is quick to douse the fire when a phone call from Molly reminds him that Jules is hibernating in the chimney. Frank takes Gabe for her first day of classes at Burrigan High. Sally Wyndham makes a surprise visit. Sally was once engaged to Simon but spurned him in favour of another doctor whom she married and has since divorced. Vicky becomes upset when she learns Simon has invited Sally to stay at their flat and to make matters worse, when they first meet at the club, Sally mistakenly comes under the impression that Vicky is married to Bob! Frank lays charges against Billy Tyler when tests show his blood alcohol level at the time of the accident was over the legal limit. Billy faces a maximum sentence of three years in jail, five if Marty dies. Terence has some sharp words to Pru Wallace about the selfish reasons for her rejection of her newborn son. His words have a quick affect and Pru is soon bonding with her son whom she has named Julian Roger. Further tests show that Martin Simpson is brain dead. Terence informs his mother, and after she says her final goodbyes to her son, Terence turns off life support. Vicky gives Gabe a stray dog from her surgery and before long Gabe has made the dog over in her own image with a red and blue dye job.

Guest Cast: Judi Farr as Faye Simpson, Gerard Sont as Marty Simpson, Michael Winchester as Billy Tyler, Susannah Fowle as Pru Wallace, Terry Brady as Roger Wallace, Jan Kingsbury as Marie Tyler, Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, Ruth Osborne as Sister Hammond, Rebecca Rigg as Gabe. Sally Conabere as Sally Wyndham.

Tipping the Balance

Episodes 173-174
Written by Hugh Stuckey (173) and Anne Brooksbank (174)
Directed by Brendan Maher

Molly and Brendan return from their vacation in Adelaide, bringing with them a monstrous crib handmade by Brendan's father. Brendan asks Molly to take it easy for the remaining five months of her pregnancy, and alters their familiar motto to reflect his desire: "me farm and me hospital." Town postmistress Ida Dugdale lands in hospital after falling off her bicycle. Terence determines that Ida's nagging throat irritation is caused by an overactive thyroid gland. Simon takes Sally for a picnic at "Bowen's Foley." Councillor Muldoon takes advantage of Ida's hospitalisation to surreptitiously go through the Post Office financial records. Gabe's heated argument with Shirley and Frank ends on a surprising note when Shirley slaps Gabe. After she checks herself out of hospital, Terence approaches Ida about seeking treatment for her condition. Terence receives some unlikely support from Councillor Muldoon who hopes to get Ida out of the way so that he can take over the Post Office.

Terence tells Ida that it is time she forgoes her herbal remedies in favour of conventional medical treatment. Molly and Brendan host a dinner party, inviting Simon, Sally and Vicky, a gathering which unwittingly serves as a venue for Vicky and Simon to reminisce about one of their more memorable exploits [see Episodes 10]. Ida doesn't care to press charges against Gabe for stealing her bicycle, the two even become friends when Frank sends Gabe to the hospital to apologise. While Ida is in hospital, a group of volunteers are organised to run the Post Office, they even manage to subvert Muldoon's effort at undermining Ida in his attempt to gain control of the postal service. Simon's hesitance in advancing his relationship with Sally gives her reason to go home to Sydney. Ida responds well to her treatments and will soon be out of hospital. Moving back to her apartment, Vicky is greeted with flowers—from "Fatso."

Guest Cast: Kay Eklund as Ida Dugdale, Sally Conabere as Sally Wyndham, Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, Rebecca Rigg as Gabe, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Jon Darling as Mr. Pearson. Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones.

Favourite Scene: Esme, as a replacement postmistress, shortens the birthday telegram Cookie wants to send to his sister. To reduce the price, Esme edits it down to just two words: “Greetings. Vernon.”
“‘To dear Coralie,’ well you don’t need that, she knows her own name…, ‘Happy birthday,’ she knows it’s her birthday Vernon…, ‘Thinking of you,’ well there’s no need to put that, she knows you’ve sent her the telegram…, ‘Your loving brother,’ she knows who you are Vernon.”

Pioneering Spirit

Episodes 175-176
Written by Sheila Sibley (175) and John Graham (176)
Directed by Robert Meillon

Gabe meets Rick Jamieson while hitchhiking and later visits him at the abandoned farm where he his staying. The property belonged to his father before he was forced to sell out, and now Rick has returned, coming from the same Sydney refuge that Gabe left, with dreams of rebuilding the farm—and stealing what he needs from neighbouring properties to do so. Loud winds, odd noises, Bob's ghost stories, and a spooky radio drama all combine to frighten Molly when she's alone on the farm late at night. While checking on her animals, Molly spots an intruder and later discovers two of her "girls" are missing. Harry Jolly comes into hospital with a torn muscle in his leg. The belligerent truck driver hastles Brendan for being a nurse and twice sneaks out to go to the club for a drink. Shirley discovers Gabe is taking birth control pills. Simon and Vicky watch "The Curse of the Swamp People" on television.

Brought back to hospital after his destructive rampage at the club, Harry Jolly is found to have malaria. After Molly's second encounter with her "ghost," some of Brendan's tools are found to be missing. While attempting to steal a cow, Rick falls from a fence and stabs himself in the leg. Three miles away, Gabe hears his cries for help carried on the wind and goes to his aid. Gabe drives Rick to the Jones farm and from there, Brendan takes him to hospital. Harry advises Rick and Gabe on how to stay out of trouble when Frank begins investigating Rick's accident, and following his advice, Gabe goes about returning all the items Rick stole. By the time Frank makes it out to the Jamieson farm, all the stolen items are gone—except for a stolen bale of chicken wire and an empty container of orange juice, the latter being a telltale indication to Frank of Gabe's involvement. Despite this, Frank doesn't pursue the matter, coming up with the explanation that the wire must have "rolled" down from the neighbour's property. After telling Rick about his own son who is in prison, Harry offers Rick a job working for him. Shirley leaves Frank with the task of talking to Gabe about sex, she of course asks him what he wants to know.

Guest Cast: John Ewart as Harry Jolly, Rebecca Rigg as Gabe, David Clencie as Rick Jamieson, Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan.

Taking the Plunge

Episodes 177-178
Written by Luis Bayonas (177) and Hugh Stuckey (178)
Directed by Russell Webb

Cookie places an ad for a housekeeper when Bob's house reaches new heights of uncleanliness. Gabe applies for the job but Bob gives the position to Glenda Saunders, a woman he is obviously smitten with. Prior to her first day of work, Bob give his house a thorough cleaning, explaining to Cookie, "I don't want her to think we live like pigs." Young superhero-in-training Brett Hutchins is rushed to hospital after jumping out of a ten metre high tree before his startled mother—he had just been to the circus with his father and was trying to emulate the "Bird Man." While Brett is in hospital, Matron Sloan tries to keep his mother from keeping a bed-side vigil and confronts Brendan over the issue when he tries to bring a cot into Brett's room for her. With her relationship with Hilton Mercer over, Judy Loveday is rehired when Councillor Muldoon consents to the hiring of additional hospital staff, she explains her decision to return as being "a toss up between suicide and Wandin Valley." After an embarrassing incident at the club the night before involving a price tag on her blouse ("what, this old thing?"), Vicky uncharacteristically prepares a candlelight dinner for Simon.

Glenda's revelation that she is married leaves Bob heartbroken. Brendan seeks support from Terence in his effort to get Matron Sloan to relax her firm grip on hospital regulations so that Brett's mother can stay at the hospital with him. His attempt, bordering on insubordination, is unsuccessful and it is only when Matron Sloan discovers Brett cowering under his bed late at night does she finally recognise her error. After his quarrel with Vicky over the "thank you" notes Sally has sent them, Simon tells Shirley about his plans to go to Sydney, telling her he needs to "make a decision about myself, about my life—I've been drifting, hoping." Simon is very clear in telling Shirley what route he'll be taking, and once out on the highway, he pulls his car over to the side of the road to wait. Shirley meanwhile has gone to tell Vicky and chastises her for letting Simon go back to Sally. After a talk with Fatso, and taking the time to change clothes, Vicky goes after Simon. Simon is about to conclude his staged breakdown when Vicky's truck crests a nearby hill. "What kept you" are his first words to Vicky as it is now apparent he orchestrated the whole trip-to-Sydney story to force Vicky's hand. After stopping at a small restaurant, Simon stumbles through a marriage proposal, and before long they are back at the club where they announce their engagement to their stunned friends and family, most of whom can only reply "it's about time!"

Guest Cast: Diane Craig as Cramel Hutchins, Adam McCreadie as Brett Hutchins, Gary Dale as Don Hutchins, Lola Brooks as Glenda Saunders, Rebecca Rigg as Gabe, Jon Darling as Mr. Pearson, Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Mandi Climpson as Nurse Trent. Joy Hruby as Waitress.

Notes: New scenes appear in the opening and closing credits. The new scenes are of Brendan droving sheep from Episodes 133, and of Terence in his new dark blue 4x4. There is also a large turnover in the production crew.

Spellbound

Episodes 179-180
Written by Anthony Wheeler (179) and David Allen (180)
Directed by Bruce Best

Brendan offers Simon a room at the farm when a certain member of the community makes it known that he and Vicky should not be living together until they are married. After being sidetracked from their trip to Terence's vineyard by a call to the Roach farm to attend to a deceased family member, Terence and Matron Sloan are shocked when they later return to the Roach farm and discover Gus Roach, Roy Roach's severely retarded brother, chained up inside a shed. Chased off by a gun wielding Roy, Terence returns to the farm with Sgt. Gilroy to take Gus to hospital. Accident prone Arnold Mortimer finds himself stuck in Wandin Valley after getting in a car accident with Bob. To make matters worse, he must be hospitalised when he breaks his leg after getting his foot caught in one of the club's toilets. Judy gives Matron Sloan a dried flower arrangement as a peace offering but it quickly lands at the bottom of the matron's wastebasket (she likes her desk unadorned). Gabe mixes herself a cocktail from leftover drinks at the club. Roy makes a nighttime visit to his brother in hospital to shackle him to his bed.

Bob helps Shirley take Gabe home from the club after she gets drunk. Vicky later confronts Gabe about her recent attitude and suggests it is because she is jealous of the attention she has received from Shirley since her and Simon's engagement. Terence accompanies Frank out to the Roach farm after Matron Sloan discovers Gus chained to his bed. Roy seems indifferent about what he has done and warns them he won't be held responsible for what Gus may do. Spying through hospital windows looking for the "madman," Esme sees Arnold fall out of bed and rushes into the hospital to tell Brendan that he is convulsing. While Brendan is attending to Arnold, who has broken his arm in the fall, Esme wanders into Gus's room and begins talking to him. She makes a quick retreat however when Terence arrives and tells her that Gus is the "madman" she's been fearing. Roy's warning proves prophetic as Gus goes on a late night rampage at the hospital, destroying his room before assaulting Matron Sloan and stabbing Judy in the arm. When Matron Sloan tries to subdue him, Gus turns the knife on her, stabbing her repeatedly before Arnold responds to Judy's cries for help and overwhelms Gus. Terence operates on Maggie to save her life and is forced to remove her spleen. Gus is sedated and restrained in hospital, he will be sent away to a home where he'll be cared for properly. Matron Sloan is sent off to Sydney for plastic surgery and recuperation. Terence and Frank discuss Gus's rampage with Roy, who tells them his brother's rages are triggered by the full moon, a condition that apparently runs in his family as his mother was also prone to fits of severe rage and was taken away after assaulting her husband with an axe. When Vicky invites Simon over for dinner, a phone call from Bev soon follows to see how long he'll be staying. Since Muldoon signed Arnold up for a full coverage insurance policy after his car accident, he is left holding Arnold's substantial medical bill when he checks out of hospital but not before one final accident of course.

Guest Cast: Joan Sydney as Matron Sloan, Max Cullen as Arnold Mortimer, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Max Phipps as Gus Roach, Tim Eliott as Roy Roach, Adele Dreiffuss as Norma Roach, Rebecca Rigg as Gabe, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Cassandra Moore as Lil Roach.

Promises, Promises

Episodes 181-182
Written by Ted Roberts (181) and Forrest Redlich (182)
Directed by Peter Maxwell

Simon asks Brendan to be his best man but lets the cat out of the bag when he tells Molly that Vicky will be asking her to be her maid of honour. Councillor Muldoon books a small band to play at the town hall but when Gas Chamber roll into town, they are clearly not what the councillor expected—Gabe is rather fond of them however. Simon's extravagant wedding plans cause concern for Vicky and Shirley. Simon and Molly's idea for a period wedding finally pushes Vicky to call a meeting with Shirley and Frank at which time she stresses her desire for a small ceremony. The arrival of the paltry financial contribution from Vicky's father results in Frank offering to pay for the wedding, an offer only strengthened when Simon offers to help out, suggesting Frank couldn't possibly afford it on his "cop's salary." Local boxing legend Les "Spider" Blake finds himself in hospital after his wife hits him over the head with a bottle when she learns he's been thwarting her attempts to breed her prize dog.

Having difficulty breathing, Razor is rushed to hospital where the doctors perform a tracheotomy. After Les' release from hospital, Frank and Shirley must take him back after he arrives on their doorstep having been bashed. While in hospital, Les admits to Frank that his wife assaulted him and has also been responsible for his numerous previous injuries. Les tells Dimity he will be divorcing her but when she later returns to hospital and asks him to come back home on the promise that she'll control her temper, he agrees. Terence informs Razor that due to a rare flu complication, her vocal chords have been paralysed and she won't be able to speak for up to a year, and may never sing again. Jett sees her off to Burrigan before he and Cole leave town, leaving behind Gabe who had hopes of joining the band. Simon and Vicky's wedding party is finalised as Simon asks Terence to be his groomsman and Vicky asks a gloomy Gage to be her bridesmaid. Frank is uncertain of how Vicky feels toward him but he is soon reassured when she asks him to give her away at the wedding.

Guest Cast: Martin Vaughan as Les Blake, Kate Parker as Dimity Blake, Laura Gabriel as Razor Sharpe [Rosemary Hart], Jim Holt as Cole Swetz, Michael Harrs as Jett Lagg, Rebecca Rigg as Gabe, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon. Rock 'n' Roll music by "Shot at Sunrise."

From This Day Forward

Episodes 183-184
Written by David Boutland (183) and Judith Colquhoun (184)
Directed by Brendan Maher

Simon's hopes for a wild and eventful bucks night fall flat when his friends' promise of a "quiet dinner with a few friends" at Bob's house turns out to be just that. Meanwhile, the ladies' "civilised evening" is livened up by Gabe's vodka-spiked punch. Anne Finlay brings her daughter Alice to hospital after she is thrown from her horse. Terence introduces Alice to Tommy Ambrose hoping he'll help her overcome her newfound fear of horses. Cookie goes all out in making the "cake of the year" for the "wedding of the year" but must hold Bob off at knife point when he thinks his missing tooth may have ended up in the cake. Young Jim Thomson accidentally lets Tommy Ambrose's horse out of it's corral. When Tommy finally locates the horse, it has been gored by a bull, requiring him to call Vicky for help—just as she is getting into her wedding dress.

While Vicky rushes out to attend to the injuries to Tommy's racehorse, Sister Loveday is forced to call the doctors back to the hospital where they must operate on Linda Reed after she is admitted with an ectopic pregnancy. Cookie's impressive Eiffel tower-shaped wedding cake doesn't survive transport when a sudden stop sends the cake crashing down from its precarious perch on the car's roof. Frank brings Vicky her wedding dress at the Ambrose farm but a flat tire threatens to delay them further. Simon arrives for the wedding a ball of nerves but is on hand to see Vicky arrive in dramatic fashion, standing up in the back of Bob's ute as it races to the church. Simon and Vicky's wedding ceremony is held in close confines as their family and friends join them in the small church. The reception is filled by speeches from Frank and Simon, the reading of telegrams, and danceing. Cookie manages to reconstruct his cake, although now somewhat shorter, and Esme discovers Bob's missing tooth when she samples Cookie's cake. After leaving the reception, Vicky and Simon stop off at the Ambrose farm to check on the horse before returning to their apartment. They'll be leaving on their Tasmanian honeymoon in the morning. Terence stops in at the hospital where he gives the bouquet he caught to Judy.

Guest Cast: Danny Adcock as Tommy Ambrose, Caz Lederman as Anne Finlay, Oliva Martin as Alice Finlay, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Rebecca Rigg as Gabe, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones, Robert Hughes as Adrian, Jon Darling as Mr. Pearson, Simon McArthur as Jim Thomson. Alan Russel as Minister, Lynne Murphy as Aileen Bowen, Keith Lee as Robert Bowen, uncredited as Linda Reed, uncredited as Mr. Reed.

Notes: After the wedding ceremony, a 3 minute montage of wedding photos and video highlights of Simon and Vicky's relationship is shown before the story is picked up again during the reception. Danny Adcock appears in his 3rd guest role while Caz Lederman and Robert Hughes both make their second.

Got it Made

Episode 185-186
Writer: Leon Saunders (185 &amp, 186)
Directed by Gary Conway

Brendan asks Molly to cut back on her farm work now that she is six months pregnant. A rash of thefts around town, some at Muldoon's hardware store, keep Frank busy—and not very happy about Muldoon's suggestion that Gabe, a former employee, is responsible. A fire in the hospital's kitchen leaves the task of meal preparation to Cookie and forces Brendan to confront Muldoon about the need to upgrade the kitchen's equipment. Roy Clayton and Mac James, two drifters passing through the district, are responsible for the thefts as they are gathering materials to fix up an abandoned farmhouse where they are staying. Roy and Mac are unexpectedly joined by Murray McPherson and Neville Walker, two mysterious men who arrive suddenly on a cold, rain-swept day. Leery of the new arrivals, Roy and Mac try to sneak away but are stopped by Murray who holds them at gunpoint before sending Mac into town to fetch a doctor for Neville. Mac brings Terence out to the isolated house where he discovers that Neville is suffering from a gunshot wound. Shirley asks Molly to approach Gabe about making her a new dress.

Murray holds Terence at gunpoint and forces him to operate on Neville to remove the bullet from his arm. Frank steps between Gabe and Muldoon at the cub when he sees her confronting him about his accusation that she's been stealing from his store. As his patients at the clinic and the hospital go unattended, it is realised that Terence is missing and Cookie and Bob are sent out to look for him. Meanwhile, the discovery of an airplane in a field prompts Frank to launch a search for the missing pilot. His search leads him to the abandoned Mulligan farm where Murray and Neville are hiding out. Frank's arrival causes Murray and Neville to attempt an escape, taking Terence with them. Once out of the farmhouse, Terence is able to get away from the men and a short shootout between Frank and Murray ensues. Murray and Neville escape in Terence's truck and drive to Burrigan where they steal an airplane and make a successful getaway—minus the half million dollars worth of heroin they left back at the farm. Brendan buys Molly a new green plastic bucket to replace the one Mac and Roy stole.

Guest Cast: Sydney Jackson as Murray McPherson, David Waters as Neville Walker, Jon Darling as Mr.[Jim] Pearson, Paul Chubb as Mac James, Bill Bennett as Roy Clayton, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Rebecca Rigg as Gabe [Baker]. Alan McQueen as Wally Pope.

Note: Paul Chubb appeared previously in episodes 109-110, David Waters in episodes 61-62, and Sydney Jackson in episodes 27-28 and 115-116.

Have I Got a Deal For You

Episode 187-188
Written by Shelia Sibley (187) and Anne Brooksbank (188)
Directed by Bruce Best

Molly is visited by antique dealer Roger Markham who is in the district scouting old farm properties. Molly has nothing to offer and sends him to Esme when he inquires about finding a room to let. Hannah Green arrives to a busy hospital and after a brief wait, is examined by Terence who determines she has a perforated ulcer that will require an operation to fix. While she's in hospital, Mrs. Green tries to interest Terence in her daughter and the staff are not shy about teasing Terence about this. During Mrs. Green's operation, Judy's mouth once again gets her in trouble when, out of ignorance, she makes a joke about the concentration camp tattoo on Mrs. Green's arm. Roger Markham visits Merv Clapton who has some antiques he would like Roger to see. Roger feigns a lack of interest and "reluctantly" agrees to purchase some of Merv's things—if only to use as firewood. Merv takes Roger at his word and when Roger comes around to collect a 150-year-old dresser, Merv has it chopped up and waiting for him. Esme quickly comes to trust her lodger and asks him to advise her about her investments. Roger interests are further piqued when Esme mentions some "old family trinkets" she has locked away in the bank which she offers to show him. With Shirley's birthday coming up (and Gabe's), Frank asks Roger if he has anything that might be suitable for a gift.

Frank brings Shirley an armload of roses at the clinic—one for each year of her life. Ellen Green arrives in town to see her mother in hospital but the pair spend most of their time arguing. Cookie tries to warn Esme about Roger, but despite his warning that he may be a con man, Esme won't listen to him (Roger is in fact trying to poison her). Gabe is sent to stay with Molly and Brendan so that Frank and Shirley can be alone on her birthday. Cookie asks Frank to investigate Roger and when the findings come back, Cookie goes to Esme's house to tell her about Roger's previous wives, both of whom died under suspicious circumstances. For his troubles, Cookie is thrown out of Esme's house by Roger. Mrs. Green takes a sudden turn for the worse and dies of a pulmonary embolism but when Ellen returns to the hospital and is informed of her mother's passing, Judy takes her to task for not being there. A forlorn and upset Esme comes into the clinic where she tells Shirley that Roger slipped out of town in the middle of the night, leaving her just a note to day goodbye. Frank, concerned about the expensive brooch he bought from Roger and then gave to Shirley for her birthday, wants to get it appraised but Shirley refuses, telling him that it's monetary value does not matter, but that it came from him does. Cookie consoles Esme at the club and she thanks him for being a true friend when it mattered.

Guest Cast: June Salter as Hannah Green, Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon, Ronald Falk as Roger Markham, Colin Taylor as Merv Clapton, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday, Rebecca Rigg as Gabe. Cathy Downes as Ellen Green.

Wednesday's Child

Episode 189-190
Written by Judith Colquhoun (189) and Forrest Redlich (190)
Directed by Russell Webb

Molly's latest project, the creation of a model pioneer settlement, seems well underway as the Jones' kitchen is filled with all sorts of antique farm implements. Vicky and Simon attempt to slip back into town from their honeymoon in the dead of night but are promptly visited by Frank, Shirley and Gabe. Terence gives Cookie a cookbook to thank him for helping out with the hospital meals. The event of Gabe's 15th birthday is overshadowed by the bombshell she lays on Molly—she is pregnant. Molly takes Gabe to the clinic where Terence informs Shirley of the news. Terence favours termination due to Gabe's age but Gabe is eager to keep the baby. Esme is very clear in her belief that Vicky, as she is now married, should sell her practice to stay home and look after her husband and eventual children. Cookie approaches Frank about the unpopular new parking enforcements Muldoon has imposed. Judy appears to be the only one in support of the new regulations—until her little red Mazda is ticketed. Frank is not at all happy to learn about Gabe's pregnancy and demands to know who the father is, and although Gabe doesn't admit it to him, it is clear that it is Cole Swetz [see episodes 181-182]. Hoping to discourage Gabe's sudden romantic view of motherhood, Terence takes her to see Denise Burton, a young single mother struggling to get by, but Gabe comes away from the meeting more enthusiastic than ever. Molly has to be taken to hospital when complications arise in her pregnancy. Gabe is left to look after Chloe and while taking her for a walk, Gabe momentarily turns her back and Chloe wanders off into the bush.

Frank is unable to contact Gabe's mother, it appears she has moved and has not left a forwarding address. Gabe locates Chloe but wanders further into the bush trying to make her way back to the farm. After returning from the hospital, Brendan and Molly realise Gabe and Chloe are missing and Brendan calls Frank who quickly organises a search party. Molly is frustrated at not being able to help in the search effort as she is confined to the couch, still at risk of loosing her baby. Gabe and Chloe endure near freezing temperatures as they are forced to spend the night outdoors. As the search resumes in the morning, Muldoon keeps busy posturing for the media who are covering the search effort. Bob eventually locates Gabe and Chloe, fourteen kilometres from the Jones' farm, and returns them safely. With Chloe back in her mother's arms, Vicky and Simon suggest to Brendan that he thank Gabe for looking after Chloe as he had previously said some harsh words about her in front of Shirley. The next day, Gabe goes to the clinic to see Terence, asking for both Shirley and Frank to join her. When Frank arrives he learns that Gabe has decided to terminate her pregnancy. Frank makes it quite clear that he opposes abortion, and after listening to Gabe's "I'm just not ready" speech, walks out of Terence's office wanting no further involvement in the matter. Terence pays Simon and Vicky an unappreciated late night visit to wrap up his long and stressful day. Shirley accompanies Gabe to Sydney and the pair return the next day.

Guest Cast: Rebecca Rigg as Gabe, Emily Nicol as Chloe Jones, Arna Hunter as Denise, Sylvia Delany as Mrs. Cartwright, Wendy Strehlow as Sister Judy Loveday. Brian Moll as Councillor Muldoon.