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.

Moncur Flats 1929

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).

Episode 1
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.

Episode 2
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.]

Episode 3
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.

Number 96 building 1972

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.]

Episode 4
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, Doctor 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.]

Episode 5
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 & Sons 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.]

Episode 6
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, Mr 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.]

Episode 7
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.]

Episode 8
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.]

Episode 9
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.]

Episode 10
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.

Episode 11
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.

Episode 12
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". Ken Goodlet, who portrays Aldo's business agent, Mr Holloway, soon returns as another character, John Harvey.

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.]

Episode 13
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).

Episode 14
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.

Episode 15
Doctor 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?

Episode 16
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 Doctor Vansard, so he takes action.

Episode 17
Vera Collins, Flat 7.

18. (4/04) Maggie discovers that Bruce is moonlighting again.

Episode 18
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.

Episode 19
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.

Episode 20
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. Aldo is seemingly swindled out of his life savings of $5000 by a con man.

Episode 21
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.

Episode 22
Aldo Godolfus in the deli.

Mr Holloway's office caretaker was portrayed by Les Foxcroft, who would later return as a recurring character, Sir William Mainwaring.

23. (11/04) Helen's reaction to Rose's revelation causes great concern to all at Number 96. Where has she gone?

Episode 23
Helen Eastwood, Flat 4.

The events of this episode cause Helen to leave Flat 4. She has also had verbal altercations with the Eastwoods' new boarder, Chad Farrell (Ronne Arnold). Helen's whereabouts would remain a mystery for some time.

24. (12/04) Aldo introduces Rose to restaurateur Roma Lubinski (Philippa Baker). Mrs Lubinski has an offer to make him. Helen's outraged father, Mr Fulton (Kevin Manser), arrives from Perth. He wants to know what has become of his missing daughter.

Episode 24
Mr Fulton visits Flat 4.

25. (13/04) In desperation, Bruce turns to Maggie once again.

Episode 25
Maggie Cameron and Bruce Taylor, Flat 5.

26. (14/04) Herb tries to hide his gambling winnings from Dorrie, but she is suspicious.

Episode 26
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.

Episode 27
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.

Episode 28
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.

Episode 29
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 offers him the restaurant - and he seems rather enamoured of her 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?

Episode 30
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.]

Episode 31
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.

Episode 32
Mrs Peters.

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.]

Episode 33
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". According to James Elliott, the pub set is actually in the same redressed space as the Sutcliffes' bedroom! 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.]

Episode 34
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.]

Episode 35
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.

Episode 36
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.

Episode 37
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.

Episode 38
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.

Episode 39
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. Harry walks out on both Vera and his business committments.

Episode 40
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.

Episode 41
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.]

Episode 42
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.]

Episode 43
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.]

Episode 44
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.]

Episode 45
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.]

Episode 46
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.]

Episode 47
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 Red Phone 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.]

Episode 48
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.]

Episode 49
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.]

Episode 50
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. Hilda's real life husband is Ron Roberts, who played several in the series, too, including Tom Bartlett.

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.]

Episode 51
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 if necessary! 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, Mrs Bairstow 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 tonight, 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 with 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.]

Episode 52
Grant Morris, Janie's director.

The new play's title, "Find Me a Lover", was referenced in the first novelisation, "Janie Stagestruck". The gossipy Mrs Bairstow seems interchangeable with the previously-mentioned Jessie Blanchard.

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, "because the boy is as camp as a row of tents." Claire tells Maggie that her mind is at ease about Bev because Don is a final year law student with excellent prospects. She decides that it is time to move out of "this ghetto", and can't understand what Maggie sees in it. As Vera departs, Claire points out the pile of mail that has come for Maggie, then 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 medications 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 attempt to shield Gordon was understandable. Don is deep into his studies in Flat 4 when Maggie comes in holding aloft 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". Then, just this morning, a mysterious phone call from a female voice, asking for Herb! Now Dorrie has found lipstick on the collar of her 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.]

Episode 53
Maggie Cameron, Flat 5.

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 future HP payments on the Eastwoods' 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 thought she had 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 returning 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. Julian kisses her tenderly and promises that he will be back, but Rose doesn't seem to share his 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 heavily so Julian and Rose are having their picnic in the back seat of the 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.]

Episode 54
Victor Cameron, husband of Maggie.

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. Owen Weingott will eventually return as another character, portrait artist, Adrian Wolfe.

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 back 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 encourages 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. Hesitantly, 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 of 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 because 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 go through to the flat to sit down. 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. In Aldo's parlour, 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.]

Episode 55
Gemma Strauss, wife of Claude.

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 evil 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. What has his parents 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 in her will. 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 (Margo Lloyd) 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, Vera 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 that Dorrie is 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 he realises that he really 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 apologises 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 a domineering older brother and a spoiled, disinterested, younger brother, Michael, who is "a bit of a run-about". The situation 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 aloud 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 Godolfus 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, that their future happiness depends on him. 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.]

Episode 56
Jessie Blanchard, friend of Dorrie.

Jessie Blanchard has been mentioned before, but this episode is Margo Lloyd's first appearance with lines. Ken Goodlet, who previously portrayed Aldo's business agent, Mr Holloway, returns here as a new character, John Harvey.

57. (29/05) Don is in turmoil. Chad finds him studying at 4.00am, accompanied by a bottle of brandy. Don admits that he is nervous about his looming law exams. They start on Thursday. Talking freely because of the brandy, Don tells Chad of his concerns that "being queer" is seen by society as a sexual abnormality and that it may cause his career aspirations to fail. Chad thinks nothing of Don being queer. Don regrets that his inability to make love to Bev has upset her. The community holds solicitors to a high standard of respectability. They expect them to get married, have children. He couldn't do that right now. Chad recommends putting everything in perspective; Don's short-term goal should be passing his exams. Janie drops into the deli to buy butter and complains that, despite being back in the acting game, she finds herself awake at the crack of dawn. Chad also arrives and mentions that Don has insomnia because he is nervous about his exams. Janie commiserates. Perhaps Gordon in the chemist shop can suggest something to help? As they leave, Gemma enters, on a buying spree for the dinner party she will be hosting for Aldo and Mrs Lubinski. She needs liver for her famous Austrian liver ball soup. She is looking forward to serving friends who like this kind of olde-world cooking. Aldo says how much he and Roma are looking forward to it, but it doesn't ring true because he is panicking that she will make trouble on the night. As the chemist shop hasn't opened yet, Chad comes to see Gordon and Sonia in their flat. He explains that Don is nervous about exams but also has an emotional problem, although he does not specify what it is. Chad wonders, since Gordon used to be a doctor, if maybe he could prescribe something to help? Gordon says that he is a doctor no longer, and would never supply prescription medication without an official order from a doctor. He promises to visit Don later. After Chad leaves, Gordon considers what emotional problems a "good-looking young bloke" like Don could have. Sonia knows about Bev's public outburst of a few weeks ago. She thinks Don has a hang-up about being homosexual. "Since when have I become 'father confessor' to the whole damned building?", asks Gordon. Sonia thinks that he brings it upon himself. What has Gordon done about Rose's situation? It terrifies Sonia that he will get involved. But Gordon has no intention of helping her; it is not his problem. Sonia wants to know if Gordon will help Don. Gordon admits that Sonia can be persuasive and that she knows him too well. In Flat 8, Lucy is doing housework when Alf comes in from a night run. His truck was finally repaired yesterday afternoon, so he took the job, but he is still tired after his drinking session with Herb at the pub. Lucy remembers that a letter has arrived from Alf's sister, Lily, in England. Alf is not sure that Lucy "forgot". The letter conveys bad news about Alf's former boss: Mr Partridge died several years ago. His son took over the family business and he went bankrupt last year. Alf boasts that he could find a job driving lorries in England - for a damned sight more than here in Australia! Through this bold front, though, the cracks of doubt are starting to show. Aldo and Roma discuss the upcoming dinner at the Strausses; Gemma has been buying ingredients for the meal. Roma is sure that she recognised Claude from her past, but is willing to believe that she could be mistaken. Gordon calls in to see Don in Flat 4. As promised, he has brought pills for him, to help Don relax. They have developed an easy friendship and Don mentions a few of his concerns about his exams. Relaxation strategies can be just as good as a full night's sleep. They both avoid the other burning issue: Don's sexuality. Gordon suggests that Don is always welcome to come downstairs for a drink after the shop is closed. On the landing outside Flats 5 and 6, Jack is sitting, waiting for Janie to arrive home. Alf passes him and invites him to come up to Flat 8 for a beer, and to wait for her there. Jack scrawls a quick note to put on the girls' front door. Meanwhile, Janie is at the laundrette, waiting for her clothes to dry. She and Lucy chat about the new play and the Sutcliffes' plans for England. Janie notices the time and realises she is late to meet Jack, who is picking her up from Number 96. Jack is deep in conversation with Alf about England. Jack has friends who have just returned from England and, in fact, Jack was there only six months ago for a business trip. He paints a gloomy picture of the situation there, not realising that Alf has plans to go home permanently. Jack believes that both the UK and USA have exhausted themselves; Australia is the place to be if you want to succeed! Janie arrives, having found Jack's note, and joins them for a beer. But she needs to rush and get dressed for the dinner party, and the theatre afterwards. Don has joined Gordon and Sonia for a drink and is feeling more relaxed. He didn't think it was advisable to drink alcohol while taking tranquilisers, but Gordon is quick to mention that the pills he gave him are over-the-counter medication and quite mild. Don suggests that maybe that's why he hasn't felt much difference. Gordon tries to change the subject and mentions his own case of nerves when he was studying medicine. Sonia proposes a toast to Don's success with his exams. The dinner party with the Strausses is a disaster! Roma is like a block of ice during the caviar hors d'oeuvres and, despite Gemma and Claude's friendly hospitality, all of her answers are simply "Yes" or "No". She hasn't even touched her drink; would she prefer something else? Aldo cannot break the tension and the Strausses excuse themselves to the kitchen to turn out all the food onto serving platters. While they are gone, Roma is overcome with emotion. She is convinced that Claude is the man she once knew and is sick to her stomach. She must leave - and grabs her purse, and now Aldo is left to explain her absence to their hosts. He stammers out an explanation, apologising that he must catch up to her and see that she is all right. Perhaps another time? Alf and Jack are still knocking back beers in Flat 8 when Lucy gets home from work. Jack starts telling her about the rotten conditions in England and Alf quickly changes the subject to the time, and wondering aloud where Janie is. She must be dressed by now? Just then, Janie enters, looking great! Jack escorts her out the door and Lucy wants to know what Jack had been saying about England. Alf lies that Jack was reporting that "things are really swinging" in England. Jack and Janie are descending the stairs, in high spirits, as Aldo and Roma arrive at the door of Flat 2. Aldo is talking to Roma at a great rate, in serious, hushed tones, and barely acknowledges the others. Once inside, Aldo and Roma discuss their aborted evening. Roma insists that she must contact the authorities of the International Military Tribunal, those who are responsible for tracking war criminals. She loses control, remembering her mother and father. She has so much hate and fury stored up since childhood. Aldo encourages her to go to the bathroom and splash water on her face while he gets them some wine to help calm her nerves. As he is opening the bottle, there is knocking at the front door. It is Gemma! In a quiet voice, she asks where Mrs Lubinski lives, as she needs to talk with her at once. Aldo says that Roma's illness is probably not serious but Gemma cuts him off. It is something else that she needs to discuss with her. Roma emerges from the bathroom, having overheard the conversation. Her face is like a death mask as Roma announces, "I am here." [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]

Episode 57
Aldo Godolfus and Roma Lubinski in the deli.

Curiously, the synopses provided to the scriptwriters still refer to Flat 4's lounge area as EASTWOOD LIVING ROOM, even though that flat is now occupied by Don and Chad (but eventually designated DON'S FLAT), and Flat 5's as BOYS' LIVING ROOM, even though it has been Maggie's flat for many episodes. Aldo is described by Johnny Whyte as being "really worried shitless" about what Mrs Lubinski will say to the Strausses.

58. (30/05) In Flat 7, Vera is all in a fluster while preparing dinner. She has been working hard all day and now her guest, Peter, turns up a little early. She fixes him a drink and asks him to amuse himself while she goes to the kitchen to make the sauce. Gemma has come to plead with Roma not to report Claude as a war criminal. Roma asks Aldo to give the two women some time to talk. Gemma tells her how she met and married Claude in Portugal after the war. Gemma pleads for her husband's future but Roma is adamant about calling the authorities. "Death for Claude would have been too easy," says Gemma. The life he has lived since has been a living Hell, the punishment far worse that any court could have meted out. Gemma pleads for 24 hours, and leaves Roma with only the burden of her own conscience. Over brandy and coffee, Peter compliments Vera on the delicious meal. She says it can't compare to dinner the other night, when she met his brother, John. Their conversation leads to the differences in the brothers and Vera hears more about Harvey Brothers' Wines. Gemma arrives home and warns Claude that they must leave now! Claude says that he is a tired, old man and is weary of running. Gemma insists that they must depart for South America at once. Mrs Lubinski seemed willing to grant them 24 hours. Next morning, in Flat 6, Bev is preparing a breakfast tray. It is obvious she has been crying to herself. She puts on a bright face and carries the tray into Janie. Janie has had a late night with Jack and has a hangover. Now that rehearsals are about to start, her late-night partying will have to end. Bev is over-cheery and boasts of a super man she met on yesterday's cruise - an older man, loaded with money - but the whole story doesn't seem to ring true. Julian drops into the deli to ask Aldo if Rose can get more time off from working in the shop. There are so many wedding things to arrange, and they are also looking for a flat. Julian's new job means he can't get away enough and he needs Rose's help. Aldo finds it hard to focus on Julian's problem because he was awake all night thinking about Roma and the Strausses. Roma arrives and they try to convey the problems to Julian, but he is not interested. His wedding to Rose is the future and the Strausses are part of the past. Roma offers a solution: she could start working in the deli, freeing up Rose to help Julian. Aldo can't understand why Roma is so calm. She is no longer upset; she reported the Strausses to the authorities before she left home this morning. Outside Claude and Gemma's flat, two Israeli undercover men are knocking on their door. After two attempts of raising them, they burst open the lock. The flat looks like it has been ransacked. Obviously, the Strausses left in haste during the night, taking only their essential belongings. In Flat 3, Herb is piling up clothing to take to the the laundrette. Dorrie enters with the mail, mainly bills and some junk mail. When Herb departs, Dorrie opens up their bank statement. She is stunned and immediately goes to the phone. The bank manager is not available, but an error is unlikely as the bank is computerised. Dorrie makes an appointment for later that morning. In the downstairs foyer, near the mailboxes, Vera and Julian accidentally collide. He is happy that Rose will be able to start organising the wedding and Vera suggests they can now set a date. "You'll be an old married couple with children before you know it!" Julian mentions that they won't be starting a family straight away. It would be wrong; they need to get to know each other, have some fun, and get settled first. Vera is left pondering his words, knowing what she already does about Rose's "condition". Dorrie meets with Mr Stewart (Gordon Lishman), the bank manager. She insists the "new fangled computers" have made a mistake and placed $8000 in their joint bank account. Mr Stewart confirms that the balance is correct. The money was deposited two days ago, in the form of a bank cheque. In Flat 6, Janie is amazed that Bev is having yet another day at home. The cruise company has cut down and all the hostesses are doing less hours. Janie decides that she will prepare lunch for both of them. Suddenly, Jack bursts in, with Vera in tow. He is in a jovial mood and insists on taking everyone out to celebrate a successful business deal in which he made a lot of money. Vera begs off; she has too much work to do. Bev can't go either as she is expecting a very important call from a new admirer. Janie is the only taker, but she tries to convince Bev to join them. The phone rings and Bev races to answer it. She says a few things to "Burt", asks him to wait and sees everyone to the door. Returning to the call, it is actually her mother, Mrs Houghton! Herb arrives home from doing the laundry and is not expecting Dorrie to be out. He notices the mail has been opened and sees a bank statement on the floor, near the phone. To his horror, he realises that his share of profits from the sale of the car yard - $8000 - has been placed into his and Dorrie's joint account. He is terrified! Dorrie arrives at the laundrette, having rushed straight from the bank to confront Herb, but he has already left. She blurts out the whole story to Jessie: Herb has deposited a very large sum of money into their account; it must be related to George and those terrible girls at the pub. Jessie wants to know what Dorrie will do. Dorrie has her ways. At the bank, Herb is ushered into Mr Stewart's office where attempts to explain their terrible mistake. The bank cheque was to have been put into his own name, not the joint account. Mr Stewart says there is no need to transfer the funds. Only 30 minutes ago, Mrs Evans was at the bank - and withdrew the whole $8000! [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]

Episode 58
Mr Stewart, bank manager.

Gordon Lishman, who portrays Mr Stewart, Dorrie and Herb's bank manager, was a radio personality who had moved into acting. Later, he would return as a different character: the Marriage Registrar who unites Gordon and Sonia in matrimony.

59. (31/05) Dorrie is meeting with Mr Wormald (Roger Milliss), the Rector of St Stephen's Church. She is keen to share the good fortune that has come her way - and hands an appreciative Rector a fat envelope containing $4000 in cash! She has already been to the Senior Citizens' Club, to donate the other $4000 to the much-neglected Bowling Green Fund. Bev makes her way down to Don's flat but hesitates about knocking. When she does, there is no answer. Vera passes by, on her way to a client's fitting. Bev is bored, but Vera reminds her that Don should be studying for his exams that are on tomorrow. Why isn't Bev working? The cruise boat has mechanical difficulties - but this is a different reason than she gave Janie earlier this morning. Alf and Don chat together at the pub, where an exhausted Don has dropped in for a late counter lunch. Alf is beginning have doubts about current conditions in England. As Don is leaving, he passes Herb, who is sick with worry. Dorrie has withdrawn his money from the bank so he is desperately looking for George. Vera drops into the deli on her way home and tells Rose that she saw Julian earlier today. Is Rose really in love with him, because Vera now has doubts that Julian would ever accept another man's baby. This evening, Rose has an appointment with Doctor Jason, whom she visited once before when contemplating an abortion. As they eat dinner in silence, Herb asks if Dorrie went to the bank today. She launches an attack on where Herb got all that money. He tries to convince Dorrie that his $8000 nest egg was earned honestly. Dorrie does not believe his story. One doesn't earn $8000 on a 50 cent bet on a horse race. Doctor Jason has arranged an abortion; it will cost Rose $200, but she can't afford it. He is willing to let her pay in installments. She is in a terrible dilemma about what to do. Don is still deep into his studies but has become tired and listless. Bev pops in for a visit; she hasn't seen him since he moved out of Flat 6. She tries to be brittle with him, but fails. Underneath she is desperately unhappy and still loves him! She tells him outright but Don is in such a nervous state that he orders her to leave him alone. "You knows I have exams in the morning, you know what I am, so why must you keep hanging on?" Bev reacts by bursting into tears and running out of the room. She does not even acknowledge Vera, who is being dragged down to Flat 3 by a desperate Herb. Dorrie sits, grim-faced and knitting in the lounge room, as Herb enters with Vera. She is able to convince Dorrie that the money was legitimate and came from the business that Harry, George and Herb had invested in. Vera departs and Dorrie realises that she has given all the money away! Jessie Blanchard is "an old fool" for convincing her that it was tainted money! Dorrie is horrified - and now so is Herb. Dorrie says that they have to get that money back and Herb is the one to do it! Bev is on the phone talking to a man from her past, one whom she obviously had no intention of ever seeing again... until now. She arranges to meet him, grabs her coat and departs. The Sutcliffes are preparing for bed. Now that Alf has made up his mind, there will be no more bickering. He has given notice at work and switched his first class air ticket for a round-trip economy one. If things are as good in England as he imagines, will Lucy be joining him? Of course she will! It is 11.00pm when Rose knocks on Vera's door. She has been to see the doctor but just can't go through with an abortion. She has decided to have the baby and will tell Julian tomorrow. Vera actually knows more than Rose about Julian's attitudes. Will he be able to accept another man's baby? [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

Episode 59
Mr Wormald, Rector of St Stephen's Church.

60. (1/06) Removalists are taking furniture out of Flat 5, under Maggie's supervision. Don, in his suit, squeezes past them to knock on Janie and Bev's door. Maggie greets him, with slight embarrassment on both sides, and gathers that Don never cashed her cheque. Don says no, and doesn't intend to, either. Janie, yawning, opens the door and Don apologises for the early wakening, but he must see Bev before doing his exams. He behaved intolerably to her yesterday and wants to make amends. Janie checks Bev's bed and it hasn't been slept in. Rose opens up the deli and Julian is there at the door, with a list of flats from the estate agent. Can she go round and look at them? Rose is sure she can, as Mrs Lubinski will be working in the deli from now on. But Rose needs to speak with Julian. Unfortunately, he must get some rest and then do some work on his thesis before its deadline. Life will be hectic for him for the next few days. "We've got the rest of our lives to talk," he says. Bev enters, still wearing the clothes she went out in yesterday. Rose introduces her to Julian. Don comes in and sees Bev. There is a look between them before he pulls her aside to apologise for his outburst. Bev airily dimisses it as unimportant. Sonia rushes in to wish Don all the best for his exams and to say that Gordon has something for him. She has a big grocery order for a very distracted Rose. Before Rose can press her point with Julian again, he begs off to get some sleep. Bev needs sleep, too, having been to "a mad all-night party". Bev and Julian leave the shop together. She invites him up for a quick coffee but he refuses and must get home. "Perhaps another time?" she offers. Julian agrees. Gordon fetches a good luck charm that helped him during his exams and he wants Don to take it with him. As they talk, Gordon's son, Kit Vansard (Denny Lawrence), rushes in. His friends are heading into town - they are waiting for him in the car - but he wants to organise to have lunch with his father so that he can raise an important issue with him. Gordon introduces Don to Kit and suggests the Spanish coffee shop at 1.00pm. Kit agrees and dashes out. Don also must go if he's to make his exams on time. Sonia comes in, carrying her deli order, and Gordon kisses her. He asks if she can mind the shop from 1.00pm till 2.00pm. Of course she can; is Gordon meeting his secret lover there? Gordon smiles and says, "Of course!" Sonia goes to the back to fetch her white coat. Janie is applying her makeup when Bev enters and they exchange greetings. "So your boyfriend kept you out all night?", Janie asks. Bev's response is overdone and Janie tells her that Don had called by to apologise. Bev has already seen him, in the deli, and it is too late. It is all over. There is a knock at the door and Janie opens it to a huge basket of flowers. From behind the gift, Jack's voice sings, "Happy Rehearsal Day to you..." She lets him in, laughing. He has come to drive her to the first reading and then he will take her to the races in the afternoon. Janie gets serious and complains that her old partying ways have to stop. She has to work hard. Besides there are more rehearsals scheduled for the afternoon. Bev wanders out in her robe and Jack extends the invitation to the races to her instead, "since Sarah Bernhardt here is too busy". Bev says it suits her, but only if Janie doesn't mind. Janie is curious as to why Bev isn't working... again? The cruise ship has broken down. Maggie visits Vera in Flat 7 and they have a lunchtime drink together. Maggie has put the furniture from Flat 5 into storage. Things are going well with Victor, but she really dropped in to make a business proposal. Her friend is selling a small shop in Double Bay and Maggie has first refusal. Maggie wants Vera go into partnership, designing and making very smart clothes for an exclusive fashion boutique. Maggie would take care of the business side of things. Vera is excited about the idea but nervous to take such a big step. She will have to make her mind up by tonight, as Maggie must give a definitive answer at 10.00am tomorrow. At the Spanish coffee shop, Gordon and Kit place their orders and begin their discussion. Kit is very level-headed and charming. He does not want to go to university in England, as his mother had planned for him. He has seen the executors of Sylvia's estate and the house is being sold to create, after death duties, a trust fund for him and younger brother, Martin. Kit intends to apply for Sydney University and will live on campus when the new academic intake begins. In the meantime, he doesn't have much cash so will have to get a part-time job. Perhaps he could come and live with Gordon behind the chemist shop? Gordon is taken aback by his son's astuteness. Wouldn't Kit be happier in a flat of his own? Gordon could help him out financially until his inheritance comes through. "No, Dad," Kit says, "I'd like to stay with you. Make up for the last three years - really get to know each other." Chad arrives home from work and finds a letter in his mailbox. He is puzzled by it. Just then, a jubilant Bev and Jack arrive, excited about their afternoon at the races. A horse in which Jack has a financial interest won its big race! They press Chad to join them for a celebratory drink in Flat 6. At 8.00pm, Maggie drops in on Vera, who is struggling with a new design. Has Vera made up her mind about the salon? Yes, she has. The new business partners celebrate with a drink. A nervous Rose is in the hospital waiting room. A nurse finishes paging Julian on the phone. He will be right down. Rose takes a seat. Chad is still partying with Bev and Jack. He tells them about a letter he just received from a journalist named Matt Black, who is writing an article about discrimination in the NSW Department of Education. Mark had suggested Chad to be interviewed for the piece. Bev is pouring more drinks, and Jack is in the middle of his latest anecodote, when Janie arrives home from rehearsals. She wants to banter about the exciting theatre people but no one seems very interested. Race Day is still the popular topic and Bev is throwing too many "Darlings" in Jack's direction! Julian comes out to see Rose. He is in his doctor's coat and looks a little frantic. Has Rose had a chance to inspect potential rental flats? Yes, she has, and one seems quite suitable, but she has a more pressing matter to discuss with him. The telephone rings and a receptionist tells Julian he is needed in the operating theatre. Julian must go. He will have the whole weekend free, so they can talk then. Rose supposes her news can wait until then. Sonia is relaxing contentedly in Gordon's arms after a long day in the chemist shop. He decides to bring up the topic of Kit wanting to move into Flat 1. Sonia is horrified! An 18-year old boy moving into a small flat with his father and his mistress, and so soon after his mother's death? Surely Gordon can see that it is an untenable scenario? Gordon defends Kit as a well-balanced and sophisticated young man, but Sonia is adamant. Kit cannot stay with them. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

Episode 60
Kit Vansard, Flat 1.

61. (2/06) Dorrie is quite "ardamant" that Herb must visit the Rector and the Senior Citizens' Club to get back the money that Dorrie donated. It's all his fault! A whole day has gone by and he has done nothing. Herb says that he can't do it. Sonia has decided that, if Kit moves into Flat 1 with his father until his university course starts, she will move out. Gordon maintains that Kit is a modern, intelligent boy and won't think a thing about his father "living in sin" with Sonia. She is still welcome at Elizabeth's place, and can continue coming in to work at the pharmacy each day. Gordon can't imagine not having Sonia with him each night. They make love and she pleads with him to be patient. Kit's university course commences in a month's time. Chad has taken the morning off work to meet up with Matt, the journalist. He interrupts Janie, who is getting ready for a day of rehearsals; he thinks he left his letter in her flat yesterday. "That was quite a session we had last night!" Bev is still sleeping it off. While they search for the letter, Janie asks how Don is coping with his exams. He is still quite on edge, but the exams seem to be going well. Jack rings to invite Janie to a party but she declines. She needs to spend time working on her play script. Jack wonders if Bev would be interested? Janie gets icy with him; he will have to ring her later, when Bev finally surfaces. Alf gets home a little late from his final night shift. He was farewelling his workmates and announces that he has finalised his flight to England. Lucy is not game to ask when he leaves. It is just a week away. Is the Department of Education really discriminating against Chad? Matt conducts his interview and they discuss how Chad's teaching credentials were supposedly lost. Chad doesn't think that the whole Department is prejudiced, but did somebody in high authority deliberately misplaced his certificate because he is black? Matt thinks they have a good exposure story in the making. Herb is at the Rector's office. Mr Wormald is waxing strong about the Evans' generous gift. Such Christian charity is an example to the whole congregation! Herb breaks the news that Dorrie donated the $4000 in error and they need it back. The Rector explains that the money went straight into central church funds and has already been earmarked to be spent on some very important work. Herb is quite befuddled and finally tells the Rector he can keep the money, which seems to be exactly what Mr Wormald intended. In the laundrette, Dorrie is telling Lucy that her husband's business acumen with the money market meant that he was able to earn $8000 in just ten days. "Oh," says Lucy. "You mean that used car deal that Herb went into with Harry and George?" Dorrie is furious that Lucy knew all about it. Alf is buying drinks for Herb to celebrate Alf's last week in Australia. Chad comes in and Alf is now very chummy with him, a complete about-face to his previous stance. Alf buys him a drink and Chad mentions his interview with a journalist investigating discrimination in the Department of Education. Gordon overhears the end of the conversation and joins them, saying that there is a lot of hole-in-the-corner discrimination in places of power. Alf agrees heartily that racial discrimination is a terrible thing. Chad teases Alf about his turnaround, but it goes straight over Alf's head. Roma muddles through her first shift at the deli. Aldo tries to tell her exactly how he likes transactions to go. She says that she can't be expected to learn everything on the first day and they have their first cross words, but only gently. Dorrie comes in, looking for Herb, and Aldo introduces her to Mrs Lubinski. She is helping out while Rose is planning her wedding. When Aldo goes off to answer the phone, Dorrie places an order, interspersed with boasting about her husband's business success. Poor Roma gets quite befuddled. Back at the pub, everyone is still there. Herb realises he needs to go and face Dorrie about the church donation. Alf offers to go with him for moral support. Gordon and Chad exchange a few words about past relationships and Gordon sympathises with Chad in their mutual love of Sonia. As Chad departs, Kit approaches the bar. He saw Gordon through the window. He has just been for his interview at Sydney University. The friends Kit has been staying with are going on holiday so, if it's okay with his father, he will be moving into Flat 1 in two days time. In Flat 3, Herb admits that he failed to get the money back from the church. Dorrie announces that, in recognition of her generous $4000 donation to the Senior Cits, she has been made Honorary Vice President! A special presentation is being prepared to thank them both for their geneous gift. Dorrie is flattered by the recognition, then becomes agahst when she realises there is now no way to retrieve their money. Aldo and Roma are still being delicate about Roma's attempts to learn procedures in the deli. Aldo is trying to be patient. Janie comes in on her way home from rehearsal, quickly followed by Jack, who had tried to catch her at the theatre. He wants to talk but she suggests they go upstairs. He wants to do it away from Bev so they sit at one of Aldo's tables instead. Jack noticed Janie's coldness during their last phone call. Does she mind him taking Bev out? Janie relents and says that her earlier attitude was stupid, but she is also jealous. (This actually makes Jack pleased.) Janie admits that it is good for Bev to get out more, as she has been very introspective of late. Bev just won't discuss it. Jack agrees that he will continue to take Bev out, but Janie is still "his girl". It is 6.00pm. After a busy day, Gordon and Sonia are closing up the shop. Sonia is too tired to think about cooking. Gordon suggests takeaway food for dinner and goes off in the car to get it. While she finishes tidying up, Kit enters and chats about which toothpaste he should buy. He casually wonders if Sonia owns the shop and she says that she is the part-owner. "With your husband?" he asks, and Sonia nods. He is very charming to her. As he leaves, the unsuspecting Sonia says that she hopes to see him again. "Oh yes," says Kit. "I'll be around." [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

Episode 61
Chad Farrell, Flat 4.

62. (5/06) Dorrie has decided to seek the assistance of Mr Calthrop in retrieving Herb's money without losing face. While they get ready to leave the flat, Dorrie remembers the fur coat that she threw back into Herb's face. She wants it back. Herb lies that he gave it back to George Baker. She demands that Herb gets it back from him. Bev answers an early phone call while Janie is in the shower. It is Grant, postponing rehearsals from this morning until the evening. He needs the day to rewrite the play's last act with the playwright. Janie makes coffee and tries to find out what Bev and Jack were up to last night. She probably regrets encouraging Jack to take Bev out. Bev claims she will be starting work at noon today. Lucy brings Alf breakast in bed, an unheard-of event. 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. Ethel had phoned earlier to say that her family will be arriving in Sydney eight days time, but Alf is determined that he will be gone by then. His flight is booked and confirmed. Aldo is checking the till as Roma arrives for her shift in the deli. Rose is off looking at another flat. Roma has bought a crisp, white coverall to wear in the shop. With trepidation, Aldo asks if Roma rang up any incorrect sales yesterday; the till seems to be $5 short. Roma gets flustered. Aldo "fussed too much" yesterday. It takes longer than two days to get all the procedures correct - and now Mr Godolfus accuses her of stealing money? Aldo is full of apologies. She becomes tearful, then Aldo finds a note from Rose, which explains that she has borrowed $5 for her expenses. At the solicitor's officer, Mr Calthrop explains to Dorrie that, even with receipts from the Rector and the Senior Cits, she can only request that the donated money be returned, relying on their good natures. Why didn't Mr Calthrop inform her of the whole matter in the first place? He reveals that he was acting on Herb's instructions to keep the transaction "personal and private". Dorrie goes on another tirade about Herb's underhandedness. Mr Calthrop tries to calm her. Can Herb get Dorrie's coat back from George? At least she will have that! It is lunchtime and Roma, having recovered from her traumatic morning, is reorganising all of the shelves into a more practical arrangement. Aldo stands by, helpless. Janie comes in for a quick lunch, now that her rehearsal times have altered, and reaquaints herself with Mrs Lubinski. Roma is puzzled by the odd hours that theatricals keep. Jack and Bev are lunching at The Blue Danube. Jack is oblivious that Bev is being overtly flirtatious. He misses taking Janie out and has tickets to a play premiere tonight. Since Janie is so busy with her own theatre work, would Bev like to accompany him? Aldo comes into the pub for a quick drink: a rare treat, but Roma is now helping out in the deli. He complains that he can't find anything in the new shelf organisation. Alf says that he should keep women in their place, like he does with Lucy. Aldo wonders if that is why Alf is going to England but Lucy is not? As Aldo leaves, Herb comes in, looking for Trixie. He rang the supermarket earlier and asked her to meet him here. He explains the issue with the fur coat. How can he get it back for Dorrie? Trixie arrives, wearing the coat. Everyone else is in shirtsleeves. Trixie is delighted with the coat. Herb and Alf have to connive to get the coat back but Trixie is the only winner, making them meet her hefty price. At the laundrette, Janie explains to Lucy how her days have turned upside down to accommodate the new rehearsal times. Dorrie comes in, offering sympathy for the breakup of Lucy's marriage, what with Alf returning to England and all. Jessie arrives with laundry and Dorrie castigates her for gossiping about Herb and his supposed "house of ill-fame". Dorrie manages to reveal that she made generous donations to the church and Senior Cits, and Jessie breaks into gales of laughter. Dorrie is angry and rebukes Jessie for her "evil, wicked, lying tongue". Jessie boasts that she just passed the pub on her way to the laundrette - and saw Herb. He's "canoodling with one of those tarts right this very minute"! Janie returns to Flat 6 to find Bev has not gone to work after all. Two cruises were cancelled due to an engine fault. Bev wonders how long Janie's rehearsal will go tonight. Janie expects it will go till all hours, to make up for lost time. Roma relaxes with a glass of wine after a long day in the deli. Aldo mentions that he can join her as Rose is minding the shop until closing at 8.30pm. They apologise to each other and hope that today's tiffs have helped them to know each other better. She urges that Aldo should start calling her "Roma". Aldo suggests that they should go to dinner at The Blue Danube. "Let us forget all our troubles...", including Roma's awful experience with the Strausses. Bev and Jack are back from the premiere to find Flat 6 in darkness. Janie must still be at rehearsal? "They keep the poor kid working all day and all night, too?" Jack had wanted to kick on at a nightclub, but Bev insisted they return to the flat for their nightcap. Bev makes a play for Jack, but he is, at first, oblivious. She tries to get his sympathy by talking about how she was "so in love with Don", but Don wasn't interested in her. After a few drinks she is fondling Jack and pulls him down to her, kissing him passionately. Jack jumps up, only now realising what she is up to. He is confused and angry; Bev is supposed to be Janie's best friend! Jack only took Bev out because Janie asked him to. Jack leaves and Bev breaks down in tears. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Episode 62
Jack Sellars and Bev Houghton, Flat 6.

63. (6/06) Sonia is fetching the milk from her front door when Chad rushes past excitedly. His story has hit the morning newspaper headline: "HOW MANY MORE CHAD FARRELLS?" He briefly tells Sonia about the reporter interviewing him and how the exposure might finally secure him a teaching job. She promises to read the article later. Sonia puts the milk on the table and goes into the bedroom, where Gordon is keen for her to come back to bed. It's their last time together for a while, as Kit is due to arrive this evening. Gordon again tries to convince Sonia not to move out. "After all, Kit's got to know about us sooner or later..." Sonia is determined that they must do it her way for the present, as much as she will miss sharing a bed with Gordon. He pulls her towards him and they make love. Don is in pyjama pants, shaving over the bathroom sink, as Chad reads aloud from the newspaper article. "'... but I hit a brick wall at the State Education Department.' 'Mr Farrell's teaching certificate has been mislaid,' they persisted. There was no question of discrimination because of his coloured skin. Teaching certificate or not, he had still been offered a post at an Aboriginal School. The Department declined to comment..." Chad follows Don through the flat as he dresses and gets ready to leave for the day. The phone rings. It is Mark, wanting to know if Chad had seen the paper yet? Don retrieves two pills from the bathroom cupboard, then decides on two more, taking them all with a glass of water. Gordon is opening up the chemist shop as Rose approaches him, suffering from terrible morning sickness. She asks him for medication and he offers her some tablets. What has Rose decided to do? She admits that she cannot go through with an abortion. Gordon has a psychiatrist friend and recommends that Rose might find him helpful; he would probably recommend a legal abortion because of Rose's emotional and mental state. She shakes her head. The pregnancy is not the problem. It is Julian's reaction that she fears; she loves him so much! In Flat 2 and then the deli, Aldo is looking for Rose. She eventually turns up, explaining that she had an upset stomach and bought some pills from Gordon at the chemist shop. Aldo is puzzled. There are enough pills in the bathroom cabinet to sink a battleship! Rose changes the subject by asking if Aldo and Roma were still bickering with each other. Aldo fobs her off. They had a little argument. Haven't Rose and Julian had their little arguments? But Aldo and Roma are sensible people: they resolve everything over dinner at The Blue Danube! A weary Julian finishes night duty at the hospital and asks the nurse on Reception to ring Rose's number for him. She wants to meet for lunch, but he "plans to sleep for 100 years". Could Rose please check out the flat that a friend of his had mentioned? He promises to meet her tonight for dinner. Don comes to the deli to buy some sweets to suck on during today's exam. Roma turns up, apologising for being late. Her boss took her out to dinner last night. Aldo laughs and continues serving Don. Roma heads for the bathroom to wash up and immediately recognises the pills that Rose had bought this morning. Realising the truth about Rose's condition, she asks her if Aldo has been told. As Don leaves the deli, Peter Harvey enters, wanting to buy cigarettes. Aldo remembers him from the restaurant. Vera turns up, wearing a smart suit. She had noticed Peter's car from her window. He is curious about the mysterious project she wants to discuss with him. She needs his advice "as a businessman". Rose has told Roma the whole story of her pregnancy. She is too scared to tell Julian, but Roma wonders what Aldo will say. Rose insists that Papa will not understand. Roma offers to tell Aldo on her behalf and Rose agrees. Aldo comes in search of his two assistants. Roma announces that she is coming, but that Rose has an appointment to look at a new rental flat. The Tapemeasure, Maggie and Vera's Double Bay clothing salon, begins to take shape. Maggie is supervising the workmen when Vera and Peter enter. Vera is about to introduce them to each other - but it seems they are old acquaintances! Vera shows Peter around the shop, and enthusiastically points out where everything will go. She wants information on cost of materials versus sale price, and so on, but Peter says that, with Maggie as a partner, they won't be needing much advice from him. Maggie suggests that they all go to lunch together - on the "The Tapemeasure" expense account! Rose comes into the deli from the street and, as soon as she sees Aldo, she knows that he has been told about her situation. He is gentle with her, saying that she shouldn't have kept this to herself. Aldo asks if she has spoken to Julian about the baby. "Julian is a good boy," he says. "He will understand." Sonia drops into Flat 4 to see Chad, who is on the phone to another reporter. She is restless and needs his company. Kit arrives tonight and Sonia knows it is silly, but she is scared. Chad asks if Kit knows about Sonia's relationship with Gordon? No, he doesn't - and mustn't - which is why Sonia will be living away from Flat 1, only coming in each day to work in the shop. Gordon has even convinced Dorrie Evans not to say anything. Don arrives home, elated with the way his exam went today. Don has the afternoon newspaper, which features a follow-up article about Chad. Of course, Chad has seen it. He tells Don of Sonia's concerns about Kit. Don thinks that Sonia has nothing to worry about; Kit seems like a very nice young man. Sonia stares at him. "You mean you've met him?" Back at their favourite restaurant, Julian and Rose are having dinner. Julian is always so thrilled to be with Rose and talks about how much he missed her this week, about getting married, consulting with the local Rabbi, Rose's dress plans, the invitations... He remembers that Rose had something to tell him but now she is reluctant to ruin this special moment. "Oh, nothing important." Sonia, still in her white coat, is straightening things, unnecessarily, on the counters. She is desperately trying to be busy. Gordon enters carrying a suitcase and Sonia wonders where Kit is. "Unloading some more stuff from the car." Kit, with bags piled high, arrives and Gordon introduces him to Sonia. He calmly takes her hand and says, "Hello, Sonia." Gordon blathers on about what a great shop assistant Sonia is - and she interrupts him. "Gordon, don't go on. He knows all about us." [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Episode 63
The Tapemeasure, Double Bay.

"The Tapemeasure" was also the real-life commercial venture of the producer's wife, Nancy Cash. The synopsis suggested that filmed footage of the shop's exterior (in Bay Village on Cross Street, Double Bay) with its new signage being painted, could be inserted into the videotaped episode.

64. (7/06) Tonight, 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. Kit, Gordon and Sonia are having drinks in Flat 1. Kit is nonchalant about the stupid prank he played on Sonia when he pretended to be a customer in the chemist shop. Gordon is angry about the incident. Kit wonders if his Dad really thought that his own son didn't know what was going on? The inquest was fully reported and the students do have access to newspapers in boarding school. He knew his father was living with someone for years. Gordon and Sonia are made to feel like naughty children getting caught out. Kit assumes, since the flat has only one bedroom, that he will be bunking up in the lounge room. Gordon explains that he has already set up a camp-bed in the bedroom. Kit laughs that they should move it out, since "I couldn't sleep in there with the two of you, could I? That would be immoral! Sonia and Gordon are nonplussed. Aldo and Roma are sitting "at home", just like a married couple. Roma has stayed late, curious to find out how Rose talk went with Julian. Aldo realises the time and suggests calling Roma a cab. Just then, Julian and Rose arrive in high spirits, with Julian full of wedding plans. He is so in love! He kisses Rose goodnight and leaves, as he has an early shift tomorrow. Aldo is delighted that Julian took the news of the baby so well, but Roma's intuition tells her differently. "You haven't told him, have you?" she asks Rose, who admits the truth with a shake of her head. She just couldn't... Next morning, Herb is laying out the breakfast things while Dorrie attends to a phone call. It is the Rector and Dorrie is all smiles. Inwardly, she is seething. After hanging up, she explains that Mr Wormald has invited her to be a guest speaker for the Mothers' Union, with the topic being The Essence of Christian Charity. She blames Herb again; if he hadn't been so secretive and underhanded, they could have been on a cruise by now and living in luxury. Dorrie has a little weep and Herb finds it hard to console her. Janie is doing her floor exercises to music from the radio when Bev emerges from the bedroom. "Hello, stranger!" Bev greets her, as they have not crossed paths much in days. Jack had collected Janie from rehearsal and taken her straight to dinner. Bev starts fishing, cautiously, by mentioning that Jack had come back to the flat with her the previous night. Had he mentioned it? Janie says "No, but he did say that you two had lunch together that day." Bev says, "What about it? You were at rehearsals." Janie reminds her that rehearsals had been cancelled, and that Bev was supposedly going to work. So she went to lunch with Jack without saying anything? Bev tries to make excuses. Janie says, "If you're trying to pinch Jack from me, go ahead. I'm not sure I care that much. The play's the most important thing in my life right now. But, for God's sake, tell me! Don't do another thing like that again." Bev reassures Janie that she doesn't want Jack - and wouldn't even look at him. Janie stomps off to the bedroom. Bev bites her lip, trying not to cry. Aldo busies himself tidying up Flat 2. Roma comes in from the shop. Does Aldo need her today, since Rose is behind the counter? Aldo is frustrated. Rose either won't, or can't, talk to him about the situation with Julian. Roma offers to talk to her on Aldo's behalf. In Flat 1, Kit is asleep on the camp-bed and Sonia, wearing her white coat, brings him a coffee. She shakes him awake and he asks for the time. It is 10.30am; Gordon and Sonia opened the shop two hours ago. She places the coffee onto the table. Behind her, Kit, who sleeps naked, climbs out of bed and begins slipping into a pair of jeans. Sonia turns and her face flushes red with embarrassment. Kit notices and laughs. He's not ashamed of his body; is she ashamed of hers? He asks if the chemist shop is busy today and she says no. He asks her to sit while he drinks his coffee. Kit urges Sonia not to be embarrassed by his presence in the flat. He is not concerned about her relationship with his father. He mentions that he and his younger brother, Martin - while sorry about their mother's death - didn't have much love for her. Sylvia was way too possessive and often too sick to care. Sonia begins to relax; Kit has a way with words and manages to charm her with his honest approach. Roma urges Rose to tell Julian about the baby. She has guessed that the baby is not the result of the gang rape that Rose endured. Rose nods. Yes, she knows the father and it is one of two men. Roma insists that Rose must go and see Julian today. Rose agrees, but Julian is at the hospital all day and evening. Tomorrow then? Yes, Rose is resolved that he must be told. Gordon and Kit have lunch together while Sonia is behind the counter in the shop. They have to eat in shifts like this, but it gives him time alone with his son. Kit announces that he thinks Sonia is "a really cool character". They had a great conversation this morning. Gordon is pleased. Kit observes that Sonia is closer to his age than Gordon's! Kit must go job hunting this afternoon. He's not picky: ditch-digging, barman, whatever! Gordon assures him that there is no need for him to get a job while waiting for university to start; Gordon will support him. Lightly, but with purpose, Kit says, "No thanks, Dad, I prefer to be independent." On the landing outside Flats 3 and 4, Dorrie is knocking on Don's door. There is no answer and Herb supposes that Don is still at his exams. It is 5.30pm. Dorrie is sure he would be home by now. She wants his legal advice on how to get back the $8000 she donated. She sends Herb into their flat to get tea started while she looks for Don downstairs at Aldo's. In the deli, Kit is telling Rose and Aldo how he had just found a job at a nearby petrol station. He invites Rose to come out with him to celebrate, but Rose is going to the movies with her father. Bev explains that Rose is engaged to be married. Kit says, "That just makes her more interesting!" Bev packs her shopping into her bag and heads for the door as Dorrie bursts in, looking for Don. Rose lightheartedly suggests that he has probably "gone out on the town with a girlfriend". Everybody smiles and laughs at this, except Bev. She leaves. Rose introduces Kit to Dorrie. Dorrie then asks how Kit is getting along with his father's assistant, Miss Freeman? Kit stuns Dorrie when he says, "Oh, Sonia? She's a doll! No wonder she and Dad are on together." Bev returns to Flat 6, where Janie is in a robe, fresh from the shower. She is getting ready to go out on a date with Jack, as there is no rehearsal call tomorrow. They speak to each other with an awkward formality. What are Bev's plans for the evening? Bev replies that a friend will be ringing. When Janie heads to her bedroom, Bev flings herself onto the sofa, very unhappy. At 10.30pm, Gordon and Sonia are preparing for bed. Kit is out with friends. Gordon is pleased that Sonia is getting along well with Kit. She likes him; he is fairly sophisticated for an 18-year-old. Gordon welcomes her into bed and Sonia admits she feels a bit like a naughty child, doing something she shouldn't. Gordon kisses her. Bev, in her negligee, descends the stairs, pausing at Don's door. She considers her options and knocks. No one is in. Then she hears knocking from the ground floor. It is Julian, trying to rouse Rose. She isn't home either. Bev invites Julian up to her flat; he was unable to accept her offer the other day to join her for a drink, but this time he does. The front door to Flat 3 is slightly ajar. Dorrie, dressed for bed, is peering through the crack. She joins Herb in the bedroom and announces: "Beverly Houghton just took that nice young Doctor Myers up to her flat. What's going on, I wonder?" Meanwhile, in Flat 6, there are soft lights, with music playing. Bev is pouring herself and Julian another drink each, even though Julian's first one is still half full. She is being very seductive and Julian is ill at ease. She brings the drinks over and, from behind the sofa, she caresses Julian's neck, telling him that he is a very handsome man. Julian is embarrassed and says that he must return downstairs. Why? Doesn't Julian find her attractive? "It's not that," he says, "but I'm in love with Rose. We are engaged to be married." Bev replies, "Oh, so you don't mind about the baby?" Julian asks her what she means. Bev says coldly, "Rose is having a baby, didn't you know? That's why she's marrying you!" Julian stares at her and says that she is lying. "If you don't believe me, why don't you ask Rose?" Julian stands unsteadily, breathing heavily. He storms out. Bev giggles and knocks back her drink. Then the realisation hits: she has really dropped a bombshell this time! [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Episode 64
Dorrie Evans, Flat 3.

At some point after Don moved to Flat 4, Janie has begun occupying the other bedroom in Flat 6. At the start of the series, Bev and Janie shared a room and had twin beds, even though the other bedroom was often vacant.

65. (8/06) Don and Chad arrive home from a night out with Mark at the Press Club, where they have been chatting to the journalists about Matt Black's articles on Chad and the Education Department. The story has really blown up! Don only has one more exam to go and he is pleased with everything so far. Chad asks how he is feeling about "the other thing". "Oh, you mean about me being homosexual?" asks Don. "I wish I wasn't, Chad. I'd give anything in the world not to be." Chad suggests that all it might take is a pretty girl to come along and "convert him, like a football try". Don shakes his head; Bev is pretty enough and she couldn't convert him. Don heads for bed. Maggie and Vera have been dining with Peter and John Harvey in an exclusive restaurant. They are having coffee while John settles the bill. Vera thinks the waiter is trying to encourage them to finish their drinks and leave. Maggie says that the staff wouldn't dare. Both she and the Harvey family, one of her firm's best clients, spend a fortune here! John tries to get Vera talking ("When will The Tapemeasure be ready to open?") and about her background ("You're from South Africa, Mrs Collins? How long have you been here?") Maggie tells John to stop being so nosy. Vera will be "too busy to go through a Harvey Brothers' inquisition". The evening is a success, but there is a niggling undercurrent. John is such a cold fish. It is midnight when Janie and Jack return to Flat 6 and they go inside to have a nightcap and chat about Janie's rehearsals. They hear the faint sound of someone crying. Janie is most concerned and Jack thinks it best if he leaves. She sees him to the door. "I love you, Sarah Bernhardt, you know that..." says Jack, and they share a kiss. Janie then goes to Bev's bedroom to check on her. Janie puts her arms around Bev who rattles off everything that is distressing her. She is feeling depressed with herself, she does some terrible things, she spent a night with a man she loathes, she tried to seduce Jack Sellars and nearly ruined her friendship with Janie - and tonight she did something for which she can never forgive herself. It was so awful she can't even tell Janie. Janie tries to comfort her and reminds her that Bev has work tomorrow. Bev shakes her head. She hasn't worked for seven days now. She was fired for being rude to her boss. She is feeling wretched and thinks that her life is useless. Janie suspects that much of this is due to the incident with Don. "I tried to forget him," cries Bev, "but I can't, Janie, I just can't!" She breaks down again as Janie holds her close. Next morning, Don emerges from his room to find Chad, dressed for work, eating breakfast and studying a letter. "Not sleeping in? I thought there was no exam today?" While Don didn't sleep well after overindulging at the Press Club, Chad had no problem; booze always makes him sleep. The letter must have been hand-delivered because it is too early for the postman. The State Education Department wants Chad to come in for a meeting and Don supposes it is in relation to the newspaper articles. As Chad is leaving for work, Janie is at the door. She tells Don that Bev is in a highly emotional state. Janie has rehearsals, but is reluctant to leave Bev alone. Bev still hasn't been able to get over her feelings for Don. Could he go in and see her now? Don explains that he has been trying to keep out of Bev's way. He can't see how his interference would help; it might make her feel even worse? Janie supposes he is right. She has given Bev some sleeping pills and she is now asleep. Claire turns up at the stage door of Janie's theatre to demand that she be paged immediately. From behind a security grill, the doorkeeper explains that Miss Somers is in rehearsal with Mr Morris. Dorrie has bailed up Don on his day off to demand a way to retrieve Herb's $8000. He suggests that she heed Mr Calthrop's advice. Dorrie complains that her solicitor is getting old and only knows "the old law". Surely, with Don being younger and still studying, he knows of some new laws that would help her. Wearily, Don suggests that if Herb was to fall ill or become destitute, and desperately need the money, perhaps that would add weight to her request for the donations to be returned? Dorrie's face brightens as an idea germinates. Janie's phone call to Claire has had swift results. In the foyer of the theatre, Janie explains Bev's shaky emotional state to Claire and unfolds the whole situation leading to it. Claire insists that she will go to Number 96 at once. She will stay in Janie's room and take care of Beverly. "My daughter needs me." When Janie starts to protest, Claire states that Janie could stay in a suite at the Wentworth Hotel - at Claire's expense. Amid construction activities at The Tapemeasure, Vera and Maggie share a lunch of sandwiches and beer while sitting on crates. Vera is concerned that she is getting behind on her orders. Mrs Houghton is sure to become impatient, and she is only one client. Maggie talks about the three Harvey brothers: John is the business head, Peter the inspired one and Michael the playboy. They run a diversified company and a very profitable one. John has Michael "in his pocket". The youngest Harvey doesn't care about the business, only the money it brings in. She is interrupted by the arrival of Peter, who has brought a bottle of Harvey Brothers' best sparkling wine. Vera is astounded at how much her life has changed in just four weeks. She is in a completely different social world. They drink a toast to their new venture. Who wouldn't want this over used cars? Claire has finished unpacking in Flat 6 and takes a tea tray into Bev's bedroom. She rouses her and Bev is very drowsy and disoriented. Claire tells her to relax and drink her tea. "It's all been a bad dream, darling, but it's over now... Mother's here". Dorrie returns from the Senior Citizens Club in time for tea. She tells Herb that she has been talking to Don - and if Herb takes to his bed feigning a serious illness, they can demand the two donations back to pay for the operation. Herb surprises Dorrie with his response. The idea is "dishonest, un-Christian and stupid." He tells her to forget about the money - "It's gone... it's done!" - and storms off, leaving Dorrie open-mouthed. Claire is chatting with Jack over cocktails, sharing gossip about Ozzie and Rita Rheingold. Janie emerges from her bedroom with a small suitcase, having agreed to move to a hotel. Doctor Gott of Macquarie Street has made a housecall, at Claire's insistence, to put Bev under "extreme sedation". Claire knows what needs to occur. "This boy, Donald - deviant or not - must marry Beverly! These things can always be arranged, or operated on...?" Janie is not happy about leaving Bev alone with Claire, but she and Jack need to go. Chad arrives home to find Don asleep on the sofa, surrounded by his textbooks. When he awakens, Don asks Chad about his progress with the Education Department. They are worried about the ongoing publicity, although they didn't actually admit that. Miraculously, Chad's missing teaching certificate was found - and he has now been offered a university post in Canberra! Don is delighted for him, but Chad must leave in three days. Chad must give up the flat; he has been reluctant to mention this fact. Can Don afford to stay on in Flat 4 on his own? Chad has no more savings left. Don will probably have to move out, too. [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 65
John Harvey of Harvey & Sons.

Originally, the series was not expected to run beyond thirteen weeks, marked by this episode. An optional filmed sequence, suggested by the synopsis writer (Johnny Whyte), describes a Daimler pulling up outside the theatre, and Claire Houghton sweeping out to see Janie. Claire tells the doorman, "I don't care if she is in the middle of an audience with the Pope. Page her! I'll wait in the foyer." Whyte adds: "Only Mrs Houghton doesn't say this, David, cos I know you'll change it." The foyer of Channel TEN is a suggested locale. Specific reference is made in the synopsis to David Sale's 1971 novel, "Come to Mother", with Claire's "It's over now... Mother's here..." speech.

66. (9/06) Julian is missing and Rose is confused. She has tried ringing his flat and the hospital for two days. Bringing her tea, Aldo suggests that perhaps Julian has gone to Queensland to visit his parents? But why wouldn't he contact Rose? In Flat 4, Chad chats to Don while he drinks his tea. Don's last exam is tomorrow. Chad is sorry that he must saddle Don with the lease on Flat 4. He can't turn down the university position; he has been wanting such a post for a long time. Assuming Don passes his exams, he has only six weeks on low Articles Clerk wages to get through, and then he will be able to afford the rent and the furniture contract on his own. What about Maggie's uncashed cheque? Chad admits that he found it in the waste paper basket and placed it inside Don's dictionary for safekeeping. Don is not interested in Maggie's "conscience money". Lucy looks on, wistfully, as Alf packs his battered, old suitcase for his departure. It looks doubtful that the case will hold together for long. Lucy suggests that, if Alf is stopping off at "Our Jim's" in Perth, on his way to England, he should pack his summer clothes on top. She needs to get to the laundrette to open up. Many things are left unsaid. Rose is in the deli serving a customer when Kit breezes in, resplendent in his new, gleaming-white overalls. He is about to start his first shift at the petrol station. He observes that Rose looks miserable and she gives a weak smile and says she is okay. Kit invites her to come with him to a disco tonight, but she shakes her head. Aldo comes in, saying that Roma will be coming in late today, as she is waiting for a repairman to fix her cooker. Kit heads off to work and Rose, her mind full of thoughts about Julian, asks her father, "Where can he be, Papa? Why hasn't he rung?" Aldo tries to comfort her. Maybe she should go down to the hospital in person and see if they have a way to contact him? In the dispensary section of the chemist shop, Gordon reads an invitation he was sent for the Pharmaceutical Society's annual conference in Brisbane in ten days time. Sonia asks if he will be attending, but he doubts it. They are interrupted by someone rapping on the front counter. It is Claire, demanding service. She has prescriptions from Doctor Gott: medications required to get her Beverly back to good health. Sonia comes into the shop area. She has never met Mrs Houghton and, hearing that Bev is unwell, wonders how she can help out. Claire is satisfied with Bev being under the care of a Macquarie Street specialist, but suggests that Sonia could go up and sit by her daughter's bedside while Claire is off seeing Mrs Collins for a fitting. Sonia explains that Vera is busy setting up her new salon in Double Bay and wouldn't be home all day. Claire is infuriated that no one has told her about this salon venture. In the laundrette, Chad comes in with a bag of clothes to be washed and tells Lucy that he will be off to Canberra in two days to start his new teaching position. Alf comes in with fish and chips, wrapped in newspaper, for lunch. He and Lucy get all nostalgic about the last time they did this. They recall the hippies stripping off their clothes and how Alf ended up fusing the electricity board. Mrs Houghton is in the deli making life difficult for Roma. Claire's list of exotic foods - delicacies to tempt poor Beverly's appetite - are more likely to be found at David Jones' Food Hall. "It's a simple enough order..." Roma gets flustered and heads into the flat to fetch Aldo. He leaves his lunch to tend to Claire in the shop just as Rose comes in through the flat's front door. Rose looks very upset and Roma comforts her. No luck in locating Julian; it seems as if he is deliberately avoiding her. The hospital claims to have no way to contact him, something that Rose finds unbelievable. Don is finding it hard to concentrate on his studies. He wanders over to the bookshelf and opens the dictionary. Maggie's cheque is there. As he stares at it, there is a loud knock at the door. He opens it and Claire barges in and sits down. Her Beverly seems to be emotionally overwrought to breaking point, at least "according to Gott - and he should know, having brought Beverly into the world". Essentially, Claire is here to "buy" Don's affections; he is needed to be a husband for her distraught daughter, who has apparently fallen heavily for him. Don must rekindle his interest in Bev, who will be a wealthy woman one day. Their marriage can be engineered later and Don can keep his private life separate. Don thinks the whole idea is preposterous and, at first, he thinks Claire is joking, but she means every word. Don can't see that any of this would help Bev get over her emotional turmoil. Kit is back from the petrol station already. He is only doing part-time hours. While they wait for the kettle to boil, Kit surprises Sonia with an invitation to a discotheque tonight. Sonia says it might be rather fun, a new experience, and will ask Gordon about it. Kit hastens that he doesn't think it will be his Dad's scene at all. His invitation was for Sonia. In Flat 4, Chad is busy packing his belongings. Don is studying for tomorrow's final exam. Chad has spoken to the H.P. company about the furniture contract being put into Don's name only. Don only has to wait six weeks for his raise in salary. Meanwhile, he has decided to cash Maggie's cheque after all. To Hell with his pride! What worries him more is this afternoon's encounter with Mrs Houghton. He is feeling guilty about Bev's mental state; is it all his fault? Chad tries to reassure him, but Don is so frustrated by it all, especially on the eve of his toughest exam. Aldo and Roma are in the deli when the Sutcliffes come in, dressed to the nines for what will be a final dinner together. Outwardly they are bright and cheery. Gordon arrives, needing soda water for his scotch. "My teenage son has taken Sonia to a disco, if you please". Gordon tries to laugh it off but there is a hint of irritation in his voice. As he leaves, a pale and tense Julian enters. He asks Aldo if he can see Rose in private and he goes through to the flat. Julian finds Rose flipping through a magazine. She is relieved to see him, but stops in her tracks when she sees Julian's face. He fires a barrage of questions at her, answering most of them himself, before she can respond. "Is she having a baby? Is it true? Who's the father? It isn't me, is it? You know who the father is, don't you?" He supposes that the whole rape story was a pack of lies, to pull the wool over his eyes. That she "wanted their life together to be one great lie". "You don't even love me, do you? You never did!" Rose cries out that she does love him. He is always so tense and earnest, she could never tell him. Julian says that what hurts the most is remembering that night, here in the flat, when she tried to seduce him - so that she could pretend that the baby was his? "I can never forgive that!" He realises he is so emotionally taut that he cannot trust himself. He turns and escapes through the shop. Rose is gasping, almost breaking down. Aldo enters from the deli and Rose falls into her father's arms with uncontrollable tears. [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 66
Alf and Lucy Sutcliffe in the laundrette.

The mention of the Pharmaceutical Society's annual conference is probably a coincidence, but the Sydney United Friendly Society's Dispensary and Medical Institute was responsible for constructing Moncur Flats at 83 Moncur Street, Woollahra. The building was used to represent "Number 96" in Paddington for the series. The Sutcliffes recall the events of Episode #13, which had featured Chard Hayward and Cathy Jones as the hippies.

67. (12/06) Sonia and Kit arrive home from their night at the disco, giggling and whispering. It is midnight. Kit holds up an almost-emptied whisky bottle; it seems Gordon made a night of it and went to bed. "Drunk again, by the looks of things." Sonia defends Gordon. "Oh, he doesn't drink much." Kit is bemused, saying "It must be your steadying influence!" Sonia offers to make coffee but Kit is ready to sleep, so she heads off to the bedroom while Kit undresses and gets into the camp-bed. In the bedroom, Sonia changes into her nightdress. Gordon switches on the sidetable lamp, and asks the time. They have a hushed discussion. Isn't Sonia a bit old to be going to teenage dives? Climbing in beside Gordon, Sonia defends her actions and says that Kit is lonely and still mourning the passing of his mother, Sylvia. "All that outward calm and sophistication is just a veneer. Underneath, he's just an unhappy kid. We must try to help him." Alone on his camp-bed in the loungeroom, Kit has the hint of a smile. Alf is all packed - two large, battered suitcases - and is determined that he is definitely leaving, but Lucy is refusing to believe he'll go through with it. Alf has lathered up his face, then realised the safety razor is packed. Lucy tries to discourage him from opening up the suitcases to look for it and suggests he use the electric one that Jim gave him. It's in the bathroom but Alf grumbles about having to use it. Vera pops in to apologise for being so busy with The Tapemeasure in recent days. Lucy is trying to be bright and cheery and Vera comforts her, insisting that she will go to the airport with them to see Alf off. His flight leaves at 6pm. Alf emerges from the bathroom again and starts reopening the biggest suitcase. Back in Flat 7, Vera hears Roma calling her from the stairs. She invites her in, apologising for the dressmaking clutter all around them. Roma asks for Vera's help in calming Rose. Julian has found out that Rose is carrying another man's baby! No one seems to know how he found out. Julian has called off the engagement. Rose is in a terrible state and can't stop crying - and poor Aldo is blaming himself. Vera offers to come down and see Rose. Roma has given her a sedative, so she will be sleeping now, but later would be good. Claire is in the kitchen of her daughter's flat, preparing a breakfast tray. Bev wanders in, in her dressing gown. Claire is horrified to see her out of bed. Claire orders her back to bed; Doctor Gott is due soon and will surely prescribe some more sedation. Bev snaps that she has no intention of becoming a doctor addict like her mother. They take the tray into the living room, where Bev picks at her food. Claire remarks, a little too casually, that she recently bumped into that charming boy, Donald. He is so devoted to Bev! Bev scoffs at the idea. "Sure, like he's devoted to waffles and ice cream." Claire keeps plugging Don's admirable attributes in little references and Bev pleads for them to change the subject. Claire thinks they need to return to Point Piper for Bev's recovery. Even though Bev professes that she feels okay, Claire declares her to be "a bundle of nerves". Bev thinks that what would really cheer her up would be a phone call to Rod, Bev's brother in Texas! Claire says, "I am very angry with your brother. Not a single letter in four weeks!" Bev urges that they call him and Claire reaches for the phone. Vera comes to see Gordon in the chemist shop. She has just been to see Rose, who is in a terrible shape. What can they do to help her? He tells Vera that an abortion would have resolved Rose's dilemma: "Two lives ruined... when a simple, perfectly safe abortion could have saved all this unhappiness." It is an option that horrifies Sonia. She is scared that Gordon will volunteer to perform the procedure. Vera says that is too late; Julian already knows about the baby, and that it isn't his. He found out before Rose could tell him herself. Maggie sees Vera through the shop window and comes in to give Vera the keys to Flat 5. Mr Bayswater, the agent, had told her to leave the keys with the Evanses, but they seem to be out. Vera agrees to mind the keys and give them to Dorrie. Vera and Maggie are both keeping away from the salon today, to avoid clashes with their fussy interior decorator. Maggie suggests that Vera could join her business lunch with the Harvey brothers, Peter and John. Their wine business is now one of Maggie's biggest advertising accounts. Vera declines the invitation; Claire Houghton had caught her on the stairs earlier and is insisting on a fitting this afternoon. Alf's ancient suitcase bursts open again, scattering clothes everywhere. They'll have to go out and buy a new one, but Alf only has $5 left, having converted all his savings into pounds sterling. Lucy urges him to use some of the money in his cigar box - there is still $250 in it - to buy a new suitcase. Alf says that she will need that money for travelling expenses when she makes the trip to England to join him. Lucy insists she will not be going. Alf reckons she will change her mind when he writes to tell her how wonderful England is. Lucy pulls a $20 note from the box and sends him off to the shops. Bev is chatting on the phone to Rod while their mother has a gin. Bev hands over the phone and Claire's first words are "Why haven't I had a letter in four weeks, Rodney?" Rod has been "busy", but a full explanation is already in the mail. When she hangs up, Claire tells Bev that it seems that Rodney intends to marry an American girl. Bev is shocked. Her big brother getting married? When Peter leaves Maggie's business lunch, John stays on over coffee and brandies to announce that he has found out about Vera's unsavoury past. He tries to warn Maggie about going into business with her. Maggie interprets this as John playing power game tactics and reminds him that she has fought him before - and won! John just laughs and relights his cigar. Alf's suitcases are at the front door of their flat; one case is brand new. Alf admits he has grown to like this place. Vera arrives late, having been held up by Claire's latest fitting. The phone rings to notify them that a taxi is waiting downstairs. Alf doublechecks his ticket, passport, money - it is almost as if he is reluctant to leave. But he doesn't change his mind. "Right then. Shall we go?" Jack and Janie have come to Flat 6 and Janie goes into Bev's bedroom to check on her. She tries to cheer her up, but Bev is disinterested in Janie's news about her play. Instead, Bev talks about Rod's intention to get married. Janie knows about the strong bond Bev has with Rod and she struggles to say the right things. Bev is quite drowsy after the drugs Claire insisted she take. From the lounge room, they can hear Claire and Jack's merry socialising. Janie pulls Bev's blankets around her and leaves to join the others. At the airport, Alf's flight is called over the public address system. Vera shakes his hand and pecks him on the cheek, then stands aside so the Sutcliffes can say their goodbyes to each other. In typical Lancashire style, they show little emotion. Lucy tries to appear stoic as she and Vera watch Alf depart for his flight to London, via Perth, Singapore and Bangkok. It is cocktail hour in Flat 6. Between hilarious anecdotes about Ozzie and Rita, Claire explains to Jack and Janie her intention to quash Bev's and Rod's mutual, but unhealthy, fixation on each other. She has organised to pair up Bev with young Donald. She believes that Don being the nephew of Sir Arnold Ashton, of all people, makes him excellent husband material for her very wealthy daughter. They look up to see Bev in the doorway of her bedroom, white as a ghost. She has overheard Claire's ambitious plan and is distraught. Bev retreats into her room, followed by Janie. In an empty-seeming Flat 8, Lucy makes a pot of tea for her and Vera. Peter Harvey pops his head into the room, having found a note from Vera on her door that she was here. She asks in a whisper that he wait in her flat while she consoles Lucy. The conversation covers random things: Lucy needs to do housework as Ethel and her children are due to move down to Sydney in a matter of days. The curtains need washing, and there is so much to do to prepare... but Lucy is becoming maudlin, convinced that Alf has "gone for good". Vera tries to reassure her but Lucy breaks down in uncontrollable sobbing. [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 67
Doctor Julian Myers, fiancé of Rose Godolfus.

Filmed location footage of James Elliott, Lis Kirkby and Elaine Lee at Gate 5 of Sydney's international airport was incorporated into the episode.

68. (13/06) Dorrie and Herb have been asked by Mr Bayswater (Reg Gillam) to prepare Flat 5 so that it is ready for new tenants. Maggie Cameron has returned the keys through Mrs Collins. Herb explains that he had planned to meet up with George, bluffing that he has to settle up for Dorrie's fur coat. Dorrie has no intention of letting him go, assuming "that Bruce Taylor and that loose Mrs Cameron" have left the flat in "Heaven knows what state". They will have a big cleaning job to do and Mr Bayswater has several prospective tenants to be escorted through the flat. Chad is cheerily packing his bags for his departure to Canberra. Don, in his dressing gown, tells him that breakfast is ready. Chad assumed Don would be sleeping in today. He enquires about Don's final exam yesterday. Don says that his concentration wasn't good on the day, especially after his bizarre encounter with Claire Houghton, who is apparently planning on a marriage of convenience between him and her daughter - even offering to bankroll Don into his own law business. Don had to flee the situation! As they pack the rest of Chad's belongings, Chad mentions that he will be leaving for Canberra on the 4.00pm train. Rose sleeps fitfully in Aldo's bedroom, calling out Julian's name, which distressses Aldo. He checks on her, and sits on the end of the bed. Rose can't even recall how she came to be in his bed. The doctor had given her a shot of something and she has been in a delirious state much of the night. Rose begins to recall recent events. Where is Julian? In the laundrette, Dorrie comes to console Lucy about Alf's departure, mentioning how he had called in to say goodbye ("So final!") and that Alf's now "thousands of miles away in Perth by now". Although Dorrie means to be kind, her banter has a detrimental effect on Lucy's thinly-disguised demeanor. Don manages to lighten Lucy's state of mind a little when he explains to Dorrie why he has 15 pairs of underpants in his washing basket: "Mrs Evans, I assure you that if you ever had to sit through two whole weeks of law exams you'd get through 15 pairs of underpants, too!" Vera visits Flat 2 to enquire after Rose. Aldo is full of concern but takes her through to the bedroom. Rose is sitting up, listening to the radio. Aldo goes back to the shop, worried about what new muddle Roma might have got herself into. Vera pulls up a chair and asks Rose how she can help. "What's the use?" asks Rose, "it's all over now. Finished!" Vera was right after all, Rose should have followed her wise advice - but Vera hates being Mother Confessor, as she has made so many mistakes in her own life. Rose cannot be cheered. In the vacated Flat 5, Chad peeks inside to say goodbye to Herb. They have a mock swordfight with the mops and their enthusiastic horseplay knocks over a bucket of water. They manage to annoy Claire, who thumps on the wall from next door. At The Tapemeasure, while a painter does finishing touches to a mural, Maggie tries to engage Vera with her plans to make the salon look trendy, but Vera is miles away, lost in her thoughts. Although Vera doesn't specifically mention Rose and Julian, Maggie decides that Vera "should do something altruistic and unselfish" to help whichever friends' troubles Vera is "carrying around like a handbag". Maggie has to get back to the office anyway. Meanwhile, Dorrie finds Chad and Herb propped against a wall in Flat 5, laughing hysterically at one of Chad's stories. The "conserge" is concerned that she is losing her grip on what is happening with the building's tenants: Mrs Claire Houghton, herself, is back in the building and has just lodged a noise complaint. Beverly is unwell - and now Dorrie learns that Chad is leaving! ["Why wasn't she told? It's enough to drive a body beresk!"] Herb is ordered to get back to his cleaning tasks. Vera finally makes contact with Julian and, over coffee in the restaurant that he often goes to with Rose, she pleads with him to sort things out with his fiancée. Julian needs to get back to work at the hospital but Vera plead's Rose's case. True, Rose probably started off by using him, but she has fallen for him deeply over time. That's why the poor girl couldn't bring herself to tell him about the baby. Julian is still very hurt and doesn't believe Vera. "It could easily have been yours, you know," reminds Vera. Julian is angry: "But it wasn't - it isn't!" Vera defends Rose but is also fighting for all the people who have made wrong choices in their lives; all those who are not "perfect". Julian admits that he does still love Rose, but he cannot go through with this relationship. He leaves and Vera realises that she has failed. In Flat 4, Dorrie gets rather merry at Chad's farewell gathering. Herb is there and Don finally arrives, with Lucy in tow from the laundrette. Dorrie tearfully proclaims Chad to be "the nicest tenant in Number 96, 'present company expected' (sic)". The party of well-wishers, 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. They tearfully wave goodbye as Chad's taxi drives way down Lindsay Street. In Flat 7, over drinks with Vera, Lucy is expecting that Alf will ring soon, having arrived at Jim and Noeline's in Perth. They discuss Rose's problems over Julian and the baby. As Lucy is getting ready to leave, to wait by her phone, there is a knock at Vera's door. It is John Harvey. Vera invites him in. Aldo frets over Rose, who has become sullen and unresponsive. A cold, ruthless John threatens Vera about her relationship with Peter. He knows about her unsavoury past. She is of "no advantage to the family". Vera has no intention of backing away from Peter. Yes, she has things in her past she is ashamed of, but she never hid the details from Peter! John explains that, if she persists in seeing Peter, he will use the proxy vote of Michael (the youngest Harvey brother, who is currently in Europe) to have Peter removed from the Board of Directors - upon John's whim alone. [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 68
Mr Bayswater, real estate managing agent.

Julian is a tormented soul, "just like Lana [Turner] in the movies..." according to story editor, Johnny Whyte. He also describes Dorrie as being so merry at Chad's party that she might almost "throw her knickers over the deli at the drop of a hat". There is much signicance in South African-raised Vera's gracious acceptance of Chad at the end of his character arc with the series.

69. (14/06) With Sonia off visiting her mother, Gordon invites a lonely, exam-weary Don to have dinner with him and Kit. Don accepts gratefully. Alf has finally rung home; he has arrived safely in Perth for his stopover. Vera arrives at Lucy's with a bottle of gin, so they can drown their sorrows together. Lucy expects that Vera has no sorrows, what with her new salon venture, but Vera is not sure that she is cut out for the way that "big business" works. Lucy is curious but Vera changes the topic. Has she heard from Alf? Lucy admits that everything else important in her life is here in Australia. Lucy still doubts she could ever agree with her husband's plans for her to join him in England. Don tells Gordon and Kit about Claire's ridiculous plans for a "marriage of convenience" between him and Bev. Gordon knows what Claire is like. He recently heard her giving Sonia the sharp edge of her tongue. Don wonders what Gordon, a medical man, thinks about a woman like Mrs Houghton nursing a girl with such a disturbed mind? Has Don been to see Bev? No, Don wanted to give her some distance. He feels guilt about the situation. Gordon offers some advice about how Don might handle Bev's fragile state of mind, then leaves to collect Sonia with the car. Don offers his condolences to Kit over the loss of his mother. He explains that it was Chad, Don's ex-flatmate, who found Sylvia's body. Kit remembers seeing him on the stairs a few times. Poor Chad had a rough time at Number 96 when he first arrived; several of the residents made racist comments, not to mention that Chad fell madly in love with Sonia. Kit is intrigued, but Don hastens to add that Sonia didn't reciprocate, of course. Vera is awoken by a 7.30am phone call from Peter, who has to fly to Brisbane on business, but will be back tonight - and would Vera please join him at dinner? She avoids making plans to meet up with him, claiming to be going out with Lucy. She will contact him in a few days. 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 this morning, offering him a cup of tea. Is she sure she should be out of bed? Rose insists that she is fine. "It don't want to talk about it any more, Papa... Please. What do you fancy for breakfast?" In Flat 1, Gordon wants to shave but Sonia is still in the shower. Kit is frying bacon in the kitchen and he and his father banter about Kit's job at the filling station and his upcoming university placement. Kit raises the topic of Chad Farrell, now teaching in Canberra. Through his "innocent" questions, Kit manages to suggest to Gordon that Sonia might still be interested in Chad. Kit "can't remember" the details of how she said it now, but it's not important. Does Gordon want sausage or egg with his bacon? A seemingly cheery Rose is on her way to the laundrette. Roma is pleased to see her looking happier, but Aldo fears it is all a pretence. In Flat 6, Don has dropped in to check on Bev, following up Gordon's suggestion of the other night. Bev is resting and Doctor Gott is due very soon. Claire wants to know if Don has seriously considered her suggestion about marrying Bev. Don tries to explain that her idea would never work. It would be no guarantee of Bev's happiness - and might make her mental state even more fragile. Don realises that Claire means well, but her proposed solution is... ridiculous! Don asks to see Bev and Claire goes off to check if she is awake. Lucy admits to having a hangover from Vera's gin, but she has received a letter from Ethel about the family's move to Sydney next week, so there is much to look forward to. Rose arrives at the laundrette and gets an invitation to supper in Flat 7, after Vera has finished at the salon for the day. She accepts, but Rose's voice is flat, as if nothing matters anymore. Don and Bev clear the air a little. He gets her smiling with some funny stories about Claire. (She has been terrorising poor Mrs Lubinski over why the deli doesn't stock peaches in brandy.) Bev raises the issue that her mother has apparently posited "a certain proposition" and even included the promise of "a generous dowry"? Don is a bit embarrassed and they manage to laugh a little about Claire's machinations. Claire then swoops in to make sure that Doctor Gott's patient is not getting overtired. "Complete rest and tranquility at all times!" As Claire sweeps back out, Don promises that he will call in again tomorrow. Over tea, Roma tells Aldo that she is there under false pretences. She is probably not needed at the deli any more, now that Rose has returned to work. Aldo is grateful for Roma's help, but it was Rose who insisted on coming back to work. Aldo could never have made it through without Roma's contributions. Don had left a message at the theatre for Janie to call around. Dress rehearsals for the play start in three days. Gordon has joined them in Flat 4. They tell Janie that they both agree that Mrs Houghton is not the best person to be looking after Bev. She needs straightforward help, not pampering. Bev doesn't have the strength to resist Claire's domineering ways. Janie agrees and would really like to get her room back. She will try a confrontion tomorrow but she is terrified of Claire. Don admits, "Me, too!" Vera pours a gin for herself and a lemonade for her guest. She and Rose chat about the salon. When Julian's name is mentioned, Rose goes quiet again. Everyone keeps avoiding the subject, but Rose is happy to talk about it. What are Rose's plans now? Rose tells Vera that she will have the abortion after all. Vera is distressed; that solution won't bring Julian back. But Rose is determined. She no longer has any love for the baby and refuses to bring an unloved child into the world. Vera begs her to think it over very carefully. Rose's mind is already made up. [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 69
Claire Houghton, Bev's mother.

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. Gordon makes his departure, leaving Don to introduce Kit to Janie. She then excuses herself, as Jack is waiting for her in the car. Don offers Kit a beer, and Kit suggests that he and Don should go to see a movie together. Don agrees. Jack drops Janie at her hotel. She invites him in for a drink, but he knows she would prefer to spend time learning her lines. They do make plans to go to Flat 6 tomorrow, with Jack providing Janie with moral support when she orders Claire to go home. At bedtime, Gordon is thinking back to Kit's earlier comments and he questions Sonia about her feelings for Chad. Sonia is puzzled. "We're not going through all that again, are we?" As he starts to climb into bed, Gordon remembers that he should leave the front door unlocked for Kit but Sonia says that he has his own key. Back from their trip to the cinema, Don makes coffee for Kit, who questions Don about the events which had led to his mother's death, and how Gordon and Sonia had covered for each other over the missing cyanide pills. They had the only two keys to the poisons cupboard. Don explains that his information is all secondhand, mostly from Chad. Kit whistles and says it reminds him of the plot of an Agatha Christie novel. He is glad it was all sorted, as Kit really likes Sonia, "She is a doll!" They finish their coffee and Kit departs, both agreeing to do a movie session together again soon. Dorrie's speech rehearsal for the Mothers' Union tomorrow night is interrupted: several times by Herb clapping enthusiastically in the wrong places; and then by a prospective tenant, Miss Frobisher (Kay Eklund). She has been sent by Mr Bayswater to inspect Flat 5. Dorrie invites her in and fetches the keys. Claire continues to fuss over Bev. She brings her daughter a coffee (and a gin for herself) and insists that Bev stay in bed and "reserve her strength". Bev thinks that she feels well enough to get up but does not have the strength to keep battling with Claire. Miss Frobisher thinks that living at Number 96 will be perfect for her "children". This is alarming to Dorrie, who would be living directly below. Of even more concern, though: Miss Frobisher was referring to her nine cats! Dorrie begins emphasising all the faults in the flat, rather than its positive attributes. Roma is on duty in the deli and has grown in confidence. Don calls in to get some fish fingers and tells Roma that he is back at work, but still has about six weeks to wait for the results of his law exams. He enquires after Rose. Roma mentions that Rose is planning to stay with an old school friend for a few days. "It will help to do her good," says Roma. Janie and Jack arrive in the deli. They all laugh about the daunting mission she is about to tackle: telling Mrs Houghton to vacate Janie's bedroom and to go back to Point Piper. Jack has every confidence that Janie's brilliant acting skills will be effective on Claire. Dorrie tentatively tries to tell Mr Bayswater about the nine cats. She ends her call just as Herb brings out the tea tray. Dorrie makes out that she 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. Jack and Janie arrive at Flat 6 and Janie steels herself to confront Claire. Jack suggests that Janie might check in on Bev first. She chats to Bev in the bedroom, trying to pluck up the courage she needs to get her room back. Bev asks her how the hotel is and she replies, "Was!" - because she's moving back to the flat! Bev wants to know how Janie plans to achieve that? Meanwhile, Claire tells Jack that she is still willing to foot all of Janie's expenses while staying at the hotel. Jack eventually succeeds in moving Claire out of Flat 6 by offering her an invitation - as his special guest, because Janie is too busy - to a glamorous, exclusive function being held by Lord and Lady Lumberdale. Claire is practically packed and ready to go! She hopes that Beverly won't be too disappointed about her needing to leave. Janie is relieved - and Bev is ecstatic! Gordon and Sonia close the shop for the evening. While Gordon needs to make a delivery of medicine to a bed-ridden customer, Sonia plans to run herself a relaxing bath. Kit will be going out with friends but declines a lift from his father, happy to catch a bus into the city. Gordon and Kit leave the flat together but, while Sonia is in the bath, Kit sneaks back into the flat. He goes to the bedroom and takes the pharmacy keys out of Sonia's handbag. He goes off to investigate the poisons cupboard in the shop, opening a jar of pills, and emptying a handful into his pocket. He shuts the self-locking safe and tests that it is again secure. Kit returns the keys to Sonia's handbag and quietly slips back out of Flat 1. [Episode written by Tim Purcell.]

Episode 70
Miss Frobisher, prospective tenant of Flat 5.

A close shot of the exterior of the Channel TEN studios at Lane Cove is the suggested locale for the scene in Jack's car, outside Janie's hotel.

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). Lucy is still in her dressing gown and looking forlorn. Vera asks if she could put through a small bundle of clothes for her at the laundrette? Herb calls by the deli to collect the garbage. Aldo forgot to put outside his door. Aldo tells Herb that he was distracted by Rose's plan to stay with a friend for a few days - and that he had to listen to Dorrie rehearse her speech on The Essence of Christian Charity three times yesterday! A delighted Herb has the prospect of a Dorrie-free night. Vera drops into the laundrette to collect her service wash. The fuss at the salon was a storm in a teacup. Now Vera plans to go home, hopefully avoiding another encounter with Claire on the stairs. Lucy has heard that Claire finally returned to Point Piper. Vera heads off and Herb tells Lucy that, with more S.P. bookie winnings of $7.50, he plans to celebrate tonight and invites her to join him. They can have a swinging time while Dorrie delivers her speech. Lucy agrees. Aldo explains to Vera that Roma is coming in late today. Again, her cooker needs attention. ("Such a cooker - always it goes wrong!") Rose is staying in Hunters Hill, at the home of old school friend, Barbara Ballantine. Barbara has "a swimming pool and everything - she has a good rest there!" There is doubt on Vera's face, though, and she suspects what Rose is up to. They are interrupted by a customer returning a purchase. Returning to Flat 7, Vera paces the room and decides to check the phone book. She finds a listing for a B. Ballantine of Hunters Hill and rings the number. Barbara has never heard of a Rose Godolfus! Vera rings off, looking very worried. Lucy is sitting down to sandwiches and a Thermos of tea for lunch when she is surprised to see her daughter, Ethel, rush into the laundrette. Ethel has travelled down from Newcastle to see her and prepare the new flat, which is quite dirty. Husband Kevin is at home, minding the children. Can Ethel please stay overnight? Lucy is delighted. Vera goes to the hospital to warn Julian of her suspicions. She requests that the receptionist page him and lights a cigarette, stubbing it out almost immediately. Julian comes into the waiting room. Vera explains her concern that Rose is seeking an abortion, not staying with a girlfriend. Vera has been worried sick for over three hours. Julian gets changed out of his scrubs and asks Doctor Nick Masters to cover the rest of his shift. They race back to Aldo's flat, almost-completely ignoring Herb doing his cleaning chores in the lobby. Vera checks with Roma in the shop, who only knows that Rose was supposed to be visiting a friend. Julian pleads for Aldo to remember something to help find Rose before she submits to an abortion. Aldo is stunned and horrified, and Julian sighs with angry frustration. Aldo finally remembers that Rose had previously visited a doctor - on Bulmer Street, in an awful area on the other side of town - after her terrible encounter with "those hoodlums". Julian can get the doctor's name from the Medical Registry. He heads for the telephone. In the laundrette, Herb is on the Red Phone to his bookie and learns that he has won another $3.00 to spend on his night out. Lucy says that he will make back the $8000 in no time, but this is a sore point for Herb. Now they have $10.50 to spend on their night out! Lucy doubts that she can come now, with her daughter visiting her overnight, but Herb encourages her to bring Ethel along. The more, the merrier! At a doctor's waiting room, Julian explains that he is looking for someone but the shady Doctor Jason denies performing abortions on his patients. He is indignant. He is a respectable doctor and has "never treated a Miss Godolfus". Julian gives a physical description. Doctor Jason would have sent packing any patient asking for an abortion. Escorting Julian and Vera to the door, he adds that he hopes Julian "will find Rose soon". She might already be back home, safe and well. Julian suddenly realises that he has not yet used Rose's first name - he becomes very threatening and begins striking the man to force a full confession from him! Doctor Jason merely rang a man and told him where to find the girl waiting. He can't remember where. Meanwhile, Rose is alone with her suitcase in a filthy attic room of a seedy hotel. The bed is ancient and rickety. The view from the tiny, dirty window is of back alleys and a slum. There is a knock at the door. Rose turns in horror! That night, Ethel tells Lucy about the big cleaning job that was needed on the empty flat today and then enquires after Alf. Lucy heard from him when he arrived at Jim and Noeline's in Perth. She assumes he is in England by now. "He is coming back, though, Mum. Isn't he?" Before Lucy can reply, there is a rapping at the door; Herb has arrived for their night out, dressed to the nines. Dorrie has left for her church event and "it's time to paint the town red". The door to Rose's hotel room bursts open - and Julian and Vera race in, hoping that they are not too late. Rose is sobbing and breathing heavily. Vera asks, "Are we too late? She's going to be all right, though? Isn't she?" Julian is holding Rose's wrist, whispering, "I hope so. Oh God, I hope so..." His face is full of torment. [Episode written by Tim Purcell.]

Episode 71
Herb Evans, Flat 3.

72. (19/06) Julian finished his shift at the hospital and headed straight over to Number 96. In Flat 2, Aldo says that Rose slept comfortably overnight, and that Rose's mother would be so proud of Julian. Such a good boy! Julian assures Aldo that Rose will be all right. He goes into the bedroom to see her. Julian tells Rose that he is here to care for her, always. 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. She couldn't go through with it, but now she must give up Julian because she has brought him so much unhappiness. Aldo and Roma essentially ignore Dorrie's rant about the trials of leasing Flat 5; they would rather determine what is happening back in the flat with Rose and Julian. Dorrie's mission is to raise the tone of Number 96. No more antics from tenants like Bruce Taylor and Maggie Cameron! No more tenants turning up naked on magazine covers! When he emerges from the flat, Julian looks ashen and grim. He signals to Aldo that Rose's condition is not good, then departs. Dorrie realises that her entire diatribe has fallen upon deaf ears. In Flat 6, Bev is lounging around with no plans for the day, except for writing a long letter to Rod in Texas. She says she is "trying to be enthusiastic" about things. Janie is worried about her throat holding out for rehearsals. Not wanting Bev to be alone with her thoughts, Janie invites Bev to lunch with her and Jack. In her office, Maggie is berating someone on the phone. Her secretary, Angela, interrupts her: a Mr Harvey has arrived to see her. Maggie is annoyed at Angela's intrusion but needs to know which Mr Harvey. It is Peter. She will see him. Maggie dismisses Angela and tosses a batch of substandard photos in the dustbin while continuing her phone conversation with the hapless photographer. Peter enters, just as Maggie orders the photographer to redo all the shots at his own expense. Peter is wondering if Maggie knows why Vera is avoiding him. It has been three days now. Vera has been very busy with the salon. Maggie doesn't want to get involved with Vera's personal life, but she likes Peter and realises she may have been brusque with him. She promises to mention his concerns when she sees Vera later today. Dorrie has an encounter with another prospective tenant, a longhaired musician carrying a guitar case. He wants to use the flat to rehearse with The Thing. There will be two people staying in each bedroom. The living area will be a great rehearsal space. It takes a while before Dorrie realises that The Thing is the name of the man's pop music group. Dorrie is horrified and warns that the flat has a terrible aspect to it; previous tenants complained about it a lot. If four people are going to move in, the rent will surely have to increase by 50%. Vera is looking quite bedraggled at The Tapemeasure. Maggie paces around for a quick appraisal but thinks it is all coming together nicely. She tells Vera about the visit from Peter. Vera confesses there hasn't been time for her to see much of Peter. Maggie eventually gets her to admit that John Harvey has made threats concerning Vera's past. Maggie is furious; it really tops her hard morning. She will speak to the petty tycoon and give him a piece of her mind. Vera wishes she wouldn't. In the Spanish bar, Janie and Bev have coffee and Jack goes for his inevitable beer. Janie's sore throat is getting worse. Hopefully she can get through rehearsals, have a good night's rest and be better tomorrow. Bev mentions what her morning was like and that she needs to post her letter to Rod. Jack must prepare for this afternoon's horseraces; it seems he is an S.P. bookmaker and Janie thinks that Bev would find it interesting to go with Jack. Bev doesn't think she should go, recalling the way she disgraced herself with Jack last time. Janie says hoarsely, "Don't be an ass, Bev." Angela serves Maggie and John some sherry. Maggie is delicate but puts John straight on her stance on things. He has no right to put pressure on Vera; it is none of John's business. John demands that Vera and Maggie behave according to his wishes. She gets her hackles up. At least Maggie is ethical (thus implying that John is not). John announces that he is severing all of Maggie's connections with the Harvey & Sons' group of companies. He storms out and Maggie orders Angela to remove all Harvey Brothers' wines from the office, smashing her sherry glass against the door. In the deli, Roma is busy with customers while Dorrie drones on about the latest would-be tenants of Flat 5. She mentions the longhaired musician and his group, The Thing. "Imagine all the drugs and liquor and noise!" He was followed by a strange, young girl who planned to share the flat with her father. "Father, indeed!" Dorrie had guessed what was going on the moment she clapped eyes on her. She told the girl the flat was already leased that very morning. Vera comes in and hears from Roma that Peter has been up at her flat looking for her. Amidst Dorrie's litany of complaints about the trials of leasing Flat 5, Vera takes her purchases but accidentally leaves her purse behind. Roma fails to get Vera's attention as she departs. Dorrie continues talking. Vera locates Peter sitting on the stairs and they discuss their strained situation. He wants to come in for a drink; Vera apologises that she is quite worn out. So many garment orders to fill! Peter asks if anything is wrong. At least she could have found time to call him? Vera does pour him a drink but thinks their relationship has been moving too fast. Do they need to see each other every day? Peter gently kisses her. Aldo announces to Rose that Julian is here to see her. She is drinking tea in bed. Julian looks angry. He was too agitated to work today but he can't stop thinking about her. (Tenderness didn't work this morning, so he tries the strongman technique this time.) Julian has decided that he really does love Rose and resolves never to doubt her again. She has proven her love for him. Rose watches him pacing and raving and admits that she does love him, too. As he kisses her neck and her cheek, the tea threatens to spill. "Tea, Hell! I would spill my blood!" claims Julian. In the deli, Aldo is saddened that "young people can be so foolish". Roma defends Rose and Julian, but Aldo is reminded that "they play, like cat and mouse - and the cheese is going to waste!" Julian appears. Aldo and Roma need to know: is the answer "Yes" or "No"? Julian announces that it is a "Yes"! Everything is fine and Rose is so much better. The wedding is back on! Roma weeps as she 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. She relents to Roma's insistence and actually agrees to make Rose's wedding dress. Aldo makes a toast: "Here's to love!" The others are cheery and excited. Vera quietly echoes Aldo's toast with a faint smile. [Episode written by Tim Purcell.]

Episode 72
Angela, Maggie Cameron's secretary.

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 that young people make new friends too carelessly. Kit claims that he had a super evening! As he starts to emerge from the camp-bed, Sonia remembers that Kit sleeps naked and she quickly disappears back into the kitchen. She has much to do before joining Gordon in the shop. Herb has just finished the washing up when Dorrie returns from the supermarket. She is in a temper after the latest gossip from Jessie Blanchard. They encountered each other at the checkout and Jessie claimed that Herb has again been seen in the company of two prostitutes at the pub! What was going on that night before last, when Dorrie was delivering her speech? Herb remembers that he was out with Lucy and Ethel but Dorrie won't let him defend himself. She thought they had reached an understanding about his "canoodling" but now that he freely admits it was true she doesn't want Herb in her bed any longer. Such blatant flaunting of his women friends! This is the limit. The end! There is a knock at the door and Dorrie opens it to a Mr Evans-Jones (Colin Croft), who is here to inspect Flat 5. While continuing to berate Herb, Dorrie exudes charm with the prospective tenant and takes him upstairs. Janie loses her voice on the eve of her play's dress rehearsal. In the chemist, she buys throat spray and some tablets from Gordon to get her through this afternoon's session, but he also recommends a full day of bed rest. That would require her making numerous important telephone calls. Sonia offers to come up later to help Janie make her phone calls. Dorrie is pleased to learn more about Mr Evans-Jones; he works as a stocks and bonds broker, doesn't smoke or drink, is unmarried, and he believes his only vice is reading late. She is quite smitten and Dorrie points out all of the building's best attributes. The various "odd types" who lived here are gone now - or mostly-gone. She has seen to it. Very soon, the only tenants at Number 96 will be first-class ones, such as Mr Evans-Jones himself. Maggie is reprimanding the interior decorator again, when Peter comes into the salon looking for Vera. Vera is at home, trying to catch up on orders. Maggie questions Peter's motives and he is amused by her "old aunt" protectiveness. Vera's productivity is important to the success of the salon and that productivity is affected by her personal life. Peter states that his relationship with Vera is none of Maggie's "goddamned business". Maggie delights in telling Peter that his older brother, John, has also been interfering, digging into Vera's past. Peter is furious to learn this and promises that he will handle John. Sonia is helping Janie with her phone calls when Kit turns up in his work coveralls. He wanted to tell Sonia which trousers were to go to the drycleaner. Sonia introduces him to Janie. Kim invites Janie to come out with him when she is feeling better. As a working actress, she claims to never have evenings free. Kim reckons that Janie's laryngitis is psychological: concert pianists hurt their hands, ballet dancers sprain their ankles, and actors lose their voices. He charms her with an offer to help with some self-hypnosis. Sonia returns from the phone and Kim realises that he will be late for work. Janie and Sonia laugh fondly at Kim's efforts to charm and impress them. "Kids today, they're something else," says Sonia, promising to check in on Janie later today. Mr Evans-Jones is concerned that time is getting away, but Dorrie carries on obliviously. She has decided that, as the former property owner and current "conserge", she can guarantee Mr Evans-Jones the lease on the flat. Meanwhile, Herb has taken a phone call from Mr Bayswater. He comes up to Flat 5 and tries unsuccessfully to divert Dorrie's attention. "Herbert Evans, if you interrupt me one more time...! Herb goes back to Flat 3 to talk to the agent himself. Peter meets up with John for lunch in a smart restaurant. After their second martini each, Peter demands to know why is John suddenly meddling in his life again? He hasn't done this in years. John thinks that Peter is jeopardising the family name, the business and their social standing, all because of Peter's obvious poor taste in women. Peter says that John has no right to judge Vera Collins, and even less right to cancel all of the Harvey & Sons' accounts with Maggie's firm. Peter has been doing most of the shouting, but the waiter requests that they both keep their conversation down a bit. John drops to an angry whisper and says that their mother, despite being a 44% stockholder, is content to let John run things. If Peter does not resign, John will find other ways to deal with Peter's schoolboy behaviour with the unsavoury Mrs Collins - and force him out! Peter storms off, leaving John to lunch alone. Sonia tells Gordon that he should be proud of his son. Gordon must have been an extraordinary father during Kit's formative years. Gordon kisses Sonia on the nose and agrees that he is proud. He sends her out to deal with a customer and gives her a playful slap on the buttocks. The customer is still deciding on a purchase, so she returns to Gordon and teases him about being so fresh with his "shop assistant". Her interruption causes Gordon to lose count of the pills and he starts over. Has someone has been tampering with the dangerous drugs again? There are four pills missing. "Not again?" Dorrie is boasting to Lucy about the high calibre of the new tenant she found, Mr Evans-Jones. She hears from Lucy that Jessie has been into the laundrette, gossiping again. Dorrie defends Jessie for pointing out Herb's ongoing dalliances with "those terrible women". Lucy is amused and says that Herb was out with Ethel and herself that night - and Dorrie owes Herb an apology! "He is a real gentleman, kind and generous." In Flat 6, Sonia can't stay for a drink, but seems on edge. She admits to the recovering Janie her concern that more pills are missing from the chemist shop's drug safe, and that she and Gordon have the only keys. Poor Gordon counted the pills four times. 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 approvingly 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 cologne and seeks out her husband in the spare bedroom. Herb is sitting up in bed, reading a "girlie" magazine, which he has to hide. Dorrie comes in, asking if he is lonely. He's not. She manages an apology and invites him back to their matrimonial bed. Herb sniffs the air, noticing Dorrie's perfume. He follows her out. Kit smiles as he eavesdrops on Gordon and Sonia arguing in their bedroom. Once again, a quantity of potassium sulphocyanate - 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 keys at all times? Sonia sobs as Gordon continues to rant. Kit retrieves four capsules from his jacket pocket and slips out of the flat. [Episode written by Bob Huber.]

Episode 73
Mr Evans-Jones, prospective tenant of Flat 5.

One must wonder if Dorrie and Jessie ever noticed that Trixie, whom Herb first met at the pub, actually works in the supermarket? A quip by Johnny Whyte in the official synopsis suggests that the rare comedy scene for Lucy Sutcliffe and her daughter, Ethel, took inspiration from that other Lucy & Ethel team (ie. from "I Love Lucy"). Colin Croft, who portrayed Mr Evans-Jones here, eventually returned for a longer stint as Wally Jarvis, an old war-time buddy of Sir William Mainwaring.

74. (21/06) Herb is woken by the alarm clock but Dorrie is not in bed. She emerges from the shower in robe and showercap. 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 she "is quite ardamant" that Mr Evans-Jones is the perfect tenant for Flat 5 and has already promised the lease to him. How will she fit everything into her day? Kit is dressed for work and having breakfast. He definitely enjoys setting Sonia and Gordon against each other. They emerge from the bedroom, still irriated with each other. Sonia heads to the bathroom and Kit mentions that there were two letters in the mailbox. One is for Sonia, postmarked Goulburn. "Isn't that where Chad Farrell went to, Dad?" Gordon's envelope contains his ticket to the Pharmaceutical Society convention in Brisbane in two days time. He hadn't been sure but now he thinks that 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, claiming that Gordon had told him about them - which he hadn't! "You've gone and lost some poison pills, or something, you messy little chemist." Sonia looks up from reading Chad's letter, stunned. Kit notes that he must head off to work, leaving Sonia fuming over what she assumes were Gordon's remarks. She retrieves her key to the poisons cabinet from her handbag and goes to confront Gordon with it. She wants to settle this business now. "God, woman, let me finish shaving first!" Dorrie is smartly dressed for her meetings and gives Herb his instructions for the day. He must ensure that Flat 5 is ready for Mr Evans-Jones to move in. She encounters a cheerful Ethel Brinkman on the stairs, who is organising drapes for her family's new flat. Dorrie suggests that nothing - not even Ethel and Kevin moving to Sydney - will cheer up poor 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 again, exactly as specified in the poisons book. Sonia demands that Gordon get his facts straight and not blame her the next time he loses count. Les Whittaker (Gordon McDougall) and his wife, Norma (Sheila Kennelly), enter the shop. They have been sent by Mr Bayswater to collect the keys to inspect Flat 5. Sonia refers them to Dorrie and Herb in Flat 3. Les is fascinated by a new line of stomach powders on the shelves. He mentions that he has a passion for patent medicines and home remedies. Julian excitedly announces to Rose that he has booked The Great Synagogue in the city for their wedding and organised the special licence with the Rabbi. He has also rescheduled shifts at the hospital to allow for a ten-day honeymoon. This is a dramatic about-face. He knows that he really loves Rose, and promises to love the baby as his own. Rose is finally convinced and happy. She has been flat-hunting. Julian suggests that, after a few hours sleep, he will take Rose to see the last place that is left on her list later today. At the laundrette, Ethel is excited to see her mother and is jubilant about the idea of living in Sydney. Still no cable from Alf in London, but Ethel reassures Lucy that he must just be too busy and excited to send it. Lucy is buoyed by the thought of seeing her grandchildren soon. The Whittakers are being shown around the vacant flat by Herb. Les is a hospital orderly - "purely temporary, of course" - and Norma has just secured a job as a barmaid at the pub. This delights Herb. Their soldier son is serving in Vietnam but is hopefully home soon. The Whittakers are not impressed with the flat, complaining 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. Herb says that it is just as well; Dorrie already promised the flat to another tenant anyway. Sonia and Gordon try to mend their rift with a little flirtation. "God knows how it all started?" A customer catches them kissing and Sonia gets the giggles. Mr Bayswater arrives back from lunch and Dorrie, who has been waiting in his office, launches into an appraisal of Mr Evans-Jones. The agent tells Dorrie that her husband has already found new tenants for Flat 5. The Whittakers changed their mind and are moving in by the end of the week. "Who, pray tell, are the Whittakers?" The agent says that Mr Evans "is quite a salesman" and Dorrie is left speechless. In the laundrette, Herb uses the Red Phone to place a bet with his bookie. Ethel and Lucy, laden with curtain samples, are heading off to inspect the Brinkmans' new flat as soon as Lucy's relief arrives at 3.00pm. Lucy is enthusiastic. Julian and Rose meet Herb in the foyer of Number 96. They announce their marriage plans and Herb is told that he can expect an invitation to the wedding. In Flat 3, Dorrie is livid about Herb leasing the flat to the Whittakers without her knowledge. They don't sound like the right class of tenant. She has already opened the wedding invitation. She supposes they must also buy Rose and Julian a gift? Dorrie is indignant to discover that Herb already knows all about the wedding. "Why wasn't I told?" she demands. Julian and Rose are in the car, delighted by the flat they have just seen. They decide to take it. They are very happy. Kit is home from a double shift at the garage and suggests a return visit to the disco with Sonia. She would prefer a quiet night with Gordon. Kit manages to sow the seeds of dissent again, plunging Sonia and Gordon into another series of petty squabbles. A jibe about age differences moves to accusations of secrecy. "I thought you weren't going to that conference? I have to find out from your son?" Gordon wasn't certain he was going to attend, but now he will. He storms off to the bedroom. Lucy's mood has been so much lighter: making plans with Ethel; having her grandchildren so close; and being able to babysit. What fun it will be! A telephone call from Kevin sounds very exciting. While Ethel talks to him, Lucy carries in tea and cakes. Kevin informs Ethel that he has received an even better promotion at the soft drinks company! Ethel says that she will get the 7.15pm train back to Newcastle. As Area Manager of the Northern Territory, Kevin will now be moving the family to Darwin, not Sydney. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

Episode 74
Les and Norma Whittaker, Flat 5.

75. (22/06) Roma will be overseeing all of Rose's wedding arrangements. Although Roma is typically a placid, gentle soul, the responsibilities she has taken on may well have repercussions for everyone else as they deal with her constant fretting. In Flat 7 that evening, Roma is fussing that Vera won't have the wedding dress ready on time. She needs to leave soon, as she is starting on the wedding cake tonight, the one thing she won't leave to the hired caterers. Maggie, nursing a gin and observing the goings-on, wants Vera to prioritise The Tapemeasure's opening over her neighbour's wedding dress. Vera promises everything will be fine, "come flood, fire or Mrs Houghton." Seeing Maggie out, Vera meets a tearful Lucy on the landing. She has just returned from seeing off Ethel on the train back to Newcastle. She breaks down and Vera takes her into her flat. In the deli, Maggie hears more details about the wedding and offers to organise a photographer for them. 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. All arrangements should be left to Roma. Aldo acquiesces nervously. Roma knows that there is so much to do before the happy day! Lucy is feeling very alone, with Vera her only friend left. Alf is in England, Jim is in Perth, and now Ethel will be in Darwin! She cannot be comforted. Next morning, Bev brings a breakfast tray to Janie, who is still very hoarse. Janie is distressed over some savage press gossip about the Find Me A Lover cast in the morning paper: "Rumour hath it that pretty Miss Beth McCarthy is far more talented than the actress she understudies..." Bev tries to console Janie but Jolly Jack - laden with flowers, grapes and magazines - makes things worse when he mentions that he watched a reheasal and Janie's understudy is very talented, so opening night is in good hands if Janie is still too sick. Bev takes him out to the living room and castigates him. When Jack finally realises his faux pas he is mortified, promising to bring in the best throat specialist that he can find in Sydney. Aldo's elder sister, Selma Horowitz (Marion Johns), arrives in the deli. She received her wedding invitation in the mail. Over a crush of customers keeping Aldo and Roma busy, Selma announces that she - as Aldo's sister and Rose's aunt - should be involved in organising the wedding. She demands to see Aldo in the flat. Who is this Mrs Whatever-her-name-is organising everything? Is she even family? Aldo gets dithery, totally at a loss to explain Roma's role. There is nothing left for Selma to do. Selma insists that she will handle the wedding cake; Aldo assumes that this will be a good compromise. Mr Thorburn arrives at the laundrette and finds Lucy, lost in thought, in the back room. He gives her a reprimand and she informs him that she may need to give notice after all, to join her husband in England. Mr Thorburn is not happy about "all this chopping and changing" and gives her a deadline of Monday to make her decision known. She is easily replaced. "Nobody is indispensible, Mrs Sutcliffe." 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 had wanted Janie to accompany him to a formal dinner tonight, but will a reluctant Bev attend instead? Bev is still embarrassed about the time she tried to seduce Jack. Bev teases that he could ask her mother, Claire, instead. Bev finally agrees to go, but she is listless about it all. In the midst of preparations for the opening of Vera and Maggie's business venture, Peter promises Maggie that he will get his family company's accounts back with her agency as soon as John is back in town. Maggie heads off to her "proper job", which continues to require her attention alongside The Tapemeasure. 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. Peter relents but promises that he won't let the matter rest. Roma plans a complete upheaval of all of her wedding arrangements. She vaguely recalls Selma coming into the shop this morning and trusts that Aldo's sister will stay out of her way. Aldo trots along anxiously behind Roma as she plans where the buffet will be set out. Jack and Bev drop into the deli, dressed in their finery for their night out. Aldo inquires after Janie's laryngitis. He fails to notice Roma loading her shopping basket with packets of icing sugar for her cake preparation. Roma departs for home. Vera finds Lucy pondering an aerogramme from Alf in England. It finally arrived! The weather there has been "champion", the old pub hasn't changed, he has caught up with several friends and Lucy's mother - and there have been two job offers already. Lucy tells Vera that she has almost decided: she will return to England to be with Alf. Vera invites her next door to share a casserole. She announces that she will see Lucy in an hour, then she leaves to get dinner ready. Vera finds her front door ajar. Peter is inside, waiting for her. He thought she was at a dress rehearsal for a play? Why is she hiding from him? They argue about John and his threats and Vera states that she wants nothing to do with their family's bitter boardroom wrangling. Peter will resign his directorship if necessary, but Vera would rather he doesn't do this for her. Peter explains that his is only one of many such incidents regarding John's domineering attitude. Peter can be as ruthless as John when he is roused. Vera has decided: she will end the friendship with Peter and never see him again. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

Episode 75
Selma Horowitz, sister of Aldo Godolfus.

Marion Johns' other role was Vi Freeman, Sonia's mother. Hilda Scurr, who originally portrayed Gemma Strauss, eventually took over the part of Selma Horowitz from Marion. Janie's latest play, "Find Me a Lover", is finally given a title in the Cash Harmon synopsis.

76. (23/06) While doing the washing-up, Sonia and Gordon maintain a reserved politeness between them to avoid more spats. They discuss wedding presents for Rose ("a toaster, glassware or electric blanket"?) but Gordon is happy to leave the selection up to Sonia when she goes shopping. She reminds him of his impending Brisbane trip tomorrow. Sonia will be busy in the chemist shop and unable to go gift-buying. He gets testy; he won't be leaving until the evening. Kit comes in - he has been ten-pin bowling with Don, and is about to go up to Flat 4 for coffee. He manages to stir the pot again. Kit has noticed that Gordon's parked car has its lights on. As Sonia was the last to use the car, she seems to be at fault. Gordon is looking for the keys. Sonia snaps that they are probably still in her handbag. Kit doesn't hold out much hope for the car's battery. When Gordon leaves the flat to attend to the car, Kit and Sonia discuss her husband's moodiness. She says, "He can be so maddening at times." Kit shrugs it off as "middle-age melancholy" and heads back upstairs to Don. Dorrie has not yet forgiven Herb over the Whittakers. She has decided to keep an open mind but warns, "We'll see the value of your judgement tomorrow, Herb, when they move in!" She also thinks that Lucy Sutcliffe is wasting away to a shadow after Alf's departure. "I wouldn't be surprised if she isn't long for this world." Dorrie begrudgingly considers wedding present options ("a toaster, glassware or electric blanket"?) for Rose and Julian. In bed, Gordon and Sonia have considerable space between them. Gordon is grumbling about the flat battery. Sonia cannot work out how she could have parked the car after dark, in its usual place, and not noticed that its lights were still on. That's never happened before. Gordon notes the lateness of the hour - it is 11.30pm - and Kit is still out. He expresses concern about his son getting too friendly with Don. "I mean, we both know about Don and accept it - but I don't want Kit influenced." Sonia rises to Don's defence. Gordon is "behaving ridiculously". He apologises for being irrational and argumentative, putting his arms around her. He wonders, "Why do we keep squabbling like this over nothing?" Sonia agrees she doesn't know why either. Next morning, Roma arrives for work in the deli, looking weary but determined to carry on. Aldo tells her the wonderful news that Julian and Rose have signed a lease on a flat. He has also had some leave approved by the hospital, so there will be a honeymoon after all. Rose and the other residents might be looking forward to the wedding, but Roma is feeling overwhelmed. She was up most of the night cooking for the wedding. Aldo manages to calm her down. He will make them some coffee. Roma tells him her surprise news about the wedding cake. If she does nothing further in this life, she has at least had a sense of achievement. Roma pronounces the cake as "one to make the angels weep". Aldo suddenly remembers Selma and is horrified by his impending dilemma. Peter comes by Maggie's office. She assumes he has good news about the Harvey & Sons' accounts, but Peter is still furious with John, who is yet to return from his business trip. Peter tells her about John confronting Vera. He is concerned that Vera might be in love with him. Is that why she was trying to protect him from John's interference? Peter claims that he doesn't want to get too involved in romance at the moment. "How conceited can you men be?" asks Maggie, who is tired of being the "Dear Del" of the business world. She assures Peter that Vera is not in love with him. Peter seems pleased about that - or is he? - but John's actions still have him riled. He won't be dictated to by his brother! Aldo tries unsuccessfully to talk Selma out of the elaborate wedding cake she has already ordered. It was very expensive but, since it is Selma's only contribution to the wedding, it is worth every penny. How can Aldo broach this topic with Roma, who is making her own cake? He tries to talk to her just as she is about to take her morning break. Roma tells him about the long list of decorations (plastic bride-and-groom, a little horseshoe, silver cachous...) that she needs to buy to finish off the cake. She is excited because she will be icing it tonight! Aldo is sick with worry. 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, various patented contraptions, do-it-yourself kits and more. The place is chaos and Norma can't find the gin bottle! Dorrie turns up, on the pretext of helping. She is still singing the praises of Mr Evans-Jones, who missed out on the lease when the Whittakers snapped it up, right from under his nose. Norma recognises Dorrie's type immediately and runs down the flat, telling Mrs Evans that they only took it because it was close to her new job at the pub. She starts there as "hostess" on Monday. Dorrie fails to impress as the building's self-exalted "conserge". Trouble is brewing! Downstairs at the chemist shop, Herb is telling Gordon about the Whittakers when Kit arrives home for lunch. They share a quick exchange as he goes through to the flat. Herb thinks Kit is a fine young man and tells Gordon so. Inside Flat 1, Kit has joined Sonia for a meal of stew. He manages to drop into conversation how much his late mother had loved Gordon, how happy he and his brother were when growing up, and how Sylvia had cried when his parents split up. Sonia takes it all in. She is no fool, but Kit's technique of throwing in such remarks, then abruptly changing the subject, means that there is never time to digest the full impact of what he has said. John Harvey returns from his business trip and is icily calm about Peter's accusations. John insists that Vera's reputation could damage family connections and therefore endanger the company. He is no doubt jealous of his younger brother's business acumen and charm. It seems that John wants to control Peter's life, just as he did when they were boys. Peter knows that John holds control over the majority of shares, but will still challenge him at the next shareholders' meeting. There is still friction between Gordon and Sonia. Gordon now feels some guilt for being away over the weekend. He must go 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. He just sighs and shrugs. At the end of a long day, the Whittakers' flat is still a disaster area. Norma tries to make headway. Les is no help, sitting in the only vacant chair with a beer and the newspaper. Norma tries to nag him into helping, but he is relaxing before starting his night shift at the hospital at 10pm. Aldo arrives with a large package for Les, which had been mistakenly delivered downstairs. Les is delighted; it is the first three volumes of Be Your Own Solicitor, a correspondence course that he had applied for. Norma tells Aldo that Les has always been a sucker for advertisements and points out some of Les's previous mail-order projects, which are scattered around the room (including a knitting machine, a scuba-diving outfit, and several home wine outfits). Norma appreciates the deli being so handy. It is open late and she is in need of milk and butter. Aldo fills her in on the building's other tenants. Herb is trying to read before bed but Dorrie keeps droning on about the Whittakers. Dorrie hasn't taken to them at all: she is too cocky for Dorrie's tastes, and he is a lazy, sloppy sort. Herb mentions that they have a son serving in Vietnam, but Dorrie sees no relevance to her low opinions of the couple. Just as Herb is dropping off to sleep, Dorrie goes on a rant about the high cost of wedding presents these days. Fancy expecting expensive wedding presents from pensioners! Sonia is reading in bed when she 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 turns, alarmed, trying to cover for his unmanly behaviour. She knew that all of his outward sophistication was a mask for his actual feelings. 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.]

Episode 76
Vera Collins and Peter Harvey in Flat 7.

"Dear Del" refers to Australian journalist Del Cartwright, who wrote a popular, long-running, "agony aunt" column for the Daily Mirror newspaper. In the synopsis, Johnny Whyte likens the cliffhanger ending to be "the most difficult scene anyone ever has to write for this series". It takes inspiration from the movie "Tea and Sympathy". An "intelligent girl" like Sonia, who has seen it, "knows the whole bit. Kit, who probably hasn't seen it, knows the whole bit anyway by instinct. So good luck, and keep us all glued to our sets for the next pulsating episode."

77. (26/06) It is 7.00am. Lucy prepares to make a cup of tea but finds her canister empty. She goes next door intending to borrow some tea from Vera, who seems to have been up for a while. Vera is dressed for the day, but no makeup yet, still working on Rose's wedding dress. Vera invites Lucy in to share the pot of tea she just made. Lucy admits that she realises she misses Alf too much, so is making plans to sell up and join him in England. Vera agrees. Given that Lucy has been miserable for two weeks now, it is probably the wisest choice. Don receives an early-morning phone call from Kit, enquiring if he can use the spare room in Flat 4 tonight. He will explain later, after his shift at the garage. Don shrugs and trudges sleepily into the kitchen. Bev awakens Janie with a cup of tea and they realise that 24 hours of sedation has paid off: Janie's voice has returned. Janie is keen to get to today's rehearsals - Beth McCarthy is supposedly very good in Janie's role, which worries Janie - but she is supposed to wait until Sir Bernard gives her the all-clear at 10.00am. Bev is determined that Janie follow the specialist doctor's advice. Rose is serving coffee to two seated customers. Lucy is amazed to see Rose working in the deli on the eve of her wedding. But she is happy and radiant! Roma is in a last-minute flap with the caterers and Aldo has had to go into town to hire a morning coat and top hat. Don comes in on his way to work, carrying a parcel. Lucy enquires about his exam results; no news for another month yet! He has tomorrow afternoon off, so will be able to attend the wedding and reception but, unsure of protocol, Don has brought down Rose's wedding gift early. Rose unwraps a set of glasses and a water jug. Lucy has a gift, too, but it is upstairs and not wrapped yet. Rose kisses Don and he wishes her all happiness, while Lucy is dabbing at tears. The others laugh fondly. Lucy is thinking of Alf but she covers by saying that weddings always make her cry. Bev is seeing Sir Bernard out while Janie is getting ready to leave for her dress rehearsal. Janie asks Bev if she spoke to Grant Morris when she phoned for Janie earlier. He wasn't at the theatre, but Bev spoke briefly with an Alan Cotterell? Janie explains that Alan is the stage manager and Grant's right-hand man. Did Alan seem pleased that Janie was coming in? Bev supposes so, but he seemed in a mad rush. Janie has to demonstrate how talented she is: "a better actress than that silly Beth McCarthy". Mr Thorburn arrives at the laundrette when Lucy is frantic with several service washes. He wants to talk to Lucy in the back room. Has Lucy made a decision about continuing to work here? Lucy realises that being with her husband is the most important thing. She gives her notice, as from tomorrow, and Mr Thorburn will start looking for a replacement. Jack comes to Flat 6 with even more flowers for Janie and a large cardboard packing case: a wedding present for Rose and Julian. He knew that Janie had not had an opportunity to gift 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. There is a moment of shared embarrassment. 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. In Flat 7, Vera won't let Julian see the bride in her wedding dress, as it's bad luck. He and Rose have a humorous, shouted conversation with each other, from either side of Vera's front door. Julian announces that he is about to collect his parents from the airport. Alan Cotterell (Mark Hashfield) calls in to see Janie in Flat 6. She makes them both coffee. Janie's throat is fine, and she will be at the public dress rehearsal, but she is curious about how Beth had performed. According to Alan, Beth was "monstrously awful". 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 and wonders why Kit would need to stay the night at Don's. She has come to explain that she is returning to England to be with Alf. Would Don 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 can't stop 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, dressed smartly, on her way to dine with Maggie and discuss the salon and other matters. The wedding dress is finished but there is so much more to do: a backlog of customer orders and also The Tapemeasure's opening. Lucy admits she has been having a little weep about things she will have to leave behind. Vera reminds her that "things are unimportant, but it is people who matter". 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 (bank statements, insurance policies, savings books, etc) from a drawer and, sadly, starts to sort it all out to give to Don. There is another knock at the door. She goes wearily to answer it. Alf is standing there! "'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.]

Episode 77
Alan Cotterell, Janie's stage manager.

Alan Cotterell is described by Johnny Whyte in the synopsis as having "a burning intensity for all things theatrical - with a particular passion for the more intellectual plays. He and Janie, naturally, have a lot in common." Mark Hashfield, who portrayed Alan, was the then-partner and manager of Abigail. Whyte's cheeky suggestions of possible wedding presents, as in-jokes for the writing team, are no longer PC. Referring to the next episode, the series' first TV wedding, Whyte quips, "Stand by for our special Rose-coloured wedding supplement."

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. Sonia knows that Kit is not in love with her, he was just in a very emotional state. Kit is grateful that Sonia is being so forgiving. Kit agrees that they should not speak of the incident to Gordon, then suggests that the two of them should go with Don to the disco tonight. Happy that the matter is resolved, Sonia agrees. 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 a bar area is set up in the loungeroom. Champagne has been ordered and is sitting in ice in the bathtub. Roma reminds Aldo 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 arrives 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 wear 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 from the conference, 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, large, 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 in the deli. Aldo looks dejected over the misunderstanding that has resulted in Selma's cake turning up to rival Roma's. 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 into 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 all 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, getting louder and merrier. 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 across 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 my 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 suddenly 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 actually gets big laughs. A concerned Jack heads up to Flat 6 and finds Bev lying on her bed, sobbing. "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 departure and 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.]

Episode 78
Aldo Godolfus (left); Bronislav Myers (lower middle);
Rabbi Norman Goodman, Rose Godolfus and Doctor Julian Myers (top middle);
The Great Synagogue in Sydney (right).

This episode's script actually had a title, "Is This Going To Be A Wedding!", although it did not appear onscreen. 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 rabbi for the ceremony was played by an actual rabbi, Norman Goodman. The wedding episode was a ratings-winning event that began a great, almost compulsory, tradition for subsequent Australian soaps to follow. There were several promotional events for the wedding. The cast participated in a mock wedding breakfast at the Sebel Town House, complete with in-character speeches and telegrams, to which many journalists were invited. It was compered by Brian Bury. Several actors also appeared in character on a daytime episode of Channel 10's "The Marriage Game" as a cross-promotion. Meanwhile, on this night in Canberra, at 10.30pm, Episodes #1 and #2 finally had their television premiere!

THE MARRIAGE GAME: "'Number 96' Wedding Special" (June 1972). The actors who portrayed Lucy & Alf Sutcliffe, Norma & Les Whittaker and newlyweds, Rose & Julian Meyers, appeared in character on this episode taped for Channel 10's daytime game show. Compered by its regular host, Gordon Boyd.

The Marriage Game special episode
Host Gordon Boyd and game show contestants Norma and Les Whittaker.

79. (28/06) Lucy arrives home from her shift at the laundrette to find Alf sprawled on the sofa, snoring. He is in his wedding suit, even the boutonnière still in place. As she makes dinner, Lucy asks Alf to relate to her all the details of the wedding: how did Rose look?; was the service beautiful?; what did Vera wear? Of course, he noticed none of that. Alf does remember how much grog was in supply, and also Jack's race to the synogogue in his Mercedes, nearly missing "the whole bloody thing!" Lucy doubts that Alf even gave her a thought, while she slaved away in the laundrette, but he produces a paper napkin from his pocket, full of cake crumbs and bits of icing from the piece of 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, in as much disarray as the room itself, talks fondly of the wedding and how Mrs Cameron thought that a photo of the event might even appear in the newspaper. He approves of Julian's nice parents. Was Jack Sellars really playing tunes on a comb-and-paper kazoo? They hope to have the shop up and running tomorrow, as normal. It is in the same mess as the rest of the flat. Aldo realises he has made many mistakes raising Rose as a single parent, but today she and Julian were so happy! Roma gently presses his hand and they smile at each other wearily. At 3.00am, Herb gets himself a glass of water and drops in an Alka-Seltzer. He sways so much, he manages to miss the glass. Dorrie won't admit to having a hangover; it is no doubt a "migrant headache". She recalls Herb tossing confetti everywhere and berates him for riding piggyback on that rowdy Jack's shoulders. She asks Herb for an Alka-Seltzer for her glass of water. He manages to miss her glass. Later in the morning, 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 on to tidying the flat, encouraging Aldo to wash and shave while she works and then they will have breakfast. Aldo is amazed at her energy and efficiency. Kit, in his overalls, sees Don on his way to work and suggests that they meet up 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. It opens officially tonight, but Bev had completely forgotten! Not realising that Bev is barely listening, Janie prattles on about the show, and how she and Alan went out for supper afterwards. Alan is so intelligent and their discussions are stimulating! Jack arrives, looking hearty and bright. Bev can't stand the invasion of his enthusiasm and heads back to bed. Jack is supposed to be bringing Bev to the theatre tonight. He changes the tone and gets serious with Janie. Bev seems to be a very sick girl; her mind is mixed up and she is desperately unhappy. Janie shamefully admits to Jack that she really hadn't noticed. Janie has a busy day: she must attend today's word-rehearsal and pose for publicity stills to promote the play. Dorrie barges into the laundrette and catches Herb on the Red Phone, talking to his bookie. She adds two pillowslips to the bag of laundry Herb brought with him. Dorrie wants to know who Herb was talking to on the phone and Lucy helps cover for him. Herb notices that Bev is feeling a bit down and tries, unsuccessfully, to cheer her up. She asks Herb if he has noticed that everyone around her are happy and enjoying themselves. Except her. She didn't really need to come to the laundrette. She brought a few things as an excuse to get out of the flat. Dorrie catches Herb offering to put Bev's flimsy underwear in with their own wash. In the deli at lunchtime, Aldo serves Alf a sandwich at one of the tables and pours some leftover champagne for his hangover ("The hair of the dog that bites you..."). Alf talks about his recent trip to England. Roma joins them, mentioning that her son, Irving, is now a fully-qualified architect in England. Alf's old friends in England all hold important executive jobs now. He wants to give up "bloody truck-drivin' all day" and find an executive position like them. Returning from the laundrette, Bev notices Kit knocking at Don's door but, as he won't be home from work yet, she invites the young man up to her flat for coffee. He accepts. Janie is relishing her new star dressing room, which is full of flowers, telegrams and cards. Jack rings on her new telephone to organise picking up premiere night tickets for the play. Alan overhears. He 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 is completely unconcerned. He wonders aloud about Bev's "middle-aged hangup" with sex. Bev is stunned by the apparent generation gap between her and Kit. To him, she is actually "old"! Dorrie is complaining again about the Whittakers; she still holds Herb responsible for them moving in! And what was Herb thinking, offering to put Bev's undergarments in with their washing? Herb explains that Bev is unwell and Dorrie says that it is all due to Bev's reputation for modelling naked for magazines across the country. In Flat 4, Kit explains to Don that his "business proposition" had to do with moving in. Over a red wine, Kit worries that his presence in Flat 1 is causing friction between Gordon and Sonia. He suspects that they are keeping a big secret from him. Don is changing into his dinner jacket. Rather than be a guest of Janie's, he bought his own ticket. Janie is in her robe, in her dressing room. Jack and Bev have failed to show up early, as planned, to collect their guest tickets. Alan wishes Janie luck - he will be too busy to do it later - and offers to leave Jack and Bev's tickets at the box office. No, they'll get here in time. Alan's good-luck kiss unsettles her; it is held a fraction too long. When Jack goes to Flat 6 to pick up Bev, who has not been well, his knocking fails to get her attention. Lucy compliments Jack on his suave appearance and tells him about the girls' hidden spare key above the door frame. He enters the flat, and Lucy waits at the front door. Bev is on her bed, unresponsive, seemingly lifeless. Lucy follows Jack in and notices an empty bottle of sleeping pills on the nightstand. Jack cannot detect a pulse. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

Episode 79
Bev Houghton, Flat 6.

Susan Swinford, the writer of this episode, would later make several guest appearances as Patti Olsen's mother.

80. (29/06) Janie is all made up and in costume but misses her call to get down to the stage for curtain-up. She is worried about Jack and Bev and was trying to find them by phone. Stage Manager Alan comes in search of Janie. "Why the hell isn't she already in the wings? Beginners' Call was five minutes ago! Alan has the two guest tickets sent around to the box office. Alan's anger softens and he tells Janie to "Break a leg!" and "Get out there and kill the people!" Bev couldn't cope with her situation and has taken drastic action. From the hospital's Emergency Department, Jack contacts Doctor Gott, the Houghton family's Macquarie Street specialist. Jack cannot identify the sleeping pills used, but he wants Doctor Gott to inform Claire but not, "for God's sake", to send her rushing over to the hospital. Bev had no pulse when Jack found her; neither does he know how long she was already unconscious. Coming home late from a meeting about the forthcoming Senior Citizens' fete, Dorrie had witnessed an ambulance pulling away from Number 96. How had Herb not heard the siren? Ah, he was watching television. She orders him to go up upstairs, 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 still an absolute shambles and Norma gives annoyed, one-word answers to each of Dorrie's prying questions. A theatre critic and two financial backers visit Janie after the show to congratulate her. The critic wants Janie to know that he thought her performance was brilliant. He leaves in a hurry to make his deadline with the newspaper. The well-dressed couple also praise Janie. As they are departing, Don turns up, surprising 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 this one's opening night. Alan turns up with kisses and high praise - and a bottle of champagne, which Don uncorks. Jack finally appears. When he tells them that he has bad news about Bev, Janie assumes that Bev hated the play. Jack describes tonight's events that had surrounded Bev. In bed early the next morning, Gordon admits to Sonia that he had been worried about the reception she would give him upon his return from Brisbane. He regrets getting so petty and stupid about Chad Farrell's letter. Sonia suggests that short separations can be beneficial when they are getting on each other's nerves. They still don't realise that their recent string of petty irritations are the result of Kit's deliberate stirring. In Flat 5, the Whittakers are still in bed. The bedroom is as messy as the rest of the flat. Norma hears someone knocking at the front door and tries to cajole Les into answering it. He fails to acknowledge her, so Norma trudges out herself. It is Dorrie, trying to be helpful, wanting to explain how the building's mail delivery works. The postman delivers all mail to the main foyer only. Residents are expected to collect their letters from the little boxes at the bottom of the stairs. 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 since her last visit. Norma again gives one-word answers to all of Dorrie's questions. Norma stomps off to drag Les out of bed. She has to start her shift at the pub at 10.00am and Les should be at work in 30 minutes! He complains that his mouth is like sandpaper and dirty socks. Norma drags the bedclothes off him and he starts scratching. At the dining table, Norma serves Les a "continental breakfast" of last-night's leftovers, slamming it down in front of him. While Les reads the newspaper that Dorrie delivered, Norma looks over Gary's letter. She informs her husband that they apparently have a new daughter-in-law... and she is an "Eye-talian". Les is distracted by an interesting new scheme in the paper to send away for. A yawning Janie answers the door of Flat 6 to find Don waiting there. He is on his way to work but wanted to ask after Bev. Janie was at the hospital until 2.00am. Jack stayed on, to be a friendly face if and when Bev woke up. Janie will ring the hospital now! While waiting for the reception staff to locate him, Jack turns up at the door! He has news: Bev regained consciousness an hour ago. She was confused as to what happened and is still "a very sick girl". Jack has brought up this morning's newspapers for Janie. The reviews of her play are mostly positive. Both Janie and Don feel guilty about Bev's attempted suicide. Jack blames himself, too. He had recently turned down her affections quite abruptly. If only he had made love to her, perhaps she would not have tried to take her own life? Dorrie tells Herb that Norma without makeup looks as bad as her pig-sty of a flat. Herb is reading theatre reviews of Find Me a Lover in the newspaper. He starts reading out quotes but Dorrie refuses to be interested. Tea will be late this evening as Dorrie will be away all afternoon supervising the Senior Citizens' fete. Herb thinks he will have time for a visit to the pub, but Dorrie needs him to peel potatoes for dinner before 6.00pm. She will be home at 6.30pm. She hurries off to get dressed. Jack visits Bev at the hospital and brings chocolates, grapes and flowers. His jovial manner fails too impress; Bev refuses to look at him. Janie gets Jack to leave the room so she can have a heart-to-heart chat with Bev. Janie urges her to turn her head and they finally discuss recent traumatic events. The joyful wedding of Rose and Julian was the last straw for Bev. Her depression just caught up with her. Bev's life still has no meaning! It is the late afternoon of 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 former marital home. Herb reckons that Dorrie is not nosey, just interested! Don is listening in and smiling. Herb doesn't even realise that Don is there until Gordon greets him. Herb suddenly realises that, if Gordon has closed his shop, it must already be at least 6.15pm. Herb makes a dash for home to peel the potatoes before Dorrie gets in. Gordon buys drinks for Don and himself and they move to a table. Don is curious how Kit could afford to offer to pay him board if he moves in permanently. This is the first Gordon has heard of the plan. He is staggered. Don doesn't want to meddle but it seems that Kit feels he is in the way in Gordon's flat. Don has to be practical, though, so if Kit can't afford his fair share of the rent, there is a work colleague of Don's who is very keen to take the room. It is 6.30pm and Dorrie, still in her fete garb of wide-brimmed floral hat and "that" fur coat, has been invited up to Flat 5 by Les for drinks. Dorrie sips a glass of sweet sherry ("without the olive!") and mentions that there may have been more news from their son by now? Les is more free with personal information than Norma and he tells Dorrie all about Gary, his tour of Vietnam with the Australian Army, the new Italian bride, and many other details. Enough fresh gossip fodder for days! Sonia is cooking dinner but refuses Gordon's offer to help. They chat about Kit, who had earlier rushed in to shower and change clothes, and has now gone out with friends for the evening. Gordon wants to know if Kit had mentioned moving out. Don filled him in on the big plan. Sonia says that Kit had not mentioned it to her. At the theatre, Jack tells Janie to pretend that tonight is actually opening night. It will be for him, since he missed her performance last night. "Don't think about Bev, just all those great reviews from the critics." Just when Janie thinks Jack has matters under control, his new revelation about Bev astounds her: Bev wishes that Jack had never sought medical help for her, because she would be "better off dead!" [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 80
Norma Whittaker in the pub.

"Kill the people!" is a quote from the movie, "All About Eve", with Anne Baxter and Bette Davis, in which a seemingly timid ingénue (who is secretly ruthless) manages to insinuate herself into the lives of an aging Broadway star and her circle of theatre friends. The official Cash Harmon synopsis and memos note that Gary Whittaker's wife was originally intended to be Vietnamese. In 1972, no suitable female Asian talent was said to be available, something the same writers were keen to correct in late 1979, when casting the TV series, Arcade.

81. (30/06) Roma arrives at the deli early to help open up. She is concerned about the unused wedding cake and suggests, to save wasting it, they could make it a special item: cut it up into slices and sell them over the counter. A telegram has arrived from Rose and Julian. They are honeymooning in a posh Maroochydore hotel in Queensland and having a wonderful time. Selma's daily phone calls have been plaguing Aldo. He wants Roma to mind the shop so he can visit Selma in person and pacify her about the way the wedding arrangements were handled. Over a relaxed breakfast, Sonia and Kit are laughing about his recount of the antics that he and his friends got up to the night before. Gordon appears. "Do I have a shop assistant or not?" The chemist shop has been busy ever since he opened this morning. Sonia gets up to start working and suggests that Gordon sit down and have a second cup of coffee. Once alone with Kit, he then grills his son about his plan to move out and share a flat with Don. Kit is curious as to how Gordon found out, having shared that in confidence with Don. Gordon thought that Kit was getting along with Sonia? Kit tells his father that, 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 to apply for the executive jobs he claims to desire. Alf boasts that he had two such job offers in London, but you don't just call in for executive positions, you must make appointments to get appointments! There is no hurry. You must tread lightly; if you never look like you need a job, they are easier to come by. Lucy tells him that he knows best. She needs to get to the laundrette. Alf puts his tea aside, turns over and goes back to sleep. Maggie drops into the salon, to see how everything is coming along. They drink coffee from paper cups. Vera has still not finished the designs for her first collection. Her timing on everything is off lately. Maggie says that the collection has to be ready on time. Vera admits that she is confused about Peter's motives. He become serious so fast, with all that he intends to do about John and the Board of Directors. Vera just wants to be "friends". Maggie points out that Peter told her that he is not serious about Vera. So why is Peter so determined to resign his position? Maggie is sure it is nothing to do about Vera, it is more a problem within the Harvey family's company. Sonia is too busy in the shop to have a decent chat with Kit. She tells him that Gordon is upset about Kit wanting to move out but she suspects that their kiss is behind his motivation to move into Flat 4. She thought they had agreed to forget that incident? Kit says that he has, it is Sonia who is bringing it up! Vera drops into the laundrette on her way home. She has barely seen Lucy, but is too busy to chat now. Can Lucy call in to her place later? Lucy mentions that she is worried about Alf wanting an executive job. Vera thinks that is a good idea. Lucy says that at least he is busy applying - in fact, right this minute! Meanwhile, Alf is actually at the pub, drinking schooners and chatting with his new friend, Les Whittaker. Although Les has not yet met Bev Houghton, he does know that she is a patient at the hospital where he works. She is still pretty down in the dumps. Alf attempts to bait Les into an argument, but Les is everybody's friend. Alf thinks that Les is "too bloody lazy" to have any enemies. Roma tries to coerce a coarse truckie into buying her "special" - some wedding cake and a glass of wine - to go with his corned beef sandwich. He gets angry and says to forget the cake - and forget the sandwich! As he storms out, Roma follows him all the way to the door, trying to get him to change his mind. Vera pops in to buy something easy for lunch. She is running behind schedule with her collection. Making Rose's wedding dress didn't help with her other deadlines. Roma wants to tell Vera about the happy honeymooners' telegram. 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. He eagerly accepts. Alf is still at the pub, getting drunker and feistier, telling Norma all about his plans to take up an executive job. Norma handles him deftly, as she would any other pub drunk. Aldo gets back to the deli, exhausted. Roma is excited as she has sold her first slice of wedding cake. Selma had demanded that Aldo tell her all about Roma. What are his intentions?, Selma wanted to know. Roma lifts her brows; she is also curious to know Aldo's intentions. Les is still encamped in Flat 7's spare bedroom, where Vera has set up her sewing machine, but is failing to get any work done. Les gives Vera his life story: his successes (few), his failures (many), his son, Gary, his son's new Italian wife. Vera has already learned her lesson; she won't be inviting Les in for a drink again! Lucy calls in, as promised, and Vera can't believe it is so late! Neither can Les; he needs to go. He has a split shift today. After he leaves, Vera and Lucy worry that he has probably had too much to drink to return to work. Vera is feeling out of her depth in the world of business. She is "mucking it all up" for Maggie, Peter and John. Lucy agrees the salon is too much work. Vera thinks she might have to admit defeat, give up Peter and The Tapemeasure, 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 her girlfriend, Elizabeth, Gordon has to cope with heating up frozen TV dinners for Kit and himself. He tries to establish exactly what happened, while he was away in Brisbane, to make Kit decide to move in with Don. Reluctantly, Kit admits that Sonia had surprised him. He was asleep in the camp-bed and woke to find Sonia sitting on his bed, stroking his forehead. Gordon suggests that maybe she had heard him calling out in his sleep, while having a bad dream or a nightmare? Gordon prods some more and Kit finally declares, "She kissed me, Dad, she kissed me!" [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 81
Alf Sutcliffe, Flat 8.

While the original synopsis suggested that Sonia and Kit's interrupted conversation about their kiss be set at the busy petrol station where Kit works, writer David Sale's script placed the scene in the prescription area of the chemist shop, with Gordon away from the shop, Kit home for lunch, and Sonia being interrupted by customers.

82. (3/07) Claire visits her daughter at the hospital for the first time since Bev's overdose. She has grandiose plans to hasten Bev's convalescence! Janie hesitates to interfere but, when Claire has left, she reassures a sobbing Bev that Jack will thwart Claire's new mission. In the prescription area of the chemist, Gordon and Sonia's relationship is becoming more and more strained. He has being quiet and sullen all morning and Sonia wonders what happened while she was at Elizabeth's yesterday? Why is Sonia always suspicious that things happen whenever she is away? Nothing happened! He and Kit ate frozen dinners that "weren't lousy" and they watched telly together. The couple's spat is stopped by the awareness that customers have come into the shop and Gordon goes out to find a curious Vera waiting to be served. Dorrie has come in, too; they both obviously overheard the argument. Dorrie wants Vera to get served first but Gordon realises that Dorrie is hoping to catch some juicy gossip and he has no time for that today. She is seeking allergy medication to help her judging a cat show at the Senior Cits. It seems to Vera that a third party - Kit? - is somehow involved in the dispute. Some pills are thrust at Dorrie and she is shunted out. Gordon tells Vera that he is certain that Sonia has changed somewhat since Kit came to stay. Does she regret Gordon having to divide his time between her and his son? Vera offers to do what she can to help. She assures Gordon that Sonia has not mentioned her problems to her. At The Tapemeasure, Maggie discusses Peter's resignation as director and board member of Harvey & Sons and doubts that John has the ability to keep the businesses expanding without him. The company's position is greatly improved on paper stock value, but careful expenditures have to be made to create an eventual rise in profits. Peter won't give up his shares but promises that the accounts will be restored to Maggie's agency before he leaves the family business. John's only strength is administration. John holds all the proxies, so Peter's vote is only ever 17%. Peter 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 while she is out today. "There is an unhealthy relationship going on down there." Dorrie is still miffed that Gordon hustled her out of the shop and denied her crucial information. She complains bitterly about the cat show - Dorrie hates cats - but boasts about her busy events schedule and obvious popularity. At the theatre, Janie is putting on her makeup for a matinee performance of her play. Jack is curious why she needs him just before he is due at the racetrack. She wants Jack to save Bev from Claire's latest scheme. He promises to pick Janie up after tonight's show and take her to a party, by which time he will have thought of a solution. Janie expresses her gratitude with a kiss. Maggie fills in Vera on Peter's situation. The company will surely slip without him. She leaves Vera in contemplative mood. Vera is planning something. At the pub, Norma's relief barmaid, Geraldine (Beryl Marshall), serves Gordon and Herb, who both commiserate about women over their beers. 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 full refund, and some oil of balsam so she can put it in the kettle and sniff the steam. After his race meeting, Jack turns up at the hospital bearing gifts. He 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. She will love the Watkinses! They are supreme practical jokers. They once wired up all the bedlamps in their guest rooms so that overnight visitors received mild electric shocks from the mattresses when they turned the lights out. Another time, Noel rented a live elephant and had it delivered to Bunty on her birthday. It was holding a diamond necklace in its trunk. Noel had promised her "something really big". Bev agrees to go. Will Jack be there with her? No, but he and Janie will drive her to the chalet when she is discharged. Bev will be getting discharged tomorrow. Jack promises he will be there! In Flat 3, Dorrie has changed clothes and is sniffing her balsam steam when 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. His report is long, but reveals very little. Dorrie mentions that she had been presented with a tiny kitten as a thank-you gift - "filthy little beast!" - but she found a home for it (probably the local Cat Shelter) before getting back to the flat. Sonia tries again to get to the bottom of Gordon's moodiness. He wants to hear Sonia's version of "the incident" that happened while he was in Brisbane. "You mean the night he was crying and in a terrible state about his mother's death? There is no 'story', Gordon, just the facts." Did Sonia kiss Kit? Yes, it was a tender, motherly kiss. Gordon believes that Kit saw it differently; he probably wants to move out because Sonia scares him. Gordon can't share Sonia's belief that Kit is manipulating both of them. At 6.30pm, Vera meets John Harvey at his office. She thanks him for making time for her and tells him that has won this little power game; she will be getting out of Peter's life. John maintains that Vera is a troublemaker. Her kind of damage is irrevocable. She knows about Peter's resignation, but doesn't want that for him. John boasts that it is not too late to reverse the decision but, perhaps, John does not want to stop the process. [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 82
Geraldine, relief barmaid, in the pub.

In the official synopsis, Johnny Whyte leaves a message for the scriptwriter, David Sale: "Only you know what she [Claire] is saying to Beverly, and what she is proposing happen now." Sale also chose to place the lunchtime scene between Maggie and Peter in "The Tapemeasure" instead of Whyte's suggestion of the previously-used "smart restaurant".

83. (4/07) Aldo prepares the stock order, which Rose usually handles for him. Roma arrives and greets him cheerily, causing a flustered Aldo to lose count. He has to start over. Don comes into the deli for milk; he is in a hurry because he is due to leave for work. Roma tells him that he needs a wife to keep him properly fed. Aldo is about to head off to order his stock. Roma wonders why Aldo does it the old-fashioned way. Nowadays stock orders can be delivered. Aldo wants to choose the best stock for his customers. "So call me old-fashioned." Kit breezes in and, again, asks Don if he needs a flatmate, as there is just too much friction in Flat 1. Don prefers to discuss it later, when he has more time. Roma worries that two young men living together usually means that neither one is 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. He will still go home to eat. Roma doesn't understand. Alf is dressed in a suit and tie, off to secure a job at the trucking company as Despatch Supervisor, since all the big executive jobs are taken. That company does think highly of Alf. Lucy doubts he will get the job - Alf is just "talking big" again - but Vera is more positive. However, Vera has doubts about herself. She is not cut out for the world of big business. Vera worries that she seems to be the "kiss of death" lately. The troubles with the salon, Maggie, Peter, and the unfinished collection, all make her want to take up fortunetelling again. It has less complications. At breakfast, Les is home from night shift at the hospital and is taking stomach pills for an imaginery disorder. Norma looks a wreck! She is stressing about Gary eventually arriving home with his new wife and Les's laid back attitude is not helping. He never faces problems. (Incessant bickering is their peculiar way of expressing love to each other.) Lucy arrives to pick up Norma's laundry, as Norma's shift starts at 9.30am. Norma is sorry to rely on Lucy's good nature but she can't trust Les to do it. He is "such a lazy bastard". Lucy 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 just yet. She has had a tiring morning. Roma makes the old woman comfortable at the table with some wedding cake and a glass of wine (Roma's "special"). She tells the woman a convoluted story about Rose's wedding but the woman doesn't seem to care. A reasonable explanation for drinking wine so early in the morning? Kit comes into the laundrette to get a large grease 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 has been avoiding going there whenever possible - and Sonia is not a very good cook, anyway. Kit is looking forward to starting university. Lucy 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 that Gordon refused to let him go. Sonia had argued for him to go, but was she really on his side? Maybe she just wants him in England to ensure he is out of the picture? Gordon and Sonia had "a bit of a barney" over the matter. 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 to her 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. Vera takes the opportunity to pump Mrs Llewellyn for more information on the Harveys. The old woman has known them since they were young boys. Vera manages to mention that she doesn't particularly like John and his hard-nosed business acumen. In the pub, Alf and Les have a beer together, and Les is wolfing down a Sargent'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. In the deli that afternoon, Aldo is packing the shelves with stock that he had collected earlier. Vera comes into the deli complaining that she seems to have lost her creative flair. She has been staring at her blank sketch pad all morning! Aldo offers her some wine to relax, his inevitable cure for everything! Roma calls out for Aldo; Selma is on the phone. He goes off to the parlor to talk to his sister. Roma 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 & Sons' 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. Les tries to engage Lucy in conversation but Norma drags him away. He must get some sleep before going on night shift. He tends to forget all about work when he's had a few drinks. They meet up with Alf, who is back from his interview. The trucking company staff laughed at Alf's suit and tie, and laughed even harder when he told them the type of job he wanted. It was suggested that Alf should return to truck-driving. (He told the bosses to shove their job up their carburetor.) In Flat 4, Kit explains to Don why he wants to move in: he is worried about Sonia and the friction that has been developing. Kit worries that Sonia is developing romantic feelings for him. He needs to give her and Gordon some space. After all, this is probably his father's last chance at happiness! Back at the stockholders' meeting, John Harvey gives unexpected praise to Peter for some successful negotiations. Peter shifts uncomfortably in his seat. They move on to "Other Business". Mr Barnes is curious as to what led up to Peter's resignation. Peter feels stifled by John. Why should the stockholders suffer due to idiotic tantrums from two grown men? John's attempt to oust Peter, using young Michael Harvey'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.]

Episode 83
Mrs Harvey (aka Mrs Llewellyn) of "Harvey & Sons".

84. (5/07) In the kitchen of Flat 1, Sonia and Kit are washing up together. He is cheerful and breezy; she is quiet and unresponsive. They come through to the loungeroom. Gordon is reading the evening paper and Kit turns on the television. Sonia announces that she is going upstairs to visit Vera, who has promised Sonia a pattern for a blouse. Gordon suggests that Kit turn off the TV so they use the rare opportunity to talk. Is Kit really that upset about his mother's death, as Sonia described? Kit is all innocence and 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 over drinks. Kit is likable, but seems to be fuelling the couple's quarrels. Kit seems to be forcing Gordon and Sonia further apart. Vera finds herself defending Kit. He is such a lovely young man; is Sonia sure she's not reading too much into the situation? Sonia ponders if it is all in her imagination. They are interrupted by Peter, who enters with a magnum of champagne. He is in very high spirits. 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 with them for a celebratory drink. The next morning, as Kit is leaving for his shift at the garage, he knocks on the bedroom door and brings Gordon and Sonia each a cup of tea. The same old topics come up. It seems that Gordon is inclined to believe Kit's version of the kissing incident over Sonia's. What would Kit have to gain from lying? (Sonia worries that Kit is an evil influence.) The more Sonia tries to defend herself, the more guilty she sounds. In the laundrette, Dorrie is harassing Lucy about the Whittakers. They are such unsuitable tenants. 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 since returning from England? Lucy tries to defend him, but it is obvious that she, too, is concerned. Sonia has been doing some shopping this morning, but arrives for work and finds that Gordon is tense again. This time it is not over Kit; 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 baffled; she is absolutely sure that she locked up. Alan Cotterell has dropped into Janie's for lunch, bringing some good reviews of her performance from the weekly papers. He expresses his fascination for her, playing with Janie's fingers while they talk enthusiastically about the play. They share a kiss. She has a guilt-complex and tries to move away to prepare lunch but Alan starts stroking her neck. They embrace with mounting passion; Janie's relationship with Jack might be headed for dangerous ground. At The Tapemeasure, things are nearing completion and Maggie approves of Vera's latest designs. When can they be ready? Maggie is about to ramp up publicity and Vera assures her that the models are already booked in for preliminary fittings. Peter arrives to take Vera to lunch. He tells Maggie about the changes at Harvey & Sons. She already has the accounts back. Maggie turns down the lunch invitation because she has a date with "a rather delicious young man" she recently met. Vera doubts she has time for lunch but Peter insists. She mentions the new client whom Peter had sent over recently. He is puzzled. By the physical description, Peter realises that this "Mrs Llewellyn" was his own mother! He doesn't tell Vera. Janie and Alan are naked in bed. Janie is feeling a little guilty - their lunch will be burned. Alan doesn't care about lunch. Then, Jack's very 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 mentions seeing a man on the stairwell earlier. Jack knocks again. Dorrie tries to ask Jack about the incident with Bev and the ambulance, but he says she was just 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 and Janie go back to their lovemaking. In Flat 7, Vera is trying to get her work done for the salon, but Peter is still there, distracting her. They are relaxed together, but she really needs him to go. He takes the hint, gives her a kiss and is about to leave 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 again, where Janie is dressed and ready to head out. He offers to drop her to the theatre, mentioning that he called by around lunchtime. He stuns Janie by saying that he knows she was with "a dark, young man" - and that he received the news "from the horse's mouth", meaning Dorrie. Janie brushes it off, saying that Alan had only 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's conscience is troubled. She tries to get out of the plan, but reluctantly agrees. Sonia is making dinner when Gordon comes in, dressed in his wet weather gear. It is pouring outside! He is off to a Rate-Payers Association meeting and will eat when he gets back, in about two hours time. He puts his arm around Sonia and gently teases about her imagined encounter with Kit. She wants the three of them to sit down and thrash it out unemotionally. Gordon won't hear of it. It will widen the gap between father and son. He is protective over Kit. A drenched Kit arrives in time to overhear some of their latest row - and grins. Kit then slams the front door, making out he has just come in. Gordon goes out to the loungeroom to see him. Kit saw Don on the way in, so he will be moving upstairs tonight. It's better for everyone if he sleeps elsewhere. Gordon doesn't want him to go. Kit begins to pack his bag, assuring Sonia that he will be back for meals. When Sonia gets emotional, Kit lets his innocent act slip. He loathes and detests Sonia and Gordon for what they did to his mother; for all the suffering they caused her in the last few years of her life. Kit 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. Sonia says, "You realise, of course, that I shall tell your father everything you've said." As Kit departs, turning on the charm again, he replies, "Yeah, go ahead. Tell him. Of course, he's not going to believe you, not for a minute. In fact, he'll probably despise you all the more for it! See you later, for supper." And off he goes. [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 84
Kit Vansard, Flat 4.

Maggie's "rather delicious young man" will turn out to be Public Relations executive, Simon Carr (to be portrayed by John Orcsik). Simon will also return for the 1974 "Number 96" movie.

85. (6/07) Lucy is laying the table for the evening meal when Alf finally arrives back to Flat 8. His interview was a disaster. He has been at the pub ever since but isn't drunk, just outspoken about Everything Australian. Alf is convinced he didn't get the job because he is 49 years old, and an Englishman. "They only wanted inexperienced twats." Lucy points out that his previous experience as a truck driver doesn't necessarily qualify him as Shipping Manager in a mercantile company. Alf complains that his friends in England are all in executive positions. Lucy thinks he is daft to expect to be given this type of job. Maybe he should ask for his old driving job back? She finally loses her temper with her husband, for the first time since he came back from England. Kit is putting away his belongings in Don's spare room. Chatting to Don as he unpacks, the boy tells Don that he is glad to be sleeping away from Flat 1 as Sonia watches him all the time and it is an eerie feeling. The phone rings and Don goes out to answer it; it is Gordon, ringing to suggest that Don accompany Kit down for dinner tonight. Don 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. Gordon's attitude suggests that he worries it is her antipathy that has driven Kit from his home. Will Sonia please try to be nice to Kit when he is here? Jack visits Janie in her dressing room at the theatre before the play starts. The big party tonight is at Lady Betsy White's. Janie is sure she will be too tired - she'll need to be in bed early - and Jack reluctantly accepts her excuse. Then Alan comes in. It is almost "Curtain Up" time. It is a packed house and one or two big names are in the audience. There is a call of "Beginners!" and Janie gets up to leave. Alan reminds her of the cast party being held tonight at the theatre. The normally "Jolly Jack" hides his disappointment. After an embarrassed Janie has left, Alan invites Jack to the party, too, but he explains that he has other plans. In Flat 1, Sonia is quiet and withdrawn over dinner. Kit keeps trying to bring her into the otherwise-lively conversation and Gordon notices that she is not responding. At the cast's after-party, Alan draws Janie away for a sneaky kiss and they get a wolf-whistle from a partygoer. Alan hints very strongly that he wants to go back to her place tonight. At the breakfast table, Kit interrupts Don's reading of the morning's newspaper and manages to get him to speculate on Sonia's behaviour of last night. Kit says that maybe she was just tired. Don suggests that maybe Kit was right all along and she has developed feelings for Kit, or is jealous of him? But it is so unlike Sonia. Kit has organised for an old school-mate and his girlfriend to come over for dinner, so Don is scanning spaghetti recipes. He reminds Kit to tell Sonia that he won't be coming down to Flat 1 tonight. Alf and Lucy descend the main stairway together. He is back in his suit and tie for another interview. Lucy still thinks he'd be better off asking for his old job back. Kit passes them cheerily, munching an apple. Alf stops to tie his shoelace and Lucy impatiently leaves him to head for the laundrette. Norma chats to Aldo and Alf in the deli as she places an order. She is on her way to the hairdresser before her shift at the pub. Norma commiserates with Alf about job-hunting in the over-40s age group, not that Alf seems in too much of a hurry to get to his interview. 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 establishing a Flying Ambulance Service. Norma will collect the grocery order on her way home from the pub. In no time, Alf abandons his interview and dashes 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. They agree that being your own boss is better than trying to win a job interview when over 40. Les is keen for Alf to invest in his scheme, which will involve this ham radio station - and a helicopter on stand-by, ready to assist the sick wherever they be, all over the country! Jack's familiar door knock has Janie scrambling. She emerges from her bedroom - and quickly hides a man's tie 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, to her shame, admits that she has barely thought 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. Janie sits on the bed, looking dejected. Norma and Don meet up in the deli. Norma is collecting her grocery order and Don is buying ingredients for dinner. Lucy comes in with several bags of residents' laundry. She is looking for Vera, but Aldo says that Vera 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 appreciates it, and apologises that she hadn't been better company. Sonia notices that Don has bought "enough food to feed an army" and he mentions about cooking spaghetti tonight for Kit and his friends. Surely Kit mentioned it? Sonia is unimpressed and says that Kit rarely tells her anything. She is always the last to know - and 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". At the theatre, Alan is in the star dressing room, stroking Janie's back, as she applies her makeup. 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 definitely has his underpants on. Janie produces a man's tie from her handbag. He suggests that she can take it back to the flat and it will give him an excuse to return for it. Jack's distinctive knock announces his arrival and Alan excuses himself to check the stage and props. Bearing flowers, Jack does not suspect that there is anything happening with Alan, but he is seeing some danger signs that Alan seems very interested in Janie. Jack has come because he wants Janie to know just how important she is to him - and he proposes marriage! [Episode written by Cole Thompson.]

Episode 85
Janie Somers, Flat 6.

In the term "ham" radio (ie. not "H.A.M."), the meaning is "amateurish or unskilled". Although not an actual acronym, "ham" [radio] is often mistakenly used in Australia as a "backronym" standing for the term "Hobby Amateur".

86. (7/07) Alf is in a good mood: he is up early and singing in the bathtub. Lucy is surprised. Alf has a full day ahead of him. He enthusiastically tells Lucy all about Les's ham radio project. She is unconvinced. Alf knows "nowt about radio" - and is Les planning to get his hairbrained ambulance helicopter out of "a packet o' Cornflakes"? In the kitchen of Flat 1, Sonia is frying bacon and still fuming about Kit's non-appearance at dinner last night. Gordon comes in from the bathroom in his robe. Noting her mood, he tries to be kind but also defends Kit. Sonia wonders when Kit will supply them with his meal schedule for the week. (Did she always tell her parents about her movements at that young age? Gordon certainly didn't.) Sonia suggests that Kit is deliberately causing friction between them, but Gordon won't hear of it. Sonia is furious with herself for letting Kit get on her nerves like this, but she can't help it. He tells her to "Snap out of it, for Heaven's sake." As Don prepares to leave for the day, he and Kit discuss their successful dinner party last night. Kit's shift is not until noon. Don is a bit seedy. They had a late night and he probably had too much red wine. Don really liked Kit's friends. He mentions that 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 not concerned about himself, only the effect that Sonia's troubles are having on his Dad. At Flat 7, Lucy finally delivers Vera's laundry from the previous day. Lucy continues to be exasperated with Alf, but Vera reminds her how much she missed him when he was in England. Vera, however, is in a more positive mood. Peter Harvey is now running his family business as Managing Director, The Tapemeasure salon is almost ready to open, and she is getting on top of her incoming orders at last. She is even beginning to enjoy the business world! 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. The two men argue over the extensive instructions: "This terminal fits into the sprocket-catch wheel at Point A, see Diagram 11(b)...", etc. Norma expresses her doubts that Les and Alf know what they are doing and she heads off for her shift at the pub. In Flat 3, Dorrie is vacuuming her carpet when her Hoover turns itself off. She shakes it and gets no reaction. As she bends down to inspect it, the thing starts up again. She rings the Hoover Service Department but the machine seems to have a mind of its own. It starts going crazy! In the deli, Aldo is making Norma a salami and pickle sandwich to take to work for lunch, as she hates the sandwiches on offer at the pub. Aldo is having troubles with the till. He cannot get it to open so promises to give Norma her change later on. Then the shop's lights go down. Perhaps just a blown fuse? Norma wonders if Les's ham radio is affecting the building's electricity supply. Suddenly the power returns and Aldo retrieves Norma's change from the till. Dorrie enters the deli and, with a curt greeting to Norma, complains 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. She is having her own trouble with her vacuum cleaner. Aldo begins to panic. He blames a minor fault at the mains generator. It is all fixed now! He demonstrates by opening the till - which refuses to respond. Aldo 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 has permitted them the time to meet up. Gordon is grumbling about the blackout affecting his shop. The lights have gone out in his window display! He tries and fails to make Sonia smile. She suggests they go out for dinner tonight, since they can't cook without electricity. 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 earlier 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 like he always does. A customer needs a prescription filled but Gordon can't risk using the cultures that are stored in the fridge. They have to send the customer to Pearson's, a nearby rival chemist. Sonia again brings up Kit's absence from dinner last night. Gordon thinks she is making too much of it. The three of them should discuss the matter rationally. She is frightened to do this because she knows it will only make matters worse. Gordon is baffled by the situation. In the deli, as darkness falls, Don and Kit enjoy a coffee made by Aldo with water boiled on his little spirit stove. They are singing, "Why are we waiting...?" Aldo brings them some candles to take upstairs. Kit jokes that Aldo probably fused the lights himself so he can sell his backstock of candles. They laugh but Dorrie, at the counter, is not amused. Her hair is singed and she has sticking plasters on her face. She is quite livid. "Wait till Herb hears of this when he gets in!" Aldo is still stressing about the defrosting frozen food. Lucy stops by on her way home from the laundrette to find out what has happened - but she gets an earful from Dorrie about the events of the past eight hours at Number 96. 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 at the pair 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 the new Managing Director is because Vera had 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 in Flat 1. The lights come on just as they finish, so at least Sonia can make some coffee! Gordon wants to get a discussion going about the family's ongoing friction, despite Sonia's objections. It all seemed to start the weekend he was in Brisbane for the convention. Kit urges that they should all accept Sonia's version of the truth. "The real truth can be too dangerous." Sonia puts forward her case strongly, if emotionally. She reminds Kit of his threat to wreck them up as a couple, but now everything she tries to say just makes her sound demented. Kit continues to play innocent. It looks as if he has won again. Gordon thinks Sonia is seeing bogey-men everywhere. She leaves the table, sobbing. Kit offers to stop coming down for meals; he will move away altogether. His father walks right into the artful trap that Kit has laid out: Gordon insists that his own son won't be barred from his own home. Gordon pleads, "No, Kit. Please don't go from my life. I need you!" [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Episode 86
The Whittaker ham radio disaster, Flat 5:
Alf Sutcliffe, Les Whittaker, Dorrie Evans and Vera Collins.

87. (10/07) Dorrie is on the phone to Mr Bayswater, the agent for Number 96, reporting on yesterday's fiasco. No lights or power for over eight hours, ruined frozen food - and relayed complaints from Aldo and the chemists, whose businesses were affected! She blames those "hopelessly unsuitable tenants", the Whittakers, of course. Her tirade is interrupted by a long-distance operator, who wants to know if Dorrie will accept an urgent call. She refuses; they'll have to wait! Tenants are threatening legal action! Ringing off, Dorrie unloads on the oblivious Herb, who was enjoying a quiet breakfast. The interstate phone call comes through. It seems that Jeff and Lois Carter, Dorrie's brother and sister-in-law, have been in Queensland, on vacation from Coffs Harbour, and were involved in a serious road accident. It is their neighbour contacting Dorrie, concerned about what will happen to young Georgina, the daughter, who needs someone to care for her while the Carters are recuperating. Dorrie hasn't seen her niece since the girl was six years old, although she now claims Georgina to be "her favourite". Dorrie decides that it is "the charitable and Christian thing" for Georgina to spend time with Dorrie and Herb. The neighbour is to put the girl on the next train to Sydney! Dorrie remembers the girl as a delicate, dainty, Dresden-like child, brought up to be "a real little lady". Poor Georgina will be "a veritable babe in the wood". Dorrie will care for her in this hour of need. Lucy makes a heartfelt apology to Aldo, as it was Alf's fault that the deli was inconvenienced by the freezers going without power for so long. He daren't sell any of the frozen food until an inspector calls around to check it. Roma arrives, having had yesterday off, to hear all about the predicament in which Aldo has found himself. Dorrie told Lucy of Aldo's intentions to sue Alf over his foodstock losses. Aldo is shocked; he had said no such thing - and Dorrie walks straight into the conversation! But she refuses to be drawn into this topic: she is a woman on a mission, and explains Georgina's dilemma. The girl's parents are dying in the hospital and it is up to all of them to show the milk of human kindness and do all they can to show that the world can be a beautiful place! She starts ordering all manner of expensive, exotic foods, to tempt the appetite of a traumatised girl after such great tragedy. Norma is having cereal and a cigarette for breakfast when Les turns up from night shift. He is full of gory stories about events at the hospital, but Norma has heard it all before. Instead, she expresses her exasperation over Les and that stupid Alf Sutcliffe's latest antics. Norma is not scared by Dorrie, but yesterday's debacle was too much! The agent has every right to turn them out onto the street. Alf breezes in to continue their project, unprepared for Norma's verbal attack. She accuses the men of being "two of a kind!" and storms off to the bedroom. Les is contrite over Norma's reaction and is prepared to give up his scheme. Alf doubles down: if Norma won't tolerate the equipment in the flat, then Alf will buy it all, become the project's senior partner, and they can move it to Flat 8 to continue working on it there. After all, Alf is not afraid of his wife! Jack arrives at Flat 6, with less than his usual exuberance. He is hoping to hear that Janie will accept his marriage proposal. When she hedges, he tries to persuade her, telling her how much she means to him. "You and me together, we can make life a party!" Janie seems even more undecided now. He wants to take her to lunch, to celebrate that she is thinking it over, but Janie has a possible appointment for a television interview to publicise her show. Herb and Dorrie are doing a makeover of the spare bedroom. The room is taking on a more feminine ambiance, with freshly-polished furniture, drapes, bits of lace - and the unexpected arrival of Mrs Lubinski, bearing some essential items for a young girl's boudoir. There is a tortoiseshell hairbrush, a fluffy pyjama case in the shape of a poodle, and all mannner of schmaltzy kitsch. "Net curtains! The poor, unhappy girl needs net curtains over the window so she can dress in daylight without being overlooked!", says Roma, and Dorrie agrees. Herb is sent off on a shopping expedition for more suitable drapes. 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, with Alf himself as major partner. Jack is surprisingly dismissive of the project. How much cash does the project have behind it? Has he tendered for an aircraft? Been to see the Pilots' Union? Secured a dedicated frequency? Alf complains that in England "there is no need for all that red tape." Jack laughs that "in England, there is no need for a Flying Doctor, mate!" Jack spots Alan further down in the bar and calls him over to join them. Norma is on duty and Alf introduces her to Jack. Herb is also there; he was supposed to be out buying curtains but Jack can get them for him wholesale. (Of course.) Jack wants a private word with Alan; they seem to be rivals for Janie's affections. Alan doesn't live locally but is intending to take Janie to an interview he has hopefully lined up. Jack realises that Janie's story was at least partly true. He reminds Alan that, as one of the play's backers, Jack can use his connections to line up a TV inteview anytime. While not belittling Alan's position, Jack "can afford to give Janie all the things she so richly deserves: money, a rich environment, social position..." Alan gives the appearance of being impressed. Dorrie is at the laundrette, washing more things for the guest bedroom. The lonely, little waif will be arriving at Central Station tonight at 7.00pm. Dorrie cautions Lucy to mind her language around the girl as she was "brought up right" by Jeff and Lois. Norma drops in after her pub shift and Dorrie warns her that the Whittakers can "count their days remaining at Number 96" after the report Mr Bayswater received. She leaves in a huff and Norma fires back an insult. Quietly, though, Norma is quite concerned and she and Lucy make a pact to blow some sense into their husbands even if it kills them. In Flat 6, Janie seems ill at ease. Alan has dropped in and they chat about the theatre. She admits to Alan that Jack is often on her mind. When he first asked her about Jack, Janie claimed that he was "just a friend". Things have changed and Alan has noticed; he was chatting to Jack today at the pub. Janie wants to hear about the TV interview but it's not definite yet. He hasn't quite fixed it yet, but he will. In the meantime, Alan has other suggestions as to how they might fill in their time. While Aldo is at the bank, a deli customer (Roger Ward) is being overly-casual and asks Roma about a "Special" that he has heard about. Once again, she offers wine to go with a slice of her discounted wedding cake. Seated at the table to enjoy his "Special", the man asks Roma if she is the proprietor. "So does Mr Godolfus also serve wine with cake?" "But, of course," Roma boasts, "It is our 'Special'!" The spare room in Flat 3 is now so feminine it is almost overbearing. Herb is setting the dining table with the best Brussels lace tablecloth, candlesticks, and the best china. It is time for Herb to collect Georgina from Central Station. Dorrie hands him a photograph of the girl, taken when she was about six. Herb objects that she would be much older than that now, but Dorrie is positive he will recognise her: a poor, forlorn waif, standing all alone on the platform, holding a battered suitcase... She sends him off! Lucy drops into the deli on the way home from work. Roma announces that she received a postcard from Rose and Julian today. ("How romantic!") Lucy is more interested in an update on Aldo's problem with food spoilage from the power outage. Norma joins them just as Aldo enters from the back. The inspector visited him today and was happy enough that the food is still able to be sold. The setting of the freezers meant that it was all "overfrozen", anyway, and Aldo had wisely kept his machines' seals closed. Lucy and Norma develop a united front for dealing with their wayward husbands. They depart together. Roma tells Aldo that she had a busy afternoon and boasts that she sold three "Specials" in one afternoon. (Aldo still has no idea that Roma has been selling wine to go with her cake.) Norma wants the ham radio gear gone but Les admits he has "already sold it all". Norma and Lucy wonder what fool would buy that junk? Then Lucy catches the self-satisfied smirk on Alf's face. Lucy is livid! Herb had no luck finding Dorrie's niece, encountering only an intoxicated "floozy" (Robyn Moase) on the platform instead. He arrives back at Number 96 alone. ("Oh Herb, how could you...?") They are interrupted by a knock at the door. A 16-year old hippy-type, with a guitar over one shoulder, exclaims, "Hi Auntie Dee!" It seems that Georgina Carter (Susannah Piggott) has hitchhiked all the way down from Coffs Harbour - and her two "dolly lorry-drivers" are waiting downstairs to bring up all her clobber. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Episode 87
Floozy at Central Station; Georgina Carter, Flat 3.

The official Cash Harmon synopsis shows that Georgina Carter was originally conceived as "Sandra". By the script for Episode #97, the name had been changed to "Georgina". Johnny Whyte worries that he has "oversold" the concept of Dorrie expecting a waif-like six-year-old, but he trusts that writer Eleanor Witcombe will "subtley keep us in the dark..." with her script until the cliffhanger ending he describes. Roger Ward's character would return in Episode #89 and, in 1976, would win a regular role as Weppo Smith the local "garbo". The scene with Robyn Moase and Ron Shand on Central Station was filmed on location. Robyn received another small comedic role in Episode #96, as one of the fashion models at The Tapemeasure. The Whittaker ham radio comes back in a 1974 storyline so Les probably moved it down to the cellar.

88. (11/07) Don is shaving in the bathroom while his new boarder, Kit, is in the shower. Their conversation has to be shouted over the sound of running water. Don will be home all day to work on a brief because the law office is redecorating. Who was playing a loud record-player into the wee hours? Perhaps the Whittakers having a party? Since escaping the daily dramas of Flat 1, Kit keeps bringing discussion back to Sonia's emotional state. Kit's version of his last evening meal he had downstairs is carefully angled against Sonia. Don agrees that he has noticed Sonia getting irritated over the tiniest things, working herself into a neurotic state. In Flat 3, Dorrie hasn't slept well; Georgina was playing her records, over and over, almost all night, requiring Dorrie to warn her several times. Dorrie is perplexed at the changes: as a young girl, Georgina was such an angel. Herb is sent into the guest bedroom with a cup of tea for their niece. ("Give her a good shaking," Dorrie calls from the other room.) He whips the sheet off Georgina to rouse her, revealing... her sleeping, naked form! Herb drops Dorrie's best china cup and saucer. Dorrie screams as the treasured items smash which, in turn, awakens an unconcerned Georgina. Dorrie arrives, realising what has happened, and covers Herb's eyes. Georgina just chirps, "Good morning, Auntie Dee!" Maggie's office intercom announces, "A Mr Simon Carr to see you, Mrs Cameron." Maggie quickly fishes for her lipstick and powder, reapplies them, and invites him in. The handsome Simon Carr (John Orcsik) is a young, executive type - an art director - and Maggie is to interview him about publicity work she would like him to do for The Tapemeasure. Simon is always sharply-dressed and exactly Maggie's type. They discuss work that his agency has done for her in the past: the placing of advertising, story-covers, fashion shoots, etc. Maggie admires his work, and not just his work. She invites him to lunch, to meet Vera and Peter and to get an understanding of Vera's designs. Simon agrees. Once again, Sonia and Gordon bicker about Kit. Sonia claims that Gordon's son frightens her. Just then, Kit breezes in, in very playful mood, borrows some small change from Gordon - he just paid rent to Don and now "hasn't a sou to his name!" - blows Sonia a cheeky kiss, and is gone! Gordon rests his case that his son is no threat. Dorrie has gone back to bed but Georgina objects to Uncle Herb doing the washing up. She takes pity on him, encouraging him to go off to the pub or the TAB, instead. She helps him slip into his jacket and they share a conspiratorial laugh. Georgina ponders the pile of dirty dishes, shrugs - and then hides them all in the oven! "Out of sight, out of mind." Sonia calls in to see Don, who is still at home working on his brief. Sonia is quite depressed. She is sorry to disturb him, but needs to confide in someone! She tries to get him to side with her about Kit - but Don is the same as Gordon and Vera! He gently suggests that, perhaps, she is a little jealous? It would be only natural. This type of advice is of no use to Sonia. In the cocktail bar of a smart restaurant, Maggie is singing Simon's praises as the martinis flow. She and Peter explain to Vera exactly what an Art Director does in the advertising field. Just before Simon arrives, the bartender calls away Peter with a phone call. He must skip lunch to deal with a problem back at Harvey & Sons, leaving only Vera and Maggie to dine with Simon. Maggie is over-effusive about him and orders more martinis. The charming Simon arrives, Maggie introduces him - and he is quite taken by Vera (but Maggie, so far, is oblivious.) To the pounding beat of the radio, Georgina has been dancing while preparing lunch in Flat 3. Dorrie staggers out of her bedroom, her head splitting, heads for the radio and turns it off. "This is a block of flats, with other tenants to consider. It is not one of your 'hippie pots'," Dorrie tells her niece. "Pads, Auntie Dee!" she corrects her. Dorrie and Herb are served yoghurt, wheatgerm nutburgers, raw parsley, two high-protein tablets each - and sunflower seeds! During a tour of The Tapemeasure, with Maggie talking avidly about how Simon can publicise this and that, his attitude indicates that he really likes Vera's efforts on her first collection. When he leaves, Vera says, "Simon seems to think my designs are very good." Maggie replies, "You should see the designs I have on him! After that disgusting lunch, Dorrie seems to be missing some china. She and Herb search the kitchen, finding the missing dishes, cups and cutlery in the oven, still unwashed. Georgina is nowhere to be found. The spare bedroom is a mess, all the feminine trimmings are gone, and there is a smouldering joss-stick on the dressing table. "Herb, she's smoking pads!" "No, Dorrie, pot!" Kit encounters "this bird doing yoga" on the landing, and brings Georgina into Flat 4 to meet Don. Kit insists that Don join them that night to do the rounds of the discos. At first, Don declines, but Georgina insists. They will have a quick bite to eat now and then venture out to "do their own thing". It is 11.00pm and Vera and Peter arrive back to the ground floor foyer. They bump into Gordon in his overcoat, returning from his routine nightly walk. Vera invites Peter up for a quick nightcap and reminds him to put his car's interior lights on. No, he found a parking spot in the side street where there is plenty of light. Vera says, "Gordon often leaves his car's lights on at night..." - and Gordon is puzzled. No, he doesn't; there is no need! Now it is Vera who is puzzled. She shrugs. She saw Kit turning them on the other night. Gordon becomes lost in his thoughts. In Flat 3, Dorrie and Herb are sitting up in their nightclothes, determined to catch Georgina arriving home. When Dorrie was her age, she had to be home by 9.00pm. Herb is worn out; he cannot wait any longer. He trudges off to bed but Dorrie is "quite ardamant" about staying up. Meanwhile, Don and Kit arrive back at Flat 4, followed by Georgina, a man with bongo drums, and some scruffy, hippy-types (including Rory O'Donoghue and his guitar). Don tells them all to keep the noise down and heads to the kitchen to make the coffee. With everyone seated on the floor of the lounge room, an impromptu jam session begins. With her business venture finally up and running, Vera can turn her attention to organising her private life! Noting that it is 1.00am, Peter and Vera share a last drink, and then Peter calmly asks - if it is all right with Vera - to stay the night. The raucous party in Flat 4 moves from loud protest songs to disagreements over Conscription and the war in Vietnam. Despite Don's earlier warning about noise levels, even he gets drawn into a loud political argument. No one hears the banging on the front door. Outside, on the landing, Dorrie is battering the door of Flat 4 with her fists. Herb is a meek observer. She says that this is the last straw. Dorrie thought that Don had reformed his partying ways after Bruce Taylor left, and suspects that the Whittakers are behind it all, anyway. The door flings open and - music still blaring! - Georgina cheerily welcomes her "Auntie Dee" to the gathering. "Come and join us, we are having a ball!" [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Episode 88
Georgina Carter and Herb Evans, Flat 3. Inset: Guitar-playing hippy.

Even though no explicit sexual tension has been suggested between Don and Kit, the script pushes the envelope for Australian TV with a naked 18-year-old male in the shower at the same time as the gay man shaving in the same bathroom. Rory O'Donoghue makes a cameo appearance as one of Georgina's hippy friends. The "cocktail bar and smart restaurant" set will eventually become identified as being a duplicate of a corner of The Cosmopolitan restaurant, a real-life establishment in Double Bay, and a favourite of the series' writers. It is not far from the real-life fashion boutique, The Tapemeasure. The character of Helen Sheridan (Carmen Duncan) will eventually be introduced as Manager of the fictitious version of the restaurant.

89. (12/07) Lucy visits the deli the next morning and she and Aldo fill in Roma on the noisy party that disturbed the whole building last night. While they are talking, Don comes in and apologises. He feels party responsible, since it occurred in his flat. Aldo reminds him that Number 96 has many older residents who need their rest, especially those who rise early to run businesses. To his surprise, Roma and Lucy get stuck into Aldo. "You are only young once!" Wasn't Aldo the same when he was a young man? "So long as it doesn't happen too often..." Don suggests that all he has to do is keep Kit Vansard away from Dorrie's hippy niece, and it won't happen again. In Flat 5, Norma has had limited sleep after the night's din. For all of Dorrie's bluster about respectability, Norma thinks that "the conserge" needs to look much closer to home for the root of the problem. The ham radio explosion was an accident, not deliberate. Les wonders what will happen now. Norma suspects they will get evicted, due to the damage caused by Les's antics. This has happened now in several previous places; he needs to be extra careful, as they can't afford to keep moving from flat to flat. Janie is awakened from a deep sleep by a persistent phone ringing. It is Jack with a surprise: instead of driving to the Snowy Mountains to collect Bev, he chartered a plane and they have just arrived at Mascot! They are heading to Number 96 now, so Janie must scramble. She had not been expecting them until tonight, so had planned a reunion party for after tonight's performance. Janie is upset about the unexpected changes to her day but pretends that she is fine. Now she must hurry a naked Alan out of her bedroom. "Won't your roommate like me? Is she that prudish?" he asks. Janie hands him his clothes and explains that Jack is going to be with her. Alan suggests that Janie needs to make a decision on Jack's proposal. He draws her to him and they embrace. It is noon in the deli, and a depressed Alf is going through the newspaper classifieds, job hunting again. It is impossible to get a job at his age. Aldo suggests that 45 is the cut-off these days. Les wanders in and commiserates. There won't be any good jobs in the afternoon papers. The morning ones are better. Why doesn't Alf join him for a drink at the pub instead? Aldo goes through to his flat to answer the phone while Roma serves customers. Alf and Les head off together. Aldo bounces back out to announce that Rose and Julian are back from their honeymoon. Rose sounds so happy and they want to host dinner for Aldo and Mrs Lubinski tonight: their first visitors! Janie checks the landing. The coast is clear so she sends Alan out. Will he be able to see Janie tonight? Janie doubts it will be possible, with Bev and Jack back. In the laundrette, Norma tells Lucy about her ongoing problem with Dorrie. Lucy points out that most of the noise was insigated by Georgina, Dorrie's niece. Norma laughs with relief. The discussion turns to Lucy's concerns over Alf. He is getting more depressed and they can't go on too much longer with Alf out of work. Norma wonders if Lucy has any influence at Alf's old workplace? Norma has sometimes had to intercede on Les's behalf in the past. ("Men are all alike...") Lucy considers her options. Bev is looking refreshed after her stay with Bunty and Noel Watkins. They were kind and generous - and didn't play one practical joke! She wants to know if Janie has accepted Jack's marriage proposal. Janie is puzzled. It would seem that Jack has jumped the gun again! "We haven't settled anything yet," says Janie. Jack now has egg on his face and makes an excuse to leave. He needs to get to the track early today. At the pub, Les is midway through one of his gory stories. Alf hasn't really been listening, due to his depression about finding a job. Age, lack of executive experience, education and training, and Lucy's nagging... it is almost too much. Suddenly, Jack bursts in, all bright and happy, thinking he had time to sink a few beers before heading to the track (but not as early as he'd claimed in Flat 6). Aldo is getting excited to see Rose and Julian tonight. Roma suggests that they should take a housewarming gift. It is bad luck not to take something to a first home! She noticed there were no blankets amongst the wedding presents. Aldo has a friend who does wholesaling. If Roma minds the shop, he will go now and get some blankets. Janie and Bev have a heart-to-heart about Janie's situation. She is quite enamoured by Alan - he is so marvellous - and this is what makes it so hard to give Jack a definitive response to his proposal. Bev praises Jack's qualities: his generosity and concern. Janie wouldn't find anyone like him again. It would be just fine if Janie could have Jack's friendship and Alan's love. Bev says that this "is foolish talk; impossible!" Janie wonders. You can probably live without friendship but you can't live without love. 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 (Roger Ward) is back, pretending to be a returning customer. This time he has brought a friend. They order two of the cake and wine "specials" from Roma and she serves them at the table. Lucy comes in, just as the customers are finishing up. As Lucy departs with her order, Roma's previous customers have returned. At first, Roma thinks she has counted out incorrect change. The licensing inspector hands her a paper. She thanks him, not realising what it is about. She reads, "Serving Alcohol on Unlicenced Premises...". Lucy asks if there is anything she can do to help. No, Roma will work it out. Lucy heads for the door with her large grocery order just as Aldo returns. He is thrilled with his purchase. As Roma pockets the paper and collects up the empty plates and wine glasses, Aldo loads his parcel onto the now-vacated table. They admire the pair of blankets - beautiful, warm, pure, Australian wool! - then Aldo takes the bundle into his flat to wrap it immediately. Lucy struggles up the stairs with her box to find Alf, despondent and forlorn, sitting on their landing. Alf says that nobody wants him - but she is quick to remind him that she wants him! "How did it go with the job today?" Alf admits that he didn't even go. He went to the pub instead because he can't stand the thought of being turned down again. Lucy comforts him. Later that afternoon, Don is checking his mailbox when Roma comes out of the door to Aldo's flat. She has been looking out for him. Roma tells Don about the summons to appear before a magistrate for selling alcohol in the deli. What will happen now? Don paints a rather dark picture. They are interrupted by Aldo, who is dressed ready to go to dinner at Rose and Julian's! Don realises that Roma has not yet told Aldo what has occurred. She will have to confess to Aldo because he, too, could be implicated by this charge. Roma doesn't understand how that could be. She is an emotional wreck. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Episode 89
Licence Inspector in the deli.

In her "Parkinson in Australia" interview (29/08/1981), writer Eleanor Witcombe admitted that Les Whittaker's crazy inventions - and general "We can make a fortune!" optimism - were traits inspired by her own father. The synopsis by Johnny Whyte contains two quite different versions of the scene between Roma and the Licence Inspector as Whyte (and Witcombe) grappled with getting the flow of events to work.

90. (13/07) Gordon comes up to Flat 4 to see Kit. Don had dropped into the chemist shop this morning and mentioned that Kit was still home. Gordon confronts his son about the incident involving the car's lights being left on. Sonia had taken the blame for that. With much vigour, Kit denies any knowledge of it. Who would spread such a lie? It was Vera who witnessed Kit turning the lights on, and mentioned it in passing. Kit manages to infer that Sonia and Vera are always in agreement. Gordon is left feeling troubled; he cannot believe that his son would invent things for the sake of it. Norma comes to Flat 8 to talk to Lucy about the report that Dorrie lodged with Mr Bayswater over the power outage. Vera pops her head out. Lucy has already left for the laundrette, but she invites Norma in. Vera reassures her that Dorrie doesn't have the sway she claims to have with the agent. There is a knock at the door. It is Kit, who has come to challenge Vera's interpretation of the car lights incident. His father is very upset and Vera must be mistaken. No, she had been looking out of her bathroom window and saw Kit turning on the lights. He has such a charming way of denying the incident that Vera now doubts what she actually witnessed. While Herb is shaving, Georgina invades her uncle's morning bathroom routine to take a shower. When Dorrie starts calling Herb's name, he panics and locks the door! Dorrie starts banging on the door. Herb claims he can't hear what she is saying because he is in the shower. He stands there, petrified. Suddenly, there is a knock at the front door and Dorrie is called away to discover... Norma Whittaker! Norma invites herself in, to have it out with Dorrie. Why did she feel the need to make a complaint with Mr Bayswater? The lights going out was an accident. What does Dorrie have against her - and Les? Dorrie does not think the Whittakers are suitable tenants. Norma rises to her own defence. It has come to Norma's attention that the noise problems of the other night were caused by Dorrie's own niece. Dorrie paints an image of a sad, waif-like girl, grappling with the fact that her parents are at death's door, facing major surgery, after a terrible road accident. Georgina chooses that moment to make a naked dash for her bedroom, leaving Norma wide-eyed and poor Herb in a panic, peering around the bathroom door. Dorrie remains oblivious. Maggie drops into The Tapemeasure to find Vera with a mouthful of pins, draping completed garments onto mannequins and fitting one to a live model (Leonora Vawn). After dismissing the model, Maggie announces that she has only come to borrow Vera's flat key. She needs "a place to go" and plans to take Simon there. Vera disapproves but gives her the key anyway. "What is this holier-than-thou attitude?" asks Maggie and then reminds Vera about her interest in Peter. Vera accidentally lets slip that Peter recently stayed the night in Flat 7. Maggie grins. "Tell me more, darling!" They are interrupted by Simon, who is checking on Maggie's progress. He is double-parked and a Brown Bomber is coming down the street! Simon says a quick hello to Vera, Maggie waves the key, and they are off. Kit meets Georgina doing yoga on the landing. She is trying to keep out of Auntie Dee's hair today. They discuss "the session" that caused all the ruckus. Kit is on his way to work, but they are both keen to have another night out together. Tonight? Why not? They head down the stairs together, with Georgina planning to go to the beach for the day, or maybe take a leatherwear class? At the cocktail bar, Jack sits disconsolately with his martini when Maggie breezes through with Simon. Maggie has a quick word with Jack, whom she met at the Myers' wedding reception. They move on, just as Bev arrives to see Jack, as arranged. He buys her a drink then gloomily presses her for news about Janie. Bev says that Janie hardly spoke all morning. She officially turned down Jack's proposal last night and he is left feeling despondant. Remembering her own recent experiences, she sympathises and agrees to accompany him to the race track this afternoon. He rallies a little but it is clearly an effort. Dorrie is on a rampage after Georgina's display in front of Norma and Herb. The girl has been out all morning - "Treats this place just like a hippie's pot!" - and Dorrie finds Georgina's room trashed, with dirty clothes scattered all over the bed and floor. Gathering up the clothing, she stuffs the items into a bag. Herb is to take the bag to the laundrette and run the clothes through one of Lucy's washing machines - twice! In Vera's bedroom, Maggie reluctantly gets out of the bed and puts on a robe. She has to get back to work. A naked Simon remains in the bed. He thinks he will "stay on for a bit" but Maggie reminds him that she has to return Vera's key. In any case, doesn't he have a plane to catch this evening? There is a two-day advertising conference he will be attending in Melbourne. He sighs and climbs out of bed, with Maggie fondling him from behind. Simon announces that he will take a shower and, of course, Maggie intends to join him. At the laundrette, Herb is loading Georgina's clothes into a machine and Norma is suddenly beside him. Lucy is not around, perhaps on a different shift? Norma decides to chat to Herb about the report that Dorrie sent to Mr Bayswater. Herb tells her not to worry too much; Dorrie's bark is worse than her bite. Vera finishes fitting another gown onto her model. She tells the girl they are finished for the day. As the model leaves, Maggie enters to return the key to Vera. Gloating about her new conquest, who is now headed off to Melbourne, Maggie thinks that Vera looks tired. "You need to go home and have a good rest." Bev is choosing makeup from a counter in the chemist shop. She is with Jack and they have a party to go to tonight. Kit pops in to make a point of telling Gordon that Sonia needs to know about his alternate plans for dinner tonight. Gordon wants him to stay awhile, as he has something they need to discuss, but Kit has a date and must hurry. "Will tomorrow do?" Bev asks Jack to come upstairs while she changes for the party, but Jack is reluctant to run into Janie. It might embarrass her, so he'll wait in the car. Kit offers for Jack to come up to Flat 4. He can wait for Bev there, over a beer. They all head off as Vera arrives, looking weary, and seeking some strong headache pills. Gordon brings up the car-lights incident again and Vera surprises him by saying that she now thinks she was mistaken. It probably wasn't Kit she saw after all. Dorrie won't let Georgina live in filth. She has cleaned her room, folded her clothes and will insist on Georgina keeping it that way from now on: spick and span! Georgina breaks down into tears. She misses her parents. They let her live her own life and keep her own room just how she likes it. Dorrie is flummoxed and upset. When she wanders out, Herb enters to console Georgina. Auntie Dee doesn't mean half of what she says. In Flat 4, Jack is having his beer as Kit steps into the lounge room, now dressed to go out on the town. Jack is not covering his disappointment about Janie as well as he imagines. A glamorous Bev arrives. She and Jack are going out to eat first, then will head off to the grand party. Jack suggests that Kit and his date could join them, as his guests. Kit says that this "would be gas". Georgina arrives, somewhat grotesquely-dressed, especially for a swanky evening. Vera emerges from her shower and puts on a negligee. There is a knock at her door and she opens it to reveal... Simon Carr! He apologises. He is on a search for a lost cigarette lighter. Did he leave it here this afternoon? Vera lets him in and, after a minute or two of looking around, she teases that he might not have left the lighter here at all. Simon shakes his head and smiles. He admits, "I came here to see you. I thought we might get to know each other better!" [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Episode 90
Simon Carr, advertising executive.

Leonora Vawn was from Copenhagen, Denmark, a young starlet hoping to find fame in Australia during a working holiday, and typical of the many young women snapped up by the series to provide a regular and tantalising glimpse of flesh for viewers. Two years later, she was to feature as a roving reporter in an early Simon Townsend pilot, "The Ripper Report", the precursor to "Wonder World". For international fans, a "Brown Bomber" is a Sydney-based parking inspector of the day. The storyline of the 1974 "Number 96" movie manages to gloss over the intensity of these earlier Simon Carr scenes. John Orcsik was reluctant, at first, to take on the movie's changes to his character, but now has no regrets.

91. (14/07) Don is home from work later than usual but calls into the deli on his way upstairs. He asks Aldo if Mrs Lubinski is in and he calls her in from the flat. There is an awkward moment because Aldo stays in earshot; Don tells her he has "the information you required" and Roma quickly covers by promising to come up to Flat 4 to show him "how to prepare the casserole". Aldo is puzzled, but offers Don to have some wine with them, sending Roma into a tizz. Don refuses, saying he must get upstairs. He gently reminds Aldo that he shouldn't be serving wine in the shop. Aldo shrugs, "So, we break the law occasionally..." It is getting late and Simon is still in Vera's flat. She asks him if he knows her well enough yet to get the hell out and catch his plane to Melbourne. He smoothly boasts that he knows her so well that he will reschedule his flight for the early morning and then he has the whole night at his disposal! Vera wonders what his motives are, implying that she believes that he "belongs to Maggie". But Simon doesn't belong to anyone, and he makes his feelings abundantly clear. Vera worries that she has just started in business and can't jeopardise her working relationship with Maggie in any way. Simon persists and wants Vera to go to dinner with him. He knows a small, discreet restaurant. Vera agrees. In Flat 4, Roma has managed to get away from the deli and is seeking Don's opinion on her situation. She must appear before the magistrate at 10.00am on Monday. If Roma, as Aldo's shop assistant, has been selling wine without the proprietor's knowledge, then Aldo doesn't have to be involved. Roma mentions that she did say, in her statement to the police, that she thought what she did was in order because she had witnessed Aldo serving wine. Don is alarmed. He knows that Aldo sometimes has given a glass of his homemade wine to people he knows very well but, even if it is free, it is still an offence to do so on unlicenced premises. The last thing she wants is for Aldo to be involved. She will retract her statement. Don says that she must inform Aldo, She is almost in tears. How could she have involved Mr Godolfus - however innocently - in such a terrible drama? Things are tense in Flat 1. Sonia is brushing her hair in the bathroom when Gordon enters to clean his teeth. Gordon has been quiet and introspective and Sonia needs to say something. She has tried hard to be pleasant and natural around Kit, as asked, but all of the fun seems to be gone from her relationship with Gordon. Gordon can't express his growing doubts about Kit yet, but perhaps he and Sonia should get married soon? Sonia remarks that a marriage certificate won't resolve the invisible barrier that has been building up between them. In the wee hours, Jack has dropped Bev and Kit home and they noisily climb the stairs. Kit invites her into Flat 4 for a coffee but he can't find his key. As he searches his pockets, giggling, Vera and Simon come past them on their way to Flat 7. Don flings the door open and he tells Kit and Bev to "pipe down - it's 1.00am!" They go inside. On the landing outside Vera's flat, Simon is denied entry. Vera thanks him for dinner but says that they cannot meet again. Simon grins. She doesn't know him well, or Vera would realise that he was the persistent type. As Simon continues descending, he passes Peter Harvey coming the other way. They nod to each other. Simon probably assumes that Peter is another tenant. Arriving outside Flat 7, Peter knocks. Vera opens the door, ready to say, "I told you I wouldn't let you in..." but she quickly swallows her words. Peter apologises for the lateness of the hour but he has been trying to contact her all evening. She makes a vague excuse. Peter asks if he can come in. Vera nods. In Flat 4, Kit and Bev tell Don about the smashing party that Jack took them to. Somehow Kit lost his new soulmate - Dorrie's niece, Georgina - to a saxophonist at the party. He goes to the kitchen to make coffee. While he is gone, Don and Bev achieve a moment of renewed understanding. Without discussing their past, Bev's deep ache for Don has begun to flourish into respectful friendship. Next morning, Vera's alarm wakes her and she starts to get up to make some tea. Peter is still beside her and pulls her close. He wants to talk. He has new plans: to get a flat, and for Vera to move in with him. Vera repeats a previous statement, that she understood that their affair was to be on an "unemotional basis". Peter thought that he wanted that, but things have changed. Vera says that nothing has changed for her (and she is probably unconsciously thinking about Simon coming onto the scene). Sonia is an early customer at the deli. She has run out of Gordon's favourite marmalade. Aldo believes he has just received a new case and he goes into the flat to check. Meanwhile, Kit arrives in his work overalls. He greets Sonia and asks her how things are going in the "love nest". She is distant and won't be drawn into discussion so he assumes that things are not too good. He tells Sonia that she is fighting a losing battle - and that he has already won! Aldo returns with the marmalade and Kit is suddenly all smiles again. He buys a block of chocolate and leaves. As Sonia departs, Roma arrives in her street clothes. She looks weary and red-eyed and obviously has had little sleep. Aldo is very concerned and Roma insists that he sit down. She has something very disturbing to tell him. As Gordon opens the chemist shop, a policeman (David Williams) is there to see him. He is the regular night patrol officer for this area and just finishing his shift. Last night, when he was checking the shop doors, he noticed that Gordon had left the window display lights on, not his usual practice. Yes, Gordon has decided to do this as a security tactic. But something triggers a memory for Gordon. "Were you the constable on duty last Wednesday?" Yes, he was on the same duty all last week, and he always checks all the shop doors in Lindsay Street around 6.00am. Gordon is puzzled because Wednesday was when he found the door already unlocked. The policeman shakes his head. "No, your shop door was definitely locked when I checked it. Perhaps your assistant opened up that morning and forgot to tell you?" Gordon is stony-faced. In Flat 4, Don comes through to the lounge room in mid-shave. Kit is rummaging through paperwork. Don thought he had already left for work? Today is pay-day at the petrol station and Kit had to race back as he needed his list of overtime hours. He finally locates the list and is about to rush off again when there is a timid knock at the door. He opens it and Aldo and Roma are standing there, like two forlorn orphans. They are here to see Don. Don rushes to the bathroom to remove his shaving cream. He will see them in a minute. Kit lets them in and races out. Kit runs into Bev on the landing. She is in her robe and knocking on the door of Flat 3. She can't raise anyone, but is wondering about Georgina. Did she ever make it home? Kit assures her that Georgina can look after herself, but Bev reminds him that Georgina is only 16. Kit shrugs and tells her to think back to when Bev was 16 - "if you can remember that far back!" Bev shrugs and returns to Flat 6. Don hears the whole story of how the deli made wine available to customers. Aldo is determined to stick by Roma, and will admit to the magistrate that he, too, has served wine to customers in the past. Don is against this. If Roma admits that she was mistaken, and didn't know that wine could not be served, she might only get a caution and a $40 fine. Aldo is determined to be gallant. He will stand by Roma in her hour of need. "We will both go to the prisons together!" Don explains that it is not a question of prison; if Aldo involves himself, at best there will be a hefty fine. "And at worst?" Don admits that in a worst-case scenario, Aldo's trading licence might get revoked. He would have to close the shop and never be able to operate as a proprietor ever again. [Episode written by Anne Hall.]

Episode 91
Policeman on the beat in Lindsay Street.

Writer Anne Hall had worked with Mike Harris (and David Sale) as co-creator/writer on "The Group". She also contributed early ideas for Cash Harmon's "The Unisexers". David Williams' policeman character returns in Episode #139.

92. (17/07) The Sutcliffes are at breakfast. Alf is still in his pyjamas. Very tentatively, Lucy asks tells Alf about his prospects for job interviews. He tries to put on a bold front about his quest to secure an executive job, but he is now doubting himself. Lucy explains that she cannot support both on them with only one wage. She thinks she will have to use some of the $250 in Alf's cigar box - which was originally the start of Alf's savings plan to return to England - but he refuses to consider going back to his old boss, Bob Gerrold, and begging for his old job back. If Bob wants him as a truck-driver, he will have to come and ask Alf personally. Georgina is proving to be uncontrollable, and Dorrie is convinced it is all Herb's fault for not being firm with her. Georgina was out all night on Thursday and barely in the flat all weekend. Dorrie is "ardamant" that Herb reads Georgina the riot act. Georgina slops into the room from her bedroom, still wearing her grubby kimono. Dorrie makes a point of leaving for the laundrette, mouthing to Herb to "tell her now", while she's gone. Georgina manages to spill the milk reaching for the honey. It is Roma's day in court and she and Aldo are dressed very formally. Don is trying to usher them out of the deli, giving them both last-minute instructions on how to conduct themselves. In fact, Don would prefer that Aldo not attend at all, since he worries that too much will get said. Aldo puts a sign on the door of the deli, "CLOSED - GONE TO COURT", and Dorrie noses in with her laundry bag. Roma, a nervous wreck, explains that she had been arrested. Dorrie asks, "Why wasn't I told?" In Flat 5, Les is sitting at the breakfast table, scanning the newspaper for interesting ads and possible money-making schemes. Norma comes in from her trip down to the deli for milk. She found the deli closed for the day. There is a cryptic sign on the door. Norma tells Les he will have to have his coffee black this morning. And what of his cornflakes? Does Norma expect him to put orange juice on them? Norma will go upstairs to ask Lucy if she can borrow some milk. Herb attempts to give Georgina a lecture about her behaviour, but he doesn't achieve much. Georgina seemingly expresses a dramatic change of heart. The parties she attended were all quite innocent. She describes some of the incidents and Herb gets so interested, he is distracted from scolding her. Georgina has decided to become more socially-conscious. She has joined a dedicated group of young people doing worthwhile things for the community. Herb is delighted, mainly because he now has something to report that will impress Dorrie. Roma and Aldo wait at the courthouse for their turn. They are petrified and Don tries to calm them. He describes in a whisper some of what will happen. They are scheduled for 10.00am, but Roma's case may not be first. Dorrie is spreading rumours in the laundrette, speculating that Mrs Lubinski may get seven years in prison for her part in the deli scandal. The topic turns to the Whittakers, with Dorrie unloading to Lucy about how they are such unsuitable tenants. Norma arrives in time to hear some of this. She laughs and mentions Georgina's late-night parties, the noise, the hippies' guitar-playing... Maybe Norma should give Mr Bayswater a call? Dorrie defends herself. In fact, right this minute, Herb is giving Georgina a stern talking-to, and there will be changes made. When Dorrie moves over to the drying machines, Norma asks Lucy how she is coping with Alf. She encourages Lucy to go and ask Alf's former boss to give him his job back. "Just go in there and tell him the truth, Duckie. Tug at his heartstrings...", just as she often had to do for Les. At the court, the arresting officer and investigators have already made their presentations. Roma gets so flustered giving her evidence before the Magistrate (John Rayner) that she gets into a hopeless muddle, brings in all manner of irrelevancies, and manages to incriminate everyone! Don tries to get her to stop, but can't. He buries his head in his hands. In the pub that afternoon, Les and Alf are having a drink, but Alf has cut down on beer consumption to conserve money. Norma hints that Alf could try to get his old job back but he would rather scrub floors than ask Bob for his old job back. Les lights up; the hospital where he works is actually looking for a floor-scrubber! This is not a helpful comment. Conversation turns to the deli situation but nobody knows very much about it. Norma doubts that Roma and Aldo will fare well, but Alf has confidence in young Don Finlayson. "They are in good hands." Don has given up on trying to school Aldo and Roma on correct courtroom procedure. Roma has been reduced to tears and Aldo begins to extoll Roma's best qualities to the Magistrate. He then brings up Roma's traumatic childhood in a concentration camp, and describes how she organised his Rose's beautiful wedding. Now Roma is crying anew, moved by Aldo's persuasive, passionate speech. Don sinks lower in his chair, wishing he wasn't there. "We are both equally guilty," says Aldo. "Prosecute us together!" Lucy rings Bob on the Red Phone in the laundrette. Despite the disinterested Bob's tough-talking attitude, Lucy manages to organise an appointment with him to discuss Alf's situation. Aldo and Roma return to the deli. It is now early evening. Roma was fined only $20, with a reprimand. Aldo paid it, and now she is attempting to give the money back to him. A slightly tipsy Les and Alf arrive, seeking an evening newspaper. Don describes how Aldo and Roma managed to almost-break the Magistrate's heart, in the most "un-legal" court case that Don has ever sat through. Aldo wants to thank Don - with wine, of course - and Roma goes off to fetch the wedding cake! Don is flabbergasted. Did they not learn anything after today's proceedings? Aldo suggests he will just close the shop - and he bolts the front door. He starts to pour and Roma arrives with the wedding cake. In Flat 3, Dorrie and Herb have just finished tea. Herb is clearing the table while Dorrie goes on another tirade about Georgina still being out - and now missing meals! She hopes Herb was stern in his talk earlier today. He tells Dorrie that Georgina is through with the wild parties and has joined a responsible Youth Group. He imagines that the group is attached to the local church. At the truck depot, the feisty Bob Gerrold (Bob Lee) listens as Lucy begs him for Alf to get his old job back. At first, his demeanour softens and he seems open to the idea but, when Lucy wants him to ring Alf and invite him to return - but not mention Lucy's visit - Bob hits the roof! He is not going down on bended knee for anyone, especially a stubborn Pommie like Alf Sutcliffe. If Alf wants his job back, he can come and crawl for it. And that's Bob's final word on the topic. Lucy breaks down in tears. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]

Episode 92
Magistrate in Roma Lubinski's court case.

John Rayner, who portrays the Magistrate in Roma's court case returns in several similar small roles, including the Whittakers' lawyer, Mr Locksley, and the attorney involved in Anne Spencer's confession. He later takes on a recurring role, Town Clerk Ian Buchanan at the Paddington Town Hall (ie. the TC of the TH). Ian Buchanan was eventually replaced as TC by his randier brother, Eddie.

93. (18/07) In Flat 3, Herb is watching a TV news report while Dorrie is droning on about his apparent lack of success in lecturing Georgina. She has been out all day again and has missed more meals. Dorrie gets out her knitting and joins Herb on the couch. The telecast features a student riot, protesting about conscription, with placards and the burning of draft papers. The police are making arrests. Dorrie agrees with the news commentator that it is disgraceful. She blames the students' parents. Suddenly they recognise Georgina getting arrested and being put into a police paddy wagon. They stare in horror. Alf is on the phone to his former boss, Bob. He has obviously relented and decided to call Alf after all, and now makes him an offer for returning to work. With great bravado, Alf accepts, just as a weary Lucy arrives home. Alf tries to impress her, with an elaborate success story of how much Bob realised he couldn't do without him, and begged for Alf to come back. See? All Alf had to do was wait for Bob to call. Only later does Alf wonder why Lucy is back so late from the laundrette. She had "one or two things to do, nothing important" - and goes to the kitchen to prepare dinner. Thanks to Don, Roma and Aldo's day in court has turned out well. Don tells Gordon some of the amusing twists and turns when he comes to Flat 4, supposedly looking for Kit. (Was Kit joining them for dinner in Flat 1?) Don offers Gordon some of his red wine and explains that he hasn't seen Kit tonight. Don is being drawn into the problems between Gordon, Sonia and Kit. Gordon starts carefully fishing for anything Kit might have said about Sylvia's death. Don mentions an early chat he had had about the missing pills incident - but that was second hand information, from Chad. What else is Gordon trying to find out? Is it anything to do with how Sonia feels about Kit? Don laughs when he recalls Kit's previous suggestion that Sonia was in love with him. It is "obviously a kid's way of seeing things"; he knows it wasn't the case. Dorrie has been asking Mr Calthrop, her solicitor, what they can do about Georgina's arrest. He explains there isn't much to be done, just go to the magistrate's office and pay her fine, or otherwise she will get a nominal gaol sentence. Dorrie tells Herb that it might do her niece "the world of good" if she spends some time in prison. Auntie Dee is sick of all the cavorting and now Georgina can stew in her own juice. In any case, Dorrie has a meeting in the morning, as Vice President of the Senior Citizens' Club, to select a team to play on the new bowling green. In Flat 4, Don is dressed for work but Kit is still in his pyjama pants, and not required at the filling station until this afternoon. 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. Don is happy to continue the current arrangement; Kit's board is only $10 and he usually eats his evening meals downstairs. Assuming Don passes his exams, he will soon be on salary at the law office. Kit needs time "to see how his plans work out". Don is a little perplexed as he leaves for work. On his way down the stairs, Don meets Herb doing his garbage collection. Herb casually asks Don about Mrs Lubinski's court case and wonders where the magistrate's office is located. Don tells him it is on Vickers Street and Herb notes that he knows where that is, and continues collecting the garbage. In Flat 6, Janie is late out of bed but finds Bev ready for her day. Bev has an interview with the Personnel Manager of Ansett ANA for a position as an air hostess. She's not banking on it, as there are always lots of applications for only a few positions. Janie realises there will be a window of opportunity for her to have another matinee tryst with Alan so, while Bev is showering, Janie takes the phone into her room and dials Alan's number. She expects the coast will be clear from 2.00pm. Dorrie calls into the laundrette on her way to her meeting about the bowling club. Lucy embarrasses Dorrie when she mentions recognising Georgina getting arrested on the late TV news. Dorrie has "washed her hands" of Georgina. A long spell in prison might bring the girl to her senses. Dorrie seems to think that Georgina will be sentenced to seven years hard labour. Dorrie saw Alf head out early this morning - has he found a job at last? Lucy explains that he has been offered his old job back and has taken it "just for the time being". Dorrie heads off for her "important meeting" and passes Janie coming in with a bag of laundry. Bev is doing her hair, in a rather sober fashion, for her meeting about becoming an air hostess. Jack calls in, hoping that Janie has changed her mind about his marriage proposal. Bev doesn't know; she hasn't really discussed the matter with Janie, but Bev's friendship with Jack has deepened, due to him being the main one to support her through her recent bout of manic depression. Jack is aghast that Bev is going for her job via a personnel manager, in the hope that she will be selected from a large group of eager applicants. Jack dials the Melbourne number of Sir Reginald Ansett, calmly introduces himself to a secretary, and asks to be "put straight through to Sir Reg"! In the pharmacy, Gordon is preparing a customer's prescription with the mortar and pestle when Kit enters, having just had lunch with Sonia in Flat 1. Sonia said that his father wanted to see him? He doesn't have long, as his petrol station shift starts soon. Gordon asks Kit some questions about his forthcoming university course, then tosses Kit the bundle of keys to the poisons cupboard and asks him to get out some Pethidine for him. Gordon watches his son's movements carefully, all the while keeping up the conversation about uni. Kit selects the correct key too easily, and takes out the jar of Pethidine tablets without any hesitation. Kit then allows the safe to self-lock. Gordon is obviously very unsettled by what he just witnessed. In Flat 6, Janie and Alan are smooching on the couch. After a little gentle love-making, Janie mentions that Bev will be out most of the afternoon, so Alan strokes her breasts attentively, whispers that they should not waste the time - and whisks Janie off to her bedroom. Dorrie arrives home from her meeting, relishing the silence of a flat without Georgina in it. They did the right thing, forcing Georgina to languish behind bars for five days. Dorrie takes off her shoes and begins to tell Herb all about her high-pressure meeting and hopes that he found something for his lunch in her absence. She sends him to the kitchen to make her a cup of tea. (He was about to tell her something but bit his lip.) Suddenly, loud music blasts from the spare bedroom! Herb comes back in, admitting that he felt sorry for the girl and had been to the court to pay Georgina's fine. Dorrie is irate. Bev returns from her highly successful interview - she begins training as an air hostess next Monday. While she makes coffee, Jack remembers that he needs to tell his office something and asks to use the phone. He can't find it. They assume that Janie had taken it into her bedroom again, as she had earlier that day. Jack crosses the room and opens Janie's door - to find Janie and Alan naked in bed. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]

Episode 93
Sir Reginald Ansett of Ansett ANA.

The synopsis suggests the use of archival news footage of student anti-conscription protests. One has to wonder what Malapropisms might have made it into the final script for Dorrie's "world of good" and "stewing in her own juice". The episode has a major "product placement" namedrop for Ansett ANA.

94. (19/07) Maggie and Vera are inspecting their now-completed salon. Simon arrives at The Tapemeasure to show them the latest proofs of the press campaign he has designed. There will be newspaper pieces, radio spot advertisements, and a daytime TV ad to appeal to idle, rich ladies. He has the invitation acceptances to the launch. Maggie, still enamoured by Simon, tries to get some time alone with him. Interrupted by a call from her office, Simon is seemingly more interested in Vera. He chats quietly to her while Maggie berates someone over the phone. When can he see Vera again? She politely refuses. Maggie ascertains that Vera will be busy here at the salon all afternoon, so Maggie wants Vera's key again, so she can entertain Simon back at Flat 7. Simon shakes his head; he will be far too busy working on the salon's advertising campaign. Maggie is not pleased. In the deli, Dorrie is filling Roma in on the Georgina situation. Dorrie has put her foot down: her niece is to be in for all meals, and be home by 10pm each evening. There are to be no more parties, no student demonstrations, no guitar-playing hippies, no loud records - and she is to take a bath every day! Aldo comes through to the shop area and announces that Rose has invited Roma and himself to dinner tonight. Roma tries to curtail Dorrie's tirade but it continues: "This is how we must deal with the younger generation... They need to realise just who is in charge." Herb arrives, looking worried. Georgina has vanished. He has found a note that says, "Sorry Auntie Dee, but life is for living." Janie is very unhappy. Bev is concerned with Janie's treatment of Jack. How could she do this to him? What sort of person is Alan Cotterell to have wasted no time at all getting Janie into the cot? Janie shows that she has a conscience. She never wanted to hurt Jack, never pretended to be in love with him - and firmly refused his unexpected marriage proposal. Bev continues to argue. But Janie had no way to know that Bev and Jack would return to the flat when they did. In fact, Jack hadn't even said anything to Bev about what he witnessed in Janie's bedroom, just called out that he was skipping coffee - and left. In Flat 3, Dorrie and Herb are getting ready to turn in for the night. Dorrie is blaming Herb for Georgina's disappearance. How will she break the news to Jeff and Lois...? She and Herb have failed them in their hour of need! There is a sound on the landing and Dorrie races to the door, but it's only Vera, returning home from a long day at the salon. She makes a quick comment to Vera and turns back to Herb. What should they do? Call the police? In Flat 7, Vera has barely removed her coat, put down her design portfolio, and cast a look at the work needed to be done on the half-finished dress on her dressmaker's dummy, when there is a knock at the door. It is Simon! He was waiting downstairs in his car and saw her arrive. He needs to talk with her. He's crazy about her! Vera tries to make excuses for Simon not to come in; there are all sorts of reasons for them not to see each other. She's still married, she's older than him, she already has a man who wants her to move in with him. Simon comes in anyway and kisses her passionately. Vera cannot help herself and responds. The phone rings; it is Maggie with a problem. She is on her way around right now. There is news of an unavailable model and a dress that will require urgent alterations before the opening. Vera shrugs and tells Simon that he must leave. Maggie is on her way. Vera been saved by the bell, or has she? Next morning, Norma goes into the bedroom to hand mail to Les, but he is still asleep, snoring. Norma is reading an official letter. Prior to their son being demobbed from Singapore in five weeks, they will be receiving a visit from Gary's Army Welfare officer. Gary has organised for his wife, Anna Maria, to stay with them while he undertakes one last exercise. Coming to live with her new in-laws should help her get acclimatised to life in Australia. Anna-Maria is Italian, with limited English. A Major Dunston will be visiting them this afternoon, if convenient. Dorrie is again in the deli, telling Roma about Georgina's disappearance. Dorrie hardly slept last night. What will she say to Georgina's parents, who are still recovering from their terrible accident? Herb comes in. He has been to the police station and it seems that Georgina's new student demonstator friends gave false addresses to the police, making it impossible for Herb to track her down. They leave, despondent, as Les comes in for a newspaper on his way to work. Les mentions the imminent arrival of his daughter-in-law but, of course, he doesn't remember her name. During a lunchtime argument, Janie defends her actions to Bev over the Jack situation. Janie has had no luck trying to catch him on the phone. She hates upsetting him, but she finds Alan to be a super guy. Bev thinks that Alan is a smoothie but Janie says that Bev's judgment is off; Bev is still a virgin so she doesn't even understand what it means to be loved by a man like Alan. Bev thinks that Janie treated Jack shabbily but is reminded by Janie that she did try to steal Jack! At the salon, Maggie arrives in a bad mood over Simon and it is playing on Vera's conscience. Maggie is determined to land Simon, and has doubts that Vera will have the collection finalised before their big launch. Vera tells Maggie not to take out her frustrations on her. Over tea and cake, Major Dunston (Frank Ward) warns the Whittakers that Gary's wife, who will be flown over in four weeks, speaks little English. She will be quite lost at first. It won't be easy. Norma knows that some Australians are intolerant of mixed marriages, but promises to help Anna Maria feel at home as much as she and Les can. In Flat 6, Janie is off to take a shower before heading to the theatre. She has decided not to contact Jack; it's not her fault that she doesn't love him. As Janie leaves the room, Bev immediately rings Jack. She tells him that Janie has been trying to find him. He is feeling low and Bev tries to cheer him. Bev still thinks that Janie will come to her senses; Jack should not give up so easily. Jack invites her to dinner as he can do with a shoulder to cry on. At the deli, Janie is concerned about the taxi that is supposed to take her to the theatre and comes in to use the Red Phone. Dorrie comes in to buy groceries and Aldo asks if Georgina has turned up. Dorrie is out of her mind with worry. Janie just saw Georgina going into Flat 4, arm-in-arm with Kit Vansard! Dorrie's concern turns to anger. How dare that little trollop do this to them, causing Dorrie to have sleepless nights and Herb's hair to turn grey with worry? All this time Georgina's been shacked up with the chemist's son? Simon arrives at The Tapemeasure 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! Vera whispers a warning and Maggie emerges, greeting Simon warmly. She assumes he has come to see her, because she has been leaving him messages all day. Maggie wants the three of them to go to dinner but Simon has prior commitments. He only came in to show them the proofs for the new letterhead designs, which he produces. Simon leaves the folder with Maggie and gives Vera a secret smile as he dashes out. Maggie is in a fury, flinging the letterhead proofs aside. She turns her frustrations onto Vera, telling her that if she hadn't wasted her time on Rose's wedding dress, the salon would be ready in time for its grand opening. Maggie is tired of working with amateurs! Vera tries to defend herself against this unwarranted attack. Almost in tears, Vera says that, if Maggie really feels like this, she'd rather scrap the whole thing right now - and not bother opening The Tapemeasure at all. Maggie says that it's fine with her. She grabs her fur coat and sweeps out. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]

Episode 94
Maggie Cameron, Simon Carr and Vera Collins, "The Tapemeasure".

The official Cash Harmon synopsis notes that the Italian, Anna Maria, was originally scripted as "Kerima", of Vietnamese descent. (It does sound unlikely that an Australian soldier could meet and marry a young Italian woman, Anna Maria, while serving in Singapore during the Vietnam War in 1972. Since World War II, Italians had served as United Nations "blue helmets" in peacekeeping missions around the world. Italians did not fight in the Vietnam War but, in 1979 for example, the Italian Navy did dispatch a small squadron of two cruisers and a support ship to aid the rescue of the Vietnamese boat people in the South China Sea.)

95. (20/07) At The Cosmopolitan restaurant, Jack is appreciative of Bev's caring attitude during dinner, even though he is struggling - and failing - to be his regular, jovial self. Bev is convinced that Janie will come to her senses. Jack isn't sure why Bev would be worried about how he feels. She is grateful to Jack for helping her when she was in need, and is now returning the kindness. "If it wasn't for you, I might not be here today." Early the next morning, Roma arrives at the deli full of news and excitement. She has received a letter containing happy news from her son, Irving, who is in England. He has a super new job and will settle there. He has taken a new flat, has made many friends and is having a great life. However, the letter's contents do not please Aldo. Irving wants Roma to come over and share this life with him. Has she made up her mind yet? Roma is pensive and does not answer; she is only just realising how much Aldo has come to rely upon her. Gordon once again brings up the car lights mystery and the unlocked door incident. Sonia can't believe that Gordon is still "raking up old coals". She is quite sick of it. He asks for her to bear with him for a minute. He is trying to work out something that Vera had said. Gordon also mentions the recent visit from the policeman who does the nighttime street patrol. The door to their shop was checked at 6.00am and it was locked, and yet it was open when Gordon went to it that morning. Sonia assumes that Gordon is blaming her, but no, he now suspects it was Kit. In Flat 4, Don finds Georgina half-naked on his couch, where she has been entrenched for the last few days. He wants to know when she's going home. He needs her in this flat like he needs a hole in his head. Kit breezes in from the bathroom, quite upbeat. Georgina assumes that Don means returning to Coffs Harbour, but he means Flat 3, next door. Is Don trying to get rid of her? Frankly, yes, he does want her gone! Georgina reminds him that Kit has invited her to stay as long as she likes. In any case, she much prefers it here to Auntie Dee and Uncle Herb's flat. Vera is on the phone to Peter. She is having a cup of tea and is still weepy from her clash with Maggie yesterday. She has hardly slept. Peter wants her to come to dinner with him tonight but she will have to see how her day pans out and will ring him back. There is a knock at the door. It is Maggie, appearing quite normal, enquiring why Vera didn't turn up at The Tapemeasure as planned. The models are waiting and there is a lot left still to do. Maggie tried to reach Vera several times overnight. Vera explains that she had been too upset to talk and had unplugged the phone. Maggie is not surprised; these things happen in business, she warns her. Vera will have to get used it. Maggie urges Vera to get herself organised, pull herself together, and get back to work for their grand opening. Kit and Georgina visit the deli, on the hunt for wheatgerm, mung beans and other organically-grown items. Aldo is confused and hasn't heard of any of the things on their shopping list. Gordon turns up and orders Kit back to the chemist shop for an important talk, but Kit is evasive and claims that has to report to the petrol station for his shift. How about 4.00 or 5.00pm? As Kit leaves, Georgina presents Gordon and Aldo with a flower each, from the bunch she is holding, to make them "happy". She is off to find a health food shop that will have the foods that she requires. Aldo asks Gordon why he is unhappy. Gordon pretends that is "quite happy", with "not a care in the world". Aldo admits to his own unhappiness. He fears that Mrs Lubinski is planning to go overseas. She enters from the flat and overhears some of what Aldo is saying. He quickly switches gear and pretends that he is as happy as Gordon and "all is well". There is a knock on the door of Flat 6 and Bev opens it to find... Alan Cotterell. She has only met him under peculiar circumstances: when Jack walked in on Janie and Alan in bed together. Bev is not very friendly and tells Alan that Janie is out shopping. She is expected home soon, so Alan decides that he will wait. Bev suggests that, if he's planning on going to bed with Janie, he should know that Bev is planning to be in the flat all afternoon. Alan asks Bev why she has hangups, and what is so wrong about sex? Bev says that there is nothing wrong with sex, but does Alan know how badly Jack was hurt by what happened? Alan was honestly unaware of Jack's situation with Janie and he is seeing Janie because he enjoys being with her. Bev takes this comment the wrong way. Alan says that Bev should "sit down and try to like me" because he "will be around for some time". In the chemist shop, Sonia has been thinking about Kit's "pranks" and tells Gordon it was never her intention to make Gordon suspicious of his own son. Gordon tells her about the trap he set for Kit with the Pethidene pills. Sonia wants to know how and why Kit would do such a thing. Gordon admits that he thinks he knows; there have been several conversations with Don. Maggie surprises Vera and notices a new gown in the salon. Where has Vera been hiding that? It is superb. Vera admits that this new gown is not part of the collection and Maggie castigates her for wasting more time on outside projects with the opening so close. She has to stop! But this particular creation is one for Maggie to wear to the opening! Maggie softens in a brief moment of tenderness. Don arrives home with a case of domestic champagne. He almost drops it trying to open the door to his flat. Bev is descending the stairs and hears bottles clinking. Don is up to his old partying ways? Don is jubilant: he has passed his university exams - with Honours - and he invites Bev and Janie to an impromptu party at 7.00pm. Janie has to be at the theatre, but Bev accepts the invitation and says that she will invite Jack, who needs cheering up. In Flat 2, Roma is on the phone to Irving in London and she is laughing and crying at the same time, in grand Jewish Mother tradition. Her conversation is about the contents of Irving's letter. Of course she is excited, but there is much to consider! The pips signal the end of the call and Roma reassures Aldo that she transferred the costs to her own phone number. Irving was so happy, and now Roma is "as happy as all parents are happy when their children are happy!" A saddened Aldo hears the shop bell and goes into the deli to serve a customer. The party in Flat 4 is in full swing. The record-player is blaring and Georgina is dancing with Kit. Bev is dancing with Jack and Vera is pouring champagne. Jack seems to be more like his old self and the jokes are flying. Don is already quite inebriated and he bursts in with Sonia and Gordon in tow. Don brings them over to Vera to get them some drinks and Kit waves at them happily. There is a toast to Don's success and then he is off to fetch the Sutcliffes. Gordon pulls Kit aside and mentions that he missed the appointment they had set up. And where the Hell was he for dinner? Kit forgot. All the excitement about the party took his complete attention. Gordon suggests that Kit didn't forget, he just didn't want to come down. Kit escapes again; he claims that Georgina is waiting for her drink. In Flat 2, Roma has been refreshing herself in the bathroom so they can join Don's celebration. Aldo asks Roma, "What have you decided?" Roma says that she has decided to attend Don's party. No, Aldo means about going to London to be with Irving? She thinks that Irving needs her. Aldo repeats a previous conversation they once shared about Rose: "When children grow up they don't need their Mommas or their Papas anymore." Roma says that this time it is different. Irving needs her to share his happiness. With much courage, Aldo admits to Roma (and himself) that he needs her, too - perhaps more than Irving does. What does she think of that? Roma is quite stunned by Aldo's unexpected question. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]

Episode 95
Orlando's "Barossa Pearl" sparkling wine at Don Finlayson's party, Flat 4.

Numerous references to "Don's party" in the dialogue are probably joking references to the David Williamson play, "Don's Party", which had opened only one year earlier (11th August, 1971). Several future "Number 96" alumni, Candy Raymond, Kit Taylor and Pat Bishop, would appear in the feature film version of 1976.

96. (21/07) It is almost midnight, after Don's party. In Flat 1, Gordon's worries about Kit are brought out into the open. He was stunned by Kit's reaction when trying to pin his son down to discuss the situation, and without success. Sonia wants Gordon to just forget the whole thing. Gordon feels that he has wronged Sonia by choosing to believe Kit each time. Kit even managed to avoid further discussion by suggesting that Don and Georgina accompany him to the disco after the party. Gordon asks Sonia for forgiveness. She believes that Kit's destructive attitude towards her were out of his love for Gordon, but he is unconvinced. The next morning, Lucy shakes Alf awake, who is nursing a big hangover from Don's party. It is 8.30am! He tries to dress quickly in his work clothes, takes a swig from Lucy's tea mug, and races out the door - only to return a few minutes later. He has realised that his shift is for an interstate drive - and not starting until 10.00pm. In Flat 4, Georgina is flat out on the couch in a state of undress. Kit wanders out of his room, wrapped in the counterpane off his bed. He shakes Georgina awake and suggests that they need to clean up after the party. Don is sound asleep in his room. They didn't get back from the disco until 4.00am. Although Kit has now finished up at the petrol station, his university course starts on Monday. Georgina staggers to the record-player and puts the music on full-tilt. Kit whips the needle off the record and reminds her that Don is still sleeping. There is a knock at the door. Gordon has arrived for that chat, the one that Kit keeps avoiding. Georgina decides aloud that it is probably her week for a shower, steps out of what little she is wearing, and heads for the bathroom. Kit turns on his usual charming banter but Gordon makes him take a seat. This time Gordon wants straight answers to serious questions. At the laundrette, Norma asks Lucy about the party. Don had called by, already sloshed, to convince her to come down but she wasn't feeling all that well and Les had already gone to work. Lucy says that Norma should have come. Even Dorrie and Herb were there! Lucy is proud of Don's achievements. Norma begins to tell Lucy about Gary's wife, then realises that she is running late for her shift at the pub. She suggests that Lucy comes over for a counter lunch. She can fill her in then. Lucy agrees that she is entitled to a one-hour lunch break, so maybe she will come. Over at The Tapemeasure, Maggie is in slacks, rehearsing her commentary for afternoon's opening event - and things are going badly. The song Lovely to Look At is playing, totally at odds with Maggie's frazzled and frustrated appearance, messy hair, cranky comments, and the three models' comical catwalk errors. Either they are walking too close to where the guests will be standing, or they are taking too long to switch into their next outfits. Sonia is in the prescription area of the chemist shop when Gordon comes in from his attempt to talk it out with Kit. His son won't admit to anything but Gordon is convinced that Kit has been lying. Sonia has known this the whole time. So why didn't Sonia tell him? Sonia just shakes her head; she had certainly tried, but Gordon just wouldn't listen to her. And Kit knew that, too. Alf and Les are enjoying a lunch of meat pies and beer. Alf tells Les about Lucy's error this morning, waking him for work at the wrong time. Les responds to this with his own gory story about the most recent hospital incident. Lucy turns up at their table with her sandwich - "I guessed you'd be 'ere!" - and they are soon joined by Norma during a rare lull. Lucy wonders if Mrs Lubinski has decided whether to go overseas or not. Norma, who wasn't at the party, knows nothing of this. Norma mentions that Gary's wife is coming to live in Flat 5. She is being sent over from Singapore in advance of Gary. Alf and Les are deep into their own conversation and remain oblivious to their wives' discussion. Kit is in the kitchen of Flat 4, finally at the end of the washing up from last night. Georgina wanders in, having been to a meeting of her student demonstrator friends, who are deciding on their next campaign. She has also visited with Auntie Dee and Uncle Herb but does not want to move back to Flat 3; it's not her scene at all! Kit suggests that she should stay on here. No, Don made it clear that there is no room for three. But Kit is starting his uni studies on Monday and intends to live on-campus, so he casually offers Georgina the use of his room. The salon opening is in 15 minutes, at 3.00pm, and Maggie is dressed to the nines in her new gown. Vera is also looking very glamorous. Simon arrives - and a flirtatious Maggie is adoring being near him. Vera is on the phone to Peter; he cannot make the opening of the salon after all, but suggests dinner with Vera and Maggie afterwards. Vera tells Maggie of the plan but she is not sure; she had anticipated having Simon to herself. Simon jumps at the suggestion of a meal together. The models have last minute problems requiring Vera's attention. Maggie suggests champagne for all, to steel themselves for the arrival of Claire Houghton and the high society set. In Flat 5, Alf finishes one last beer, needing to head upstairs and nap before commencing his overnight driving job. Les is keen for Alf to invest his $250 nest-egg in a beaut get-rich-quick scheme. Norma is on the phone with Army Welfare. Major Dunston has managed to get Anna Maria onto a weekend flight and she will arrive in Sydney on Monday morning, much earlier than planned. With Maggie's husband, Victor, currently overseas in Europe, she is especially happy to be with Simon for the evening and has expectations of whisking him away at some point. Vera's collection was a hit at the launch, and orders are rolling in. There is a jubilant atmosphere. Peter Harvey arrives late and Maggie introduces him to Simon. They recognise each other from that late-night encounter on the staircase at Number 96. Peter is troubled. A small orchestra starts up and Simon asks Maggie to dance. She refuses - Maggie needs to talk Harvey & Sons' business with Peter - which leaves Simon with an opportunity to dance with Vera instead. Maggie starts to unfold her ideas for a photographic campaign for Peter's company but he is unable to concentrate. Peter wants to know all about Simon Carr and his connection with Vera. Maggie insists that Vera barely knows Simon. Simon is hers - and Maggie intends to cement that relationship as soon as dinner is over. In Flat 1, Gordon is nursing his drink when Kit arrives for dinner. Sonia announces that it will be ready in 15 minutes. In spite of Sonia's earlier protests, Gordon is determined that the three of them will discuss things. Gordon launches into a speech about car lights and missing tablets when Kit suddenly stops him and announces, "Okay, you win!" Gordon is baffled. Kit grins and boasts that Sonia was right all along. He has been running a campaign to ruin his father's relationship with Sonia. But Kit has obviously failed, so why dredge up everything now? "Let's just all relax." Gordon demands to know why Kit has done this. Kit goes on a tirade, blaming Gordon for the death of his mother, Sylvia. He loathes what Gordon did to her, all the suffering it caused her. He was determined to make his father and Sonia suffer, too. Gordon still doesn't understand. He and Sylvia split long before he met Sonia. Sonia tries to be the voice of reason as the two of them argue. Gordon realises that the boy is demented. Sylvia must have instilled in Kit a hatred for her husband and it has twisted his mind! Kit says that it is typical that Gordon is now blaming someone who can't defend herself. Kit claims that Gordon goaded his wife into suicide and is now using the same tactic on his son! "What are you trying to do to your family, Dad?" After tonight, Kit is going to be out of Gordon's life forever. He is moving out tonight and neither he nor Martin will rest until they have had their revenge. When the tearful Kit runs from the flat, Sonia urges Gordon to go after him. "You can't let him go from your life like this!" Gordon just stares, appalled. He doesn't move. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]

Episode 96
Opening of "The Tapemeasure" salon, with Maggie Cameron and Vera Collins.

With the word "SNAP!", the official Cash Harmon synopsis notes that this episode is actually "#96". The Tapemeasure rehearsals are intended to be "a high-camp, fun scene". The song, "Lovely to Look At", was sung by Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel in the 1952 musical comedy of the same name, but was nominated for an Academy Award when it was first featured in 1935's "Roberta" (based on the same story of an inherited fashion salon). The three models at the salon were portrayed by Leonora Vawn, Anne Brogan and the returning Robyn Moase, who had previously impressed the producers when playing a drunken floozy in Episode #87.

97. (24/07) The dinner at The Cosmopolitan is winding down and Maggie is anxious to get Simon into bed after the double date with Peter and Vera. Simon seems reluctant to break up the party. The women fetch their coats, leaving Peter and Simon to chat over their brandy. Peter recalls meeting Simon on the stairs at Number 96 and Simon laughs it off as urgent salon business he had to discuss with Vera. Before Peter can delve deeper, Vera and Maggie are back in their furs. Much to Maggie's frustration, Simon is keen for them all to continue the party at a nightclub. Vera is hesitant but Peter agrees readily. Maggie is displeased but can't really object because Simon is so enthusiastic. In Flat 1, Gordon and Sonia are discussing Kit. Gordon is very contrite over the way he kept dismissing Sonia's opinions and always believing his son's manipulations. Sonia is sympathetic and tries to calm him. Gordon blames himself for being an absent father during his sons' formative years, which has resulted in Kit and Martin's deep hatred of him. She finally convinces Gordon to reach out to Kit, to attempt to reach an understanding, so he dials Don's number. Don tells Gordon that Kit moved out two hours ago, and he has no idea where the boy was going. His only departing comment to Don was "I'll be in touch!" Next morning, Roma arrives for work in the deli and Aldo is anxious as to what she has decided to do about Irving. She is in two minds: she really yearns to see her son in England, but she also doesn't want to let Aldo down, especially now that Rose has left. Aldo is crafty and lays it on thick as to how he can't do without her. He is so helpless, as Roma knows only too well. "Look at how you organised the wedding, Roma! How could we have managed without you?" In Flat 6, Janie is asleep when Bev enters her bedroom. Bev is wearing her hair up and is dressed for her first day of air hostess training. She urges Janie to contact Jack and put things right after that dreadful afternoon when Jack caught Janie and Alan in bed together. Janie agrees that it needs to be done. As Bev heads off, Janie regards the telephone sitting beside her bed. She dials Jack's number and asks him to call around. He agrees, but can't get away until the late afternoon. Sonia emerges from a shower to hear Gordon on the phone with the University of Sydney. Yes, Kit is scheduled to commence lectures today. Sonia wants Gordon to go there and try again to talk with his son and sort out their differences. Gordon and Sonia saw Don again over the weekend and confirmed that he had not heard from Kit since Friday night. At The Tapemeasure, Vera is making some minor adjustments to a gown for a Point Piper society matron, Mrs Carfax. "Would you care to step into the fitting room?" Vera's trusty assistant, Miss Manson (Shendelle Franklin), brings Mrs Carfax a cup of coffee. The phone rings. It is Simon wanting to talk to Vera. She admonishes him for always calling and asking her out on dates as she doesn't want any trouble. Suddenly Maggie breezes in! Vera ends the call abruptly, pretending it was a client. Vera has good news about the business and tries to fill in Maggie, who is in a foul mood. Saturday morning was so hectic: "Half of the eastern suburbs were here!" Maggie doesn't seem to care at the moment. After the nightclub on Friday night, Simon made excuses and dropped off Maggie at her home. What does Vera make of Mr Simon Carr? Vera is very cagey and selects her words carefully. Maggie thought he was going to be such an easy fish to land. He is proving far too elusive for her liking. Vera hedges. Gordon arrives back at the chemist shop. He has been to the university but Kit did not show up for his classes. The only address the university has on record is Sylvia's home. He tried ringing the old number but there was no answer. Maybe Kit spoke to someone else in Number 96 before he left? Sonia suggests he try asking Dorrie, or Georgina, or even Aldo. Roma takes advantage of a quiet afternoon at the deli and heads off into the city. A store is having a special sale. Jack drops in and mentions that he heard about Aldo losing his assistant. Aldo had thought that was the case, but Mrs Lubinski has changed her mind! Jack is on his way upstairs to see Janie and is feeling a bit nervous. He should buy some chocolates to give her. While Jack is being served, Gordon comes in. He quizzes Aldo about Kit. Aldo remembers Kit coming in with his hold-all on Friday night, to ring for a taxi on the deli's Red Phone. It was just as Aldo was closing for the night. He has no idea where Kit was going. Aldo is more interested in telling Gordon about his bad scare. He almost lost Roma to England, but he is sure he has "fixed everything" by convincing her that she is "too invaluable right here". Janie and Jack finally reach an understanding. Janie is able to explain that while she loves Jack as a friend, her feelings for Alan are different. Alan has literally swept her off his feet. Jack wonders if her feelings for Alan might only be sexual attraction. Janie swears that it is not true, but a quick look of doubt crosses her face. Georgina has moved back into Flat 3. Supposedly, she has mended her ways. Peter is suspicious about Simon's ongoing interest in Vera who, in turn, is growing uncomfortable with Peter's tendency to interfere in aspects of her life. Aldo was so sure he had convinced Roma not to leave Australia, but she changes her mind again after running into a friend while out shopping. [Episode written by Mike Harris.]

Episode 97
Miss Manson, "The Tapemeasure".

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." Shendelle Franklin, who portrays Miss Manson, will soon become famous as "the Lemon Fab lady" in a long-running series of TV commercials. The archived copy of this synopsis is missing its last page, but the Peter/Vera scene is specifically referred to in a later episode, and the TV guides suggested other plotlines. Writer Mike Harris had worked with Anne Hall (and David Sale) as co-creator/writer on "The Group".

98. (25/07) Dorrie and Herb are watching TV in Flat 3, discussing Georgina and her newly-mended ways. Herb thinks she is making progress but Dorrie is more suspicious. It is 9.00pm and Georgina has been out most of the day. She finally arrives, with not a care in the world! Dorrie tells her niece that there is steak and kidney pie in the oven. Georgina is horrified! She has to keep her mind and body pure, as her new religion demands. Georgina's discovery of The Church of the Enlightened is responsible for this new inner peace. She must now retire to her bedroom to meditate and pray. Dorrie has an air of self-satisfaction. Obviously, Herb's talk with the girl has finally had the desired effect. In Flat 2, Aldo is sitting, disconsolate, when there is a knock at his door. It is Norma enquiring whether residents are allowed to store stuff in the cellar. She doesn't want to have to deal with Dorrie. Norma wants to consign some of her husband's junk there in preparation for Anna Maria's arrival. Les is on duty at the hospital, so it is an ideal time to get rid of everything. While they are talking, Lucy passes by, looking weary. Her relief did not turn up, so she had to stay longer at the laundrette. Aldo says, "You think you have troubles! Me, I am all at seas, because Mrs Lubinski is leaving!" Lucy is too tired to be drawn in and just wants to head upstairs. She wonders if Alf is home. Norma says that he was still at the pub at 8.00pm when she came off duty. Lucy goes upstairs and Norma asks a very agitated Aldo about Roma. She will soon be joining her son overseas. Norma suggests, with a laugh, that Aldo could always propose marriage. Aldo admits that he doesn't know what to do. He offers to help Norma move her junk into the cellar. Finally reaching Flat 8, Lucy goes inside, calling for Alf. She is panting a little and experiences a spasm in her breast. Lucy holds her chest until the acute pain passes. She staggers slightly and sits down. Next morning, Les arrives home and immediately notices that all of his stuff has disappeared. Only the knitting machine remains. Norma emerges from the shower and Les enquires about his stuff. They have a brief argument, but Norma says that the flat has to be tidy for Anna Maria's imminent arrival. Les is indignant; he needs all those things! Norma rejects this stance because he often orders bizarre items - and then never touches them. She sits him at the dining table which is tidy, all laid out properly, with a lace tablecloth and the best china. Les is surprised! From now on, Norma insists, they are going to behalf like normal, civilised people. She wants to impress Gary's wife when the girl arrives. Vera calls into the deli with a shopping list to give to Aldo. Vera has just taken a letter out of her mailbox and is lost in thought when Dorrie barges in, complaining about the Whittakers filling up the cellar with junk. Dorrie asks if the letter is bad news. She hands it to Dorrie. It is a missive from Vera's solicitor: her estranged husband, Harry, wants his conjugal rights restored, or a divorce. Vera won't contest it, she just wants Harry gone from her life for good. Dorrie is sympathetic to Vera's "dreadful dilemma", although it is rather shallow; when Vera goes back outside, Dorrie immediately starts berating Vera to Aldo! Roma arrives in street clothes, having just organised her trip to England with the airline. Dorrie is all ears and Roma explains that she will soon be joining her son, Irving, in England. Aldo looks and feels wretched. Lucy is pouring herself a cup of tea, but appears glum and tired. Suddenly Alf is back! He is in his working gear. He had forgotten his logbook register earlier, so has returned for it. Taking a swig of tea, Alf notices that Lucy looks quite worn out and he offers to drive her to the laundrette in the truck. She is quiet and reserved but turns down his offer as the laundrette is only a block away. He goes. Lucy is obviously not well. In Flat 3, Herb is doing the dusting when he hears bells and chanting coming from Georgina's room. He knocks hesitantly and enters. Georgina is dressed in saffron Hare Krishna robes, sitting crosslegged on the floor. She is chanting prayers and clashing tiny cymbals. This is probably not the religion that Auntie Dee had been imagining! Herb is intrigued. Soon he is also crosslegged on the floor, chanting and banging on a small tom-tom. Dorrie appears at the door and is aghast! Later in the afternoon, a confused Dorrie is in the deli telling Aldo all about Georgina's new religion; her rant indicates that she has managed to get the wrong end of the stick on every detail. Although Herb and Georgina have described this "Harry Krisher" to her as "the only absolutely pure religion", Dorrie is on the way to see Mr Wormald, the Rector of St Stephen's Church, to get his opinion on it. Les comes in for the afternoon newspaper and Dorrie castigates him for all the junk that has been dumped in the cellar. "Ah, so that's where she put it all..." he mutters. Les leaves in a rush, passing Roma, who is coming in from the street. Dorrie asks Mrs Lubinski about her plans. Roma is full of news, having just returned from the doctor, getting her vaccinations for travelling overseas. Dorrie leaves. Roma is on her organising kick again. She tells Aldo that she has arranged for a business student she knows, Arnold Feather, to meet with Aldo tonight. Aldo is confused and upset; everything is happening too fast! Roma explains that Arnold is the ideal person to replace her. He is efficient and keen, and has attended night school to improve his skills. Mr Feather will soon have Aldo's shop "running on oiled wheels" before he knows it! At the pub, Herb is telling Norma and Alf about Georgina's "Harry Krisher" religion, but they both send him up and Alf calls it "bloody Australian rubbish". Herb says, no, it's Indian, he thinks. Norma casually mentions to Alf that Lucy didn't look well today. Alf hasn't really noticed; perhaps she is working too hard at the laundrette? In the parlour of Flat 2, Aldo is sitting with Arnold Feather (Jeff Kevin), a bespectacled young man who seems intense, serious and very conservative. Roma is also there, singing Arnold's praises. She met him during a hotel management course they were doing and then he worked as a waiter in her restaurant. The shop bell rings and Roma goes out to serve the customer, leaving Aldo to chat to Arnold. Arnold lists his qualifications and talents: he has a solid knowledge of book-keeping, is well-organised - and always uses the longest words whenever possible, which baffles Aldo considerably. Roma returns from the counter area and beams at Aldo. "So! Everything is settled, yes?" In the early evening, a shirt-sleeved Les is exhausted. He has just finished dragging all of his junk back up the stairs to Flat 5. He collapses with a beer into a chair. Norma and Lucy encounter each other in the ground-floor foyer. Norma is mentions that Lucy's husband is at the pub again, where she has just finished her shift. She enquires after Lucy's health as Lucy doesn't look well. Norma arrives at Flat 5, while Lucy continues on. Norma enters her flat and is incredulous: Les is enjoying his beer and the whole loungeroom is overflowing with Les's clutter! An argument ensues. Later, the door to Flat 8 is ajar and Vera peers in, wondering about Lucy. She calls out but there is no response. Vera enters and finds Lucy, in obvious pain, lying on her bed. She has been having pain in her breast for some time. Now it has become much worse, and she is terrified that it is cancer. Vera warns that she should see her doctor urgently. She is not to be frightened; when caught in time, most cancers are treatable, and there is no danger. But Lucy must get it investigated. "You must, Darling, promise me that you will!" [Episode written by Bob Huber.]

Episode 98
Arnold Feather, Aldo's deli.

Jeff Kevin was originally signed to appear as Arnold Feather in only nine episodes.

99. (26/07) In Flat 1, Gordon and Don chat over drinks, with Sonia coming in and out of the conversation as she prepares dinner in the kitchen. The university had called Gordon earlier, confirming that his son, Kit, has still not started his lectures. Don admits that he had been totally taken in by Kit's schemes. Even now, they all find it hard to understand and Gordon and Sonia are keen to track him down and try to straighten him out. Dorrie is on another tirade about Herb's failure to set Georgina on the right path and has seemingly reduced him to tears - but her husband is wearing an apron and peeling onions to prepare their evening meal. Mr Wormald's reaction to "Harry Krisher" was predictable: "Pagan rituals and craven (sic) images". She daren't think of what that Norma Whittaker would have to say about Herb's encouragement of the girl. Dorrie is "ardament" that Herb stops Georgina's foolishness at once. The sound of heavenly bells and chanting, and the overpowering scent of incense, waft out from Georgina's bedroom. Dorrie demands that Herb wipe away his onion tears and tell their niece what is expected of her. Being in league with the Devil is not healthy at all. Alf arrives home, looking for Lucy and his dinner. He finds her in the bedroom, where she is trying to freshen herself up. Alf mentions that Norma thought Lucy was looking unwell. She laughs - and passes it off to overwork. She needs to go to prepare dinner. Alf is annoyed that it isn't ready and Lucy snaps at him that she can't be expected to hold down a full time job during the day and work all night as well. Next morning, in Flat 6, Bev and Janie discuss their men over breakfast. Bev, who is dressed ready to head off to her P.R. training, praises Jack's attitude, all things considered. She asks Janie, who is still in her night attire, how serious she is about Alan. Janie talks about how compatible they are. ("In or out of bed?" Bev wants to know.) Janie mentions that she hasn't seen Alan for a few nights and Bev immediately draws a comparison to Alex Lederer and the way he used Janie, then ditched her. "It's not like that at all," says Janie, "I just don't want to see him every night." But Janie is left doubting herself. In the laundrette, Don is loading washing into a drier and Lucy notices some women's garments. He is doing some laundry as a favour to Bev, who is busy with her new training course. He has some spare time before he is due in court. Dorrie turns up, spouting misinformation about "Harry Krisher". Don is quick to defend it as "transcendental, pure in both body and soul" and that Dorrie should be grateful that Georgina has taken it up. Now Dorrie is in two minds - and even Lucy is intrigued, wanting to hear more - but Don gives Lucy a private wink. Herb is sweeping the stairwell when Les arrives home from work. He has a new gory story about what went on at the hospital. Herb is distressed about all this talk of blood and gore. "And that's why I was late!" says Les. Norma descends the stairs and demands to know where Les has been. He starts his story from the very beginning but Norma is not interested. Les's dinner is in the oven - "and damn well clean up all that mess!" she demands. Don knocks at the door of Flat 6. He has Bev's laundry with him. Janie invites him in to have a coffee with her. She mentions her parents in a passing remark, which reminds Don that he needs to ring his own parents before they fly to Tamworth to visit his brother, Ralph. Janie is surprised. She knew of a sister, but not about the older brother. Ralph has property in the country, but it had been causing him concern. He has had to move from sheep farming to agriculture, but is finally making some headway. Their parents are going up for a holiday. Lucy visits the pharmacy but Gordon is in the flat eating lunch. Sonia listens to Lucy's description of her discomfort and suggests that it sounds like indigestion and offers her some pills that should help. Lucy mentions not having seen Kit recently and Sonia puts on a facade, saying that Kit had commenced university and is living on campus. At the pub, Alf tells Norma about his most recent night drive. Les ambles in and Norma pounces on him. Has he taken all that stuff to the cellar yet? Of course, he hasn't. Norma reminds him that Anna Maria arrives any day now and they can't have her walking in and seeing all that clutter. Les is not rally listening. He drags Alf over to a table. One of the chaps at the hospital has invented a wonderful scheme that enables a telephone to play a tune instead of just ringing! "Any tune you like!" The man is willing to accept just $200 for a patent. "We can make a fortune, Alf!" Alf raises an eyebrow. "$200? It may as well be two bloody thousand...!" Don arrives home with his briefcase. When he puts his key in the front door lock, the door swings open. He enters warily. Inside Flat 4, Don drops his briefcase and starts checking each room. Kit appears from the spare bedroom and they both have a look of surprise. Kit has come back to look for his chequebook, which he can't find. Don found it this morning. He goes to fetch it, more wary of Kit than usual. "Your Dad has been very worried," Don says. Kit scoffs at the idea. "That's a laugh... he's never worried before. Anyway, it's not important. I don't intend to see him ever again." Sonia and Gordon are busy in their shop when Herb comes in to sell raffle tickets. They buy one each but Herb gives them three. "One for Kit!" Gordon says that Kit is no longer living at Number 96 - but Herb just saw him, going into Don's! Gordon makes a hurried excuse and dashes out. Kit is about to leave when Don asks if he has a forwarding address. "There's no point. I shan't be around." Gordon bursts in and Kit gives a casual, "Hi, Dad." Kit makes for the door but Gordon stops him. There is a tense moment of embarrassment and Don politely steps into his bedroom. Gordon is intense, says that he's worried, and explains that he blames himself for Kit's feelings of hatred. Sonia and Gordon want to start afresh with him. Kit has only monsyllabic answers. How can they patch things up? Kit has no intention of trying. His place at Oxford University is still open and he flies to England on Saturday. "I'm sorry I can't settle your conscience for you, Dad. But we'll probably never see each other again." He goes, leaving Gordon devastated. [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 99
Alf & Lucy Sutcliffe, Flat 8.

It seems that Bev Houghton abandoned her plans to be an air hostess and is now training in Public Relations. Les Whittaker's colleague at the hospital has seemingly invented a capability of mobile phones - in 1972!

100. (27/07) In the bathroom of Flat 8, Alf is calling out for Lucy to fetch him a clean shirt, but she is preoccupied clearing the table from dinner. Alf has a night drive again. She tries to hurry him up. Vera drops in on her way home from a long day at The Tapemeasure. She enquires after Lucy and asks if she went to the doctor. Lucy tells Vera to be quiet as Alf is nearby and she doesn't want him to know. Alf emerges, dressed for work. He banters with Vera and is on his way. Vera now poses her question again. There is no need! Lucy checked with Sonia and it was probably indigestion. She bought some pills and is feeling much better. Vera still urges a proper checkup, just to make sure. Lucy agrees and promises to arrange an appointment when she has a free moment. Vera steps out onto the landing and finds Peter waiting for her. They have a dinner date and Vera had no idea it was so late! They go inside and the telephone starts ringing. Vera tells Peter to pour himself a drink. It is Simon on the phone, supposedly organising some advertising. Vera is slightly annoyed and admonishes him that those matters "are for Maggie to handle". The salon is Maggie's business, not hers. "No, I can't," she continues, "I have a dinner date." Peter guesses that it was Simon on the phone, but he treads more carefully this time, remembering Vera's previous reaction to people interfering in her life. In Flat 5, Norma is dressed in a T-shirt and shorts and using a skipping rope as Les arrives home from his shift. He looks shocked. Norma explains that she is trying a regular exercise routine to lose some weight to look presentable when Anna Maria arrives. Les can't help himself and attempts to relate a story about a poor patient at the hospital who exercised too much. Norma says that it is far more dangerous crossing the loungeroom while dodging all of her husband's rubbish! Les needs to take all his stuff back to the cellar. Les reminds her that Dorrie did not approve of them using the cellar for storage. "It has to go somewhere! We will need the room when Anna Maria arrives." The phone rings and Les answers it. It is Dorrie Evans, complaining about the building shaking. A chunk of plaster just fell from her ceiling! In Flat 4, Don is on the phone to his parents, wishing them a safe trip to Ralph's farm. Les Whittaker ambles in and waits for Don to finish his call. Don hangs up and tells Les that his parents are travelling by light plane to Tamworth today. Les is keen to know if he can store some valuable possessions in Don's spare room, just temporarily, of course. Don apologises as he only recently offered the room to a work colleague who is in need of accommodation. This news disappoints Les. He needs another solution for the safekeeping of his stuff before Norma explodes. Vera is working away at The Tapemeasure when Miss Manson comes from the change rooms at the rear of the salon and interrupts her: Lady Lumberdale isn't happy with the fall of her new dress. Vera promises to come and see for herself. Maggie swans in, with an arm hooked through Simon's. Simon has certainly become the focus of Maggie's scheming lately. Simon cheekily kisses Vera, who leaves to check Lady Lumberdale's problem. Simon lays out the proofs he needs to discuss and Maggie complains that she "has a bone to pick" with him. Why has Simon been so unavailable lately? She's been trying to catch him for days! Simon shrugs that he has been very busy but will make it up tonight by taking her out to dinner. Maggie is delighted! Vera returns; the problem with the dress was only minor. Simon declares that Peter and Vera should join him and Maggie at dinner. Now Maggie is displeased. It is Norma's day off and she is at the laundrette catching up with things. She tells Lucy about her new slimming regime. Alf and Les come in and Lucy assumes that they have been at the pub all morning. Alf is very pleased with himself; they have been moving - and to celebrate all their hard work they will take their wives to a slap-up dinner tonight. Les boasts to Norma that all of his stuff, including the knitting machine, is now safely stored in the Sutcliffes' spare bedroom. Lucy is horrified and Norma is furious. "You can damn well spend all afternoon moving it all out again!" At the salon, Vera notices Maggie angrily flipping through a magazine. "I thought you'd left with Simon...?" Maggie explains that he had another business appointment. "That young man is far too busy for my liking... and I had hoped to have him to myself tonight." Vera is apologetic. "Is he worth it? I'm sorry, Maggie. He was on the phone to Peter before I could object." Maggie suggests that Vera and Peter should drift off together at the end of dinner. In his private office at Willoughby, Willoughby & Martin, Mr Willoughby Sr (Gerry Duggan) receives an intercom message that Don Finlayson has returned from court. Was he ready to see him? Mr Willoughby is an elderly, old-school solicitor. He is very conservative and places much importance on family background. Mr Willoughby tries to ascertain what the situation is between Don and another young lawyer, Mike Parsons. Don and Mike did their exams at the same time but Don had passed his with Honours. It seems that Mike had intended taking a room in Don's flat but, when pressed by his boss, Mike had said, "Under the circumstances, I thought it best not to." Mr Willoughby's apparent interpretation is that Don's life as a single man involves a bevy of girls and wild orgies. Don is confused. Mr Willoughby suggests, "The sooner you settle down and marry the better!" This is the realisation of Don's earlier fear: that his homosexuality will affect his career aspirations. It is evening and Lucy and Norma are dressed for their dinner outing. They sit on Norma's couch enjoying a sherry. Once again, they are surrounded by Les's clutter, which the two men have moved back down from Flat 8. Norma notices Lucy taking a pill, which she explains is for her indigestion. There is a terrible noise in the doorway! Sweating and heaving, Alf and Les have managed to wedge the knitting machine in the front doorway. It won't move in or out. At The Cosmopolitan, Vera, Peter and Simon chat at their table after dinner. Maggie returns from the ladies' powder room, where she has just bumped into Maggie Tabberer, who seems keen to do a story on The Tapemeasure! Vera tries to decline - Maggie is so much better at that kind of thing - but Maggie insists and drags Vera over to Maggie Tabberer's table. Peter confronts Simon about the amount of attention he pays to Vera. Peter lays it on the line: he and Vera have been friends for some time. They have "an understanding". Simon hears that it is a very loose understanding - almost platonic! Peter admits that they don't have any plans yet. Simon boasts of his own plan... to marry Vera! Peter wonders how long Simon will keep Maggie in the dark. "As long as necessary," Simon replies, "Unless you choose to tell her otherwise." [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 100
Maggie Tabberer, namedrop cameo.

In his synopsis, Johnny Whyte suggests to writer David Sale that he might check with Bill Harmon and then approach TV personality, editor and fashion guru, Maggie Tabberer, to gauge her interest in playing herself in this, the 100th episode. It is not known if she accepted the cameo role, or was just namedropped in the episode. The oft-mentioned Lady Lorna Lumberdale was incorrectly referred to as "Lady Lumberton" in the synopsis. The seeds of Don's concerns about homosexuality affecting his career were planted in Episode #57.

101. (28/07) It is 7.00am and Aldo investigates an insistent knocking at the locked front door of the deli. He shuffles in from the flat and discovers the ever-efficient Arnold, wide-awake and ready to commence his day. He is keen to get the rundown on the place before opening time. Poor Aldo is unable to concentrate at this early hour. In Flat 3, Dorrie and Herb hear Georgina chanting and praying to "Harry Krisher". Herb goes into her room to tell her to stop but Dorrie says that she has had second thoughts after her discussion with Don. It is still keeping Georgina on a Christian path. At least she has given up the wild orgies, longhairs and political demonstrations! Herb tells her to start up again, and she does. Don drops into Flat 6 to borrow some milk; Aldo isn't open yet. Bev invites him to stay for breakfast. She has made plenty - and Janie hasn't woken up yet. He sits down with her and is soon relaying his concerns about a work colleague, Mike Parsons. Don is beginning to suspect that Mike is trying to make trouble for him at work. Perhaps he is jealous of Don achieving Honours in his exams? Does he consider Don to be Mr Willoughby's "favoured one"? Aldo is nervously swallowing aspirin. Roma breezes in and says that she is delighted that Arnold is coping so well in the shop. Aldo slaps the air and claims that Arnold is coping too well. Aldo feels like an assistant in his own shop. Dorrie is in the deli and is intrigued to learn as much as she can about Arnold. Dorrie is impressed by Arnold's use of many long words. Roma enters and is delighted that Arnold is dealing with Dorrie. She enquires after Georgina and Dorrie admits to being a little uncertain about "Harry Krisher". Arnold is knowledgeable about Hare Krishna and says that it is the most spiritually demanding faith, moreso than conventional religions. He has Dorrie's full attention but she doesn't really understand anything of what he is telling her. Back in Flat 3, Herb is doing the dishes while Georgina is eating her rye bread and other health foods. Herb mentions that Dorrie has ressearched Georgina's new religion and accepts it. Dorrie arrives from the deli and suggests that Georgina should invite her "Harry Krisher" vicar over for tea. She is going to the temple today, so she will ask the High Priest. Dorrie starts talking about the deli's new assistant. He is, according to Dorrie, a very "Araldite young man" and Georgina could do worse than cultivate him. As she is leaving, Georgina mentions that Hare Krishna doesn't advocate sex. Aldo is flaked out in Flat 2. Arnold is in no need of supervision. While Aldo is ill at ease, Roma is delighted and believes she has orchestrated the ideal partnership! She will have more free time to organise things for her departure. Tomorrow, a man is coming to value her furniture. She has to dispose of her unit and arrange to have belongings packed to be sent to England. She is full of plans, which only depresses Aldo more. Herb and Dorrie are in their Sunday best, awaiting the arrival of Georgina and her High Priest. Tea and cakes are set out on a trolley and the best china is out. Soon Dorrie is being introduced to the young Aquarius. He wears saffron robes, has a bald head and ponytail, with white face paint on his forehead. He hands out pamphlets and then he and Georgina sit crosslegged on the floor. Dorrie is unsure how to address him, but treats the High Priest like the Archbishop of Canterbury. Aquarius does not wish to partake of her dainty ham sandwiches or sausage rolls; someone should have reminded Dorrie about Hare Krishnas not eating meat. In the late afternoon, Arnold is doing an audit of Aldo's account books. He frequently shakes his head and tut-tuts. He requests to take the books into the parlour to study them more closely. Aldo is very uncomfortable and confronts Roma. She insists that Aldo must get with the times and use modern accounting methods. His resistence is only making her leaving harder. Don and Bev come in, almost at the same time and Mrs Lubinski serves them. Bev is still very excited about her trainee PR job and asks Don if there were any further repercussions from the incident at work. Don suggests she come up to his flat for a drink. Arnold sticks his head through the door to request Aldo's urgent attendance; the books are in a terrible muddle. Aquarius and Georgina head for the temple, with Dorrie more concerned than ever. It has been a most peculiar afternoon and she wonders what happens at the temple. Herb is still crosslegged on the floor and reading a pamphlet. There is a meeting there tomorrow. Maybe they should go and find out? In Flat 4, Bev is reading a pamphlet about Hare Krishna; she and Don just met Aquarius on the stairs. They are chuckling about the encounter while Don fixes them some drinks. Bev returns to the topic of Mike at Don's work. Something about this prospective flatmate's manner unsettles him. Don thought that Mike was a friend but now has doubts about his motives. They discuss the perceived importance of "family stability" in Don's line of work. The phone rings and Don answers it. It is his brother, Ralph, in Tamworth. Don's face drops and his answers become a "yes and no" conversation. He finishes with, "I'll get there are soon as I can." It is tragic news, and it overshadows everything else that has been happening. He tells Bev that the light plane carrying his parents has crashed and they have both been killed. [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 101
Georgina Carter, Dorrie & Herb Evans, Flat 3; Hare Krishna Temple & Cultural Centre, North Sydney.

There is a definite change in style and tone in the way the official synopses are now being written, probably indicating that Tim Purcell has taken over as storyliner, with Johnny Whyte moving to script editor. The ISKON (Hare Krishna) Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha Temple is in North Sydney.

102. (31/07) Aldo is opening up the deli when Arnold and Roma arrive together, full of enthusiasm for what Arnold has done with Aldo's account books over the weekend. His new, revolutionary system is terrifying to Aldo! Arnold takes Aldo into the flat to explain in more detail. Roma is slipping out of her coat when Vera rushes in. She has an early meeting to discuss advertising and needs change for her taxi. Vera tells Roma about the plane crash that killed Don's parents on Friday. The news stuns Roma. "Oh, the poor boy!" Don has gone to Tamworth to be with his brother and to start organising the funeral. Roma starts to fret about her own trip, which will be her first flight to England. Sonia enters Flat 1 with the mail. She has collected Don's for him, too. Gordon is eating breakfast, mulling over the fact that Kit would be in London by now, and that he will probably never see him again. Sonia can see that he is feeling low and tries to comfort him. Kit will return some day. Gordon doubts it; his son made that very clear last Wednesday. Les has joined Norma for breakfast as it is his day off. There is a second hand exercise bike in the loungeroom and Norma, now in T-shirt and shorts, is having her first session on it while Les shaves. When he emerges from the bathroom, Norma tells her husband that his junk has to go! Les asks if that includes her junk, meaning the exercise bike! She explains the difference: the bike is being used, so it is not the same as Les's stuff, which just sits there, cluttering up the flat! The phone rings and Les has a rather vague conversation and heads back to the bathroom. Norma calls out to him, "Who was it?" It was Army Welfare notifying them that their daughter-in-law is on a flight, but Les did not manage to get any details on an arrival time or the carrier. A frustrated Norma dreads that trouble will now follow. At Maggie's office, Simon is showing her a TV advertisement schedule he has set up, but Maggie is more interested in Simon. She is vamping it up, asking when they are going to get together. The intercom buzzes. Maggie is surprised that Vera is outside. Simon asked her over to discuss the TV campaign. Maggie is annoyed, as this is her side of the business. Simon acts innocent and says that he understood that Vera and Maggie were equal partners. Vera enters and expresses surprise that the main topic of the meeting is the TV advertising campaign as, surely, this is Maggie's side of the business? Norma is dressed for her pub shift and is on the phone to the Army Welfare Office. She explains that her husband has the day off, so can meet Anna Maria when her flight lands. Les is busy moving stuff into their bedroom at the time and somehow "QF-267 at 16.40" becomes "QF-627 at 6.40" when it is written down on a scrap of paper. "Don't lose this," Norma says, "And make sure you're there in plenty of time." Les agrees, stuffs the paper into a pocket and continues to work. Norma heads off. On her way out, Norma passes Alan Cotterell outside Flat 6 with an armful of scripts. They greet each other and Alan knocks at the door. Janie answers and he goes in. Janie says she is ready to go to lunch but Alan seems more interested in a particular script. It is by a brilliant screenwriter colleague, Greg Marlow, and they will be meeting him at lunch. There is a role that is perfect for Janie. All they need now is a financial backer. Alan starts getting amorous but Janie pushes him off. They are going too fast. Alan wonders what is the matter but Janie doesn't want to get too serious. Alan makes it clear that he is besotted by her. Gordon comes into the flat from the shop. Sonia is eating lunch. In a very serious tone, Gordon suggests that they should get married as soon as possible. He is interrupted by the shop's door chime and goes to serve the customer. Sonia continues with her meal and Gordon is suddenly back. They laugh at how absurd it is that they hardly have any time together. Perhaps they need an assistant? Gordon has forgotten what he came in to say and Sonia reminds him that he had been trying to propose. After lunch, Maggie returns to her office with Simon. She is annoyed that he had invited Vera to accompany them to the restaurant. Simon acts puzzled; what is Maggie playing at? Maggie gets all sexy, and says she is playing at having an affair with him. "Why are you always so damned busy? Don't you find me attractive?" Simon says that, of course he does, but he is in love with someone else. Arnold is on his lunch break, leaving Aldo and Roma alone in the deli. Aldo mentions how nice it is when it is just the two of them, like before. Roma gets a bit annoyed. Arnold has done such a good job with Aldo's books. He is so efficient that Aldo won't miss Roma when she is gone in a few weeks. Arnold could probably run the shop on his own and Aldo will soon have lots of spare time. "Spare time? Spare time to do what?" Janie and Alan are back from their lunch with Greg Marlow. Janie is very impressed with Greg. Alan is keen to make love but Janie remains cool on that. Alan wants to know what is wrong so she brings up her broken affair with Alex Lederer. She doesn't want history to repeat itself. Alan professes his deep love for her but Janie thinks he is too interested in sex. "There's nothing wrong with sex," he says, "It's an important part of a relationship." Janie says that you can't base a lasting relationship on sex alone. She wants more. Alan can give her more, he can give her everything! He starts to kiss and fondle her. Janie responds and they move into the bedroom. Having locked the shop for the night, Gordon joins Sonia in their flat for a drink. He is pensive as he removes his white coat. Sonia assumes that he is thinking about Kit again, but Gordon has been chatting to an old friend who called into the shop today. He mentioned that Gordon could re-register as a doctor. Sonia is excited. Gordon could open his own practice again? He nods. "So it seems." It is 7.30pm. In the deli, Roma is preparing to head home, as someone is coming to view her unit. Norma enters, looking worried. She has seen no sign of Les nor Anna Maria. Aldo suggests phoning the airport; sometimes these planes run late. Norma starts dialing as Roma departs. She calls back through the door to say that Les is getting out of a taxi! Norma goes to the door, telling Aldo that Les seems to be alone. She gets stuck into her wayward husband. "Where is she? Where have you been? You did get there at the right time? Didn't you follow the instructions?" Les retaliates and produces Norma's note from this morning. Anna Maria arrived at "16.40", which is 4.40pm! Norma finally realises the error and is alarmed: that poor girl is lost and alone, somewhere in Sydney! [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 102
Norma & Les Whittaker, Flat 5.

103. (1/08) It is late in the evening and Alf is getting annoyed at the TV. "Bloody Australian rubbish!" he complains. He turns it off and announces that he is off to bed. Lucy wants to check on Norma first, to see if there has been any progress in the search to locate Anna Maria. Norma was so worried earlier. As Lucy descends the stairs, she passes Jack and Bev about to enter Flat 6. They exchange pleasantries and then Les lets Lucy into Flat 5. The Whittakers' flat looks much tidier. Most of Les's junk is gone. Norma explains that she was able to confirm that Anna Maria was definitely on that plane, but she has had no response to her calls to Army Welfare. The airline paged the girl at the airport terminal, but she seems to have vanished. In Flat 6, Jack is enjoying a beer and Bev thanks him for a great outing. She really enjoyed herself. Bev talks about her PR training and the prospects it offers. They are at ease with each other and talking freely. 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. When it's time to leave, his gentle kiss at the doorway turns into a more passionate one, and it is witnessed by Lucy as she comes out of Les and Norma's flat. Lucy wishes them both goodnight. At Herb and Dorrie's, they are still wondering about "Harry Krisher". Dorrie lights an incense stick and decides she quite likes the fragrance. Herb comes out of the kitchen with a plate of sausages and eggs. Georgina emerges from her bedroom and Dorrie tells her how impressed she was by the meeting at the temple. Everyone was so sincere! The purity! She asks, in all seriousness, if it will be essential for Herb to shave his head - and Herb chokes on his tea. Georgina says that, if they are really serious about enlightenment, Uncle Herb shouldn't be eating that sausage. Dorrie screams! She snatches the sausage off his fork. "We have to keep our stomachs pure, Herb!" Norma is ready for her early shift at the pub but is serving Les his breakfast. He must get himself down to see Major Dunstan, at the Army Welfare Office, as soon as he's eaten. Anna Maria must be found before anything untoward happens to her. Gary would be beside himself if he knew. At the laundrette, Dorrie is waiting for her washing while Lucy, who is suddenly looking tired, mentions the Whittakers' plight over their daughter-in-law. "Why wasn't I told? Does Herb know about this?" Dorrie refers to Anna Maria as "an Italian gypsy", of which she does not approve. She's not surprised that the Whittakers lost her; their messy flat says a lot about the state of their minds. Georgina comes in to announce another meeting at the temple. "Come along, bring some friends," she says, handing Lucy a pamphlet. Dorrie explains that "Harry Krisher" preaches on "the purity of the body, soul, spirit and conception." Over their pub lunch, Alf and Herb discuss Hare Krishna. Herb believes in it all but draws the line at having his head shaved. Alf ribs him about it, but Herb is serious. Alf orders more drinks and Norma gets them as Les wanders in. Norma wants news on Anna Maria, but there is none. She fills Herb in on the situation and he mentions that the telephone in Flat 5 has been ringing all day. Before Les can even take a sip of his drink, Norma orders him to go home and sit by the phone. Fresh from the shower, Bev answers the door to let Jack in. Janie is at the theatre. Bev lists "all the stupid things" she has to learn to be a PR girl. Jack invites her to another party but she worries they are seeing too much of each other. Is Jack sure that his attraction to her is not just the rebound from his time with Janie? Jack laughs that he doesn't bounce off anything! Bev is trying to be serious but Jack is returning to his old jolly self. She finally agrees to the party invitation and goes off to change as Jack makes himself a drink. Herb is laying the table while Dorrie is preparing cutlets for dinner. She mentions the Anna Maria dilemma - and becomes furious when she realises that Herb already knows all about it. (He only learned about it at the pub today.) Dorrie serves what turns out to be nutmeat cutlets and vegetables, much to Herb's disappointment. Les is pacing the flat with an Italian phrasebook, practising for when they find Anna Maria. The phone rings and there is a male voice with a strong Italian accent. Using the phrasebook, Les tries to get the man, who seems to speak little English, to slow down. They are bringing the girl around this evening? Les attempts directions to get them to Number 96. He emphasises, "Up the stairs, second floor, right-side flat!" A short time later, Norma and Les are smartly dressed. The flat looks very neat. The Sutcliffes have popped in on the way to the movies. Les explains what he learned from the Italian man who rang. He thinks that Anna Maria was met by family friends who had gone to the airport. When the Whittakers failed to show up, the friends took her home and she spent the night with them. She had been ringing her in-laws' phone number for much of last night, and all of this morning, with no result. Norma and Les are very apprehensive about meeting Gary's wife. Les continues to practise some very bad Italian. Down in the ground floor foyer, Anna Maria (Rosalba Verrucci) and her male friend are speaking excitedly in Italian. The man is carrying Anna Maria's bag and has notes written on a scrap of paper. They look around and agree, in Italian, "First floor!". They climb the staircase to the landing, point to the door to Flat 3 and say, "Right-side flat!" The man knocks at the door, which is opened by Dorrie. She is dressed for a visit to the Hare Krishna temple. Anna Maria cries, "Mama Mia!" and flings her arms around Dorrie, kissing her on both cheeks. The Italian man is grinning widely. Dorrie is shocked and starts shrieking for Herb! [Episode written by David Sale.]

Episode 103
Anna Maria Whittaker, Flat 5.

104. (2/08) It is breakfast time and Sonia finds that the deli is already open, so she is looking for something tempting. She asks Roma about Rose and Julian. Roma saw them at the weekend and they are very happy in their marriage. Sonia tells Roma a little secret: she and Gordon are getting married next week! The conversation turns to the efficient Arnold Feather, the deli's new assistant - and Sonia says that they have plans to employ an assistant of their own, for the chemist shop, once they are married. So many changes! Roma herself is heading for England to be with her son. Aldo wanders into the shop. He has overslept. Roma chides him but he is glad that she had the initative to open up without him. Sonia asks about Roma's departure date. It may be very soon. She believes she has sold her unit already. "I wait for confirmation from the agent." Aldo's heart sinks. Everything is moving too fast for him. Les arrives home from night shift at the hospital to find Norma cooking breakfast. He assumes it is for him, but it is for their guest, Anna Maria. Les saw very little of her last night so Norma fills him in. Anna Maria speaks only halting English. She finds it hard to express herself but seems a sweet girl, if a little emotional. Norma takes her a tray of food, mentioning to Les that their daughter-in-law is "a Countess in her own right"! There is a knock on the door of Flat 6 and Bev, dressed for work, opens it to Alan. She is still rather cool towards him. "Janie is still asleep; actresses don't arise until at least 9.30, you know..." Janie appears from her bedroom. She is pleased to see Alan. He tells her to dress quickly as they are off to see Greg Marlow again. He has a possible backer for the film project. Janie is very excited about this. As Bev departs, she reminds Janie that Jack has invited both of them to lunch. Gordon tells Sonia that Don is due back from Tamworth on Friday. He is dressed for his meeting with the Medical Board, to start the procedure for re-registering as a doctor. He is worried that the meeting will go longer that expected. Can Sonia handle things in the shop until he gets back? She reassures him that she can, kisses him and wishes him good luck. Anna Maria, still in her nightgown, is amused by her parents-in-law and their valiant attempts to learn Italian phrases and pronunciation. Norma has a shift at the pub but volunteers Les to show the girl the sights and take her to lunch. He continues to entertain Anna Maria with his pidgin "Eye-talian". The phone rings in Flat 2 and Roma races to answer it, expecting it to be her agent about the unit sale. Arnold continues to demonstrate his efficiency and he questions Aldo about the slap-dash way that the customers put items on credit. There doesn't seem to be any proper records or signatures when goods are taken. Aldo defends his old system, which has always worked for him, ever since starting in business. Arnold wants to see evidence of, say, Mrs Sutcliffe's credit account. Aldo pulls out pieces of paper from several drawers, the till, his pockets, etc. He gets into a terrible muddle. Arnold doesn't wish to offend anyone but surely the regular customers should have some kind of credit card system? As Aldo tries to take all this in, Roma rushes into the shop in her overcoat. The agent has sold her unit - for a considerable profit - and she must go straight to his office to sign paperwork! As she dashes past, all the scraps of paper (that Arnold has been laying out carefully) get scattered across the counter! At Jack's favourite cocktail bar, Bev and Jack are having champagne while they wait for Janie to arrive. She eventually comes in, with Alan in tow, hoping it is okay for him to join them? Of course, they can't really object now. Janie is curious about the choice of champagne and Jack admits that it is his birthday. This is news to everyone. Janie and Alan are still excited about the film project, although Alan has some qualms. The new financial backer wants the script to be "sexed up a bit" and Alan is an advocate of artistic integrity. Jack orders more champagne. At the pub, Aldo has called in on his break and is complaining to Norma about Arnold's attempts to modernise his business practices. Norma worries that Anna Maria doesn't feel at home in Australia. They had organised for Les to take her to a posh restaurant. Norma wants to make a good impression, Anna Maria being a Countess and all. She laughs, although it is cut short when Les enters, arm-in-arm with Anna Maria. Dressed in a loose blouse and jeans, the girl seems to be getting along with her father-in-law easily. Les orders two beers and two pies. Norma glares at him and suggests that Anna Maria probably would prefer a Cinzano. "Oh no, Gary and me, always we drink the beer." Everyone attempts to chat with her by talking loudly and slowly. Arnold arrives to tell Aldo that Mrs Lubinski has returned. Aldo finishes his drink and Norma introduces Anna Maria to Arnold. "She's Eye-talian, you know," she says. Arnold bows and kisses the girl's hand, then commences an animated conversation in fluent Italian. Everyone is amazed. Jack drops Janie and Bev back to Number 96 and makes a point of inviting Bev to a party being thrown in his honour tonight by the Morgan-Joneses. Janie and Alan should join them there after the theatre. When Jack departs, Bev chastises Janie for bringing Alan to Jack's birthday lunch. It was insensitive. Janie reminds her that neither of them knew it was Jack's birthday at the time. Janie wonders why Bev is being so protective over Jack when they are just casual friends - or are they? In the deli, Arnold is busy with a tapemeasure, and writing down figures. Aldo is intrigued. Arnold suggests that they could refit the shop and utilise the full working area. He has invoiced all credit customers and will be setting up a card system that evening. He has plans for deliveries that could be made by a boy with a bicycle. They could compete with the supermarkets by buying in bulk, reorganising some of Aldo's living area for extra storage space. In fact, if Aldo moved to a flat elsewhere, the shop could be extended into the whole premises! Aldo's head is spinning! In Flat 5, Anna Maria has managed to get the knitting machine working, much to Les's delight. Norma comes in from working at the pub to find Les sorting skeins of wool in different colours. He tells Norma that Anna Maria understands the knitting machine. She is going to make Italian sweaters and they can sell them at Paddy's Markets - and "We can make a fortune, Norma!" Norma is apprehensive about the whole idea but says nothing so as not to offend Anna Maria. Sonia and Gordon have closed the chemist shop and come into Flat 1. They have been so busy that Sonia hasn't had a chance to ask how Gordon went at the Medical Board. He needs to make application to a Disciplinary Tribunal. After two months, the matter will be heard in District Court, presided over by a curcuit judge and four Board members. Gordon will have to hire counsel to present his case. Immediately a positive decision is reached, he is free to practise again. So far, Gordon has only been given the information; he still needs to talk to a solicitor prior to applying. Roma comes into the deli and chats to Arnold. Her unit is sold and now she has to dispose of her furniture. She is impressed by Arnold's new credit system and thinks it will lift a weight from Aldo's shoulders. Meanwhile, Aldo is in his flat, taking more aspirins. His nervous energy threatens to turn into fury. Roma, on the other hand, is excited about selling her unit and furniture, and how well Arnold is doing. Aldo screams that Arnold is taking over his shop! "I want no credit cashing, no computer selling; I don't want that my counter should move!" Roma tries to console him but her words only make the situation worse. He is making her decision to leave so much harder for her. He snaps at her and now Roma is in tears. Aldo, also in tears, makes an impassioned speech about having no control over his life. He storms out of the flat! [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

Episode 104
Alan Cotterell & Janie Somers, Flat 5.

105. (3/08) Lucy tells Alf to get himself spruced up for dinner. The Whittakers are both working this evening, so Lucy has invited Anna Maria to eat with them. Anna Maria arrives early and Lucy shunts Alf into the bedroom. He emerges in a jacket and tie. He attempts to make small talk while Lucy grapples with the Italian meal she is attempting. Alf's monologue - rubbishing Australia, as usual, in his heavy Mancunian accent - is completing lost on poor Anna Maria. She is completely baffled. Arriving home from The Tapemeasure, Vera runs into a very worried Roma. Aldo has stormed out of his own home and she is beside herself with concern. Vera takes the news lightly, assuring her that Aldo is known for such emotional outbursts. He'll be back, as if nothing has happened. Dorrie and Herb are clearing the table after dinner. Dorrie remarks that she is feeling better - and purer - after giving up meat. Herb says nothing; he looks glum. Georgina comes in and Dorrie assumes she has been meditating. Georgina shakes her head. Dorrie has kept some nutmeat cutlets warm for her but Georgina has already eaten "a couple of hotdogs". Dorrie is alarmed. "Meat?" Georgina explains that she has given up on Hare Krishna due to the sexual aspect. "But they don't have sex?" says Dorrie. Georgina says "That's why I have given up on them." Dorrie is alarmed and worried. "That girl is on a downward path. Herb, you must do something!" In Flat 7, Vera has a visit from Simon. She gets annoyed with him and tells him to stop complicating her life; Maggie is not about to let him off the hook too easily. Simon is unruffled and assures her that he has already told Maggie that he is in love with someone else. He continues trying to woo Vera, but she is worried about how Maggie will react to this situation. Vera doesn't want a showdown with her, especially now that the salon is doing so well. "There's no reason for Maggie to know, not yet, anyway." Although Vera is concerned and uncertain, Simon kisses her. Aldo finally arrives back at Flat 2, surprised to see Roma still there. Where has he been? Aldo is contrite and apologetic about his overreaction. In his time alone, he realises that "Arnold is a good boy" and was only trying to help. Alf is dressed for work and brings Lucy a cup of tea in bed. He made his own breakfast, for which Lucy is grateful, as she is still tired. "Too many late nights and rich 'Eytie' food and vino!" claims Alf. He sits on the bed and they chat about Anna Maria. In Flat 7, Vera is flitting from room to room getting prepared to leave for work. She answers a knock at the door: it is Simon again, offering her a neighbourly lift to the salon, to make up for being turned out last night. Vera banters with him about his persistence. It is flattering being flirted with by a handsome, young man, but isn't he overdoing it? Dorrie and Herb are in the deli chatting to Aldo and Roma. Dorrie enquires after "that nice Mr Feather". Aldo explains that he is out doing deliveries. Dorrie is keen to introduce him to her niece, Georgina. The girl is at such a loose end; too much time on her hands. She needs a job to keep her busy. Roma thinks that Miss Freeman in the chemist shop is thinking of looking for an assistant. Dorrie thinks this is a splendid idea. In the cocktail bar, at midday, Simon is having a drink. A woman's coat and handbag are on the seat beside him. Maggie saunters through with an elderly business associate. She sends him along to get a table and sits, uninvited, in Simon's booth. "Dining with your mistress, I see?" (She thinks she has caught out Simon dining with Vera.) Simon grins unconcerned, refusing to rise to the bait. The woman returns and he introduces Maggie to Jill Dawson (Helen Martines). Jill has heard so much about the Mrs Cameron! Maggie smiles at her grimly. Anna Maria is having a hard time explaining to Aldo about the indregients she needs to make a special Italian meal for "Signore Whittaker". If only Arnold was here; he would be able to understand her. Alf wonders why a Countess should be acting "as a char woman to a bloody lazy slob" like Les! Alf is also puzzled why Aldo needs an assistant. Aldo explains: Roma's time in the shop is ending soon. She has sold her unit and is preparing to leave the country. Alf advises Aldo "to bloody well pop the question" to keep Roma from what he calls "her little caper". Herb is counting the money he has collected selling raffle tickets. Dorrie is more concerned about "the awful, foreign cooking smells percolating the veritable entire building" and "that gypsy women cooking hedgehogs". Georgina arrives home. Dorrie claims that they have been waiting for her, because Uncle Herb has something to say. Herb is in a dither but finally gets out that Georgina needs to find a job. Dorrie takes over, saying that Miss Freeman confided in her; she needs a reliable assistant. Georgina claims to know nothing about being a chemist's assistant. Dorrie says that it doesn't matter. "Just look at that Freeman woman: if she can do it, anyone can!" They wonder where Georgina has been all afternoon. She has been visiting with Anna Maria. "That gypsy?" Georgina comes to Anna Maria's defence. She's no gypsy, she's an actual Italian Countess! Dorrie is crestfallen, and also flabbergasted. Simon has brought Vera back to her flat from the salon. They continue to bicker about him wanting to take her to dinner. She finally relents, but he will have to wait while she showers and gets changed. Simon fixes himself a drink. There is a knock at the door and Simon calls out that he will answer it. It is Maggie. Simon is surprised to see her but Maggie is annoyed. "Who is it?" asks Vera, emerging from her bedroom in only a bathrobe. Maggie is livid and turns on her heel and marches out. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

Episode 105
Maggie Cameron, Simon Carr and Vera Collins of "The Tapemeasure" salon.

The synopsis suggests that Simon's friend is "Felicity" Dawson, but the casting list suggests her name became Jill.

106. (4/08) Herb is in the ground floor foyer, taking out the garbage, while Dorrie is banging on the door of Flat 1. Gordon answers, still in his dressing gown. Dorrie wants a word with him and he stands aside to let her in. Sonia, in her nightgown, emerges from the bedroom asking who it was at such a ridiculous hour. "Oh, good morning Mrs Evans," she says. Dorrie tries to be friendly and apologetic but didn't expect to find them still in bed! Dorrie has decided that if the pharmacy needs an assistant, she knows someone who would be perfect for the job. Sonia explains that the plan is not yet definite and, in any case, they were thinking of a young girl. Dorrie is quick to add that she meant that Georgina would be who they are looking for. Georgina is "pure, clean, very pleasant, is 'gregorius' - she gets along with everyone - and is a veritable asset." Gordon agrees that it is a good idea and he and Sonia will "think about it". Dorrie is enthusiastic. She doesn't want them to change their minds; she will go and fetch Georgina now! Gordon suggests perhaps later in the day. Vera is also in her nightdress, trying to reach Maggie on the phone. There is a knock at her door and Lucy enters, apologising for the intrusion. Vera explains that she can't get hold of Maggie, neither at home nor the office. More business worries? Vera shrugs it off. Lucy wants to use Vera's phone because the Sutcliffes' phone is out of order and she needs to report the fault. While Lucy looks for the number in the telephone book, Vera quizzes her on what the doctor advised. Lucy hasn't found the time to go yet, but the matter has resolved itself! Vera still recommends a check-up. Lucy is still in denial. The phone rings and Lucy hands the receiver to Vera. It is Simon. Vera tells him that she can't locate Maggie. He offers to go and see her but Vera would prefer to keep trying herself. The trials of big business! Without elaborating, Vera agrees with Lucy, who makes her call to the PMG. In Flat 6, Janie is preparing a bag of washing for the laundrette when there is a familiar knock at the door. It is Jack, who happened to be nearby and thought he would offer Bev a lift to work. Janie explains that Bev has already left. She offers him coffee and they talk about Bev, his fond feelings for her, and then of Alan, whom Janie is still seeing but has now taken a more guarded attitude towards. "You can never be really sure," she says. Essentially, she apologises for the time when Jack caught them in bed together. He hopes everything goes well for her. Dorrie is busy cutting up one of Georgina's caftans into a 50s-style chemist assistant's coat. It looks dreadful! She has also fashioned her niece's hair into a tight bun so she will look respectable when serving customers. Georgina is full of complaints and very unappreciative. In Maggie's office, Angela awaits dictation while Maggie finishes a phone call - and slams down the receiver! Maggie is in a foul mood. The phone rings and Angela answers it. "Yes, Mrs Collins, I'll just see if Mrs Cameron has arrived yet." She holds down the phone, Maggie shakes her head, and Angela claims that "Mrs Cameron is unavailable at present". If Vera rings again, Maggie doesn't want to speak to her - "and get our solictor on the line!" In the laundrette, Herb is placing a bet on the Red Phone while Janie is doing her washing. Lucy hasn't seen her for a few days, so she enquires after the play. Janie is upbeat telling her about the film project that she will be doing with her boyfriend. Lucy is confused as to who Janie means, so she tells her about Alan. Herb comes over to join them. He mentions that Dorrie is trying to get Georgina a job at the chemist. Lucy adds that Sonia will certainly be in need of an assistant after she marries Gordon and "becomes a housewife". Herb and Janie react in surprise at the comment. Lucy says that Mrs Lubinski had been saying that to everyone. Anyway, how can Georgina fit in a job around her "Harry Krisher" commitments? Herb says that Georgina has given it all up - "and so has Dorrie, thank God!" Jack and Bev have lunch at the pub. He mentions that he called around to offer her a lift this morning. He tells her of the quite civil coffee and chat with Janie, so he seems to be getting over rejection. Bev agrees it seems so - "and without the help of Bunty and Noel Watkins and their ski slopes!" They laugh about this as Herb approaches. They discuss the racing tip that Jack gave him earlier, but it seems that Herb managed to get the wrong name! Gordon's afternoon coffee break in Flat 1 is interrupted by Sonia. Dorrie has brought Georgina in for an interview. He hopes that the girl is dressed more appropriately than her usual garb. "Well, it is different!" Sonia brings them in and goes back to the shop. Dorrie won't take the hint about leaving and answers most of the questions Gordon puts to the bizarrely-dressed Georgina. He gives her the job and Sonia returns; Gordon is needed by a male customer who is insisting that a male attendant serve him. As Sonia shows Dorrie and Georgina out of the flat's front door, she offers "some friendly advice", suggesting that Georgina might wear "something sexier" when she starts work. It is "expected" in a chemist shop. When Sonia returns to the prescription area, she and Gordon have a laugh about Georgina's 50s-era outfit, and what Sonia suggested. So what is Dorrie's idea of "sexy"? Sonia says, "We'll have to wait until Monday to find out." Gordon reminds her that the shop will be shut on Monday and Sonia is confused. Gordon grins. "We're getting married on Monday, or have you forgotten already?" They share a kiss, fondly. From the shop area, a customer's voice wonders how long they will be. In the late afternoon, Maggie is touching up her makeup, preparing to leave. Angela has already gone for the day. Vera turns up unannounced and tries to reason with Maggie, taking a logical approach. Vera is unused to Maggie's "cut and thrust" tactics. A furious Maggie accuses Vera of trying to steal Simon away from her. Vera is unable to convince her that there's nothing between her and Simon. Maggie announces that she's dissolving the partnership. She has already contacted her solicitor and she's going to crush both The Tapemeasure - and any chance of Vera finding success in the industry! [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

Episode 106
Dorrie Evans visits Flat 1.

The Postmaster-General's Department (PMG) ran domestic telecommunication services in Australia until 1975 when it branched off into the Australian Telecommunications Commission (ATC), trading as Telecom Australia, and now Telstra.

107. (7/08) Sonia and Gordon are relaxing in Flat 1 when there is a knock at the door. It is Don, who has just returned from his parents' funeral in Tamworth. He is here to collect his mail, but Gordon invites him in for a drink. It has been such a sad week and Don is feeling guilty. His parents had helped him so much with his university studies and he regrets not returning the favours and feels that he should have seen them more often. What are his plans now? Don and his brother and sister have decided to sell the family home. Carol Finlayson, his sister, will stay with Don more often, whenever possible with her QANTAS air hostess job. Gordon tries to change the mood; he and Sonia are getting married on Monday and they would love Don to be a witness. Sonia invites him to stay for a meal. Alf is home from work and struggling to make his own tea. Lucy has been next door with Vera. "Where the bloody Hell have you been?" he demands when she arrives. Lucy tells him to shut up; she met Vera in the hall and she is very upset. Both Sutcliffes are gentle and attentive as Vera, through her tears, explains the horrid encounter she had with Maggie that afternoon. Vera knew she wasn't cut out for big business and this proves it! Alf wonders about the legalities involved in dissolving a partnership. Vera doesn't know. Maybe she should speak to Don, but he's not back yet? He's back; Lucy saw him go into Flat 1! Vera couldn't possibly burden him after the week he has had. In any case, no one can do anything over the weekend. Over morning coffee, Aldo suggests that he and Roma should take the opportunity to go out sometimes, now that Arnold is familiar with shop routines. Roma is glad that Aldo finally appreciates Arnold's contributions. She suggests The Blue Danube for lunch, to reminisce, just in case it's their last outing together. Lucy drops into the chemist to buy more indigestion pills. Sonia is surprised that she has gone through them so quickly, but they seem to be working! A jubilant Gordon comes in from the street. Everything has been organised: 1.00pm on Monday! Lucy wishes them all the best for their wedding and Gordon is puzzled that she knows. Lucy thought that everyone knew. Mrs Lubinski told her, and Vera heard about it from Norma. They all have a laugh about how fast gossip spreads in the building. Gordon thinks they might shut the shop for the afternoon and Lucy says she has to rush, as she needs some things from the deli. Vera is finishing up a cash purchase with Arnold when Lucy comes in. While Arnold fills Lucy's long list of items, Vera and Lucy discuss Don's availability. Don wasn't in when Vera called to see him and Lucy suggests bringing Peter Harvey in. Vera is determined not to involve Peter. Lucy is about to take her order and asks Arnold to "pop it on the slate". Instead, Arnold mentions the new credit system and hands Lucy an application form. She only has to sign it and get three referees. Vera laughs and asks if Aldo knows about this set-up? "Indeed, he does, Mrs Collins. Mr Godolfus and I are in complete agreement about revolutionising the whole business structure of the shop." Lucy is baffled, so Vera offers to be one of her referees - and Gordon and Sonia will sign, too! Arnold states that this is "out of the question", as they are also credit customers of the deli. Vera is still laughing - and ends up paying cash for Lucy's order. At The Blue Danube, Roma and Aldo remember all the happy times shared at the restaurant. Roma has spoken by phone with Irving and everything is confirmed with her flight. Soon she shall be gone. Although she is sad to leave, she is pleased that Aldo has accepted Arnold. Aldo recognises that he is a good, keen boy. But it's never going to be the same! Arnold is doing a stocktake, with his clipboard in hand, when Alf storms in, demanding to know "all this bloody nonsense about credit cards..."! The Sutcliffes have always put purchases "on the slate". Arnold remains calm, explaining every detail - in words that Alf will never understand. He presents Alf with an invoice for credit up to date, which Alf meekly pays and wanders out, leaving Arnold very proud and pleased with himself. Vera knocks on Don's door. He is home! She mentions needing his advice and he invites her in. He offers her a drink, but she refuses. Vera is gentle with him, knowing of his recent bereavement. Don mentions how tragedies, such as this, can bring the rest of the family closer. Vera wants Don's advice about her partnership with Maggie. Don explains that every contract will have unique clauses. Commonly, a partnership can only be sold off when all partners are in agreement and, if one partner insists on selling, the other one should get "first refusal". Unfortunately, Vera cannot afford to buy Maggie out. Don suggests that Vera needs to see the original solicitor who drew up the contract, but this was Maggie's own solicitor. Don says it is irrelevant; that solicitor still represents Vera as far as The Tapemeasure is concerned. Without any first-hand information, the matter remains unresolved. Alf has made a cup of tea for Lucy but he is growing concerned. Lucy's health issues seem to be more that just tiredness. Vera arrives to tell Lucy that she has finally seen Don, but she is more concerned about Lucy! Vera persuades Lucy to have a lie down, and then tries to get Alf to understand that a doctor needs to be involved. Alf reckons that a weekend in bed will do her the world of good. It is Monday morning and Gordon reminds Sonia that she only has four hours left as a single woman. Don rushes in on his way to work to confirm what time he is needed at the registry office. "Who will be looking after the shop?" Just then, Gordon directs Don's attention to the arrival of a very "sexed up" Georgina. She wears a lowcut dress, no bra and a rather micro mini-skirt. She models the outfit for Sonia. "Is this sexy enough, Miss Freeman?" Vera is about to leave for The Tapemeasure when Alf barrels into Flat 7. He doesn't know what to do. "Lucy is not well - she won't get up...", so can Vera please come and check on her? "She seems to be in dreadful pain." Vera runs out with Alf. Sonia is showing Georgina where everything is and explains shop procedures. A worried Vera comes in, asking for Gordon. Sonia says that he's in the living room. She calls him into the shop. Vera explains that Lucy is unconscious and Gordon goes upstairs with Vera. In Flat 8, Lucy is lying on her bed in a coma. Alf, looking very worried, is holding her hand. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

Episode 107
Don Finlayson visits Flat 1.

Depite the namedrop in this episode, the character of Carol Finlayson won't be seen onscreen until becoming a regular character in late 1974, portrayed by Paula Duncan. While the 1972 synopses suggest an older character - the middle Finlayson sibling - Carol will eventually be revealed to be Don's younger sister.

108. (8/08) Herb is doing some maintenance in the main foyer when an ambulance siren signifies that Lucy Sutcliffe is on her way to the hospital. Dorrie is agog about "poor Lucy" and had foreseen this event, of course. She paints a rather gruesome picture of Lucy's fate. Herb mentions that he knew that Lucy was unwell because Norma had told him. Dorrie belittles "pub gossip" as being "worthless". In Flat 5, Norma, Anna Maria and Vera are comforting a distraught Alf. Vera is on the phone to Alf's boss, Bob Gerrold, explaining the situation. Alf is desperate to get to the hospital but the doctor said that there will be no news until after the preliminary examination. Although she is concerned about Lucy, Vera needs to get to the salon. Norma and Anna Maria continue to console Alf. He blames himself for not noticing that his wife was so ill, but Norma reminds him how well Lucy was hiding her symptoms. The time is finally right, so Sonia and Gordon will be "tying the knot" today, but they have opted for a small, quiet ceremony in the registry office. Sonia has left Gordon looking after the chemist shop and he is feeling out of his depth dealing with new assistant, Georgina. She is getting herself very confused. Dorrie drops in to get more gossip on Lucy's condition and to check on Georgina's first day on the job. Dorrie is shocked by her niece's choice of work attire but Gordon defends it. (He likes it and it will attract customers.) Dorrie notices that Sonia is not in. "Is she out this morning?" Gordon is amused that, somehow, Dorrie has not found out about the wedding. Now that the shop has an assistant, Sonia has time to go shopping! At The Tapemeasure, Sonia is being fitted for an outfit for her wedding. Luckily, Vera had an appropriate garment, still in stock from the opening event. Vera is disappointed she can't be at the ceremony, but Miss Manson is out most of the day, buying material for the next batch of orders. Who will be the witnesses? Don will be there and Sonia's good friend, Elizabeth, who will be meeting them at the registry office. Sonia is going straight there, since it would be bad luck for the groom to see her in the wedding dress. The topic changes to Lucy's health. Anna Maria is giving Flat 5 a thorough cleaning and Norma keeps objecting. Anna Maria is their guest. Norma has to rush of to the pub in time for the lunchtime crowd. Alf drops by. He can't stand sitting around doing nothing and will be heading to the hospital to await some news. At the registry office, Elizabeth (Yvonne Adams) and Don look on as Sonia, resplendent in her Vera Collins' Collection dress, and Gordon, in his suit and tie, are married by the Registrar (Gordon Lishman). "This is a solemn occasion..." he begins. In Flat 3, Georgina has come up to join Auntie Dee and Uncle Herb for lunch. Dorrie urges Georgina that her lunch break must be over by now. Georgina explains that there is no need to rush; the shop is closed for the rest of the day since the new Mrs and Mrs Vansard are getting married at 1.00pm. Dorrie is astounded! "Why wasn't I told...?" Simon comes into the salon looking for Vera, who is out the back giving Claire Houghton a fitting. He wants to know what happened with Maggie. Vera can only briefly tell him that "the lid has blown off" their association. She can't talk now, but perhaps if he comes to the flat this evening? He agrees and Vera goes back out to face Claire again. It is early evening and Dorrie is dressed for an important meeting, in her role as Vice President of the Paddington Senior Citzens' Bowling Club. She is telling Herb that she expects to be away for two or three hours when there is a knock at the door. It is Anna Maria, whom Dorrie insists on addressing as "Countess". Dorrie is all smiles but Anna Maria is having trouble conveying her problem. She keeps referring to her phrase book. In broken English, she attempts to say that the lights have gone out in Flat 5 and that she is alone in the dark. Dorrie backs out graciously, practically curtseying to the Countess... as she leaves the dilemma in Herb's hands. Sonia and Gordon are back home and Elizabeth, Don and Vera toast the happy couple with champagne. Added to the happy vibes of the day is the news that Gordon will soon be re-registering as a doctor. The Vansards and the witnesses are planning to go out to dinner and want Vera to join them, but she has a friend coming over, so must get back upstairs. At the pub, Herb is having a drink with Anna Maria. Norma is behind the bar when Alf comes in from the hospital. He has been there all afternoon. Lucy seems comfortable and quite cheerful, but Alf is still worried. Tomorrow there will be a small, exploratory operation. Over a drink in Flat 7, Vera tells Simon all the details of the situation with Maggie. The solicitor has told her that Vera has "first refusal" on buying the salon outright. Simon asks, "What figure that would be?" Somewhere in the region of $10,000-$15,000! It seems that Maggie has won, as usual, since Vera has no hope of raising that amount of money. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

Episode 108
Elizabeth and her friend, Sonia Vansard of Flat 1, on Sonia's wedding day.

The oft-mentioned Elizabeth, Sonia's best friend and former flatmate, finally appears onscreen as Sonia's witness at the Registry Office. Elizabeth is portrayed by Yvonne Adams - but only permitted "two speeches per episode". The synopsis suggested she be named "Diana". (Coincidentally, Sonia meets a very different Diana in the "Number 96" feature film.) Gordon Lishman, who plays the Marriage Registrar at the Vansards' wedding, was a radio personality of the day. He previously played Mr Stewart, the Evans' bank manager.

109. (9/08) The Whittakers are in bed when Anna Maria comes into their room with a breakfast tray of croissants, rolls, jam and more. She adds that Mr Sutcliffe is waiting in the living room. Les puts on his dressing gown and goes out to see him. Anna Maria is so proud of having made the croissants herself and Norma, who is trying to keep to a diet, doesn't want to offend her daughter-in-law. Les returns. Alf has left them his phone number in case the hospital rings with news while he is a work. As the conversation turns to Lucy's health, Les paints a bleak picture of her chances. Norma is worried about Lucy. Bev drops into the deli to buy butter, but also leaves a large order to collect later. Roma is talking about the forthcoming trip to join her son, Irving, in England. Bev is enthused about her PR role at Leda Fashions, a clothing firm. Aldo comes in from chatting with Alf on the stairs. Poor Alf is worried about Lucy but he has a long drive today, when he would rather be at the hospital with his wife. In Flat 6, Janie is on the phone to Alan, arranging to meet him for lunch to see the prospective producers of his film concept. Bev arrives from the deli and wonders if this film project is going to come off, or is it all just an elaborate trap by Alan to retain Janie's interest? Janie hotly defends him as a sincere, dedicated, wholly creative "man of the theatre". Bev reckons that most of Alan's creativity has been in the bedroom. Janie mentions that business at the theatre had fallen off recently and there is talk of the cast and crew having to agree to cuts to their pay and conditions. There are hardly any theatre venues left these days and the general public seem to be losing interest in live entertainment. In Flat 2, Roma is on the phone with her agent. The new owners of her unit want vacant possession by the end of the week so the furniture has to be moved out. Can she sell it in time? She also has several choice pieces and wonders if it is worth shipping those to England. Aldo comes in from the shop, having left Arnold to serve the customers. Aldo offers to buy Roma's furniture. He will use it to replace most of his own. Roma will have to book into a hotel for her remaining days in Sydney but Aldo insists she stay with him. She can have his room - and Aldo will take Rose's old Put-U-Up bed so that no one will accuse anyone of "hokey pokey". At the salon, Miss Manson is on the phone when Simon comes in looking for Vera, but Vera is at the solicitor's office. Simon delicately asks Miss Manson if Vera has ever mentioned the current business situation. Regrettably, yes. Vera warned her that she may soon have to find another job. It is upsetting because The Tapemeasure is doing really well! Simon suggests she not look for other work yet as he is working on a plan to ensure that the salon survives. He intends to knock that Mrs Cameron off her high horse. Miss Manson is not to breathe a word of this; in fact, she is not to even mention that Simon called in. In the pub's lounge area, Janie is having a drink while waiting for Alan. She chats with Norma about Lucy, and the temporary plans that have been made to help Lucy with the laundrette. Alan arrives with a stack of scripts, greets Janie and they take their drinks over to a table. Alan is excited. The independant producers like the film's script. They are are prepared to put in 50% of the cost. Alan plans to go back to the prospective backer, Louis Vogel, but Janie is apprehensive because he was the one who wanted to spice up the script with a great deal of sex. Alan is not concerned. Now that they have the producers on board, he should be able to persuade Vogel otherwise. They drink a toast to Alan Cotterell Productions and its future star, Janie Somers! Les and Anna Maria have just finished off plates of spaghetti, cooked by Anna Maria. There is still a huge serving platter, piled high with it, in the middle of the table. Les is attempting a grazie mille speech in Italian, using his phrase book, and he is making Anna Maria laugh. He must leave; he starts duty at the hospital at 2.00pm. He reminds her that if the hospital rings with news about Lucy, she is to take a message carefully. Anna Maria nods; of course she can do that! Aldo is surprised to see Bev back from work so early, but she has to work this evening: her first big test in the new PR job, entertaining interstate buyers and clients. Their conversation is interrupted by several loud bangs from Aldo's flat. Removalists are bringing in Mrs Lubinski's furniture, he explains. She will be staying with him until her England trip. Bev wonders what Dorrie Evans will have to say about that! Aldo looks for Bev's order but can't find it. Roma comes into the shop, wearing a scarf over her hair and a "duster-coat". She is in quite a flap as the men are handling her expensive furniture very roughly. As for Bev's order, Roma explains that, under Arnold's new system, all orders have already gone out for delivery. There is another bang from the flat and she rushes off in a panic. The expected phone call comes in at Flat 5 and Anna Maria answers it and takes the message. There are lots of Si si's and a "Can you talk more slow, please?", but it is obvious that Anna Maria does not get an accurate version of the message. Aldo's flat has been transformed! Roma's furniture makes Flat 2 look cosier, if a trifle overcrowded and fussy, but Aldo is impressed and, craftily, wonders aloud how Roma could bear to leave it all behind? Anna Maria's cooking threatens to ruin Norma's figure. Norma has just got in from the pub and her daughter-in-law brings in the steaming platter of spaghetti! The sight of it makes Norma blanche! Anna Maria tells her that "The 'ospital, they ring!" The message is a nonsense so Norma rings the hospital and asks to speak to the ward sister. The actual news is that Lucy's operation has been postponed until tomorrow. Anna Maria reseats Norma in front of the spaghetti and dishes up a large amount. Now she will go to the kitchen to check on the cheesecake she is making. As soon as the coast is clear, Norma gets panicky - and empties most of her serving of spaghetti into her handbag. In her dressing room at the theatre, Janie changes into her robe, ready to apply her makeup. Alan comes in. He is in a frustrated fury. Louis Vogel still wants to invest in the script but only if more sex, rape and nudity are added. Alan looks dejected. He has also heard a rumour that the play is to finish its run earlier than planned. Business has been bleak, and it is likely that the theatre is to be sold to property developers. In Maggie's studio office, Maggie is on the phone to her husband, Victor. He has just returned from Europe so has rung from the airport. She will see him at home. Simon walks in and is pleased to have finally caught up with her. She is like ice with him. Simon has heard all about the row she had with Vera and has managed to raise the money required to buy out Maggie's interest in the salon. Maggie has no intention of selling The Tapemeasure to Simon. "Why don't you offer the money to your friend, Mrs Collins?" Simon admits that he tried this but Vera refused to accept it. Maggie grins. This is exactly how she knew Vera would react. Maggie is out for revenge on Vera; the more Simon pleads for her to reconsider her intentions, the more determined Maggie becomes. Maggie gives Simon a piece of her mind and he answers back. Maggie slaps his face hard, and with great pleasure. She won't be selling to Vera, nor anyone connected with her, least of all him! [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Episode 109
Roma Lubinski and Aldo Godolfus at "The Blue Danube" restaurant.

110. (10/08) Alf Sutcliffe is on the phone to his son, Jim, in Perth. Of course, Jim intends to jump on the next plane to Sydney to be by his mother's side. Alf repeats what he just told daughter, Ethel, who is still in Darwin: Lucy is in good hands but, at the moment, all they can do is wait for news. He will keep them posted. Alf is about to visit their mother now. In Flat 1, Don is chatting over coffee with the Vansards after a meal. They talk about Lucy's condition. Gordon is highly critical of the tendancy for people to delay getting medical advice, even after discovering a suspicious lump. People hide their heads in the sand, too frightened of cancer to seek a diagnosis. In the majority of cases, it isn't cancer at all, or only requires a minor operation before the situation goes too far. This leads to discussion about Gordon's plan to re-register as a doctor. Can Don's law firm, Willoughby, Willoughby & Martin, assist him with the application process? Don promises to talk to Mr Willoughby Sr. Sonia asks about Don's vacant room. Originally he had planned to let it to a work colleague, Mike, but now Don's air hostess sister, Carol, plans to move in. She will need somewhere to stay during her Sydney stopovers after the Finlayson family home is sold. Don is thrilled as he adores Carol. Lucy has been moved from a ward bed to a more comfortable private room, complete with TV, radio and carpet. Alf finally finds her after going to the ward first. "Our Jim" organised the move, but why has her operation been delayed? Lucy asked for more time; she fears how she will fare in the procedure. If the lump in her breast is cancerous, the doctor may have to perform a mastectomy. Lucy worries how Alf would react if her breast was removed? She explains that the pathologist's report on the lump will determine whether it is malignant or benign, but that will be a two- or three-day wait. Alf is scared; he isn't able to face these stern realities. In the deli, Dorrie is boasting to Arnold about how much she has in common with him. She is married to a brilliant business man: her husband, Herb, once made $8000 in ten days! Les has come in and overhears her claims. Dorrie is pleased to elaborate: Herb knows how to make money. It is all about investing at the right moment, "when the market is fluctual, you know". Arnold finishes packing Dorrie's order but, when she goes to take it, he explains that it will be delivered for free, "just as soon as Mr Godolfus returns from the hospital". He has been dropping off flowers for Lucy. Gordon and Georgina are behind the counter in the chemist when Norma comes in, on her way to the pub, seeking a patented slimming course. She is "filled to the brim" with Anna Maria's spaghetti, tagliatelli and home-baked croissants. Gordon admits that it is not good for business, but Norma needs to know that those patented diet schemes only leave you hungrier than before. The best way to get slim is to stop consuming calories. Sonia comes in to tell Gordon that he is wanted on the phone and they return to the flat together. Georgina confides to Norma that she is on a soya bean sprouts and brown rice diet, designed to eliminate all impurities and excess fats. "It is simply fantabulous!" Georgina even grows the sprouts herself, using blotting paper in jam jars. She'll bring some sprouts up to Norma later on. At the law office, Don is working at his desk when Mike Parsons (Patrick Ward) rushes in. He is wearing his lawyer's gown, having returned from court to borrow an important book. Don needs to talk to Mike (about no longer having a spare room to let) but Mike is too busy to chat. He promises to drop into Don's flat this evening, after work. When leaving, Mike almost collides with Mr Willoughby Sr., who has come to have a fatherly talk with Don, the firm's most promising and talented junior. In his roundabout way, Mr Willoughby admits that it is Don's private life that concerns him. He has heard that Mike had changed his mind about renting a room at Don's flat. He supposedly had "considered it unwise". Mr Willoughby imagines that wild parties, with different single girls every night, were behind Mike's hesitancy to move in with Don. "Clients need to have confidence in the respectibility of their solicitor." Mr Willoughby believes that Don has a brilliant career ahead of him, but Don is concerned. What is Mike up to? In Flat 3, Dorrie is laying the table for lunch when Arnold arrives with her grocery order. Arnold apologises to "Madam" for the delay, but the lunch hour is the only time available for deliveries. Georgina, still in her white coat, has come up for lunch with Auntie Dee. Dorrie is thrilled to able to introduce her niece to Mr Feather: such a serious, polite and precise young man! Dorrie invites him to stay for lunch and he points out that he only has 40 minutes left, but graciously accepts. While Dorrie returns to the kitchen, Arnold and Georgina converse. He suggests that Georgina might accompany him, perhaps to a lecture one evening? She would prefer a night at the disco and Arnold admits that he has never been to one before. Dorrie returns with lunch. Georgina mentions that they have a date and Dorrie is very pleased because Mr Feather will be a good influence on her. At the pub, Norma is chatting with Alf, Les and Herb. Alf actually refuses a second drink; he is worried about Lucy, whose operation is scheduled for an hour's time. He has a night drive for work but hopes he will be allowed to see her before he has to leave. Once Alf is gone, Les draws Herb over to a table. He understands that Herb has dabbled in the stockmarket, with some success? Herb boasts about the time he made $8000. Les wants to tell Herb about his latest scheme. The world is full of lonely men, especially lonely migrants who have no one in their lives, who "yearn for the comfort of a woman's body". Has Herb ever seen the magazine ads for life-size inflatable women, wearing scanty underwear, that can be bought as a solace to all these lonely men? Herb has not, but is intrigued. "For a mere down-payment of $200, one can purchase ten of these plastic women. They retail for about $60 each, which gives a markup of 200% clear profit! We can make a fortune, Herb!" All it will take is for them to go door-to-door to sell these dolls to the lonely men of Paddington. "In a matter of a few hours, one will have $400!" Herb is very interested. Dorrie comes into the chemist shop, surprised that Georgina is not there. Sonia explains that Georgina is delivering prescriptions. She is working out really well; the customers like her and she is always bright and cheerful. They discuss Georgina being invited out by "the very intelligent Mr Feather", which pleases Dorrie, and also Lucy's situation and the Vansard's wedding ceremony. "How does it feel, being married at last?" Not too different, Sonia explains. After all, she and Gordon have been living together for two years! Georgina calls into the deli during her delivery run to chat with Arnold, putting the bottle of medicine on the counter. Uncle Herb comes in and she playfully starts to dance and sing with him. In her enthusiasm, the bottle gets knocked to the floor and smashes. Georgina returns to the chemist to get another bottle while Arnold mops up the mess. Herb is anxious to get Arnold's opinion on a new business venture he is considering but they get interrupted by a customer. Arnold suggests they should discuss the matter after working hours and Herb leaves. That evening, Don passes Arnold on the stairs. An appreciative Dorrie answers her door to a bunch of carnations from Mr Feather. Don, having located his key, smiles to himself as he enters Flat 4. Dorrie calls to Georgina that her "gentleman caller" has arrived. "Fantabulous!" shouts Georgina from her bedroom. "I'll be out in a squirk!" Dorrie admires the flowers and tells Arnold that he looks "miraculate". Georgina emerges in kaftan, hippy beads, headband and no shoes. Dorrie glares at the obvious mismatch of this incongruous couple. Georgina sees the carnations and remarks that they are good for the digestion - and promptly eats one! Don has changed into casual clothes. Classical music from his record player is in the background. A knock at the door announces Mike's arrival. Don wanted to talk with him earlier? Don explains that the spare room is no longer available, since his sister will be moving in, but he then confronts Mike about hints that he's been dropping at work. What did he mean by his comments to Mr Willoughby? Is Mike setting Don up to curry favour with their boss? Mike quite openly states his position. He feels overshadowed by Don at work. Don's uncle is Sir Arnold Ashton, making him the favoured one in Mr Willoughby's eyes. (This jealousy has seemingly existed in Mike's head for some time.) Mike has done some fishing and he knows all about Bruce Taylor. A mutual friend from law school told him that Bruce and Don had been lovers. Mike knows that the moment Mr Willoughby hears the word "homosexual", he will blow his top! Mike imagines that Don's position of "favoured junior" at the firm are probably numbered. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Episode 110
Mr Willoughby Sr and Mike Parsons of "Willoughby, Willoughby & Martin, Solicitors".

Once again, the synopsis suggests that Carol Finlayson is two years Don's senior. Eventually, when Carol (portrayed by Paula Duncan) comes into the series, she will be considerably younger. The synopsis also suggests that writer, Eleanor Witcombe, should ask fellow writer, Michael Boddy, for details on growing soya bean sprouts with blotting paper in jam jars. There is a note encouraging the writers to bring some lightness to the Vansards in the scripts. The marriage certificate is symbolic for Sonia in becoming the more secure "married woman" in little ways, rather than a nagger. Gordon will pull his weight helping with the dishes, mending fuses, etc. The Flat 1 sets are still referred to as "FREEMAN", not "VANSARD". After Patrick Ward's stint as Mike Parsons, he will return to play bikie Tony Brent in the 1974 movie.

111. (11/08) Aldo is behind the counter in the deli when Bev and Jack come in to ring for a taxi on the Red Phone. They were supposed to be on their way to Bev's first in-field job as a PR girl, but Jack's Mercedes wouldn't start. While Jack is on the phone, Bev enquires after Mrs Lubinski. Has she settled in yet? Aldo says that she has, but it won't be for long. Soon she will leave for England. Vera calls in, on her way home from the salon, to pick up a TV dinner. She was at the hospital earlier but there was no news about Lucy's operation. She saw Alf there, and Lucy is "as good as can be expected". Vera is sympathic for Alf's situation. He has to head off in the truck to drive all night, still not knowing about Lucy's condition. Aldo almost whispers, "Is it cancer?" Vera explains that it was definitely a tumour, but not yet established by the pathology lab if it was malignant or benign. Vera heads upstairs and Jack stirs Aldo: "What's all this about you shacking up with some sheila, eh?" Vera reaches her landing and Simon comes rushing up behind her. He was waiting in his car and saw her arrive back from work. Vera doesn't really want to see him and has nothing to discuss, but Simon invites himself in. Simon reiterates that he has raised the money needed to buy The Tapemeasure but Maggie is refusing to sell it to him. Contractually, Maggie has to sell the salon to Vera if she can raise the money, so why won't Vera accept his money? It can be a loan, if she likes. Vera reminds him that she already made herself clear. She wants out of the whole thing, and for Simon to be out of her life. Next morning, Herb is doing his garbage rounds and calls in to chat to Arnold in the deli about the business proposal. He reiterates the concept of selling inflatable women to lonely men. Les comes in and Arnold says he will need to know all of the facts and figures. This is not Les's forte. Arnold treats the whole thing coldly, as a business venture only. His considered opinion is that, given "the seemingly complete breakdown of all moral standards in this country", this business venture could very well succeed, although Arnold most certainly does not approve. He is very much against "pandering to man's sexual titillation". Herb is insistent that Dorrie not find out about their plans; the $200 will be coming out of the Evans' joint account, after all. Arnold has to deal with a customer and Les pulls Herb aside: he will be seeing the agent of the "rubber girls" that afternoon, so can Herb get the money out by then? Herb thinks so, but his main concern is Dorrie finding out. Les laughs it off. By next Monday, Herb will have sold all "the girls" and the cash will be back in the account! Maggie is busy at her desk when the intercom informs her that Vera Collins is here to see her. Maggie says that she doesn't want to see her, and to "get rid of her". But Vera is already in the office doorway and insists that they have to talk. Maggie doesn't wish to discuss anything. "It's all been said by you - and that two-timer you've been sleeping with." Vera coldly tells Maggie, very succinctly, that she just wants out and will sign over her share of the business to Maggie, "free, gratis and for nothing". Maggie can dispose of the salon as she pleases. She also tells Maggie that she "is done with Simon Carr", only there is actually nothing to finish on her part. Vera remains calm, no doubt having steeled herself for this encounter, and has the upper hand. Having had her say, Vera sweeps out. Aldo is holding open the deli door as he takes suitcases from Roma, and also clothes on hangers. She is moving in, but only temporarily. Aldo brings everything inside while Roma pays for her taxi. Janie comes in and Aldo explains what is happening. He takes everything into the flat. Roma tells Janie about her upcoming departure to England. Janie should consider a move to London. There are lots of theatres there, plenty of work for actresses - and Roma's son, Irving, has told her all about colour TV! Aldo, however, remains unimpressed about England. Alan enters the deli, having seen Janie through the window. His news is all bleak: he confirms the rumour that the theatre is to be pulled down. Their show is ending early and the producers are "going sour" on the film deal because Alan can't secure a replacement financial backer. Roma offers to make everyone coffee and takes the rest of her clothes into the flat. Alan is depressed about the state of the industry here in Australia. What chance do local theatres have when managements are only interested in importing big names from London and New York? In desperation, Janie suggests starting a petition to save the theatre and slowly Alan warms to the idea. He starts to make plans. Herb is being very conspiratorial as he meets with Les at the pub. Yes, he withdrew the $200. Les describes his meeting with the agent-supplier. One of the man's clients sold 300 inflatable ladies in one week: that's $12,000 clear profit! Herb is very excited. Les finishes his beer; he will see the agent immediately if Herb hands over the money. At the cocktail bar, Simon is finishing his drink when Maggie comes in, on the arm of a man, of course. She excuses herself and approaches Simon. Very smugly, Maggie informs Simon that Vera doesn't want him and never did. In fact, Maggie saw her ex-business partner just this morning - and Vera thinks of Simon as "a positive pain in the crotch". Arnold is looking after the shop so Aldo and Roma relax over lemon tea and strudel. They reminisce about the past again, realising that - this time next week - Roma will be air-bound. At The Tapemeasure, Vera is packing all her personal belongings and looking around sadly. Simon comes storming in. He is annoyed; Maggie told him how much Vera loathes him. Vera sighs. She's tried to tell Simon as nicely as possible; now will he please get off her back? She never wants to see him again. Vera blames herself because she never should have let it start in the first place. She supposes it was flattering to have the attentions of a young man, who found her attractive. But this is Simon's swan song. Vera makes herself clear, once and for all. Simon realises it and is without an answer. In Flat 3, Herb is pacing the floor. There is a tap on the door and Les is there, carrying a suitcase, presumably filled with blow-up ladies! Les whispers that he has "the merchandise" and is it safe to come in? Herb can't wait to open the case. Bev, Jack, Janie and Alan are having drinks in Flat 6. Alan is depressed that the film deal is dead and the play is ending, but Jack reminds them all that the play made Janie a star - and that was the original goal. Alan talks about the petition. Jack thinks it is a "beaut" idea and promises to help all he can, and to get some big names involved. The first "lady" has been inflated and leans against the Evans' couch, resplendent in black lace bra and panties. Herb thinks she's "groovy". Les peers out the window and spots Dorrie coming up the street! Panic stations! There is no time to deflate the "lady" so they decide to take her upstairs to Flat 5. Plans are underway to "Save The Playhouse" when Alan suddenly realises the time. He and Janie grab their coats and race out for tonight's performance. Jack helps himself to another drink and hands one to Bev. As Alan and Janie head downstairs, they meet Herb, Les and an inflatable lady, urgently coming up the other way. Nobody can get past. Frustration ensues! Bev is thrilled by the success of her first big challenge at work today, but Jack reminds her of other, more personal challenges... He is being gentle and attentive, kissing her. Jack is sure he is finally over Janie's rejection and knows that he is not on the rebound. Bev is afraid, though, and doesn't want things moving this fast. Jack respects her wishes but he is very fond of her. There is a reason why she is keeping him at arm's length. Bev confesses her deeper concerns from previous experiences: her virginity and the fear of being frigid! [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Episode 111
The inflatable doll business run by Herb Evans and Les Whittaker.

Colour TV would not come to Australia until March 1975, although Episode #649 (on 8th November, 1974) of the series would be featured as the very first Australian prime time colour equipment test.

112. (14/08) Bev admits to Jack that she has never slept with a man before; she is still a virgin, but doesn't want to be anymore. She has an awful fear inside that she is totally frigid. Of course, her previous sexual encounter had been during her deep depression, when she tried and failed to take an old acquaintence to bed. (And prior to that, was her aborted flirtation with Don, not to mention the vicious sexual assault by Alex Lederer.) Jack tenderly takes her into his arms and promises that he won't "race her into bed". They can let things take their course naturally. Jack reassures her that when they do eventually go to bed together, it will be because they both want to, as in "want to so desperately that they won't be able to help themselves". Alf is very worried about Lucy and everyone at Number 96 is concerned for them both. Mr Craig (Ronald Morse), Lucy's medical specialist, finally has the pathology results. Vera goes with Alf to the hospital when the news comes through... and Lucy's breast lump is pronounced benign. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Episode 112
Bev Houghton and Jack Sellars in Flat 6.

Unfortunately, the official Cash Harmon long synopsis for this episode was not archived. Ronald Morse would later return as Vera Collins' nasty stepfather, Neville DeGroot, from Episode #428.

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 Friday 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) At the hospital, Lucy's diagnosis is cause for celebration! Norma is pleased that her daughter-in-law has met some old friends from Italy. However, when one of them, Guiseppi (Franco Valentino), arrives for a second visit, to take Anna Maria out to the cinema, Norma worries about the possibilities and how to explain things to Gary if something goes wrong. Gordon once more tries to bring things out into the open. Don will soon be getting a visit from a family member. Georgina manages to release Arnold's dormant sexual impulses. "What's the matter, Arnie? Don't you want me?" "Not like this!" says Arnold. "It would be highly embarrassing if anyone found out! I mean, my reputation. Your reputation!" Georgina responds, "You don't have any reputation yet, that's the whole point! Oh, Arnie!" "Oh, Georgina!" "Quick! Get undressed." Georgina's caftan zipper proves to be a problem. "Help me, it's stuck!" Then she notices that the bedroom door is still wide open. "The door, close the door!" she commands. As Arnold turns to close it, he trips over his pants, which are around his ankles. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Episode 113
Georgina Carter of Flat 3, with Arnold Feather.

Unfortunately, the official Cash Harmon long synopsis for this episode was not archived, but some Georgina/Arnold footage survives in the 1976 documentary, "Number 96: And They Said It Wouldn't Last". Singer and actor Franco Valentino, who portrays Guiseppe, would return as the recurring character, Luigi Vezzula, in 1977. Franco's LP from M7 Records, "Memories of Italy My Home" featured production, musical arrangements and direction by Tommy Tycho, who was also responsible for the incidental music used in the 1974 "Number 96" movie. [LP cover design: Snape & Gallaher Graphics.]

114. (16/08) Les arrives home from his hospital shift to find Norma preparing a dietary supper of soya bean sprouts and brown rice. He objects to eating it and wants steak. Norma refuses to cook two different meals every time. He should be pleased that she is on a diet, and Norma reminds Les that he needs to lose some excess fat, too. Norma is concerned about Anna Maria's late hours. She is not yet back from the movies with Guiseppe. Les is unconcerned as the movie won't finish until about 11.00pm and then they have to travel back from the city. Norma realises this, but she is still worried on behalf of their son, Gary, to whom Anna Maria is married. In Flat 3, Georgina is clearing up some of the records and magazines scattered around the floor while Arnold is doing up his tie and putting his jacket on. He apologises for his animalistic behaviour and finds it difficult to forgive himself. Georgina can easily forgive him: it shows he is normal and not just "a brain box". Arnold continues to be concerned. "Maybe it was the mood music?" Georgina suggests, as she puts on one of Auntie Dee's records. Arnold is delighted as it is Bach, very much his style of music. Georgina turns up her nose at it and is about to switch records when Dorrie and Herb suddenly arrive home. Dorrie is delighted to see them having an evening of culture. Janie accidentally intrudes on Bev and Jack's privacy when she stumbles into a darkened Flat 6 and turns on the lights. She finds them on the sofa, with their arms around each other, gently kissing. Jack is unconcerned and wishes Janie a good evening. Bev is embarrassed and tries to cover with small talk. Janie turns down the offer of coffee; she has no desire "to play gooseberry", and retires to her room, turning off the main light again as she goes. Janie's attitude of slight annoyance suggests that she thinks Bev is using Jack. Bev says, "How embarrassing!", but Jack doesn't see the problem. At least they weren't caught out in bed together. In Flat 5, Les is asleep and snoring loudly. Norma is restless and turns on her bedside lamp. It is 2.00am. For the third time, she awakens Les to tell him that Anna Maria is not home yet. Les remains unconcerned. Is Norma going to keep both of them awake all night? Norma panics about the situation. Their son's wife is out with another man! It's not right, a married woman having a boyfriend. There are noises in the loungeroom and the sound of Italian voices and laughter. The front door shuts. Norma throws on her dressing gown and goes out to see Anna Maria about to disappear into her bedroom. Anna Maria is pleased to see her and begins gabbling in broken English about the movie she saw. Norma, however, is on the warpath and reprimands her about staying out to the wee hours, worrying her and Les and interrupting their sleep, gallivanting with gigolos, and being totally unfair to Gary. It develops into a considerable row, with broad gestures, shouting and lots of Italian phrases! A sleepy Les wanders out from the bedroom, in an attempt to calm the bickering, and only makes things worse. Anna Maria storms off to her room and slams the door. In Flat 6 the next morning, Bev is getting ready for work when Janie emerges from her room to enquire, rather sarcastically, if Jack made it home or did he stay the whole night? Bev asks if it would worry Janie if he had? Janie is rather indignant and strangely jealous. Janie suggests that either Bev is using Jack, which Bev denies, or Jack is using Bev as a convenient shoulder to cry on. Bev reckons that Janie is not satisfied with just Alan; now she wants Jack back, too. Is it that Janie doesn't want anyone to have Jack after she discarded him? Bev departs, leaving Janie feeling worried and puzzled at her own bitchy stupidity. Dorrie is out on her landing, sweeping, when Peter Harvey descends the stairs from Vera's flat. He nods a good morning and Dorrie tries to find out what has been going on. Rather early for a gentleman caller? Peter is evasive and continues downstairs as Dorrie goes back inside. Dorrie asks Herb if Georgina is up yet, but Herb is nervous about going in to awaken her after what happened last time. Dorrie decides to go in herself and finds Georgina, stark naked, sitting at the dressing table. Georgina cheerily wishes Auntie Dee a good morning. Dorrie screams and throws a robe around her niece. "Not wearing clothes is... it's immoral!" Arnold is opening up the deli and Peter comes in asking for Aldo. Arnold introduces himself as the new shop assistant, which means that Mr Godolfus now has more time away from the shop. Peter needs to use the Red Phone and rings his secretary, Miss Mills, at her home. He explains that he is on his way to an interstate meeting and requests that Mr Sinclair, of Harvey & Sons' holdings company, be asked to ring him in Melbourne. He also needs a meeting to be scheduled with Maggie Cameron at 4.30pm. He rings off and thanks Arnold. Anna Maria is trying to be nice and brings a huge breakfast-in-bed for Norma and Les. Norma says she can't eat it; she is still on her diet. Les is impressed and grateful with such a meal but Norma snatches it all away. "Les is on a diet, too!" Anna Maria gets emotional, believing that they are doing this to spite her and she runs to her room, crying. "Now look what you've done," Les says, as he answers a knock at the door. It is Herb, wanting to know if Les will be coming with him to sell plastic ladies today? Herb hasn't managed to sell any yet but today might bring some luck, because Les has "the gift of the gab". Les tries to back out by inventing a string of excuses. He is more "the management side" of the business. Norma stands up for Herb; it was Les's idea to bring Herb on board, so it is Les's duty to accompany him. Les reminds Norma that if he goes with Herb, then Anna Maria will be on her own all day. "It won't be the first time - and she seems to do quite well on her own!" Norma plonks a plate of soya beans in front of Les and tells him to eat his breakfast while she gets ready for work. Herb helps himself to coffee as Les pushes aside his soya beans and starts eating the breakfast that Anna Maria prepared. Norma returns and gets angry with Les again for eating fattening foods. She takes it all away and throws it in the bin. Georgina comes into the deli to ask Arnold out this evening. He thinks this would be unwise after his appalling behaviour last night. Georgina says that he's "talking crap". Last night is forgotten and "it was nothing anyway". Arnold is curious as to what Georgina had in mind for a date. She suggests a folk club and Arnold is suddenly interested. He thinks that the works of some of our contemporary poets are highly thought-provoking. She says, "Who cares what they're saying as long as it sounds good?" She leaves as Herb and Les come in to quiz Arnold on their sales approach. Arnold asks to inspect their merchandise and Les hands over a limp inflatable doll, which Arnold studies carefully. Dorrie comes in, looking for her husband - and there is a scramble to hide the doll. Arnold tries to distract Dorrie with conversation but she not interested and wants to know where Les and Herb are off to. Arnold explains that "Mr Evans' expert advice is needed urgently on a business-related matter". The investment is "highly promising". He is about to elaborate further when Les interrupts him. Herb wonders what Dorrie needed him for. She explains that she has phoned her brother, Jeffrey Carter, in Brisbane Hospital. She will be going up to visit him and his wife for a few days. Dorrie was on her way to the bank but, since Herb will be out and about today, can he withdraw $100 from their joint bank account for her expenses? In the pub, Norma is telling Janie about Anna Maria. These Europeans are so temperamental! So emotional! Norma realises she was a bit hard on Anna Maria, and there is no harm in a trip to the movies, but a married woman shouldn't be going on dates with single men! Jack arrives, surprised to see Janie there. Janie is remorseful about her row with Bev. Jack asks about it. Janie tells Jack that, strangely enough, it was about him! Jack laughs. Surely it was one of those minor disputes that develop over nothing? In Maggie's office that afternoon, she is very polite to Peter and fixes him a drink. She has assumed he is there to talk about the Harvey Brothers' Wines account and is surprised when he begins talking about The Tapemeasure. Maggie seems poised to have her own way. She is selling the business and, once the contract is signed, she will have destroyed Vera's brief career as a fashion designer in the process. Furthermore, Maggie will make sure that Vera gets no private business from "the people who count". Peter has decided that it's time he lent a hand. He's not afraid of Maggie and has the means to destroy her - if not financially, then socially. He won't hestate to do so. Herb and Les are trudging up the staircase at Number 96, exhausted and dejected as they have failed to sell a single "lady". Herb is worried as Dorrie wanted that money today and he can only stall her for a day or two. They have to think of something! Les offers to come in and smooth things over. She won't say anything about the money to Herb while Les is there. Inside Flat 3, Herb and Les are immediately quizzed about their business venture. Both men try to fend her off with excuses. Dorrie is angry because Herb ran out of time and she will have to go to the bank herself tomorrow. Georgina comes in to get ready for her date with Arnold. She goes to her room to change and Dorrie boasts what a good influence Mr Feather has been on her niece! Georgina comes out of her bedroom naked and trailing a towel. Dorrie is horrified by Georgina's attitudes, especially when guests are around - and orders Herb to put his coat around her. Herb tosses it to her - and Les makes a hasty departure! Les runs into Norma coming up the stairs and they continue to their flat together. She hopes that Anna Maria hasn't been cooking; Norma doesn't want to offend her again. She realises that Anna Maria is "a hot-blooded Continental and you have to make allowances". She owes her daughter-in-law an apology. Les wholeheartedly agrees. They enter the flat and Norma goes straight to Anna Maria's room. Les sits down and kicks off his shoes. Norma comes back to the loungeroom holding a note. Anna Maria has packed her bags and left! Les takes the note from Norma. "I sorry I make unhappy. It best I go till Gary come. I okay. I stay with friends", the note reads. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]

Episode 114
Guiseppe, who visits Flat 5.

115. (17/08) At the front door of Flat 6, Bev is having a hard time getting rid of Mr Denford (Colin Hughes), the client who drove her home after her PR event. He wants to come in but Bev eventually escapes him and ducks inside. Bev goes to her bedroom and starts undressing as Janie arrives home. "Who was that on the stairs?" Bev calls him "an occupational hazard". Janie apologises for her attitude earlier that morning. She had no right to say all that. Things are smoothed over between them. Janie goes to the kitchen to make coffee and Bev asks after Alan. Janie says that he is at a meeting with the producer and the management of the theatre. There is a knock at the door and Bev lets Alan in. "Must have been a short meeting?" Janie returns with the coffee and notices that Alan seems very depressed after his meeting. Management is full of "narrow-minded, bigoted and old-fashioned fools". It is obvious that business is dropping off at the theatre, but they refuse to listen to new ideas. Things are pretty bad; if the theatre closes, Alan will be broke. He doesn't want to be alone. Janie tries to comfort him and even Bev warms to him a little, suggesting that he could stay overnight. She is willing to move into Janie's room. Late in the evening, Don emerges from the bathroom, ready for bed, when there is a noise at the door. His elder brother, Ralph Finlayson (Max Cullen), has arrived at Flat 4. He is smashed out of his mind, but jovial. Don wonders how long Ralph can go on like this? His money will run out with all this hard living! The two brothers argue about missed opportunities. Don didn't complain when Ralph was helping him out while he was at university! According to Ralph, Don "got all the breaks", while Ralph had it rough: starting work at 16, a bad marriage, a struggling farm. Don appreciates Ralph's help over the years, but Ralph chose to leave school early and not go to college. The row makes Don feel awkward, as he really does appreciate Ralph's help. In Flat 2, Aldo and Roma are drinking coffee and feeling miserable. He realises that, in two days, Roma will be gone and "no more will they see each other". Roma needs to be with her son. She gently takes Aldo's hand and says, "You do understand, don't you?" Next morning, in the chemist shop, Vera has dropped in for a box of tissues and chats to Sonia. Vera had a visit from Norma last night, who was asking after Anna Maria. She has apparently moved out of the Whittakers' flat to stay with friends, but they don't know where. Don arrives, seeking Alka-Seltza for Ralph's hangover. They tell him about Anna Maria. Don says that he has had enough headaches with his brother! Vera asks about Ralph and Don suggests that she come for coffee and meet him. Gordon comes in from the back with the mail, which includes a letter from the Medical Board acknowledging his application. He wonders where Georgina is, but Sonia explains that she won't be starting until 11.00am because it is late-night shopping tonight. Don and Vera enter Flat 4 to find Ralph wandering around, dressed only in pyjama pants. Vera is introduced and she mentions that it is not the first time she has seen a man in only his pyjama pants. Ralph says, "I bet it's not - and probably sometimes even less!" Vera volunteers to make the coffee and goes to Don's kitchen. Ralph remarks on Vera's body, saying that she is a "smashing sheila". Don warns him off. It is obvious his brother has designs on Vera - and Ralph is supposed to be a married man! Don mentions that Vera hasn't freed herself of her deadbeat, first husband; she doesn't want to get tangled with Ralph. Ralph reckons that this is a matter for Vera to decide. "Just leave Vera alone." There are plenty of tarts in Sydney, so Ralph should leave Vera out of his plans. In Flat 6, Bev is having toast and fruit juice while Janie is fixing a big breakfast for Alan. They discuss his depression. Bev thinks it is just a bruised ego after the producer rejected Alan's ideas. There is more to it, and Janie believes that he's really worried about the theatre. While Janie sets out Alan's tray, Bev wonders if she is pampering him too much. There is a familiar knock and, as Janie takes breakfast to Alan, she asks Bev to let Jack in. Alan is more interested in kissing Janie that eating breakfast! Janie thought he was depressed? He claims, "It's a wonder what a good night's sleep does." In the kitchen, Jack tells Bev that he tried to contact her last night. Where was she? Bev was being a conscientious worker. Is Jack getting uncomfortable with their current arrangement? It is Arnold's day off in the deli and, when Aldo sees Roma in her hat and coat, he realises he will be on his own all day. Roma needs to collect her travellers' cheques for the trip. Aldo reckons that the nearer it gets to Roma's departure overseas, the less she sees of him. Gordon drops in to buy milk and stays for a chat. The two men discuss married life. Gordon says that things are going well, but women definitely change once they get married. Sonia is more secure, more confident, but also more demanding. Roma visits the chemist shop, where Sonia is behind the counter. Roma needs to buy air-sick pills. The two women discuss married life. Sonia says that things are going well, but men definitely change once they get married. Gordon is more possessive and bossy, and feels that he owns her. Mike Parsons is at Don's desk with his feet up when Don comes into the law office. Mike is caught by surprise; he thought Don was in court all day. Don replies that, whether he is in court or not, this is still his office. It is obvious that Mike has no shame. What are Mike's plans? Is he going to do something concrete or just keep his threats hanging over Don's head? Mike is very casual and, in his strong position, there is no need to rush. Mike has a proposition for Don. He could do him a favour and let Mike sit in on the murder case being conducted by Sir Percival Quail, instead of Don. Mike really admires Quail and Don could organise this. Blackmail? Don refuses to consider asking Mr Willoughby Sr to take him off the case. The phone on the desk rings and Mike answers it. "Yes sir," he says and smugly hands the phone to Don. "It is Willoughby, for you." At lunchtime, Bev, Janie, Jack and Alan are having drinks at a table in the pub. Alan is trying to con Jack into investing as a backer of his film project. The script is excellent and there are already producers interested, if only he can raise the money. It is a reputable production team and they are willing to put up 50%. Jack knows how difficult it is to get finance; most investors want gilt-edged security. He will definitely look into it further. Jack gets more drinks from the bar while Alan visits the restroom. Ralph wanders over with his beer and sits down with the girls, uninvited. He has seen Bev and Janie around Number 96. With a couple of good sheilas in the building, he is surprised his brother hasn't latched onto them. They are intrigued as to whom the man is related. "My brother is Don Finlayson, of Flat 4." Janie says, "You must be Ralph!" and he is flattered that they know of him. He offers to buy them both drinks but suddenly Alan and Jack return to the table. Ralph realises that he has bombed out. Later in the afternoon, Peter visits Vera, who is working on a new garment in Flat 7. He has arranged purchase of The Tapemeasure through his holdings comany, and wants Vera to accept the money. Before she can object, he knows that she won't accept it on a personal basis, so he has drawn up a contract to keep everything on a strictly business level. Vera is annoyed: she didn't like the way Simon Carr tried to buy her - and now Peter is trying the same thing! She doesn't want Peter's charity and she doesn't want the business. As she has said, over and over, she just wants out - and that is final! Janie, Jack and Alan are in the deli, having been at the races all afternoon. Alan wonders if film is supposed to be such a bad risk, how does Jack reconcile horse racing? "You blew a hundred bucks in one hour!" Jack defends his business: the bookie never loses, as it might be down $100 one day and up $1000 the next. A telegram boy walks in and hands one to Aldo. It is from the UK and is addressed to Mrs Lubinski. Georgina listens as Sonia complains about having to make dinner tonight. They go into the flat, leaving Georgina in the shop. Gordon reminds Sonia that it was her idea to invite Don and Ralph down. That may be, but Gordon shouldn't expect Sonia to work in the shop and be a fulltime housewife. When the Finlaysons arrive, introductions are made and Ralph heads to the kitchen to help Sonia. Meanwhile, Don needs to chat to Gordon about Mike's actions at work. He doesn't want Ralph to learn of what is going on. Gordon maintains it is tantamount to blackmail and Don shouldn't rise to it. Don agrees but, in a very conservative law office, he has little choice but to go along with it. Gordon believes that Don needs to expose Mike, even if it means exposing himself, otherwise the threat will keep following him wherever he works. Ralph returns with cutlery for the table. Gordon and Don change the subject awkwardly - and Ralph looks suspicious. In Flat 6, Janie, Jack and Alan are having drinks while Bev flits about, getting ready for another work assignment. Jack complains that he hardly sees her these days. Bev points out that it was Jack who secured this job for her. He is already regretting what will be another lonely night. Janie and Alan persuade him to accompany them to tonight's performance at the theatre. Alan says that, if Jack is still considering investing in the film project, they can chat about it while Janie is on stage. Aldo is sitting in his parlour, staring at Roma's telegram with a worried expression. She finally arrives; she has had such trouble! Roma needs to produce her birth certificate, which she doesn't have. She will have to order it through official records. Aldo interrupts her and holds up the telegram. They exchange worried looks. Roma opens it and hands it to Aldo. "Call immediately. Urgent. I speak to you at once. Irving." he reads aloud. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]

Episode 115
Ralph Finlayson, Flat 4.

First casting choice to play Ralph Finlayson was Jack Thompson, then fresh from the Australian TV series, "Spyforce". He was only guaranteed to play two episodes each week and his agent held out for three. The role eventually went to Thompson's "Spyforce" co-star, Max Cullen.

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 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. A Miss Armstrong (Vicki Battese), a rather masculine-looking woman in a tweed suit, collar and tie, turns up to buy one of Herb's inflatable ladies, much to Dorrie's bewilderment. 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, and soon they are in bed, caressing and kissing. Jack says, "Darling. Hey relax, darling, you're too tensed up." Bev can't go through with it. "No, it's no use, I can't..." [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.) Shirley Cameron returns to play her previous character's twin. The official Cash Harmon character notes originally list Daphne's surname as "Ryan", and one synopsis had suggested "Matthews".

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 Anne 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 Mr Swain (Fred Betts), an aggressive (married) client who has 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) and his peculiar ailment 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 onwards, 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.

This episode features a cameo by Walter Chiari, the star of the 1966 movie, "They're a Weird Mob".

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.

Anticipating objections from the Broadcasting Control Board, several versions of the controversial scenes for the Black Mass were shot. One dropped scene involved Toni Lamond, as Karen Winters, reciting The Lord's Prayer backwards. By coincidence, these scenes were filmed on a Friday 13th. 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 Doctor Riley (Raymond Duparc), Sonia is seeing even less of him.

177. (13/11) Local government elections are coming up. Campaign Director Arnold's life is in turmoil. Candidate 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. Maggie's office has a new receptionist, the feisty blonde Monica (Maureen Elkner).

Maggie's new receptionist, Monica, is portrayed by Maureen Elkner, who replaces Angela. 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. The TV producer, Ron Kirk (Danny Adcock) becomes exasperated. 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 August 2022.


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