Ian's Number 96 episode guide: 1972
Number 96 synopses © 1994, 2020 Ian McLean and Lindsay Street Productions. They have been rewritten and annotated from information derived from Sydney and Melbourne editions of TV Week and TV Times, cross-referenced with original Cash Harmon documentation and viewings of episodes. No text may be reproduced without the express permission of the author. To use this material in research, you are requested to inform the author and credit his contribution accordingly. Thank you.
PREMISE: Pensioners Dorrie and Herb Evans live in Flat 3 of an apartment block known as 'Number 96'. The building occupies the site of their former house in Lindsay Street, Paddington, an inner suburb of Sydney. Six apartments are situated over two live-in shops on the ground floor: one a delicatessen, the other temporarily vacant but destined to become a pharmacy. The series focuses on the lives and loves of the tenants, and their associations with each other, during their stay at 'Number 96'.
EPISODES 1, 2, 3. (First aired in Sydney: 13/03/1972) Mark Eastwood (Martin Harris) and his eight-month pregnant wife, Helen (Briony Behets), move into Flat 4 of Number 96. Dorrie and Herb Evans (Pat McDonald & Ron Shand) introduce themselves to the new neighbours. Dorrie is aghast when Herb tries to sell them his fundraising raffle tickets. In Flat 6, actress Janie Somers (Robyn Gurney) is not having much luck getting auditions. Her roommate, Bev Houghton (Abigail), is wearing "kinky gear" - including a see-through blouse - for a photoshoot with photographer Bruce Taylor (Paul Weingott). Vera Collins (Elaine Lee) is quick to defend when Dorrie gossips about the Eastwoods "canoodling on the sofa". In Flat 8, Alf Sutcliffe (James Elliott) is angered by his wife, Lucy (Elisabeth Kirkby), wasting money on new clothes for their youngest granddaughter. He wants to save all their cash for a return to England. Alf declares that he will go back, even if Lucy decides to stay in Australia. When Helen rejects her frustrated husband's sexual advances, Mark visits the downstairs delicatessen - and turns to young Rose Godolfus (Vivienne Garrett) for consolation. Helen takes up Vera's offer to read her fortune in the cards. Bruce's flatmate, law student Don Finlayson (Joe Hasham), walks in on a rather revealing photoshoot for Mod Photography magazine in Flat 5. Janie delivers Bev a message: her mother has just phoned with news about Bev's younger brother, Rod. Vera introduces Helen to Lucy, who is excited about applying for a job at the new laundrette, which is moving into the vacant former hardware store in Paddington. Rose tells her father, Aldo (Johnny Lockwood), of her intention to move out of home. Bev supports her by telling about how and why she lives away from her own parent: Bev hates her mother's guts. Rose thinks that Aldo's grand plan to open a restaurant is a pipe dream. Helen is exhausted and resting up in bed. Mark goes down to the deli just in time to rescue Rose from a sleazy bikie, Cliff Stevens (Vincent Gil).
Dorrie and Herb Evans, Flat 3.
Lucy is thrilled that her job interview was successful, but Alf remains unimpressed. Aldo walks in on a brief "thank you" kiss between Rose and Mark - but who do the leather bike gloves belong to? Over the phone, Bev defends her job as a cruise hostess to her mother. Lucy goes in search of a cup of sugar from her neighbours. Rose is full of recriminations and Vera defends the girl's actions. Helen and Mark argue that moving out of their bedsitter was unwise. Rose brings a bowl of her father's chicken soup to the Eastwoods' flat, but Dorrie accuses her of eavesdropping. Bruce rings to invite Vera to a party in his flat. She refuses, but then receives a phantom call. A loud party above keeps Dorrie and Herb up at night. The next morning, Don and Bruce are trying to clean up a horrendous mess. Bruce's boss, Maggie, rings to remind him of an appointment for a fashion layout at the office after lunch. Don teases him that Maggie has designs on Bruce - just another episode of Bruce Faces Life? Helen has to leave for a doctor's appointment; Mark elects to stay behind in the flat. After the noisy party, Dorrie cajoles Don and Bruce into buying several books of Herb's raffle tickets. Janie worries about her meeting with an American producer. Bev encourages her to wear less clothing. Feeling dizzy, Helen calls into the deli, where Aldo tries to make her feel more comfortable. Meanwhile, Dorrie spots Rose returning some books to Mark. Aldo convinces Helen to change her appointment time and she returns to the flat much earlier than expected, catching her husband in bed with Rose! Fleeing from the flat, Helen trips down the stairs and collapses in the foyer.
Helen and Mark Eastwood, Flat 4.
Vera calls for an ambulance and worries that she had foreseen danger in Helen's cards. Bev and Janie discuss the realities of the traditional casting couch. Dorrie is unimpressed with Aldo illegally serving wine to Vera in the deli. Lucy tries to sober Alf up with coffee so he can get to his trucking job. She refuses to contemplate returning to England with him. Aldo is suspicious about Rose's earlier disappearance. How does she already know what happened to Helen? Rose wails that her father treats her "like a child". Vera is taking up one of Ethel's work smocks for Lucy to wear in the laundrette. Alf arrives and is overt in his mischievous flirtations with Vera. Lucy calls him "a poor man's Dean Martin" and asks Vera to read her fortune. Janie is still moping about the over-eager producer. He wants to see her again about the audition. Bev suggests "better a professional actress than a professional virgin". Helen's condition, after her tragic fall, causes concern and the building's residents are generous in their offers of support. Mark is sent home by the hospital. Aldo keeps an eye on him in the deli and sends Rose upstairs to sit by the phone in Flat 4. She goes to see Vera, in Flat 7, instead. A guilt-ridden Rose doesn't want to return to the Eastwoods' flat. While Aldo tries to get Mark to eat something, Don and Bruce tease Dorrie about their next party. Producer Alex Lederer (Harry Harris) visits Janie in her flat and seems determined to see much more of Janie than she has bargained for. [Episodes written by David Sale; #1/2 directed by Brian Phillis and #3 directed by Ted Gregory.]
Bruce Taylor and Don Finlayson, Flat 5.
Three episodes were combined to create this special 90-minute premiere in Sydney on TEN-10. Episode #3 was a new version of the October 1971 pilot, reshot to blend with the other instalments. (Ron Shand had not been available to shoot the pilot, so Herb does not appear in this segment.) Note the dialogue error, in which Helen's premature delivery of a baby girl was described by Mark as "a miscarriage". The superimposed closing credits move from the delicatessen, up the left side of the apartment building, across the top, then down the other side, but stopping before reaching the vacant shopfront. TV Times included a long list of the show's characters and performers, while TV Week listed only the characters of Vera Collins, Bev Houghton, Janie Somers, Alex Lederer and Rose Godolfus in their program guide. (I was 13 when the show started and 8.30pm was our bedtime. Because of "Number 96"! I remember Channel Ten's Jeremy Cordeaux coming onscreen that first night, warning parents that "Number 96" was adult viewing and that children should be sent to bed.)
In Melbourne, only the first two episodes were aired back-to-back on 14/03/1972. Segments with Mark running his hand up Helen's thigh, and Mark in bed with a naked Rose, were censored out for this and all subsequent screenings. Channel ATV-0 elected to black out the lower half of the screen during Mark's attempted seduction of his wife. These first two episodes premiered in Brisbane a week later, on 20/03 on TVQ-0. They did not air in Canberra until 27/06 on CTC-7 at 10.30pm. Don's reference to "Bruce Faces Life" is a salute to "Portia Faces Life", an American soap opera first broadcast over radio (1940-1953), and television (1954-55). There was also an Australian version in 1952. (In "Number 96", Edie MacDonald will get hooked by a TV soap opera, "Natalie Faces Life".) The Janie/Alex plotline was novelised for the 1972 Arkon paperback, "Janie Stagestruck", while the Mark/Helen/Rose plotline was novelised in 1973 as "The Wayward Husband". Neither book featured the series actors on the cover.
When repeated in a daytime timeslot in Sydney, commencing 4/02/74 at 1.30pm, the episodes were aired in 30-minute segments. Episode #2 was later showcased in an episode of Foxtel/Austar TV1's "Television's Greatest Hits: The Best of Number 96" (2000), introduced by Andrew Mercado. The three episodes, plus 13 others (#4-10, 13, 31, 33-35, 450) were released on DVD in 2012, "Number 96: The Beginning and the Bomb" (Volume 3), by Umbrella Entertainment Australia. The other 16 episodes in the set were from the 1975 season.
4. (14/03) Alex uses his charm to convince Janie that his interest in her is purely professional. Although her previous audition was unsuccessful, she may be right for an understudy role. Dorrie continues her relentless interference into the lives of the building's tenants. She sits up in bed, waiting for a noisy party to start in the flat above, much to Herb's exasperation. In the wee hours, Alf drops in to chat to Vera. He has just driven the truck back from Brisbane. Lucy is asleep and he saw that Vera's lights were still on. He needs to talk. Vera tells him that he is becoming a bigot. Alf intercepts one of the phantom phone calls to Vera's line. There is a knock at the door, but it is only Mark with a health update on Helen and the baby. Don admits to Bruce that he sabotaged their latest party in order to pacify Dorrie. He even "fixed" the record player so it wouldn't work. An upbeat Janie tells Bev that she might have work as an understudy in Alex's production. Next morning in the deli, Vera talks to Aldo, who is concerned about Rose. With everyone wanting advice these days, she thinks that there might be a career opportunity as an advice columnist: "Everyone Comes to Vera". She goes into Flat 2 to check on Rose. Dorrie compliments Don and Bruce on their efforts to curb the noise from their latest party. She tries not to show interest in Rose ascending the stairs. Taking Vera's advice, Rose goes up to Flat 4 to try to reconnect with Mark, this time as a concerned friend. Lucy has begun her job at the new laundrette, but her day is cut short by electrical problems. Alf offers her no sympathy. Bev is excited about the proofsheet of her nude shots that Bruce has given her. She jokes to Janie that one shot might make a great Christmas card. Alex arrives while Janie is getting ready. Bev lets him in and a mutual flirtation begins. Janie teases Bev about her many boyfriends. Alex floats the idea of making a night out into a foursome. Rose is visiting Vera in Flat 7 and they are soon joined by Lucy. Vera admits that she is still being plagued by phantom phone calls. When the phone rings, Lucy insists on answering it. It is a charming male voice, so she hands the receiver over to Vera. Once again, the phantom heavy-breather finds his target. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Peter Benardos.]
Lucy Sutcliffe, Flat 8.
TV Times listed actors Ron Shand, Pat McDonald, Elaine Lee and James Elliott as stars, while TV Week listed Elaine Lee, Johnny Lockwood, Briony Behets and Joe Hasham. In the pre-home video era, the brief glimpses of a naked Abigail in the proofsheet being held by Bev Houghton would have been a tease for viewers. A consecutive run of these early episodes, plus six others (#13, 31, 33-35, 450) were released on DVD in 2012, "Number 96: The Beginning and the Bomb" (Volume 3), by Umbrella Entertainment Australia. Episode #4 included an archived audio commentary with James Elliott and TV historian, Nigel Giles. The other 16 episodes in the set were from the 1975 colour season.
5. (15/03) Who would hate Vera so much that they make so many phantom phone calls just to scare her? She tells Lucy and Rose that she can't think of anyone. Mark arrives at the laundrette with good news on the health of both the baby and Helen. Lucy insists that she won't charge him for laundering of all the dirty nappies that are to come. Aldo arrives with a bag of laundry and Lucy offers to do it for him and drop the clothes off at the deli at the end of the day. He complains that he is unable to keep his daughter at home. Vera announces her intention to host a party to celebrate Mark's news. Aldo offers to bring his homemade wine. He mentions that Rose will not be able to attend the party as she has a date with a nice Jewish doctor. Vera reluctantly invites Dorrie and Herb, so they won't feel left out. Dorrie explains that it is Bingo night. Herb has to be there, being Treasurer of the Senior Citizens' Club, and Dorrie always has to help Mrs Blanchard. Meanwhile, Janie and Bev do their own celebrating: a double date with Alex and his friend, Charles (Max Osbiston). No one seems very impressed by Lucy's party food: triangle sandwiches with chicken paste and peanut butter. Bev tries to escape Alex's attentions by fetching the canapes. Janie reminds Charles that he is old enough to be her father. In desperation, Aldo's sister, Selma, has arranged a suitable match for Rose "just as they did in the old country", but Rose is unimpressed with their selection, Dr Julian Myers (Lew Luton). Julian is frustrated that Rose resists his attempts at romance. Alf blames his hangover on Hungarian wine made with Australian grapes. Rose tells Aldo that Julian was like a computerised date. In the deli, Dorrie reads from a prepared speech to announce Aldo as the winner of the raffle. His prize is a frozen chook. Lucy is amused as the deli has plenty of frozen chickens. He could always sell it. Dorrie announces that she and Herb will have to contend with curried sausages. Lucy sees Mark on the stairs and shows him the frozen chook that Aldo gave her, just in time to be overheard by an unimpressed Dorrie. Alf is in the bath, complaining about everything, including the eight hours needed to defrost the chook. Lucy's only other offering is, according to Alf, "streaky bloody Australian bacon". Lucy finds a way to defrost the chook faster - dropping it into Alf's bathwater. Vera advises Peter Harvey (Peter Guest) about his future business ventures through a card-reading. Lucy collects the Eastwoods' key from Vera so she can do some housework for Mark. When the phone rings, it is the hospital. Mark arrives at the open door to overhear Lucy exclaim, "You don't mean she's dead...?" [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Peter Benardos.]
Bev Houghton and Janie Somers, Flat 6.
TV Times listed Johnny Lockwood and Abigail as stars; TV Week listed only Elaine Lee. This episode is our first glimpse of Lucy's laundrette. We never see an establishing shot of the shop's exterior, although there were several laundromats in nearby Oxford Street. Harris Coin Laundries supplied washing machines and driers for the laundrette set and received a credit each episode. In later years, the deal went to Speed Queen. Peter Guest, as Peter Harvey of Harvey Brothers' Wines, was to be seen regularly over the next few weeks.
6. (16/03) How will Mark break the shocking news about the baby to Helen? Vera arrives at Flat 4 to console a distraught Mark. He blames himself for the tragedy and mentions Rose's involvement in the incident that led to Helen giving birth prematurely. Vera tells him that she already knows about Rose - and Mark is incredulous. He is determined to find somewhere else for him and Helen to live. Alf is bickering with Lucy again; he wants to return home to England, but his wife is determined to stay. Alf finds an ad for $300 charter flights to England and he shows Lucy the $250 he has hidden in a cigar box. He doesn't trust Australian banks. Lucy teases that $250 would only get him to Fiji - and he wouldn't like the Fijian people either. Maybe she will take his money to buy herself an evening gown if she ever gets invited to the Lord Mayor's Ball? Rose encounters Mark and Vera on the stairs - and Mark roars at her to get out of his way. Janie is too excited about her understudy job to eat breakfast. Don arrives at their door asking if they have any spare bread, as he and Bruce are out of it and want to make some toast. Bev says that he can "always depend on me for a slice... of bread, that is." Vera enters the deli as Aldo settling the bill for a satisfied customer of a meal of gefilte fish and homemade red wine. He charges the man $1.50; Aldo is practising for when he opens a restaurant. He restrains himself from elaborating about his plans. He tells Vera that "too much talk before something happens can bring bad luck". Mark enters the deli, feeling depressed. Aldo insists on him coming to dinner, especially since Rose will be out for her first session at night school. Helen's condition is not good. She mostly lies in bed in a state of catatonic withdrawal, although she did mention her desire to return home - to Number 96. Bev discovers Don sitting on the stairs outside his flat. He has forgotten his key and Bruce isn't home yet. Bev invites Don in for a beer. Lucy is cooking. She tells Alf that Vera will be joining them for dinner. Lucy is trying to keep Vera away from the phantom caller. She reminds Alf that he seems to enjoy Vera coming over, as he can't keep his hands off her bum. Alf grumbles about how much it is costing to feed an extra person. Lucy responds that her own money has paid for all the ingredients. Bev spends the night flirting with both Don and Alex and each responds in quite different ways. Bev cajoles Don to unzip her dress. She slips into the bedroom she shares with Janie - and finds her flatmate reading a script on one of the twin single beds. When Don calls out through the door that Bruce is back and he's leaving, Janie teases Bev about her motives. Alf is watching Matlock Police on TV and Lucy reminds him that it is an Australian series. She might write to Hector Crawford and tell him that Alf likes his show. Vera arrives at Flat 8 and has brought wine: a 1972 Chateau Godolfus. Will the wine go well with... tripe and onions? In Flat 6, Alex seems to enjoy testing Bev's reactions to his romantic overtures while his new girlfriend, Janie, is in the bedroom. He calls Bev a cold bitch, "cold but... hot". Mark arrives at Flat 2, where Aldo is setting the table for their dinner. Rose walks in unexpectedly. Since the first session of night school was only introductory, she decided not to go. Aldo leaves Rose to entertain their guest. Mark is angry when Rose expresses her true feelings of love for him. She clings to him "like a limpet". He suggests that, now she is no longer a virgin, Rose won't have any trouble finding other men. Rose storms out of the flat, but Aldo has seemingly overheard everything. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Peter Benardos.]
Vera Collins visits the deli.
From now on, TV Times usually listed the names of actors whose characters were mentioned in the episode descriptions. TV Week continued to list Elaine Lee over the next three weeks of episodes, sometimes alone (which, some gossip columns claimed, caused resentment among the other actors) and sometimes with Robyn Gurney, Vivienne Garrett and/or Abigail. The voice of Michael Pate (as Detective Sergeant Vic Madden) can be heard when Alf watches the Australian drama, "Matlock Police", on television. The episode has a few continuity errors. A stain on Vera's outfit is visible in one scene but has vanished a few minutes later. Mark arrives at the deli in location footage (at 83 Moncur Street, Woollahra), where the front door is hinged on the left, and then goes into the shop's interior (in the Channel Ten studios) where the door is clearly hinged on the right side. Additionally, he begins to enter wearing a pale-coloured shirt and arrives inside in a dark shirt. The studio set does not replicate the actual building's dedication plaque. Shop signage, both on set and when the "delicatessen" was redressed in Moncur Street, reads "A. Godolfus", however most renditions of the surname in official Cash Harmon paperwork usually used "Godolphus". The Greek name is an artefact of early character work, before Johnny Lockwood asked if he could perform Aldo as a Hungarian Jew.
7. (17/03) Aldo is enraged. He accuses Mark of treating his daughter like a prostitute, taking away Rose's innocence, and teaching her his evil ways. He orders Mark to get out of his home before he kills him. A series of noises from the vacant shop and flat below awaken Dorrie, who then demands that Herb investigate. She is convinced there are burglers in the building. She arms Herb with a rolling pin - for confidence - while she will wait by the phone. Lingering in the vestibule, a frightened Dorrie doesn't notice Vera descending the staircase with a tray of breakfast items. Vera says, "Boo!", and mockingly agrees that it is Dorrie's job to be alert to possible intruders and to know exactly what is happening in Flat 1. Dorrie is concerned that the residents could have been assaulted in their beds. Vera agrees with a smirk, "You should have been told." Vera takes tea and toast into Flat 4. Mark, wallowing in guilt, describes Aldo's anger of the previous night. Vera wonders why Mark barely mentions Helen. He worries that he only has a few days of leave left, and will soon have to return to his teaching job. He wants to find another place for them to live. If the Eastwoods stay on at Number 96, Helen is sure to encounter Rose again. Bruce tells Don that his boss is coming by today and he suggests that Don should make himself scarce, perhaps by taking Bev to the pictures? Bruce also wants Don's law books to be hidden away. Rose has been out all night, having stayed with her friend, Martha. Aldo says that if Rose's mother were still alive, she would not approve of her daughter staying out until 8.00am. He wants Rose to marry a good, strong Jewish boy. Dorrie makes it her special project to discover who is occupying the vacant shop downstairs. She encounters Mervin (Tony Allen) and another workman (Michael Lowe, aka Chris Haywood) in there. They tell her the shop is probably destined to become a massage parlour. Soon, the street outside will be filled with men, hanging around to come in. Dorrie thinks that the workmen thought her "a crank", but it is her duty to report all this to the building's agent, My Bayswater. Don has left Bruce a note, with strict instructions for the casserole in the oven. Maggie Cameron (Bettina Welch) arrives for her rendezvous with Bruce, referring to Flat 5 as their "little love nest". She approves of Bruce's choice, which pleases him, since Maggie is paying half of the rent. She intends to make the most of her husband's frequent, work-related absences. They have five hours. Victor is off at some board meeting to discuss tearing down half of the city and filling it with concrete to make another fortune. ("Romantic, eh?") Slipping out of her office clothes, Maggie suggests that Bruce turn the heat down on the casserole to give them more time for "the main event". Bev and Don are off to see a movie together. Bev is not surprised about Don's choice of film. It's a rerun of a rerun: "full of passion, wistfulness and infinite human sadness." Vera and Rose discuss Aldo's reaction to the Mark situation. Rose is determined not to get hurt again. She will make Mark pay - along with every other man who treats her that way. Vera assures her that most girls end up getting hurt in their early romantic encounters. She recommends not to "jump in feet first". Next time, Rose is determined to "do the hurting". Mark visits Helen's doctor (Charles Thorne), who thinks that Helen is ready to be discharged. There is nothing more the hospital can do. If Mark thinks Helen needs more time, it will have to be in a private ward. Mark knows he cannot afford that. [Episode written by Michael Boddy; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Maggie Cameron and Bruce Taylor, Flat 5.
The hilarious burglar sequence drawns upon Ron Shand's Vaudeville roots and gives Elaine Lee a lighthearted scene, too. Tony Allen, who plays Mervin, a workman in the empty shop that is destined to become a pharmacy, later returns as a journalist, Bill Barton. Up-and-coming actor, Chris Haywood, makes an early TV appearance as Mervin's offsider. He is credited here as "Michael Lowe". Rose is seen arriving home in more location footage at 83 Moncur Street, Woollahra. (In the background can be seen the former Moncur Street Uniting Church, Woollahra, which ceased being used as a church in the 1980s, and is now privately owned.) The episode introduces Bettina Welch as arch bitch, Maggie. Creator David Sale had promised to find her a juicy part after he realised she had been signed to perform a minor role in 1971's "The Group". We are yet to meet Victor Cameron onscreen, but he will be portrayed by Owen Weingott, in reality, the father of Paul Weingott, who plays Maggie's lover, Bruce.
8. (20/03) Mark bristles at Helen's doctor questioning his motives for not taking her home. "Doctors are always interfering." Maggie and Bruce find their time well occupied in Flat 5, but Maggie has to be home by eleven o'clock to avoid arousing the suspicions of her husband, Victor. Bruce uses several delaying tactics to avoid taking her into the bedroom. She questions the need for a $500 painting - Bruce wants one of Cedric Flower's terrace cityscapes, a good splash of colour to replace the rows of photographic prints on the loungeroom wall. Maggie knows the famous artist - from "a long, long time ago" - and he's having an exhibition soon at the Leroy Gallery. Bruce supposes that Flower would "give her a discount, wouldn't he, for old times sake?" Bruce then accuses Maggie of making him sound like "a bloody gigolo". Back from the cinema, and realising that Maggie has not left yet, Bev takes Don into Flat 6 for a black coffee. Bev says that the movie "made me wet myself sick". Don describes her taste in movies as that of "a very charming Philostene". Janie is still out. She had a first reading of the script. It sounds like Janie has stumbled into "a great new Australian play": a kind of "musical beds and all played in the raw". Bev attempts to seduce Don by unbuttoning his shirt but he is saved by the kettle's whistle. Herb is watching the footy on TV in the dark when Dorrie comes storming in with a head of steam over the new massage parlour. Marge Harris, a cousin of the Hetheringtons, has warned her to expect naked people - rooms full of them! And as for Bruce entertaining "that older woman": the tone of the flats has gone quite low enough. Dorrie must take action. Meanwhile, in Flat 5, Bruce has managed to avoid "the main event" with Maggie and now there are only ten minutes left before she has to depart for home. He hides a self-satisfying grin. Seemingly, it is now Maggie's fault that she must leave him unfulfilled. Janie arrives home from meeting the cast, who are all "fab" - as was Alex treating them all to spaghetti at Mario's with "lashings of gorgeous vino". She likes Gloria - "You know, the great American star we were all going to hate?" - who is actually "a doll, not stuck-up at all"; also co-star Mike Hazel and Jerry the playwright. Janie begins to tell a story about Mike's friend, Dean Martin, and what happened when he was invited to a Temperence meeting in Hollywood when Bruce launches himself into Flat 6 and the topic turns to Maggie Cameron. Bev asks after Bruce's "elderly friend": so, is she Lady Chatterley or Lady Macbeth? When the boys have left, Bev begins undressing and questions Janie about Alex's motives. Janie is convinced that Bev is wrong; Alex actually likes her. Next morning, Dorrie attempts to speak to Mr Bayswater, the building's agent, on the phone, but it seems he is in Surfer's Paradise. She demands that something be done about the massage parlour. It is "an outrage to all decent people". Bruce is in the deli, buying sandwiches to take with him on his early photoshoot. Don arrives with Bruce's forgotten keys and Aldo asks Don to look over the lease of his proposed restaurant. Don reminds him that he is an article clerk, not a lawyer, but Aldo is persistant. Dorrie is at the door of Flat 7, to get Vera's signature on her petition to stop the massage parlour. Vera reminds her that past rumours about the vacant shop have all proven to be false. Last week, Dorrie thought a taxidermist was taking it on; the week before, an undertaker. Vera teases that the shop might become an opium den or a white-slavery agency. Speaking of people with loose morals, Dorrie wants to know if Vera had heard the news about Mark bringing his wife home? They are interrupted by Vera's phone ringing. She is determined not to answer it while Dorrie is hovering. Finally alone, Vera lifts the receiver. As she suspected, it is again her phantom caller. Meanwhile, Herb is trying to collect signatures for Dorrie's petition in the deli. Surely, a massage parlour will bring down the tone of the area? Herb is unsure about what goes on in such an establishment and Bruce describes an Arabian Nights scenario, unexpurgated - with beautiful blondes and brunettes, the stripping off of clothing - and lots of potions, perfumes, exotic oils, satin cushions and... the rubbing. Interrupted by Dorrie, Bruce boasts that he is already booked in as the parlour's first customer. Dorrie is not surprised. She reminds Bruce that she hears everything he gets up to - through her ceiling. Herb, Aldo and Dorrie investigate the vacant shop. Lots of stark, white shelving has been installed, not unlike the set-up in the deli. Bev lets Alex into Flat 6. She is fresh from washing her hair, and still in her bathrobe. Alex claims to have forgotten that Janie would be at the extra rehearsal the director has called. He tries to get amorous, telling Bev that Janie "is not the marrying type". Alex turns the lock on the front door and forces a kiss upon Bev, who puts up a desperate struggle. [Episode written by Eleanor Whitcomb; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Aldo Godolfus and Don Finlayson in the deli.
TV Week's listing noted for the first time that the show was "an Australian produced series", the story of ordinary people "with ordinary emotions: desire, love, jealousy and hate". The name drop of local Neutral Bay artist, Cedric Flower, is not coincidental. His wife, Pat Flower (née Bullen), had begun writing for the "Number 96" series. Marge Harris is said to be a cousin of "the Hetheringtons", probably a reference to "Mr Squiggle & Friends" artist/puppeteer, Norman Hetherington and his wife, Margaret. Gloria Gould (soon to be portrayed onscreen by Judy Lynne) is referenced briefly in dialogue - but called "Gloria Grant" here, which suggests that Robyn Gurney was supposed to also reference "Grant Morris" (the stage manager, soon to be played by John Bonney). The play's title, "The Rainbow Trap", is yet to be mentioned, but was referenced in the first novelisation, "Janie Stagestruck".
9. (21/03) Alex's continued molesting of Bev is thwarted by Janie's unexpected arrival. Accusing Bev of leading him on, he vanishes into the bathroom. Janie's rehearsal was cancelled, but she is puzzled by the locked front door. Bev calls out to Alex and emphasises how lucky it is - for both of them - that Janie came back. Lucy teases Alf about counting his savings again: "You'll rub the Queen's face off!" She suggests putting the cash in a bank to earn interest, but Alf is expecting another Australian Depression. Bev is thrilled when Bruce shows her some nude 8x10s of their photoshoot. One of the images has made the cover of Mod Photography magazine. Don encounters a young woman with a heavy suitcase, trying to ascend to Flat 8. He offers to assist her. One of the photos of Bev is particularly revealing but Bruce insists it was an accidental shot. Don delivers the woman and her suitcase to the Sutcliffes' door. She collapses against it, sobbing. Ethel Brinkman (Jenny Lee), the only daughter of Alf and Lucy, has travelled for an hour from Newcastle in a desperate plea for help. Alf supposes that either she has left her useless husband, Kevin, or he is dead. Alf warned his daughter about marrying an Australian! When Ethel and Lucy defend Kevin as a good worker, he wonders why young Kevin is the first honest, competent worker to always get retrenched. Ethel is again in tears as she explains that they are unable to pay their rent. While Bruce looks on, Bev delights in her newly-acquired knowledge of photographic terms as she shows off her nude shots to a very uneasy Don. He makes a quick, embarrassing exit from the room. With Kevin on the dole, Ethel needs to borrow $100. Alf refuses and Lucy calls him "a heartless bugger". She thinks that her new boss, Mr Thorburn, might lend her the money, because he is "a real gentleman". Over lunch in an expensive restaurant, Alex tries flattery to determine from Janie how much Bev might have revealed about the previous incident. Janie is still oblivious. They discuss the play's comedy aspects. Does Janie have reservations over the nudity? The simulated sex scene? Is she hung about sex? "For all I know, you may be a virgin," says Alex, implying that Janie is not right for the understudy role after all. When Janie mentions that she is experienced, he suggests that she might be "a hit 'n' run" type, who "did it once and didn't like it". In Flat 6, Bev strips to her underwear and is about to head for the shower, when Rose arrives. She wants advice on preparing to leave home. Rose's Papa forgets that he now lives in Australia. Bev's problem was with her mother, not her father. He had been calm about her and Rod, as kids, getting caught playing "doctors and nurses". It was Bev's mother who was upset about it. Bev didn't have to tell her mother that she wanted to leave home, she just made life so unpleasant that her mother threw her out! The phone rings; it is Bev's mother. Bev is not surprised that her mother is feeling sick and promises to visit. Ethel is making food for Alf, who is always hungry. He has come up with a solution for the Brinkmans' money worries: Ethel and the kids can move in with them, Kevin can find a smaller place he can afford until he gets a new job, and Alf will pay to put their furniture into storage. Lucy tells him to stop playing dumb. She realises immediately that this is a ploy to split up Ethel and Kevin. Bruce is finishing up a photoshoot with a young, topless model. Maggie arrives with a framed Cedric Flower painting for Bruce. He is thrilled and gets amorous, but Maggie reminds him that they must refrain from such activities at work. In Flat 7, Lucy and Vera skim for suitable dress styles in a pattern catalogue. They pick out several for Ethel and Vera volunteers to help make them. When the phone rings, both of them assume it is the phantom caller. Lucy answers, but it is only a friend, Cathy O'Connor, wanting to book a card reading with Vera. Lucy wonders about Vera's ongoing reluctance to involve the police. "It could be a maniac, a rapist or a homicidal killer!", Lucy warns. Bruce hangs his painting in Flat 5, exasperating poor Don, because Bruce keeps moving it. They laugh about the empty shop downstairs. "Mother Evans" will be so disappointed: it won't be a massage parlour, or even a poodle parlour, just a chemist shop. Late at night, Vera is in bed, feeling lonely. She rings Lucy for comfort, they again discuss calling the police if the phantom calls again, but Vera opts to unplug the phone instead. Suddenly there is a thump in the main room. The silhouette of a man appears at the entrance to Vera's bedroom. He does not seem friendly. Vera tries to get a dial tone on the phone and remembers that it is unplugged. She screams! [Episode written by Bob Caswell; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Alex Lederer and Bev Houghton, Flat 6.
TV Times listed Norman Yemm and "Maggie Cameron" (sic) as stars. "Mod[ern] Photography" is an actual magazine, which changed hands in 1974. Bruce's painting is exactly what he asked for: one of Cedric Flower's cityscapes of Paddington terrace houses. The future outdoor furniture of the deli's "Boulevard Cafe" can be spotted in Maggie's office, where Bruce is taking photographs of a topless model. An early concept for the downstairs shop had been to make it an antique shop, as it was in real life in Moncur Flats. David Sale had recommended Terry O'Neill (Tinto of 1971's "The Group") to play a prissy antique dealer, but it was realised that the residents of "Number 96" would have more reasons to frequent a chemist (and later, a wine bar) than an antique store. O'Neill would go on to play two guest roles: Roger Wotherspoon in 1973 and Edgar Eggerton in 1976. Lucy's warning, that Vera's stranger could be "a maniac, a rapist or a homicidal killer!", suggests an insightful prescience for the rest of the prime time soap opera's run.
10. (22/03) The mysterious caller finally reveals his identity to Vera. He offers her a handful of money, calls her "Little Miss Innocent" and "a slut" - and rips off her nightgown, throwing her onto the bed. It is Vera's estranged husband, Harry Collins (Norman Yemm)! Early in the morning, Aldo awakens to hear Rose sobbing in her bedroom. Aldo blames "that Eastwood" and calls him "a Casanova", "an oaf" and "nothing". In the old country, a father would take a knife to a man like that. "He is not worth crying over." Rose tells her father that she doesn't regret anything but feels trapped, like she's in an institution. Aldo reassures her that things will be different when the restaurant is a reality. He will call it All Those Garden of Roses and the restaurant will come with a suite for Rose to live in. She will also work there as hostess. Aldo envisages "a meeting and eating place" for young people. And it will be "soon". Rose complains that "soon is like tomorrow; it never comes". Vera tells Harry that he could get arrested for what he just did. She doesn't like being raped, even by her own husband. Harry confesses that he still loves her. If that is Harry's idea of love, Vera says, "then give me hate anytime". She calls the incident "a hell of a way to stage a comeback", the way he burst into her room like Jack the Ripper. Watching him pull on the robe he hasn't worn in over a year, Vera wonders if she is talking to "Harry the car salesman, or Harry the husband?" Vera maintains that, since their marriage and even after his departure, she has remained faithful. Aldo reminisces about life in Budapest while Rose unpacks groceries for the deli shelves. When she departs into the flat, Mark enters from the front - and Aldo tries to get him to leave. His angry discussion with Mark is interrupted by a difficult customer who wants Aldo's recommendations for a magarine that is not "too vegetablely" and "more buttery". Mark explains to Aldo that Helen is coming home tonight and he is worried that Aldo will mention something to upset her. Aldo takes offence that Mark thinks of him as a cruel man. Herb is collecting garbage bins from the landing outside Flats 7 and 8 when he overhears the sounds of lovemaking coming from Vera's flat. Trying to be quiet, he trips over the Sutcliffes' bin, spilling its contents. Realising that the girls in Flat 6 have again forgotten to put their bin out, he mentions the fact to Dorrie. She sends him off to help Mark take the baby's cot and pram down to the cellar, where they can be stored until the Smith Family charity can collect them. Dorrie then forces her way past Janie to remind her about their bin. While Janie fetches it, Dorrie finds the pile of 8x10 nude shots of Bev. She stuffs one down her bosom and storms off to tell Herb. She tells him, "What is under my dress is quite obscene." Dorrie calls the photo "Porn-o-graphy" and its subject "a slut", but Herb can't work out if she means Bev or Janie. Herb can't see the photo because he "can't be trusted" but he tricks Dorrie into showing him - ever so briefly - by offering a new tidbit of secret gossip about Vera. She is currently entertaining a man - in her bed. Mr Thorburn (Reg Evans) does a quick inspection of the laundrette and pronounces it "A.O.K., as they say in space." Lucy attempts to ask for an advance of her wages to help her daughter, but he declines her request. Lucy does not react to Bev's photo in the way that Dorrie expected. Instead, she admires her body. Lucy suggests that Dorrie's malicious gossip about Vera means that she is jealous. Alf makes Lucy's day: he has decided he will lend Ethel the money she needs. He complains about the shoddy Australian workmanship on the laundrette's washing machines, but Lucy points out they are American-made. Mark is escorting Helen past Flat 2's front door, on their way up the stairs, but they run into... Rose! [Episode written by Lance Peters; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Harry and Vera Collins, Flat 7.
The controversial rape-within-marriage scene between Harry and Vera was discussed in "TIME" magazine at the later that year. Ron Shand's antics with the garbage bins are pure Vaudeville. Tellingly, Harry's robe is hanging up right where he expects it to be, even though he has been gone from Flat 7 for over a year. Ron Shand's antics with the garbage bins are pure Vaudeville. Aldo's name for his restaurant, "All Those Garden of Roses", sounds clunky but he actually mentions it twice. Rose is seen carefully taking packets of "Arnott's SAO Biscuits" from a cardboard carton clearly marked "Bushell's Instant Coffee". This is the last of a run of consecutive b/w episodes - plus six others (#13, 31, 33-35, 450) - released on DVD in 2012, "Number 96: The Beginning and the Bomb" (Volume 3), by Umbrella Entertainment Australia. The other 16 episodes in the set were from the 1975 season.
11. (23/03) Helen has returned home from the hospital, and is looking forward to seeing everyone, but must face reality: she and Rose now have a difficult shared history. Harry is as jealous as ever. He is not convinced that Vera's "clients" only want their fortunes read.
Mark and Helen Eastwood, Flat 4 and Rose Godolfus, Flat 2.
This is the first b/w episode not yet available on commercial DVD; neither is there a Cash Harmon synopsis on file. This one and Episodes #12, 14, 15 and 534 - all b/w - are apparently stored at the National Film & Sound Archives. The Mark/Helen/Rose plotline was novelised in paperback for Arkon in 1973 as "The Wayward Husband". (The book featured no actors from the series on the cover.)
12. (24/03) Sonia Freeman (Lynn Rainbow) has begun moving her household effects into Flat 1 and chemist supplies into its vacant shopfront. Mark leaves for his job at the local high school and, while he's away, Dorrie tries to look after Helen. However, Dorrie's lack of tact only creates more of a disturbance. Aldo signs a purchase agreement on a restaurant with the business agent, Mr Holloway (Ken Goodlet). Later, in Flat 4, Vera is telling Mark that she read Helen's fortune for her but only emphasised positive things. Twice that afternoon, Vera caught her wandering vaguely up the stairwell. From the bedroom, Helen suddenly sits up in bed, screaming Mark's name.
Sonia Freeman, Flat 1, and Aldo Godolfus, Flat 2.
From this episode, the superimposed closing credits move from the delicatessen across to the chemist shop, then up. Lynn Rainbow is introduced as the chemist, Sonia. Early reports on the premise of the new series mentioned her character as being named "Mary Freeman".
13. (27/03) Mark consoles Helen, who tells him that she had a nightmare about him, but she can't remember any details. He will fetch her some milk and honey. Vera agrees that Helen needs a doctor before she gets too far from reality. Janie is doing her morning calisthenics before leaving for a rehearsal when Alex rings to tell her about an understudy call, and to invite her to supper afterwards. Bev worries that Janie needs to watch out for "Mr Smoothie" and his casting couch. Alex seems to take too much interest in an understudy. Dorrie condescends to patronise Lucy's laundrette, at least on a trial basis, to give Lucy a boost. She introduces Lucy to Sonia, but later wonders why "a girl" should be a chemist, especially one who is "too clever by half" with "her nose all stuck up in the air". Something about Sonia doesn't "feel right". Lucy hits it off well with the busy Sonia, offering to do her wash and deliver it back to Flat 1 later in the day. Dorrie is keen to tell Lucy about Vera entertaining men - albeit Vera's own husband - and their "real humdinger" of an argument. According to Dorrie, Herb is "at boiling point" over Bruce's nude photographs of Bev. Dorrie predicts that if such pictures end up on the cover of a glossy magazine, men will soon be gathering in Lindsay Street, looking through the windows, trying to catch a glimpse of Beverly getting undressed. In Flat 2, Aldo talks to Rose, who is lying on the parlour's fold-out couch. Where was she until 3.00am? He knows she wasn't at Martha's place, as he rang her. Rose explains that she is attending night school and spends different nights with different friends. Aldo wants Rose to feel free to bring her friends home, but reminds her that there will be plenty of room for entertaining when they move to the Garden of Roses restaurant. As they fold the bedsheets together, Aldo realises that there are no school books around, but Rose claims that she keeps them at a friend's place. Rose wants her independence, just like Bev. Maggie peruses Bruce's sketches for an advertising campaign. The client belongs to a religious sect and is insistent on a "no sex" angle. Bruce wants to know what is so holy about baked beans. Maggie suggests, "Try it without that phallic thing in the corner." Angela, Maggie's secretary, tells her of a phone call. It is Victor, who tells his wife that he will need to be away for two days of work, tendering for a new project. Alf drops into the laundrette, bringing Lucy fish and chips, wrapped in newspaper, for lunch. As they eat, Lucy chats about the various regular patrons she has met so far, but Alf is distracted by two young hippies (Chard Hayward and Cathy Jones) from "a pad just up the street", who seem to have no inhibitions about using the laundrette. As they strip off each item of clothing, they toss it into a washing machine. The couple complains to Lucy that the machine doesn't work. Alf offers to help and sends Lucy for a screwdriver, giving Alf more time to gawk at the bare-breasted woman. "The water's working but not the... trigger." Attempting to fix the wiring, Alf causes a flash of electrical sparks and the power goes out. Horrified that Maggie intends to spend the two whole husband-free days in Flat 5, Bruce makes a hushed phone call to Don's office. He needs to warn Don to stay away. Don is in court, so Bruce can only leave a message to be contacted urgently. Four hours later, the hippies finally have clean, dry clothes to put on. Bruce tries to get Maggie to agree to dinner in the city, but it is only 5.30 in the afternoon. He intercepts a phone call, thinking it is Don, but it is for Maggie. She must take an immediate late-night flight to Melbourne. Maggie wants Bruce to accompany her downstairs but he feigns stomach pain from the oysters they ate at lunch. Down in the deli, Don has called in to check over Aldo's deal on the restaurant and reassures him that the required 10% deposit is standard. Aldo can't afford to lose $5000; it is his life savings. Maggie makes her first visit to the deli for cigarettes, but she is unimpressed by the distracted Aldo's customer service. Alex arrives at Flat 6, once again managing to catch Bev dressed only in a towel. He locks the front door and pockets the key. Bev has been "turning him on for days". Don explains that he never received Bruce's message because he went straight from court to see Aldo in the deli. Why is Bruce so reluctant to let him and Maggie meet? "She sounds like a cross between Hitler and Cleopatra." Bruce reminds him that business and pleasure don't mix; he likes to keep his compartments neat and tidy. Bruce suggests that it is time they splurged on some "Chinese grub" and grog: "a pleasant, private nosh-up". In the bedroom of Flat 6, Bev is bruised and sobbing in her bed. Alex gets dressed, berating her over his disappointment. He now knows that all of her flirting was a cover and that she is, "obscene", "a sexual fraud" and "plain, bloody frigid". [Episode written by Pat Flower; directed by Peter Benardos.]
Lucy Sutcliffe and the hippies in the laundrette.
In 1972, the series continued its groundbreaking character developments, with Sonia shown to be a qualified chemist, much to Dorrie's chagrin. Chard Hayward plays one of the laundrette hippies. He would later return as a regular character, Dudley Butterfield. Cathy Jones, the topless female hippy, was a prominent model at the time. The notoriety of this sequence was deliberately revisited in the 1974 "Number 96" movie. The 1975 bomb blast storyline makes several eerie callbacks to this particular episode: we see Maggie's first visit to the deli and her uncomfortable encounter with Aldo; Maggie must make a last-minute, late-night flight to Melbourne; and we learn that Lucy enjoys a traditional feast of battered fish and chips, wrapped in newspaper. This b/w episode, plus others (#1-10, 31, 33-35, 450) were released on DVD in 2012, "Number 96: The Beginning and the Bomb" (Volume 3), by Umbrella Entertainment Australia. The other 16 episodes in the set were from the 1975 season.
14. (28/03) Bev is devastated by Alex's treatment of her. Alf and Harry engage in a heavy drinking session, but Alf is supposed to be driving a 600 mile journey in just a few hours' time. Dorrie wanders into the chemist shop and sees something unbelievable behind the rippled glass divider: Sonia appears to share a passionate kiss with the man she had introduced as her brother, Gordon Freeman (Joe James).
Bev Houghton, Flat 6 with Alex Lederer.
Gordon is introduced in this episode as Sonia's brother, and his character has numerous secrets, which are slowly unravelled over the next few months. His first plot arc was novelised for the 1973 Arkon paperback, "Who Killed Sylvia Vansard?" (The book featured no actors from the series on the cover.) When his character left the series, Joe James stayed on to pen some scripts.
15. (29/03) Maggie is back again and Don must leave Bruce's flat. Cliff, Rose's bikie attacker, suddenly becomes more intriguing to her: he's a married man, just like Mark. The Eastwoods' dinner guest, Doctor Jansen (Max Meldrum), surreptitiously evaluates Helen's mental health.
Dr Jansen visits Flat 4.
The storyline for Don involves him being undecided about whether to move next door to Flat 6.
16. (30/03) Vera is perplexed by a sense of deja vu. Where has she seen Gordon, the new chemist, before?
Gordon Freeman, Flat 1.
On Good Friday, 31st March, the show was pre-empted by "Telethon '72", in aid of the Royal New South Wales Institute for Deaf and Blind Children. However, as compensation, viewers were promised telethon appearances by celebrities Johnny Lockwood, Pat McDonald, Joe Hasham, Briony Behets and "the entire cast of Number 96".
17. (3/04) Gordon is worried that Vera has recognised him and knows him to be the disgraced, former Dr Vansard, so he takes action.
Vera Collins, Flat 7.
18. (4/04) Maggie discovers that Bruce is moonlighting again.
Maggie Cameron and Bruce Taylor, Flat 5.
This plotline was novelised for the 1973 Arkon paperback, "Bev & Bruce & Maggie & Don". (This book actually featured a publicity still of actors Joe Hasham and Abigail on the cover.)
19. (5/04) Cliff calls by the deli late one evening and Rose discovers a whole new scene.
Cliff Stevens visits Flat 2.
The censors decreed that Rose must be shown to dislike the effects of smoking a marijuana cigarette. (Years later, young Debbie Chester was shown mainlining heroin and the writers had police input to ensure accuracy.) Initially, Rose was supposed to "enjoy" being pack-raped by Cliff's bikie gang, but Vivienne Garrett objected and instead Rose put up a frantic struggle.
20. (6/04) Rose has been out all night, but when Aldo protests, she claims to have been with her friend, Jenny.
Rose Godolfus, Flat 2.
21. (7/04) In a hotel room, Janie reveals at lot more to Alex than she had planned. He cancels room service and they move straight to dessert.
Janie Somers and Alex Lederer in a hotel.
TV Week described the series on this night as being the story of the lives of "ordinary people" who live in an apartment block. The Janie/Alex plotline was novelised for the 1972 Arkon paperback, "Janie Stagestruck". (The book featured no actors from the series on the cover.)
22. (10/04) Aldo despairs over his real estate investment. A firebug (Brian Hinzlewood) has set fire to the site of his dream restaurant. A distraught Helen disappears into the night.
Aldo Godolfus in the deli.
23. (11/04) Helen's reaction to Rose's revelation causes great concern to all at Number 96. Where has she gone?
Helen Eastwood, Flat 4.
The events of this episode cause Helen to leave Flat 4. She has also had altercations with the Eastwoods' new boarder, Chad Farrell (Ronne Arnold). Helen's whereabouts would remain a mystery for some time.
24. (12/04) Helen's outraged father, Mr Fulton (Kevin Manser), arrives from Perth. He wants to know what has become of his missing daughter.
Mr Fulton visits Flat 4.
25. (13/04) In desperation, Bruce turns to Maggie once again.
Maggie Cameron and Bruce Taylor, Flat 5.
26. (14/04) Herb tries to hide his gambling winnings from Dorrie, but she is suspicious.
Herb Evans, Flat 3.
27. (17/04) Janie, the understudy, must step in at the last minute when her play's lead actress, Gloria Gould (Judy Lynne), withdraws from the cast.
Gloria Gould of "The Rainbow Trap".
Judy Lynne came to Australia from the USA and was to rise to prominence as one of the star's of the Nine Network's "The Young Doctors". She was also a popular TV weather girl, journalist/producer at "A Current Affair" and spokesperson/manager of "Balloon Aloft".
28. (18/04) The tenants throw Janie a party to celebrate the resolving of her role in the play, The Rainbow Trap. Bev's romantic expectations are shattered during an encounter with Don.
Bev and Bruce and Maggie and Don.
The Bev/Don plotline was novelised for the 1973 Arkon paperback, "Bev & Bruce & Maggie & Don". (This book actually featured a publicity still of actors Joe Hasham and Abigail on the cover. The novelisation’s title is a homage to “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice”, a 1969 American comedy-drama movie.) Rod Mullinar's character in the Australian movie, "The Set" (1970), delivers a line that "Number 96" viewers would come to remember well (used by Abigail as Bev to Joe Hasham's Don). Mulliner's Tony Brown says to Sean [McEuan] Myers' character, Paul Lawrence, "You dirty, filthy, little..." when they have an unexpected bedroom encounter. Abigail actually completes this sentence in "Number 96".
29. (19/04) A distraught Bev faces the truth about Don, but there is nothing she, nor anyone else, can do to change him.
Bev Houghton and Don Finlayson in Flat 5.
Bev: "Please, Don, touch me. Oh God, touch me. I know you feel the way I do. You must, Don, please, I want you. Believe me, I've never done this, felt this, with a man before. Darling, Don, please, please, please... Darling, don't be afraid."
Don: "I didn't know you felt this way. I thought you knew. I'm a homosexual. I'm sorry. I thought this thing between us was a deep friendship. I thought you knew about Bruce and me. I'm sorry."
Bev: "Sorry? You filthy, filthy, dirty, little queer! Get out!"
30. (20/04) Aldo is pleased when Roma Lubinski (Philippa Baker) offers him the restaurant and he seems rather enamoured of Mrs Lubinski as well. Sharon Stevens (Mirren Lee) and her bikie husband, Cliff, taunt Aldo. They boast that Rose is already dealing drugs for them, and "she is in it up to her little earrings." Will Sharon prevent Aldo from shooting Cliff?
Roma Lubinski and Sharon Stevens.
31. (21/04) Cliff holds the gun to Aldo's head and warns him to stay away. "Get the message, Pops?" It is 5.30am and Gordon awakens Sonia, wanting to make love to her. She lights up a cigarette instead. "I love living like this," she says sarcastically. She complains that it seems that Gordon is just using her. Sonia forces the issue with him regarding his wife, Sylvia, who is refusing to agree to a divorce. She expected they would be free of Sylvia by now. Gordon retorts that Sonia is not letting the grass grow under her feet by associating with "that coloured boy", meaning the new tenant in Flat 4, Chad Farrell (Ronne Arnold). An exasperated Sonia thinks the term "coloured boy" went out of style with Shirley Temple movies. She heads off to make coffee. Aldo is hanging salamis in the deli. Dorrie thanks him for his recommendation on some new biscuits. She is buying canned spaghetti for Herb's lunch and mentions that, like Italians, her husband can be "hot-blooded" at times. Dorrie informs Aldo that Bruce Taylor has "cleared out" of Flat 4 and gone to Adelaide, leaving "that poor Don Whats-his-name" unable to afford the rent on his own. Dorrie describes herself as "the last person in the world to be inquisitive", and almost succeeds in getting Aldo to open up on his troubles. The St Stephen's Church jumble sale is fast approaching and Dorrie is organising it. She mentions meeting Gordon, who is "all right", but his sister seems to be "flighty". Moreover, Sonia is supposedly going out with "that nice American with the darker skin". In the chemist shop, the Freemans are bickering. They are interrupted by the arrival of an upbeat Chad. Gordon bristles. "Just another 'no sale' transaction," Chad explains, as he has only come to invite Sonia to a movie outing tomorrow night. She agrees, but insists on paying this time. As he leaves, Chad announces that he has a new job - as a clerk in the Race Department - meaning that he is officially "a white-collar worker" at last. Gordon is unimpressed. Sonia is looking forward to the night. If she is lucky, "they may even have a Wurlizter". Herb's solicitor, Mr Calthrop (Ken Fraser), oversees a contractual agreement that makes Herb and Harry partners in a "very sound" car business with a Mr George Baker. As it is located on a main highway, the overheads would be lower than areas closer to town. Herb worries that Dorrie will find out about him investing all of his savings with Harry. The two men are supposed to be out collecting for the jumble sale, but Harry convinces him to come to the pub to celebrate. Herb insists it can only be a shandy for him. Cliff pays Aldo another threatening visit. A father wouldn't want to see his own daughter's face "all cut up"? Aldo tells that Cliff that he is "scum". Maggie enters the deli to set up an account, announcing herself as the new tenant of Flat 5. Aldo warns that Paddington is "a nice area with good people", but sometimes "there are strays from other districts". Maggie notices Cliff and tells him that he "has promise". Introducing herself as a "fashion and photographic editress", she asks him if he has done any modelling? Cliff claims that he once posed for "an old, poof photographer". They flirt with each other and she invites Cliff up to her flat for an audition. Over a cup of tea in Flat 7, Dorrie is fretting about Herb's whereabouts, now that it's 4.00pm. Does Vera think that Harry and Herb have gone to "one of those bawdy houses"? Cliff has his leather jacket and shirt off, and is parading up and down for Maggie. She is planning a new swimwear photoshoot. She then dismisses him, but Cliff doubts that she brought him up to her flat just to look at him. Maggie rebukes his "exhibitionistic tendancies" and calls him an "egomaniacal dumb-dumb". He pushes her up against a wall and forces a kiss upon her. Harry arrives at Flat 7, carrying an enebriated Herb. Herb is "as full as a goog", so getting him past Dorrie's front door, without her noticing, was "no mean feat". Herb giggles and says he has always had small feet. As Harry gets Herb into the bathtub, to give him a cold shower, Vera wonders if she has any old things which they can pretend were collected for the jumble sale. Dorrie starts banging on Vera's door. She has spotted Harry's car out in the street but still can't find Herb. Vera makes an excuse that the two men have walked to the local garage to get a faulty cylinder fixed. Dorrie thinks she can hear water, but Vera claims to be running herself a bath. Meanwhile, Herb is oblivious, nodding off under the stream of cold water. A moody Gordon arrives at Flat 4, holding his aperitif. Chad explains that Mark is attending a meeting at the school, but Gordon has come to see Chad and "have it out" with him. Gordon accuses Chad of being "a cool bastard" with an "innocent expression". What makes Chad "so bloody special"? Gordon demands that Chad stays away from them, especially Sonia. Chad presses him for "the real truth". What is he really opposed to? Is it that Gordon "doesn't want a n------ for a brother-in-law"? Gordon explains that Sonia is not his sister but is living with him "as man and woman". The situation is "a lie, a convenience", because Gordon's actual wife is refusing to grant him a divorce. Chad wonders where that leaves Sonia. [Episode written by Alan Kitson; directed by Peter Benardos.]
Aldo Godolfus of Flat 2.
Over numerous previous episodes, the other residents of "Number 96" were led to believe that Gordon and Sonia are siblings, so Sonia has been trying to play along with Chad's flirtations. Sonia's "Wurlizter" comment works as a cheeky double entendre. The script also toys with the Chad situation, ie. his new job as a clerk with the Race Department, being a white-collar worker, etc. Use of "the n- word" comes from Ronne Arnold's character himself, although other characters will use it as a racist slur in later episodes. Chad's character is liked by Dorrie, which is probably unexpected, as she is typically fast to cast her doubts about new people, such as Sonia. There are indications that the writers are yet to explore Dorrie's malapropisms, which will become her trademark dialogue trait. Here, she uses terms like "tin tacks", "inquisitive" and "something fishy" without difficulty. She does worry that men "get itchy" at Herb's age, but Vera clarifies that Herb is past the so-called "seven-year itch". Maggie's attitude to Aldo has changed from their first encounter. Aldo is seen taking packets of "Kraft Cheddar Cheese" from a cardboard carton clearly marked "Dairy Farmer's Ski Fruit Yogurt". Later, the same box is filled with a customer's order. Her total shopping is only $1.27. Ken Fraser makes other appearances as Mr Calthrop but later returns as Detective Sergeant Short, who was in charge of the Pantyhose Strangler investigation. This b/w episode, plus others (#1-10, 13, 33-35, 450) were included on the DVD, "Number 96: The Beginning and the Bomb" (Volume 3), released in 2012 by Umbrella Entertainment Australia. The other 16 episodes in the set were from the 1975 season.
32. (24/04) Chad and Gordon argue over Sonia. The classified ad that Mark placed in the newspaper gives him a lead in his search for Helen. He has received an anonymous letter, but it will cost him $50 to get more information. Herb is in trouble when he reminds Dorrie that they had to marry in haste after their daughter, Joan, was conceived. Mark pays the money demanded and goes to the address he is given. An old lady, Mrs Peters (Molly Raynor), lives there but she denies knowing Helen. She wishes him well in his search.
33. (25/04) Chad and Sonia share an evening out and he confesses his true feelings for her. Sonia tries to convince him that she has been in love with Gordon for two years. Chad suggests that it is possible to love two people at the same time. They kiss passionately. Aldo has left Julian and Rose alone, but will he find out that they actually played Monopoly? Rose suspects that Aldo is spending time with Mrs Lubinski. They pack up the game pieces half-heartedly. Julian would like to get to know Rose better, but she seems more keen about making him coffee. A disappointed Mark tells Chad that the "cheap punk" who sent the letter about Helen was just "a destitute" trying to make money out of his desperation. Chad suggests he try another ad in the Personal Columns anyway. His connection with Sonia is going better than expected. Alf surprises Lucy with a locket for their 30th wedding anniversary. He jokes that the gift "fell off the back of a truck" then starts searching for his own present from Lucy. Lucy pretends she has not yet had time to get into town. But Alf saw a parcel? Lucy she claims that it was for their daughter, Ethel. He is about to go into a rant and almost sits on a new sheepskin jacket. Lucy thought the gift would be useful on his overnight trucking jobs. They reminisce about their wedding back in England: straight from the Registry Office to a bomb shelter. They plan a anniversary dinner, their first romantic night out since they arrived from England. A large box of cut flowers arrive from "Our Jim and Noeline" and little Sebastian. Alf reads a card from Bill Falcon from England, who was their only witness at the wedding and Lucy is puzzled how he found their address after all this time. Despite all their financial woes, another card has arrived from Ethel, Kevin, Garth and Debbie. Rose makes breakfast for Aldo and pumps him for information on his night with Roma. They mostly walked and admired the views, then stopped for ice cream. Rose admits that she and Julian played Monopoly but he did invite her to dinner. "You are so popular you think you can pick and choose?" Aldo retorts. She is playing "hard to get" so hasn't given him an answer yet. In the laundrette, Vera admires Lucy's pendant. She has finished the evening dress for Lucy's big night out with Alf at a swanky restaurant. These plans are threatened by an impromptu drinking session at the pub with Harry, George Baker (Barry Donnelly) and "the boys", including the regular drunk (Al Kenny). Harry's bigotry reaches breaking point when he encounters Chad on the stairs. Alf is sloshed and singing, "I'm getting married in the morning..." and when Mark comes to Chad's defence, Harry calls him a "n----- lover". Harry tells Chad, "Don't get superior with me, Nig Nog." Chad is seemingly unfazed and thinks of Harry as "a poor bastard". Up in Flat 8, Vera has put the finishing touches on Lucy's new dress. Alf comes bursting in, stumbling over the furniture and wanting an anniversary kiss. Lucy is appalled and races to her bedroom in tears. Harry defends letting Alf get so drunk. Vera wonders why he is not as intoxicated as Alf. He tells Vera that, unlike Alf, he has "nothing to celebrate". Julian arrives at Flat 2 with chocolates for Rose. They are ready to leave on a date but Aldo insists on them joining him for an aperitif. Rose cheekily returns his toast with one to her father and Mrs Lubinski. Sonia arrives at Flat 4 to see Chad. This time Gordon is serious and has started divorce proceedings with Sylvia. Sonia can't commit to Chad as it would mean throwing away her two years with Gordon. She wants children of her own and loves Chad for himself, not the colour of his skin. They both realise that Sonia has just used the word "love" - but she has already given up so much waiting for Gordon. "Bang goes the seesaw," says Chad. Sonia hopes they can remain friends. [Episode written by Tim Purcell; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Chad Farrell, Flat 4, and Sonia Freeman, Flat 1.
The intimate scene between Sonia and Chad is said to be Australian TV's first interracial kiss. (Interestingly, this episode aired in Sydney on ANZAC Day, a public holiday.) Alf and Lucy celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary, but the card from Jim and family mistakenly calls it their "Ruby Anniversary". (30 years is actually "Pearl Anniversary". Dorrie and Herb celebrate their Ruby Anniversary, ie. 40th, in the 1974 movie.) On the wall of the pub set, a name often appears in chalk on a "Stirrer of the Week" board. The name this week is "VERITAS", ie. the "Sunday Mirror" newspaper's controversial TV critic, who wrote "without fear or favour". This episode was showcased in an episode of Foxtel/Austar TV1's "Television's Greatest Hits: The Best of Number 96" (2000), introduced by Andrew Mercado. It was also the first of three consecutive b/w episodes, plus others (#1-10, 13, 31, 450) released on DVD in 2012, "Number 96: The Beginning and the Bomb" (Volume 3), by Umbrella Entertainment Australia. The other 16 episodes in the set were from the 1975 season.
34. (26/04) Rose and Julian arrive at Flat 2 after a date. It is late and Aldo is in his bedroom, asleep. Julian is giggling and Rose suggests they relax with coffee. He would prefer something more intimate. Julian assumes that Rose is reluctant because she is a virgin but refutes that and prefers not to get too serious. Julian gets angry and storms out, slamming the door. Aldo emerges, wondering why Julian left so early. Sonia tells Gordon that she thinks Chad took her rejection of his affections well. Gordon will do anything to keep Sonia. Sylvia has agreed to a divorce, but on her terms. Sonia assumes she will be named as co-respondent, but as least they can be married before the end of the year. Chad mentions to Mark that Lucy has organised to pick up and deliver his laundry. Mark is in disbelief; surely Lucy is not as racist as Alf. Chad is unfazed. Laundrette customers must have complained about a coloured man using the machines. Chad is even understanding of the White Australia Policy; Australians saw what was happening in the United State and didn't want it happening here. Mark wonders, "When you're at war with your neighbours, how can anyone have hope for world peace?" Claire's early morning phone call gets her moody daughter out of bed. Bev doesn't give a damn about Claire's problems and doesn't want her to drop over. Does Janie think Bev was too harsh on the "Old Bat"? Janie thinks that Bev is heading for a nervous breakdown. Bev tries unsuccessfully to face reality; Don is no longer the man with whom she first fell in love. Janie suggests that a relationship with a homosexual can still work. To Bev, the thought is "so revolting". If Bev can accept Don's situation, it will be easier to forgive and forget. Gordon calls into the deli with old clothes for Dorrie's jumble sale. She has set up a large hessian sack and a sign in front of the chest freezer, but it is not bringing the promised extra business to the shop. Gordon agrees that business in the street has been slow. He has changed his window display twice. Aldo starts telling a long joke about a shopkeeper who fills his window display with watches. Rose enters the conversation and, to Aldo's horror, his so-called innocent daughter knows the punchline: the man castrates cats for a living - but what else could the man put into his shop window? Gordon mentions a Beethoven concert at the Town Hall tonight and Aldo suggests that Rose could go with Julian. Don arrives back at Flat 5 after three days visiting his parents. The phone rings. A man wants to speak to Bruce, but he left for Adelaide four days ago. The man then asks if Maggie is there, which confuses Don. The line goes dead. A voice comes from the bathroom. It is Maggie, who only arrived from work a few minutes ago. She doubts if Bruce would agree to her terms but, like a spoilt child, he will be back. Don doubts it because Maggie took away his job. He explains that he cannot afford to take over the lease, but Maggie is happy for him to stay on. Where else would he find a room for $10 per week? Maggie tells Don that her husband, Victor, has hired a private investigator to follow her. Mark and Chad are preparing to leave for the Beethoven concert. The phone rings and it is Mr Fulton, Helen's father, seeking a progress report on the search and blaming Mark for her disappearance. Mark explains how the classified ad resulted in him being swindled out of $50. He discourages his father-in-law from coming over from Perth again. When Chad's wife died he had closure, but Mark must face the fact that Helen might never be found. Don and Janie chat while they do their laundry. Three days with his mother is Don's limit. She wants him to move back home until he graduates. Janie has a new job as a waitress. If she ever returns to acting, her studies of people's eating habits won't be in vain. Don wants to see Bev soon, to chat about the incident of a few nights ago, but Janie urges him to wait a bit longer. Bev "can't help the way she feels". Chad is in the deli, buying chocolates for the concert. Gordon and Sonia enter. They are going to the concert, too, but "it's a big hall", so Gordon doubts they will see Chad there. Don waits outside Flat 6 while Janie prepares Bev to speak to him. Bev is very bitchy, asking Janie if Don is back from "visiting Mummy". Were he and Janie discussing "Les Girls"? Bev addresses Don as "Miss Finlayson". Has he found a new boyfriend, or is he still holding a torch for Bruce? Did Don mistake Bev for "a Nancy boy"? She complains, "You lived with it [Don's sexuality]; I had it thrust upon me!" She volunteers to "shout it from the rooftops" for him. She rushes out onto the landing and down the stairwell shouting, "Don Finlayson's a queer!". Flat 3's door is ajar and abruptly slams shut. [Episode written by Tim Purcell; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Bev Houghton, Flat 6.
The Vansards share a pair of pyjamas. Gordon's pyjama pants match Sonia's top. Maggie mentions that Flat 5 looks "sterile". Perhaps she has noticed that the Cedric Flower painting she bought for Bruce has gone from the wall. A practical "split screen" effect is created to show Mark in the bathroom talking to Chad in the loungeroom, achieved by setting the camera beyond the edge of the set.
35. (27/04) Dorrie hears Bev shouting on the landing and reenters Flat 3. "Something about Don Finlayson being queer. I saw him earlier and he seemed perfectly all right to me." Herb is sorting stuff for the jumble sale and holds up a tiny pair of women's underwear. The brand label reads, "Virgin on the Ridiculous". Dorrie is disgusted. Sonia is "happier than I've ever been" about Gordon's impending divorce from Sylvia. Alf presents Lucy with a bouquet of flowers, which Lucy compares to the Waratah Festival. Is he trying to bring on her hayfever? A letter has arrived from Jim and Noeline. They are coming to visit from Perth. Lucy will have to do spring cleaning to get it up to Noeline's high standards. And Alf can stick his flowers... in a vase. A handwritten note from Bruce, left behind in Flat 5, admits to Don that escaping to Adelaide was "the coward's way out". Don is surprisingly sympathetic towards Bev when she arrives to apologise for her previous outburst. "Janie knew, but I am supposedly the sophisticated one," she says. Don was always so kind to her. Their very personal moment is interrupted by the arrival of Maggie, who sees the irony of "Boy Meets Girl - in this apartment". In the chemist shop, Dorrie wants to know if Sonia heard Bev's rantings about Don "being queer". Lucy races in, looking for commercial-grade washing soda to prepare her flat for the well-to-do Noeline's arrival. Dorrie boasts that her daughter, Joan, who lives in Melbourne, also did well for herself. Her husband is big in the Victorian Sanitary Department and demands that everything be "completely sterile". Lucy wonders what that suggests about Joan. Maggie has a surprise for Don: Victor has kicked her out and she is moving into Flat 5. He was having her followed and knows all about her affair with Bruce. She refers to Bev as "Miss Boobs of 1972". It is a relief to see her off the magazine covers and wearing clothes for a change. Don doubts that he can maintain even a platonic relationship with Maggie, but she asks what other kind of relationship could they have? Janie fields a phone call from Claire Houghton (Thelma Scott), Bev's mother. She is convinced that her daughter is emotionally distraught and demands to know why. She refers to Number 96 as "that place you inhabit". Janie tries to fob her off but Claire insists "Allow me to be the best judge of that." Janie hangs up on her and Claire tells her maid, Alicia, to lay out her cream Dior outfit as she is "going out". Alf makes fun of Sebastian's name and is glad that Jim and Noeline aren't bringing him with them. Lucy tells Alf that they might get to their rescheduled dinner at a posh restaurant if he helps her with the housework. In Flat 3, Dorrie and Herb Evans are deluged with all manner of junk for the upcoming jumble sale. They receive an unexpected visit from the snobbish Mrs Houghton of Point Piper. At first, Dorrie assumes that Claire is donating her fur coat to the jumble sale. Claire unwittingly gives Dorrie a brand new title: "conserge" of Number 96. Dorrie explains that she doesn't have keys to Bev's flat, but the girls sometimes leave a spare one above their door frame. Bev is none too happy to discover her mother waiting inside Flat 6 when she gets home. Claire is demanding answers about her daughter’s present lifestyle. Has she gotten herself into trouble? Involved with a married man? Bev states that she is in love, but the man is homosexual. Claire thinks she means "one of those creatures who wear false eyelashes and Chanel No 5". Bev describes Don as an ordinary guy, an articles clerk studying law. Claire would prefer a more socially-acceptable deviant. Perhaps Bev could select a dress designer from Double Bay, an interior decorator, or a newspaper columnist, like the man that Claire once stole from her. Bev suggests that her mother is "just as much of a pervert as a drag queen". She might find a lesbian acceptable as her daughter's partner if that lesbian was a Dame of the British Empire. Claire suddenly complains of pain in her chest and tells Bev to ring her doctor. Maggie shares strong martinis with Don and admires his body. Don is welcome to bring people home, but she might not be able to keep her "eagle claws" out of them. If Flat 5 is her new aerie, does Don mean "an eagle's nest" or "eerie", meaning "strange"? Janie and Bev discuss the state of Claire's health. In the spare room, Doctor Gott (George Carden) has been summoned. He tells Claire that she is fine but her daughter needs to think she is infirm. She threatens to tell her friends, and Gott would lose his high society clients. Lucy and Alf are at The Blue Danube for their belated aniversary dinner. They see Janie working there as a waitress. Janie can't stay to chat as she is on duty in another section. She points out Aldo and Mrs Lubinski at another table. The Sutcliffes wonder if they recognise their waiter (Graham Webb) from somewhere. Sonia discovers why she will always be "the other woman" to Gordon. His wife, Sylvia Vansard (Shirley Cameron) arrives for a private chat. Sylvia knows Gordon too well and waited for him to leave for his customary evening constitutional. She won’t be divorcing him because her strict Catholicism won't allow it. Gordon comes in from his walk and a distraught Sonia dashes from the room. Even though they are not together, Sylvia has no intention of letting Gordon go. He reminds her that religious converts are "worse than the real thing". [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Claire Houghton visits Dorrie Evans in Flat 3.
The last annual Waratah Spring Festival and parade was held in Sydney in 1973. (It was replaced by the Festival of Sydney from January 1977.) Paul Weingott's voiceover is heard as Don reads Bruce's farewell note. This episode introduces Thelma Scott as Bev's mother, Claire. In turn, she introduces Dorrie to a new term, "concierge", which Dorrie quickly adopts, although she pronounces it as "conserge" and tells Herb it is a German term. Director Brian Phillis uses his trademarked "clutter" set-dressing for the scenes in Flat 3. (This would become a signature decor when the Whittakers move into Flat 5.) Making a cameo appearance as a waiter at "The Blue Danube" restaurant is former host of Network 0-10's "Blind Date", Graham Webb. Last of the consecutive b/w episodes, plus others (#1-10, 13, 31, 450) released on DVD in 2012, "Number 96: The Beginning and the Bomb" (Volume 3), by Umbrella Entertainment Australia. Episode #35 included a commentary with The Hon. Michael Kirkby AC CMG and TV historian, Andrew Mercado. The other 16 episodes in the set were from the 1975 season.
36. (28/04) Claire has feigned a heart attack in her daughter's flat and intends to stay on in the spare bedroom. Bev and Janie are not pleased that she expects to be treated as an invalid. Sylvia's visit with Gordon is interrupted by Harry, who is seeking Gordon's help with a medical matter. He urgently needs some pills for his hypertension.
Sylvia Vansard visits Flat 1.
37. (1/05) Maggie makes herself known to many of the tenants of Number 96 and Claire finds great solace in knowing that someone of her own social standing lives in the building - in fact, right next door.
Claire Houghton, now in Flat 6!
38. (2/05) Bev returns home unexpectedly one afternoon and overhears a conversation between Doctor Gott and his patient, Claire, which confirms the truth about her mother's phoney illness. Rose and Julian have a new favourite restaurant. Vera has designed a special gown for Maggie.
Maggie Cameron, Flat 5.
The dress worn by Bettina Welch in this episode was designed by "The Tapemeasure", a fashion salon run by Nancy Cash (wife of producer, Don Cash). An ad for the Double Bay store appeared in the "Sydney Morning Herald", coinciding with the Sydney airdate of the episode. The name of the store was eventually incorporated into the series, as a new venture started by Maggie and Vera.
39. (3/05) Harry and Herb's investment in the used car partnership seems to have paid off; after only a week in business, they have received a purchase offer of $24,000. At a meeting of the tenants to discuss Chad living amongst them, Harry mentions that Gordon, formerly an MD, was once struck off the medical registry, having served gaol time after he was found guilty of being an abortionist.
Herb Evans of Flat 3.
The general unease about Chad continuing to live at "Number 96" has been brewing for some time.
40. (4/05) Rose suspects that she is pregnant and visits a doctor far from home. Doctor Jason (Lex Mitchell) confirms Rose's fears. An illegal abortion seems to be her only solution. Maggie finds herself at the heart of a row. Don gives her a piece of his mind.
Doctor P. Jason of Bulmer Street.
41. (5/05) Don's scathing words hit their mark - and Maggie's drink hits the mirror. Has she reached rock bottom? Sons often visit their parents but Jim Sutcliffe (Brendon Lunney) and his snobby wife, Noelene (Penne Hackforth-Jones), are using Alf and Lucy's flat like a hotel. When a row develops between them - should Jim become a "sinecure" for his father-in-law's business? - Noeline orders Jim to pack their bags so they can return to Perth at once. Jim refuses, so Noeline storms off into the guest bedroom to do the task herself.
Jim and Noeline Sutcliffe visit Flat 8.
A "sinecure" is a position requiring little or no work but giving the holder status or financial benefit. The official Cash Harmon character notes originally listed Jim Sutcliffe as "Tim".
42. (8/05) Noeline is packing in the guest bedroom of Flat 8, determined to return to Perth immediately. Sonia, who has been staying with a friend, arrives at Flat 1, ready to work in the chemist shop. Gordon is having toast and coffee. She scoffs at him for not having a proper breakfast. Having had time to think over the last three days, Sonia tells Gordon that she can't see a future for them. She still loves him, but tenderly explains that she has decided to accept Chad's proposal of marriage. Lucy and Jim talk over breakfast. She is thrilled to be back on "old terms" with him but is concerned about his marriage - and especially little Sebastian's future. Jim thought that Noeline would have outgrown her childish snobbiness. He knows that he is "a bloody good engineer" and could find another job elswhere, not needing to be associated with her father's firm to find success. Lucy encourages him to try again with Noeline, but Jim's pride is hurt. Maggie's secretary, Angela, is concerned about her encounter with Cliff. He claims to have an appointment to see Maggie. and insists on waiting for her in her office. When Maggie arrives, he tries to kiss her. "Not during working hours!" She had genuinely forgotten their appointment and checks with Angela. The photographic studio will be free at 4.00pm, so she reschedules with him. Mr Calthrop explains to Herb that, although Harry has left the state, he can't access Herb's money. Where is George Baker, the third partner? Mr Calthrop is unable to locate his details so he gives Mr Greely, George's solicitor, Herb's home phone number. In the laundrette, Lucy congratulates Sonia. She has heard that Chad wants to propose. Sonia says that nothing is definite yet. Lucy offers to put Sonia's wash through the drier so she can get back to the shop. Mr Thorburn arrives with grim news. He is forced to make staff cuts at the laundrette - one manager will be looking after two shops, so Lucy's position is to become redundant. He gives her Lucy two weeks' notice and offers her a good reference. Cliff, wearing only swimming trunks, comes from the studio into Maggie's office. His session with the photographer is over. He starts to fondle her. Maggie insists they should go back to the flat. Alf arrives home. He already knows about Lucy's job situation and goes on a tirade about Australians not appreciating hard workers. He decides to go out to get beer to go with his meal, just as Jim is arriving home from his business meetings on behalf of Mr Chester, Noeline's father. He thinks the man he spoke to today would offer him a position if he asked. Jim notices that Lucy is feeling down and wonders if she will she finally agree to return to England with Alf? She gets nostalgic. "It would be nice to see our old friends again," she agrees. Maggie arrives at Number 96 with Cliff. She realises she left something in the car and sends Cliff back to get it. While lighting a cigarette, she overhears a heated row coming from Flat 1: an exasperated Gordon is trying to understand why Sonia would marry Chad if she doesn't love him. What was Gordon to do about Sylvia now, kill her? [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
Mr Calthrop, the Evans' solicitor.
From this episode, through to #156, extensive synopses written by Johnny Whyte have survived, broken down scene-by-scene, and varying from two to eight pages each. Some synopses have hilarious asides and in-jokes, often as sarcastic banter from Johnny to writer/creator David Sale.
43. (9/05) Gordon finally calms down after his row with Sonia. He resolves to ring Sylvia and organise a meeting between the three of them. They will work something out, whatever the cost. Cliff spends the night with Maggie. Next morning she tries to get him talking about himself, but Cliff is obviously spinning yarns. He suggests getting some eggs for breakfast from the old Jew in the deli. Maggie asks what he has against Aldo. Cliff claims that he just likes to tease him. Mark sees Chad emerge from his room in his best suit. Chad has a meeting with the Department of Education regarding a possible teaching job. Mark is pleased for Chad, who believes that having a secure, familiar job will enhance his chances for a future with Sonia. Cliff arrives in the deli. Aldo riles up, remembering their last encounter - and he pulls a knife on Cliff. The bikie puts some grocery items "on Mrs Cameron's account, Pop!". Overhearing, a tentative Rose emerges from the back room. Aldo wants to inform the police but Rose begs him not to. Cliff won't bother them if they just keep quiet about everything. Sonia has decided that her heart belongs to Gordon. Standing by his side, she watches him phone Sylvia to insist on another meeting to sort it all out. Whatever happens, Gordon does not intend to lose Sonia. With Lucy at work in the laundrette, Alf and Jim are able to talk, man-to-man, about Jim's rocky marriage to Noeline. Usually Jim is able to control the situation, but he is hurt by her bitchy accusations about his job. The phone rings and they expect it to be Noeline, but it is her father, Mr Chester. Despite his daughter's complaints, Mr Chester needs Jim to stay on - he is the firm's most valuable asset - and he offers him a junior partnership. Alf is really proud of Jim, the quiet type who has great strength underneath. Jim will be heading back to Perth on the afternoon flight, but has two business calls to make first. In the deli, Claude Strauss (Alexander Archdale) and Aldo reminisce about wartime Austria. Claude's wife, Gemma, will want to meet Aldo so he invites him to dinner, the night after next, for an authentic Austrian meal. Cliff saunters in again. He is being very cocky and asks after Rose. He wants to invite her to his "freak out" at 6.00pm. "You'll be seeing me, Papa." Aldo tells Claude about the trouble this hoodlum has caused. Claude compares Cliff to the Anschluss Österreichs, the Hitler Youth and the Brownshirts: "legalised hoodlums... that is how it all started." Aldo agrees. It was the same in Hungary at the start of the war, especially for the Jews. Claude urges Aldo to report Cliff to the police. Aldo realises he has procrastinated too long in a vain effort to protect Rose. He goes to the shop's Red Phone and starts to dial. Alf is polishing Jim's shoes as his son emerges from the guest bedroom with his suitcase. He will call into the laundrette, on his way to the airport, to say goodbye to Lucy. Jim mentions that he talked to his mother yesterday and thinks that Lucy is close to agreeing to return to England with Alf. Jim then presents Alf with two First Class air tickets to Manchester. Alf cannot believe his eyes: his dreams have come true. At Cliff and Sharon's pad, a "freak out" is in full swing. Cliff entertains his friends with stories of how he "put the wind up the old Jew". Thanks to Aldo's phone call, they are raided by the police. Cliff and another bikie escape, but the rest are detained while trying to dispose of their drugs. Chad is upbeat about his interview but Mark is jaded about the Department. When Sonia arrives, Mark gives them time alone. Sonia explains that she knows in her heart that Gordon is the one for her, as fond as she is of Chad. She leaves and Mark finds Chad feeling deflated. Mark suggests an outing to the pub so Chad fetches his coat. Aldo enters the deli and relates to Rose about the two hours he spent at the police station. Rose is scared but Aldo reassures her that the police would have arrested Cliff and his gang by now. Suddenly, Cliff and another leather-clad youth burst in and bolt the shop's door. The younger bikie confines Aldo with a headlock and Cliff grabs Rose. They are dragged into the flat and Rose is flung into a chair. Cliff whips out a flick-knife. The leather-boy strengthens his hold on Aldo and turns him around so he can watch. Cliff announces: "This is what we do to grassers. We carve 'em up in front of their Daddy's eyes." [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
Claude Strauss visits Flat 2.
Alexander Archdale, who portrays Claude Strauss over several weeks, would return late in the final year of the series as novelist Alexander Grey.
44. (10/05) Cliff gloats over Rose's predicament and threatens to spoil her "schoolgirl complexion". Chad and Mark come to Aldo and Rose's rescue. The police arrive at the locked door of the shop. While Mark settles an old score with a punch to Cliff's stomach, Chad takes on the now-terrified leather-boy. Aldo lets in the armed police. Don is still staying with Bev and Janie and the arrangement seems to have become permanent. Janie is perturbed that Bev still seems to be hoping to convert Don into boyfriend material. With Don's final exams approaching, Janie tries to put a stop to Bev's constant flirtations. After Don leaves for work, Janie mentions that even her new friend, Jack, has described their situation as "a very funny set up" and Bev demands to know what business is it of his? A row develops. Bev is "being ridiculous". She should have learned her lesson, as Don will never wholly change, nor fall in love with her. In Flat 4, Chad has been awake since 5.00am. He has been unable to sleep and is feeling very low about Sonia's decision. Mark is at a loss as to how to help him. Chad needs to think of his new future, starting with today's meeting at the office of the Education Appointments Board. Roma phones Flat 2 to invite Aldo, Rose and Julian to join her for a meal at The Blue Danube, where Janie is a waitress. Rose says that she cannot attend because her friend, Jenny, is having a birthday party. Aldo will go to the restaurant with Roma. When he goes out to open the shop, Rose dials the hospital and asks to speak with Doctor Julian Myers. In Flat 7, Vera is talking to Peter Harvey, who asks her to dine with him. Vera suggests The Blue Danube, as she hasn't tried it yet. Peter arranges to cal for her at 6.30pm. There is a knock at Vera's door. It is Rose, delivering a grocery order. Vera realises that, with all the fuss of Harry leaving, she hasn't had a chance to ask Rose about the second appointment with her doctor. Rose tells Vera that she is not pregnant after all. It was a false alarm. Janie chats to Don, who has just arrived home. She is on night shifts this week and is getting ready to head off to the restaurant. Is Don finding the new living arrangements too distracting while he is studying? Janie tries and fails to bring the topic around to Bev's infatuation. At the restaurant, Peter and Vera get to know each other over dinner. Janie points out "our regular courting couple" and she introduces them to Mrs Lubinski as she and Aldo are passing their table. Peter asks Vera about Harry's departure and they discuss Peter's line of work - he is in the wine industry - and the fact that he has never married. He is always caught up with the demands of his business. In the kitchen of Flat 4, Mark is checking on a casserole he has in the oven when Chad arrives home a little late. He had "stopped off at the po' black man's hostelery for a schooner of fire water". Chad is stunned because the only job he was being offered was in the outback, teaching Aboriginal children. He sees this as blatant racism in reverse: black teaching black, white teaching white. This is an attitude he cannot stomach. Mark agrees with Chad's stance, and condemns the whole State Education system. In another corner of The Blue Danube, Janie is about to take Aldo and Roma's dessert order. They decide to wait a bit, since their main courses were so large. Aldo tells Roma about his new neighbour, Claude, an escaped political prisoner, and how they realised they had both worked with the same underground fighters in Austria during the war. He tells Roma about his dinner invitation with the Strausses and that Roma should meet them, too, if Aldo does a return dinner for the Claude and Gemma. By coincidence, Aldo and Claude know the same man, code-named "Bobo", who helped Aldo escape through France and into Spain, and Claude to make it to France. Roma asks about Aldo's wife. Was she with him at this time? Aldo explains that Ida was captured earlier, in Hungary, and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp. She miraculously escaped death at the camp, but the aftermath of her experiences led to her demise when they reached Australia. Roma expresses her sympathy. Janie returns to say that Vera and Peter have invited them over to their table for after-dinner liquors. Aldo nods and waves to Vera. In Flat 2, Rose tries to seduce Julian wearing a provocative robe. It is a seeming reverse of their previous unsuccessful dates. Now that they are preparing for a formal engagement, Julian is happy to wait, but Rose is being deliberately seductive. Marrying Rose is more important to Julian than sleeping with her. He is also hesitant to make love to Rose in her father's domain. Rose walks to the doorway of the bedroom and drops her robe, revealing her nakedness. Almost against his will, Julian makes his way to the bedroom. [Episode written by Eleanor Whitcombe.]
Don Finlayson moves into Flat 6.
45. (11/05) Trembling, Julian reaches for Rose and whispers, "Rose, are you sure?" He removes his clothes and slides into the bed beside her. They kiss passionately. He asks, "Darling, is it... is it safe?" Rose doesn't answer but pulls him towards her and they kiss each other hungrily. Herb is finding it increasingly difficult to hide his nest egg from Dorrie and the profits keep rolling in. When George rings the Flat 3 phone, Herb jumps to answer it before Dorrie can get to it. He whispers to George to never ring this number. George has matters to discuss, now that Harry has departed the partnership, so Herb agrees to try to meet him at the pub. Herb has to fend off Dorrie's endless questions. Alf gets Vera out of bed to borrow some cornflakes. He has just arrived home from a night shift driving the truck and Lucy has already left for the laundrette. Vera realises she has slept in after her night out with Peter. Has Lucy told Vera about Jim buying them tickets to fly home to England? Alf wants to know if Vera thinks that Lucy will agree to join him. Vera reminds him that Lucy is a very unselfish wife, who will ultimately agree with Alf's plans. He needs to proceed with sensitivity, which not one of Alf's main attributes. Sonia arrives for work and Gordon tells her how much he misses her sharing his bed. She reminds him that Sylvia is coming by tonight, a confrontation that must lead to a final solution. Julian and Rose lunch in the restaurant again. Julian is so obviously besotted with her and they agree that they are "right for each other". Julian does feel guilty about deceiving Aldo the way they did, but then he learns that Rose is not taking the Pill because it reacts badly on her. At first, Julian is alarmed that Rose was not protected. She apologises for not telling him. Julian says that it really doesn't matter, since they are going to be married anyway. Dorrie announces that she is feeling tired and Herb jumps at the chance to volunteer to take their washing to the laundrette. As soon as he leaves with a huge bag of clothes, the phone rings. Dorrie answers it and a man says that he can't meet Herb as arranged, but can he make it an hour later, same place? Suspicion crosses Dorrie's face. Herb arrives at the pub to find Alf drinking alone at the bar. Still carrying dirty laundry, Herb is looking for George. He is worried about his investment now that Harry is gone. Alf says that misses Harry's company and defends his motives. Herb is worried that George is nowhere to be seen. Alf urges Herb to drink up so they can order more. Peter has finished work for the day, so he drops in on Vera unannounced. She is designing a dress, encouraged by her recent success with the special gown she created for Maggie. Peter suggests Vera accompany him on his next business trip to Melbourne, but she has two new commissions and several more enquiries. "Perhaps next time?", Peter offers. Vera needs to tell him some inmportant things from her past: about how she arrived in Australia from South Afica, and how she drifted into "high-class prostitution". Peter thanks her for her openness and honesty, and empathises with how difficult her situation must have been. Vera wants to keep seeing Peter would rather that he not hear about her past from other people. Herb arrives home, trying to conceal that he has been drinking. Dorrie thinks she heard Alf singing on the staircase. She demands to know where Herb has been - and why was a man ringing their flat to postpone a meeting? Herb fumbles to relate a story about Harry still owing him $10 and how he went to George Donnelly's office to get Harry's address. Then Dorrie asks about the bag of laundry. She knows Herb wasn't at the laundrette because she went there to find him. Herb accidentally admits that he must have left the bag of washing at the pub! Sylvia arrives for her meeting with Gordon and Sonia. Gordon notices that she does not look well. She claims to be feeling a little faint and asks for a glass of water. Sylvia takes two pills with the water. Sonia emerges from the bedroom and smiles sweetly at her. As the discussion unfolds, it is obvious that Sylvia will not budge from her previous stance: Sonia can go on living in sin with Gordon, just as she has for the last two years. What is the problem in that? While using up leftovers from yesterday's casserole, Mark commiserates with Chad about how the Education Department has been treating him. Mark's teaching colleagues are already enthused to raise a protest group and even get the teachers' union involved. Sylvia continues to argue with Gordon and Sonia. She is particularly bitchy to Sonia, suggesting that Sonia could go away with Gordon, or even marry bigamously. Sonia wants to have children with Gordon. As a mother herself, surely Sylvia understands? Eventually, Sonia rushes from the flat in tears. Syvlia continues her tirade to Gordon. She reveals that their youngest son, Martin, has already gone to live in England with his maternal grandparents. Kit, the older son, will also be leaving boarding school soon, to attend university in the UK. Gordon won't be seeing either of his sons again, so why is he even concerned about them? Gordon is very angry but at a loss for words. Chad returns to the living room to find Mark marking students' exercise books. They discuss the forming of a union campaign to protest about Chad's job situation. Mark knows one of the unionists - and where he drinks - so they head off to try to catch him at his favourite pub. When Mark and Chad pass by Flat 1, they find the front door open. Chad thinks that it is odd and calls Sonia's name. They venture inside - and find a woman lying motionless on the floor. She has no pulse! [Episode written by Eleanor Whitcombe.]
Sylvia Vansard in Flat 1.
The Sonia/Gordon/Sylvia plotline was novelised for the 1973 Arkon paperback, Who Killed Sylvia Vansard?, although Mark and Chad are not featured in this book. (The book featured no actors from the series on the cover.)
46. (12/05) The woman on the floor is dead. Chad rings for an ambulance. In Flat 3, Dorrie has been berating Herb about his deceit over the pub. She notices the flashing lights and races to the window. There is an ambulance in front of the building. She will get dressed again and go down to investigate. A police photographer has taken numerous Polaroids and hands them to Detective Superintendent Carroll (Mike Dorsey), who begins his investigation into Sylvia Vansard's death in Gordon's flat. Mark stops Chad from mentioning Sonia's name. Dorrie descends the stairs and confronts the uniformed police constable (Stan Rogers) at the door of Flat 1. When he realises that Dorrie is just being nosy, the policeman suggests that she go back to bed and the Superintendent will interview her in the morning. Carroll is still talking to Chad and Mark, who finally tell him about Sonia. "Is this Sonia the daughter of Mr Freeman? His wife?" Just then, the constable announces that a dazed Gordon has just arrived and sends him inside to see Carroll. Gordon wants to know, "Where is Sonia?" The superintendent shows Gordon the photos and he identifies the body as his wife, Sylvia. Gordon will have to attend the morgue to make a formal identification, then there will be questions to answer at the police station. Dorrie sees Gordon getting put into a police car and remembers what Harry had said at the tenants' meeting about Gordon being a convicted abortionist. Meanwhile, Chad can't sleep and worries that Sonia may have been involved in a murder. Mark assures him that there are many other possibilities; Sylvia may have died of a heart attack. The next morning, Dorrie and Herb are in their Sunday best, heading for church. They call into the deli, to find out if Aldo knows anything about the dead body. Aldo has not heard much of the gossip, as he was a dinner guest at the home of Claude and Gemma Strauss. Dorrie has decided that Gordon must have been aborting some poor girl in the flat when something went wrong. Aldo assures her that the deceased was Gordon's wife and Dorrie is crestfallen. Gordon arrives home, unshaven, weary and forlorn. He sinks into a lounge chair with his head in his hands. Mark is preparing brunch for Chad and himself because they were up so late, when Gordon arrives. He is keen to hear if Chad knows where Sonia has been staying these past few days. He assumed she was with her close friend, Elizabeth - they used to be flatmates - but when he went off looking for Sonia last night, after the big row with Sylvia, she wasn't there! Mark invites Gordon to stay for brunch but he needs to go back down to his flat, as the police told him to be ready for their call. Dorrie visits Vera in Flat 7 to spread more gossip about Gordon. Clearly, he and his wife were running an abortion racket together, or maybe he was operating on his own wife? Vera stops her, defending Gordon as a humane person with strong beliefs. Yes, he was charged many years ago, but Gordon served a prison sentence for that. Dorrie is indignant and reminds Vera that Harry was the one who told them all about Gordon's past. Chad suddenly remembers an address Sonia once gave a taxi driver: a flat at 24a Jubilee Gardens. He asks Mark to let Gordon know and races off to locate her. He finds her building and uses the answerphone at the front door to buzz Sonia. She answers and Chad begs to see her. "It is very important." Mark is waiting in the living room of Flat 1 when a taxi arrives outside. A distraught Sonia races in, followed by Chad. "Where is Gordon?", she wants to know. Mark explains that the police wanted him for more questioning. An autopsy on Sylvia's body has revealed that she had ingested a large overdose of cyanide. Sonia looks very scared. She realises that she had found a discrepancy in the poisons book only the day before. She had been meaning to recheck the records as a large number of potassium sulphocyanate pills were missing. [Episode written by Eleanor Whitcombe.]
Superintendent Carroll investigates a death in Flat 1.
Mike Dorsey later returns as regular character Reginald P. MacDonald, otherwise known as "Daddy".
47. (15/05) Following the discovery of Sylvia's body, the police turn their attentions to Gordon and Sonia for possible motives. Gordon has been taken into Police Headquarters for questioning. Sonia tells Chad that she cannot account for 30 lethal potassium sulphocyanate pills that should still be in her dispensary. Mark rings the police to tell them that Sonia has been located. A car has been sent for her. Sonia and Chad arrive in Flat 4, with Sonia concerned about what will happen when the police investigate Gordon's criminal past. Mark and Chad - who had not been invited to Harry's previous meeting of the tenants - are oblivious, so Sonia tells them about Gordon's conviction as an abortionist in 1966. Mark goes to the kitchen to make some tea and Chad asks Sonia if she believes that Gordon used the missing pills to poison Sylvia. An anguished Sonia is obviously torn. In the late afternoon, Alf arrives home from an exhausting interstate drive. Lucy has laid on an impressive "high tea" spread. She tries to fill him in on the drama at the chemist shop as he devours his food, but Alf is more interested in whether Lucy will be joining him on the trip back to England. She warns that many things will have changed in 15 years, but Alf believes he can even get his old job back. A weary Gordon meets Vera, who is descending the stairwell outside his flat. She doesn't wish to interfere in Gordon's troubles, but offers her help if he needs it. Vera mentions having last seen Sonia on Saturday night, when Sonia returned to the flat. Gordon is astounded. He hadn't realised that Sonia had come back after storming out from their meeting with Sylvia. While cleaning Flat 3, Dorrie is carrying on to Herb about Sylvia's death - she suspected it was her, all along, of course. The phone rings but Dorrie reaches it first. It is George Baker again, wanting to meet up with Herb. Dorrie says that Herb won't be available as "he may be needed to give vital evidence in a murder case". If all George needs to do is to provide Harry's new address, surely he can do that over the phone? George hangs up. On Monday morning, Sonia has arrived for work and things are strained between her and Gordon. They were both grilled by the police for hours. Sonia tells Gordon about the missing pills. This is news to him, or at least appears to be. She mentions that Sylvia's autopsy revealed cyanide in her system. Gordon is aghast that Sonia might think that he took the pills. She is only thinking about what the police might construe, especially since Gordon was the last to see Sylvia alive? "But was I the last person? Was I, Sonia?" Gordon responds. In the laundrette, Lucy promises to have a catch-up with Vera when she has finished with a customer. Dorrie arrives, but is tight-lipped around Vera after their recent spat. Lucy thinks that she will ultimately do what Alf wants to do, in relation to returning to England, "because he's my husband". Dorrie wants to gossip about Sylvia's death and would not be surprised if Sonia Freeman, or "whatever-she-chooses-to-call-herself", has something to do with it. Vera gives her a terse reminder of their previous conversation. The revelation that Cliff has given Maggie's name as a character referee puts Bill Barton (Tony Allen), a reporter for a national crime magazine, on the trail for news. Bill meets Maggie in a stylish restaurant and, over martinis, he warns her that Cliff even expects her to post bail for him. Not that she would agree to that, nor that bail would be likely; Maggie wants her name kept out of the courts. Bill offers her his advice. Gordon visits Flat 7 to tell Vera that Harry was the only customer to have a prescription filled for same drug that killed Sylvia. Potassium sulphocyanate is an old-fashioned remedy for high blood pressure, but Harry was convinced they were the only medication that worked for him. Each of his repeats were correctly signed for in the poisons book. Vera agrees that Harry used the pills, but was always running out. Chad visits Sonia in the shop. She admits that she didn't mention the missing pills to the police, but she has now told Gordon. She and Gordon have the only keys to the poisons cupboard, so what is she to think? Dorrie is hovering around the ground floor vestibule area, pretending to be dusting. Alf comes by and she tries to regale him with gossip about the Freemans. Alf is not interested, so she mentions that Lucy announced to the whole laundrette that she and Alf were returning to England. Alf's face lights up. At Vera's flat, Maggie is being fitted for another new dress, following the success of Vera's last one. Several of Maggie's friends have placed orders. They hear Alf arriving home next door, but Maggie wants to talk about Cliff. She feels that she can confine in Vera. Maggie hates being involved with the law - it is bad for business - but she is torn about a row she recently overheard: Gordon made a death threat about his wife, Sylvia. What does Vera think Maggie should do? [Episode written by David Sale.]
Bill Barton, journalist.
The autopsy on Sylvia's body was certainly completed very swiftly. The official synopsis suggests that Dorrie's load of washing is the same bundle as Herb had lost in Episode #45. It also notes that attentive viewers will make the specific link between Harry's visit to Flat 2 in Episode #36 and the missing pills, even though Gordon and Vera do not. Tony Allen, who previously played Mervin the workman, returns this episode as the journalist, Bill Barton.
48. (16/05) Vera recommends that Maggie say nothing about Gordon and Sonia's argument until the coroner's report on Sylvia's death is released in two days time. Maggie thinks she will make herself scarce for a while and books into a hotel. Janie gets ready for an early shift at The Blue Danube. Don is still on his study leave and will be home all day. Bev promises to be as quiet as a mouse. While Don is downstairs buying milk from the deli, Janie gets stuck into Bev for being over-solicitous, all that hanging around Don while he is preparing for his exams. If Bev really still loves Don, she would get the Hell out from under his feet. They argue. At least Bev isn't as rowdy as that Jack, whom Janie has befriended. Their dispute is cut short by Don's sudden return; he met the milkman on the stairs. Alf is preparing for work while Lucy cleans up the breakfast things. His steadfast determination to return home to England finally convinces an exasperated Lucy to agree to accompany him. Her job at the laundrette is finishing up and their grandchildren are all so far away. Alf's enthusiasm grows as he makes plans to dispose of the lease on Flat 8 and sell their furniture. He will write to his sister and his former boss, who has promised him a job. Rose is serving Dorrie and Herb in the deli. Dorrie is unimpressed that the police have not questioned her about Sylvia's death; after all, she is "conserge". Then she finds out that both Aldo and Rose have been questioned. As they are leaving, Rose is reminded that a Mr George Baker rang the deli asking for Herb. Rose gives a quavering Herb the phone number. Dorrie glares at him. Julian rushes in; he has a rare night off and would love to invite Rose over for dinner. Vera also arrives. When Dorrie and Herb delay leaving, Rose is forced to introduce everybody. Julian is thrilled to meet them all and announces that he and Rose are soon to be engaged. Dorrie and Herb offer congratulations but Vera just glares at Rose. Rose avoids eye contact with her. Back in Flat 3, Dorrie is determined to get to the bottom of all the shilly-shallying going on with George. She has heard too many versions about what's going on, including the big secret about her birthday, which turned out to be... bedroom slippers! Herb maintains that there is still a birthday surprise coming. George has been organising it for him, but it hasn't arrived yet. She needs to be patient. Bev, full of possessive pride, is leaving the laundrette with "just a few things of Don's" when she passes Mr Thorburn coming in. There is a problem with that manageress who was going to be taking over two branches, so he offers Lucy the promotion instead. There will be an increase in salary, of course. Lucy explains that Alf has their return to England all planned, but Mr Thorburn asks her to think over his offer. Herb interrupts to get change for the Redphone and calls George. He pleads with George for more time. He can't meet him yet, but George must get him a fur coat, for Dorrie, by the end of the week. She is so suspicious! Don's attempts to study are interrupted by the sounds of the radio in the kitchen, and Bev's meal preparations. "Darling, you've got to keep up your strength, you know." He closes his books and agrees to a light lunch. Bev promises that he will have the flat to himself for the rest of the afternoon. In Flat 5, Maggie is packing a suitcase when there is a knock at the door. It is Claire Houghton, who had come to Number 96 hoping to engage the talents of Vera. Claire notices that Maggie is preparing to leave - because of "that deviant" who lives here? - but Maggie spills the beans about Don flatting with Bev and Janie. Claire almost suffers a genuine heart attack after hearing this news. After a quick shot of medicinal gin, Claire suggests taking over the flat while Maggie is away, so she can get this ghastly Bev/Don matter settled, once and for all. Maggie closes her suitcase and says, "It's all yours Claire, do your worst!" Alf briefly passes by the laundrette on his truck route and tells Lucy that his boss has agreed to one month's notice - and he can even have his job back if the trip to the UK doesn't go ahead. Lucy has to tell him about her new job offer, with its payrise and increased responsibility. Alf dismisses it: "Who cares about that, love? They can stuff their bloody Aussie laundrettes." Once again, Don's study is interrupted. This time, it is Mrs Houghton, demanding to see Beverly. Don manages to charm the imperious Claire by offering a gin and tonic and discussing his highly respectable connections; Don is articled in the very top firm of solicitors in Sydney, will shortly be joining their staff - and his uncle is a judge of the High Court. By her second gin, Claire is positively gushing. Julian presents Rose with a diamond engagement ring. He needs to speak to Aldo about proposing to her and wants her to come with him to Queensland next weekend to meet his parents. They are anxious to get to know her. Alf and Vera meet in the foyer. Vera has been in Killara, fitting high society matrons for expensive gowns. Alf is tipsy from an afternoon at the pub but wants to escort her up the stairs. Noticing the lights on in Flat 2, Vera decides to check in on Rose first. Rose has only just arrived home, too. Vera accuses Rose of rushing the relationship with Julian because Rose really is pregnant after all. Vera is insistant that a marriage should not be built upon a monstrous lie. Vera leaves and Rose takes out the box containing her new diamond ring - and bursts into tears. [Episode written by David Sale.]
Lucy Sutcliffe in the laundrette.
In the official synopsis, script editor Johnny Whyte suggests re the scene between Vera and Rose: "Surely she saw 'The Great Lie' with Bette Davis and Mary Astor? Only joking, David, please don't put that in. Stick to Joan Crawford."
49. (17/05) Aldo arrives home after a card night with the Strausses. He mistakes Rose's sobbing fit for tears of joy. At last she will be marrying Julian: one of Aldo's dreams is coming true! Janie and Bev are having an early coffee. Janie has only just got up but Bev has been dressed for ages; she had to make breakfast for Don. He has retreated to the reference library, on the pretext of getting some books for his studies. Janie half-apologises for giving Bev a hard time yesterday but she still thinks that Bev is "an idiot" for thinking that she can change Don. The topic turns to Jack - what does he do for a living? Janie doesn't know yet. They discuss how Claire has moved into Flat 5 while Maggie is away, and using every excuse to drop in unannounced. With a timely Point Piper "Yoo hoo!", Claire suddenly appears - in flowing chiffon - to borrow some breakfast nourishment. All Maggie has in her wretched little fridge is yogurt. Where are the kidneys and kedgeree? Carroll returns with more questions for Sonia and Gordon. Gordon offers to close the chemist shop, but Carroll will see them separately in the flat. Carroll is keen to hear Gordon reiterate that Sonia had left the Flat 1 a good half-hour before him. Gordon does not mention that Sonia supposedly returned that night. Rose arrives at Flat 6 to chat to Bev but, seeing Don trying to study, she offers to come back later. Bev suggests they talk in her bedroom, but Don offers to vacate to his bedroom, instead, and gathers up his books. Rose is seeking advice from Bev. A "friend" is pregnant to a man other than her fiancé, but Rose makes such a hash of the anecdote that Bev realises she is talking about herself and Julian. Bev suggests that Rose could always let Julian think the child is his. Rose only slept with Julian once, but he will be so impressed by his own virility. After another grilling by Carroll, Sonia is getting herself confused. She manages to admit that she returned to the flat after Gordon had left. Carroll wants to know, "Was Sylvia Vansard still there? Was she alive when you returned?" There is no one who can substantiate Sonia's alibi and it is obvious that Gordon and Sonia are covering for each other. Carroll promises that he will be back for the whole truth. In a corner of The Blue Danube restaurant, Janie's new boyfriend, Jack Sellars (Tom Oliver), is finishing his meal with brandy and a cigar. He encourages Janie to sit with him but she is reluctant to break the rules. She is still on duty. (It is likely that Jack has a financial interest in the restaurant.) Jack often invests in stage shows. He thinks that there is a part for her in a new American play which is about to start rehearsals. In Flat 2, Aldo is entertaining Roma over afternoon tea. They talk of Rose's engagement and Roma mentions that her son, Irving, based in England, has just passed his final exams and is now an architect. Aldo is excited about the dinner he will be hosting for Rose, Julia and the Strausses. He wants Roma to meet Claude and Gemma as they all have so much in common. Roma admits that she does not particularly like Germans, but if Mr Godolfus likes the Strausses then she knows that she will. Bev drops into Flat 5 to ascertain what her mother is up to. She finds Claire stretched out on the settee. Why would her mother move back into this "ghetto", as she once called it? Claire explains that she needs to be on hand for daily fittings with Mrs Collins, who is creating Claire's new collection. "That woman, Beverly, is a positive genius - and to think if it hadn't been for me she would never have become the latest 'In' person." Bev accuses her mother of spying on her. Claire denies this and begins talking up Donald, whose uncle is a High Court judge. Bev mentions that Janie is bringing home her "dreary young man" for cocktails and Claire blossoms. "So they do have cocktails outside of Point Piper?" Claire decides to host "a tiny soirée" and insists that the girls "bring everyone over". As Maggie's liquor cabinet is well-stocked, Bev agrees. Carroll interviews Gordon and Sonia together. He wants to know why the theft of potassium sulphocyanate pills was not reported immediately. Sylvia's doctor is away, touring Queensland, and cannot be contacted. "Why would Mrs Vansard want to kill herself?" Carroll asks when Gordon puts forward his theory. His eldest son, Kit, who is at boarding school has been contacted and will be returning for the funeral. Both Sonia and Gordon are required to be material witnesses at tomorrow's inquest. In Flat 5, Claire is most impressed with Jack's hysterical anecdotes about her society colleagues. He knows them all, it seems, "and just how much money they haven't got". Claire is all ears. Jack and Janie will be attending a party at the North Shore home - "a positive palace!" - of Ozzie and Rita Rheingold. Jack suggests that they all join his entourage and Claire is very keen. Don declines, wanting to stay home and study. Bev insists that if Don won't go, then neither will she. Claire demands that her daughter be suitably escorted if attending the Rheingolds' party and orders Don to go next door and "get changed into something presentable". Rose is chatting to Julian on the phone while Aldo reads the newspaper, grinning contentedly. Rose needs to give some details to Julian about a mutual contact and asks her father to fetch a piece of paper that is near her handbag. He misunderstands and retrieves a small white card from her bag. Aldo discovers that it is a doctor's appointment card for a Doctor P. Jason. He is confused. This is not their regular doctor; why would Rose need to travel so far to see a new one? To Aldo's surprise, Rose blurts out that she thought she was pregnant. "Now are you satisfied, Papa?" [Episode written by David Sale.]
Jack Sellars, Janie's boyfriend..
"Kedgeree" is a concoction of spiced lentils, rice, fried onions and ginger, apparently often consumed in Point Piper. In the official synopsis, script editor Johnny Whyte suggests re the scene between Rose and Bev: "Anne Baxter does it so much better." He also recommends "any episode of 'Softly, Softly'" as guidance when writing the police interrogation scenes. The oft-mentioned Rheingolds are never seen, but their daughter, Prue, eventually joins the series, portrayed by Camilla Rowntree in 1975.
50. (18/05) Rose admits to her father that, after her terrible experience with Cliff and the bikies, she was frightened that she was pregnant. But, she reassures him, it was a false alarm. Aldo clutches her with affection but Rose's face is hard and determined. Alf is planning the trip to England - the bed is scattered with travel brochures - but Lucy is strangely quiet. Alf has written to his old boss in Salford and there will be a job waiting for him. Alf's sister is looking out for a temporary, fully-furnished flat until they can get their own place. Lucy tells him to drink his milk, collect all the things off the bed and get some sleep. He has to be up at 5.00am for work. Chad and Mark prepare to present their evidence at Sylvia's inquest. Chad is worried that Sonia will cover for Gordon. She suspects that only Gordon knows what really happened with the stolen pills. Aldo receives an official letter from the police concerning Cliff's arrest. He and Rose will probably not be required to attend court, since there is sufficient evidence of their own to charge him with, following the haul of mainstream drugs that were uncovered. There is a reprimand about Aldo and Rose's procrastination in reporting Cliff's activities. Aldo brushes it off, as he wants to discuss the dinner party for the Strausses and Mrs Lubinski. It will be a celebration of Rose and Julian's engagement! What will he serve? As an afterthought, Aldo asks Rose if she has told Julian about their trouble with the hoodlums. She hasn't. He advises her not to start married life with any secrets held from each other. At the laundrette, Ethel surprises Lucy with a visit. There is good news! Her husband, Kevin Brinkman (Peter Corbett), has a new job - as Junior Manager - at a soft drink factory, and they will be moving their family to Sydney. The Sutcliffes' grandchildren, Garth and Debbie, will get a chance to really know them. Lucy says nothing about the trip that Alf has been planning. Back from the inquest, Mark and Chad have lunch at the pub. The inquest resolved that Sylvia died by poisoning, "committed by person or persons unknown". The police are sure to keep investigating and it doesn't look good for Gordon or Sonia. They meet Don there, also having a lunch break. He mentions that he is trying to study for his law exams, but he was dragged to a society party and didn't get home until 4.30am. Flat 6 is bedlam, he complains - and Mrs Houghton keeps coming in from next door, looking for liver salts and Alka-Seltzers. Mark suggests that Don seek solace in Flat 4 each day. He and Chad are out from 8.30am till at least 4.30pm. Don jumps at this opportunity. Lucy arrives at Flat 8 to find Alf eating a thick slice of bread and jam. She tells him Ethel's exciting news but he is unwavering; the UK trip is still happening. Julian drops in to Flat 2 a little early for the important dinner party and finds Aldo flustered over his meal preparations. Julian is seeking Aldo's permission to marry Rose, but Aldo is more concerned about the sumptuous meal he is preparing, so it is very anti-climactic. The phone rings and Rose answers it. It is Mrs Lubinski, who explains that she has come down with a bout of influenza and is unable to attend Aldo's dinner for the Strausses. Chad is on the phone, trying to reach the chemist shop. It seems that Gordon and Sonia have not yet returned after the inquest. Mark receives an unexpected phone call about Helen's whereabouts. He gets flustered, assuming it is the same man who previously cheated him out of $50. The man tries to give him a street address but Mark cuts him off and hangs up. Chad realises that the call might have been genuine, so they look up 25 Pennywell Avenue in the Gregory's Street Directory. There is only one Pennywell Avenue, in an outer suburb. Chad persuades Mark to at least investigate the location. At Aldo's dinner party, Gemma Strauss (Hilda Scurr) and her husband, Claude, are disappointed that they won't get to meet Roma after all. They reminisce about their mutual friends, the Freedom Fighters of Austria, and "Bobo", the head man who was betrayed, then caught and shot by the Nazis. Julian prefers that they not discuss the war. In his opinion, it can lead to more hatred and bigotry between nations. Claude says that he and his wife "can never forget. Germans have a great guilt for the terrible things that were done in our names." Aldo insists that Claude was brave and should feel no guilt. Gemma says, "We have the guilt just the same - for our people." Rose suggests they change the subject and a toast is made by Claude to Julian and Rose, and to the wonderful country which has provided them with a new homeland. At dusk, Mark finds himself in Pennywell Avenue and approaches the door of Number 25. He knocks and, eventually, a light comes on. A man answers and Mark introduces himself. John (Bob Lee) orders him off the premises, threatening to call the police. Mark wants to know if the man was the person who rang him and he denies it. He has "never heard of a Helen Eastwood". Suddenly a female voice behind John says, "It's all right, John, you don't have to hide me any more - I got Colin to ring up for me." It is Helen. She says, "Hello Mark." [Episode written by Pat Flower.]
Kevin Brinkman, Ethel's husband.
Peter Corbett, as Alf's much-maligned son-in-law, Kevin Brinkman, returns as another character connected to the Sutcliffes, truck driver Wally Scott. Hilda Scurr, who portrays Gemma Strauss, eventually returns in the part of Selma Horowitz, Aldo's domineering sister, when Marion Johns was unavailable to reprise Selma.
51. (19/05) Mark can hardly believe his eyes. He tries to embrace Helen but she won't allow it. She says, "Not yet, Mark. We have lots of things to discuss first." She brings him inside. Firstly, she wants to know if Mark had ever been unfaithful before meeting Rose. He assures her that he hadn't. It is obvious that Helen still loves him, but still finds it hard to believe him. Helen reveals that, when she raced out into the dark, she wandered the streets for two hours. Then she recalled that brothers John and Colin, whom she knew from her schooldays in Perth, lived in an outer suburb of Sydney. Feeling alone and devastated, Helen looked up their address and caught a taxi out to their house. John and Colin convinced her to get psychiatric help and she has now done three weeks of private therapy. Meanwhile, Dorrie and Herb are playing gin-rummy and Dorrie is getting irritated because Herb keeps shouting "Gin!" George arrives at Flat 3 with a parcel and Herb explains that this is Dorrie's long-awaited, belated birthday surprise. Herb is pleased with himself; he cleverly wins over Dorrie with a new fur coat, while at the same time covering up his side dealings with George. Dorrie is thrilled with her gift and rushes to the bedroom to try it on. George whispers that he must meet with Herb tomorrow at the pub, at 3.00pm, as he has news about their business deal. How will Herb distract Dorrie in order to meet him? Dorrie returns in the coat. Herb suggests that tomorrow, Dorrie should travel to Epping to show off the new coat to her sister. Connie Meadows doesn't get out much, as she has a troublesome gallstone. At the pub, Chad and Sonia discuss the inquest over drinks. Gordon has returned to the family home to await Kit's arrival from boarding school. Sylvia's funeral is tomorrow. Chad wonders why Sonia admitted to returning to the flat on that fateful Saturday night. He assumes she made it up to shield Gordon. But no, Sonia, insists, she did return, expecting to find Sylvia gone and Gordon still there. Instead, Gordon was gone and Sylvia was very much alive. It is all so complicated. Sonia and Gordon don't know what to believe about each other. Changing the topic, they also discuss Chad's job offer - teaching in the Australian outback - which he has turned down. Helen wants to make her marriage to Mark work, but she refuses to return to Number 96. Mark must find them somewhere else to live. They embrace. Chad arrives home, where Don has been studying. Don is very appreciative for "the use of the hall". He must find alternative accommodation soon, since living in Bev and Janie's flat is not really a healthy atmosphere. Chad teases him: how come Don has two girls looking after him and Chad can't even find one? He knows that Sonia is now out of his reach. Chad hasn't had much luck in romance since his wife died. They note that Mark has not yet returned from following his latest lead on Helen's whereabouts. Janie and Jack arrive back at Flat 6. They have been to a concert, one that Jack has mostly slept through. They bicker about Janie's refusal to let Jack help her win a role in the play he invested in. He offers to pull some strings but Janie won't hear of it. Don arrives back with his stack of reference books; he immediately sides with Jack. Surely, Janie doesn't want to be a waitress all her life? The theatre game is tough, he agrees. She should take all the help that is being offered to get that acting role. Don needs to move out and Janie warns that Bev will be heartbroken. Jack confides to Janie that he, too, will be happier if Don move out. It is not a good idea for him to be sharing the girls' flat. Jack knows that "nothing is happening" but Janie admits that he "doesn't know the half of it". Mark arrives back to Number 96 just as Chad is heading to bed. Mark is upbeat and tells him about finding Helen. He intends to move out. Is Chad interested in taking over the lease? Chad has some savings. Mark suggests that Chad can have all the furniture, too, if he takes over the current hire purchase arrangements. Chad doesn't think his savings would stretch that far, but what about Don? He is looking for somewhere to live. Mark will need an answer soon, as he plans to be gone in two or three days. The sooner he finds a new place, the sooner he can be with Helen. Next morning, Vera is laden with her design portfolio and a parcel of fabric. She calls into the deli on her way to do a fitting for Lady Menston, a new client. She enquires after Rose and Aldo explains that his daughter is in Queensland, visiting Julian's family. Obviously Rose has not taken Vera's recent advice. Dorrie enters the deli, on her way to Connie's, and parades her faux fur. Until she starts talking about the coat, Vera and Aldo hadn't even noticed it. Chad drops in to buy cigarettes. He immediately compliments Dorrie and she blossoms. Chad announces that Mark has finally tracked down Helen and they are keen to move out and start afresh. Dorrie is offended that, as "conserge", she wasn't told. Chad tries to explain that it all only happened last night, and that he and Don might take over the lease on Flat 4. At the pub, Herb gets good news from George - the development company has paid up the $24,000 and Mr Calthrop is holding onto it until he gets formal instructions. There has still been no contact with Harry. George impresses Herb with his garish tie. It has a naked woman on it and the boobs light up! He is also quite enamoured of George's two exuberant companions, Trixie (Noeline Brown) and Babs (Penny Ramsay). Their interest in Herb increases when they hear about his new nest-egg. Jack and Janie are preparing for a night at the theatre. He regales her with one of his funny stories. Ignoring Janie's protests, Jack is insisting that they go to see The Rainbow Trap, the play that Janie was once performing in. Vera calls into the deli again after her exhausting session with Lady Menston. She needs some items for dinner - and probably a new seamstress as well. So much work is piling up. Herb arrives, a little tipsy from his meeting with George. He demonstrates the light-up tie that George gave him and mentions that they made plans to take Trixie and Babs on a picnic soon. Dorrie barges in. She returned from Connie's to find Flat 3 empty and has come in search of Herb. Chad visits Sonia in Flat 1. Sylvia's funeral was today but Sonia thought that Gordon would have been back by now. Gordon turns up. He met up with Sylvia's private doctor, who finally returned from his motoring holiday. Gordon was informed that Sylvia was suffering from an inoperable brain tumour and - had she not been poisoned - only had three or four weeks to live. [Episode written by Pat Flower.]
Trixie and Babs at the pub.
In the official synopsis, Johnny Whyte suggests that the script should specify that Dorrie's new coat is a mock fur, "otherwise Wardrobe will provide a sable or something." A "Lady Menston" is mentioned in the original synopsis, but there will be frequent references in the series to a Lady Mendl, a society friend of Claire's. There was a real Lady Mendl, also known as Elsie de Wolfe (1865-1950), an American actress who became a prominent interior designer and author. The "Lady Mendl's Tea Salon" in Gramercy Park, NYC, is named for her. The name "Trixie" is later bestowed upon a new character, showgirl Trixie O'Toole, portrayed by Jan Adele from 1974.
52. (22/05) Will the fact that Sylvia had an inoperable brain tumour help Gordon and Sonia, or will it hinder their efforts to avoid blame for her death? Was it Sylvia's fatal medical condition that was causing her immovable and vindictive attitude towards them? Sylvia's doctor has confirmed that Sylvia knew she was going to die, so perhaps she chose death by suicide? Sonia sees a ray of hope but Chad wonders what the police will think about this - and it still doesn't explain the missing pills. In the theatre's dressing room, Janie and Jack meet Jill Damon, the actress who took over Janie's old understudy role. Jill thinks that Janie would have been so much better in the lead role than that stuck-up Sally Nash. Grant Morris (John Bonney), Janie's former director, hears that she is backstage and comes to make her an exciting offer. Jill says her goodbyes and Jack offers to wait in the car, leaving Grant and Janie able to talk freely. Grant promises her that Jack had nothing to do with him asking her to take the lead role in his latest production. Next morning, there is still a feud brewing in Flat 8. Lucy tells Alf that she has accepted Mr Thorburn's offer of a promotion at the laundrette. Now they can be closer to Ethel, Kevin and their family when they move to Sydney! Lucy no longer wants to go to England. Alf explodes and says that he will be going anyway, by himself! Janie brings Bev breakfast in bed. Janie is full of excitement: about returning to the theatre, the new play, and how much Grant admires her work. Bev wonders, with Janie being around the flat more, how will poor Don ever get any studying done? Janie realises that Don has not yet mentioned his intention to move out. Janie tries to be delicate, telling Bev that Don intends to take up a lease with Chad if he is successful in getting a raise at work. Bev announces that she is more in love with Don than ever! She is shattered that he didn't confide in her. Bev knows that she can change him. Janie just shakes her head. Vera is busy pinning fabric to her dressmakers' dummy when she is interrupted by a phone call. It is Claire from downstairs, wanting another fitting. Vera is not sure when she can fit her in, perhaps this afternoon or tomorrow morning? Lucy drops in to see Vera on her way to work. Alf seems determined to return to England, with her or without her. Vera suggests that she and Alf come to dinner tonight. "After all, three heads will be better than two." In the deli, Dorrie is trying to ascertain what Herb was up to yesterday. Aldo tries not to get involved. Her friend, Jessie Blanchard (Margo Lloyd) of the Paddington Senior Citizens' Club, announces that Herb was seen "canoodling with two tarty girls" at the pub. Roma rings the shop to tell Aldo that she has recovered from the 'flu and he makes plans to visit her tonight. Dorrie is still carrying on about Herb and "those tarts". Gordon and Sonia choose a quiet time in the chemist shop to go through the poisons book again. Only Harry Collins ever bought those pills; there are three entries, duly signed. There is no way Sylvia could have had access to the missing pills. Despite the theory that Sylvia may have suicided, Gordon and Sonia are still under police investigation. They both have motives for murder and the police probably expect them to implicate each other. Gordon is concerned that Sonia returned to the flat that night. Sonia worries that Gordon's 1966 conviction makes him the prime suspect. In Flat 3, it is lunchtime and Dorrie is still giving Herb grief over "the tarty women" at the pub. He tries to explain that they are friends of George. He only called into the pub for a bag of chips. Connie's husband, Frank Meadows, rings to tell Dorrie that her sister has been hospitalised for an emergency gallstone operation, so Dorrie packs herself an overnight bag. She dramatically tells Herb she may be away for several days. Aldo is sitting with Vera in the deli while she eats a sandwich for lunch - all she has time for with her huge workload. Gordon comes in to sit with them. He saw Vera come in and wants to ask her about Harry's prescription. She only knows that the pills were for his blood pressure, not that they were so dangerous. She recalls a night, about three weeks ago, when they were off to the theatre and Vera waited outside while Harry went back for his pills. Aldo suddenly recalls passing Harry in the foyer one evening. He said he intended to seek Gordon's medical advice, having run out of what he called his Lifesavers. But he was knocking on the door of Flat 1, after hours, not the shop. Gordon, with mounting excitement, realises that this is the missing piece to the puzzle! At the pub, Herb and George are celebrating their success in business with Trixie and Babs. They are all quite merry. When Herb mentions that Dorrie is away for a few days, George suggests they buy some grog and continue the party at Herb's place. Babs wants George to buy her "that darling brooch" they had seen in a nearby shop, so they head off before it closes. Trixie suggests that she will accompany Herb back to his flat and keep him company. In Flat 6, while Janie is in the bedroom getting dressed, Jack is fending off Bev's chatter about Don. "But I looked after him so well and now he's moving out!" Jack tries to see the humour in the situation but Bev gets more irritated. Jack suggests that Bev come with them, so that he has someone to chat to while Janie is talking theatre-shop with Grant. Bev shrugs and agrees ungraciously. Don has a lecture tonight anyway. Sonia and Gordon retrace their steps from the night Harry visited. Sonia was living away at the time and Gordon had left the flat door unlocked while he went upstairs to talk to Chad. He returned to find Sylvia in the flat. They were arguing when Harry came by, wanting pills. Gordon gave him some and asked Harry to come by the shop the next morning to sign the poisons book - which he did. Sonia confirms that with the signatures in the book. But Gordon must have left the jar of pills in the living room while he saw Harry to the front door. Obviously, Sylvia took some of the pills and returned the jar to the self-locking safe. The phone rings; it is Carroll again and he will be calling by tomorrow to speak to both of them. Meanwhile, Herb and Trixie are enjoying their beers in Flat 3. Out on the stairwell, Dorrie is returning home with her bag. Aldo, on his way to visit Roma, enquires after her sister's health and Dorrie regales him in the news that the x-rays showed that Connie's gallstone had dispersed six months ago. Her sister has been feeding on Dorrie's sympathies for all this time - over indigestion! Dorrie finds the door to her flat locked. She starts knocking and calling Herb's name. There is panic inside as Herb tries to hide the beer glasses, empty cans - and Trixie! - from Dorrie. Herb takes Trixie into the bedroom and tells her to hide in the wardrobe. Herb lets Dorrie in. Why did Herb take so long? Why was the door locked? He suggests that she go into the kitchen, or the bathroom, or anywhere! But Dorrie has had an exhausting and infuriating day. She announces that she needs "at least an hour's lie down before supper" and heads straight for the bedroom. [Episode written by Pat Flower.]
The new play's title, "Find Me a Lover", was referenced in the first novelisation, "Janie Stagestruck". The gossipy Jessie Blanchard has been mentioned before, but this episode is Margo Lloyd's first appearance with lines. Originally named "Mrs Bairstow".
53. (23/05) A weary Dorrie enters her bedroom and starts unpacking her bag. Herb is in anguish. She takes off her suit jacket and goes to hang it in the wardrobe. Herb offers to iron it for her instead. After several near misses, Dorrie finally goes to the bathroom, allowing Herb crucial seconds to get Trixie from the wardrobe to the front door. Vera has served a lovely meal to the Sutcliffes but Alf is being beligerent about his plan to return to England. Lucy eventually gets distressed, thanks Vera for dinner and returns to Flat 8. Vera gives Alf a serve for not caring how torn up his wife is about the whole situation. Next morning, Sonia arrives for work in the chemist shop but Gordon has overslept, having had his first decent night's sleep since Sylvia's death. Sonia warns him not to be overconfident about his suicide theory. They don't know what time Carroll is expected. Herb is vacuuming the flat and sighs with relief when he finds the glasses and beer cans he had hidden behind the couch cushions yesterday. Then he finds a handbag, which must belong to Trixie! Just as he picks it up, Dorrie emerges from the bedroom and Herb holds it behind his back. Dorrie, still in her dressing gown, is already suspicious that Herb is "hiding something" because he brought her breakfast in bed. Dorrie continues to be disgusted that her sister's mythical gallstone was merely indigestion. There will be no more weekly visits to Epping to see Connie! Herb is distressed because that was his only regular Dorrie-free day and he tries to dissuade her. Claire is having a fitting with Vera in Flat 5. The conversation moves to Bev's infatuation with Don, of whom Claire approves, due to his good prospects and high connections. Maggie enters with her suitcase, surprised to see Claire still in residence in her flat. Claire would prefer to stay to keep her eye on Bev. The poor girl is still sensitive about "that nice boy, Donald", and needs a mother's direction. "Then direct her to the nearest psychiatrist," says Maggie, "'Cos the boy is as camp as a row of tents." She tells Maggie that her mind is at ease about Bev because Don is a final year law student with excellent prospects. Claire decides that it is time to move out of "this ghetto". She can't understand what Maggie sees in it. As Vera departs, Claire points out the mail that has come for Maggie. She goes off to pack. One piece of mail is an aerogramme addressed to "Don Finlayson, Esq.". Maggie considers it, then tears it open, having recognised Bruce's handwriting. In Flat 1, Carroll is dismissive of Gordon's theory that Sylvia stole the pills and suicided to implicate both him and Sonia by her death. According to Carroll, Gordon's alibi has checked out, with a neighbour of Sonia's old flatmate identifying him from a photograph. Carroll has established that Sylvia was manic-depressive and had repeatedly asked her own doctor for medication that would end her life swiftly. Her doctor had refused to supply them. Carroll agrees that Sylvia's terminal illness could have been causing her vindictiveness over granting her husband a divorce. Traces of potassium sulphocyanate was found in Sylvia's handbag. Sonia's possibly complicity has been ruled out because, even though the police already knew she returned to the flat before she admitted it, her fingerprints were not found on the jar of pills in the poisons safe. On his way out, Carroll reassures Sonia that her misguided attempts to shield Gordon were understandable under the circumstances. Don is deep into his studies in Flat 4 when Maggie comes in holding Bruce's aerogramme. The girls in Flat 6 had suggested that she might find him here. This is their first meeting since their big row and she flings the letter at him. Don notices that the letter has been opened. It seems that Bruce is in Canada - it is essentially a love letter to Don and Bruce has nothing nice to say about Maggie. She demands that he keeps reading. She is deeply hurt by Bruce's words and cannot deal with her emotional reaction. Don says that at least the letter backs up what he told her during their previous row. She spits out an insult about homosexuals but Don finds it hard to be sympathetic. It is her own fault for reading other people's letters. She sweeps out of the room. Dorrie is at the laundrette and is taken aback when she finds lipstick on one of Herb's shirt collars. Nearby, Vera and Lucy are discussing Alf's plans to return to England. Lucy knows that, ultimately, she will do as she always does: exactly what Alf wants to do. A worried Dorrie humbly asks Vera for advice and tells her about the report of Herb "hanging out with tarty women", and this morning's mysterious phone call from a female voice, asking for Herb. Now Dorrie has found lipstick on the collar of his husband's best white shirt. She gets weepy and doesn't know what to do as she has always been a faithful wife. Vera tries to keep a straight face and advises Dorrie that she must "woo" Herb to win him back, and perhaps to make herself more attractive for "her man". Dorrie drinks it all in. Meanwhile, Herb enters the pub carrying Trixie's handbag, which causes Alf much amusement. Alf orders Herb a beer and starts complaining about Lucy's reluctance to return with him to England. Trixie rushes in - she received Herb's message at the supermarket where she works - and Alf's eyes light up at the sight of her. Alf orders her a drink. (Trixie's favourite tipple is a Barossa Pearl with a cherry.) Herb can't stay too long as Dorrie is only at the laundrette, but Alf seems to only have eyes for Trixie. In Flat 5, Maggie is drinking heavily. Vera drops by, hoping Claire was still around for a fitting. Maggie pulls her inside, in desperate need of company. Vera is her "only friend in this part of the world - or in any part of the bloody world"! Vera agrees to stay for a short while. Herb arrives home and enters Flat 3 cautiously. It appears empty and he dreads Dorrie finding out that he has been at the pub. Suddenly, a very glammed-up Dorrie emerges from the kitchen. Herb nearly jumps out of his skin. Sweetly, Dorrie welcomes him home and announces that dinner won't be long. The chemist shop has closed for the night and Gordon and Sonia relax over a drink. Gordon asks, almost shyly, if Sonia will be staying the night. "If you want me to," she replies. Their personal nightmare is over and they embrace. Don is packing up his books in Flat 4 when the phone rings. It is Vera, calling from Maggie's flat. Maggie is in quite a state and, for once, Vera is not sure what to do. At first, Don refuses to come to Maggie's aid. He eventually agrees. In Flat 5, Maggie can be heard flushing the toilet. She returns to the loungeroom and immediately demands another drink. Vera helps her to a seat; Maggie is maudlin and unsteady. Don enters and becomes the target for Maggie's drunken abuse. Don took her lover away. "A bloody little poof, Mrs Collins! Bruce preferred this bloody little poof to me." The vitriol continues until Maggie is laughing hysterically. Vera looks at Don helplessly. Maggie is out of control. Don steps closer and slaps Maggie's face. And again. And again. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
Ron Shand and Noeline Brown tap into their comedic skills in the extended opening scene (written by Pat Flower) between Herb and Trixie, with script editor Johnny Whyte promising in the synopsis to adjust the rest of Michael Boddy's episode to compensate. The later scene, with Dorrie wooing Herb, should "not be too much of a revue sketch" but hopefully "quite funny all the same."
54. (24/05) Maggie eventually stops laughing, reacting to Don's slaps. She sinks into a chair, sobbing and apologising. Vera comforts her and asks how they can contact Maggie's husband. Through her tears, Maggie claims that "Victor doesn't care about me. Nobody cares about me." Maggie has treated Victor "like a louse all these years", why would he care about her now? Vera persists and Maggie, who seems to have really hit rock bottom, finally gives up the phone number. Don goes to the phone to call him. Mark is completing his packing. There are cartons of his books and personal effects stacked up. He and Chad have spoken to Mr Bayswater, the agent for Number 96, and Chad and Don have officially taken over the lease. They discuss what Mark is leaving behind - sheets, tableware, cutlery - and the taking over of HP payments on the furniture. The topic of Sonia arises. The police have closed the case, accepting that Sylvia's death was suicide. Mark is sympathetic about Chad's situation; Sonia will be out of his reach now. Late at night, Bev notices Don's bedside light is on and she finds him reading. She heard him come in and he tells her about Maggie's outburst. He and Vera were able to calm her somewhat and she is now sleeping it off in Flat 7. Bev knew that Maggie was back because her mother told her before she returned to Point Piper. Don mentions the aerogramme from Bruce, which Maggie had opened. Bruce is settled in Montreal, Canada, and has a great new job. He wants Don to join him there, but he tells Bev that he will not be going. He is now over the whole Bruce affair. Don has been burying himself in his work and his studies instead. Bev takes this to mean that Don is now changing and quietly asks if she can share his bed. Don is gentle in letting her down; he doesn't think it is a good idea and doesn't want her to be hurt again. She needs to be near him! They don't have to do anything, Bev just wants to sleep in his arms. Looking a little scared, Don eventually agrees and Bev slides under the covers. Early next morning, Dorrie is cleaning the foyer area when Julian races in and starts knocking on the door to Flat 2. She doesn't think Aldo and Rose would be up yet. Rose opens the door in her robe and lets him in. Julian is quite manic. He has just finished night shift and is ecstatic about his promotion at the hospital: from intern to house surgeon. He will snatch a few hours of sleep, then return in the car so they can go on an afternoon picnic. Rose is sure that Papa won't mind, in fact he would probably encourage it. He kisses her tenderly and promises that he will be back, but Rose doesn't seem to share Julian's enthusiasm. Herb is awoken by Dorrie, who has brought him a breakfast tray. Herb realises he has overslept but Dorrie wants him to enjoy his lie-in. What are his plans for the day, because she is keen to fit in? Would he prefer an early or late lunch, because she assumes that he will be off to the pub later, for a drink with his mates? Poor Herb thinks he is still dreaming! Bev is drinking coffee in the loungeroom when Don emerges from his bedroom. He is still in his pyjamas. There is a slight embarrassment between the two of them. Bev explains that Janie is still asleep; she must have come home very late. They chat about Don's plans for moving to Flat 4. Can he afford the rent? Don mentions that he got his $10 raise at work, so yes, he can. He will also be on a good salary from Mr Willoughby when he passes his exams. Don then says, "Bev, I'm sorry about last night." He was unable to make love to her but she dismisses it as unimportant. Underneath her deliberately-casual attitude, it is obvious that Bev is deeply hurt and unhappy. Don finishes his coffee and announces plans to get dressed and head down to Flat 4 and recommence his studies. At noon, Vera is working on a dress when Maggie staggers from the spare bedroom, nursing a hangover. She is contrite and self-critical, regretting the things she said to Don. "All because I had the stupidity to fall for a bisexual gigolo," she says. Vera tells Maggie that she has spoken to Victor and he is coming over this afternoon. Maggie is not sure this is a good idea. In fact, she is not sure about anything any more and decides she needs to run herself a bath. There is a knock at the door and Vera admits Rose. Her Papa mentioned that Vera had been looking for her? Vera wants to apologise for interfering in Rose's affairs. Rose says that it doesn't matter, as she didn't follow Vera's advice. Vera had already surmised this. A difficult decision still weighs heavily on Rose's mind. Vera has guessed the truth about Rose's motives in marrying Julian and now Rose must convince herself that she is doing the right thing. She sounds confident, but her face and demeanor suggests otherwise. Herb is at the pub and seems to have a newfound bounce when Bev drops in for a sandwich on her way to work. He is waiting to catch up with George, Trixie and Babs, but acts quite forward with Bev, so she plays along, asking what his wife would think. Herb announces that he has become "masterful". He notices his friends arrive and races off over to sit with them, insisting that Bev should come over and meet them. It is raining and Julian and Rose are having their picnic in the back seat of Julian's car. She attempts to talk seriously about something concerning her but Julian is on top of the world - he is a real doctor now, and about to get married! - and she gives up. They finish their date with a loving kiss - and picnic items go everywhere! In Flat 5, Maggie is packing the last of her things when Vera arrives with Victor Cameron (Owen Weingott). The atmosphere is strained at first and Vera makes her exit. It is obvious that both Maggie and Victor have been playing around. Victor is keen to try to rescue their relationship and Maggie, after due consideration, agrees that she is, too. As they prepare to leave, Maggie has one more thing to do and gets out her cheque book. Don is working at the table when Mark enters Flat 4 with Helen. She is pleased to see Don again and greets him warmly. Looking around at the furniture dispassionately, she is glad they are leaving everything behind for their fresh start. A clean slate! Mark and Helen go into the bedroom to check what Helen wants to take with her and there is a knock at the front door. It is Maggie, with Victor waiting behind her on the stairs. Maggie tells Don that she is not good at apologies because she has had no practice. Her feelings for Bruce had knocked all of the reason out of her. Don says that he felt much the same, at first, but not any more. She regrets some of the things she said to him. Maggie thinks that if he could get over Bruce, then so can she. Somewhat shyly, Maggie presents Don with an envelope and begs him to accept it. It is really the only way she knows to make amends. She leaves just as Mark comes out to get another empty carton. He sees Don staring at a cheque for $200. As Maggie and Victor descend the stairs, Chad is coming up the other way. Maggie bids him farewell and announces that she is "shaking the dust of Number 96 off her feet". A slightly intoxicated Herb is also arriving home and walks up with Chad. In the open doorway of Flat 3, Dorrie is wearing her most glamorous outfit. Herb turns a little pale. She smiles graciously at Chad and then greets Herb warmly. "Tea is all ready!" Herb winks at Chad and goes inside. Chad uses his key to open his door and sees Mark there. As Chad enters Flat 4, he notices that Helen is also waiting. She rises and holds out her hand. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
The oft-mentioned Victor is finally portrayed onscreen in this episode by Owen Weingott. In reality, Owen is the father of Paul Weingott, who played Maggie's lover, Bruce.
55. (25/05) Chad is surprised by Helen's changed attitude towards him. While Mark goes to the kitchen to boil the kettle, a composed Helen asks Chad to sit with her. She makes a heartfelt retraction of her past treatment of him. Chad wants no apologies but she insists. Her strict, sheltered upbringing meant that she never really matured and her recent counselling sessions have opened her eyes. "No wonder people often despise me, or treat me like a spoiled schoolgirl!" Later that evening, Rose and Julian return to an empty Flat 2. As Rose prepares coffee, Julian is full of plans for their marriage, especially now that his parents have approved of their match. Aldo and Roma arrive home from their open-air band concert in the park. It was rained-out, as was Rose and Julian's picnic. Julian tells them of his promotion to house surgeon and they congratulate him. Next morning, Don makes an early start on gathering his belongings for the move down to Flat 4. When he goes back into his bedroom, Bev gets very emotional because she can't accept that Don is moving away from her. Janie has refrained from commenting, remembering her previous row with Bev over her wanting to "change" Don. Bev admits that she had finally coerced Don to sleep with her - Janie had already guessed - and she was now trying to be philosophical. Janie was right; Don was never going to change in the way Bev wants. Janie thinks that Don's move to Flat 4 may help. He won't be in such proximity. At the Eastwoods' flat, the loungeroom is stacked with moving boxes. Mark needs to head to work, but he has a friend calling by with a taxi-truck to collect everything. Helen will also be helping. Chad needs to leave for work, too, but Don will be studying here today and is willing to be on hand to see everything off. Don arrives with suitcases of his own. He will probably be making trips up and down the stairwell all day. Aldo is behind the counter of the deli and Rose brings him a coffee. She hopes he will be okay with her going out for lunch with Julian today and, of course, Papa approves. Frau Gemma Strauss enters and, as she selects various items, enquires after Mrs Lubinski's health. She still wants to meet Roma and invites Aldo to bring her over for a meal soon. Aldo is sure that Roma would be delighted. The taxi-truck is packed, so Helen drops into the deli to say goodbye to Aldo. He is pleased to see her looking so well. Suddenly Helen comes face-to-face with Rose, but Helen doesn't turn a hair. She is extremely pleasant. Helen has heard of Rose's good news and wishes her all the best for her wedding. In Flat 6, Don has piled up the last of his clothes. Bev has prepared a light lunch and pleads with Don to stay and eat with her. He puts the clothes down and they start with a drink together. It is a sort-of-farewell meal, even though he'll only be living downstairs. At their favourite restaurant, Julian mentions that his new job means night shift work - he won't see Rose again for a whole 24 hours. Hesistantly, Rose starts to tell Julian the story of the attack by Cliff's gang, just as Aldo had urged her to do, but she stops short from telling the truth about the baby. Julian is touched that she trusts him with her traumatic experience. He wants revenge on Cliff but Rose assures him that the whole gang has been arrested and will get stiff sentences. Julian is glad that they can start their married life with no secrets from each other. Roma drops into the deli on her way home from shopping in town. Mark also comes in; he is doing the rounds of the building to say goodbye to all the residents and Aldo wishes him much happiness. Janie also rushes in. She has just had a costume-fitting for her new play as rehearsals start next week. Mark is glad she has returned to acting, as she is such a talent. Mark enquires after Rose and Aldo calls her through from the back. She and Mark say goodbye and wish each other well. In Flat 4, Don and Chad are trying to work out if they have enough of everything. Don is still unpacking his belongings when Mark drops in to check if he left anything behind. Yes, his electric razor was still in the bathroom. He will be heading off to join Helen in their new flat. Looking around, he is reminded that this flat was never a happy one for him and Helen but he hopes it will be different for Don and Chad. He makes his final farewell and departs. Rose suggests that Aldo take Mrs Lubinski through to the parlour. Just then, Claude Strauss enters the deli. His wife forgot to buy the sausage he wanted this morning. Aldo is delighted to introduce him to Roma. Claude is charming towards her, hoping she has fully recovered from her 'flu. He understands that Gemma has invited her to dinner the night after next. While Aldo wraps up the German sausage, Roma murmurs, "That will be very nice..." Claude leaves and Roma asks Aldo if she can sit down in his parlour. Aldo thinks that she is feeling faint after her bout of 'flu and urges Rose to mind the shop so he can check on her. Now sitting comfortably, Roma mentions that it was a such a shock seeing Claude Strauss's face again. "Again?" asks Aldo. She knew him in the past, a part of her life that she has tried to forget. Roma and her parents were Russian Jewish prisoners of the Germans in Buchenwald. She is convinced that Claude was the chief extermination officer of the Geheime Staatspolizei, who had ordered her parents to the gas chamber. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
In the original synopsis, Johnny Whyte jokes that for Helen's apology scene, they "might have to engage Greer Garson to dub in the dialogue" but the aim was for the writer to show Helen as a "completely sincere, genuine and changed young woman".
56. (26/05) Roma insists that Claude is a wanted man but Aldo is sure she is wrong. Roma asks, "Could you ever forget a man's face in such circumstances, Mr Godolfus? That man still haunts my dreams at night." Aldo is in disbelief. He has had many discussions with Claude about his days with the Austrian Freedom Fighters. Roma insists that Strauss is a wanted man. "Our people in Israel have been searching for him for nearly 30 years." In Flat 8, the Sutcliffes are barely speaking to each other. Lucy tries to break the ice by reading aloud a letter from "our Jim". In it, their eldest son announces that Mr Chester has appointed him Junior Partner and everything is going well for them in Perth. He wants to know what his parents have decided to do about England. Alf claims that his mind is made up: he is returning home even though Lucy is not. Sonia and Gordon are back to a happy living arrangement and Gordon approaches the subject of marriage. Sonia wants to delay it to allow a respectful period after Sylvia's death. There is no need to pretend any more. Gordon's eldest son, Kit, has been staying with friends since the funeral. Both he and Martin, the younger son, will be well looked after financially, once probate goes through on Sylvia's estate. She left the family home and all of her private savings to the boys. Kit plans to attend university and is waiting for a place. In Flat 3, Dorrie is in a good mood and doing the washing up! Herb mentions that he plans to "attend to some business" later in the day but Dorrie seems uncharacteristically disinterested in his doings. Although this concerns him, he still intends to take full advantage. In the laundrette, Sonia, Vera and Lucy catch each other up on news. Sonia has a huge wash to do; in all the recent turmoil, no one was doing laundry. She is pleased that the Sylvia saga is finally over. When the topic turns to Alf's plans, Vera and Sonia encourage Lucy to do her own thing. She resolves that she will not be returning to England. Dorrie goes down to the deli to collect her special order: the makings of Herb's favourite dinner. Rose can't find a parcel put aside for her, but Aldo is due soon. He had to go over to Mrs Lubinski's to discuss something important. Before Dorrie can pry into this "serious business", Jessie Blanchard arrives with more gossip on Herb. He has been seen, once again, with two "ladies of the evening". When Dorrie tries to explain that her husband has recently gone into business, Jessie decides that Herb is probably "running a House of Ill Fame". Vera is on the phone in Flat 7, organising a dinner date with Peter Harvey. She is interrupted by Rose; her father has relieved her in shop because she covered for him earlier. Rose is upset and worried. She has fallen deeply in love with Julian but now regrets not mentioning the baby. She realises she can't fool him into thinking the baby is his. Vera recommends telling Julian anyway. Love will triumph over all! Rose fears losing him completely. Remembering that Gordon was once a doctor, she calls him on the phone and asks him to come up. Mechanical difficulties on Alf's truck means that he has the day off and he finds Herb in the pub. Alf tells him all about the plans for returning to England. He will get his old job back. Failing that, he can always drive trucks just like he was forced to do in Australia. Herb has been drinking with Trixie, George and Babs and they have plans to go out together again this evening. Alf wonders how Dorrie is taking to Herb's new partying ways and, reinforced by a little alcohol, Herb boasts that he has Dorrie "eating out of his hand". Gordon has listened to Rose's story. At first, he thinks that Vera wants him to perform an abortion on Rose but Vera, sensing his discomfort over past experiences with prosecution, says that they are merely seeking a recommendation of where to get the procedure done. He can't suggest anyone, but does Rose realise that she is entitled to a legal abortion because she had been raped? Rose worries that going to court to get such a ruling would attract publicity. Julian would eventually find out. Gordon says that such a case could be heard in a closed court, if Rose requested it. Now Rose confesses that the baby is not a result of the night she was pack-raped and it must be someone else's. Vera, knowing everything about Rose's past, reacts. A confident Herb strolls into Flat 3 at 5.00pm, only to find Dorrie almost back to her former self. She verbally attacks him for his "whore-mongering ways". No wonder he was able to buy her a fur coat with his "dirty money and immoral activities"! Herb decides to come clean and tell Dorrie all about his business dealings with George, but Dorrie refuses to listen. She brings up lots of past history regarding Herb's dismeanours. Dorrie flings the fur coat at him. She refuses to wear anything that has come from "ill-gotten earnings". Vera and Peter are dressed smartly for their dinner date. Peter has been in Melbourne for two weeks and realised how much he has missed her. He managed to pull off a coup through a takeover of another small company, which has greatly pleased his family, particularly his older brother. In fact, this is a favourite restaurant of the Harvey family and, as if to prove it, John Harvey (Ken Goodlet) himself is spotted at another table! He comes over to say that he had expected Peter would want to celebrate his business success with him. Peter says it hadn't occurred to him but introduces Vera. John is polite but cold towards her. Why didn't Peter ring him to say he was back from Melbourne? John heads back to his table and Peter apologies for his brother's abruptness; it's just how older brothers can be. Vera suggests it is sibling rivalry. Peter relates how his father had died, leaving the business to the three sons. Peter has to deal with the domineering older brother and the spoiled, disinterested, younger brother, Michael, who is "a bit of a run-about". It causes Peter much grief. Vera can't see the problem. The business is going well, so Peter is reluctant to make waves, he explains. Vera says, "No business or company - or anything, for that matter - is worth one's happiness." Peter wonders if Vera is prepared to live the way she talks? Later, in Flat 1, Sonia and Gordon are in bed and she asks him why he has been so quiet all evening. He briefly relates the dilemma that Rose has found herself in. Rose is going to have a baby that she doesn't want - and her happiness with Julian is in jeopardy. Gordon is worried what she might do and he wishes he could help her. Sonia is terrified that he means that he is contemplating giving her an abortion himself. She reminds him of his own children, of their future happiness. She sits up in bed and asks Gordon if he would give up everything just to help Rose? He stares at the ceiling and doesn't answer. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
57. (29/05) Don is in turmoil over his exams and his sexuality. Alf's sister, Lily, has written from England to convey bad news about Alf's former boss. Although he puts on a brave front for Lucy, Alf has doubts about returning to his homeland. Aldo and Roma are supposed to have dinner with Claude and Gemma, but Roma is sure she recognises Claude from her past. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
58. (30/05) Gemma pleads with Roma not to report Claude as a war criminal. Herb's bank statement reveals, to his horror, that the money from the sale of the car yard, $8000, has been placed in his and Dorrie's joint account. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
59. (31/05) Herb has to find a way to convince Dorrie that his nest egg was earned in a fair deal, but Dorrie has already given it away - to the vicar and the Senior Citizens' Club. Rose can't go through with the abortion, but will Julian accept another man's baby? [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
60. (1/06) Kit Vansard (Denny Lawrence), organises to have lunch with his father, Gordon, so that an important issue can be raised. Maggie wants Vera to go into business with her. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
61. (2/06) Sonia has decided that, if Kit moves into Flat 1 with his father, she will move out. However, she will continue to work at the pharmacy each day. Alf announces that he has arranged his flight to England. Is the Department of Education really discriminating against Chad? Roma muddles through her first week at the deli. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
62. (5/06) Dorrie seeks the assistance of Mr Calthrop in retrieving Herb's money. Alf will be leaving for England in less than a week, but Lucy has not accepted the fact yet and they continue to hide their true feelings behind petty bickering. Can Herb get Dorrie's coat back from Trixie and Babs? Bev makes a play for Jack while Janie is at a rehearsal. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
63. (6/06) Chad's story hits the headlines. Rose is suffering from morning sickness and asks Gordon for medication. Roma immediately recognises the pills and, realising the truth about Rose's condition, she asks if Aldo has been told. The Tapemeasure, Maggie and Vera's Double Bay clothing salon, begins to take shape. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
"The Tapemeasure" was also the real-life commercial venture of the producer's wife, Nancy Cash.
64. (7/06) The Senior Citizens' Club is making Dorrie an honorary vice-president against her will. She'd rather have her $4000 back and, of course, blames Herb for the entire situation. Bev invites Julian up to her flat for a drink and accidentally drops a bombshell about Rose. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
65. (8/06) Maggie and Vera celebrate with Peter and John Harvey. Janie is concerned about Bev so she makes a phone call to Claire, who comes as quickly as possible. Chad has been offered a university posting in Canberra, but can Don afford to stay on in Flat 4? [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
Originally, the series was not expected to run beyond thirteen weeks, marked by this episode.
66. (9/06) Julian is missing and Rose is confused. Chad reminds Don about Maggie's uncashed cheque, but Don is not interested in "conscience money". Claire attempts to "buy" Don as a husband for her distraught daughter. Kit surprises Sonia with an invitation to a discotheque. Julian confronts Rose about the baby. [Episode written by David Sale.]
67. (12/06) Sonia and Kit arrive home from their night at the disco, giggling and whispering, only to realise that Gordon has been drinking a lot of whisky and gone to bed. Climbing in beside Gordon, Sonia defends her actions and says that Kit is mourning the passing of his mother, Sylvia. Alone on his camp bed in the loungeroom, Kit has the hint of a smile. Alf is all packed and is determined that he is definitely leaving, but Lucy is refusing to believe he'll go through with it. Lucy tries to discourage him from opening the suitcase to get his safety razor out and suggests he use the electric one that Jim gave him. Vera insists she will go to the airport with the Sutcliffes to see Alf off. Roma asks for Vera's help in calming Rose. Julian has found out that Rose is carrying another man's baby. Claire wants to cheer up Bev, so they decide to phone Rod, Bev's brother, in Texas. Gordon tells Vera that an abortion would have resolved Rose's dilemma, a thought that horrifies Sonia. Maggie wants Vera to give the keys for Flat 5 to Dorrie and suggests she could join her business lunch with the Harvey brothers, Peter and John. Both Maggie and Vera are staying away from the salon, so as not to irritate their interior decorator. Alf's battered suitcase bursts open and Lucy wants him to use some of the money in his cigar box to buy a new one. Alf says that she will need that money when she makes the trip to England to join him. Lucy insists she will not be going. Rod has announced to Claire that he intends to marry an American girl. Bev is shocked. When Peter leaves the business meeting, John announces that he has found out about Vera's unsavoury past and tries to warn Maggie about going into business with her. Janie tries to cheer up Bev, who is drowsy after the drugs Claire insisted she take. At the airport, Lucy tries to appear stoic as she and Vera watch Alf depart for his flight to Perth. Claire explains to Jack about her intention to quash Bev's and Rod's mutual, but unhealthy, fixation on each other, by pairing up Bev with young Donald. She believes that Don being the nephew of Sir Arnold Ashton makes him excellent husband material for her daughter. Bev overhears and is distraught. Vera asks Peter to wait in her flat while she consoles Lucy. Ethel and her children are due to move down to Sydney soon. There is so much to do to prepare - but Lucy breaks down, convinced that Alf has gone for good. [Episode written by David Sale.]
68. (13/06) Dorrie and Herb have been asked by Mr Bayswater (Reg Gillam) to clean up Flat 5 so that it is ready for new tenants. Herb explains that he had planned to meet up with George, bluffing that he had to settle up for Dorrie's new fur coat. Dorrie has no intention of letting him go, assuming that Bruce and Maggie left the flat in a terrible state. Chad is packing his bags for his departure to Canberra and enquires about Don's final exams. Don's concentration wasn't good on the day, especially after a bizarre encounter with Claire, who is planning on a marriage of convenience between him and her daughter and bankrolling Don in his own law business. Rose sleeps fitfully, calling out Julian's name, which distressses Aldo. In the laundrette, Don manages to lighten Lucy's state of mind when he explains to Dorrie why he has fifteen pairs of underpants in his washing basket. Law exams will do that to someone! Vera visits Rose. Vera was right after all, but she hates being Mother Confessor, as she has made many mistakes in her own life. Vera makes contact with Julian and pleads with him to sort things out with Rose. Chad and Herb annoy Claire with their silly horseplay while Herb mops the floors of Flat 5. At The Tapemeasure, Maggie thinks that Vera should do something altruistic and unselfish to get Rose and Julian off her mind. Meanwhile, Dorrie is concerned that she is losing her grip on what is happening with the building's tenants: Claire has lodged a noise complaint, Bev is unwell and Chad is leaving! ["Why wasn't she told? It's enough to drive a body beresk!"] Vera tries to help Julian to understand that, although Rose started out using him, she has grown to love him. Dorrie gets rather merry at Chad's farewell gathering and tearfully proclaims him to be the nicest tenant in Number 96, "present company expected" (sic). The party, still singing Auld Lang Syne, transfers down to the deli, where Chad offers his handshake to Vera - and she surprises him with a kiss on the cheek. Lucy is expecting that Alf will ring soon, having arrived at Jim and Noeline's in Perth. Aldo frets over Rose, who has become unresponsive. John threatens Vera about her relationship with Peter. She is of no advantage to the family. If she persists in seeing him, John and the other brother, Michael, will vote Peter off the Board of Directors of their wine company. [Episode written by David Sale.]
69. (14/06) With Sonia off visiting her mother, Gordon invites a lonely Don to have dinner with him and Kit. Vera arrives at Lucy's with a bottle of gin, so they can drown their sorrows together. Alf has safely arrived in Perth but Lucy doubts she could agree with Alf's plans for them both to return to England. Vera is not sure she is cut out for the way that "big business" works. Gordon gives some advice about how Don might handle Bev's fragile state of mind, then leaves to collect Sonia. Don explains that it was Chad who found Sylvia's body and Kit discovers that Chad had once been in love with Sonia. Vera is awoken by a phone call from Peter, who has to fly to Brisbane. She avoids making plans to meet up with him upon his return, claiming to be going out with Lucy. Aldo has been sleeping rough on the "Put-U-Up" bed, letting Rose use his bedroom. He is surprised to see that Rose is already up and dressed. Over breakfast, Kit manages to suggest to Gordon that Sonia might be interested in Chad. Roma is pleased to see Rose looking happier, but Aldo fears it is all a pretence. Claire wants to know if Don has seriously considered her suggestion about Bev. Lucy has a hangover from Vera's gin, but has heard from Ethel about her move to Sydney. Rose gets an invitation to dinner in Flat 7 after Vera is finished at the salon for the day. Don and Bev clear the air a little. He gets her smiling with some funny stories about Claire, who swoops in to make sure that Dr Gott's patient is not getting overtired. Over tea, Roma tells Aldo that she is probably not needed at the deli any more, now that Rose has returned to work. Aldo is gateful for Roma's help. Janie and Gordon meet with Don in Flat 4. Janie's rehearsals for the play are hotting up and she would really like to get her room back, but she is terrified of Claire. Don admits, "Me, too!" Rose tells Vera that her mind is made up: she cannot bring an unloved child into the world. [Episode written by David Sale.]
70. (15/06) Kit arrives at Don's flat to tell Gordon that Sonia is livid: dinner has been ready for over half an hour. Don introduces Kit to Janie. She then excuses herself, as Jack is waiting for her in the car. Over a beer, Kit suggests that he and Don go to see a movie and Don agrees. Jack drops Janie at her hotel. They make plans to go together tomorrow and order Claire to go home. At bedtime, Gordon questions Sonia about her feelings for Chad. He will leave the front door unlocked for Kit but Sonia says that he has his own key. Kit questions Don about the events which led to his mother's death, and how Gordon and Sonia had covered for each other over the missing cyanide pills. Don explains that his only information is second hand from Chad. Dorrie's speech rehearsal for the Mothers' Union is interrupted by a Miss Frobisher (Kay Eklung), wanting to inspect Flat 5. Claire continues to fuss over Bev. Miss Frobisher thinks living at Number 96 will be perfect for her "children" - meaning her nine cats! Dorrie begins emphasising all the faults in the flat. Don tells Roma that he has about six weeks to wait for the results of his exams. Roma mentions that Rose is staying with an old school friend for a few days. Janie and Jack arrive in the deli. He has every confidence that Janie's acting skills will work on Claire. Dorrie tries to tell Mr Bayswater about the nine cats, but makes out to Herb that she actually gave the agent a piece of her mind. She doesn't want any more riff-raff in Number 96; she would prefer a more select tenant like... Mrs Claire Houghton. While Janie chats to Bev, trying to pluck up the courage she needs, Jack succeeds in moving Claire out of Flat 6. He offers her a night, as his guest, at a function being held by Lord and Lady Lumberdale. Janie is relieved. While Sonia is in the bath, Kit takes keys out of Sonia's handbag to investigate the poisons cupboard in Gordon's shop. [Episode written by Tim Purcell.]
71. (16/06) Vera calls in on Lucy, on the way to The Tapemeasure to wrangle a dispute between Maggie and the interior decorator (Daniel Forrester). Aldo tells Herb that he heard Dorrie rehearse her speech on "The Essence of Christian Charity" three times the day before. A delighted Herb has the prospect of a free night. With S.P. bookie winnings of $7.50, he plans to paint the town red and invites Lucy to join him. Vera wants to avoid another encounter with Claire on the stairs, then hears that she has finally returned home to Point Piper. Aldo explains to Vera that Roma is coming in late today and Rose is staying in Hunters Hill, for a restful time at the home of old school friend, Barbara Ballantine, who has "a swimming pool and everything". Vera realises what Rose is up to. Returning to Flat 7, Vera checks the phone book and rings Barbara, who has never heard of a Rose Godolfus. Lucy is surprised and delighted when her daughter, Ethel, rushes into the laundrette. She has travelled down from Newcastle to see her and prepare their new flat, which is quite dirty. She plans to stay overnight. Husband Kevin is at home, minding the children. Vera goes to the hospital to warn Julian of her suspicions. Julian asks Dr Nick Masters to cover the rest of his shift and they race back to Aldo's flat. Aldo finally remembers that Rose had previously visited a doctor on Bulmer Street, after her terrible encounter with "those hoodlums". Julian can get the doctor's name from the Medical Registry. Herb discovers he has won another $3.00 to spend on his night out. Lucy doubts she can come now, with her daughter in town, but Herb encourages her to bring Ethel along. The shady doctor denies ever treating a Miss Godolfus, but hopes that Julian will find Rose soon. Julian suddenly realises that he had not used Rose's first name and begins striking the man to force a full confession. Meanwhile, Rose is alone with her suitcase in a filthy hotel. Ethel tells Lucy about cleaning the flat and enquires after Alf. Lucy assumes he is in England by now. There is a knock at the door; Herb has arrived for their night out. The door to Rose's hotel room bursts open - and Julian and Vera race in, hoping that they are not too late. [Episode written by Tim Purcell.]
72. (19/06) Aldo tells Julian that Rose slept comfortably overnight and that Rose's mother would be proud of Julian. But Rose feels that she cannot go on now, following her ordeal at the seedy abortion clinic. She didn't want to have an abortion for Julian's sake; she believed it was the best thing for the unborn baby and herself. Now she must give up Julian because she has brought him so much unhappiness. Aldo and Roma ignore Dorrie's rant about leasing Flat 5; they need to work out what exactly is happening with Julian, who emerges from the bedroom looking ashen and grim. Janie is worried about her throat holding out for rehearsals. She invites Bev to lunch with her and Jack. Maggie's secretary, Angela, interrupts her work to tell her that a Mr Harvey has arrived to see her. Maggie is on the phone berating a photographer and needs to know which Mr Harvey. It is Peter. Maggie tosses the substandard photos in the dustbin. Peter wonders if Maggie knows why Vera is avoiding him. Dorrie has an encounter with another prospective tenant, a longhaired musician who wants to use the flat to rehearse with his pop group, The Thing. There will be two people staying in each bedroom. Dorrie is horrified and warns that the rent will have to increase by 50%. Maggie tells Vera about the visit from Peter and the threats from his brother, John. In a Spanish coffee bar, Janie's sore throat is getting worse. Bev needs to post her letter to Rod and Jack must prepare for this afternoon's horseraces; he is an S.P. bookmaker and Janie thinks Bev would find it interesting to go with Jack. Angela serves Maggie and John some sherry. Maggie puts John straight about her stance on things and is severing her connection with the Harvey Brothers' group of companies. John leaves and Maggie orders Angela to remove all Harvey wines from the office, smashing her sherry glass against the door. In the deli, Vera hears from Roma that Peter has been up at her flat, looking for her. Amidst Dorrie's latest diatribe about leasing Flat 5, Vera accidentally leaves her purse behind. Vera locates Peter and they discuss their situation on the stairs. Peter wants to come in for a drink. Vera thinks their relationship has been moving too fast. Peter kisses her. Julian decides that he really does love Rose and resolves never to doubt her again. Roma declares that she will fill in as "Mama" and organise the wedding. Aldo breaks out the wine and, when Vera returns for her purse, she is swept up into the excitement, too, and agrees to make Rose's wedding dress. [Episode written by Tim Purcell.]
73. (20/06) Sonia brings a drowsy Kit a cup of tea and teases him for being out so late, three nights in a row. She thinks young people make new friends too carelessly. As a naked Kit climbs out of the camp bed, Sonia disappears back into the kitchen. Dorrie is in a temper after hearing from her friend, Jessie, that Herb has been seen in the company of two prostitutes. "Again?" She won't let Herb defend himself. Janie loses her voice on the eve of her play's dress rehearsal. She buys throat spray and some tablets from Gordon, who also recommends a day of bed rest. Sonia offers to help Janie make her important phone calls later in the day. Dorrie is pleased to show the empty Flat 5 to a Mr Evans-Jones (Colin Croft), a charming stocks and bonds broker. Dorrie is impressed; he doesn't smoke or drink, is unmarried, and his only vice is reading late. Maggie is reprimanding the interior decorator again, when Peter comes into the salon looking for Vera. Maggie questions his motives and he tells her that his relationship with Vera is none of Maggie's "goddamned business". Peter is furious to learn that John has been interfering. Sonia is helping Janie and introduces her to Kim. He reckons that her laryngitis is psychological and charms her with an offer to help with some self-hypnosis. Dorrie says that, as the former property owner and current "conserge", she can guarantee Mr Evans-Jones the lease on the flat. Herb takes a phone call from Mr Bayswater and tries unsuccessfully to interrupt Dorrie. He goes down to see the agent in person. Peter meets up with John for lunch in a smart restaurant. Why is John suddenly meddling in his life again? John thinks that Peter is jeopardising the family name, the business and their social standing, all because of Peter's obvious bad taste in women. The waiter requests that they keep their conversation down a bit. John says that their mother, despite being a 44% stockholder, is content to let John run things. If Peter does not resign, John will find ways to force him out. Peter storms off, leaving John to lunch alone. Sonia tells Gordon that he should be proud of his son. Her interruption causes him to lose count of the pills and he starts over. Has someone has been tampering with the dangerous drugs in the poisons cabinet again? Dorrie hears from Lucy that Jessie has been gossiping again. Dorrie defends Jessie for pointing out Herb's dalliances with "those terrible women". Lucy says that Herb was out with Ethel and herself - and Dorrie owes Herb an apology. Sonia tells a recovering Janie that pills are missing from the chemist shop drug safe and that she and Gordon have the only keys. Jack arrives with flowers for Janie - and lemon juice, honey and Cognac as a throat treatment. He mixes the ingredients but Janie won't try it. Jack sniffs it and knocks it back in one gulp. Dorrie tosses fitfully in bed. She calls out for Herb, but he is not there. She fluffs her hair, puts on perfume and seeks out her husband in the spare bedroom. Herb is sitting up in bed, reading a "girlie" magazine. Dorrie manages an apology and invites him back to their matrimonial bed. Kit smiles as he eavesdrops on Gordon and Sonia arguing. Once again, a quantity of cyanide, the same drug which killed Sylvia, is missing. The culprit would appear to be a resident of the building, but there are only two keys to the poisons cabinet. Does Sonia know the whereabouts of her key at all times? Kit retrieves four capsules from his jacket pocket. [Episode written by Bob Huber.]
74. (21/06) Dorrie emerges from the shower. She has a full day, as Honorary Vice President of the Senior Citizens' bowling club, selecting a tender for the new bowling green. She then has a meeting with Mr Bayswater, to tell him that Mr Evans-Jones is a perfect tenant. Kit is enjoying setting Sonia and Gordon against each other. He mentions to Gordon that a letter has arrived for Sonia. It is postmarked "Goulburn" so "must be from Chad". Gordon's envelope contains tickets to a Pharmaceutical Society convention in Brisbane. He might go, just to get away from the current tensions. While Gordon is in the bathroom shaving, Kit stirs Sonia about the lost pills. Dorrie encounters Ethel on the stairs and suggests that nothing - even Ethel's family moving to Sydney - will cheer up Lucy. "When your husband walks out on you, nothing really makes up for it, does it?" Gordon and Sonia weigh the suspect pills this time, but there is now a full complement. Sonia demands that Gordon not blame her the next time he loses count. Hospital orderly Les Whittaker (Gordon McDougall) and his barmaid wife, Norma (Sheila Kennelly), call into the chemist shop for the keys to inspect Flat 5. Sonia refers them to Dorrie and Herb in Flat 3. Les mentions that he has a passion for patent medicines and home remedies. Julian announces that he has booked the Great Synagogue in the city for their wedding. He has rescheduled shifts at the hospital to allow for a ten-day honeymoon. He really loves Rose, and promises to love the baby as his own. Rose has been flat-hunting. Julian suggests that, after a few hours sleep, he will take Rose to see the last place left on her list. Ethel is jubilant about the idea of living in Sydney and reassures her mother that Alf must just be too busy to send the promised cablegram. The Whittakers are not impressed by Flat 5 and complain that it seems draughty and unhealthy. There is no elevator and no view. They tell Herb they intend to get back their $10 holding deposit from Mr Bayswater. Sonia and Gordon try to mend their rift with a little flirtation. Mr Bayswater tells Dorrie that Herb is "quite a salesman" and has found new tenants for Flat 5. In the laundrette, Herb uses the red-phone to place a bet. Ethel and Lucy tell him they are heading off to inspect the Brinkmans' new flat. Julian and Rose meet Herb in the foyer of Number 96. He can expect an invitation to their wedding. In Flat 3, Dorrie is livid about Herb leasing the flat to the Whittakers without her knowledge. She has opened the wedding invitation. Does this mean they must also buy Rose and Julian a present? She is indignant to discover that Herb already knows about the wedding. "Why wasn't I told?" Julian and Rose are delighted by the flat they have just seen and decide to take it. Kit manages to sow the seeds of dissent again, plunging Sonia and Gordon into another series of petty squabbles. Lucy's depression about Alf's departure worsens when a telephone call from Kevin informs Ethel that he has received an even better promotion at the soft drinks factory. As Area Manager of the Northern Territory, he will be moving the family to Darwin, not Sydney. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
75. (22/06) Roma oversees Rose's wedding arrangements. She is making the cake herself, the one thing she won't leave to the hired caterers. In Flat 7, Roma is fussing that Vera won't have the wedding dress ready on time. Maggie wants Vera to prioritise The Tapemeasure's opening over a neighbour's wedding dress. Seeing Maggie out, she meets a tearful Lucy, returning from seeing off Ethel on the train back to Newcastle. In the deli, Maggie offers to organise a photographer for the wedding and Aldo gives her an invitation. Roma is in a flap and rejects Maggie's generous offer, as she has already booked "Monsieur Vernon, Court Photographer". As she leaves, Maggie retorts, "Vernon Briggs? He couldn't snap a finger." Roma turns on Aldo, demanding to know who is supposed to be organising this wedding. Lucy is feeling very alone, with Vera her only friend left. Janie is distressed over press gossip which praises Beth McCarthy, her understudy in Find Me A Lover. Bev tries to console her but Jack makes things worse when he says that the understudy is very talented, so opening night is in good hands. When he realises his faux pas, he promises to bring in the best throat specialist he can find. Aldo's elder sister, Selma Horowitz (Marion Johns), seems put out not to be involved in Rose's wedding. Aldo is at a loss to explain Roma's role in organising everything. Selma insists that she will handle the cake and Aldo assumes that this will be a good compromise. Mr Thorburn arrives at the laundrette and Lucy informs him that she may need to give notice after all, to join her husband in England. Sir Bernard Corinth, a throat specialist, makes a home visit to Janie. He gives her throat spray and a strong sedative. It will make her sleep for at least 12 hours. Jack wanted Janie to accompany him to a formal dinner, but a reluctant Bev will attend instead. Bev is still embarrassed about the time she tried to seduce Jack. In the midst of preparations for the opening of Vera and Maggie's business venture, Peter promises Maggie that he will get the wine company's account back with her agency. Peter is still keen to have a relationship with Vera. She lies that she is busy tonight attending a dress rehearsal for Janie's play. Roma plans a complete upheaval of all of her wedding arrangements and hopes that Selma will stay out of her way. Jack and Bev drop into the deli, dressed in their finery for their night out. Aldo fails to notice Roma loading her shopping basket with packets of icing sugar for her cake preparation. Vera finds Lucy pondering an aerogram from Alf in England. The weather there has been "champion", the pub hasn't changed, he has caught up with old friends and Lucy's mother, and there have been two job offers already. Vera invites Lucy next door to share a casserole. She leaves to get dinner ready and finds Peter waiting for her. He thought she was at a play rehearsal? They argue about John and Vera wants none of their bitter boardroom wrangling. Vera wants to end the friendship with Peter and never see him again. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
76. (23/06) Sonia and Gordon maintain a reserved politeness to avoid more spats. They discuss wedding presents for Rose ("a toaster, glassware or electric blanket"?) and Gordon's impending Brisbane trip. Kit comes in - he has been ten-pin bowling with Don - and manages to stir the pot again. Kit has noticed Gordon's car has its lights on. As Sonia was the last to use the car, she seems to be at fault. Again, a problem with Sonia's keys? When Gordon goes to attend to the car, Kit and Sonia discuss her husband's moodiness. Kit calls it "middle-age melancholy" and heads back upstairs to Don. Dorrie has not yet forgiven Herb over the Whittakers. She also thinks that Lucy is wasting away to a shadow after Alf's departure. She considers wedding present options ("a toaster, glassware or electric blanket"?). In bed, Gordon is grumbling about the flat battery. Sonia cannot work out how she could have parked the car after dark and not noticed that its lights were still on. Gordon expresses concern about Kit getting too friendly with Don. Sonia rises to Don's defence. Gordon apologises for being irrational and argumentative. Rose and the other residents are looking forward to the wedding. Aldo tells Roma about the couple's plans and she pronounces the wedding cake is one "to make the angels weep". Aldo remembers Selma and is horrified by the impending dilemma. Peter is still furious with John. Maggie is tired of being the "Dear Del" of the business world and assures Peter that Vera is not in love with him. Aldo tries unsuccessfully to talk Selma out of the expensive wedding cake she has already ordered. Meanwhile, Roma has a long list of decorations she needs to finish off the cake she has made. Meanwhile, much to Dorrie's displeasure, the new tenants have already moved into Flat 5: Les and Norma are surrounded by packing cases, mismatched furniture, power tools, a home knitting machine, patented contraptions, do-it-yourself kits and more. Norma can't find the gin bottle. Dorrie fails to impress as a self-exalted "conserge". Norma claims they only took the flat because it was close to her new job at the local pub. Downstairs, Herb is telling Gordon about the Whittakers when Kit arrives home for lunch. Herb thinks Kit is a fine young man. Inside Flat 1, Kit has joined Sonia for a meal of stew. He manages to drop into conversation how much his late mother had cried when his parents split up. John is jealous of his younger brother's charm. It seems that he wants to control Peter's life as he did when they were boys. Gordon is off to the airport by taxi as his car still has a flat battery. Sonia is not against him attending the conference, she just wanted to be told in advance. The Whittakers flat is still a disaster area. Aldo arrives with a large package for Les, which had been mistakenly delivered downstairs. It is the first three volumes of Be Your Own Solicitor, a correspondance course that Les has applied for. Norma points out some of Les's previous mail-order projects scattered around the room. She tells Aldo that she appreciates the deli being so handy. Herb is trying to read before bed but Dorrie keeps droning on about the Whittakers, their soldier son who is serving in Vietnam, and the high cost of wedding presents. Sonia becomes aware of muffled sounds coming from the main room. She dons her negligee and goes out to find Kit, naked under a thin sheet. He is face-down on the camp stretcher, sobbing into the pillow. Sonia tries to soothe him and he attempts to cover for his unmanly behaviour. Kit babbles about how much he had loved his mother and that she had died before Last Rites could be administered. Sonia's heart goes out to him. He becomes a forlorn little boy in her arms. She tells him not to be ashamed and kisses him gently on the cheek. Suddenly, Kit grabs her and kisses her passionately on the mouth with all the strength of a virile young man. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
77. (26/06) It is 7:00am. Lucy prepares to make a cup of tea but finds the canister empty. She goes next door to borrow some tea from Vera, who seems to have been up for a while, still working on Rose's wedding dress. Lucy realises that she misses Alf too much and is making plans to sell up and join him in England. Vera agrees it is probably the wisest choice. Don receives a phone call from Kit, enquiring if he can use the spare room tonight. He will explain later, after his shift at the garage. Bev awakens Janie with a cup of tea and they realise that Janie's voice has returned. Janie is keen to get to today's rehearsals but she is supposed to wait until Sir Bernard gives her the all-clear at 10:00am. Lucy is amazed to see Rose working in the deli on the eve of her wedding. But she is happy and radiant! Don comes in on his way to work. He has tomorrow afternoon off, so will be able to attend the wedding and reception, but has brought her his wedding gift early. Rose unwraps a set of glasses and a water jug. Lucy is dabbing at tears over Alf but covers by saying that weddings always make her cry. Janie is getting ready to leave for her dress rehearsal and quizzes Bev about Grant Morris. He wasn't at the theatre, but Bev spoke briefly with Alan Cotterell (Mark Hashfield), the stage manager. Were they expecting Janie to be there? She has to demonstrate that she is a better actress than that silly Beth McCarthy. Mr Thorburn asks Lucy if she has made a decision about working in the laundrette. She gives her notice from tomorrow and he will start looking for a replacement. Jack arrives at Flat 6 with even more flowers for Janie and a large packing case: a wedding present for Rose and Julian. He knew that Janie had not been shopping, so it is from both of them. He reveals the contents in a shower of shavings. It is a giant, multi-coloured glass cockerel ornament, trimmed with gold-leaf. A bargain at $150! Bev and Janie stare at it, aghast. Bev has not bought her gift yet, but mentions she won't be attending the wedding. She is reticent to explain. Rose is trying on her wedding gown in Vera's flat. She looks beautiful and is happy and laughing. Vera gives her present to Rose. Bev meets Julian on the stairs. He is on his way up to Vera's to see Rose. Bev excuses herself, saying that she is off to buy their wedding present. She explains that, after the terrible thing she did to Julian, she won't be attending the wedding. Julian assures her that no one else knows about their secret - "Forget it ever happened..." - and that she did the right thing. Julian makes her promise that she will attend the wedding. Vera won't let Julian see the bride in her wedding dress, as it's bad luck. He tells them that he is about to collect his parents from the airport. Alan calls in to see Janie. Her throat is fine, and she will be at the public dress rehearsal, but is curious about how Beth had performed. She was "monstrously awful", Alan explains. The showbiz reporter who had given Beth the great news-plug is "having a sordid little affair" with her. Don is making up the spare room for Kit. Lucy visits Flat 4 to explain to Don that she is returning to England to be with Alf. Would he be able to help her sort out their lease on Flat 8, life insurances, and other paperwork? He promises to help where he can but expresses his regret that Lucy is leaving Number 96. Janie is dressed in her coat and scarf, ready to leave for the theatre. She and Bev keep laughing about Jack's big cockerel. Janie asks if she can go halves in the coffee pot and cups that Bev bought today, so she can let Jack give the hideous ornament by himself. Bev wishes Janie good luck for tonight. Lucy is wandering around her flat despondently. Vera calls in, on her way to dine with Maggie to discuss the salon. The wedding dress is finished but there is so much more to do for The Tapemeasure's opening. Vera departs, saying she will see Lucy at the wedding, but Lucy can't get time off while finishing up her notice at the laundrette. Lucy brings out a pile of paperwork from a drawer and starts to sort it all out. There is another knock at the door. It is Alf! "'Ello, love, 'ow 'ave you bin keepin', then?" Lucy bursts into a flood of tears and falls into his arms. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
78. (27/06) Sonia asks Kit to sit for a minute. She knows he has been avoiding her since the incident of the previous night. Kit promises, with a sense of shame that is quite charming, that "it will never happen again". He has arranged to stay upstairs, in Don's spare room. Sonia doesn't think that is necessary and wants them to be adult about the situation. Kit is grateful that Sonia is being so forgiving. Kit suggests they go with Don to the disco. The deli is unrecognisable: Roma has curtained off the shelves of produce. Long, white tablecloths cover the counters to the floor. She brings in two vases of flowers. Aldo questions why they are setting up already but Roma explains that the wedding will be at 2:00pm, the caterers are due at 10:00am, and she has a hair appointment as well. The living room is also transformed. Where Rose usually sleeps, there is a trestle table holding all the wedding gifts, including toasters, glassware, electric blankets and Jack's giant cockerel. Food will be served in the shop and the bar area is set up in the loungeroom. Champagne has been ordered and is sitting in ice in the bathtub. Roma reminds him that they will need more ice tomorrow. Rose will spend the evening at Jenny's and has an overnight case packed. The day of Rose and Julian's wedding has finally arrived, but confusion and chaos reign supreme. Vera knocks on the door to Flat 8. It is opened by Alf, dressed only in Lucy's dressing gown. Vera can't believe her eyes! Dorrie is taking her present downstairs as Aldo arrives at Don's flat, carrying soap and a towel. Can he please use Don's bath, as his own bath is full of ice and champagne? Lucy has gone to the airport to enquire about Alf's lost luggage. He only has the clothes he returned home in. Aldo has arrived to use Vera's bath; Don's water is cold. Alf and Aldo greet each other. Rose is looking for her father and Roma wants to know why Rose isn't at the hairdressers yet. It is 9:15am already! There is a "Coo-ee!" from Aldo's loungeroom; it is Dorrie with Rose's gift. Aldo arrives at Flat 3, still with soap and towel. Can he use Herb's bath? Everyone else's water is cold. Janie tells Bev, for the third time, that the dress rehearsal went well. Bev can't decide what to the wedding. Janie reacts with surprise and is pleased that Bev has decided to attend after all. A delivery man arrives at Flat 2 with the large wedding cake ordered by Selma. Roma throws her hands up in horror. Gordon arrives home, just as Herb is collecting the garbage from Flat 1. Sonia greets Gordon warmly, which surprises him - and Herb lets the garbage bag spill onto the floor. Dorrie barges into her bathroom and finds a naked Aldo in her tub. She screams. Janie is racing to the theatre to debrief about the rehearsal. Jack offers to drive her there to save time. They are waylaid by a conversation with Alf. Vera interrupts the discussion about England to tell Alf that Lucy has his suitcases down at the laundrette. Aldo, now freshly bathed at last, arrives back at Flat 2. Roma demands that he explain two, almost-identical, wedding cakes. Kit is going to mind the pharmacy while Sonia and Gordon go to the wedding. Any urgent prescriptions can be sent to Pearson's, a nearby chemist. Alf and Jack argue about England over a few beers while their partners get dressed. The caterers are setting up the food. Aldo looks dejected over the misunderstanding that resulted in Selma's cake turning up. Julian drops in on his way to the Great Synagogue. His parents are in the car. Roma sends him on his way, lest he see Rose early. Don, Janie, Bev, Dorrie and Herb are waiting for their rides to the city. Gordon can take Sonia and three passengers, now that his car's battery is recharged. He smiles at Sonia. Dorrie is concerned that her hire car service is unreliable. Janie wonders where Jack has gone. They spot Julian coming out of Flat 2 and start cheering. Herb tosses confetti. Dorrie tells him to behave. Alf and Jack are still at the pub. Aldo collects Rose from Vera's and is a very proud Papa. "If only your mother could have seen you today, my darling..." Bev arrives at the pub to drag Jack and Alf out. Jack boasts that "a Mercedes can beat a hired wedding-crock to a synagogue anytime." The Rabbi Norman Goodman (Himself) is finally able to conduct the ceremony and the happy couple become man and wife. Back at the reception, Maggie is introduced to Julian's family, Mr and Mrs Bronislav Myers (Frank Hauser & Lila Warner) and his brother, Joseph Myers (Ira Herson). Jack and Alf continue their debate about England. Roma tells Rose's Aunt Selma that the cake is beautiful. Jack wonders if he should be jealous of Alan. Gordon talks about the conference and he hears about the night at the disco. Dorrie tells the Myers family about the terrible new tenants of Flat 5. Meanwhile, a tipsy Herb keeps tossing confetti. He tells Vera and Alf how nice the Whittakers are. Gordon sees Kit and wonders who is looking after the chemist shop. Kit explains that Aldo asked him over so he simply closed up. Aldo, Alf and Jack each tell a different version of the same joke to the Rabbi. Rose thanks Vera, and later Roma, for all they have done for her. Circulating through the crowds, Julian and Rose meet up. Julian whispers that their ordeal will soon be over and they kiss. Selma tries unsuccessfully to get some gossip from Roma about her background. Don tells Maggie that he cashed her cheque but intends to repay the money. Maggie says that she couldn't care less. Aldo declares this the best day of his life. Alf is going to the laundrette to fetch Lucy. Kit introduces himself to Maggie as "a creature of the night in search of a mature woman". Vera declares she has never been to a Jewish wedding before. Maggie poses with her for photos and boasts about The Tapemeasure to a reporter. Dorrie notices that Bev is missing. Aldo calls for quiet and makes a speech. He starts with his old joke about the Jewish lady having an affair - "So who's doing the catering?" This time it gets big laughs. Jack heads up to Flat 6 and finds a tearful Bev lying on her bed. "Everyone is so happy!" she wails. Jack urges her to compose herself and return with him to the reception. Julian and Rose have changed into travelling clothes, ready for their honeymoon. Their destination is still a secret. As Alf leads the crowd in a rendition of Matchmaker, Matchmaker, the newlyweds kiss their parents and Roma. Herb goes wild with the confetti again! Dorrie swings her handbag at him. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
This episode's script actually had a title, "Is This Going To Be A Wedding!", although it did not appear on screen. Notes from Johnny Whyte in the synopsis suggest that the scriptwriter, Bob Caswell, also served as "Jewish Research Consultant". The episode was planned as "very like doing a film", ie. "all quick, mainly visual stuff - where no scene will run for more than 45 seconds at the most..." between the opening and closing bookend segments. The wedding episode was a ratings-winning event that began a great, almost compulsory, tradition for subsequent Australian soaps to follow. As promotional wedding spin-offs, the cast participated in a mock wedding breakfast, to which many journalists were invited, and the Sutcliffes and the Whittakers also appeared in character on Channel 10's TV game show, "The Marriage Game", with regular host, Gordon Boyd.
Meanwhile, in Canberra at 10.30pm, Episodes #1 and #2 had their television premiere!
79. (28/06) Lucy arrives from her shift at the laundrette to find Alf sprawled on the sofa, snoring. As she makes dinner, she asks Alf to tell her all the details of the wedding - how did Rose look?; was the service beautiful?; what did Vera wear?; etc - but, of course, he noticed none of that. He does recall how much grog was in supply, and Jack's race to the synogogue in his Mercedes. Lucy doubts Alf even gave her a thought, but he produces a paper napkin from his pocket, full of cake crumbs and bits of icing from wedding cake he had tried to save for her. Downstairs, Roma looks sadly at her unused wedding cake and the disarray of Aldo's loungeroom. Aldo talks fondly of the wedding and how Mrs Cameron thought that a photo might appear in the newspaper. They hope to have the shop up and running tomorrow, as normal. At 3:00am, Herb gets himself a glass of water and drops in an Alka-Seltzer. He manages to miss the glass. Dorrie won't admit to a hangover; it is no doubt a "migrant headache". She recalls Herb tossing confetti everywhere and riding piggyback on Jack's shoulders. She asks Herb for an Alka-Seltzer for her glass of water. He manages to miss her glass. Aldo's alarm goes off but he glances at the turmoil around his flat, takes some pills and heads back to bed. Roma has been in the deli since 6:00am and has restored it to order. She moves onto the flat. She encourages Aldo to wash and shave while she works and then they will have breakfast. Aldo is amazed at her energy and efficiency. Kit sees Don on his was to work and suggests they meet later to discuss a business proposition. Don is intrigued. Lucy is also descending the stairs. The boys enquire about Alf and she says he still has his head under the pillow. Over morning coffee, a listless Bev reveals that Jack took her to another party after the wedding. Janie is ecstatic about the positive reception for her play. Jack arrives, looking fresh. He tells Janie of his concern for Bev and Janie shamefully admits that she hadn't noticed. Dorrie barges into the laundrette and catches Herb on the red-phone, talking to his bookie. Herb notices that Bev is feeling a bit down and tries, unsuccessfully, to cheer her up. Dorrie catches him offering to put Bev's flimsy underwear in with their own wash. Aldo is finishing off some champagne for his hangover ("The hair of the dog that bites you...") and Alf explains that his old friends in England now hold important executive jobs. He wants to give up truck driving and find an executive position. Roma mentions that her son, Irving, is now an architect in England. Bev sees Kit knocking at Don's door but, as he won't be home yet, invites him up to her flat for coffee. Jack rings Janie, who is relishing her new dressing room, to organise picking up the premiere night tickets for her play. Alan wants to know if Jack is Janie's regular boyfriend. She laughs; Jack is "just a mate, that's all". Kit tells Bev that he hopes to move in with Don. She asks if he knows that Don is homosexual and Kit wonders about her "middle-aged hangup". Bev is stunned by the generation gap between her and Kit. Dorrie is complaining again about the Whittakers (she still holds Herb responsible!) and Bev's reputation for modelling naked for magazines across the country. Kit explains that his "business proposition" had to do with him moving into Flat 4 with Don. He worries he is causing friction between Gordon and Sonia, and suspects they are keeping a secret from him. It's opening night of Janie's new play but Jack and Bev have failed to show up early to collect their guest tickets. Alan wishes Janie luck. His good-luck kiss unsettles her; it is held a fraction too long. When Jack goes to pick up Bev, who has not been well, he cannot rouse her. Lucy tells him about the hidden spare key above the door frame and he enters Flat 6. Bev is on her bed, unresponsive. A empty bottle of sleeping pills is beside her. Jack cannot detect a pulse. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]
Susan Swinford, the writer of this episode, would later make several guest appearances as Patti Olsen's mother.
80. (29/06) Janie misses her call to get down to the stage for curtain-up. She is worried about Jack and Bev so Alan has their tickets sent around to the box office. Alan tells Janie to "Break a leg!" and "Kill the people!" Bev can't cope with her situation and has taken drastic action. From the hospital's Emergency Department, Jack contacts Dr Gott. He cannot identify the sleeping pills used. He wants Dr Gott to inform Claire - but not to send her rushing to the hospital. Coming home late from a meeting about the forthcoming Senior Citizens' fete, Dorrie had witnessed an ambulance pulling away from Number 96. She orders Herb to go up to Flat 5, to see if the Whittakers know anything. Herb completely forgets his mission and is having a second beer with Les when Dorrie turns up, looking for him. Flat 5 is a shambles and Norma gives one-word answers to Dorrie's prying questions. A theatre critic and two financial backers visit Janie after the show to congratulate her. Don surprises Janie; he had bought his own ticket and thought the play was brilliant. After the last play flopped, Janie was not keen to have the residents of Number 96 attend opening night. Alan turns up with champagne, which Don uncorks. Jack finally appears. When he tells them he has bad news about Bev, Janie assumes he means that Bev hated the play. Gordon admits to Sonia that he had been worried about the reception she would give him upon his return from Brisbane. They don't realise that their petty irritations are a result of Kit's stirring. Dorrie, trying to be helpful, gets Norma out of bed to explain how the building's mail delivery works. Residents are expected to collect their letters from the little boxes in the foyer. She has noticed a letter for the Whittakers from their son, Gary, in Vietnam. It looks like it might be important. Dorrie didn't realise he was a Warrant Officer. She also notes that their flat has not been tidied. Norma again gives one-word answers to all of Dorrie's questions. Norma drags Les out of bed. She serves him a "continental breakfast" of last-night's leftovers. While Les reads the newspaper Dorrie delivered, Norma looks over Gary's letter. She informs Les that they have a new daughter-in-law... and she is an "Eye-talian". Jack has news that Bev regained consciouness an hour ago. Both Janie and Don feel guilty about Bev's attempted suicide. Jack blames himself, too. He had recently turned down her affections. The reviews of Janie's play are mostly positive. Dorrie tells Herb that Norma without makeup looks as bad as her flat. Dorrie will be away all afternoon at the fete. Herb thinks he will have time for the pub, but Dorrie needs him to peel potatoes for dinner. Jack visits Bev and brings chocolates, grapes and flowers. Janie gets him to leave so she can have a heart-to-heart chat with Bev. The joyful wedding was the last straw for her. Bev's life has no meaning! It is Norma's first shift at the pub and Herb fills her in on the past and why Dorrie is so protective of Number 96. (She's not that bad, really, has a heart of gold, and the building is on the site of their marital home.) Don is listening in and smiling. Herb doesn't realise that Don is there until Gordon greets him. Herb realises it is 6.15pm and dashes off to peel the potatoes before Dorrie gets home. Don is curious how Kit could afford to offer to pay board if he moved in permanently. This is the first Gordon has heard of the plan. Don doesn't want to meddle but it seems that Kit feels he is in the way in Gordon's flat. Still in her fete garb of wide-brimmed floral hat and "that" fur coat, Dorrie sips a glass of sweet sherry ("without the olive!") and chats with Les in Flat 5. Les is more free with information than Norma and tells her about Gary, the new wife, and many other details. Sonia is cooking dinner and chats to Gordon about Kit. He has gone out with friends for the evening. Sonia admits that Kit has not mentioned his idea of moving in with Don. Jack tells Janie to pretend that tonight is actually opening night. Just when Janie thinks Jack has matters under control, Bev astounds them all: she wishes Jack had never sought medical help, because she would be better off dead! [Episode written by David Sale.]
The official Cash Harmon synopsis notes that Gary's wife was intended to be Vietnamese. In 1972, no suitable female Asian talent was said to be available, something the writers were keen to correct in late 1979, when casting the TV series, Arcade.
81. (30/06) Roma is concerned about the unused wedding cake and suggests, to save wasting it, they could cut it up into slices and sell them in the deli. A telegram has arrived from Rose and Julian. They are in a posh Maroochydore hotel in Queensland and having a wonderful time. Aldo wants Roma to mind the shop so he can visit Selma and pacify her about the wedding arrangements. Sonia and Kit are laughing about his recount of antics he and his friends got up to the night before. Gordon needs Sonia to work in the pharmacy, then grills Kit about his plan to move out. Kit tells his father that he gets on okay with Sonia but, at almost 18, he is ready to be his "own man". The Sutcliffes are in "second honeymoon" mode. Lucy brings Alf a cup of tea and urges him to start making arrangements for applying to the executive jobs he desires. At the salon, Vera has still not finished the designs for her first collection. She is also confused about Peter's motives. Maggie points out it is more a problem with the Harvey family's company. Sonia is too busy in the shop to have a decent chat with Kit, but she suspects that their kiss is behind his motivation to move into Flat 4. Vera returns home to chat to Lucy. Alf is applying for executive jobs - in fact, right this minute. Meanwhile, Alf is actually at the pub, chatting with his new friend, Les. Although Les has not yet met Bev, he does know that she is a patient at the hospital where he works. Alf attempts to bait Les into an argument, but thinks that Les is "too bloody lazy" to have any enemies. Roma tries to coerce a truckie into buying some wedding cake to go with his corned beef sandwich. He gets angry and says to forget the sandwich. Vera pops in to buy something easy for lunch. She is running behind schedule with her collection and making the wedding dress didn't help. Les comes by, hoping that the early edition of the evening paper has arrived. It hasn't, but Roma introduces Les to Vera and he takes a shine to her. Vera is too busy to come to the pub to meet Norma, but invites Les upstairs for a quick drink while she has her lunch. Meanwhile, Alf is still at the pub, getting drunker, and telling Norma about his plans to take up an executive job. Aldo gets back to the deli. Roma is excited as she has sold her first slice of wedding cake. Selma wanted Aldo to tell her all about Roma and to state his intentions. Roma is also curious to know Aldo's intentions. Les is still in Flat 7 and Vera has failed to get any work done. Les has a split shift today and Vera and Lucy worry that he has probably had too much to drink to return to work. Vera thinks she might have to give up the salon and go back to fortunetelling. Alf staggers in, having failed to go to any appointments. Lucy fears that her life with Alf has returned to normal already. With Sonia off visiting a girlfriend, Gordon tries to establish what happened while he was away. Kit says that Sonia had surprised him, sitting on his bed and stroking his forehead. Gordon suggests that maybe she heard him having a bad dream? Kit declares that Sonia kissed him! [Episode written by David Sale.]
82. (3/07) Claire visits her daughter for the first time since Bev's overdose. She has grandiose plans! Janie hesitates to interfere but, when Claire has left, she reassures a sobbing Bev that Jack will thwart Claire's new mission. Sonia and Gordon's relationship is becoming more and more strained. Their row brings a curious Vera into the pharmacy. Dorrie comes in, too, seeking allergy medicine to help her judging a cat show at the Senior Cits. It seems to Vera that a third party - Kit? - is somehow involved. Gordon is certain that Sonia has changed since Kit came to stay. Vera offers to do what she can to help. At The Tapemeasure, Maggie discusses Peter's resignation from the board of Harvey Brothers and doubts that John has the ability to keep the business expanding. Peter won't give up his shares but promises that the account will be restored to Maggie's agency before he leaves. He intends to take a three-month break at Ozzie and Rita Rheingold's villa in Acapulco, and may take Vera with him - but with no strings attached. Maggie explodes, "Like hell you will!" What would that do to the salon? Dorrie deputises Herb to find out what is going on in the chemist shop. She complains bitterly about the cat show but boasts about her busy schedule and popularity. Janie is putting on her makeup for a matinee performance of her play. She wants Jack to save Bev from Claire's latest scheme. He promises to pick her up after tonight's show and take her to a party. Janie expresses her gratitude with a kiss. Maggie fills in Vera on Peter's situation. Gordon and Herb commiserate about women over a beer. Herb tries to find out about his tiff with Sonia and Gordon riles up. Herb explains that Dorrie put him up to it. Meanwhile, Dorrie is back in the chemist shop. The allergy pills didn't work. She wants a refund and some oil of balsom so she can put it in the kettle and sniff the steam. Jack tries to cheer up Bev, suggesting a trip to Noel and Bunty Watkins' chalet in the Snowy Mountains. Jack and Janie will drive her there. Dorrie is sniffing her balsom steam and Herb arrives home from the pub. Dorrie smells alcohol on his breath but he claims that he had to stay at the pub to gather gossip on the chemists, just like Dorrie had demanded. Gordon wants Sonia's version of "the kiss" incident. He believes that Kit wants to move out because Sonia scares him. Vera meets with John and tells him that he has won his little game and she is getting out of Peter's life. John maintains that Vera is a troublemaker. She knows of Peter's intention to resign, but doesn't want that for him. John boasts that perhaps he does not wish to stop it from happening. [Episode written by David Sale.]
83. (4/07) Aldo prepares the stock order, which Rose usually handles for him. Roma causes him to lose count and he has to start over. Don comes into the deli, on his way to work, and Roma tells him that he needs a wife to keep him properly fed. Kit arrives and again asks Don if he needs a flatmate, explaining that there is too much friction in Flat 1. Don prefers to discuss it later and Roma worries that two young men living together usually means that neither are eating properly. Roma is curious about Kit's situation with Gordon and Sonia. Kit says it is embarrassing and he doesn't feel comfortable sleeping there. Roma doesn't understand. Alf is in a suit and tie, off to secure a job at the trucking company as Despatch Supervisor. Lucy doubts he will get the job but Vera is more positive. However, Vera has doubts about herself. She seems to be the "kiss of death" lately. The troubles with the salon, Maggie, Peter, and the unfinished collection makes her want to take up fortunetelling again. At breakfast, Les is taking stomach pills for an imaginery disorder. Norma is stressing about Gary eventually arriving home with his new wife. Les's laid back attitude is not helping. Lucy arrives to pick up Norma's laundry. She tells Norma that she doesn't mind; she seems to do all the residents' laundry these days. An elderly woman comes into the deli looking for a Mrs Collins. She has heard that Vera is an excellent dressmaker of high repute. Roma tells her that Vera lives on the top floor, but the woman doubts that she can make the climb. She has had a tiring morning. Roma makes the old woman comfortable at the table with some wedding cake and a glass of wine. She tells the woman a convoluted story about Rose's wedding but the woman doesn't seem to care. Kit comes into the laundrette to get a stain out of his work overalls. He sits in singlet and jeans, eating a sandwich, while his overalls are in the drier. Lucy quizzes him about not going home for lunch and he complains that he avoids going there whenever possible - and Sonia is not a very good cook, anyway. Kit is looking forward to starting university. Lucy says she understands the importance of a good education these days, and compares her husband and son as opposing examples. Kit lies that he was planning to study in London, but Gordon refused to let him go. Sonia had argued for him to go, but was she really on his side, because maybe she just wanted him out of the picture? The old woman has finally made it up the stairs to Flat 7 and introduces herself to Vera as Mrs Llewellyn (Enid Lorimer). Vera was recommended by Peter Harvey. Vera explains that she couldn't possibly make a garment for her - for at least three or four weeks. She is curious as to how Mrs Llewellyn knows Peter, because he would know that Vera is simply too busy at the moment. In the pub, Alf and Les have a beer together, and Les is wolfing down a Sargeant's meat pie with tomato sauce. Les relates a particularly gory story about a man who came into Emergency with half his head shot off. Norma tries to assure Alf that the story is probably only half true, but he turns quite green and needs to visit the "Gents". Les recommends his stomach pills. Vera comes into the deli complaining that she seems to have lost her creative flair. Aldo offers her some wine, the inevitable cure for everything! Roma calls out for Aldo; Selma is on the phone. She notices Vera's wine and declares, "Ah, the Special!", and gets Vera some wedding cake to go with it. Don comes in with a shopping list for Roma to fill. He makes the point that his list demonstrates that he eats well, and is in no need of a wife (as Roma had suggested earlier). Don is home early due to a court case between two large companies being thrown out. This reminds Vera of her own troubles with the Harvey brothers. She is increasingly convinced that fortunetelling would be less stressful. At the extraordinary meeting of Harvey Brothers' stockholders, the company secretary, Mr Randolph (Frank Spear), and a Mr Barnes (John Bull) are present, alongside John and the rather sullen Peter. Up for discussion is the integration of two other companies into the business. Mr Barnes wants to talk about Peter's resignation, but John insists that must wait until "Other Business". Norma and Les collect their laundry from Lucy at the laundrette and they meet Alf, who is back from his interview. The trucking company staff laughed at Alf's suit and tie, and suggested that he should return to driving. (He told the bosses to shove their job up their carburettor.) Kit tells Don that he is worried about Sonia and the friction that has been developing. After all, this is probably Gordon's last chance at happiness. Back at the stockholders' meeting, John's attempt to oust Peter, using young Michael's proxy, is thwarted because there is no proxy on record from their mother, Mrs John Churchill Harvey, the primary shareholder. Standing in the doorway is "Mrs Llewellyn". She has come to personally cast her vote. [Episode written by David Sale.]
84. (5/07) Sonia goes upstairs to visit Vera. She has promised Sonia a pattern for a blouse. Kit and Gordon have an opportunity to talk. Is Kit really that upset about his mother's death, as Sonia described? Kit claims that his version is the truth. He thought they agreed not to keep discussing it? Kit is happy to have his meals in Flat 1 but is determined to sleep in Flat 4, to avoid any more nocturnal encounters with Sonia. In Flat 7, Vera and Sonia discuss the troubles with Gordon. Kit is likable, but seems to be fuelling the couple's quarrels. They are interrupted by Peter, who enters with a bottle of champagne. It is time to celebrate the appointment of the new Managing Director of Harvey & Sons - Peter! - following John's resignation. Peter insists that Sonia stay for a drink. The next morning, as Kit is leaving for his shift at the garage, he brings Gordon and Sonia each a cup of tea. It seems that Gordon is inclined to believe Kit's version of the kissing incident over Sonia's. The more she tries to defend herself, the more guilty she sounds. Dorrie harasses Lucy about the Whittakers. Dorrie insists that Norma is sloppy and a common barmaid. Les is lazy and drinks too much, and he fills Herb's head with gory stories from the hospital. Dorrie also wants to know what Alf is up to. (He doesn't seem to have started working yet?) Sonia arrives for work and Gordon is again tense. There seems to be a new problem: the shop was left unlocked all night and they were lucky not to have been burgled. Sonia is confused; she is sure she locked up. Alan has dropped into Janie's for lunch. He expresses his fascination for her and plays with her fingers as they talk. They share a kiss. The new reviews for the play please Janie, but her relationship with Jack is headed for dangerous ground. Maggie approves Vera's latest designs. She is about to ramp up publicity and Vera says the models are booked in for preliminary fittings. Peter arrives to tell Maggie about the changes at Harvey & Sons. Maggie turns down a lunch invitation because she has a date with "a rather delicious young man" she recently met. Vera mentions the new client whom Peter had sent over recently. He is puzzled. By the description, Peter realises that this "Mrs Llewellyn" was his own mother. He doesn't tell Vera. Janie and Alan are naked in bed when Jack's distinctive knock is heard at the front door. Alan nuzzles her and says that if they ignore the knocking, the person will go away. Dorrie sees Jack at Janie's door and wonders why she is not answering. She hasn't seen her leave. Dorrie tries to ask about the incident with Bev and the ambulance, but Jack just says she was taken ill and is now recuperating in the Snowy Mountains. Dorrie tells Jack about the emergency key the girls often hide, but he says he already knows about that. He leaves and Dorrie remains suspicious. The knocking has finally stopped and Alan makes love to Janie. In Flat 7, Vera is trying to get her work done for the salon, but Peter is there, distracting her. They are relaxed together, but she really needs him to go. He takes the hint and is about to go when Lucy pops in, asking if Vera has seen Alf. He was supposed to have an important job interview this afternoon. Lucy fears this his trip home to England has filled his head with grandiose ideas. Jack arrives at Flat 6, where Janie is dressed and ready to head out. He offers to drop her to the theatre, mentioning that he called by earlier. He stuns her by saying that he knows she was "with a dark, young man" and that he "got it from the horse's mouth", meaning Dorrie. Janie brushes it off, saying that Alan had dropped in for a few minutes, to give her the latest press reviews. Jack insists he will collect her tonight after the play, and take her to a party. He sees so little of her these days. Janie feels guilty, tries to get out of the plan, but reluctantly agrees. Gordon is dressed in his wet weather gear. He is off to a Rate-Payers Association meeting. He teases Sonia about her imagined encounter with Kit. She wants the three of them to sit down and thrash it out. Gordon won't hear of it. He is protective over his son. Kit arrives in time to overhear some of their spat and grins. He begins to pack his bag for the move to Don's, but tells Sonia he will be back for meals. When Sonia gets emotional, Kit lets his innocent act slip. He boasts that he won't rest until he has ended Sonia's relationship with his father. He also knows that Gordon will always take his side. [Episode written by David Sale.]
85. (6/07) Alf finally arrives back to Flat 8. His interview was a disaster. Alf is convinced he didn't get the job because he is 49 years old, and an Englishman. Lucy points out that his previous experience as a truck driver doesn't necessarily qualify him as Shipping Manager in a mercantile company. She finally loses her temper with him. Kit is putting away his belongings in Don's spare room. He tells Don that Sonia watches him all the time and it is an eerie feeling. Gordon rings to suggest that Don accompany Kit down for dinner tonight. He initially refuses but eventually agrees. Although inviting Don was Sonia's idea, Gordon wants her to try to be more friendly to Kit during dinner. He feels that her antipathy has driven Kit from his home. Jack visits Janie in her dressing room before the play starts. The big party tonight is at Lady Betsy White's. Janie is sure she will be too tired, and Jack reluctantly accepts her excuse. Then Alan reminds her of the cast party being held tonight at the theatre. The normally "Jolly" Jack hides his disappointment. Alan invites Jack to the party, too, but he explains he has other plans. Sonia is quiet and withdrawn over dinner. Kit keeps trying to draw her into the conversation and Gordon notices that she is not responding. At the cast party, Alan draws Janie away for a kiss. He wants to go back to her place tonight. At breakfast, Kit manages to get Don to contemplate Sonia's behaviour of last night. Maybe Kit was right all along and she has feelings for Kit, or is jealous of him? Kit has organised for an old school-mate and his girlfriend to come over for dinner. Don is scanning spaghetti recipes. He reminds Kit to tell Sonia that he won't be coming down to Flat 1 tonight. Alf is back in his suit and tie for another interview. Lucy still thinks he'd be better off asking for his old job back. Norma chats to Aldo and Alf in the deli. She commiserates about job-hunting in the over-40s age group. She mentions that her lazy husband, Les, has had many jobs in their married life. He is currently wasting his time setting up a HAM radio and forming a Flying Ambulance service. In no time, Alf has abandoned his interview and gone upstairs to Flat 5. He finds Les surrounded by radio parts, speakers, dials, plugs, condensers, etc. He is holding a sheaf of instructions and is trying to assemble the parts. Alf is fully taken in by Les's wild scheme and they decide that being your own boss is better than trying to win a job interview when over 40. Jack's familar door knock has Janie scrambling. She emerges from her bedroom and hides a man's jacket under a sofa cushion before attending to the door. Jack enters, telling her that Bev is still in the Snowy Mountains and feeling much better. Janie admits she has barely had time to think about Bev. Jack expresses his fondness for Janie but has to dash. Janie looks worried and returns to her bedroom but the bed is not occupied. Norma and Don meet up in the deli. Norma is collecting her grocery order and Don is buying ingredients for dinner. Lucy comes in, looking for Vera, but Aldo says she is a busy fashion executive these days and he rarely sees her. Sonia drops in for the newspaper and Don takes the opportunity to thank her for last night's dinner. She notices he has bought enough food to feed an army and he tells her that he is cooking spaghetti for Kit and his friends. Surely Kit mentioned it? Sonia is unimpressed and says that Kit rarely tells her anything. She is cooking one of his favourites, too. Sonia storms off. Don is even more convinced that Sonia has an emotional thing about Kit. Aldo comments that women can be "so possessive". Alan is stroking Janie's back as she applies her makeup in the dressing room. She quizzes him about when he left her flat this morning and he says that he "crept out like an Arab" at 6:00am. Did he leave anything behind? Alan says no, he has his underpants on. Janie produce's a man's tie from her handbag. He suggests she can take it back to the flat and it will give him an excuse to return. Jack's distinctive knock announces his arrival and Alan excuses himself to check the stage and props. Jack does not suspect that there is anything happening with Alan, but he is seeing danger signs that Alan seems very interested in Janie. Jack wants her to know how important she is to him and he proposes marriage. [Episode written by Cole Thompson.]
86. (7/07) Alf is in a good mood: he is up early and singing in the bathtub. He tells Lucy about Les's HAM radio project. She is unconvinced. Is Les planning to get his ambulance helicopter out of a box of Cornflakes? Sonia is still fuming about Kit's non-appearance at dinner last night. Gordon defends him. (Did she always tell her parents about her movements at that young age? He certainly didn't.) Sonia tries to suggest that Kit is deliberately causing friction between them, but Gordon won't hear of it. Kit and Don discuss their successful dinner party last night. Sonia was very agitated in the deli yesterday. Kit maintains that he did tell Sonia that he was not coming down for a meal. Don believes him and warns not to let Sonia smother him. Kit is concerned about the effect Sonia's troubles are having on his father. Lucy delivers Vera's laundry and finds her in a more positive mood. Peter is now running the family business, the salon is almost ready and she is getting on top of her incoming orders. Norma and Lucy are not amused by Les and Alf's latest idea for a business venture and neither are the other residents. The HAM radio is in a bigger mess than it was yesterday. Norma doubts that Les and Alf know what they are doing and she heads off for her shift at the pub. Dorrie is vacuuming her carpet when her Hoover starts going crazy. She rings the Hoover Service Department but the machine seems to have a mind of its own. In the deli, Aldo is having troubles with the till. He cannot get it to open so promises to give Norma her change later on. The shop's lights go down and Norma wonders if Les's HAM radio is affecting the building's electricity supply. Dorrie enters the deli, complaining to Norma about all the hammering coming from Flat 5. Dorrie feels sorry for Aldo due to all the frozen food he will lose if the power keeps going on and off. Aldo begins to panic. He tells Dorrie about the "Devon-Ham radio" and that only makes her more convinced that it is all the Whittakers' fault. Les argues with Alf about which colour wire in an electrical plug is the earth wire. As a furious Dorrie marches up the stairs toward Flat 5, Vera looks over the railing from her landing. The lights keep flickering in her flat and her sewing machine has stopped working. Dorrie pounds on the Whittakers' door. As Les open it, there is a loud explosion behind him - and Les and Dorrie are engulfed in smoke. Dorrie screams. At lunchtime, Vera amuses Peter with her colourful descriptions of the morning's events. Both of them are so busy with work, these days, that they are actually grateful for the fused electricals at Number 96 which permitted them the time to meet up. Gordon is grumbling about the blackout affecting his shop. A customer needs a prescription filled but Gordon can't risk using the cultures that are stored in the fridge. He tries to make Sonia smile. She suggests they go out for dinner, since they can't cook. But what about Kit? Sonia finds it hard to care, since he never informs her of his movements. Gordon is sure he will be back in time. He saw his son at the filling station and Kit made a point to mention being home for dinner, so that Sonia doesn't "make a mistake, like last time". She doesn't want the topic raised with Kit. He will just twist it all against her as he always does. In the deli, Don and Kit enjoy a coffee made by Aldo with water boiled on his spirit stove. They are singing, "Why are we waiting...?" Aldo brings them candles to take upstairs. Kit jokes that Aldo probably fused the lights so he can sell his candles. They laugh but Dorrie, at the counter, is not amused. Her hair is singed and she has sticking plasters on her face. Lucy stops by to find out what has happened but she gets an earful from Dorrie about the events of the past eight hours. Les and Alf, with blackened faces, arrive from upstairs. The workmen have located the fault and it will be repaired in a few hours. ("A few hours...?") Aldo, Lucy and Dorrie vent their anger while Don and Kit are in hysterics. Vera and Peter share a romantic candlelit dinner in her flat before his latest plane trip. Peter boasts that the main reason he became Managing Director of the family company is because Vera impressed "Mrs Llewellyn", the majority shareholder. Vera is baffled. Peter reveals that "Mrs Llewellyn" is... his mother. Rather than feeling flattered, Vera is a little angry. Once again, she has become "a pawn of big business". Gordon, Sonia and Kit eat a cold dinner by candlelight. The lights come on, so at least Sonia can make coffee. Gordon wants to get a discussion going about the family's ongoing friction, despite Sonia's objections. Everything Sonia says makes her sound demented. She leaves the table, sobbing. Kit continues to play innocent and offers to move away altogether. Gordon walks right into the trap and insists that his own son won't be barred from his own home. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
87. (10/07) Dorrie is on the phone to Mr Bayswater, the agent for "Number 96", passing on the complaints from Aldo and the chemists about yesterday's eight-hour power outage. She blames those "hopelessly unsuitable tenants", the Whittakers. Then Dorrie gets an interstate phone call. Jeff and Lois Carter, Dorrie's brother and sister-in-law, have been involved in a serious road accident, so young Georgina will be spending time with Dorrie and Herb. Dorrie hasn't seen her niece since the girl was six years old. Lucy apologises to Aldo, as it was Alf's fault that the deli's freezers were off for so long. Norma is exasperated by Les and Alf's latest scheme. Jack is hoping to hear Janie accept his marriage proposal and wants to take her to lunch, but she has an appointment for a television interview to publicise her show. Roma turns up in Flat 3 to give Dorrie some essential items for a young girl's room. At the pub, Alf tells Jack of his plan to make $20,000 from Les's ham radio by setting up an air ambulance business. Jack is dismissive of the project, due to all the red tape. Alan and Jack seem to be rivals for Janie's affection. While Aldo is at the bank, Roma serves wine - with a slice of discounted wedding cake - as a special deal to a deli customer (Roger Ward). Norma wants the ham radio gear gone but Les admits he already sold it. Norma and Lucy wonder what fool would buy all that junk. Then Lucy catches the self-satisfied smirk on Alf's face. Dorrie sends Herb to collect her niece, "little Georgina", from the railway station, but he encounters an intoxicated "floozy" (Robyn Moase) instead. Meanwhile, a 16-year old hippie-type, with a guitar over her shoulder, turns up at the door of her "Auntie Dee". Georgina Carter (Susannah Piggott) has hitchhiked down from Coffs Harbour with two lorry drivers. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
The official Cash Harmon synopsis notes that Georgina was originally scripted as "Sandra". As the ham radio returns in 1974, it seems that Les lied about selling it. Roger Ward would eventually return as a regular character, Weppo Smith.
88. (11/07) Having escaped the dramas of Flat 1, Don's new flatmate, Kit, chats to him about Sonia's emotional state. Dorrie hasn't slept well; Georgina was playing her records into the wee hours. Herb is sent into the guest bedroom with tea. He whips the sheet off Georgina to rouse her, revealing her sleeping, naked form. He drops Dorrie's best china cup and saucer. Dorrie screams as it smashes, awakening an unconcerned Georgina. Maggie interviews the handsome Simon Carr (John Orcsik), an art director, about publicity work she would like him to do for The Tapemeasure. She invites him to lunch, to meet Vera and Peter. Sonia and Gordon argue about Kit. Sonia claims that his son frightens her. Just then, Kit walks in, in playful mood, borrows some small change from Gordon, and blows Sonia a kiss. Dorrie has gone back to bed but Georgina objects to Herb doing the washing up. She encourages him to go off to the pub or the TAB, instead, then hides all the dirty dishes in the oven. Sonia tries to get Don to side with her about Kit, but Don thinks she is a little jealous. Just before Simon arrives at the restaurant, Peter gets called away, leaving only Vera and Maggie to dine with him. Simon is quite taken by Vera but Maggie is, so far, oblivious. Georgina has prepared lunch in Flat 3, serving Dorrie and Herb some yoghurt, wheatgerm nutburgers, raw parsley, sunflower seeds and two high-protein tablets. Simon really likes Vera's designs, but Maggie has designs on Simon. Dorrie finds the missing dishes in the oven and a smouldering joss-stick in Georgina's room. Kit has met Georgina doing yoga in the stairwell, and insists that Don join them that night to do the rounds of the discos. Later, they bring some hippy-types (including Rory O'Donaghue) back with them. Vera and Maggie's business venture is up and running, so Vera turns to organising her private life. She invites Peter upstairs for a nightcap and he asks to stay the night. A noisy impromptu party in Flat 4 gets Dorrie's attention. She thought Don had reformed after Bruce's departure, but will blame the Whittakers anyway. Georgina welcomes Auntie Dee to the gathering. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
89. (12/07) Don apologises to Aldo for the nocturnal noise and suggests he will try to keep Kit and Georgina apart. Norma worries about eviction after Les's latest antics. Jack surprises Janie with a phone call. He and Bev are heading to Number 96 now, so Janie must hurry a naked Alan out of her bedroom. A depressed Alf is job hunting again. Aldo is thrilled to hear that Rose and Julian are back from their honeymoon. Bev is looking refreshed after her stay with Bunty and Noel Watkins, Jack's friends. She wants to know if Janie accepted Jack's marriage proposal. Ever since Rose's wedding, Roma has been helping Aldo to run the deli, but now she unwittingly jeopardises both the business and Aldo himself. The licensing inspector again pretends to be a returning customer, buying another cake and wine special from Roma, then returns with a police constable. Roma is taken away to be charged. Don tells her she will have to confess to Aldo. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
90. (13/07) Gordon's suspicions are aroused that Kit is playing mind games with Sonia. Norma tries to plead her case with Dorrie, but Georgina has invaded Herb's bathroom routine to take a shower. Georgina then makes a naked dash for her bedroom, leaving Herb in a panic. Maggie drops into The Tapemeasure to borrow Vera's flat key. She plans to take Simon there. Vera disapproves but Maggie reminds Vera of her interest in Peter. Vera then lets slip that Peter stayed the night. Bev tells an apprehensive Jack that Janie has yet to make up her mind; she agrees to accompany him to the race track and he rallies a little. Maggie and Simon share a shower after a tryst in Vera's bed. Simon has a meeting in Melbourne. Maggie returns the key and gloats about her new conquest. Dorrie won't let Georgina live in filth. Vera opens the front door in her negligee to see Simon there, supposedly in search of a lost cigarette lighter. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
91. (14/07) Roma needs to talk with Don about her court appearance and offers to visit later, to show him "how to prepare the casserole". Aldo is puzzled, but offers Don some wine, sending Roma into a tizz. Simon reschedules his Melbourne flight to free up the whole night. Vera worries that going to dinner might jeopardise her working relationship with Maggie. Gordon mulls over the situation between Kit and Sonia. She has tried to get along with Kit, but a marriage certificate won't resolve the invisible barrier between her and Gordon. Kit has discovered a soul-mate in Dorrie's niece, Georgina, but they have lost her to a saxophonist at the party. Jack drops Bev and Kit home at 1.00am and they noisily enter Don's flat. A new understanding is flourishing between Don and Bev, and she is no longer suicidal. Kit asks Sonia how things are going "in the love nest"; he can tell the answer is "Not well" and that he has already won. Peter's suspicions about Vera are aroused when he passes Simon on the stairs late at night. Don hears the whole story of the deli making wine available. Aldo is determined to stick by Roma but Don warns that Aldo's trading licence might get revoked. [Episode written by Ann Hall.]
92. (17/07) Lucy tells Alf that she cannot support them both with only one wage, but he won't go back to his old boss. Georgina is proving to be uncontrollable, so Dorrie is "ardamant" that Herb take over. He talks to Georgina and she expresses a dramatic change of heart, but all is not as it seems. Aldo puts a sign on the door of the deli, "CLOSED - GONE TO COURT", and Dorrie demands to know the full facts. "Why wasn't I told?", she asks. Norma encourages Lucy to ask Alf's boss to give his job back. Roma gets so flustered giving evidence that she manages to incriminate everyone. Alf would rather scrub floors rather than ask Bob Gerrold (Bob Lee) for his old job back. Aldo extolls Roma's best qualities to the Magistrate (John Rayner), and brings up her traumatic childhood in a concentration camp, and how she organised Rose's wedding. "We are both equally guilty. Arrest us together!", he pleads, as Don sinks into his chair. Lucy rings Bob to organise an appointment. Aldo and Roma return; Roma was fined only $20, and Aldo wants to thank Don - with wine and wedding cake! Herb tells Dorrie he thinks that Georgina has joined a responsible Youth Group attached to the church. The feisty Bob refuses Lucy's plea for him to ring Alf about the job. Lucy breaks down in tears. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
93. (18/07) While watching a TV news report about a student riot, Dorrie and Herb recognise Georgina getting arrested and being put into a police van. Alf has an elaborate success story to tell Lucy after his phone call from Bob. Only then does he wonder why Lucy is back so late from the laundrette. Thanks to Don, Roma and Aldo's day in court has turned out well. Now Don is being drawn into the problems between Gordon, Sonia and Kit. Dorrie asks Mr Calthrop, her solicitor, what they can do about Georgina's arrest. Dorrie thinks it might do her niece some good is she spends time in prison. Dorrie has a meeting in the morning, as Vice President of the Senior Citizens' Bowling Club, to select a new team for a tournament. Kit tells Don that his university course starts next week, but his stay in Flat 4 will be determined by what happens downstairs in his father's flat. Herb casually asks Don where the Magistrate's office is located. Bev has an interview about a hostess job with Ansett Airlines, so Janie organises another visit from Alan. Lucy tells Dorrie that she recognised Georgina getting arrested on TV. Jack is aghast that Bev is going for her job via a personnel manager. He dials Sir Reg [Ansett]'s secretary, introduces himself and asks to be put straight through. In the pharmacy, Gordon tosses Kit the bundle of keys to the poisons cupboard and asks him to get some him some Pethidine. Gordon notices that Kit selects the correct key easily, and chooses the jar of Pethidine tablets without hesitation. Dorrie arrives home from her meeting, relishing the silence without Georgina. Suddenly, loud music blasts from the spare bedroom - and Herb admits that he felt sorry for the girl and paid her fine. Bev returns from her successful interview and, while she makes coffee, Jack asks to use the phone. They assume Janie had taken it into her bedroom earlier that day. Jack opens the door to find Janie and Alan naked in bed. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
94. (19/07) Maggie, Vera and Simon inspect the now-completed salon. Maggie tries to get some time alone with Simon, but he is seemingly more interested in Vera, and the advertising campaign. Herb finds a note from Georgina that says, "Sorry Auntie Dee, but life is for living." Bev is unhappy with Janie's treatment of Jack. Simon turns up at Vera's flat. She tries to make him leave but Maggie rings about a problem with an unavailable model and a dress that needs alteration. Les and Norma receive a visit from their son's Army Welfare officer. Major Dunston (Frank Ward) informs them that their daughter-in-law, Anna Maria, will soon be arriving to stay with them, prior to Gary being demobbed from Singapore in five weeks. Most of Georgina's new student friends gave false addresses to the police, making it hard for Herb to track her down. During an argument, Janie says that Bev still being a virgin would mean that she doesn't understand what it means to be loved by a man. Maggie is in a bad mood over Simon and it plays on Vera's conscience. Army Welfare warns the Whittakers that Gary's wife speaks little English, and Norma knows that some Australians are intolerant of mixed marriages. Bev offers Jack a shoulder to cry on. Janie tells Dorrie that she saw Georgina going into Flat 4 with Kit. Simon arrives at The Tapemeasure with new letterhead designs and asks Vera to go out with him, not realising there is a model (Leonora Vawn) nearby, getting changed, and Maggie is in the back room. He turns down Maggie's invitation blaming prior commitments. Simon leaves and Maggie tells Vera if she hadn't wasted time on Rose's wedding dress, the salon would be ready in time for the grand opening. Vera expresses concern about continuing to work with Maggie. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
The official Cash Harmon synopsis notes that the Italian, Anna Maria, was originally scripted as "Kerima", of Vietnamese descent.
95. (20/07) Jack is appreciative of Bev's caring attitude. She is grateful to Jack for helping her when she was in need. Roma receives a letter containing happy news from her son, Irving, who is in England. However, the letter's contents do not please Aldo. Irving wants Roma to visit him and she is realising just how much Aldo relies on her. Gordon tells Sonia he now suspects Kit is responsible for all the pranks, for which Sonia had been blamed. Don finds Georgina half-naked on the couch and wants to know when she's going home. She assumes he means returning to Coffs Harbour, but Don means Flat 3, next door. Maggie urges Vera to get back to work. Gordon orders Kit back to the chemist shop for a talk, but Kit has to report to the petrol station for his shift. Bev and Alan discuss sex - and his resolve that he "will be around for some time". Maggie notices a new gown in the salon and castigates Vera for wasting more time on outside projects, but this one is for Maggie to wear to the opening. Don arrives home with a case of domestic champagne. He has passed his university exams with Honours and invites Bev and Janie to a party. Janie has to be at the theatre, but Bev will invite Jack. The party is in full swing. Many of Don's fellow residents drop in. At the function, Gordon mentions that Kit missed the appointment they had set up. Aldo tells Roma that he needs her more than Irving does. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
96. (21/07) Gordon's worries are brought out into the open. He is stunned by Kit's reaction. Sonia says that Kit's attitude towards her were out of his love for Gordon. Gordon is unconvinced. The next morning, Lucy shakes Alf awake, who is nursing a big hangover from Don's party. He races out the door for work, only to return when he realises his shift is not until 10.00pm. Kit and Georgina clean up after the party until Gordon arrives for that chat, the one that Kit keeps avoiding. Norma tells Lucy about Gary's wife. At The Tapemeasure, rehearsals go badly. The song Lovely to Look At is playing, totally at odds with Maggie's frazzled and frustrated appearance, cranky comments, and the three models' comical catwalk errors. Kit is starting his studies on Monday and offers Georgina the use of his room if he moves into university accommodation. Peter cannot make the opening of the salon but suggests dinner with Vera and Maggie afterwards. Ron Fraser (Himself) comperes a fashion parade at The Tapemeasure. Norma is informed that Anna Maria will be arriving early. Maggie's husband, Victor, is overseas in Europe, so Maggie is especially happy to be with Simon. When Maggie introduces him to Peter, they recognise each other from that night on the staircase at Number 96. Maggie wants to talk Harvey & Sons' business with Peter, leaving Simon an opportunity to dance with Vera. Kit blames Gordon for the death of his mother, Sylvia. Sonia tries to be the voice of reason as the two argue. When a tearful Kit runs from the flat, Sonia urges Gordon to go after him. Gordon just stares, appalled. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
With the word "Snap!", the official Cash Harmon synopsis notes that this episode is actually "#96".
97. (24/07) Maggie is anxious to get Simon into bed after their double date with Peter and Vera, but Simon wants them all to continue the party at a nightclub. Don tells Gordon that Kit has moved out. Bev starts her training as an air hostess, while Janie and Jack reach an understanding. Aldo is sure he has convinced Roma not to leave, but she changes her mind again after running into a friend while out shopping. [Episode written by Mike Harris.]
The official Cash Harmon synopsis notes that "Sandra" is now Georgina. It also describes the recurring character of Miss Manson, Vera's "right hand at The Tapemeasure". She is "more your smart Susan Hayward but (unlike Susan Hayward) only gets two lines per episode."
98. (25/07) Georgina's discovery of The Church of the Enlightened is responsible for her inner peace. Norma consigns her husband's junk to the cellar in preparation for Anna Maria's arrival, but he quickly retrieves it. Vera receives a letter from her solicitor: Harry wants his conjugal rights restored, or a divorce, but her shock dissipates when she sees Lucy. Roma has plans to join Irving in England and has arranged for business student Arnold Feather (Jeff Kevin) to meet with Aldo. [Episode written by Bob Huber.]
99. (26/07) Don confuses Dorrie about Georgina's involvement with "Harry Krisher". When Gordon hears that Kit is in the building with Don, he rushes upstairs to see him. However, his son's news will devastate Gordon. [Episode written by David Sale.]
100. (27/07) Lucy now believes her chest pain was caused by indigestion. Norma's exercise routine is a source of annoyance for Dorrie. Don's spare room may soon be occupied by a work colleague, which disappoints Les, who wanted to store his junk there. Lucy is horrified when Alf agrees to help Les with a similar arrangement. Simon is the focus of Maggie's scheming, but he won't cooperate because he has his own plans... to marry Vera. [Episode written by David Sale.]
101. (28/07) Aldo feels like an assistant in his own shop. Dorrie meets Aquarius, Georgina's Krishna high priest. Something about Don's prospective flatmate's manner unsettles him but, while awaiting an answer, Don receives an unexpected phone call which brings tragic news to overshadow everything else. [Episode written by David Sale.]
102. (31/07) The news about Don's parents' plane crash causes Roma to fret about her own trip. The Army notifies the Whittakers about their daughter-in-law's imminent arrival. Norma leaves all the arrangements to Les so, of course, trouble soon follows. Gordon tries to propose to Sonia, but they are interrupted. He is considering re-registering as a doctor. [Episode written by David Sale.]
103. (1/08) Jack and Bev are aware that they have been using their friendship to help themselves through their respective problems, but now Bev wonders about Jack's real intentions. Anna Maria (Rosalba Verrucci) mistakes Dorrie for her mother-in-law. [Episode written by David Sale.]
104. (2/08) Alan tells Janie that he has found a financial backer for their film. Norma worries that Anna Maria doesn't feel at home, but Les gets along with her easily. Arnold wants Aldo to move out of Flat 2 so the shop can be enlarged and refitted. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
105. (3/08) Alf advises Aldo to "pop the question" to keep Roma from leaving the country. Simon is still trying to woo Vera, but she is worried about how Maggie will react to the situation. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
106. (4/08) Dorrie decides that not only does the pharmacy need an assistant, but that Georgina would be perfect for the job. Maggie accuses Vera of stealing Simon away from her. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
107. (7/08) Arnold's credit card system causes havoc in the deli. Don has returned from his parents' funeral, but soon everyone's attention is distracted by more trouble with Lucy. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
108. (8/08) The time is finally right, so Sonia and Gordon tie the knot, but they have opted for a small, quiet ceremony in the registry office. Vera realises she has no hope of raising the money needed to buy out Maggie. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
109. (9/08) Maggie is out for revenge on Vera; the more Simon pleads for her to reconsider her intentions, the more determined Maggie becomes. Janie and Alan speculate about the exciting future of Cotterell Productions. Anna Maria's cooking threatens to ruin Norma's figure. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
110. (10/08) Don tells the Vansards that his air hostess sister, Carol, plans to move into his spare room soon. Lucy fears how she will fare in her operation; if the the lump in her breast is cancerous, the doctor may have to perform a mastectomy. How will Alf react? Les tells Herb about a scheme involving inflatable plastic women. Dorrie is pleased to be able to introduce her niece to young Arnold - and is delighted when he asks Georgina for a date. Don confronts Mike Parsons (Patrick Ward) about the hints he's been dropping at work. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
111. (11/08) Alan confirms the news about the plans for the theatre to be pulled down. Les and Herb struggle to hide their inflatable friend from their wives. Bev is thrilled by the success of her first big challenge at work, but Jack reminds her of other, more personal challenges... her virginity and fear of being frigid! [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
112. (14/08) Alf is very worried about Lucy and everyone at Number 96 is concerned for them both. Vera goes with Alf to visit his wife in the hospital when the pathology result comes through... and the lump is pronounced benign. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
I was 13 when the show first started and 8.30pm was our bedtime. Because of "Number 96". Jeremy Cordeaux said so. (He was the Channel TEN studio commentator who introduced the premiere episodes.) On this particular night, though, my mother hadn't noticed that we were still in the room. This episode opens with a bed scene, a repeat of the previous week's cliffhanger. Abigail's Bev Houghton was telling Tom Oliver's Jack Sellars that she didn't "want to be a virgin anymore" - and Mum suddenly announced, "Okay boys, time for bed!" Subtle. :)
113. (15/08) Norma is pleased that her daughter-in-law has met some old friends from Italy. However, when one of them arrives to take Anna Maria out, Norma worries about the possibilities. Gordon once more tries to bring things out into the open. Georgina brings out Arnold's dormant sexual impulses. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
114. (16/08) Les does not approve of Norma's dietary supper of soya bean sprouts and brown rice, while Norma is concerned about Anna Maria's late hours. Georgina and Arnold's evening has a surprise ending when Dorrie and Herb arrive home. Janie intrudes on Bev and Jack's privacy. Maggie seems poised to have her own way, destroying Vera's career in the process, but Peter decides that it's time he lent a hand. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
115. (17/08) Alan is depressed after his meeting with the theatre management. Ralph Finlayson (Max Cullen) arrives at Don's flat drunk and the two brothers argue about missed opportunities. Anna Maria has moved out of the Whittaker's to stay with friends. Ralph has designs on Vera and Don warns him off. Ralph is supposed to be a married man. Aldo becomes increasingly depressed by the imminent departure of Roma to England, until a telegram arrives from her son. Mike tries to blackmail Don at work. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
116. (18/08) Ralph wonders why Don doesn't have a girlfriend, with all the beautiful girls to choose from at Number 96. Irving has won a fellowship to study architecture in the United States for at least six months, so Roma must postpone her trip. Herb is horrified when Dorrie needs money from their joint account, but Alf saves the day. Alan is unemployed and soon to be homeless and Janie tries to calm him. Don faces a dilemma when Mike barges into his flat, making demands and accusations, only to be ejected roughly by Ralph. How will Ralph process the news that his brother is a homosexual? [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
117. (21/08) Herb has been put in charge of looking after Georgina while Dorrie is visiting Georgina's recuperating parents; everything is under control, but perhaps it's just the calm before the storm. Lucy is anxious to get back to work, but Alf doesn't approve. Mike continues to harass Don at work, but Ralph disagrees with Gordon and Sonia's advice that Don face Mr Willoughby Sr (Gerry Duggan) and admit the truth. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
118. (22/08) Georgina has her heart set on an evening out, but Herb and Arnold insist that she join them in a game of Twister. Another sale is notched up for Inflatable Ladies Inc. Worrying rumours are circulating despite the success of Janie's play. Alan is still after Jack to help him obtain financial backing for his film and Janie hears the news that she and Bev have been fearing. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
119. (23/08) Aldo castigates Arnold for his tardiness, but he is actually in a flap about Rose and Julian coming for dinner. Gordon warns Ralph that it is his attitude which prevents Don from confiding in him. Les invites Anna Maria to visit, but Norma doesn't want her doing any cooking. Ralph confides in Vera about his failed marriage to Ruth. Don is getting deeper into trouble, so Ralph decides to solve Don's problems without his knowledge. [Episode written by Tim Purcell.]
120. (24/08) Vera calls an end to her relationship with Peter. Jack admits he was unable to get the money for Janie and Alan's film, but their dejection is overshadowed by the discovery made in Vera's flat: a kinky prowler has made his first strike. [Episode written by P. McClean.]
The cast and the media quickly nicknamed this villain "The Knicker Snipper".
121. (25/08) Don fears the worst when Mike's actions lead to a confrontation with Mr Willoughby, but it is Mike who gets himself fired. Alf thinks that Harry is responsible for what happened to Vera's undergarments. Gordon tries to educate Arnold about women. Alf has organised a meeting of his work colleagues regarding their unroadworthy trucks. Norma fears that the vice squad will be after Les and Herb, who still have three inflatable ladies to hide before Dorrie returns. [Episode written by Marcia Hatfield.]
122. (28/08) Arnold and Georgina attempt a serious discussion about their relationship. Les thinks Norma's dizzy spell was brought about by her diet, but could it also be the worry of Gary's impending arrival? Dorrie returns from Queensland and encounters evidence of Herb's latest shady business dealings, but Georgina's discovery in her laundry basket is sure to divert everyone's attention. Georgina tells Sonia she suspects that Arnold is the Prowler. Anna Maria calls from Queensland and Norma pleads with her to get back before Gary does. A visitor to Flat 1 shocks the Vansards. [Episode written by Bob Ellis.]
123. (29/08) Kit's malicious stories about his mother's death and Gordon and Sonia's subsequent marriage have reached the ears of Daphne Bryant (Shirley Cameron) in England. Daphne is Sylvia's identical twin sister. Alan is intruding on Bev and Jack's privacy and Bev complains to Janie. Alan has organised an outback tour for the Arts Council, which will mean employment for both him and Janie. Vera is annoyed when Daphne brings up Sylvia's death. Bev asks Jack to make love to her, but she can't go through with it. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]
The Gordon/Sonia/Daphne plotline was novelised for the 1973 Arkon paperback, "The Perfect Victim". (The book featured no actors from the series on the cover.) The official Cash Harmon character notes originally list Daphne's surname as "Ryan".
124. (30/08) Rose and Julian's dinner with Aldo and Roma is interrupted by a phone call. Alf has organised a strike meeting without the backing of the union. Gary Whittaker (Michael Ferguson) arrives home and his parents, Les and Norma, have some explaining to do because Gary's wife is nowhere to be found. Another drama is brewing in Flat 2 when a depressed Rose pays Aldo and Roma a visit. Bev and Jack convince her to come to a party, but no-one realises that Julian has cancelled his night shift to take Rose to dinner. [Episode written by Bob Huber.]
125. (31/08) Vera tells Janie and Bev that Georgina still blames Arnold for the incident with her undergarments, but Alan believes the motive was sexual gratification. Ralph is still convinced that Don can find women attractive. Daphne refuses to believe the truth about her sister's suicide. She continues to question the buildings' residents, and even Mark Eastwood. The Arts Council seem to approve of Janie's talent. Rose believes that Julian cannot accept her baby. Daphne drops a bombshell on Gordon and Sonia: she wants the police to re-open the investigation. [Episode written by Mike Harris.]
126. (1/09) Dorrie wonders where Georgina's underwear has gone, but she doesn't get to the truth. Alf's boss, Bob, threatens him to get his colleagues, Barry Deprose (John Armstrong) and Joe Mason (Peter Colville), back to work. Anna Maria is making an effort to get along with her in-laws, but despite Gary's help and understanding, the situation is still difficult. Georgina is unaware that the Prowler is hiding under her bed. [Episode written by Mike Harris.]
127. (4/09) Ralph still won't believe he's been black-banned as a wharfie by the union. Georgina is positive someone was in the flat while she was showering, so she tells Dorrie and Herb about the incident with her underwear. Arnold is jealous of Don, who seems to have caught Georgina's attentions. Alan suggests that the residents set up a vigilante group to catch the Prowler. [Episode written by Mike Harris.]
128. (5/09) Maggie has told Daphne that Vera knew all about Gordon and Sonia's row over the killing of Sylvia. Rose is unwell following her latest misunderstanding with Julian. Bev discovers that she has become the latest victim of the Prowler. [Episode written by Tim Purcell.]
129. (6/09) Daphne's investigation is not proving to be very successful, but her lack of success has not curbed her vindictiveness towards Gordon and Sonia. [Episode written by David Sale.]
130. (7/09) Gary and Anna Maria decide that they need a flat of their own. [Episode written by David Sale.]
131. (8/09) With the onset of premature labour, Rose is back in the hospital. Julian's fears are about to be realised. [Episode written by David Sale.]
132. (11/09) Alf takes Les and Herb's advice about forming his own business, but Lucy fears Alf's desire to get even with Bob will affect his decisions. [Episode written by David Sale.]
133. (12/09) Vera sees a mysterious young man, possibly the unknown Prowler, lurking in the stairwell. When she returns with the others, he is gone. [Episode written by David Sale.]
The young man will eventually be revealed as Danny Morrison, portrayed by Gregory Ross.
134. (13/09) Les wants to utilise the basement cellar of Number 96 for his latest business venture, but Georgina doesn't want it to happen. [Episode written by T. Agar.]
135. (14/09) Arnold stumbles across Georgina's secret in the cellar: a young man named Danny Morrison (Gregory Ross) is hiding there. Arnold realises that he can use this information - Danny is a Vietnam War draft resister - to get his way with her. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
136. (15/09) Gordon wants to practice as a doctor again, so he has applied to the court to have his name restored to the medical register. An unknown young woman makes a serious accusation about him. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
137. (18/09) Janie is upset. Alan's job, as the stage manager of the travelling company they have joined, has fallen through, so Janie goes to the theatre to attempt to get out of her contract. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
138. (19/09) Lucy's doctor wants her to take a break by visiting her daughter in Darwin and Alf agrees that it is a good idea, but can they afford it? [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
139. (20/09) Georgina and Herb finally tell Dorrie about the mysterious Danny. A policeman (David Williams) arrives at Number 96 to inspect the cellar and, against Dorrie's better judgment, she becomes involved in the situation. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]
The repeat of this episode, screened on 22/08/74 in Sydney, was the last in the 1.30 pm timeslot.
140. (21/09) The knicker-snipping prowler has been quiet for some time, so Georgina has other things on her mind when she rushes into Flat 3. Hearing a strange noise, she calls for Jack, who catches the perpetrator in the act. [Episode written by Ann Hall.]
Daytime repeats recommenced, two episodes at a time, from 16/09/74 at 11.00 am.
141. (22/09) Jack is shocked to learn the identity of the Prowler: it was Alan all along. Anne Spencer (Lynda Keane) has made serious accusations against Gordon; he thinks that the police will have to act, even though the evidence is circumstantial. Alan blames his kinky crimes on unemployment - and Janie's refusal to have a sexual relationship with him. Georgina apologises to Arnold, while Ralph seduces Vera. A plan to have classical music piped into the deli goes awry. Sonia visits Vera to have her fortune read; Vera goes into a strange trance, later shrugging it off as tiredness. Janie makes her final farewells but is interrupted by Detective Sergeant Symons (Tony Wager). He has a warrant for Gordon's arrest for performing an illegal abortion. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
The Gordon/Sonia/Anne plotline was novelised for the 1973 Arkon paperback, "The Perfect Victim". (The book featured no actors from the series on the cover.)
142. (25/09) Ralph has not yet told Don about Ruth's letter, so he must endure Don's criticisms about him romancing Vera. Sonia visits Don to tell him that Gordon has been arrested and formally charged for performing an abortion. Don has had no luck finding Anne. Vera cooks a meal for Alf, who's so tired from building up his own business, as well as working for Bob, that he falls asleep before he can eat. Next morning, Norma tells Les she has been ill all night and thinks she's suffering the change of life. Sonia suggests she see her doctor. Arnold and Roma are ready for their first day of serving luncheons in the deli - signage reads "Three courses for $1.50" - but Aldo is dubious about success. Arnold is perturbed when Aldo wants to give Alf the first meal "on the house". An argument ensues and Alf wanders out hungry. Gordon and Don are back, but Sonia is stuck behind the shop counter because Georgina is late for her shift again. Ralph, Les and Alf agree to start a petition about the rising rents at Number 96. Aldo feels left out because Arnold and Roma seem to have a success on their hands, but lots of washing up. Alf wants to buy some pep pills from Gordon. Don confronts again Anne to get to the truth and her story perplexes him. Norma is doing pelvic floor exercises and Les assumes she is on a slimming kick again. Instead, she announces that she is pregnant. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
143. (26/09) Dorrie is furious with Herb and Georgina: why wasn't she told about Alan? Bev tells Jack that she is preparing to meet a prospective new flatmate, Karen Winters (Toni Lamond). Georgina smuggles food down to the cellar. She is worried about Danny the draft dodger giving himself up. Arnold may soon be a prospective draft resister, too, and Georgina is delighted. Herb is late for dinner and Dorrie's anger increases when she hears that he has been celebrating with the Whittakers and partaking of champagne. Bev and Karen, a receptionist for a hypnotherapist, seem to hit it off. Dorrie assumes the Whittakers will be moving to more suitable lodgings. To Dorrie's amazement, Norma herself confirms the news of her pregnancy in the deli. Arnold tries to stop Norma going down to the cellar. Jack and Karen pretend like they are meeting for the first time. While Bev is getting dressed for dinner, Jack tells Karen, "I told you I'll fix it." [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
The Bev/Jack/Karen plotline was novelised for the 1973 Arkon paperback, "The Grip of Evil". (The book featured no actors from the series on the cover.)
144. (27/09) Norma wants to use the cellar for storage, so Arnold and Georgina must find new lodgings for Danny. Gordon, out on bail, suspects that Daphne is behind his current problems. Danny hides out in Georgina's room. Don tells Ralph that he didn't really run from Ruth, he ran from his business because he wasn't strong enough to cope. Vera says she enjoys reading fortunes more than designing dresses. Aldo explains to Vera that Rose has recovered quickly after the loss of her baby, but that she and Julian will soon be moving to New Guinea. Ralph wonders if Vera can read his fortune and Gordon mentions that Sonia told him about Vera once going into a trance. Dorrie brings matters to a head; she won't stand for Danny staying in a young woman's bedroom. Don and Anne have a dinner and theatre date, but she remains suspicious about his motives. Aldo is already anticipating the loss of Rose to New Guinea but Roma suggests that, soon, Arnold can mind the deli so Aldo can travel to her, and then to visit Roma and Irving in London. Dorrie is aghast that Danny spent the night in Georgina's room. When she looks for him, the window is open and there is no trace of him. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
145. (28/09) Bev is confident that Don can help Gordon, just as he did with Roma, but Sonia has her doubts. Danny has disappeared without a trace. Georgina blames Dorrie and Herb agrees. Alf teases Norma about who is the father of her baby. Still working two jobs, Alf has promised Lucy he will resign from his position in Bob's business. He will soon be able to pay Jack back for Lucy's airfare to Darwin to visit Ethel, Kevin and their children. Jack and Vera realise that Alf seems to have no intention of quitting. They express concern about his use of pep pills, especially when mixed with alcohol. Les has cleared out the spare room to create a nursery. Dorrie arrives and witnesses the mess, supposedly to soon be moved to the cellar. She then notices Karen arriving with suitcases and demands to know who she is. Karen is curious about Vera's talents as a fortuneteller. Alf wants Dorrie and Herb to sin his petition about rent rises and Dorrie refuses, as it doesn't concern them. She reads an article about Danny getting arrested. Karen hears the gossip about the prowler's arrest, and Janie moving out. She wants to know why Bev and Jack are not an item. Alf has been poaching customers from Bob's business. Karen wants to know about Vera and her fortunetelling. Bev notices Karen and Jack getting along famously. Alf gets fired by Bob. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]
146. (29/09) Don wants Sonia to meet Anne, but warns Gordon to stay away from her. Alf lies to Lucy on the phone about his current predicament. While washing the breakfast things, Karen mentions Bev's beautiful body and assumes that men must appreciate it. Bev admits to having some problems but won't discuss them. Don loses his temper with Vera over Ralph's love life. Arnold has to attend his medical appointment for the army. Karen is keen to have Vera tell her fortune. Aldo goes to see off Rose and Julian, returning to find that Roma's luncheon crowd has encroached into his living room. Anne is very convincing as she tells her story to Sonia. She claims to know Gordon via a friend who had visited him at his previous surgery location in Wimpole Terrace. Vera doubts Ralph's sincerity, and Anne doubts Don's. Karen thinks Vera would be a good medium. Sonia talks to Gordon but he gets angry. Bev and Karen seem to be getting along very well - she chases off an aggressive client who forced himself into Bev's room. Bev is grateful, but is Karen all that she seems? Don and Anne share a kiss. Karen sneaks into Bev's room and watches her sleep. She caresses Bev's head, kisses her cheek and moves down her neck. [Episode written by Tim Purcell.]
147. (2/10) Les promises to print some business cards for Alf's new business. It seems that Bev is unaware of Karen's display of affection the previous night. Karen explain's her boss's hypnotherapy services. It is suited to mental hangups, not for physical ailments. Arnold impresses Georgina with the news that he failed his medical. Jack is keen to spend money he has not made yet; a racing punter has put $1000 at 100 to 1 on a real outsider. Hypnotherapist Vernon Saville (Alastair Duncan) quizzes Karen about Vera's "suitability". Despite Aldo's apprehensions, Arnold and Roma's lunches are selling well in the deli. Major Stephan Duval (Kenneth Laird), a charismatic old friend of Roma's, walks back into her life. Les and Alf make a mess printing business cards and posters in Flat 5. Arnold is searching for new lodgings. Georgina suggests her Auntie Dee might agree to putting an extra bed in her room. Aldo and Roma discuss Stephan over the lunch dishes. Vernon gives Jack some unusual post-hypnotic suggestions; he awakens, refreshed, and gives his $1000 to Vernon. Vernon wants to more about Bev, the girl that Jack is so hung up on. Karen tells him that Bev is a virgin. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
148. (3/10) Gordon cannot understand how Anne intends to perjure herself in court, since he knows he is innocent. Don promises to keep working on her to get to the truth. Les realises that he never received his cut from Herb's inflatable sex dolls venture. If Herb has invested all of the profits into Alf's new business, that means that Les has a share of it, too. Georgina tries to find accommodation for Arnold. Norma doesn't think Flat 8 is a possibility; although Alf needs the money a boarder would bring in, he and Arnold would kill each other in a couple of days. Neither can she imagine him living with Dorrie. Les tries to do everything for a seedy Norma, but he can't find anything he needs in the kitchen, so she has to take over. Georgina's parents have returned home to Coffs Harbour, so her stay at Number 96 will soon end. Sonia is not pleased, since she will need to find another assistant for the pharmacy - and just what is Gordon up to? Don and Anne share another intimate moment over lunch. Les starts pestering Norma about when she will give up work. Dorrie makes preparations for the opening of the Senior Citizens' bowling green. While memorising her speech, she notices her new bowling uniform needs altering; perhaps Vera can assist? Dorrie argues with Norma over Alf's petition. Gordon attacks Anne - and is dragged away by Don. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
149. (4/10) Jack gets himself into some serious business difficulties with the underworld after a horse race was fixed; his only supporters are the tenants of Number 96. Bev offers to move into Karen's room so Jack can hide out in their flat. Don tries to pacify a shaken Anne - "He's not content with butchering me, he has to beat me up as well...?". Gordon is distraught. Sonia is convinced that Daphne has coerced Anne, but they are sure Daphne is in London. Bev asks Don and Ralph if Jack can stay with them. Ralph is uncomfortable about Jack sharing Don's room and offers to put a spare bed in his own room. Bev asks, "What's wrong with the couch?" Don tells Gordon he is lucky not be be up on an assault charge. Bev suggests that Vernon's hypnotherapy could cure Vera of smoking. Over the phone, the Rheingolds say they are unwilling to help Jack with money. Roma and Stephan reminisce as Aldo is run off his feet in the deli. Ralph is angered when Vera compares him to Harry Collins. Roma is unaware that Aldo is affected by Stephan's interest in her. Gordon loses his temper with Don over Anne's flawless story; Don has no choice but to drop the case. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
150. (5/10) Bev tells Karen that no one is to know where Jack is staying. Karen will set up an appointment for Vera to see Vernon. Back from Melbourne with a regular commitment for trucking loads, Alf can't believe the support he is receiving from Les and Herb. Jack continues to hide out in Flat 4. Meanwhile, Ralph's wife calls from Tamworth; his young son is ill and he must fly up there. Ralph thinks it is a ruse. Vera demands to know why Don has dropped Gordon's case. Dorrie wants Herb's name taken off Alf's petition; Mr Bayswater, the agent for Number 96, tears it up. Ralph's father-in-law offers money to help with the failing farm. Don tells Ralph that he is attracted to Anne. Several residents vouch for Arnold as a suitable boarder for the Sutcliffes. Don professes his love for Anne and feels he is slowly winning her confidence. Ralph is departing for the airport - Don is to drive him. Ralph wants Don to "give up being queer and settle down with a nice broad", to which Don repliers that he has already found a girl. Mr Bayswater visits Dorrie and Herb to announce that, due to a loophole the new owners of Number 96 have found, they are all being evicted. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
This recurring eviction plotline would also be the driving force behind the notorious bomb blast in 1975 as well as the lead-up to the final episode in 1977.
151. (6/10) Vera asks Sonia and Gordon's advice about seeing Vernon, Karen's hypnotherapist boss. Gordon questions Vera's loyalty, but Sonia still has faith in him. Dorrie gets melodramatic about their forthcoming eviction. Lucy is due home in a few days but Karen is puzzled when Alf makes a pass at her. Vera says that Alf is committed to his wife but thinks of himself as a Casanova. Karen says that Vernon can see Vera at 7.30pm, as he has an hour-long group therapy session from 5.30pm. Dorrie is inconsolable. Alf reluctantly accepts Arnold as a boarder. He tells him that each bath will be an extra 20 cents. Roma breaks a concert date with Aldo to attend a reunion organised by Stephan. Gordon is told that Don's law firm bosses won't represent Gordon unless he pleads guilty. Aldo boasts to Stephan of his plan for an exclusive restaurant called Roma's Place. Under hypnosis, Vera reveals the truth about her trances and visions. She is told she will feel very ill anytime she tries to smoke a cigarette. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
152. (9/10) Don promises to look into Dorrie and Herb's legal problems. Jack says he feels like a prisoner in Flat 4 and he storms out into the night. Arnold makes tea using his watch as a timer, much to Alf's bemusement. Bev is keen to meet Vernon and Karen suggests that she could bring him home for lunch one day. Georgina wants Arnold to claim her virginity before she leaves Sydney, but they find it difficult to be alone. Jack has sold his Mercedes and has made plans to sell his house. Alf will get a surprise to see Lucy back early from her Darwin holiday, but not quite the same effect as poor Arnold's encounter with her... in the bathroom. Karen grills Bev about her relationship with Jack, but it makes Bev uncomfortable. Jack's underworld contacts have linked him with Bev. Flo Patterson (Bunney Brooke), from the bowling club, sees Dorrie at the laundrette, commiserates about the eviction threat and offers to preside over the grand opening. Alf catches Arnold in a state of undress, and then Georgina, after another failed attempt to get together in Flat 8. [Episode written by David Sale.]
The official Cash Harmon character notes originally list Flo Patterson as Flo "Sugden".
153. (10/10) Roma questions Aldo about his plans for Roma's Palace and thinks he is overcompensating because of Stephan. Les argues against Alf throwing Arnold out as a boarder, since $3 of Arnold's $10 board money is Les's share in Alf's business. Norma thinks Les is pushing his luck. Gordon considers jumping bail. Roma wonders what happened to Aldo's plan to do deliveries on a bicycle. A "needless expense"? But a bike would be cheaper than a restaurant. Roma succeeds in convincing Aldo to make friends with Stephan. Les takes Stephan to the pub for lunch and explains his new brainstorm: he plans to print profound poetry on toilet paper to help people concentrate. Alf gets Stephan taking about the British army instead, but Norma is suspicious and thinks that Stephan is too pompous. Anne coldly refuses Gordon's plea to retract her evidence. Alf and Les have the printing press running in the spare room. Aldo cooks a special meal for three, but when he hears the major's news about his restaurant in England, in the Kings Road, Chelsea, Roma announces that Irving lives nearby - Roma and Stephan could travel back together? Aldo suddenly regrets being so friendly. [Episode written by David Sale.]
154. (11/10) As a result of Jack's money problems, both Bev and Don are placed in danger. Bev has been seen at the track in Jack's company, but perhaps the crank caller was bluffing. They all agree to take precautions. Aldo is puzzled about Roma's priorities. She wants to open a local restaurant, putting Aldo in charge, but also wants to travel to England with Stephan. Vera asks Don if he has been able to find a loophole in the Evans' contract. Arnold has a man-to-man chat with an amused Don, who explains that his flat is not available for sex. Georgina arranges with Bev to use Flat 6 to be alone with Arnold; Bev is having a lunch for Vernon and Karen, so maybe after they have left? It is imperative that Georgina loses her virginity before returning home to Coffs Harbour. Bev gives her the key. Vernon is curious if Bev has ever been hypnotised. Stephan has some ideas on how the deli could combat the threat of the new supermarket opening nearby. Arnold impresses him with his good business sense and success on the stock market, turning $1000 into $126,000 and 36 cents. Vera joins Bev, Karen and Vernon for lunch and, after Bev has left for work, Vernon puts Vera back under hypnosis with a snap of his fingers. He gives her a subliminal command to smoke a cigarette that night, and to enjoy it, encouraging her to return to his office for more treatments. Jack worries that staying with Don will attract trouble. Aldo's attempts to gauge Stephan's intentions toward Roma continue to fail. Karen reassures Vernon that Bev is a virgin, but he thinks she is too sensuous. She promises to find out for sure. Later, Karen returns to her flat, to fetch her handbag, just in time to catch Arnold and Georgina in her bed. Georgina is despondent and tells Vera that love is "for the full wrinklies" and that the "now generation" has "just got to be free". Two underworld hoods catch up with Bev. [Episode written by David Sale.]
155. (12/10) Jack's disappearance alerts Don to check in on Bev and his timely arrival sends the hoods running. Les has finished printing his toilet rolls with their morale-lifting poetry. Norma reads aloud a dirty limerick and says, "That's not very moral." Les tries unsuccessfully to find a good one. Norma thinks it's hilarious. Karen tends to Bev's injured face, while Don expresses concern about Jack's safety. Dorrie and Herb are both required to attend the meeting to resolve their legal problems, but it is to be held on the same day as the bowling green opening. Karen drops into Vera's flat for a card reading and witnesses her smoke a cigarette. Vera enjoys it and Karen has a look of satisfaction. Don's involvement with Anne has meant that he must tread warily with Gordon and Sonia. Nevertheless, an ugly scene develops. Herb is in the pub, worried about possible eviction from Flat 3. He introduces Flo to Norma and Les, and they immediately hit it off. Karen gets Bev to admit her problem with relating to men. Bev recalls how she grew so close to her brother; their deep feelings after witnessing their mother's fear, and the nightly screaming matches before Mr Houghton left. Karen asks about incest and Bev breaks down, denying it. Karen consoles Bev, stroking her head and giving her a more-than-comforting kiss. Don gives Anne a key to his flat; she agrees to get dinner started before he gets home, but she doesn't want to run into the Vansards. Dorrie is in the pub, reluctantly, to ask Flo to fill in for her at the opening of the bowling green. Sonia is surprised that the hypnotherapy has not resolved Vera's smoking habit. When Vera lets slip that Anne is up in Flat 4, Sonia makes an excuse to leave the shop. Anne opens the door to Sonia, who starts pleading Gordon's case. Don arrives, asking why Sonia wants Anne to perjure herself. Sonia accuses Don of not being loyal to Gordon. Gordon arrives and Sonia races into his arms, telling him to protest his innocence. Don orders him to leave and Gordon calls Don a turncoat. Dorrie interrupts a physical altercation. When the Vansards leave, Dorrie explains she has cleared her way to attend the meeting about the eviction, but is suddenly more interested in Don's situation with a tearful Anne. After Vera falls into another trance, Karen offers her a lit cigarette and suggests that a new appointment to see Vernon. [Episode written by David Sale.]
156. (13/10) Gordon is resigned to a defeat in court. Everyone is so sure he is guilty. He wants to sell the chemist shop and flee. Aldo and Roma dance at The Blue Danube restaurant. They return to their table to sit with Stephan. Aldo is too tired to dance again, so Roma accepts Stephan's offer, while Aldo downs a glass of wine as if it was water. The Sutcliffes row about Alf's working hours, pep pills, and lack of sleep. Back at Flat 2, Aldo insists on a nightcap. Stephan and Roma have to struggle to get a stewed Aldo undressed and into bed, then they share a goodnight kiss. Georgina says her goodbyes to Arnold, who slips her what appears to be a book on business management. Hidden under its dust jacket is the Kama Sutra. As they begin to interpret the pictures together, Dorrie arrives home. Arnold gets up from the floor, grabs his book and makes a hasty retreat. Georgina goes off to pack and Dorrie attempts to train Flo in the art of public speaking in preparation for the grand opening. Aldo wakes up at 10.30am with a hangover. Roma teases him that he must ask Stephan about his intentions, and then Stephan can tell her. Dorrie offers her speech to Flo, but Flo prefers her own and Herb infuriates Dorrie by applauding Flo's effort. Georgina says goodbye to the Vansards and Gordon tells Sonia that he has made up his mind: he can't wait for the business to be sold and intends to leave. Dorrie is impressed by the charming Stephan. Aldo again tries to ask Stephan about his intentions, who claims to be not interested in marriage. Lucy asks if Arnold will miss Georgina and he tries to hide his feelings. He offers to check Alf's business records to see if he can advise on ways to increase efficiency. Sonia is still loyal to Gordon. Georgina invites Arnold to visit her in Coffs Harbour but warns him she will have lost her virginity by then. A taxi arrives to take Herb, Dorrie and Georgina to the station. Dorrie is determined there will be no hitchhiking. Arnold is looking very lost as they depart. Gordon is also leaving. He tells Sonia that, if she sells the shop, she can join him in exile. Just then, a uniformed police officer knocks on the door and hands him an envelope. [Episode written by David Sale.]
157. (16/10) Gordon's problems worsen, but a visit to the pub leads to a meeting with Anna Maria, who could provide one solution. A patient (Noel Brophy) causes trouble for Matron (Patti Crocker) at Les's hospital.
In a bid to catch up with Sydney, Melbourne began airing episodes back-to-back. This episode was screened with the previous one. Noel Brophy would later return as Claude Tuffnell. Patti Crocker would later return as a regular character, Eileen Chester.
158. (17/10) Lucy and Vera worry that Alf is still pushing himself too hard. He is relying on pills to keep himself awake. Lucy fears the worst when a phone call about Alf comes from the hospital.
159. (18/10) Karen succeeds in persuading Bev to visit Vernon for treatment. Bev hopes it will solve her problem, but feels very uneasy. Vera tries to reassure her about the benefits of her treatment. But for whom will it be most beneficial?
Daytime repeats in Sydney were being reevaluated, probably due to the controversial storyline from this episode. TV Times gave the next week's repeat timeslot, from 27/09/74 on, as "to be announced".
160. (19/10) After the Evans' party for the other tenants, Dorrie feels unwell. Perhaps the punch, concocted by Les, Herb and Alf, was to blame? Meanwhile, Jack Sellars' reappearance makes Bev feel on top of the world.
161. (20/10) When an unsuspecting Vera feels ill, Karen recommends that she visit Vernon again. However, he has an ulterior motive for wanting Vera in his office. Disaster is looming.
162. (23/10) Don hurries to Number 96 to tell Sonia that he has finally discovered the truth about Gordon from Anne, but he may be too late.
163. (24/10) Things are still not happy between Gary and Anna Maria, but Les and Norma don't realise the extent of the problem.
164. (25/10) Jack is concerned about the effect of Vernon's treatment on Bev and confronts her. Matters are brought to a head, but Bev is still in danger.
165. (26/10) Aldo is still depressed, but is now also suspicious, about Stephan's attentions to Roma.
166. (27/10) Lucy and Arnold worry about Vera's dazed condition. She hasn't been looking after herself properly, but the reason behind it is too bizarre for anyone to guess.
167. (30/10) Julia Cornich (Jenee Welsh) is writing an article on pensioners and Dorrie and Herb hoodwink her into basing it on them. When Julia moves in, Dorrie's deception proves difficult to keep up.
168. (31/10) An old friend of Bruce Taylor's requests help from Don. Lending assistance is possible, but will Don be treading on dangerous ground to do so?
169. (1/11) Gary returns to his parents' flat searching for his estranged wife, Anna Maria, but she is not there.
Final scheduled daytime repeat, 4/10/74.
170. (2/11) Arnold makes a reference to Roma and Stephan, which arouses Aldo's worst fears. Aldo confronts Roma, who confirms them.
171. (3/11) Jack questions Karen about Vernon's treatment of both Bev and Vera, who are both acting strangely.
172. (6/11) Arnold becomes embroiled in a fight between Alf and Lucy when he tries to assist with Alf's campaign speech.
173. (7/11) Julia's article on the Evans' has been published, which thrills Dorrie, but Herb is worried that trouble will ensue because of it.
174. (8/11) Jack's timely rescue of Bev and Vera from Vernon, De Como (Peter Reynolds) and the Black Mass produces unexpected results; getting away from Saville seems to have cured Bev of her problem.
This plotline was novelised for the 1973 Arkon paperback, "The Grip of Evil". (The book featured no actors from the series on the cover.)
175. (9/11) As Don becomes more deeply involved with Barry Tett (Spencer Whiteby) and his story, he and Graham Fletcher (Gavin Hamilton) must work harder to get at the truth.
176. (10/11) Yvonne Marette (Sophie Vaillant), the new assistant in the pharmacy, has settled into her job. Now that Gordon is taking over the medical practice from Dr Riley (Raymond Duparc), Sonia is seeing even less of him.
177. (13/11) Campaign Director Arnold's life is in turmoil. Alf has convinced him that he should be out canvassing votes, but Lucy believes that this is Alf's job. Meanwhile, Arnold is so worried about Roma, he cannot even begin to concentrate on the campaign.
This was the first episode simulcast in Sydney and Melbourne. It was also rescheduled to 9.00pm, due to Gough Whitlam's ALP policy speech.
178. (14/11) The story on "the penniless pensioners", Dorrie and Herb, has led to some flattering publicity. Now, a television crew plans to interview them in Flat 3.
This episode was rescheduled to 9.00pm due the Liberal Party policy speech by the Right Honorable William McMahon.
179. (15/11) Some of Gordon's patients, remembering his court case, express their prejudice against him. Furthermore, his relationship with Sonia continues to crumble.
This episode was delayed by 15 minutes due to Doug Anthony's Country Party policy speech.
180. (16/11) Vera, back from hospital and feeling better after her ordeal, has trouble getting back into her work routine. Then an unexpected figure from the past, Maggie Cameron, comes visiting and all thoughts of dressmaking are put out of Vera's mind.
Around this episode, Maggie's new receptionist, Monica (Maureen Elkner), is introduced. Seeds are sown for a plotline involving the Mafia, and affecting the lives of Vera, her new flatmate, Terry Sandford, Terry's friend, Robyn Ross, and Vera's latest romance, Gil Dawson.
181. (17/11) Sonia's plans to start a family angers Gordon, but leads him to having some tests done. However, the results prove to be distressing to him.
182. (20/11) Dorrie and Herb head off to the Channel 10 television studio to be interviewed by Brian Bury (Himself) on the plight of the average pensioner. Everyone is stunned by Dorrie's manipulations and Flo is out for revenge.
This episode was delayed by 15 minutes due to Senator Vince Gair's Democratic Labor Party policy speech.
183. (21/11) Maggie is staying with Vera while she sorts out her affairs, although one thing has Vera very worried. Is Maggie doing the right thing?
184. (22/11) Arnold must cope alone in the deli, now that Aldo has caught Roma's virus. Dorrie offers assistance, but she proves to be more of a hindrance.
185. (23/11) Sonia tries to come to terms with Gordon's announcement, but Yvonne's concern brings her motives into question.
186. (24/11) Despite Gordon and Sonia's initial reservations, Graham is still staying in Flat 4. Don is convinced that everything is quite innocent, but is it really?
187. (27/11) Arnold had been given complete responsibility for running the delicatessen but, now that Aldo and Roma are well, he must fulfil an unpleasant duty... involving Dorrie.
188. (28/11) Following a conversation with Don, Sonia tries a fresh approach to resolving the situation between her and Gordon. However, Gordon's reaction to Don's idea is the exact opposite of Sonia's expectations.
189. (29/11) Bev is distraught over a phone call she receives from America, concerning an accident suffered by her brother. Bev is distraught, but Jack urges her to return to work so she won't be waiting around for news of Rod's condition. When the news does come, Bev is completely shattered.
190. (30/11) Norma and Les are unable to console Anna Maria. Gary is missing - and, now, so is her beloved Salvadore Russo (John Serge). When Salvadore does turn up, he has astonishing news.
191. (1/12) Maggie is in deep trouble and is not sure what to do about it. Vera offers her some advice, but she seems unlikely to take it. Norma and Vera devise a plan to help Maggie out.
192. (4/12) Vera and Arnold are very pleased to hear that Alf's business concerns have caused him to pull out of the elections.
193. (5/12) An unpleasant experience with a client the previous night is still distressing Bev. When she turns down a party invitation, Jack steps in to handle matters.
194. (6/12) Sonia tells Don that she plans to be more understanding of Gordon, but it seems that Don knows more than she does about the situation.
195. (7/12) Salvadore gathers up the courage to propose to Anna Maria, but as the happy couple are discussing the situation with Les and Norma, a telephone call comes through which stops everyone in their tracks.
196. (8/12) The owners of Number 96 seem to be planning to evict the tenants; everyone is once again in an uncertain position.
197. (11/12) Rod Houghton (John Benton) arrives back in Australia and his sister Bev is delighted; Claire and Jack, however, are not. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Brian Phillis.]
198. (12/12) In an attempt to share expenses, Terry Sanford (Bernadette Hughson) is moving in with Vera, but there is concern over the situation with the lease. A meeting of the tenants is called by Don to inform them of the latest disastrous news. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Brian Phillis.]
199. (13/12) Jack is not pleased that Rod has moved into Flat 6 with him and Bev. However, returning home unexpectedly, Jack makes a shocking discovery - Bev and Rod cuddling in bed together - and he storms out! [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Brian Phillis.]
200. (14/12) Anna Maria and Salvadore discuss their future over lunch, but they are disrupted by a most unwelcome visitor. A distraught Gary brings disaster to their happiness. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Brian Phillis.]
201. (15/12) Arnold tells Aldo about his new job offer at the new supermarket - and Aldo is excited, because Roma will have to stay on in the deli now. Vera meets Lucy going into the Whittakers' flat to turn off the stove, as Norma has rung to say that something terrible has happened. Don tells Gordon about his Uncle Arnold, the High Court judge. Sir Arnold Ashton (James Condon) insists that he has found a solution to Don's problems. Roma admits to Vera and Lucy that there is no unit, and she had tried to bluff Aldo into a marriage proposal. Dorrie tells Aldo that she and Herb are supposed to be moving to Mount Druitt. The Sutcliffes plan to buy a house when they have to move from Number 96. No one has seen the Whittakers all day. Terry arrives at Flat 7, ready to move in. Yvonne is moving into Flat 1. Arnold tells Lucy that he is upset that Aldo didn't seem to mind that he was leaving, as he'd rather stay working in the deli. Meanwhile, Lucy has resigned from the laundrette. Jack describes the scene he witnessed with Bev and Rod but Don suggests that maybe Bev was right, and there's nothing in it. Don tells his uncle that he will meet Sally Fielding (Christina Danielle). Dorrie and Herb take a deli plate to the Senior Citizens' Club meeting. While Vera is helping Terry to sort through Terry's old clothes, Lucy rushes in to tell them that Salvadore has been shot. Aldo considers giving Arnold a raise and letting Roma go to the USA to see Irving. Roma asks Aldo for his hand in marriage. Sally arrives at the bar and introduces herself to Don. He notices a drunk Gordon leaving, with Yvonne, to return home. Yvonne insists she will drive, but it is a drive that will end in tragedy. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Brian Phillis.]
This episode's cliffhanger endings would not be resolved until the 1973 ratings season. The Don/Sally/Sir Arnold plotline was novelised for the 1974 Arkon paperback, "Marriage of Convenience". (The book's "wedding photograph" cover concidentally features actor Julian Rockett as Don. Julian would later play Adam Shaw on the series.)
Number 96 synopses © 1994, 2020 Ian McLean and Lindsay Street Productions. They have been rewritten and annotated from information derived from Sydney and Melbourne editions of TV Week and TV Times, cross-referenced with original Cash Harmon documentation and viewings of episodes. No text may be reproduced without the express permission of the author. To use this material in research, you are requested to inform the author and credit his contribution accordingly. Thank you.
Page last updated May 2022.