Blue Heelers: articles

New blood for Blue Heelers

CHANNEL 7’S long-running country cop drama Blue Heelers is to be radically overhauled in an attempt to prolong its life.

Wednesday night’s live episode was the first stage in the revitalisation of the popular show.

That live undertaking, although risky, was well received, attracting more than 600,000 viewers in Melbourne.

It out-rated Channel 9’s CSI: Miami, which had been comfortably beating it in recent weeks.

The next step is the blooding of four characters.

After months of searching, producers have settled on the relatively unknown Samantha Tolj and Home and Away favourite Danny Raco for two of the roles. They will play fiery young cops who will inject some intrigue into the Mt Thomas station and whose antics will, hopefully, attract young viewers.

Blue Heelers’s producers looked at almost 300 actors before signing Tolj, who has appeared in the pilot for the potential Channel 7 drama series Last Man Standing, as well as guest roles on MDA, Stingers and Marshall Law. She also appeared in After the Deluge and the film Love’s Brother.

Tolj, 21, will play Probationary Constable Kelly O’Rourke.

Raco’s signing signals the end, after three years, of his time on Home and Away.

Raco, 24, will play Probationary Constable Joss Palermo. [sic, character's surname is Peroni]

Both will start work on the set next month and will be on air in July.

This year is shaping as the must important in the show’s decade-long run.

Further changes planned include adding some edge to John Wood’s character Tom Croydon. He is expected to lose his grandfatherly demeanour and become more aggressive, demanding and volatile.

The show’s set also will be spruced up, with the Mt Thomas squad moving into a more modern HQ.

By Fiona Byrne
April 25, 2004
Herald Sun


Cop drama boosted by new blood

VETERAN actor Geoff Morrell and Rachel Gordon are about to star in the Aussie police drama Blue Heelers.

Morrell and Gordon join Home and Away star Danny Raco and newcomer Samantha Tolj as the four new signings, brought in to boost the show’s popularity.

The award-winning Morrell, who boasts an impressive list of small-screen starring credits, including Murder Call, Changi and Grass Roots, will play career policeman Sergeant Mark Jacobs.

NIDA graduate Gordon, who has impressed with guest roles in All Saints and White Collar Blue, joins as tough Detective Senior Constable Amy Fox.

Tolj, who has had guest roles in Stingers and Blue Heelers, and Raco will star as probationary constables Kelly O’Rourke and Joss Palermo.

Channel 7 is keen to capitalise on the success of the Heelers’ live episode, which was seen by 1.5 million viewers, its biggest audience this year.

The four new additions will make their on-screen debut in July.

April 29, 2004
Herald Sun