The Number 96 spin-off pilots

Several attempts were made by Cash Harmon Productions to spin-off new shows from "Number 96". Josephine Kurr's character of Lorelei Wilkinson was killed off so she could headline as a new character in "The Unisexers", over on Channel 9, but it was shortlived. Comedy pilots were then written around the characters of Reg & Edie Macdonald ("Mummy and Me"), Vera Collins ("Fair Game", featuring the return of Abigail!), Don Finlayson (reconceived as a straight-acting, "Petrocelli"-type, investigative lawyer) and, a year later, Hope Jackson (in a script loosely based on a classic comedy movie, "Bells Are Ringing"). All of these pilots were made as if they were scenes from the parent series, and economically inserted into regular "Number 96" episodes. All were ultimately unsuccessful.

Mummy and Me

"Mummy and Me"

EPISODES 1071, 1072. (First aired 25/10/1976) The Chester girls see a way out of their difficulties. Flo learns more about the mystery surrounding the death of Kate, the first Lady Mainwaring. Arnold and Dudley worry that Kerry is heading for trouble again. Reg considers a new career option, thanks to the return of Nigel Murston-Morgan (John Allen).

[Episode #1072 contains scenes from the first half of the unsuccessful 30-minute comedy spin-off pilot, "Mummy and Me".]

1073, 1074. (26/10/1976) In the hospital, Gary discovers some startling facts about his deceased father, Les. Debbie is puzzled over Jane's sudden wealth, but learns the answer in a way she never expected. Flo fears that a ghost occupies her new home and Lord Andrew Whittaker contends with a ghost of his own. Reg tries to make it as an advertising executive, working for O.P. Piper (John Ewart). Dudley hits it off with Gary's beautiful nurse, Annabelle.

[These episodes contain scenes from the second half of "Mummy and Me".]

Fair Game

"Fair Game"

1079, 1080. (8/11/1976) The ghost of Bill's first wife is even more real and terrifying than Flo had suspected. Vera is now divorced from Guy and back in Sydney, so she and her new friend Eve (Abigail) are flat-hunting. Vera must use all of her feminine wiles to satisfy a reluctant landlord, Edgar Eggerton (Terry O'Neill). Laura begins taking an interest in Gary's health.

[These episodes contain scenes from the first half of the unsuccessful 30-minute comedy spin-off pilot, "Fair Game".]

1081, 1082. (9/11/1976) Dorrie attempts to pry information from Debbie about Jane and Frank. The recently-divorced Samantha Minerver (Lynette Curran) disapproves of the immoral ways of her carefree flatmates, Vera and Eve. Eve becomes trapped by Sam's ex-husband, Joe Minerver (Peter Flett), whose sexual appetite is as great as her own. Laura gives Lee a piece of her mind. Is there a spirit haunting Flat 3? Jane's stormy romance with Frank rushes toward a horrifying climax of violence and death.

[Episode #1081 contains scenes from the second half of "Fair Game".]

A Law of His Own

"A Law of His Own"

1083, 1084. (15/11/1976) Jane is charged with the brutal murder of Frank's wife, Melissa Hobson (Pat Bishop). When Don takes over Jane's defence, he stuns the police with his aggressive and unorthodox tactics. Giovanni tries to break away from his indomitable Aunt Maria, who is increasing her influence over his life.

[Episode #1083 contains the opening scenes from the unsuccessful spin-off pilot, "A Law To Himself", a 60-minute drama.]

1085, 1086. (16/11/1976) Don uses an outrageous, but effective, technique to force an incriminating confession from the frightened mistress of an underworld figure. Debbie witnesses Don's fierce determination to free Jane, but no one anticipates the bizarre murder that is to come: when Mark Hobson kills his father, Frank.

[These episodes contain more scenes from "A Law To Himself".]

1087, 1088. (22/11/1976) When a man is hunted by a hired executioner, Don follows him, but soon Don himself becomes a target. Then, the sole source of information about his pursuers also suffers a violent death. Don is in desperate need of Debbie's help, but she has become involved with the son of the murdered man.

[Episode #1087 contains more scenes from "A Law To Himself".]

1089, 1090. (23/11/1976) Dorrie and Herb become embroiled in a poker machine scandal. Don and his enemies meet in a sudden and unanticipated confrontation. Arnold becomes the prime suspect when Kerry is discovered badly beaten and near death.

[Episode #1089 contains the concluding scenes from "A Law To Himself".]

Hope'll Help

"Hope'll Help"

1173, 1174. (26/05/1977) A serious operation is performed on Grant without permission. Opportunities to make a fortune excite Dudley, Giovanni and Maria. The awful truth behind Toby's unusual behaviour is at last revealed: he is dying from leukaemia, but Debbie has been sworn to secrecy. Hope bumbles through her first day on the job as Meg's new switchboard operator at Megaphone. Dorrie is outraged over Toby's "murial" on the Sunshine Patio fence. Opal's gossip catches up with her.

[Episode #1174 contains scenes from the first half of the unsuccessful 30-minute comedy spin-off pilot, "Hope'll Help".]

1175, 1176. (31/05/1977) Harold is inconsolable about Opal's accident. Lee feels responsible for his brother's tragic circumstances. Hope recounts her latest misadventures to Dorrie and Flo. Lee forces the truth out of Shani. Jane's future takes a terrifying turn and a new lodger - a dog named Dog - moves into Flat 4. Herb breaks some serious news to Dorrie in a letter.

[These episodes contain scenes from the second half of "Hope'll Help". Its script took some inspiration from the classic movie, "Bells Are Ringing".]

UNAIRED PILOT: "Oh Mummy, Oh Daddy." (Taped 02/1978, Seven Network) Second unsuccessful attempt to spin off the characters of Reg and Edie MacDonald (Mike Dorsey & Wendy Blacklock), this time in a potential music/variety series with dream sequences (eg. "Superman" and "Ginger Meggs" characters featured in this script).


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