A Country Practice: episode guide

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

Straight From The Heart

Episode 01
Written by Leon Saunders
Directed by Peter R. Dodds

With the destruction of the fire now just a memory, the community of Wandin Valley is busy rebuilding. Construction on the new Community Health Centre nears completion as Dr. Harry Morrison awaits the return of his wife Kate from China. He is shocked however to receive a letter from Kate indicating that not only will she not be returning, she plans to file for a divorce as well. As Harry struggles to come to terms with this news he diagnoses Elizabeth Kelly, a bride-to-be and friend of Kate’s, with a heart murmur and oversees her treatment, going so far as to travel with her to Melbourne to assist in her operation.
Meanwhile Elizabeth’s fiancé, Jimmy O’Neil, remains in the valley struggling with his agoraphobia. He manages to leave their house but must seek refuge in a phone box after a panic attack. He is picked up and taken to the health centre by Senior Constable Danny Sabatini, Wandin Valley’s new police officer, who upon first arriving in the valley, promptly had his foot run over by Bev’s taxi. At the health centre Maggie Sloan convinces Jimmy to let her go with him to Melbourne so that he may be with Elizabeth, allowing them to be married on Valentine’s Day as they had planned.
Park Ranger Ian McIntyre’s hopes for a quiet Valentine’s dinner with his roommate Claire Bonacci go awry when she becomes attached to the piglet he was planning to have prepared for dinner. His final hope for winning the heart of Claire rests in the powers of Esme’s famous sticky chocolate pudding but when Claire rents Constable Sabatini their extra room, three becomes a crowd, and Esme’s pudding works it’s magic on the wrong couple.

Guest Cast: Rebecca Macauley as Liz Kelly, Alan King as Jimmy O’Neil, Dale Stevens as Sister Quirke.

Love Potion Number Nine

Episode 02
Written by David Phillips
Directed by Peter R. Dodds

A longstanding feud between the two sides of the Vlahos family resurfaces on a bridge on the outskirts of Wandin Valley. Adding to the troubles is Claire, who has hired their rival businesses to finish renovations on the clinic. Troubles arise when Kosta reads his younger sister’s fantasy-filled diary in which the subject of her writings is Peter Vlahos, a member of other side of the family. Jumping to conclusions, Kosta attacks Peter and retaliation soon follows bringing Danny into the midst of the feud.
Fed up with Danny’s slow response to what Esme believes to be a bomb in a suitcase at the health centre, Harry takes the initiative and opens the case only to be greeted by the teeth of a baby crocodile. Ian takes the croc, now named Maggie, back to Willow Tree and while waiting to find it a home, he creates a lush tropical habitat in his bathroom for it.
With her family making plans to send her out of state, Aleki prepares a love potion which she slips into Peter’s drink. Unfortunately, he comes down with food poisoning as a result and has to be pulled from the public swimming pool by Aleki’s brother. While he’s in hospital, Aleki tells Peter what she has done and tells him how she feels about him. At the official opening of the Community Heath Clinic, Aleki and Peter make public their feelings for one other, pacifying the feud between their two families—or so it would seem.

Guest Cast: Elana Mandalis as Aleki Vlahos, John Felpas as Peter Vlahos, Maurie Annese as Kosta Vlahos, Effie Lolas as Angela Vlahos, George Prataris as Dimitri Vlahos, Annie Gagliardi as Nikki, Laura Armstrong as Georgie Wilks.

The Trouble With Women

Episode 03
Written by Howard Griffiths
Directed by Lex Marinos

After knocking over a woman in the airport with his golf bag, Harry joins her in the airport lounge as they wait for their flights, allowing them to get to know one another over a few drinks. She tells Harry how she too has just been dumped and Harry allows her to leave under the impression that he is a professional golfer. An exhausted Harry returns to Wandin Valley, and after a terse encounter with Matron Sloan, she asks him to be a "big brother" to her step-daughter, Jess Morrison, who will be arriving in town shortly to begin her practice as the town’s new vet. Jess arrives at what is to be her clinic only to learn that she must share it with Ian McIntyre and the Park Ranger’s office (the town is short on space since the fire). Jess’s first job has her working with Mr. Kelly, Kate’s old horse, leading to an awkward reunion with Harry as she was the woman Harry met in the airport. Mr. Kelly is found to have a carcinoma and later, at a dinner arranged by Maggie to welcome Jess to the Valley, Harry suggests euthanasia as an option. Jess attacks him on this, suggesting that he would put down the horse just to get back at Kate for leaving him. When Maggie confronts Jess about her rude behaviour, Jess tells her that she’ll tolerate her as she is her stepmother, but that she shouldn’t expect anything more between them.
In a phone call to his mother, Danny tells her about his living arrangements, telling her that he is very happy sharing accommodations with Ian and "Clark." Ian is amused by this and tells Danny that sooner or later he will have to tell his mother that one of his housemates is a woman.
Meanwhile, a woman with a not-so-subtle attraction to Harry makes repeated visits to him at the clinic for what he perceives are rather minor problems. When she comes in to have him check a mole, Harry fobs her off on Claire who quickly sees that the mole is a melanoma. She informs Harry, rebuking him for buffing his patient off in the first place, and Harry performs a biopsy and sees that she is directed to getting proper treatment.
As Jess is set to put down Mr. Kelly, Harry intercedes and decides to treat the horse’s cancer instead.

Guest Cast: Jane Hall as Jess Morrison, Jane Nolan as Julie Strickland, John Bowman as Mr. Souness, Susan Tan as Airline Clerk, Drew Tingwell as Teacher, Katherine Murray as Fred Bates.

Note: Laura Armstrong (Georgie Wilks) is added to the main credits.

Best Of Friends

Episode 04
Written by Ray Harding
Directed by Julia McSwiney

On a routine trip into the nation park, Ian discovers evidence that a dog fighting ring may be in the area, and when Kane disappears, finding the group takes on a greater urgency for the Park Ranger. Meanwhile, Dennis Chubb, himself an owner of an aggressive dog, is approached by Max Riley, the organiser of the dog fights, who wants to recruit Dennis’s dog. Max’s assurances that no harm will come to the dogs involved, and a large sum of money, prove too great a temptation for Dennis who reluctantly gets involved with the illegal fights.
Encountering one another in the club, Maggie invites Harry over to dinner, but when Harry learns that Jess will be there he declines and eventually accepts an invitation from Claire. Upon arriving at Willow Tree, Harry and Claire are met by Danny and Jess who eagerly accepted Danny’s offer of dinner to get out of having to see Maggie.
When Max Riley comes into the Community Heath Clinic to have a dog bite looked at, Claire informs Danny that she believes he is involved with the dog fights. Having failed to warn off Dennis from becoming involved with the fights, Danny, Claire and Ian follow him out to where the fights are taking place. Ian arrives in time to pull Kane out of a fight but not before Kane receives some serious injuries. Dennis’s dog is not as lucky and must be shot by Danny when he attacks Max Riley in an instinctive attempt to protect Dennis from Max.
Maggie and Esme try to find accommodations for a homeless man, and his pet mice, after they find him sleeping in the clinic.

Guest Cast: David Bradshaw as Max Riley, Stephen Hall as Dennis Chubb, Peter Roberts as Bruce, John Klaus as Mr. Piper, Michael Gamble as Client, Katherine Murray as Fred Bates.

Note: Jane Hall (Jess Morrison) is added to the main credits.

Too Young

Episode 05
Written by Lynn Bayonas
Directed by Denny Lawrence

Claire tracks down Gary, a young father who left a frantic message on the health centre’s answering machine. He tells her he is raising his son on his own after the child’s mother walked out on them. Claire decides to let him stay at Willow Tree until better arrangements can be made. Soon after, Danny receives a missing persons report on the boy and his son. Danny picks up the Shelly, the child’s mother, and brings her to Willow Tree to reunite her with her child. In the midst of an argument between the young couple, Shelly tells Gary that he is not the child’s father. Upset by the startling news, Gary gets in his car and drives away.
Danny tracks down the "beast" that has been terrorising an elderly gentleman, causing him to break into homes—for his own safety so he tells Danny. The "beast" as it turns out is an escaped Shetland pony owned by a former circus performer.
Strange noises coming from the roof of Willow Tree prove to be caused, not by possums, but by Gary. He has come back and has been hiding in the attic at Willow Tree. After he is discovered, Gary and Shelly sort out their problems and get back together. Danny even finds them free accommodations in the apartment above the local funeral parlour—the same apartment that Ian was hoping that Danny would take.

Guest Cast: Fletcher Humphrys as Gary Van Loon, Francesca Sciacca as Shelly Grant, Claudia Odgers as Keanu, Rosemary Hobbs as Elizabeth "Itty Bitty" Baxter, John Paisley as Turps, Noel Mitchell as Chemist.

Mother’s Day

Episode 06
Written by Judith Colquhoun
Directed by Peter R. Dodds

Danny’s worst fear has been realised—his mother is coming to visit. Her quick arrival at Willow Tree is uneventful however as she doesn’t have a problem with her son living with Claire, she does however ask him to move back to the city. Danny tells her he won’t be moving back, nor will he leave the police service, which is what he believe she really wants.
Danny tries to help turn around Brent Moffat, a young boy involved with drugs. Danny lets Brent off with just a warning, despite his father’s wish to see his son charged "for his own good." When Brent is arrested for possession in a police sting, Danny has the boy released into his custody. Brent then takes off and Danny chases after him, finding him trying to torch a marijuana crop growing in the national park. Danny chases Brent into a cave where the boy ends up getting his hand pinned beneath a boulder. Ian and Harry come to the rescue and take Brent and Danny back to the health centre to be patched up. Danny isn’t too well himself, his childhood athsma returned since his chain smoking mother has been living with him. Seeing the effects her smoking is having on her son, Sophia pledges to give up smoking.
Georgie finds a puppy in the street and brings it in to Jess who discovers the puppy is about to give birth. Jess and Maggie stay for the births and afterwards, Georgie tells Harry that he should take one of the puppies to keep him company.
Jess spurns Maggie’s offer to spend mother’s day together (the suggestion originally came from Jess’s father), but they eventually meet up while attending the big mother’s day lunch held out at Willow Tree.

Guest Cast: Daniel Bowden as Brent Moffat, Agnieszka Perepeczko as Sophia Sabatini, Robert Morgan as Brian Moffat, Penny Schlam as Counter Attendant, Ian Toyne as Sgt. Black, Peggy Nicholls as Mrs. Parkins, Julie Day as Mrs. Tate, Fiona Morrell as Barmaid, Katherine Murray as Fred Bates.

The Grass Is Greener

Episode 07
Written by Linda Aronson
Directed by Julian McSwiney

Jess must call in the Department of Agriculture when she suspects Steve Atkinson’s cows have contracted foot-and-mouth disease. Mr. Atkinson threatens to file a lawsuit against Jess after she implies in a television interview that he carried the disease back from overseas. Jess is heartbroken at the prospect of having to put down Brenda as a result of the outbreak. Brenda is the one and only cow owned by Stan and Ida Potter, an elderly couple living next door to Atkinson. Brenda is their pride and joy, their "reason for getting up in the morning" as Jess explains. Esme, believing the Potters to be spreading the disease unknowingly, comes down hard on the couple for endangering the entire community. The Department of Agriculture eventually finds that the cattle do not have foot-and-mouth disease but when Jess tells the Potters that the test results are negative, the couple misinterpret the news and nearly put down their beloved Brenda but fortunately Jess intervenes in the nick of time.
Esme is recruiting members of the community to enter a "Why I love Wandin Valley" writing contest, but when she only receives three entries, Esme lets the townsfolk know exactly how she feels about the town’s deteriorating community spirit. Claire takes the initiative to fire people up and puts the hard word on Danny and Ian to put pen to paper. When the winners are announced, Ian is chosen runner up for his anonymous ode to Claire, while Georgie takes first prize for an essay extolling the resiliency of Wandin Valley.
Jess is less than pleased to learn that her father pulled a few strings to get her the job as the local veterinarian.

Guest Cast: Edward Hepple as Stan Potter, Robin Bisset as Ida Potter, Peter Hardy as Steve Atkinson, Richard Neal as Rob Chambers, Peter Stratford as Don Parkes, Katy Brinson as Radio Announcer.

There Was A Crooked Man

Episode 08
Written by Graeme Koetsveld
Directed by Steve Jodrell

The Norman brothers have brought their travelling "inspirational show" to Wandin Valley. After seeing their performance at the club however, Maggie Sloan believes that Luke Norman is "parading his brother’s disability for profit." Matt Norman has cerebral palsy and sings about his experiences in the show alongside his brother. Esme on the other hand is quick to pick up on their inspirational message, going so far as to stop taking her medication to pursue alternative therapies. Meanwhile, Luke Norman has taken in interest in Claire, and she in return invites him to Willow Tree for tea.
After dropping off his brother at Willow Tree, Luke runs off the road in his van and is taken to hospital. Luke is not seriously injured but when Matt learns his brother had been driving while impaired, a frequent occurrence of late, Matt lashes out at Luke for his irresponsible behaviour. Talking to Luke after the accident, Harry gets him to admit the strain that caring for his brother is having on him. Luke realises it’s time his brother became more independent and tells him so. The news does not come as a shock to Matt however as Claire had recently told him that he was enabling his own dependency on Luke. Harry is concerned about Esme’s health since she stopped talking her medication, and asks Luke to tell Esme to start taking her pills again.
Ian undertakes the task of building a tunnel under a roadway to serve as a safe crossing point for the local wombat population. Ian’s pick-and-shovel approach however is hopelessly inadequate but when Jess arrives with a back hoe to help, the construction of the wombat "tunnel of love" progresses rapidly to a successful completion.

Guest Cast: Steady Eddy [Christopher Widdows] as Matt Norman, Chris Gregory as Luke Norman, Katherine Murray as Fred Bates.

His Own Medicine

Episode 09
Written by Ray Harding
Directed by Denny Lawrence

It’s the evening of the Rotary Club dinner and Harry has been chosen as the keynote speaker. Unfortunately a few too many pre-speech drinks result in a rather unpleasant scene for all involved. As Harry crawls into work the next morning late, Matron Sloan is on hand to let him know what a disgrace he was the night before—not just to himself but to the entire medical community. As his patients desert him in favour of Claire, and Maggie continues to hound him about the previous night, comparing his continually degrading performance and appearance to the high standards set by Terence Elliott, Harry begins to wonder if the community needs him at all anymore and considers selling his practice.
Ian and Claire discover a series of toxic waste dumps in the national park and Ian vows to catch whoever is responsible. Upon hearing that a young boy has been diagnosed with a chemical rash, and that his father, Daryl Perry, works as a freelance truck driver, Ian confronts Daryl at his home where the pair get into a fight.
After promising to his pregnant wife that it he’s making just "one more dump," Daryl sets out, with Ian following close behind hoping to catch him in the act. Daryl eventually spots Ian and panics, getting into an accident with another car. Harry and Claire respond to the accident scene and treat Daryl for a collapsed lung. They must also work frantically to help the female driver of the other car whose arm was severed in the collision.
After the accident, Harry undergoes a transformation as he realises that he can make a difference in the community and decides against selling his practice—he even wears a suit to work the next day!

Guest Cast: Damien Richardson as Daryl Perry, Jennifer Bray as Belinda Perry, Shanyn Asmar as Marnie Baker, Felix Nobis as Andrew Monroe, Ryan Altamura, Robyn Clancy as Janet Jones, Bill Raymond as Mr. Thompson.

Are You Lonesome Tonight

Episode 10
Written by David Phillips
Directed by Julian McSwiney

As the Mid-Winter Feast draws closer, the single population of Wandin Valley are looking for dates. After Jess’s failed attempt to ask Harry, Matron Sloan provides Claire the opening she needs to nab Harry for the event herself.
After having to put down the dog of Lance Cotton, a local area farmer who Harry is trying to talk into seeing a psychiatrist about his loneliness, Jess is frightened by Lance’s sudden change in behaviour that now has him stalking her. Danny warns Lance to stay away from Jess but when Lance makes a late night visit to see Jess in order to confirm their "date" for the dance, Danny must again intervene and send Lance on his way, taking the opportunity to ask Jess to the dance himself for her own safety of coarse, strictly professional.
While patrolling the national park, Ian comes a cross a naked woman bathing in a stream. After Ian fixes her car, she insists that he accompany her to the dance. Unfortunately for Ian, his friends think his incredible story is just that, an incredible story. All eyes are on the two of them however when Ian and Debbie arrive at the dance, proving to everyone that Ian’s once fictional woman is all too real.
All in attendance are rendered speechless for a second time as Ian takes to the stage to sing a song to his new love. The moment is interupted however as Lance makes an appearance hoping to see to Jess but Danny is able to throw him out before anything can develop. Back at Jess’s surgery after the dance, Danny informs her that Lance will be sent to see a psychiatrist and won’t be around anymore to bother her and their "strictly professional" evening ends as Jess and Danny share a passionate kiss.

Guest Cast: Matthew Parkinson as Lance Cotton, Coco-Lush as Debbie Fox, Hugh Rose as Adrian Houghton-Clark, "Bushwazee" as Bush Band.

Indiscreet

Episode 11
Written by Howard Griffiths
Directed by Steve Jodrell

While introducing Danny to the game of golf, Harry is called away in response to an emergency call from a motel. Arriving at the scene, Harry finds Bob Lalor has suffered a heart attack, but the real shock comes when the motel’s manager informs Harry that Bob checked in with another man. Harry tries to keep Bob’s secret to himself but soon learns that Sharon Lalor not only knew about her husband’s homosexuality but accepted it with the understanding that Bob wouldn’t do anything do jeopardise their family. Harry hopes Bob and Sharon will tell their son Jeremy about his father but neither wants to their son to know. Unfortunately, gossip travels fast in Wandin Valley, and Jeremy soon learns the truth about his father from a friend when the two get into an argument. Danny takes Jeremy to see Harry after his half-hearted attempt to run away. Jeremy is upset at being kept in the dark and rejects his father. When Bob’s condition worsens, Harry gets Jeremy to come to terms with his anger and takes Jeremy to see his father in the hospital.
Ian’s bank balance is in free fall as a result of all his expensive dinners with Debbie. Claire calls Ian a "patriarchal fossil" for always picking up the cheque and suggests that Debbie would be open to paying her own way. After putting Claire’s advice into practice, Ian soon finds himself single once again.
As Jess tries to keep her relationship with Danny quiet, he looks for any excuse to see her at work. When Esme suspects something may have happened to Ray Cropp after he failed to open his business on time, Ian calls on Jess to help with Cropp’s aggressive dog. They sedate the dog with one of Esme’s Meals-On-Wheels dinners, laced with sedatives, but as Danny prepares to enter Cropp’s yard, Cropp returns from his fishing trip—just in time to see a robber flee his office. Danny retrieves the stolen money but the thief escapes.

Guest Cast: Madeleine Blackwell as Sharon Lalor, Peter Murphy as Robert Lalor, Andrew Bibby as Jeremy Lalor, Don Munro as Ray Cropp, Iain Murton as Allan Clitheroe, Che Broadbent as Shane Spargo.

Solomon’s Child

Episode 12
Written by Catherine Millar
Directed by Peter R. Dodds

Ian comes to the assistance of Marea Davis, a pregnant woman who is passing through town. She is without money and a place to stay so Ian brings her to Willow Tree. When he takes her into the national park for the day, she goes into labour and Ian must deliver the baby himself. Marea tells everybody that her husband died recently and that she is on her way to the Gold Coast to settle down. However when Marea’s sister Jacqueline arrives looking for Marea, the truth is revealed: Marea was acting as a surrogate mother for her sister and brother-in-law (it was Jacqueline’s husband who died) but she decided to keep the child herself. Marea is adamant that Jacqueline not have the baby nor is she willing to even let her sister see the baby. Ian tells Marea that although she won’t have to give up the baby, she should allow Jacqueline to see the baby and should try to mend their relationship as they now only have each other. The two sisters make their peace and Marea even names her son after Ian.
Ian approaches Claire about his feelings for her but she must tell let him down saying she doesn’t feel the same way about him.
When Danny receives a bicycle to use on patrol duty around town, a bike race between Danny, Harry and Jess is soon spawned. Jess’s "lateral thinking" allows her to win the race but she is all wet in the end. Danny eventually gives his new bike to Maggie who had been telling everyone stories about when she used to make her rounds on a bicycle. Jess hires Georgie as her veterinary assistant.

Guest Cast: Tammy McCarthy as Marea Davis, Caitlin McDougall as Jacqueline Norris, Matthew Southall &amp Scott Southall as Marea’s Baby.

Where’s Wally

Episode 13
Written by David Boutland
Directed by Chris Martin-Jones

Matron Sloan arrives at work (on her bicycle) to find the CHC has been broken into during the night. Harry meets Wally, a mysterious man who has arrived in the valley in search of a dialysis machine. Wally finds one at the home of Peg Reynolds. Wally says used to live in the area and that he knows Peg, but neither she nor anyone else knows who the man is. Wally eventually comes clean and tells Harry that he escaped from prison so that he could see his aunt Vera one last time before she dies. Harry sympathises with Wally and drives him to Burrigan so that he may see her. When Maggie informs Danny about Wally, he rushes off to Burrigan to apprehend Wally but when he arrives Wally is nowhere to be found. Wally is eventually located on his old family farm. His real reason for visiting Vera was to learn the location of the jewels his father had stolen many years ago. Wally was hoping to recover the gems in order to purchase a new kidney on the black market oversees. As Danny has Harry digging to recover the evidence, Wally’s brother arrives and dispels the old family myth about the gems—he does however offer to donate one of his own kidneys to his brother.
In the face of Ian’s declaration of his love, Claire considers moving out of Willow Tree. She hopes to move in with Jess but she puts Claire off that idea and Claire eventually decides to stay at Willow Tree.
While helping Georgie with her recorder lessons, Claire rediscovers her own love for music and dusts off her old flute to resume playing.
Ian helps Jess operate on a dog that was brought in by Danny. After amputating one of the dogs legs, Jess adopts the dog out to Mrs. Reynolds who has an artificial leg herself.

Guest Cast: Monica Maughan as Peg Reynolds, John Arnold as Wally, Alethea McGrath as Aunty Vera, Christopher Lee as Rick Warren, Ann Vlass as Sister, Paul Teiwes as Taxi Driver.

Tuesday’s Child

Episode 14
Written by Jeff Truman
Directed by Richard Jasek

While driving Janey Brown to the Burrigan hospital for some routine tests, Esme runs off the road. Although it’s a minor accident, Janey dies at the scene. Investigating the accident, Danny discovers Esme’s driver’s license had expired ten days earlier and he immediately suspends her license pending a driving test to prove her competence on the road. Despite autopsy results which reveal Janey died of a ruptured brain aneurysm clearing her of any wrongdoing, Esme still feels responsible and has reservations about ever driving again. Matters seem to be resolved until Maggie discovers Janey’s 14-year-old son whom no one knew even existed. Like his mother, Sean Brown is developmentally impaired and has a difficult time comprehending his mother’s death and Esme stays with the boy as he comes to terms with her sudden death. After overcoming her guilt, Esme takes the driving test and passes easily. Sean meanwhile has progressed rapidly and is placed with a foster family.
Danny initiates a "coffee-with-a-constable" programme hoping to improve police relations with the community.
Jess and Danny’s relationship is jeopardised when they have difficulty finding any common interests.

Guest Cast: Margaret Mills as Janey Brown, Zbych Trofimiuk as Sean Brown, Leif Hughes as Todd Owens, Katherine Murray as Fred Bates.

Note: A glimpse of Esme’s driver’s license shows her date of birth as June 06, 1926. This contradicts a birthdate of around 1930 as established in episodes 167-168 of the first series.

Dirty Washing

Episode 15
Written by Peter Gawler
Directed by Peter R. Dodds

Danny comes under scrutiny for his rough handling of four young men who were causing a disturbance at the club. He is accused of overreacting to the situation and of assaulting one of the intoxicated youth. Killer Burke suspends Danny from work and the town’s rumour mill quickly goes into high gear after a psychologist stops by the station to see him. Dr. Collas is the psychologist Danny had been seeing for an incident earlier in his career, her coincidental appearance in the district for a conference and the incident at the club forces Danny to confront his past as he recounts to Ian and Claire a similar incident that occurred a year prior which ended with him getting shot and his partner being killed. Danny’s inability to talk to Jess about the events in his life causes strain in their relationship resulting in Jess deciding to call it quits.
David Draper, Jess’s ex-fianc?, (he left her just prior to her moving to Wandin Valley) calls her up out of the blue to say he’d be willing to give her another chance. Jess calls him back to tell him she wants nothing to do with him ever again.
Danny rescues a koala that Georgie finds clinging to a branch in the creek. Ian brings the marsupial to stay at Willow Tree until it can be released.

Guest Cast: Jenny Seedsman as Marion Collas, Terry Moore as Wayne Wilson, Ian Toyne as Police Constable [Rob]

Thicker Than Water

Episode 16
Written by Lynn Bayonas
Directed by Chris Martin-Jones

Ian’s brother flies in for a visit. Ian is excited at the prospect of working with his brother to fix up the family farm but Robbie’s intentions are quite different, he wants to sell the farm to finance an ultralight aircraft business. Ian is furious at the thought of selling the farm, which has been in their family for seventy years, and offers to buy out his brother. Robbie balks at Ian’s offer and puts the farm on the market.
When Robbie fails to arrive in Burrigan for a business meeting, it is assumed he crashed his ultralight in the national park and a search effort is mounted. However when Claire returns to Willow Tree, she finds Robbie relaxing on the sofa. Robbie tells Ian that he diverted to another local farm on his way to Burrigan and found a better business deal working for a tour outfit in Darwin. Robbie’s new job will allow Ian to keep the farm and Robbie accepts Ian’s buy out offer.
As Harry’s own divorce is being finalised, he advises Paddy Courtney to rise up out of the marijuana haze he’s been living in at the bottom of his rowboat if he hopes to save his marriage. Harry cuts the final strings to his failed marriage as he puts Eden up for sale.
Georgie is busy taking photographs to finish off a role of film, she’s convinced she saw a UFO and is anxious to have the film developed. Harry is quick to dismiss her story but when the pictures come back...

Guest Cast: Geoff Paine as Robbie McIntyre, Leo Taylor as Paddy Courtney, Marijke Mann as Rita Courtney, Greg Parker as Barry Heath.

Send Me A Dream

Episode 17
Written by Lynn Bayonas
Directed by Chris Martin-Jones

Peter Hayman is a recently widowed plumber who has been out of work for the past six months as a result of a prolapsed disk in his lower back. Claire takes an interest in Peter’s young son Josh who has been coming into the health centre to see her. Noticing Josh’s many injuries, Claire thinks that his father may be abusing him. After getting to know the boy and his father, Claire confronts Peter with her suspicions. Her accusations are proven to be incorrect but when Josh is hospitalised after a fall, he reveals to Claire that the only time his father spends time with him is after one of his accidents. Upset by the idea that he is pushing his son away, Peter concludes that he cannot properly raise his son and decides to send him to live with his aunt. Harry diagnoses Peter with a disease that is responsible for his recent irritable behaviour, and after Claire talks to Peter, he decides to keep his son.
Esme recruits Ian to be the third member of the Wandin Valley darts team. As the big match against Magnolia Vale approaches, Esme and Maggie work to reform Ian’s unorthodox style. Despite their efforts, Ian leads them to their first championship in five years, dethroning Maggie as the reigning champion of Wandin Valley in the process.
Distracted by his sore neck, Danny runs down a joey in his truck. He brings the kangaroo back to Jess who does what she can to fix it’s dislocated elbow before taking the animal to the health centre for the visiting chiropractor to work on. Danny seeks relief for his sore neck but can’t convince Jess to lend him a hand and give him a massage. Danny is quick to jump at Claire’s suggestion to stop by the health centre for a full body massage but his dreams are shattered when it is not Claire but Maggie who arrives to work him over.

Guest Cast: Terry Brittingham as Peter Hayman, Matthew Ketteringham as Josh Hayman, Keith Agius as Simon Wilson, Susan Chapman as Roxanne Luger, Katherine Murray as Fred Bates.

It’s A Wonderful Life

Episode 18
Written by Graeme Koetsveld
Directed by Peter R. Dodds

On the eve of the Burrigan Cup, Lachlan Morrison returns to Wandin Valley from Hong Kong. He claims his globe-trotting days are over and is back for good and while Maggie is thrilled at her husband’s return, she is somewhat skeptical about his plans to retire. Jess seems ambivalent about her father’s return, and in a conversation with Claire, claims that that she may actually hate her father. While at the Burrigan racetrack, Lachie has an angina attack and is taken to hospital. Jess visits her father and the two begin to talk about their strained relationship. Lachie asks Jess to place a bet on the race for him, and in a rare display, Jess asks for Maggie’s help in fulfilling her father’s request. Watching the race proves to be too much of a strain on Lachie however, and in the midst of the excitement he has a heart attack and dies. Afterwards, Jess reveals to Maggie why she has been so cold towards her: while Jess’s mother was dying, Jess was kept away at boarding school unable to see her, and later returned home to discover her father had since married Maggie without even telling her. Unable to forgive her father, and unable to take her pain out on him since he was always away, Jess subsequently turned her anger towards Maggie. Jess and Maggie become closer but still realise they will never be as close to one another as they could be—they’re too alike. With the funeral over, Jess and Maggie spread Lachie’s ashes over the racetrack.
An undefrosted freezer, a tacky charity wishing well, and a crow-pecked coin mark Ian’s journey from bad luck to good, and eventually to a new-found assertiveness.
A jockey goes on a jellybean bender after his horse is scratched from the Burrigan Cup.

Guest Cast: Terry Gill as Lachie Morrison, Geoffrey Baird as Doctor Meadows, Doug Tremlett as Rick "Rumbles" Malby, Anne Vercue as Nurse 1.

A Taste Of Honey

Episode 19
Written by Howard Griffiths
Directed by Chris Martin-Jones

Harry and Jess get bogged while giving Cynthia Tucker and her goat a ride home. After exiting Harry’s vehicle to plan their next move, they watch as Graham Irving crashes his airplane nearby. Rushing to the scene of the accident, Harry stays with Graham while Jess and Cynthia go for help. When Cynthia casually mentions to Jess that Graham is a diabetic, Jess rushes back to inform Harry. Unfortunately Maggie had borrowed Harry’s glucometer and without it Harry is unwilling to gamble on treatment. As Graham’s condition deteriorates, Jess convinces Harry to act and he does, administering Graham several insulin injections which stabilise him until the ambulance arrives.
After Maggie chastises Esme for being late for her duties at the CHC, Esme walks out of the clinic offended at being treated like a doormat. Later in the day, as the health centre is being overrun with patients and Maggie is no where to be found, Esme arrives to hold down the fort in the face of the onslaught. In the middle of the chaos is Damian Mackenzie, a young boy who has managed to get his finger stuck in a piece of lawn furniture which Danny has had delivered to the clinic (the furniture is intended to be a gift for a retiring police officer). The next day, as an act of atonement, Maggie appoints Esme the health centre’s new receptionist.
Georgie loses Kane while taking him for a walk. Distraught over losing Ian’s dog, she returns to the clinic to discover that Kane came back on his own in search of biscuits.
Claire is called upon to help Danny out of the bath after his bad back causes him trouble. The awkward moment culminates in a kiss.

Guest Cast: Marie Trevor as Cynthia Tucker, Darius Perkins as Graham Irving, Robyn Wyman as Sayy Mackenzie, Jack Davis as Damian Mackenzie.

Tunnel Vision

Episode 20
Written by David Phillips
Directed by Richard Jasek

Angus Coe, the caretaker of the Wandin Valley Flyer, a historic steam powered locomotive, vehemently opposes the Historical Society’s decision to turn his train into a stationary monument. He wants to see the local rail line saved as well so that the Flyer can continue to run. When Harry informs Angus that he has glaucoma, Angus is forced to accept that his days of driving the Flyer are over but before the rail line is dug up, Angus decides to make one more run. Unbeknownst to Angus, a court injunction has postponed the destruction of the tracks, literally stopping the bulldozer on the tracks. As Angus steams towards a collision, Danny tries to move the bulldozer and Harry commandeers Jess’s horse to chase down the Flyer. Harry boards the train and manages to stop it just inches from the bulldozer. Afterwards, Esme and the Historical Society are successful in saving the Wandin Valley rail line and appoint Angus to oversee it, with his granddaughter Terri taking over as the new driver of the Flyer.
Claire and Danny are unsure how to best proceed with their relationship so as to not hurt Ian who has been pining for Claire since the day they met. Danny and Claire’s odd behavior has Ian convinced that the two are fighting and he tries his best to help them overcome their differences.
A young park ranger from Burrigan develops a crush on Ian. After being teased by Jess about the young girl’s fondness for him, Ian "takes advantage" of the situation and gets her back together with her boyfriend.

Guest Cast: Cliff Ellen as Angus Coe, Amanda Combe as Terri Coe, Amy Lapin as Rosalind Leigh, Lance Anderson as Morrie White, Colwyn Roberts as Bruce Smith.

Pegasus

Episode 21
Written by Susan Bower
Directed by Peter R. Dodds

Bridie Johnson is a young girl fighting cancer. Jess first meets Bridie while doing some work on her father’s farm and quickly develops a rapport with the girl, but after learning about Bridie’s cancer, Jess has a difficult time relating to her. After Bridie is rushed to the Burrigan hospital, her doctors discover she has a tumour in her lung for which nothing can be done. Jess is reluctant to return to the hospital where he father died until Harry agrees to go with her to visit Bridie. With no reason for her to remain in hospital, Bridie returns home. Bridie’s father has also been having trouble coming to terms with her illness and does his best to distance himself from her. Hoping to fulfil one of Bridie’s wishes, Jess and Harry want to take her out for a horseback ride but Tom intervenes, seizing the opportunity to reconnect with his daughter and create a special moment they’ll both remember.
Hopeless at sculpting, Maggie recruits Ian so that she can make plaster moulds of his various body parts. Her initial plan is to assemble them in a scattered manner, creating a "metaphor for life" but the parts ultimately end up being auctioned off as part of a benefit for Bridie Johnson. When Georgie reveals to the bidders, a group of young available women, that it was Ian who was the model, Ian’s social life takes an immediate upswing.
Claire and Danny continue to try to find the right time to tell Danny oabout their relationship but their busy schedules keep the right moment at bay.
Georgie wins a chicken sexing contest, first prize being the chickens.

Guest Cast: Kahli Sneddon as Bridie Johnson, Kevin Kopkins as Tom Johnson, Rosemary Johns as Margaret Johnson, Khymn Mallyon as Lana, Kristie Raymond as Sandy, Olga Krassner as Mrs. Martinuk, Sammy Chen as Mr. Ng.

Keeping The Faith

Episode 22
Written by Andrew Kelly
Directed by Chris Martin-Jones

The decision to reroute a high voltage power line through Wandin Valley has stirred up controversy. Meredith Baldwin, the town’s resident protester, has chained herself to the front entrance of Ian and Jess’s offices (Ian had the lines moved so they would bypass a Koala habitat) and is drawing an audience with her accusations that the lines cause cancer. Not happy about her doorstep being used for a pulpit, Jess calls on Danny to remove Meredith. Witnessing the event is Ian’s cousin Louise, she is staying at Willow Tree while her father is away. Louise’s mother recently died from cancer and she is quick to take an interest in Meredith’s message. Matters take on a serious tone when a bomb threat is delivered to the CHC, the clinic is quickly evacuated but the threat turns out to be a hoax. Immediate suspicion falls upon Meredith Baldwin but Claire soon discovers that the real culprit was Louise.
While talking to Louise about the bomb threat, Ian, still unaware that she was responsible, suggests the support towers for the power lines would have made a better target. While Ian is away, Louise gets into the explosives Ian keeps at Willow Tree and heads out to the towers. When Ian is finally told about Louise he rushes back to Willow Tree, and having discovered what she is planning to do, arrives at the towers just in time to stop her from blowing them up.
Jess’s solution to the problem of a powercord-chewing rabbit keeps a young boy’s pet from becoming dinner. Jess and Harry compete for video game supremacy.

Guest Cast: Bianca Braim as Louise McIntyre, Sue Ingleton as Merideth Baldwin, Zach Meyers as Kieren Ryan, Josie Noviello as Mrs. Pollini, Lorriane O’Reilly as Mrs. Dawson, Darren Mort as Bruce Monk.

On The Edge

Episode 23
Written by Peter Gawler
Directed by Richard Sarell

Ian discovers Claire and Danny’s relationship when he returns home from a gig at the club to find Danny in Claire’s bed. The following day, Ian and Danny are thrown together to supervise a group of children who have been assigned to clean up the national park as punishment for spray painting Father Lalor’s car. Chasing after Miles Ferdenbach after he takes her camera, Georgie ends up stranded on a ledge. Danny rescues her but slips and falls to the bottom of the cliff requiring Ian to come to his rescue.
Back in town, Harry has caught the eye of one of his young patients. Claire tries to discretely tell Yesterday Hubble that Harry has no romantic interest in her but Yesterday presses on only to be rebuffed by Harry. Yesterday is quick on the rebound however and soon hooks up with Leonard Perkins. Leonard, another of Harry’s patients, is seeking a disability pension which, after Harry diagnoses the young poet with rheumatic arthritis, he seems certain to get.
With he disclosure of Danny and Claire’s relationship causing hurt feeling and animosity among the three residents of Willow Tree, Claire decides it would be for the best if she were to move out. Her friendship with Ian bends but does not break.

Guest Cast: Chris Lyons as Miles Ferdenbach, Peter Knowles as Leonard [Xavier] Perkins, Marieke Hardy as Yesterday Hubble, Fiona Morrell as Club Manager, Katherine Murray as Fred Bates.

Running Wild

Episode 24
Written by David Boutland
Directed by Ian Watson

After her husband’s death, Helen Ross took over the operation of their horse breeding business, but her mares have suddenly began aborting their foals putting Helen’s business in jeopardy. Suspicion immediately falls upon a brumby that has been roaming the national park and it is believed that this horse is spreading the equine herpes virus to Helen’s horses. Helen wants the horse killed to protect her horses but Harry, who has his eye on the brumby for himself, wants it spared. Town counsel however responds to the community’s concern for their livestock and gives Jess the job of finding and destroying the horse. Tracking the horse through the park, Jess has the animal in her sights when Harry charges out of the bush to protect the horse. The brumby is cleared of any wrongdoing when an outbreak of the equine herpes virus occurs in another district, but Helen Ross, wanting to kill the horse just for the bad luck it has brought, must be talked out of shooting the horse by Harry who goes on to take possession of and break in the wild horse.
A man speaking only a foreign language walks into Danny’s police station looking for help. Learning nothing from the man other than his first name, Danny takes him to the CHC. After the man is treated for a few minor bumps and bruises, he wakes up to tell the staff, in perfect English, how he had fallen of the back of a truck while hitching a ride to his wedding. The man is soon picked up by his wife and the two go off to be married.
Harry finally sells Eden, but a recently evicted Jess manages to move into the vacant room at Willow Tree ahead of him.

Guest Cast: Kris McQuade as Helen Ross, Michael Anthony as Jack, Stephen Sculley as Joe Kants, Meg Elkins as Hilary, Lance Anderson as Harry Double.

Family Business

Episode 25
Written by Jeffrey Truman
Directed by Sophia Turkiewicz

Phil Lawson, Wandin Valley’s new chemist, arrives in town with his family. Unfortunately, David Lawson takes after his father in the way he treats those around him. Not long after meeting Georgie, David punches her in the nose following a minor disagreement and soon after that incident, Ian catches David beating Kane with a stick.
The day after Danny’s visit to the Lawson home in response to a reported disturbance, Phil Lawson’s physical abuse of his wife quickly becomes the talk of the town. Having seen her at the clinic a few times, Claire befriends Adrienne Lawson and gets her to ask for help, allowing Danny to take out an intervention order against her husband. Despite Phil’s attempts to stop his wife from leaving him, in the end he can only watch as Adrienne drives away with David.
Esme is scandalised by the arrival of Vicki Davies—a belly dancer. Esme is horrified at her performance at the club and unsuccessfully tries to have Danny stop her from "corrupting" the community. After her visit to the CHC, Vicki is surprised to learn that she is pregnant, but Esme is even more surprised to learn that a woman of her sort is actually married!
Having discovered the budding relationship between Harry and her stepdaughter, Maggie sits Harry down to tell him to tread carefully and not to do anything that would hurt Jess.

Guest Cast: Michael Fry as Phil Lawson, Katy Brinson as Adrienne Lawson, Stuart Harper as David Lawson, Soula Alexander as Vicki Davies, Chris Lyons as Miles Ferdenbach, Katherine Murray as Fred Bates.

Family Tree

Episode 26
Written by Robyn Sinclair
Directed by Richard Sarell

Georgie is excited. Her mother has been seeing Dr. Morrison a lot lately and Georgie thinks that there may be a relationship in the works. For Sarah Wilks however, the last thing on her mind is her social life. During a routine examine at the CHC, a lump was detected in her breast. Throughout her ordeal, Sarah keeps her daughter in the dark as to what is happening, but this only confirms Georgie’s original assessment of the situation. Overhearing a conversation between her mother and Claire, Georgie begins to learn the seriousness of her mother’s illness. Faced with a lumpectomy and months of follow up cancer treatments in the city, Sarah opts for a mastectomy. Leaving Georgie to stay at Willow Tree, Sarah goes to Burrigan for the operation. Georgie however wants to be with her mother and catches a bus to Burrigan the next day. Told of Georgie’s impromptu trip, Harry meets her in Burrigan and takes her to see her mother at which time he convinces Sarah to finally reveal the truth to her daughter about what she is going through.
Meanwhile outside the CHC, Darryn Floyd is protesting the lack of attention and resources given to men’s health issues. Matron Sloan is quick to challenge Darryn’s assertion that women’s issues monopolise the public health services, and during their argument, Maggie accidentally hits Darryn over the head with his picket sign. Hoping to convince Darryn to drop the assault charge he’s filed against her, Maggie organises a series of men’s health seminars and while doing so learns the reason behind Darryn’s persistent fight for men’s health issues.
Aware of the troubles Claire has been having with her car, in part as a result of pulling her over to give her a warning about the poor state of her car, Danny decides to use his "contacts" to get her a deal on a new muffler. When he ends up purchasing a new muffler for $200, Danny tries to cover up the expense but is found out when Claire finds the receipt.

Guest Cast: Alyce Platt as Sarah Wilks, David Swann as Darryn Floyd, Chris Lyons as Miles Ferdenbach, Katherine Murray as Fred Bates, Michael Seymour as Male Nurse.

Survival

Episode 27
Written by David Phillips
Directed by Ian Watson

It’s Lake Day and all of Wandin Valley is perched around the local fishing hole hoping to come away with the "big one." The relative serenity is broken however as Kane makes his way from angler to angler with a live grenade in his mouth. Harry is the first of the otherwise distracted parties to take notice and after a few tense moments, the dog is finally disarmed. Investigating the incident, Ian and Danny trace the grenade back to Keith Jacobs’ property. Keith Jacobs, a powerful lawyer in the district, is a collector of weapons who is passing on his survivalist skills to his son. With their dealings with the Keith and Scott Jacobs seemingly over, Danny and Ian return to question the pair after Claire drives off the road after having her car shot at. While Danny works at gathering evidence against Keith Jacobs, Claire is rushed to Burrigan hospital where she lapses in to a coma.
Having just finished up an operation on Fatso, Jess is met by Scott Jacobs who has brought in his dog to be looked at. Questioned as to how his dog was injured, Scott admits that his father kicked the dog. Unfortunately, the dog is not the only recipient of Keith Jacobs’ wrath, Scott has also been beaten by his father. Danny questions Scott hoping the boy will implicate his father in the shooting of Claire’s car but instead, Scott admits he was responsible and this was what precipitated his father’s attack on him. Danny charges Scott in connection with the shooting but also lays charges against his father for assault and conspiracy to conceal a crime. Back in Burrigan, Danny, having been told about Claire’s pregnancy by Jess, is sitting with Claire when she emerges from her coma.
Jess’s aggravation level tops out as she must deal with the unusual noises emanating from the flat adjacent to her surgery.

Guest Cast: Sean Scully as Keith Jacobs, Patrick Magrath as Scott Jacobs, Alyce Platt as Sarah Wilks, Clarissa House as Dr. June Munroe, Brian Hannan as Rex Craven.

Little Girl Lost

Episode 28
Written by Graeme Koetsveld
Directed by Sophia Turkiewicz

It’s Georgie’s birthday but unfortunately, her father seems to have forgotten. Missing her dad, and armed with her birthday money, Georgie slips away from her party and sets off for Sydney. Having successfully reached Magnolia Vale by train, Georgie’s plans go awry when she losses her money. As if her situation isn’t bad enough, Georgie isn’t feeling well, and back in Wandin Valley, Harry believes she may have appendicitis. Heading up the search for Georgie are Danny and Ian, but despite their efforts they always seem to find themselves two steps behind the young traveller. The frantic search concludes as Georgie is located in the bush near the rail lines outside of Magnolia Vale. Harry is able to quickly confirm his previous diagnosis and Georgie is rushed to hospital in Burrigan where a reduced holiday staff forces Harry to perform the operation.
A young blind woman is struck by a car. Fortunately, she emerges unscathed but her guide dog is badly injured. The dog is taken to Jess who is able to operate on the dog to repair ligament damage to the dog’s leg. Meanwhile, a relationship begins to develop between the young woman and the apologetic young man who backed his car into her.
Claire does her best to sensitively decline Danny’s proposal of marriage stating that she’s not ready to make a commitment just yet. Ian and Sophie Wilks meanwhile have started something, much to the delight of Georgie who’s still hoping to see her mother remarry.

Guest Cast: Alyce Platt as Sarah Wilks, Chris Lyons as Miles Ferdenbach, Annika Glac as Stephanie Ray, Craig Adams as Christian Black, James Wardlaw as Station Master, Adam Briscomb as Dr. Jeremy Hill, Liz Jones as Postwoman.

Love Me Do

Episode 29
Written by Andrew Kelly
Directed by Richard Sarell

Called out to the scene of a car accident, Harry is shocked to find Kate Bryant, his ex-wife, already there. On leave from her job in China, Kate has been staying with her parents in Melbourne and is in Burrigan to give a workshop. The unexpected reunion reopens old wounds as Harry and Kate discuss the reasons behind their break up. Following a heated conversation at the health centre, Kate phones up Harry at home to see if she can come over to talk. Wanting to give Harry an opportunity to "tie off" his relationship with Kate, Jess allows them some time to themselves. After their long discussion, Harry suggests Kate spend the night at his place so she won’t have to drive back into town. One thing leads to another however and the two end up sleeping together. Jess arrives at Harry’s early the next morning and finds the two together in the kitchen, quickly realising what has happened. Distraught over Harry’s betrayal, Jess seeks comfort in Maggie who then goes off to blast Harry for what his actions have done to Jess. Once Kate leaves, Harry tries to reconcile with Jess but she tells him she wants nothing to do with him ever again.
Hoping to entice Claire into marrying him, Danny shows her the letter he has written to his mother outlining the state of their relationship (she being pregnant and refusing to marry him). Never intending to send the letter, Danny is alarmed when he learns that it has been accidentally mailed. Eventually Claire concedes to an engagement while she thinks about marriage. Exited at the breakthrough, Danny leaps to the phone to call his mother.
The death of Ian’s neighbour brings Scotsman Gideon Stewart to town to claim his brother’s land. Gideon confronts Ian about the weeds spreading onto his land from Willow Tree but the two eventually find common ground when they are able to turn on a neighbour who’s the real source of the problem. Gideon even teaches Ian to "play" the badpipes.
Ray Cropp brings his sick dog to Jess but despite her best efforts to save the animal it dies.

Guest Cast: Alyce Platt as Sarah Wilks, Michelle Pettigrove as Kate Bryant, John Dicks as Gideon Fraser [Stewart], Don Munro as Ray Cropp.

Future Perfect

Episode 30
Written by Judith Colquhoun
Directed by Ian Watson

Esme is heading up preparations for the upcoming Wandin Valley Fair from which the community is hoping to raise enough money to purchase their own ambulance. Discouraged by the community’s lack of spirit in their efforts, Esme is in the CHC when she suffers a stroke. Upon arriving at the hospital in Burrigan, Esme’s condition is not encouraging. Esme regains consciousness but is paralysed down one side of her body and is unable to speak. Maggie oversees Esme’s recovery as she battles to overcome the frustration of her condition. With Esme in hospital, the community rallies around her to run a successful fundraiser. Esme’s recovery is slow but she begins to regain her movement and speech.
Mediating a dispute between the local butcher and his wife leads Danny and Claire into a dispute of their own over whether or not Claire will take Danny’s surname once they are married. They settle on having Claire keep her name while giving their children the Sabatinni name. Danny and Claire announce their "declaration of intent" and set a wedding date.
Harry tries to rebuild his relationship with Jess. Encouragement from Esme and a good word by Maggie to Jess on Harry’s behalf initiate their reconciliation.
Getting away from Georgie at the fair, Kane gets into some snail bait. The dog is taken to Jess who induces vomiting to save the dog. Ian and Sarah’s relationship continues on happily.

Guest Cast: Alyce Platt as Sarah Wilks, Dino Marnika as Theo O’Brien, Robyn Butler as Lesley O’Brien, Clarissa House as Dr. Jane Monroe, Katherine Murray as Fred Bates.