Ian's Number 96 episode guide: 1973

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.

Number 96 building 1973


Is Bev Houghton having an incestuous relationship with her crippled brother, Rod?

Will Salvadore Russo survive the gunshot wound inflicted by Gary Whittaker, Anna Maria's jealous husband?

Can Aldo Godolfus accept Roma Lubinski's marriage proposal?

Will Don Finlayson enter into a marriage of convenience with Sally Fielding?

Does Gordon Vansard survive the fiery car crash?

202. (8/01/1973) Aldo agrees to marry Roma after being trapped into a proposal. They discuss buying a restaurant together. Don agrees to meet with Sally Fielding to discuss a compassionate marriage but he is suprised to find that she is straight forward and intelligent. Anna Maria and the Whittakers wait anxiously for news about Salvadore, whom Gary has shot. Will Gary be charged with murder? Don and Sally chat over drinks. Maybe a marriage of convenience is a good resolution for both of their situations. He drops her home on his way to see Gordon. There are raised voices from Salvadore's room. The doctor leaves abruptly. Salvadore has escaped with a flesh wound - to the Whittakers' relief - and the doctor has requested a nurse, not the police. Meanwhile a police officer is knocking on the door of the chemist shop, after checking the registration of Gordon's address. Anna Maria is on her way to visit Salvadore but sees the police and becomes alarmed. She fetches Norma. The police officer is seeking a "Mrs Gordon Vansard" - Sonia - as Gordon and a young female have been involved in a serious car accident. Both are in critical conditions. Aldo and Roma's happiness cannot be shared with their neighbours. Roma ends up telling Arnold about their marriage intentions, but Aldo is saved from relating the rest of the story by customers in need of attention. Norma checks in with Don to tell him about Gordon, and to ask if he knows of Sonia's whereabouts. Aldo can't seem to change Arnold's mind about his new job at the supermarket. As he leaves for deliveries, Arnold mentions a Mrs Carlton and Aldo wants to know who she is. Don can't get any information from the doctors about Gordon. He rings Vera to ask if she has seen Sonia. Marion Carlton (Lorrae Desmond) comes into the deli, looking for Arnold. Les tries to comfort Norma, who is feeling overwhelmed. Arnold introduces Marion to Aldo and Roma. He sits down to chat with her and Aldo tries to eavesdrop. Don finally learns that tragedy has struck: Yvonne is dead and Gordon is in a coma, with only a slim chance of recovery. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

The resolutions to the 1972 cliffhangers were rushed back to air too quickly for TV Times to announce the show's return. Instead, the magazine had advertised a string of movies in the show's traditional 8.30pm timeslot: "Never on Sunday", "The Long Night", "My Darling Clementine" and "The Piccadilly Incident", plus on the Wednesday, an episode of "Love, American Style". 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.)

203. (9/01) Bev tries to make Rod comfortable. She brings a TV into the room and suggests a game of chess. She worries about Jack, and how he reacted, but Rod doesn't think Jack is worth their concern. He requests a leg massage instead. Bev remains preoccupied about Jack. Vera is distraught over Gordon and Don tries to comfort her. Sonia is still missing. Terry arrives and suggests to Vera that they get on with their work before the building is demolished around them. Alf and Herb are in the pub and overhear Mrs Parot (Shirley Sunners) gossiping about Lucy's dishonesty. She insists that Lucy stole money, accidentally left in clothing at the laundrette. An upset Alf attacks Mrs Parot and she leaves. Terry and Vera arrive. Terry suggests that Alf and Herb should be househunting. Bev drops into Don's flat to borrow a book. He understands Jack's concerns about Bev's situation but does not know where he is. She is keen for Don to meet Rod. Alf and Lucy discuss buying a house. Lucy is worried about the repayments. Arnold is sad about the Sutcliffes leaving, but Alf wants him to go with them, as his rent will assist with the repayments. Don has to disguise his instant dislike to Rod. He finds Rod to be sarcastic, self-centred and ungrateful. While Vera is in the laundrette with Lucy, a customer rushes back in to check the basket of clothing for money; it seems Mrs Parot is outside again. Vera makes a loud statement about Lucy's honesty. They notice that all the newspapers have announcements about Sonia's disappearance. Dorrie doesn't want to move to Mount Druitt, and away from all of her friends. Herb is vacuuming when he hears a police message on the radio, looking for Sonia. Mrs Parot is interrogating Arnold about Lucy; Dorrie enters the deli and comes to Lucy's defence. Dorrie discusses the radio announcements about Sonia. Lucy comes in to pay her bill with a large wad of banknotes. Don and Sally make plans for a picnic. Despite Bev's disapproval, Don and Sally seem to be compatible. No one has heard from Jack. Dorrie refuses to contemplate a move to Mount Druitt and orders Herb not to mention it again. She decides to visit Rod, but Don advises her not to go. Alf wants Lucy to quit the laundrette. Mrs Parot comes in with an apology. Her missing money turned up at the drycleaners. Alf warns her that she'll be hearing from his solicitor. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

The official synopsis cheekily states that Bev and Rod Houghton should play "a game of chest".

204. (10/01) Dorrie turns up to visit Rod, bringing a game of Chinese Checkers. Rod sends Bev shopping and begins questioning Dorrie about the other residents and she is eager to share some gossip. Aldo wants Roma to settle on a wedding date, but she still hasn't heard from Irving. Norma and Alf call into the deli but Aldo can't get answers to any of his questions. Dorrie is still with Rod when his mother arrives. Claire tells him she will be ordering them dinner, and will return soon. Mr Thorburn apologises to Lucy over the missing money and offers her a raise. In the pub, Lucy reveals that the wad of money she had in the deli was her holiday pay. Claire returns to Flat 6 with dinner and a distressed Bev lies to her about Jack's disappearance. Les is convinced that, once he gets one book written, he and Norma will be "living in luxury". The Sutcliffes invite Bev to go househunting with them, as she is looking so strained. Bev declines. While dining out, Aldo is embarrassed. He has left his wallet at home and Roma offers to pay the bill. Dorrie fantasises about attending a prestigious ball with Mrs Claire Houghton of Point Piper. While Bev does the dishes after dinner, Claire asks Rod about Jack. Rod boasts that he has organised it so that Jack will never return. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

205. (11/01) Rod's dislike of Jack seems to stem from Jack's job as a bookmaker, which makes him unworthy of his sister's affections. Rod has a big row with his mother - and Claire storms out. Alf and Lucy inspect a new house. Vera hears the phone ring throughout the night, but Terry insists it was always a wrong number. Vera discusses Alf and Lucy's househunting and, again, the phone in Flat 7 is ringing. Les is still writing his novel. When he hears that Rod has been to Las Vegas, he races off to see him. Vera is curious as to why Terry keeps running to answer the phone and she admits it is a previous client from her days as a prostitute. Vera admits that she was once a call girl, too. Salvadore and Norma are interrupted by Les, who wants to grill Salvadore about the Mafia for his book. Vera is designing outfits for a major production - a charity comedy review - and is invited to a two-day conference at Whale Beach. Terry won't be going, as she needs to catch up on the sewing. Claire is looking for Jack so he can accompany her to a ball. Alf is discouraged; he and Lucy found a house they really like, but cannot afford. Vera doesn't have time to make Claire a new ballgown. Bev tells Claire that Jack has gone for good. Terry uses the deli's telephone to organise a client to visit while Vera is away. Salvadore, now recovered from the gunshot wound, makes a decision not to press charges against Gary. Les continues to badger Salvadore about the Mafia. Gary is told that - if he provides evidence of his infidelity to Anna Maria, so she can divorce him - Salvadore will not press charges over the shooting. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

On 11th January, Ron Fraser (as Himself) taped an episode playing the compere of a charity revue, for which Vera Collins designed the costumes. He was well known to many of the writers and cast. The episode aired only three weeks later.

206. (12/01) Aldo is still trying to find out if Arnold is taking the job at the new supermarket. Dorrie is anxious for news of the Vansards, but Don and Vera don't have any answers. Terry takes a bottle of champagne down to Flat 3 and asks Herb to put it in the fridge for her, and she will collect it later. Don wants Vera's advice on the Sally situation; he worries that Sir Arnold Ashton, his uncle, may try to ruin his career if he doesn't help out. Luckily, Don does really like Sally. Aldo gets a phone call from Rose. Arnold and Dorrie discuss Roma living in sin with Aldo before they are married. Sir Arnold rings Sally at work. Arnold buys food for the dinner party he has invited Marion to. Vera leaves for her stay in Whale Beach. Dorrie tells Roma that she does not approve of her living arrangements and offers Roma the use of Flat 3's spare bedroom. Over drinks, Sally tells Don about how she fell pregnant, and how she asked Sir Arnold for his help. Arnold cooks his test dinner, which is to be judged by Marion, but she keeps getting in his way. Showing Roma and Aldo the spare bedroom, Dorrie offers them a drink. Dorrie finds Terry's champagne in the fridge and uses that. Terry answers the door to her first client and remembers to collect the money first. Arnold intends to ask Marion for advice: should he leave his job at the deli? Marion has a different agenda: when they finish dinner, she drags him over to the sofa and starts unbuttoning his shirt. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

207. (15/01) Aldo rings Arnold from the Evans' flat and gets no answer. He decides to go up to Flat 8 to investigate. His knocking interrupts Marion's attempts at seduction but Arnold is relieved to see him. As Aldo descends the staircase, another client is heading up to see Terry. Vera rings her just as she is pushing her client into bed. Aldo meets Don and Sally and he asks if there is any news on Gordon or Sonia. Terry tells her client that there will be an extra charge for breakfast. Marion apologises for rushing Arnold. They are still discussing food when the Sutcliffes arrive home. Dorrie intends to ask Don if he knows what will be happening to the building. When she goes next door, Dorrie is intrigued as to who Sally is. Alf finds Arnold's abandoned tie and intends to have a joke with him about it. Arnold gets embarrassed and confused. In the deli, Dorrie is carrying on about certain residents with loose morals. Lucy teases that she knows of someone else who entertained a woman in one of the flats late at night; Arnold is relieved when Lucy doesn't name-and-shame. Don promises Alf that he will investigate the current status of the building. Aldo is still trying to get an answer from Arnold about the supermarket job when Marion sails into the deli to announce she has recommended him for a junior manager position on the North Shore. Aldo tells Roma that he thinks Arnold is leaving but he announces his intention to stay. Despite domestic bliss with Sally in Flat 4, Don's research into the local council's decision reveals bad news for the tenants of Number 96. The building is slated for demolition in one month. [Episode written by T. Agar.]

208. (16/01) A distressed Bev still hasn't heard from Jack. Rod tells her not to waste her time thinking about him as Jack is not right for her. Norma tells Anna Maria and Salvadore that Gary has gone back into the army. Claire arrives to see Bev and Rod. She has been trying to find Jack. Bev is furious and storms out. Claire tells Rod that it is her intention for Bev and Jack to marry. Rod is not pleased. Don is about to knock on the door of Flat 3 when Bev rushes down the stairs. Don offers to take her to the pub for a drink. She agrees. They chat to the Whittakers about the impending demolition. Norma and Les think that the tenants with leases should be owed compensation. Bev tells Don about her unhappiness regarding Jack. Salvadore's solicitor thinks that, now that Gary has given evidence, the situation will resolve itself. On their way back upstairs, Bev is telling Don about Claire's attempts to locate Jack. They find Sally sitting there, outside Don's flat. She wants Don to go away with her for a few days. Bev arrives home to find Claire with Rod's lunch. She tells them about the building being demolished. Claire insists they can both come to live with her and both Bev and Rod refuse. With Flat 7 all to herself for a few days, Terry gets on with her work, but the nature of this work would surprise Vera. In the pub, Terry sees Salvadore reading over papers from his solicitor and starts to chat him up. Anna Maria comes in and Terry takes the hint and leaves. Don visits Flat 7 to tell Vera about the building news, but Terry tells him that Vera is away. While Don is there, the phone rings and it is another of Terry's clients. Norma tells Les she thinks she saw Terry trying to chat up Salvadore. Terry is entertaining a client when Claire arrives, looking for Vera. She tries to brush her off, but Claire is determined to have a drink first. Sally cooks a meal for Don but realises they still have much to learn about each other. Terry finally gets rid of Claire and is in bed with a client when the front door slams. It is Vera, calling out for Terry. [Episode written by T. Agar.]

209. (17/01) Terry intercepts Vera before she reaches her bedroom. Claiming to have planned an early night, Terry asks what happened at Whale Beach. Vera just became sick of everyone and decided to come back early to help Terry with the sewing. Terry fetches the designs from her bedroom, whispering to her client that he will have to leave. She tells Vera that Don had been looking for her. If she goes down to see him, Terry will prepare her a snack while she's gone. Vera visits Flat 4 and Don introduces her to Sally. Meanwhile, Terry's client is able to sneak out without Vera seeing him. Vera hears the grim news about the fate of the building. She agrees that Sally and Don should have some time away together. Dorrie encourages Roma to have a large breakfast before going down to the deli. Dorrie learns about the building's demolition from Herb and demands to know why she wasn't told. Roma arrives in Flat 2, where Aldo has cooked her a huge breakfast, identical to the one Dorrie had prepared for her. She is forced to eat it. Don calls in to Flat 6 to give Rod some magazines and Rod is as rude as ever. Rod asks Claire what the relationship is between Bev and Don. Claire says, "None", as Don is a homosexual. Rod is relieved. Aldo and Roma discuss having to leave the building and start up a new business. Roma wants them to be partners, but Aldo won't hear of it. Dorrie enters the deli and joins the conversation about the demolition. She is outraged that the Whittakers will be getting compensation. Bev rushes in for cigarettes and Dorrie assumes that Bev and Rod will be moving back to Claire's at Point Piper. Bev denies it but cheekily suggests that Dorrie might move into her mother's place instead. Dorrie takes her offer seriously. Don and Sally are out, having drinks, and meet up with Jack. Don describes Bev's current state but Jack has no intention of going back to her. Dorrie dresses up and goes to see Claire about moving in. Claire has no idea what she is on about, but laughs when she hears it was Bev's suggestion. Don tells Bev the bad news about Jack's position and she is dejected. Her mother and brother are not easing the situation. Dorrie then encounters the tearful Bev and berates her for playing her joke. Terry and Vera are busy sewing when Bev arrives, seeking sympathy. She realises they are too preoccupied to listen, so she leaves again. It is almost 10pm, so Aldo walks Roma up to Flat 3. He is about to kiss Roma goodnight in her room when Dorrie bursts in with Roma's hot cocoa. Bev is sitting alone and forlorn when Jack walks in. [Episode written by T. Agar.]

210. (18/01) Jack informs Bev that he only came to see her because Don told him how upset she was. Bev tries to explain and pleads with him to stay the night. Jack says "No", as he has much to think about, but promises to come back to see her tomorrow. Next morning, Norma places an order in the deli and Arnold and Lucy are worried that she looks off-colour. She promises to see her doctor. No one has any news about Gordon, but Norma expects that Les will know more when he returns from his shift at the hospital. Dorrie returns from seeing Mr Bayswater. She has no intention of moving to Mount Druitt. In the pub, Alf is complaining to Les about the high cost of housing and Norma tells them that they'll never find a place if they just talk about it. Norma has a doctor's appointment for tomorrow. Les says that Gordon is still in a coma. Dorrie takes so long giving Herb his long list of housework chores, to do in her absence, that she almost misses the bus to bowls. Jack has an ultimatum for Bev: either Rod goes or he does. In order to record some examples of natural dialogue for his novel, Les conceals a taperecorder in Herb's pocket. Rod tells Bev he has had a tingling sensation in his legs. Marion invites Arnold out to lunch. Sir Montague Porter (John Faassen), Rod's doctor, informs him that there is no damage to Rod's spine or nerves and insists that he try to walk. Jack meets Norma going up the stairs and offers to help him with her shopping; she invites him in for a drink. Les asks Jack where he's been. Dorrie is complaining to Herb that she was beaten by Flo Patterson at bowls. Herb mentions that he has repotted the indoor plant and reminisces about Dorrie's habit of eating daisy leaves to get "unpregnant" before they were married, and how Dorrie's father insisted that Herb make "an honest woman" out of her. Little do they suspect that this conversation is going down on tape. Jack is entertaining the Whittakers with jokes when Herb arrives to borrow a tie for the Senior Cits' function tonight. Les retrieves his taperecorder from Herb's pocket. Bev is telling Jack about Rod getting sensation back in his legs. Rod arrives home - and lies that he was told he will never walk again. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

211. (19/01) Aldo and Roma arrive back from dinner to discover that Aldo's television is not working, so they go up to Flat 3, to watch the Evans' set while they are out. Aldo is starting to get romantic when Arnold turns up, wanting to have time off for lunch the next day. The Sutcliffes tease Arnold about him spending time with Marion. Vera visits with Lucy. Neither of them have heard from Sonia. The phone rings but, when Vera answers it, the caller hangs up. Arnold gets himself dressed up for his outing with Marion. Roma brings Aldo breakfast in bed and announces that she is moving back from Flat 3. Norma is unwell and Anna Maria brings her a light breakfast. Lucy tells Norma that Alf is taking her to lunch. Marion arrives at the deli to collect Arnold. When Roma goes to get him, he is in a flap. Vera and Aldo chat with Marion while she waits. Arnold orders lunch while he and Marion drink at the bar. She apologies for being hasty the other night and suggests that they start a relationship, but at Arnold's pace. He should tell her when he is ready. Lucy and Alf meet up with Vera at the pub during lunch. Anna Maria and Salvadore ask the Whittakers for permission to marry. Arnold arrives back from a three-hour lunch a little under the weather. Everyone at the pub is invited back to Flat 5 for celebratory drinks. Vera tells Lucy that she is too busy, so won't be joining them. Les has exciting news. He turns on the taperecorder and a lot of people hear the Evans' taped conversation. Vera opens the door to one of Terry's clients and is puzzled. Before Les can tell Norma about his news, she completely floors him with her own announcement: she is not pregnant after all. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

212. (22/01) Rod's plan works perfectly. Jack has stormed out for the second and final time. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

213. (23/01) Alf makes an intriguing discovery when he spends the night at a wayside hotel during an interstate trip. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

214. (24/01) Lucy's boss, Mr Thorburn, learns that Number 96 is to be demolished for future redevelopment. Later, he calls by the building with some interesting news for the residents. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

215. (25/01) Bev has been convinced by Rod that she would be happier looking after him, so Jack decides to act constructively. [Episode written by Mike Harris.]

216. (26/01) Gordon's condition is unchanged, despite Sonia's daily visits to the hospital. A phone call informs her that Gordon has regained consciousness, but upon her arrival, there is some bad news. [Episode written by Mike Harris.]

217. (29/01) Terry does not approve of Vera's new boyfriend, Gilbert Dawson (Terence Cooper). Since Terry and Gil have a past history, she threatens to tell Vera about his probable intentions, but he retaliates in similar fashion. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]

218. (30/01) The Sutcliffes receive news from England which threatens to end Arnold's stay as a boarder in Flat 8. [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]

219. (31/01) Don and Sally decide to make a public announcement of their engagement. They inform Bev and Jack first, who express their delight but what are their true feelings? [Episode written by Michael Boddy.]

220. (1/02) The many new arrivals at Number 96 are proving very confusing for the residents, especially Aldo.

221. (2/02) Arnold plans to be more knowledgeable for his next encounter with Marion, so he does some reading: sex manuals, not cook books!

222. (5/02) Irving Lubinski (Bill Riley) has settled back in Australia, but life in America seems to have altered many of his plans for the future. Aldo worries about Roma's reaction.

223. (6/02) Sally asks Sonia for her opinion on Bev's reaction to their chat, at the same time relieving Sonia's loneliness for a time.

224. (7/02) Irving reacts negatively to his mother's plan to marry Aldo.

225. (8/02) Arnold suffers through his first chaotic night with the Whittakers in Flat 5.

226. (9/02) A misunderstanding with a client of their prospering baby-sitting venture causes Dorrie to vent her anger on Herb.

227. (12/02) More comings and goings at Number 96: Alf's domineering mother (Neva Carr Glyn) arrives from England and Aldo is rushed away in an ambulance.

228. (13/02) An old friend of Don's, Paul Mathews (David Whitford), pays a visit. Sally reacts badly; is she jealous or has she realised that she has made a grave mistake?

229. (14/02) Arnold is again running the deli single-handedly. Aldo is still very ill and Roma is too worried about him to work in the shop.

230. (15/02) Gil's actions should reveal his true motives to Vera, but is she looking for any? The relationship shared by Don and Sally is also undergoing some changes; are they still "just good friends"?

231. (16/02) Irving wants Roma to assume another surname, Lewis, so that he can improve their status, both socially and financially.

232. (19/02) Dorrie and Herb live to regret their good intentions regarding the situation between Alf's mother and Lucy. Arnold has some good news for the other residents.

233. (20/02) Vera has great news and, even when Jack expresses his doubts, nothing can disturb her happiness.

234. (21/02) The Evans' introduction to organic food, a legacy from Georgina's visit several months earlier, creates a strange effect when Dorrie uses some for lunch two days in a row.

Georgina had left behind a potted marijuana plant.

235. (22/02) Romance with Miss Robyn Ross (Carolle Lea, aka Carlotta) is blooming for Arnold, but Aldo and Roma are sick of hearing about his infatuation. Roma must also prepare herself to meet Irving's fiancee. [Episode written by David Sale.]

236. (23/02) Terry goes to Don for advice because she is worried about Vera's safety when she is with Gil. Her fears are well founded; Gil makes a strategic departure after inviting a business associate, Warren Davis (John Faassen) to dinner. [Episode written by David Sale.]

237. (26/02) Roma meets Irving's intended bride, Samantha Vanderhum (Jinx Huber) and is left in a turmoil. Should she tell her son about her true feelings? [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

238. (27/02) Arnold is the latest victim of the so-called poltergeist! Sonia also uncovers a mystery: someone has been rummaging through the poisons cupboard. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

239. (28/02) Dorrie and Herb's liberty is under threat. It is up to Don to free them, and he is confident that he can, but Dorrie is preparing for the worst.

240. (1/03) Sally cannot attend Paul's party because she has had to travel to Melbourne. However, it gives Don the chance to see another side to Paul's character. How will Don tell Sally of some newfound feelings? [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

241. (2/03) Aldo finally stands up to Roma's son, setting a firm condition to which Irving must agree. Irving will not be able to conceal his true name from Samantha for much longer.

242. (5/03) Arnold continues to take his relationship with Robyn very seriously, but Robyn regards him merely as a friend. Terry adds a new dimension to the situation when she sees Robyn holding a hypodermic syringe.

243. (6/03) Irving insists that he discuss Roma and Aldo's wedding plans with them at his apartment, but then Irving has some explaining to do about how the flat was purchased.

244. (7/03) Lucy's mother-in-law problems are worsening. Now Mrs Sutcliffe Sr is planning to stay with Alf and Lucy permanently.

245. (8/03) Sally finds it hard to hide her feelings from Don about his friendship with Paul.

246. (9/03) At last, Arnold introduces his beloved Robyn to the tenants of Number 96. She makes quite an impression on Aldo, Roma and the Whittakers.

247. (12/03) Robyn proves to be not the woman Arnold thought she was, shattering Arnold's self-esteem. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

She's actually transgender, played by the notorious Carlotta of "Les Girls", a fact that was kept from even most of the cast until the last minute.

248. (13/03) Jim Sutcliffe is back from Perth, seeking his wife and son. He discovers that Noelene is staying with another man and Jim resolves to get her and Sebastian back. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

249. (14/03) Roma's wedding trousseau is missing; the phantom thief has struck again. Exasperated, Dorrie calls a meeting of all tenants in her flat. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

250. (15/03) An accidental discovery in the Whittaker family tree designates Les as an Earl. He has a new brainwave, but it creates a unique problem; after all, Earls don't work as hospital orderlies. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

251. (16/03) Sally fails in her attempt to break up Paul and Don. They return to Flat 4 to hear her version of events. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

252. (19/03) Dorrie and Herb are waiting for Flo to arrive so the three of them can head off to the Senior Citizens' harbour cruise. However, a phone call reminds them of a baby-sitting appointment for the same day.

253. (20/03) With Aldo and Roma away for a few days, Arnold is left in charge of the deli. However, Aldo still has the key to the night safe, causing headaches for Arnold, who has two days' takings to look after - and there is still a thief in the building.

254. (21/03) Vera is unsuspecting when Bev invites Gil into Flat 6 while Jack is at the races. Meanwhile, Vera is left to contend with Claire and her whims.

255. (22/03) Strange things keep happening in Number 96 and one of the tenants is suspected. An unexpected guest drops in on Bev.

256. (23/03) Sonia's traumatic past brings to the surface an inner self. This worries the new pharmacist, Brian Banerjee (Beverley Roberts). He and Don try to make her face reality.

257. (26/03) Don and Paul were expecting an adverse reaction to their relationship from Sally, but her acceptance of it throws a new light on the situation. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

258. (27/03) Jack and Vera notice the seesaw effect of Sonia's condition; she is drifting further into fantasy. In the pharmacy, Brian is coping well until the arrival of a cable from his parents in India. He must return to his homeland immediately! [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

259. (28/03) Salvadore has told Anna Maria about Gil's Mafia connections and now Anna Maria feels that Vera should be informed. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

260. (29/03) Jack organises the residents into shifts to look after Sonia, but she remains oblivious to their presence and suffers a relapse. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

261. (30/03) Arnold Feather is the hapless victim of Dorrie's gossip mongering when she overhears a discussion between Sir Arnold Ashton and Sally. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

262. (2/04) Alf and his new business partner and driver, Mick Milligan (Peter Berg), are doing well. However, they are choosing to ignore Arnold's carefully prepared rosters. The truth about Gil's background is finally revealed. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

263. (3/03) Gil is forced to reveal his true colours now that Vera is aware of the implications surrounding his business dealings. Dorrie slanders Arnold when she accuses him of having a "candlestine" affair with one of the married tenants. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

264. (4/04) The plans to redevelop the empty chemist shop are going well. Alf takes the opportunity to do some down-to-earth ribbing. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

265. (5/04) Don is confronted by Sally and Sir Arnold. Bev tries to comfort Sally over the events that follow, but she is inconsolable. Dorrie causes another tragedy. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

266. (6/04) Vera is disgusted over Gil and his behaviour, but her good nature will not allow her to take action. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

267. (9/04) Chaos reigns supreme during every stage of the Whittakers' move into Flat 1. Norma is at her wit's end with Les and his misadventures. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

268. (10/04) Herb puts Dorrie into a spin when he tells her that their daughter, Joan Parker (Judith Fisher), has rung from Melbourne. It seems Joan's husband will be arriving a day earlier than expected, much to Dorrie's annoyance. Lucy seeks help about Alf from Vera, but Vera has another visitor in Jack. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

269. (11/04) Sir Arnold makes threats against Don, Sally and Paul. Despite their gloomy futures, the three decide to stick together. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

270. (12/04) Jack decides to try making amends with Bev, but he continues to suspect that she is two-timing him. Dorrie is disappointed about not being able to join the Senior Citizens' Club committee for dinner, especially when Flo confirms that the Marquise will be attending. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

271. (13/04) Dennis Parker (Ron Blanchard) finally arrives for his visit with his in-laws, Dorrie and Herb and proves to be a very sanitary person. In attempting to sterilise their flat to Dennis's satisfaction, they discover that Herb is allergic to the air freshener. Aldo's sister, Selma (Hilda Scurr), also arrives at Number 96. She has strange news for Aldo concerning his first wife, Ida (Brenda Senders). [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Hilda Scurr had taken over as Selma from Marion Johns.

272. (16/04) Sally is resolute that, due to Sir Arnold's complete lack of concern for her, he will never have access to her child. [Episode written by Joe James.]

Joe James, who had played Gordon Vansard, was now writing for the series.

273. (17/04) Alf tries to cure his bout of tiredness by using the pills that Mick gave him, but Arnold realises that the drug is dangerously addictive. Aldo struggles to cope with the realisation that he is a bigamist and may face charges. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

274. (18/04) Dorrie, Herb and Dennis have an evening at the Cosmopolitan Restaurant, where Helen Sheridan (Carmen Duncan) is the hostess. Helen offers to order for them, but Dorrie is unimpressed by her selection. A hippy makes a bizarre delivery to Helen's flat: her unconscious, younger sister, Jill Sheridan (Candida Raymond). [Episode written by E. Bienstock.]

275. (19/04) After a few more finishing touches, the new wine bar will be ready to open on the site of the Vansard pharmacy. To celebrate, Jack invites all the residents of Number 96 plus his society friends. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

On Good Friday, 20th April, the show was pre-empted by the movie, "Francis of Assissi".

276. (23/04) "That painting" of Norma has been transferred from the pub to the wine bar. Dorrie has a predictable reaction to Norma's attitude to posing nude. Sally contemplates suicide. [Episode written by Brian Faull.]

Of course, Norma had actually posed for the painting fully clothed! In Melbourne, this episode was accidentally transposed with Episode #277.

277. (24/04) Don prevents Sally from making a terrible mistake. Roma is still missing and Aldo becomes more desperate, but he keeps her disappearance from the other residents.

In Melbourne, this episode was actually aired on 23/04, when it was accidentally transposed with Episode #276.

278. (25/04) Arnold has two wonderful ideas, suggesting to Les that the wine bar commence serving snacks and that, furthermore, Arnold himself be the chef. However, when they go looking for Jack to discuss the matters, he is nowhere to be found - and Jack is not the only one missing.

279. (26/04) To make amends for standing up Dorrie at dinner the night before, Herb intends to prepare a sumptuous meal.

280. (27/4) Paul's editor is making life difficult for him and tells Don that he believes Sir Arnold is applying the pressure. They seek out Sally to settle matters.

281. (30/4) Sally calls Don at the office and informs him that she has taken an overdose of sleeping pills.

282. (1/05) Paul makes two terrifying discoveries: one concerns Sally, the other, Don. Vera worries that the situation will also affect Sue Marshall (Anne Lambert). [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

283. (2/05) Theorising that someone has falsified Alf's business account books, Arnold confronts the prime suspect. However, the tables are quickly turned on Arnold. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

284. (3/05) The Evans' secret about their daughter's mental health is threatened by Les's latest wild scheme; he intends to pursue a part-time career as a private investigator. Jill has a happy-go-lucky attitude to life, but a drastic change is looming. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

285. (4/05) Jill is warned by Helen about life in the city and the need to find employment, but Jill is unconvinced. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

286. (7/05) Disgusted by his uncle's conniving and selfish attitudes, Don holds Sir Arnold responsible for Sally's death. Don is determined to make him pay for what he has done. [Episode written by Bob Huber.]

287. (8/05) Sue reveals her true self when she confronts Mick about his illegal activities. Alf, however, suspects nothing, and dwells over whether or not to buy the truck Mick has recommended. [Episode written by David Sale.]

288. (9/05) While on duty, Les discovers that the hospital has a patient suffering withdrawal symptoms, a patient named Harry Collins. [Episode written by David Sale.]

289. (10/05) Arnold overhears a discussion as he passes Flat 3 while delivering groceries, but when he tries to tell Aldo and Roma, they accuse him of emulating Dorrie herself. [Episode written by David Sale.]

290. (11/05) Don is determined that Sir Arnold's reputation will soon be in tatters. Nothing will prove an obstacle in Don's path, even if he and Paul end up digging ditches for the rest of their lives. [Episode written by David Sale.]

291. (14/05) Lady Frances Ashton (Faye Donaldson) pleads with her nephew not to ruin Sir Arnold's career, fearing that such action would also lead to the termination of her marriage, such as it is. Don is left in a quandary about what to do. [Episode written by David Sale.]

292. (15/05) Roma is behaving strangely towards Arnold, but she insists nothing is wrong. Aldo is unable to resolve the situation. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

293. (16/05) Dorrie and her "phantom" daughter seem to have vanished, leaving Flo and Herb to live life to the fullest. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

294. (17/05) Harry calls for assistance from Alcoholics Anonymous, but he once again relapses into depression and reaches for the bottle. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

295. (18/05) Les has concluded that Herb has run away with Dorrie, so he calls a meeting of the residents to explain his investigations. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

296. (21/05) Wally Scott (Peter Corbett) and Mick double-date with Sue and Jill, but Jill is feeling uneasy. Mick offers her some marijuana. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

297. (22/05) Now that Arnold has left the deli, Roma and Aldo are finding it difficult to cope. Meanwhile, Arnold is delighted with his new job in the wine bar. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

298. (23/05) Helen's position at the Cosmo is causing her trouble, so she seeks Jack's advice. He thinks that the Assistant Manager, Frank Braidwood (Tony Ingersent) and staff are reacting adversely to her "masculine" behaviour. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

299. (24/05) Aldo's deli comes under suspicion when Flo comes down with similar food poisoning symptoms to Lucy's. Herb has yet another surprise in store for Flo. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

300. (25/05) Vera and Harry seem to be a couple again; she has made no attempt to reject his advances. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

301. (28/05) Vera and Harry's relationship will self-destruct unless one of them makes a strong stand. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

302. (29/05) Alf's three employees continue to deceive him, but time is surely running out for them. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

303. (30/05) Mick and Wally pull another scam - a big one - and try to keep it a secret from Alf. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

304. (31/05) Vera refuses all help, and her situation continues to worsen. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

305. (1/06) Finally accepting her predicament as a serious problem, Vera takes the advice of her friends. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

306. (4/06) Flo's job in the deli infuriates Dorrie, although Aldo and Roma actually find Flo's help to be more of a hindrance. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

307. (5/06) A gang of hoodlums have made a nuisance of themselves outside the wine bar at closing time. Arnold hopes his new boxing skills will be sufficient to deter them. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

308. (6/06) Following Arnold and Jack's altercation with the hoodlums the previous night, Jack asks the police to keep an eye on the wine bar. However, Arnold believes that stronger measures are necessary. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

309. (7/06) Don's odd behaviour is of concern to Jack and Vera. On the other hand, Vera and Harry seem to be recovering well. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

310. (8/06) Arnold has an eye-opener in store for Mick; it is only a matter of time before the Sutcliffes realise the truth about Mick's activities. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

311. (11/06) Jill is pleased that her relationship with Tim Grose (Stuart Finch) is going well. She is enthusiastic about her modelling job and her first pay packet. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

312. (12/06) Les's tall tales have gotten him fired from his job at the hospital and everyone dreads what his next project will be. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

313. (13/06) Bev Houghton is back! But, as the newly-married Mrs Goodman, she still has one more surprise up her sleeve for Jack: Earl Goodman (Richard Lupino). [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

Abigail had returned from "a sabbatical" following several public disagreements with the producers. Richard Lupino was the cousin of US actor/director, Ida Lupino.

314. (14/06) Earl and Bev have all the tenants gossiping over their sudden appearance. The other topic of conversation is Flo, who has lost everything except her pet budgerigar (Mr Perky) in the tragic Paradise Street fire. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

Flo's cat, Ponsonby, did not survive the fire, but he would still be part of Flo's story arc during her time in Flat 3.

315. (15/06) Sue and Mick have carefully planned their latest scam, but things start going terribly wrong for Mick. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

316. (18/06) Dorrie complains that Flo is living off the other residents because she is accepting their charity. Furthermore, Flo is not helping out in Flat 3 and Mr Perky is driving everyone crazy. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

317. (19/06) Harry's personality is undergoing a radical change. He is being self-centred and acting like a nasty, belligerent fanatic. Vera finds that her affection for him is cooling. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

318. (20/06) Roma overwhelms Aldo with her surprise, but it means even more responsibility for Arnold. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

319. (21/06) Joe Corless (Tony Allyn) realises what Sue and Mick have been up to. He plans for revenge. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

320. (22/06) Bev (Victoria Raymond) and Earl talk business. There are more worries for Alf. Sue, of course, continues to play it cool, and only Arnold suspects her true motives. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

Victoria Raymond had taken over the role of Bev from Abigail after ongoing disagreements between Abigail and Cash Harmon Productions.

321. (25/06) Arnold's talents have become as indispensable to Les and Norma as they are to Aldo and Roma. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

322. (26/06) Despite the latest setbacks, Dr Alistair Pascall (Raymond Duparc) firmly believes that Don can successfully change his character if he truly wants to. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

323. (27/06) Flo, Dorrie and Herb have caught the competition bug, whether they be television quiz shows or contests in the newspaper. Dorrie and Flo doubt each other's abilities to win. [Episode written by Harvey Shore.]

324. (28/06) Aldo announces the birth of his first grandson, Aldo Bronislav Damien Myers, or Damien for short. Tim's cool exterior is to too good to be true. He has something in store for Jill that she doesn't expect. The extent of Sue's treachery is finally revealed and there are further complications for Jill when she returns to find her flat ransacked. Dorothy Dunlop (Diana McLean) commences her duties at Norma's Bar. [Episode written by Marcia Hatfield.]

325. (29/06) Les makes life extremely difficult for Norma when she commences dieting. Wally surprises Alf with a concession. [Episode written by James Workman.]

326. (2/07) Herb arrives home with a pile of books that Les has lent him, to study for the TV quiz. Flo comes out of her room with two balloons and Herb must help her sit on them to burst them. Vera is pleased when Harry arrives home early, but he has to go out again. Don tells Jack it is Helen he is interested in, not her younger sister, Jill. Jack tries to explain that Helen is an independent woman. Bev and Earl's conversation is interrupted when Jack tells Earl not to use his name again. A phone call from Mrs Terry, wanting Flo to partner her in an important bowls tournament, puts the Flat 3 Scrabble game on hold. Dorrie is annoyed. Jack meets Helen on the stairs and mention's Don's interest in her. Claire surprises Bev and Earl with an invitation to lunch the next day. Flo is moping around as Dorrie makes plans to take her bowling dress to the laundrette. Then she realises that Flo's uniform was destroyed during the fire which made her homeless. Flo goes down to check the mail. Her pension cheque has arrived but, when Herb turns up, she shoves it into her cardigan, claiming it is a letter from her daughter, Raylene. Herb has a parcel for her: material from the Senior Cits, so Flo can make a new bowling dress. Jack and Helen have drinks together at lunchtime. Flo visits Vera to ask about having a uniform sewn. They share a drink. Harry arrives and races out again, telling Dorrie and Herb that Flo and Vera are drinking. Claire offers to lend Earl some money but a furious Bev has overheard. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

327. (3/07) Claire and Bev offer apologies to each other. Arnold asks Aldo about the deli's credit card system and Aldo's pockets are filled with scraps of paper. Norma celebrates the start of her diet; she buys sweets for one last treat. In the laundrette, Vera urges Lucy to seek the advice of an optician when her eyesight continues to deteriorate. Bev and Earl eat at Buckingham Lodge and, when Bev goes off to have coffee with Rod, Claire suggests that Earl could use her address in his dealings. They make plans for lunch the next day. Dorothy enters the deli to buy chives for the wine bar in time to overhear Arnold's call, in which Jill invites him to take her out. Vera has been waiting for Harry, who has been out "doing the Lord's work". Lucy keeps handing Alf the wrong items at breakfast. Meanwhile, the Whittakers both eat a dietary breakfast. Norma catches Les sneaking cold sausages out of the fridge. Lucy's optician recommends the services of an eye specialist. Earl reminds Claire of her late husband - and she tells him so. Vera cooks dinner for Harry and wants him to come to bed with her, but Harry declines. Alf needs some money from Lucy. Arnold asks her discreetly about the optician's report and she begs him not to mention it to Alf. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

Lucy's eye problems had begun after she was bashed by a lout (John Fitzgerald) in the laundrette. Her relief laundrette manager, Valerie Mason (Sally McMaster) began appearing around this time.

328. (4/07) Dorrie wants Arnold to test out her general knowledge to prepare for a contest. Helen invites Don to dinner. Arnold requests some time off for his "independent activity". He needs a haircut and will buy a corsage for Jill. Tim arrives to see Jill and has photos and money for her. Flo tries on her new bowling outfit but, when Dorrie barges in, Flo leaps into bed and pulls up the covers. Flo complains that her back is out again - and Dorrie heads out the ring Mrs Terry with the bad news. In a day full of surprises, Roma springs one on Aldo, Jill has her own surprise for Arnold and Tim has one planned for Jill. Roma wants a second honeymoon and hopes Arnold can mind the shop. Despite Arnold's new hairstyle, Jill breaks off her date with him. Dorrie accidentally throws out the ashes of Flo's departed cat, Ponsonby. She sends Herb down to the deli to buy something to replace the ashes. He returns with some garlic salt. Jill arrives at Tim's late, but he has left her a note. She is furious and immediately invites Arnold over and they climb into bed. Behind a two-way mirror, Tim and his cameraman, Hank (Frank Gallagher) watch on, impatiently. Flo says goodnight to Ponsonby - and screams when his remains smell of garlic. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

329. (5/07) Alf and Lucy discuss the budget that Arnold has drawn up for them. Lucy knocks a cup off the table. It smashes on the floor. Norma is weighing herself when Les rushes in with the news: Mr Bayswater has told him that Number 96 has new owners. Les has a parcel for Anna Maria. He obtained it from the hospital. It belonged to someone who was run over. When the parcel is opened, its contents are revealed to be smashed. Vera is in Flo's room, adjusting her new uniform. Flo keeps Vera hidden and tells Dorrie that she is still brokenhearted. Dorrie and Herb race out to buy Flo a new bowling dress as a surprise. Harry is pontificating in the deli. Earl races off when Claire rings him and Bev's patience is tested. Lucy tells Vera not to let Alf know about the eye specialist's news. Dorrie and Herb arrive home to see Flo in her new dress. Anna Maria's upcoming wedding fills Les's head with ideas, but it seems that Norma doesn't approve of any of them. He has found an ancient-looking meat grinder and Norma orders him to throw it out. Vera and Harry make love. Harry immediately regrets it and Vera gets out of the bed, dejected. A miserable Flo explains that, not only did she not play, the team lost the match. Norma calls in to see Lucy, who is in bed. Lucy breaks down and explains that she cannot see properly. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

330. (6/07) Jill does not mince her words when she tells Arnold that his poor performance at Tim's flat means that there will be "no next time". Les is disappointed with the diet food that Norma is forcing him to live on. Lucy has a day off, claiming to have a headache. Alf asks Arnold to check on her and take up some magazines. Aldo sends up a box of chocolates. Norma has an appointment with her specialist. Tim has yet another surprise planned for Jill: he wants her to star in a movie he is making. With Claire's assistance, Earl concludes his first successful business deal with Richard Monkhouse (Roger Cox) at Buckingham Lodge. Arnold is excited about being the lead actor in Tim's movie. Lucy is put into hospital for some exploratory tests. Bev is upset that Claire enabled Earl's business deal to happen. Norma has news for Alf about Lucy. [Episode written by Joe James.]

331. (9/07) Flo tells Dorrie that her pension cheque has not arrived. An telegram arrives at Flat 3 and causes great excitement for Herb and Dorrie: they have been accepted for the quiz show and will be appearing tomorrow night. They immediately begin practising. Jack signs the deal that makes him and Johnny Briggs (Deryck Barnes) the new owners of Number 96. Don tells Jack that he had dinner with Helen while he was in Melbourne. Meanwhile, Vera returns home to Flat 7 to discover a strange girl sitting on Harry's knee. Harry tries to explain that he was only trying to help her because she was so drunk, but Vera refuses to listen. Dorrie enlists Arnold's help to practise for the quiz show. She discovers Flo's pension envelope. Jack finds himself getting upset about Don and Helen. Harry promises not to bring any more alcoholics into the flat. Aldo and Roma go off to make arrangements for their cruise. Jack faces Helen about Don. He wants to know if she intends to sleep with him. She says, if it will help him, then yes. Dorrie and Herb set off for the taping of the quiz, both a bundle of nerves. Helen tells Jack she is already serious about Don. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

The Vera/Harry plotline was novelised for the 1974 Arkon paperback, "The Sins of Harry Collins". The unidentified young woman is named Diana Ford in the book. (The cover featured no actors from the series, but the model playing Vera has been identified as Rickie Hilder.)

332. (10/07) Lucy is very frightened about the tests. She tries to put on a brave front. The residents of Number 96 gather around their television sets to watch the Evans' appearance on the quiz show, which is compered by Jimmy Jock (Johnny Ladd). They win a cruise as their prize! Vera and Alf return from the hospital, with Alf feeling depressed. Wally shows Alf a note from Joe. Alf says to ignore it. Norma catches Les stealing food from the fridge in the middle of the night. Flo suggests that she should take over as "conserge" in Dorrie's absence but Dorrie refuses to allow it. Roma's travel agent has had to change her cruise itinerary at the last minute. She is horrified that she and Aldo are now on the same ship as Dorrie and Herb. Alf gets the results of Lucy's tests. The doctors decide to operate but warn that the results are not always predictable. Aldo gets summonsed for jury duty and it is for the same time as their cruise. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

333. (11/07) Arnold tries to explain that Aldo's jury service is his civic duty, but Aldo just wants his second honeymoon. Jill mentions that a recent trial had the jurors locked away for three and a half months. Roma and Aldo are horrified. Don tries to talk Jack into having lunch with him and Helen, but Jack refuses. The film project is a source of great excitement for Arnold and Jill, but they are unaware of Tim's plans. They think it will be a work of art. Arnold mentions that the only way to get out of jury service is to appear biased. Roma thinks that would be a good plan. Helen thinks that Don must do what is needed to help him change. Claire talks Earl into letting her lend him money for a land deal. It is to be their secret. Arnold tells Roma that if Aldo pretends to be biased he can be held in contempt of court, and go to prison. Roma is distraught. When Aldo returns, he explains that he did not pretend to be biased and now they will miss out on their second honeymoon. Roma is thrilled that Aldo has avoided prison. Don plans to spend the night with Helen after dinner. [Episode written by Bob Caswell.]

334. (12/07) Flo convinces Dorrie that she should be "conserge" while Dorrie is on the cruise. Dorrie insists on a written contract. Harry finds out that Vera went to see John Vernon (Harry Lawrence), at Alcoholics Anonymous, about Harry being so stuffy. He is very upset with her. Jack stresses out about Don staying the night with Helen, but he explains that nothing happened, because he couldn't do anything. Jack feels sorry for him. Harry warns Dorrie about taking her cruise, because she didn't earn it through blood, sweat and toil. Wally admits that he went to the police and give evidence against Joe. Now he wants Alf to have the $1000 reward money for Lucy's operation. Alf is overcome and accepts the money. Dorrie drags Herb to the doctor to get inoculated for their cruise, but they don't need any shots. They both suffer with sore arms and Dorrie ends up bedridden. Norma and Les head off to St Peters for Anna Maria's wedding to Salvadore, but can't find it. They realise it was being held in St Peters in Rome, Italy. Lucy has her operation and Alf tells her about Wally's $1000. It is hoped that things will now take a turn for the better. Vera arrives home to find a drunken girl hammering on her door, looking for Harry. Vera explains that Harry is not there. Vera tries unsuccessfully to make her leave. They struggle and the girl goes over the bannister and down the next flight of stairs. She is dead. [Episode written by David Sale.]

335. (13/07) Vera has convinced herself that she is responsible for the death of the drunken girl, Diana Ford. Helen and Harry take Vera back up to Flat 7. Roma makes soup for Aldo but doesn't believe Arnold that she won't be able to see him during his jury service. Don and Harry are worried that Vera will appear guilty during the police interview, especially when Don remembers that Detective Sergeant Wellington (Andrew Grant) has an outstanding record for successful convictions. Herb and Flo discuss the accident and, as usual, Dorrie doesn't know about it. She goes down to the deli and realises that everyone knows about Aldo's jury service except her. Wellington examines the staircase and Dorrie offers to help. Harry must go off to help another drunken girl, so he calls Marie Crowther (Hazel Phillips) to look after Vera. Wellington shows a photo of the dead girl to the Godolfuses and Dorrie denies that she offered her help. Marie consoles Vera. Flo tells Dorrie that there is a policeman at the door, but it is only Jack. Vera tells Don, Jack and Marie that, whatever happens, she is responsible for the girl's death. [Episode written by Ron McLean.]

336. (16/07) Norma is being driven crazy by Dorothy's psychic "vibrations", but now Les is getting just as bad. Vera has realised that she was foolishly blaming herself for a freak accident, but someone else still believes that she was responsible. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

337. (17/07) Earl seems to be spending more and more time at Claire's place, but Bev is still believing every word her new husband says. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

338. (18/07) Jill has developed an insufferable star complex and reacts poorly to the news that an unexpected guest will be accompanying her and Tim to the screening of the film. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

339. (19/07) It is an exciting day for Dorrie and Herb, who are packed and ready for their cruise. At the hospital, Lucy prepares herself for the removal of the bandages from her eyes. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

340. (20/07) Dorothy finds that an important piece of Dorrie's luggage has been left behind. Norma attempts to ask Roma's advice on a matter. [Episode written by John Bennett.]

341. (23/07) Jack has received a shock, but he is more concerned with Helen's reaction. [Episode written by David Sale.]

342. (24/07) Don confronts Alistair and Jack puts forward a proposal for Don to consider. [Episode written by David Sale.]

343. (25/07) An unexpected incident disturbs the peaceful rapture of Number 96's "acting concierge", Flo. [Episode written by David Sale.]

344. (26/07) Jill is unwell and it seems possible she has the same problem as her sister. [Episode written by David Sale.]

345. (27/07) The inquest has been postponed due to the discovery of new evidence. Vera is understandably worried. [Episode written by Ann Duroe.]

346. (30/07) Helen is adamant that an abortion is out of the question, but Jack, worried about the risks, tries to make her see reason. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

347. (31/07) Les has resumed his interest in being a private detective - and the enigmatic writer of the poison pen letters is his target. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

348. (1/08) Les accuses his suspect. Roma and Aldo receive a mysterious telephone call. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

349. (2/08) Jack and Alf have an evening out, but the night ends in a shock for the other residents. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

350. (3/08) Don is finally introduced to Johnny, Jack's business partner. Johnny's suggestion surprises both Jack and Don. [Episode written by M. Cooney.]

351. (6/08) Jill searches for a new job, while Helen seeks peace of mind in church. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

352. (7/08) Earl is working on his latest underhanded scheme. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

353. (8/08) Jack arranges a meeting with Tim in an attempt to get possession of the blue movie featuring Jill and Arnold. Les demonstrates his latest invention. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

354. (9/08) Aldo and Roma's arguing reaches a stalemate. Aldo seeks Don's advice. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

355. (10/08) Roma's plan to learn "Australian" English is put into motion when she finds herself a willing teacher. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

356. (13/08) Flo and Herb have their own alternate plans when Dorrie is invited to a charity party. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

357. (14/08) Earl is under pressure and requires help from Jack, but he may not get what he needs. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

358. (15/08) Les has an unusual present for Norma, but the gift Dorrie receives is unexpected. Dorothy is still causing problems for Arnold. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

359. (16/08) Marie and Harry continue their verbal sparring matches and Jill is in for a shock when she visits Vera. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

The Vera/Harry plotline was novelised for the 1974 Arkon paperback, "The Sins of Harry Collins". The unidentified young woman is named Diana Ford in the book. (The cover featured no actors from the series, but the model playing Vera has been identified as Rickie Hilder.)

360. (17/08) Vera finds a familiar-looking ring in her bed, but can't remember the identity of the owner... yet. [Episode written by David Sale.]

361. (20/08) Aldo makes progress in his evening violin class. Dorothy conducts a seance which produces some startling results. [Episode written by David Sale.]

362. (21/08) Following Claire's malicious attack, Bev will have something to say to Earl. [Episode written by David Sale.]

363. (22/08) Jill takes a risk or several when she makes advances to Harry. [Episode written by David Sale.]

364. (23/08) Don has a serious choice to make. Will he be swayed by loyalty to his new job or his friendship with Aldo? [Episode written by David Sale.]

365. (24/08) Jill wants Harry to resume their liaison, but an unexpected discovery may spoil her plans. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

366. (27/08) Les prepares for the first demonstration of his latest invention. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

367. (28/08) Dorrie's concern over Flo's back is minor, compared to what is to come: Herb suffers a mild stroke. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

368. (29/08) Marie is well prepared for her dealings with Harry. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

369. (30/08) Jack offers a new proposition to Aldo. Don receives a sum of money from an unexpected source. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

370. (31/08) Dorrie is finding it difficult to cope with Herb. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

371. (3/09) Arnold and Dorothy are becoming more deeply involved, but Arnold is still unsure about the situation. [Episode written by David Sale.]

372. (4/09) Dorrie dubiously seeks Les's assistance to bring Herb back to normal. [Episode written by David Sale.]

373. (5/09) Arnold suffers through a tirade of man-to-man advice from Les about handling women like Dorothy. [Episode written by David Sale.]

374. (6/09) Don and Jack once again confront Johnny about Aldo's deli, but it seems they are wasting their time. [Episode written by David Sale.]

375. (7/09) Johnny has a surprise in store for Jack and Don, while Alf suffers another bout of bad luck. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

376. (10/09) Success at night school continues to bring pleasure to both Roma and Aldo. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

377. (11/09) Jill's disappearance is a worry to both Harry and Helen, but then something happens which may incriminate Harry. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

378. (12/09) The Missing Persons Bureau contact Helen, raising her hopes that Jill has been located. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

379. (13/09) Norma is annoyed that Maggie Cameron is making so many changes at the wine bar. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

380. (14/09) Despite their past arguments, Maggie makes an enticing suggestion to Norma. Plans for the fashion parade are put into action. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

381. (17/09) Aldo and Roma's evening classes begin to create problems. Arnold tries to make a difficult decision. Dorrie has plans for Roger Wotherspoon (Terry O'Neill). [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

382. (18/09) Flo has some surprises up her sleeve and Herb receives an unexpected visitor. Perhaps Claire's condition will improve soon. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

383. (19/09) Les offers his services to Dorothy, who is still searching for a man. Arnold requests help from Helen. Flat 4 is the destination of a strange visitor to Number 96: Don's Aunt Amanda, the Baroness von Pappenburg (Carol Raye), arrives out of the blue and dazzles everyone. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

384. (20/09) While at her mother's house, Bev makes an unusual discovery. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

385. (21/09) Amanda has to attend an audition. She makes an interesting proposal to Flo. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

386. (24/09) Rod Houghton expresses his concern about Bev and tries to decide whether or not to tell her about Earl's affair. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

387. (25/09) Harry receives a parcel and a letter, but this time they are not anonymous. Dorothy, hoping her "vibrations" will prove correct, goes off on a blind date. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

388. (26/09) Harry has a difficult decision to make. Jack is stern with Helen, who also has news for Arnold. Herb is sneaking off behind Dorrie's back. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

389. (27/09) Amanda is mounting up huge bills, which worries Don considerably, as do the problems he is having with Maggie. Earl is in deep trouble. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

390. (28/09) Roma is pleasantly surprised by some unexpected news, but Aldo is unimpressed. It is expected that the blackmailers will again be in contact with Harry. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

391. (1/10) Flo has some bad news, but Vera's news is quite different. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

392. (2/10) Dorothy has a premonition of forthcoming evil news. Norma hears from an old friend and everyone remembers Dorothy's warning. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

393. (3/10) Dorrie does all she can to help Flo, but not in the way that Flo wants. Harry leaves Number 96; where is he off to this time? [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

394. (4/10) Jill is back, apparently safe and well, but appearances can be deceiving. Lucy receives another phone call from England. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

395. (5/10) Flo and Dorrie squabble over who will complete a certain good deed. [Episode written by Ann Duroe.]

396. (8/10) Helen must come to a difficult decision concerning Jill. [Episode written by Ann Duroe.]

397. (9/10) The Whittakers make some startling discoveries over Dorothy. [Episode written by Ann Duroe.]

398. (10/10) A rift between Don and Jack is looming; Jack and Maggie have been making decisions without Don's input. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

399. (11/10) Flo's prayers seem to have been answered; she has found somewhere to live. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

400. (12/10) Alf has news from London. Les comes up with another idea. Maggie has a new reason for being angry with Don. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

401. (15/10) Norma finds that her new boarder, young Ian Daniels (Alan Wilson), has unexpected talents. Helen looks for help, both for Jill and for her own problems. Don gains a new admirer in Dudley Butterfield (Chard Hayward). [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

402. (16/10) Dorrie has cause for alarm. While life looks rosy for Harry and Vera, things are gloomy for both Jack and Flo. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

403. (17/10) Maggie has upset Don. Helen is being stubborn. Amanda decides to try her hand at matchmaking. Herb causes deep concern. How will Alf cope with the decision being forced upon him? [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

404. (18/10) Jack finally gets Helen to reveal the truth. Jill is in love again, but with whom? Two of the building's oldest tenants may be leaving. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

405. (19/10) Jill finds an outlet for her needs by helping Father David O'Brien (Hilton Bonner) with his community project. Claire has discovered Earl's whereabouts. What has he been up to? [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

406. (22/10) Dorrie tries everything to rid herself of Flo. Bev sinks deeply into self-pity. Helen is suspicious of Jill's motives for helping others. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

407. (23/10) Maggie intends to teach Don a lesson, but Amanda's aspirations are higher. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

"Gramophone Girl" is also referenced by Dorrie in the 1974 movie.

408. (24/10) Maggie's revenge on Don was successful. Father O'Brien seems to have a confession of his own. Amanda considers taking on the role of mediator for Ian. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

409. (25/10) Ian reacts strangely to some news. Aldo and Roma reach an agreement about their trip. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

410. (26/10) Helen (Jill Forster) may yet realise her true feelings; happiness is within her grasp. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

Jill Forster replaced Carmen Duncan as Helen from this episode due to Ms Duncan's real-life pregnancy.

411. (29/10) Roma is, perhaps needlessly, concerned for Aldo, but he is still anxious to have a private discussion with Don. Have Helen and Jack finally reached a decision about their future? [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

412. (30/10) An unexpected visitor to the deli discovers some secrets. Lucy may hear some surprising news from Alf. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

413. (31/10) There is a surprise in store for Bev, but someone else has a bigger bombshell to drop. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

414. (1/11) Some of the residents feel like celebrating, but sadness looms for others. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

415. (2/11) Alf is being stubborn and Roma has secret worries. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

416. (5/11) David is about to receive advice from well-meaning friends; how will he react? Norma tries to convince Ian to see things her way. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

417. (6/11) Maggie, Amanda, Jack and Les visit a gambling den, with disastrous consequences. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

418. (7/11) Don hears from an old friend: his former lover, Bruce Taylor. Meanwhile, Jill indulges in some outrageous behaviour. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

419. (8/11) Helen may have been misjudged by David. Dudley realises he must explain his motives for helping with Amanda's plan. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]

420. (9/11) Arnold has a message from the hospital for Roma, but he is reluctant to pass it on. [Episode written by David Sale.]

421. (12/11) Vera hears news which awakens memories of her past. Herb has some explaining to do. [Episode written by David Sale.]

422. (13/11) Dorrie wants Don's assistance in an official capacity, but Don has his own problems. [Episode written by David Sale.]

423. (14/11) Ian's newly-gained freedom may not be what he expected. Maggie renews an old acquaintance. [Episode written by David Sale.]

424. (15/11) Roma steels herself for the doctor's verdict. Will Aldo's fears be realised? [Episode written by David Sale.]

425. (16/11) Bruce finds himself in great demand. Ian's father, Ben Daniels (John Trenaman), must face his responsibilities. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

426. (19/11) Lucy's business venture may not be what she had hoped, while Dudley finds himself in a dilemma. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

427. (20/11) Ben and Ian surprise each other. Dorrie has come up with a strange idea to keep a check on Herb's activities. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

428. (21/11) Vera's step-father, Neville De Groot (Ronald Morse), has arrived; a dinner invitation is made under false pretences. Bev's patience may have been rewarded. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

429. (22/11) Harry does not know what to believe. Maggie is relentless. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]

430. (23/11) Don's business trip reveals some disturbing news. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

431. (26/11) Neville attempts to place doubt in Vera's mind while, in the deli, Aldo causes confusion. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

432. (27/11) Bev may live to regret her assignments for Bruce. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

433. (28/11) While at the hairdressing salon, Amanda discovers some interesting reading matter. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

434. (29/11) Vera attempts to put the past out of her thoughts, but now Harry has something to hide. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]

435. (30/11) Neville has some unfinished business. Has Les finally achieved success? [Episode written by David Bragden.]

436. (3/12) Maggie wants everything her way, which could explain Bev's melodramatic behaviour. [Episode written by Anne Duval.]

437. (4/12) Fortuitously for Bev, Don decides to checks in on her. [Episode written by Anne Duval.]

438. (5/12) Alf has no idea that he is harbouring secret information. Helen may yet get a reprieve. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

439. (6/12) Vera tries Harry's patience; he may seek consolation elsewhere. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]

440. (7/12) Don is greatly inconvenienced by Amanda's generosity. Bev confides in him. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

441. (10/12) Norma wants to do her own thing, but Lucy may regret doing hers. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

Production of the "Number 96" feature film commenced on this day. Eleven days later, the cast wrapped for the Christmas hiatus. It was filmed on 16mm film stock, later blown up to 35mm for release to cinemas. Only five prints were deemed necessary, premiering throughout Australia on a staggered release during 1974. The budget was a mere $100,000. However, most sets, props and costumes were already available.

442. (11/12) Roma has a phone conversation which puzzles Aldo. Bruce does not mince words with Bev. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

443. (12/12) Helen makes an amazing decision. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

444. (13/12) Alf's persistent warnings to Arnold about danger seem to fall on deaf ears as a parcel bomb claims its victim. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

445. (14/12) Bev seems desperate over Bruce's intention to marry Maggie. Les and Norma inform Jack of their intention to leave the wine bar. Bev pulls a gun on Bruce and she is shot during a struggle. A woman claims to be Dudley's wife. Arnold's condition causes concern; the doctors seek the Sutcliffe's permission to amputate his leg. Harry's joy may soon turn to despair when Vera informs him that her baby may have "coloured blood". [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]

This episode's cliffhanger endings would not be resolved until the 1974 ratings season.

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 April 2022.


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