Dog’s Head Bay: episode guide

The Shock Of The New


Episode 01
Monday, August 16, 1999

Alex and Vicki Santorini have what you might call a dysfunctional marriage. When eastern suburbs society wife Vicki discovers that her high-flying barrister husband is having yet another affair, it looks as though their marriage might really be on the skids this time.

Alex has to pull a big trick out of the hat, and does so by buying Vicki what she’s always wanted, a weekender. Problem is, the weekender is not in exclusive Palm Beach, but what is supposedly going to be the next Palm Beach. He buys in the sleepy seaside village of Dog’s Head Bay and employs a top interior designer to transform a waterfront cottage.

Dog’s Head Bay does not seem prepared for the Santorinis and certainly, the Santorinis are not prepared for Dog’s Head Bay.

Added to the disaster is the fact that Alex Santorini’s garish peace offering is situated right next door to Vicki’s long-forgotten, least favourite cousin Jenny and her family. The humble Grants struggle to make ends meet, they care for the environment and are actively anti-development. In short, they have nothing in common with the Santorinis—and now weekends at Dog’s Head Bay are bound to be filled with acrimony.

Guest Starring: Roy Billing as Franco, Jeff Truman as Mike

Big Bikkies


Episode 02
Monday, August 23, 1999

Friday night, Dog’s Head Bay. Alex and Vicki are still fighting about the unfortunate locale of their sumptuous weekender and the truth comes out that Alex may earn $5000 a day defending drug dealers, but Vicki does a good job of spending most of it.

When word gets around Dog’s Head Bay about how much Alex earns, there is resentment to burn. Then it becomes clear that the money comes from defending mostly crooks, and Alex is led to question the ethics behind how he earns a crust…momentarily.

Meanwhile, Jenny becomes depressed and envious and fed up with her constant battle with finances. In an effort to smooth troubled waters, Alex and Bob organise an afternoon tea, with disastrous consequences. It seems the socially impeccable Vicki and the down-to-earth Jenny share a dark secret about their familiar past, and all is revealed.

To Vicki’s mortification it’s revealed that their grandfather was a brothel owner.

A Rose By Any Other Name


Episode 03
Monday, August 30, 1999

Vicki still hates Dog’s Head Bay, Alex can’t bear Vicki’s mother constantly ringing from France to find out if her daughter has left him yet, and they both know the name "Dog’s Head Bay" is not helping the township become the next Palm Beach. Alex starts conspiring to have the name changed, and starts working on the local real estate agent, Mike.

Meanwhile, Mike’s son Todd and Nicholas are both keen on Amanda and are working hard on impressing her. However, she only has eyes for Mingus, the local bike riding lout… much to her mother’s displeasure.

Alex has invited the Grants over for dinner (much to Vicki’s chagrin) in what appears to be a neighbourly gesture, but he has ulterior motives. If he is going to get Sydney’s movers and shakers to buy in Dog’s Head Bay, changing the name of the place is going to be the first step, and to do this he needs local support.

When Alex finds out there was an original aboriginal name and that Dog’s Head Bay was an initiation site, he is beside himself. Then, in a parting aside, Bert reveals the translation of the name "Yurrumbit"—it means "foreskin". Alex is thwarted again.

Guest Starring: Jeff Truman as Mike, James Ford as Mingus

The Taxman Cometh


Episode 04
Monday, September 6, 1999

The usual Friday night fight ensues in the Santorini home. Vicki is depressed now, and she wants a Saab convertible to ease her pain. Alex however, has bad news. Their financial situation has become so bad that he has to put their Sydney mansion on the market. Knowing she won’t get a Saab, Vicki refuses to lose her weekender at the same time. Then Trish Fairweather—the social barometer of Sydney—calls and they are looking to buy a property in Dog’s Head Bay. The Santorinis see a glimmer of hope, and Alex sets about finding a big waterfront block for the Fairweathers.

With nothing on the market he is forced to take a more cunning approach. Old Grace McDonald has the perfect position, two large blocks where she has lived all her life. She has been thinking about going into a retirement village, and Alex convinces her that it’s the best thing to do.

There’s a hitch though—Grace wants to sell only half her block, and give the rest to Jenny’s environmental group. Undeterred, Alex engages in some very dodgy dealings—at Grace’s expense—to get both blocks. But when Bert finds out, Alex is forced into doing the right thing. Grace gets the market value for her property and is able to donate her block as a park. The Fairweathers lose interest, and Alex is obliged to cover his tracks and offers long-term low rent on Grace’s old house which will become an Environment Centre. Alex is at first puzzled and then chuffed at the public accolades his generosity is receiving. Not only that, it’s 100 percent tax deductible.

Guest Starring: Jeff Truman as Mike, Julie Herbert as Grace McDonald, James Ford as Mingus, Janine Penfold as Blake Anderson, David Baldwin as Brian Anderson

The Stripper


Episode 05
Monday, September 13, 1999

Bob and Bert ruminate about the Santorini marriage—Bob can’t understand why they stay together, but Bert thinks they are perfect for each other.

Next door, Vicki is ruminating about the same subject. She’s been to her Exlem school reunion, and found that the happiest women are the divorced ones. A fight ensues, and sure enough the subjects of feminism and divorce crop up. Alex tells Vicki to just go ahead and consult the famous female divorce lawyer, nicknamed "The Stripper".

The phone rings and Vicki is delighted to learn that a friend from the reunion can come to Dog’s Head Bay for the weekend. The next morning, Dimity Todd arrives in her Porsche, and Alex is under feminist siege. When he clicks that Dimity Todd is "The Stripper", he gets very worried indeed. He seeks his son’s advice, he seeks Jenny’s advice, and all the while "The Stripper" is working hard at getting Vicki as another client.

Meanwhile, Vicki is confused. She is horrified at the likelihood of having to work if she leaves Alex. She needs time to think. Meanwhile, Nicholas, Amanda and Todd help Alex with plans for a romantic candle light dinner. Alex and Vicki have their dinner, and they end up having another blazing row. Things are back to normal.

Guest Starring: Jeff Truman as Mike, Sally Patience as Dimity Todd

Cutting Edge


Episode 06
Monday, September 20, 1999

Jenny has installed a new computer system in her general store, and after working on it for weeks, Bob accidentally crashes it in front of Vicki. Jenny breaks down in front of her cousin, and all her woes and tears come spilling out. She’s working too hard, she’s sick and needs a break, but can’t afford it.

Meanwhile, Nicholas is considering film school… in New York…at about $70,000 a year. That possibility distresses his mother no end. But she is still trying to help Jenny, and has a brainwave. Vicki sends a reluctant Jenny and Bob to the Gold Coast apartment of a client of Alex’s, who owes him a favour, for a two-week holiday.

Vicki promises to stay in Dog’s Head Bay for the two weeks and run the store and café. What she really intends to do is have it completely renovated, and so she enlists the famous decorator William Tenables. The place becomes completely unrecognisable and cutting edge. It would be better suited to Darlinghurst, and the locals’ reaction is not what Vicki hoped for. She retreats from her good deed, and Amanda, Todd and Nicholas work frantically to get the place back to normal before Jenny and Bob return.

Guest Starring: Jeff Truman as Mike, Craig Holt as William Tenables, Lyn McGimpsey as Mrs Maxwell

Vicki In Love


Episode 07
Monday, September 27, 1999

Vicki is shocked to discover in the news one Saturday morning, that an old school chum has become a famous artist. Vicki remembers well that she did better than her friend in art class, and so in crisis, she buys some art supplies and starts sketching. It’s not enough—she needs lessons, and she goes about finding out about the best teacher.

Bogdan Lukawski, a Polish teacher, takes groups of students into the desert to paint, and Vicki enrols. Alex is worried about her going off with a strange man, but Vicki convinces him that Bogdan’s gay. When she returns, Vicki is a different woman. She didn’t do much painting, but she’s intensely philosophical as a result of an "inner journey". Plainly, she is in love, and soon she confides in Jenny about her torrid affair with Bogdan.

Meanwhile, Bogdan announces that he has to return to Poland, apparently to save some orphaned children, Vicki wants to go with him. Then Bogdan demands $10,000 to "save his oprhans". Vicki lies to Alex, telling him she needs the money for a bus to transport aboriginal children in the outback to school. When Vicki mentions to Alex that a big Sydney newspaper would probably do a story on "The Other Side of Alex Santorini", the idea immediately appeals to him.

Meanwhile Bert has caught Vicki and Bogdan "together", and when Bogdan tries to seduce Amanda, he is frogmarched out of town. Vicki realises she has been duped, but an aboriginal community end up getting their bus… and Alex gets his good publicity.

Guest Starring: Felix Williamson as Bogdan Lukawski

Godfather Too

Episode 08
Monday, October 04, 1999

Alex eyes the general store as a way out of his tax problems.

Guest Starring: Jeff Truman as Mike Daley, Roy Billing as Franco Poreini, Gerry Connolly as Tony Du Clos

The Grim Reaper

Episode 09
Monday, October 11, 1999

Alex has a health scare. A colleague has dropped dead of a heart attack, so he’s had a medical check-up, leaving him wondering what life is all about if you’re to stressed and busy to enjoy it.

Guest Starring: Celia Ireland as Alice Astassio

Bob’s Your Uncle

Episode 10
Monday, October 18, 1999

Vicki urges Alex to form a closer father-son relationship with Nicholas.

Fairweather Friends

Episode 11
Monday, October 25, 1999

Alex and Vicki are beside themselves with joy when Stan and Trish Fairweather start showing an interest in a waterfront home at Dog’s Head Bay.

Guest Starring: Jeff Truman as Mike Daley, Gary Day as Stan Fairweather, Kate Fitzpatrick as Trish Fairweather, Doug Scroope as Uncle Dan, Jeff Gibson as Sgt Jack Fothergill

The Travel Bug

Episode 12
Monday, November 01, 1999

Vicki and Jenny both have dreams of a european holiday.

Guest Starring: Roy Billing as Franco Poreini

The Birthday Boy

Episode 13
Monday, November 08, 1999

Nicholas’ 18th birthday is destined for disaster when both Vicki and Alex invite their mothers who hate each other.

Guest Starring: Zoe Carides as Pauline, Marilyn Allen as Annunelata, Shirley Cameron as Shirley