The Strange Calls: episode guide
The Strange Calls
Coolum Beach. An ordinary Australian town ... until the sun goes down.
Meet Gregor (Barry Crocker), the town's wild-eyed gatekeeper who has an encyclopedic knowledge of Coolum and its residents, and a love of vintage board games and 90s TV. His unwitting partner is Constable Toby Banks (Toby Truslove), a recently disgraced city cop, who arrives in town to begin his new role on the night duty desk situated in a derelict old caravan, on the outskirts of Coolum.
Banks is a rational sceptic while Gregor is a 'Believer'. Weird things happen in this slice of paradise and the locals keep calling late into the night. This odd couple set out to investigate 'the strange calls', moments of midnight madness that reveal the bizarre truth of the town — a place where mermaids date policemen and a mysterious radio jingle will possess your soul.
There's a break-in at Frequent Fryers Chicken Shop. No money has been taken, only chicken.
Banks meets Gregor who has his own theory: it was the work of a Chicken Man. A trail of clues lead them to Nick, who has been eating so much fried chicken that he believes he may be transforming into a chicken.
Gregor suggests he's seen this before. Banks thinks they're crazy and takes Nick to Sergeant Lloyd to be arrested for the break-in.
While Banks is distracted, Nick mysteriously escapes from his handcuffs, and the only thing left is the feather of a chicken.
Cast: Barry Crocker as Gregor, Toby Truslove as Toby, Patrick Brammall as Sergeant Lloyd, Katherine Hicks as Kath, Lilian Harrington as Nancy, Monette Lee as Mrs Sheen, Peter Marshall as Constable Johnson, Brett Molloy as Harold Jones, Nick Simpson-Deeks as Nick, Andrew Thompson as P.J.
Note: Before the first episode had even aired it was announced that the American Broadcasting Corporation had commissioned a pilot for a US adaptation of The Strange Calls. The project will be led by writer Donick Cary (New Girl), director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and producer Aaron Kaplan (Terra Nova). The three will also executive produce the series alongside the Australian series' producers Tracey Robertson and Nathan Mayfield.
When Coolum's local radio host is found dead on the beach after wreaking havoc with a ride-on mower, Coolum's Tidy Town entry is in jeopardy. Banks suspects drugs but Sergeant Lloyd refuses to believe there are any drugs in Coolum. Banks and Gregor are tasked with the clean-up but it gets strange when Tom, who also works at the radio station, causes chaos with a mower.
Banks becomes convinced that drugs are involved while Gregor suspects an evil radio jingle from his childhood that possesses anyone who listens to it. The duo track down a crazed Tom and keep him at the police caravan while the 'drugs' wear off. But Gregor has a better idea: an exorcism. Gregor implores Banks to sing the jingle with soul to save his life, sending our heroes into a major musical exorcism.
Cast: Barry Crocker as Gregor, Toby Truslove as Toby, Patrick Brammall as Sergeant Lloyd, Katherine Hicks as Kath, Carol Burns as Gwen, Pauline Davies as Madge, Joe Feeney as Clem, Michelle Knibbs as Ambulance Officer, Peter Marshall as Constable Johnson, Jamie Timony as Tom, Luke Wright as Kurt Graywater
Preparations for Sergeant Lloyd's production of The Phantom of the Opera are in full swing when the theatre is vandalised and the set dresser quits. It falls on Banks and Gregor to get the theatre into shape before opening night. Cue weird, spooky happenings!
Gregor immediately points the finger at the theatre's ghost. Banks refuses to believe Gregor's tale and it looks like he's right, when they meet an elderly man, Burt Ferguson, in the theatre. Burt believes he is the star of the show, and that the year is 1942.
Gregor thinks they've found their ghost — a dead actor from the past! Banks thinks he's just a senile old man. Gregor blackmails Banks to help Burt 'cross over' by performing a scene from the play. At the end of this performance, Burt disappears.
Has he crossed over or made his escape?
Cast: Barry Crocker as Gregor, Toby Truslove as Toby, Patrick Brammall as Sergeant Lloyd, Katherine Hicks as Kath, Linda Furse as Rhonda, Harry Humphreys as Theatregoer, Desmond Kelly as Bert Ferguson, Deb Sampson as Lucy
The Coolum economy relies on tourists swarming in to see the rare Cuckoo-Shrike. But there is a cat on the loose, and it's killing Coolum's drawcard. The dead birds have a distinctive signature — a laceration diagonally across their chests. Gregor has seen this before: done by Napoleon, a killer cat from his past. And now he's back from the dead!
Banks thinks this is ludicrous, and blames a feral cat. Sergeant Lloyd puts Banks on the hunt for the killer cat — which is made even more difficult because the local teenage bully, Bosh, is out to get Banks for confiscating his roller blades. After tracking the cat to the local cemetery, Gregor confirms his suspicions — Napoleon has returned from the dead. Fearful for his life, Gregor drags Banks back to the caravan. But the van is no safe haven. It's attacked violently.
While Gregor assumes it is Napoleon, Banks thinks it must be Bosh and his gang. Against Gregor's desperate pleas, Banks decides to face the tormentor — but when he opens the door, he invites a world of trouble into the van.
Cast: Barry Crocker as Gregor, Toby Truslove as Toby, Patrick Brammall as Sergeant Lloyd, Katherine Hicks as Kath, Nicholas Dunn as Tim, Joe Feeney as Clem, Taylor Glockner as Bosh, Lloyd Johnson as Gregor Picture Double, Val Lehman as Elaine, Peter Marshall as Constable Johnson, Hannah Mason as Beth, Sarah Tiplady as Caitlin
A hot, naked Scandinavian named Lola fetches up on Coolum beach, and causes quite a stir. Banks thinks she is a lost backpacker and sets about to help her. Gregor assumes she is a mermaid, with a potent siren song. When Lola takes a liking to Banks, Gregor is fearful for his friend — he's convinced Lola wants to eat Banks for dinner!
Gregor's extreme attempts to convince Banks that Lola is a killer mermaid cause a rift between our pair and Gregor is evicted from the van.
Drowning his sorrows at a local pub, Gregor encounters a local youth with a terrifying tale that supports his theory. He races back to the caravan to save Banks... but he's too late.
Banks and Lola are already at the beach, and Lola is tempting Banks into the water. Gregor arrives for a sandy showdown.
Cast: Barry Crocker as Gregor, Toby Truslove as Toby, Patrick Brammall as Sergeant Lloyd, Katherine Hicks as Kath, Ami Barrett as Kristy, Nick Boshier as Doug, Kevin Kieran-Molloy as Bill Kay, Peter Marshall as Constable Johnson, Adele Perovic as Lola, Vic Wilson as Gregor Stunt Double
There is a tree attacking people in Coolum. At least, that's what Gregor thinks. But someone, or something, is also planting saplings at the scene of each attack.
This leads Banks and Gregor to Adrian's Enchanted Florist, Coolum's local flower shop. When they arrive, they are taken hostage by a wild-eyed Adrian, who has a devious plan: he wants to everyone in Coolum into a tree. Adrian has distilled a liquid from a rare plant and the spray will turn transform humans into trees. At least, that's what Adrian and Gregor think, but Banks isn't convinced.
When Sargent Lloyd gets taken hostage too, it is up to Banks to save the day. But in the process, Gregor gets sprayed with the dangerous liquid and begins to transform.
Will Gregor survive to tell the tale?
Will Banks decide to stay on in Coolum?
Cast: Barry Crocker as Gregor, Toby Truslove as Toby, Patrick Brammall as Sergeant Lloyd, Katherine Hicks as Kath; Joff Bush & Greg Chiapello as Musicians; Damon Herriman as Adrian, Michelle Knibbs as Ambulance Officer, Peter Marshall as Constable Johnson, Anthony Mullins as Newsreader, Kelly nEwton as Reporter, Errol O'Neill as Kev, John Wood as Deputy Commissioner Banks
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