Ian's Number 96 episode guide: 1974
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.
What dark, family secret does Helen Sheridan keep concealed from Jack Sellars?
Can Arnold Feather survive the amputation of his injured leg?
Did Bruce Taylor or Maggie Cameron cause Bev Houghton-Goodman's gunshot wound?
Does Dudley Butterfield really have a secret wife?
Will Harry Collins return to the bottle if his wife, Vera, gives birth to a black baby?
446. (28/01/1974) Don tries to get Bruce to explain how Bev managed to get shot. Dorrie and Herb are missing Flo. Alf tries to comfort Lucy. Don brings Dudley a cup of tea. Dudley is jealous because Don was out all night with Bruce, but he is also unnerved when confronted by his past: his wife, Jan Butterfield (Denise Otto) has turned up. Vera and Harry discuss the baby. Bruce interrupts breakfast to tell Don and Dudley that Maggie has still not returned. Flo has lost Amanda in Hawaii. At the Boulevard Cafe, Dorrie, Herb and Lucy discuss Arnold's condition. Bruce leaves Flat 4 just as Jan arrives, asking Dudley for money. Dudley tells Don that she deserted him and Jan rushes out. Lucy asks Vera about the baby and they discuss Arnold. Harry and Alf are in the wine bar. Dorrie and Herb are there having lunch when, suddenly, Flo arrives: she managed to lose Amanda in Honolulu and made her own way back to Sydney. Bruce wants to come home with Don but Don says that he is now nothing more than a client. Dr Dalton has grave news for the Sutcliffes: Arnold's injured leg has been amputated. Jan reveals to Don that Dudley has a three-year-old son. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe; directed by Howard Scrivener.]
447. (29/01) Les arrives home from nightshift at the hospital and Norma asks him about Arnold. She tells him she has signed a modelling contract for $200 per week. Some new tenants, Reginald and Edith MacDonald (Mike Dorsey & Wendy Blacklock) of Blacktown, and their daughter, Marilyn (Frances Hargreaves), have moved into Flat 5. When Marilyn accidentally tears her blouse, Aldo encounters her ample charms. Roma invites her into Flat 2 and makes a hasty repair. When Les enters the deli needing pretzels for the wine bar, Aldo takes him through to the flat and they both see Marilyn without her blouse on. Maggie arrives back, telling Bruce that she wasn't present during Bev's shooting. Supposedly she was in Melbourne on business. Aldo and Roma close the deli early to celebrate Aldo's birthday at The Blue Danube, but the night is a disaster. Les takes the MacDonalds into the wine bar and Norma treats them to drinks "on the house". Marilyn mistakes Maggie for Bruce's mother. The Whittakers ponder leaving the wine bar. Reg and Edie get ready for bed but Reg encounters Marilyn in the bathtub. Over dinner, Bruce tries to convince Maggie to speak to the police. She refuses, again claiming she wasn't in the office when Bev came by. In the deli next morning, Les finds an article in the newspaper reporting Bev's shooting. Over breakfast, Reg and Edie realise that Marilyn hasn't arrived home. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe; directed by Howard Scrivener.]
Actually, Marilyn's charms were even more "ample" when the role was played by Judy McBurney. A bout of peritonitis led to the character being recast. Frances Hargreaves had to reshoot all of Ms McBurney's early scenes. This included a bare-breasted scene. Although she initially agreed to the contractual "nudity clause", Frances requested that the comedic aspects of her character be emphasised, rather than expecting her to fill the "sex symbol" role that Bev Houghton had vacated. Mike Dorsey, who portrays Reginald P. McDonald had previously appeared as Superintendant Carroll in 1972 and would also go on to play a regular role, Vic Marshall, in "Arcade".
448. (30/01) Marilyn meets Flo, Don and Dudley on the stairs. She tells her mother that had been out all night with a friend. Herb introduces himself to Reg, who is on his way to work. Over coffee, Don and Dudley discuss Jan. Meanwhile, Dorrie, Herb and Flo have breakfast and wonder about Amanda's whereabouts. Marilyn asks Don for a lift into town. Amanda returns home and soon has everyone in a party mood. Maggie sticks to her story and tells Don she wasn't present when Bev was shot. When Don gets back to Number 96, he finds Amanda, Dudley and Flo partying with songs and champagne. Bruce rings and Don rushes off again. Dorrie calls in on Edie for a cup of tea and sees more of Marilyn than she ever anticipated. Reg sets up an account at the deli. Flo disappoints Amanda and says she won't be accompanying her on the world trip. Don gets a phone call from Claire, who has some shattering news about Bev. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe; directed by Howard Scrivener.]
449. (31/01) Bev has succumbed to her critical injury. Norma realises that Harry is still very racially prejudiced. Lucy frets about Arnold; he still doesn't know that his leg has been amputated. Dorrie, Herb and Flo get ready to go to the Paddington Senior Citizens Club. Amanda tells Jack about Bev. Harry and Vera talk about the baby. Amanda has coffee with Lucy and Vera at the Boulevard Cafe. Norma considers the possibilities that her new modelling contract may bring. Jack receives a letter from Helen and tells Amanda about it. Dorrie prepares a special afternoon tea for Flo, not realising that Flo is no longer going with Amanda. Alf tells Lucy that the police have released Mr Poreski (Tim Eliott). Amanda entertains the wine bar crowd with anecdotes about the babies she has helped to deliver. Harry storms out. Jack reads some of Helen's letter to Vera. If Harry stops his game of pretence, Vera will be unable to face the consequences. He cannot accept a coloured baby. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe; directed by Howard Scrivener.]
450. (1/02) Vera gives Harry an ultimatum about the baby. He wants Vera to have an abortion but she refuses to consider it. Amanda takes Flo, Dorrie and Herb to her fancy dress farewell party, but Herb gets himself arrested for being "a transisterite", as Dorrie explains it. Claire vows to have her revenge on Bruce over her daughter's death; she intends for him to spend the rest of his life in gaol. Maggie decides to stay with Jack for a while. Amanda acts as Herb's counsel and resolves his court ordeal, much to the frustration of the magistrate (Desmond Rolfe). Lucy is uneasy about Poreski and his men, but Alf is determined to tell all to the TV interviewer, Ray Mitchell (Himself) on the Names in the News current affairs show. Lucy becomes terrified. Alf receives a phone call but no one speaks. Believing it to be Poreski, Alf big notes himself again, making the situation worse. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Howard Scrivener.]
Ray Mitchell, who plays himself as a TV journalist, is also the commentator of a wrestling match in Episode #965. This b/w episode was later showcased in Foxtel/Austar TV1's "Television's Greatest Hits: The Best of Number 96" (2000), introduced by Andrew Mercado. Also released on DVD in 2012 (with Episodes #1-10, 13, 31, 33-35) in "Number 96: The Beginning and the Bomb" (Volume 3), by Umbrella Entertainment Australia. The other 16 episodes in the set were from the 1975 colour season.
451. (4/02) Don can find neither Maggie nor Jan. Dudley and Bruce are both increasingly concerned about their situations. Reg encourages Marilyn to see the personnel officer at the TH (Town Hall) about a job, but she doesn't want to work there. Bruce goes missing from Flat 4. Don panics, as Bruce is supposed to be in his custody. Bruce turns up at Jack's, to see Maggie - but she won't change her mind. Don also tries, unsuccessfully, to get Maggie to change her mind. Maggie may be forced to tell the truth; Bruce remembers that she was sending a telegram to her husband, Victor, when Bev came into the office. Don is elated, as those crucial telegram details will be on record at the post office. Les gets a phone call from his solicitor about the MacCraddonow title. He is required in England urgently and will be gone for several weeks. Norma is agitated. Marilyn goes to a movie with Dudley and gets home ten minutes late for dinner. Reg starts to reprimand her but she announces that she will tell everyone all about their family if he doesn't leave her alone. [Episode written by David Sale.]
Repeats of the series, from Episode #1, commenced in a daytime timeslot (1.30 pm in Sydney). Due to censorship rules, some episodes were heavily edited and occasionally pre-empted by episodes of "Room 222".
452. (5/02) The residents are still puzzled about the daily Woman & Culture magazine serial called 54 Paddington Place. This time, Dorrie suspects Les Whittaker as being the author. The newspaper has a long write-up on Alf's television appearance. Alf reads it aloud to Lucy, who is convinced that he has made things worse. Marilyn again threatens Reg with the truth. He needs to stay out of her life. Herb explains to Dorrie that Flo won't be going overseas and Dorrie is furious that Flo misled her. She insists that Flo's rent will be going up $10 per week. The inquest into Bev's death exonerates Bruce because Maggie substantiates his story. Claire is outraged. Helen comes back and admits that she loves Jack and can't be without him - but she cannot marry him, nor give him children, because of her mother's hereditary insanity. Dorrie wins a place on The Pennants bowling team. Marilyn suggests some ways to jazz up the laundrette, to attract more customers, and Lucy offers her a job. Reg is unsure, but Marilyn reminds him of their little talks. There is three months left on Bev's lease, but Claire tells Dorrie to re-let the flat and to leave all the furniture in it. Jack suggests to Helen that they could adopt children, but she refuses to consider it. Claire rewards Jack's kindness in a most unexpected way... with a beach house. A distraught Claire receives a batch of pornographic photographs of Bev. An accompanying note from Bruce explains that he took them on Maggie's orders. She shows them to Jack. [Episode written by David Sale.]
453. (6/02) Maggie arrives home to find Helen there and promises to move out of Jack's place as soon as she can. Les is worried about Norma looking after the bar while he is away and asks Don to look into her modelling contract. Don speaks plainly to Bruce. Bruce visits Maggie and tells her that he forgives her for everything. He takes her office keys from her bag while she's in the bedroom. Vera tells Harry he must take time to get used to a baby coming. Bruce sleeps with Maggie, then tells her what he thinks of her. She is stunned. Claire shows Don the photos of Bev. When more arrive, a note explains that the negatives are in a safe in Maggie's office. Claire hires someone to break in and retrieve them; the negatives are exactly where the note suggested. Claire tells Don she intends to break Maggie. After the funeral, she presents Maggie with the evidence, who denies everything. Harry requires some answers which only Vera can provide; her doctor has told Harry that there is no baby. Bruce wants Don to take him back; he throws him out. Jack and Don tell Claire they don't think Maggie had anything to do with the negatives, but Claire is determined. Vera admits to Harry that she is not pregnant and that Neville DeGroot has no coloured blood. She was merely testing Harry. [Episode written by David Sale.]
454. (7/02) Vera wants to know if Harry still wants to marry her again. Upset over Harry's reactions to her having coloured blood, she runs to Alf and Lucy. Alf decides to talk to Harry, but he is unsuccessful; Harry's racism is too strong. Norma discovers that Les is booked on the same flight as Amanda. She warns him not to let Amanda coerce him into stopping off in Hong Kong or anywhere. Don finds a loophole in Norma's modelling contract. Jan asks Dudley if he could see her with Don later that afternoon. Amanda and Les head to the airport amid many tears. Dudley meets his problem face-to-face; his son, Ben (Ben Huber), is a lovely little boy. Don thinks that Ben looks just like Dudley. Harry makes up his mind and leaves Vera for good. Lucy's fears are realised! Alf arrives home to find her bound and gagged on the bed. Poreski and another man are hiding behind the door. They overcome Alf and threaten that Arnold, in the hospital, is next. [Episode written by David Sale.]
455. (8/02) So much for Alf's secret plans; Lucy and Alf are now both bound and gagged on the bed. The police arrive! Dorrie, Herb and Flo try to assemble Amanda's bed but, when Dorrie says that it belongs to her, Flo and Herb leave the room and the bed collapses around her. Patti takes Aldo and Roma in to see Arnold. The Sutcliffes are having breakfast and when Herb arrives to collect the garbage, and Alf tells him what a hero he is. Over tea at the Boulevard Cafe, Dorrie tells Flo that Claire wants her to look after the lease on Flat 6. Jack and Helen are in bed at the penthouse but she must get ready for work. Jack tries to organise a time to see her, but she realises she will be too busy. Lucy is in the deli when Alf joins her to buy more copies of the newspaper with his photo in it, but Aldo's stock has sold out. Helen arranges to meet a strange man. Herb, Dorrie and Aldo go to the hospital to visit Arnold, but they keep slipping up about his leg. Lucy and Flo chat in the laundrette when an artist, Pablo (Gerard Maguire), arrives with a way-out painting to brighten up the place. Jack is at the deli buying cigarettes when Roma tells Aldo that his sister, Selma, has rung. The phone rings again; it is Selma wanting to stay in Flat 2 because her house is being redecorated. Jack is up in Flat 6 collecting some of Bev's belongings but Dorrie and Herb burst in, thinking he was a prowler. Arnold is feeling miserable and asks Patti what his life will be like with only one leg. Aldo and Roma bicker about Selma. Jack goes to the Cosmopolitan restaurant and sees Helen with another man. He feels guilty and leaves. Alf and Lucy find Arnold in his wheelchair. Arnold has done some serious thinking about his future; he is never returning to Number 96 and has booked himself into a home for the disabled. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]
456. (11/02) Norma and Vera commiserate in the wine bar; they are missing Les and Harry. Maggie wants to know why Norma is leaving Fuller Figure Fashions. Don arrives to see Dudley. He follows him out to the kitchen where Dudley explains that he has received a letter from Jan's solicitor. It is a demand for maintenance and may led to court proceedings. Over dinner, Dorrie, Herb and Flo discuss the ad to find a tenant for Flat 6. Helen arrives home and is short-tempered with Jack when he tries to ask about her day. Maggie has just lost another account when a bitter Claire sweeps in, vowing to avenge Bev's death. In the laundrette, Marilyn and Dudley are chatting when Norma arrives. In the midst of confusion, Norma manages to fall through one of Pablo's paintings. Vera arrives at Don's with an empty whisky bottle, wanting to borrow some of his. She confides in him about her coloured blood and her fears for her baby. Dorrie shows Flat 6 to a young, prospective tenant named Lulu. Suddenly, Mr Lulu arrives. He is a rather elderly, balding man. After Dorrie leaves, Lulu tells him that she charges $30 for 15 minutes. Don explains that Norma can opt out of her modelling contract. Jack and Helen's quiet drink is interrupted by Maggie, who tries to talk business. Helen abruptly leaves, her place soon taken by Claire, who is to have dinner with Jack. Flo tells Dorrie about meeting Mr Lulu, but her recollection is of a young man with freckles and red hair. Vera is very drunk in the wine bar and Norma tries to help her. Jack is unsympathetic. He is convinced that Helen is having an affair with another man. Herb arrives at Flat 6 with flowers for Lulu, but is startled to find her in bed with... a third Mr Lulu? Dudley contemplates ways to change his story. He admits to Don that he only ever slept with Jan once, but it was exactly nine months before Ben was born. He suspects that he is Ben's father. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]
457. (12/02) Edie is cooking dinner. She is just about to take a Bex powder when Reg arrives from the TH. Marilyn has met Pablo and he has some colourful, artistic ideas. When Reg hears that the young man wants to paint Marilyn, he encourages her to bring Pablo home. Norma drops into the deli to pick up some pretzels for the wine bar. Roma is suggesting that Arnold should come to live in Flat 2, but Aldo is insistent that Selma will be moving in. Dudley and Don discuss Ben's parentage. Alf, Lucy and Vera visit the recuperating Arnold. Lucy tells Patti that Arnold is refusing to return to Number 96 and wants Patti to help him change his mind. Reg and Edie are watching television. Reg decides to check on the progress of Pablo's painting but gets more than he bargained for: Marilyn is naked - and Pablo is using her as a human canvas. Aldo and Roma make up. Selma rings again to announce that her visit will be much longer than a week. Back from the hospital, Lucy invites Vera into Flat 8 for coffee, but they end up arguing about Arnold. Vera is very cool to Don and wants him to leave. She encounters Lucy again and tells her about her black South African heritage. Edie buys some more powders from the deli, telling Aldo and Roma about last night. Marilyn is describing her artistic encounter to Lucy. Reg arrives and tries to take Marilyn home with him, but Lucy scolds him. Arnold attempts to get from his bed to the wheelcair by himself. Don tells Dudley that he and Jan will need to take blood tests. Once again, Vera is very short with Don. Marilyn arrives in the deli to buy some turps from Aldo. She can't quite reach the paint on her back and removes her top to show him... just as Roma walks in from the street. Vera receives a cruel note, which has been pinned to her front door. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]
"The Box" makes its Sydney debut in a 90-minute episode, achieving a rating of 46. The previous night, it had scored 32 in Melbourne.
458. (13/02) Dorrie and Flo rent out Flat 6 to a Mr Cartwright-Smith for $20 per night. After lunch, Marilyn and Reg depart Flat 5 and Edie rushes to phone a local radio station, asking them to get Dean to "ring his Mummy". Norma is closing the wine bar when Flo rushes in, wanting a very expensive bottle of wine for Mr Cartwright-Smith. Dorrie starts to doubt the wisdom behind her business venture. Their new tenant treats the place like a guest house. He has ordered steak au poivre for dinner, followed by cheesecake. Marilyn arrives home to find Edie talking excitedly on the phone to Dean. Edie is terrified that Marilyn will tell Reg. Flo is paying Norma for the wine when Herb arrives to collect a second bottle. Vera is having a drink when Don arrives to take her out, but she refuses. Mal Jackson (George Assang) is playing guitar in the wine bar when Vera arrives and sits with Herb and Don. Dorrie and Flo are cooking dinner for Mr Cartwright-Smith and there are several disasters, including the phone ringing, which causes all the food to end up on the floor. Flo answers the phone. It is their tenant changing his order! Marilyn visits Don and they listen to records - when Edie suddenly arrives. Vera has picked up Mal and tells him he will be staying the night. The next morning, Don knocks on her door and it is answered by Mal. Reg and Edie are eating breakfast when Don arrives. He has found Marilyn's glasses. Mr Cartwright-Smith has not phoned down with his breakfast order. Flo and Dorrie head upstairs to give him his bill for $78. The flat has been trashed and there is no sign of their tenant. [Episode written by Anne Duroe.]
George Assang (aka as Vic Sabrino), who portrays Mal Jackson, was from Thursday Island and was of Aboriginal, Pacific Islander and Asian descent. At the time of this role, he was married to Rowena Wallace, who would eventually also take a role in the series.
459. (14/02) Dudley goes to visit Arnold at the hospital. Just as he is leaving, Helen arrives and assures Arnold that she is sure that the job in Bali would still be available if he wanted it. As Aldo and Roma fuss over organising the deliveries, Jack calls in and asks about the goings-on in Flat 6. As he leaves, a discussion about Selma devolves into another argument. Maggie continues to be a problem. She tries to convince Claire that she had nothing to do with the photos of Bev that turned up in the media. She puts the blame onto Bruce. Dudley drops into the laundrette to update Alf and Lucy on Arnold. Roma has prepared a magnificant lunch to impress Selma, but she rings to postpone. Helen slips away from drinks with Jack when Maggie arrives. Aldo brings all the food that Roma prepared for Selma into the wine bar and tries to sell it to Dudley. Alf arrives home, expecting lunch on the table, but finds Lucy with Arnold. After too many drinks, Aldo staggers back to the deli with the unwanted food. He trips over, right into it. Claire is going through Bev's belongings when Jack arrives. He tries to defend Maggie over the photos, but Claire refuses to believe him. Alf, Lucy, Dudley, Aldo and Roma throw Arnold an impromptu "Welcome home" party. Alf attempts to make a speech but gets emotional. Arnold notices the time: Aldo and Roma have abandoned the deli at its busiest time and he sends them back downstairs. Jack tries to get the truth out of Helen. Is she really leaving for work, or is she meeting another man? Maggie arrives and Helen takes the chance to leave. After his first dinner back in Flat 8, Arnold goes to bed very contented. Over the washing up, Lucy asks Alf how they are going to manage. Just as Aldo and Roma prepare for bed, Selma rings to announce that she intends to move in tomorrow. Maggie is leaving Jack's penthouse just as Helen arrives from work. Jack tries to get to the truth. Helen admits that the man she was meeting is her ex-husband, Peter. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
460. (15/02) Flo and Herb wonder why Dorrie is so quick to get upset about things lately. Helen and Jack have a fight about Peter, who wants Helen to marry him again. Flo wants Don to speak to Jack about the leasing of Flat 6, as Dorrie no longer seems interested in doing anything with it. Meanwhile, Dorrie hands over the whole situation to Norma. Arnold's hopes are dashed: it will be at least three more weeks before he can be fitted with an artifical leg. Patti delights Arnold with a visit but he is distressed to hear that she is engaged to be married. Dorrie discovers she has been dropped from the Pennants bowling team and bursts into tears. Herb is planning a special treat for Dorrie and Flo tells her she thinks he is taking her to Hayman Island. But Herb arrives home with borrowed camping equipment. They are going to be roughing it at Hill End. Dorrie again bursts into tears. Don tells Dudley about the results of the blood tests, which have come back the same. He thinks Dudley is being unreasonable. Helen tells Jack that she has refused Peter's offer. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
461. (18/02) Roma suffers a situation with "too many cooks", while Reg's prim facade could be misleading. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
462. (19/02) Maggie has had a distressing encounter with Claire. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
463. (20/02) Les is in yet another predicament. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
464. (21/02) Marilyn is confused by Dudley's emotional behaviour. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
465. (22/02) Norma reacts in horror to Jack's news. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
466. (25/02) Arnold hears something and is lost for words. Dudley wants to make a clean break. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
467. (26/02) Is Claire hearing the truth from Maggie? Jack has cause for doubts. The nerdish Wesley Walton (Chris King) has an outrageous encounter with Marilyn. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
Due to Chris King's appearance in this episode, as Wesley Walton, both Chard Hayward and Philippa Baker were offered roles in "The Young Doctors". Philippa played the mother of Chris's regular character, hospital orderly, Dennis Jamison.
468. (27/02) Norma faints in surprise, but Helen is also in for a shock. Mr Sheridan (Tom Farley) tells Helen the truth about her mother: she is not dead, after all, but in an asylum for the mentally unstable. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
The character of Mr Sheridan, as portrayed by Tom Farley, was introduced in Episode #370.
469. (28/02) Shadows from the past keep turning up to haunt Mal, while Arnold looks to his future. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
470. (29/02) Helen goes to visit her mother, Elissa Sheridan (Betty Dyson), at the Cobar Asylum. Helen amazes Jack again. Dudley has had a change of attitude. [Episode written by David Sale.]
471. (4/03) Jack agrees to let Mrs Sheridan stay with them at the penthouse, but Helen soon realises that her father may have known best after all. Maggie's problems are overwhelming and she threatens Claire, while Vera and Mal argue. [Episode written by David Sale.]
472. (5/03) Dorrie's voice returns and she puts a stop to Flo's reunion plans. Vera loses something very important: her sketch pad of pirated fashion designs. Claire's health is a cause of concern when she refuses an operation to remove a blood clot, but Jack signs the consent form. Norma reads an instalment of 54 Paddington Place. Elissa goes shopping with Helen, but why has she also brought a huge knife with her? Vera is a victim of Mal's nightmare. [Episode written by David Sale.]
473. (6/03) Edie confides in Marilyn. Mal tries to help Vera in his own way. [Episode written by David Sale.]
474. (7/03) Reg decides on the only appropriate course of action. Don has an important message for Dudley. [Episode written by David Sale.]
475. (8/03) Don has uncovered some undeniable facts during an investigation. Herb meets a filthy, old tramp named Sid Chatterton (Harry Lawrence) in the park and takes him back to the vacant Flat 6. Herb's Good Samaritan act has been discovered. [Episode written by Anne Duroe.]
Harry Lawrence, who portrays Sid Chatterton, had previously appeared as the recurring character of John Vernon, from Episode #305, and would be seen in another role, Horace Deerman, in the 1974 movie (filmed in December 1973).
476. (11/03) Jack's words spoken in jest are actually close to the truth. [Episode written by Anne Duroe.]
477. (12/03) Helen believes that Jack is being melodramatic, but Vera finds him to be a good friend. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]
478. (13/03) What will Jan think of Dudley's latest idea? Norma is mystified by something she reads. Tom Bartlett (Ron Roberts) comes into the laundrette and he and Lucy strike up a conversation over a pot of tea. Jack wakes up just in time: surrounded by fire! [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]
479. (14/03) There is a happy reunion at Number 96, but Norma is far from happy about her discovery. [Episode written by Susan Swinford.]
480. (15/03) Maggie wins a round with Claire. Dorrie decides to start a "partition" against the magazine serial. Elissa seems contented. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]
481. (18/03) Helen is disturbed by something she has found. Meanwhile, Arnold's nurse, Patti Olsen (Pamela Garrick), has some surprising intentions. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]
Pamela Garrick, who portrays Patti Olsen, previously appeared as Sir Arnold Ashton's secretary in 1973.
482. (19/03) Roma and Aldo are over-anxious in their desire to assist a friend. Marilyn is suffering from the pangs of unrequited love. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]
483. (20/03) Les's newly acquired prosperity is burning a hole in his pocket, leading to some strange ideas. Herb receives a letter from Doctor Knickerbocker, inviting him and Dorrie to join a protest march, but Dorrie is against it. Dorrie receives an unexpected gift from Sid and is overwhelmed. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]
484. (21/03) Jack gives the Sheridan family some time to be alone. Edie must realise that the holiday is over. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]
485. (22/03) Dorrie maintains that she has witnessed a crime, but nobody believes her. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
486. (25/03) Dorrie receives a most unwelcome visitor. Helen must face the truth. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
487. (26/03) Two marriages at Number 96 are under threat. Tragedy strikes again in Vera's life. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
488. (27/03) Feelings between Aldo and Roma are strained. Don finds the door to the laundrette closed, but has no idea of the sinister dealings behind it. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
489. (28/03) Reg and Edie endure a night of fear. Patti and Arnold find that it is difficult to be alone at Number 96. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
490. (29/03) Jack gets a good reception, but Don can't say the same. Les finds that he has a lot to learn about photography. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
491. (1/04) Helen tries to withstand her mother's plea. Aldo aims to equal Roma's achievement. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
492. (2/04) Edie opens the door to find her son, Dean MacDonald (Marty Rhone), waiting there. She is delighted! Reg refuses to listen to reason. Alf gets the wrong idea about Tom. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
493. (3/04) Dorrie's party may not go according to plan. Tom decides to speak out. Card sharp Vince Dexter (Phil Avalon) cleans up playing poker at Dorrie's doomed attempt at holding a bridge party. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
Phil Avalon's first "Number 96" appearance was as Vince Dexter in this episode, but he had already filmed his cameo as a bikie in the movie version the previous December, and due to premiere in May 1974.
494. (4/04) At last, Arnold finds the right words. Jack is shocked into silence by the scene that greets him. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
495. (5/04) Jack is not sure if his problems are solved. Alf confuses Lucy even further. [Episode written by David Sale.]
496. (8/04) Don and Dudley tidy up the flat and discover that nothing has been stolen. Jack informs Helen of Elissa's death. In the cellar, a mystery surrounds the Buddha statue; it is found to be filled with packets of drugs. Les wants to try out a miracle hair restorer on Herb. Edie features on 2UE's talkback radio show hosted by John Laws (Himself). Dean discloses a family secret over dinner: that Marilyn is adopted. [Episode written by David Sale.].
497. (9/04) Margo Campbell (Doris Goddard), an old friend of Vera's from South Africa, comes to see her and asks if she would mind her teenaged son, Colin. Dorrie dispenses some good advice. An emotional outburst from Colin Campbell (Steve Bannister) horrifies Vera. [Episode written by David Sale.]
Cash Harmon paperwork suggested that Chris Benaud was the original actor signed to play the role of Colin Campbell, and the actor has since provided clarification. Chris was offered a longer-running part in "Class of '74" not long after being cast as Colin. It was agreed to release him from his "Number 96" contract but, to assist with production deadlines, Chris did play a different teenaged character for several episodes from Episode #523, notably smoking cannabis onscreen with a character played by Angela Punch (later known as Angela Punch-McGregor). Steve Bannister was cast in the role of Colin instead.
498. (10/04) Alf is due to be shocked out of complacency. Flo becomes a martyr to a cause. [Episode written by David Sale.]
499. (11/04) Arnold's newfound happiness may be in jeopardy. Jack tries to get the truth out of Helen. [Episode written by David Sale.]
500. (15/04) There is a mixed welcome home for two residents of Number 96. Meanwhile, Helen seems have adopted a defeatist attitude. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
Often claimed in news articles to be "the first colour episode", but Channel 10 in Sydney didn't convert its main studio for colour production until the 1974 Easter weekend. (TEN-10 actually made Australia's first colour TV special back in 1970, using borrowed cameras. "Love is Deep Down Under" featured American singer, Lovelace Watkins.)
501. (16/04) Tom has a plan and seems intent on seeing it through. Aldo has a point to prove. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
502. (17/04) Dean's reaction is not what Reg expected. The Whittakers have a midnight caller: their son, Gary Whittaker (Mike Ferguson). [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
Mike Ferguson was last seen onscreen as Gary Whittaker in Episode #205.
503. (18/04) Marilyn is having second thoughts. Flo receives recognition as a result of Dorrie's fund-raising efforts and Herb undergoes a transformation. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
504. (19/04) Amanda's phone call does not alleviate Don's confusion. Arnold and Patti have conflicting ideas over their wedding arrangements. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
Over the Easter weekend, Channel 10 in Sydney converted its studio for colour production. Even then, although all scenes were being taped in colour, completed episodes would still be compiled in black and white for several more weeks.
505. (22/04) It's panic stations for Reg... and for Don, too, if he can't pacify his visitors. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]
506. (23/04) Helen's father has some information to her advantage. Dudley's intruder leaves behind a clue. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]
507. (24/04) Roma and Aldo try to play cupid. Marilyn is innocently oblivious to the attentions of her admirer. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]
508. (25/04) Colin brings Penny Snow (Bethany Lee) home to Flat 7 so they can do homework together. Lucy tries to make Alf listen to the truth. Reg feels that his family situation is now completely out of hand. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]
509. (26/04) Gary shows a sudden interest in Maggie. Don is careless with his briefcase. [Episode written by Lynn Foster.]
510. (29/04) Tom wants an answer from Lucy. Marilyn shocks her parents with her plans for the future. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
511. (30/04) Maggie strikes a hard bargain. Alf overhears a conversation which startles him. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
512. (1/05) Don thought his troubles were over, but Gary has news which changes his mind. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
513. (2/05) Helen straightens things out with Jack, while Patti sets standards for Arnold. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
514. (3/05) Herb is headed for trouble if he listens to Flo. Lucy takes a bold step. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
MOVIE. (Gala premiere 5/05) Vera suffers a traumatic experience at the hands of a bikie gang. The former Sonia Vansard (Lynn Rainbow) returns to Number 96 with a new husband, Duncan Hunter (Alister Smart), while Jack falls for their neighbour, a beautiful air hostess named Diana Moore (Rebecca Gilling). Aldo takes on a second job after his nest egg is burned in a fire. Dorrie and Herb's plans to celebrate their Ruby Wedding Anniversary may be ruined by a shocking discovery: is Dorrie really married to Horace Deerman (Harry Lawrence), Herb's alcoholic Best Man? Simon Carr (John Orcsik) and a politician, Nicholas Brent (James Condon), compete for Vera's affections. Les, Alf and Herb build a sauna in the basement and try to make some money from it. Sonia experiences psychic phenomena in her dreams... or is it reality? Tony Brent (Patrick Ward) is revealed as Vera’s bikie attacker. The residents of Number 96 attend a fancy dress party at Aldo's latest business venture, The Connaught Rooms. Australia has a new Prime Minister and Vera shares a position of prominence in a joyful street parade. [Movie script written by David Sale and Johnny Whyte; directed by Peter Benardos.]
This feature film version of "Number 96" had its gala premiere at Sydney's Regent Theatre. Only five prints were struck, so the movie had staggered premieres in various capital cities, drive-ins and country town cinemas over the next four months. This permitted the cast to make many live appearances around the country to promote the film. It was still running in suburban cinemas and drive-ins during the August school holidays of 1974. It was fans' first opportunity to see their favourite characters in colour. Sonia and Simon are returning characters from the early days of the series, played by their original actors, Lynn Rainbow and John Orcsik. Returning in new roles are James Condon, Patrick Ward and Harry Lawrence. Paul Chubb has an uncredited cameo as a deliveryman, dropping off an unassembled sauna to the Whittakers in Flat 1. Phil Avalon and Caz Lederman make uncredited cameos as a bikie and his moll. Coincidentally, the date of the film's Sydney premiere dovetails quite neatly into the ongoing prime time TV storylines. Bev Houghton Goodman's empty Flat 6 is still without a regular tenant. Helen Sheridan is not involved in the movie either; her Flat 5 is again recently vacated, but the movie's storylines do not mention the MacDonald family. Nor does the movie mention Dudley Butterfield's relationship with Don. The Sutcliffes are seemingly reconciled, but everything else seems to fit. (When Norma Whittaker appears as Lady Godiva at the fancy dress ball, Alf Sutcliffe exclaims, "It's Abigail!" This is a cheeky reference to Abigail's participation in an actual fundraising event: a ball organised by Hazel Phillips to aid a Tibetan refugees' resettlement program in India. Held at Martinique Restaurant, Edgecliffe, the event was promoted with a daytime dress rehearsal in Centennial Park, and covered by several Sydney newspapers.) The movie's original theatrical trailer has seemingly been lost, but it featured the voice of Network TEN's Dal Myles - "See Number 96 threatened by fire!" The movie's Sydney television premiere was on 29/10/1976.
515. (6/05) Young Colin and his squatter friend, Penny, look through the newspapers for furniture to make Flat 6 more comfortable. Gary has disappeared again, so Arnold comes to help out in the wine bar. Alf arrives, in search of Lucy. Don wants to go to the police about the heroin found in the Buddha statue, but Gary warns that it would put Amanda in danger. Lucy has been missing all night and Alf is worried. Norma is still in hospital, complaining about how little food is permitted on her diet. Dudley is puzzled by the frequency of Gary's visits to Don; he overhears a discussion about police involvement, but Don won't elaborate. Alf asks Vera if she knows Lucy's whereabouts, but she says that she doesn't. Arnold tells Dudley about the fight he had with Patti about his medical checkup. Vera sees Colin and Penny carrying furniture into the vacant flat. They spend time sorting Penny's belongings. Patti asks for Norma's opinion over her latest argument with Arnold. Alf is getting very drunk and Arnold tries to help him upstairs, but Alf knocks Arnold down. Vera arrives home to find Colin packing; he tells Vera that he and Penny are moving into Flat 6. Gary visits his mother in the hospital. Dudley is being very cool towards Don. Alf makes a bitter realisation; he tells Arnold that Lucy has gone for good. [Episode written by Cres Jenkinson.]
516. (7/05) Marilyn tells Edie about Lucy having left Alf. Reg arrives home but has forgotten Edie's sweets and she makes a big fuss about them. Marilyn suspects something is going on, but Reg doesn't want Edie to tell her that she is pregnant. Gary is still sitting with Norma when Les comes in to say that a specialist will be visiting her later. Dudley tries to question Don about Gary when they are interrupted by the arrival of a very drunk Jack. Attempting to sober him up, they learn that Helen has left him for a convent. Edie can't understand why her baby must be a secret. Marilyn notices that her mother is putting on weight. Don wants to let Dudley know what's going on - and not to be jealous - but Gary says they can't tell anyone until the Narcotics Squad have caught the gang. Aldo and Roma visit with Norma; she is convinced that, if she can't stick to her diet, she will have a fatal heart attack. Dudley wants Marilyn to make a play for Gary so he can have Don back to himself. Jack is still hitting the bottle and Don tries to bring him to his senses. Aldo and Roma discuss Norma's situation and Arnold's wedding. Aldo wants to use his earnings from the stockmarket to pay for the wedding. Roma admits that she and Arnold helped him to win the money and he insists that he will pay her back. Edie makes so much noise eatng sweets and reading in bed that Reg moves out to sleep on the couch. Gary and Marilyn sneak away from the wine bar for a naughty encounter. Jack may have a unique solution to Norma's problems with the wine bar. When he staggers into the wine bar and wants a whiskey, service is refused, so Jack smashes up the bar. Roma and Aldo argue about money again. When Don awakens Jack, he remembers nothing about the night before. Marilyn and Gary arrive back after their wild night and she does some boasting to Reg: his daughter is no longer a virgin. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
517. (8/05) Alf tells Arnold that Lucy has put the laundrette up for sale. Arnold meets Vera knocking on the door of Flat 6. Colin and Penny wait inside for the knocking to stop and then sneak out. Reg and Edie talk at crossed purposes; Reg about Marilyn's latest delinquent escapades and Edie about their forthcoming blessed event. Now Reg thinks that Marilyn is seeing an American doctor. Marilyn ends up telling Reg that it was Dean she spent the night with. Dorrie goes on a door-to-door campaign for the Paddington Purity League and comes close to uncovering Herb's guilty secret - about him posing nude for a future issue of the Paddo Scream. She goes into the deli to leave some pamphlets and sees an issue of the Paddo Scream on the rack. She admonishes Aldo for stocking "porno-graffy". Aldo and Roma start arguing and Dorrie ends up buying the copy. Dorrie then lays into Arnold for allowing the deli to stock such filth. Edie questions Marilyn about Dean, but Marilyn says she only said it to keep Daddy quiet. Vera comes into the laundrette and Marilyn takes an interest in Colin - she has his clean laundry ready - but Vera admonishes her and says that Colin can look after himself. Patti looks for Arnold in the deli but he is out on deliveries. Aldo is robbed and he tries to blame Roma, and then Arnold, for his predicament. Dorrie blames the crime on "porno-graffy" in filthy magazines. Vera and Alf discuss Lucy, and Reg and Edie join them for lunch. Dorrie notices Penny and Colin entering Flat 6 and demands that Vera explain. Dorrie is going to report them to the authorities. Vera visits the flat, to warn Colin that Dorrie knows they are squatting, but Penny insists that Dorrie will be powerless to act - because her mother has signed a lease on their behalf. Patti apologises to Arnold and he explains that he has had his medical checkup. Dorrie announces that she will be taking action against the Paddo Scream; Flo mentions to Herb that his centrefold issue has already been printed. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
518. (9/05) Reg is raving on about Marilyn, and Edie is raving on about the baby. Marilyn storms in, complaining that she is running the laundrette on her own. Colin and Penny have dinner with Vera, who tries to offer them some guidance. Aldo and Roma host dinner for Arnold, Patti and Alf, to discuss the wedding and Lucy's departure. When the others go for a walk, Patti puts the hard word on Arnold: why have they not yet slept together? Arnold asks Alf's advice about premarital relations. Penny is unaware that Colin is peeping on her when she is in the shower. Dorrie practises her Domain speech while Flo heads off to join a rival protest march. Herb tells her he won't be going. They are interrupted by Edie who lets it slip that she is expecting. Arnold talks about premarital relations with the Godolfuses. Alf is home early as he has had a slight prang. Vera has her hands full, trying to console Alf about Lucy, assisting Marilyn in the laundrette and, at the same time, advising Colin. Reg tells Edie to chat with Marilyn about the facts of life but Edie discovers that Marilyn knows everything she should. Roma is in a huff after Selma insulted her. Patti invites Arnold to have dinner with her mother. Penny and Colin do their homework. Flo calls into the laundrette after the march and accidentally mentions Edie's pregnancy to Marilyn. Flo tells Herb that they have to break up Dorrie's meeting at the Domain on Sunday. Dorrie and Reg discuss the aims of the Purity League. The Godolfuses bicker about Selma. Patti and Arnold leave for dinner and she tells him that he is staying the night. Alf breaks down, crying on Vera's shoulder. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
519. (10/05) Don visits Norma in the hospital and reassures her the damage was not as bad as Les made out. Gary gets a call from an army colonel; Dudley and Les are puzzled. Dorrie arrives home from the Senior Citzens' and almost catches Flo and Herb discussing how they will break up Dorrie's rally. Dorrie announces that she is taking action against the Paddo Scream. Jack abuses Don while he's drunk. Dudley tries to get information out of Don about the army's call to Gary and whether it involves the Buddha statue. Dudley is uncomfortable about Jack's presence. Flo shows Herb the nude centrefold. They hear Dorrie coming and hide the magazine. Les can take Norma home but only if she sticks to her diet. Gary brings his mission to a successful conclusion: Mr Big has been caught! Jack and Dudley listen to Gary's story, baffled. The phone rings and it is Amanda, announcing that she is safe. Dorrie learns from the deli that Flo has bought the latest issue of the Paddo Scream. She demands to know where it is. Gary will be staying on in Sydney, to give evidence at the dope trial. Flo claims to have dropped the magazine on her way up from the deli. Dorrie almost uncovers its hiding place. Herb faints and Flo hides the magazine in her dress. Two delivery men arrive at Flat 4 with crates of champagne from Amanda. Jack's reaction to his loneliness has disastrous consequences. In his empty penthouse, he falls asleep, knocking his brandy to the floor. A dropped cigarette then ignites the carpets and curtains. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
520. (13/05) Reg admonishes Marilyn for not helping her mother with dinner. Alf calls in to see Vera in the laundrette and apologises for his behaviour. Trixie O'Toole (Jan Adele) arrives in Paddington and introduces herself to Vera. It turns out that she is Penny's mother! Les and Gary try to get Norma to take it easy in the wine bar. While Don chats to Norma, Maggie arrives with the news that Jack's caretaker phoned her and his building is going up in flames. Trixie seems quite happy for Penny and Colin to be flatting together. Alf arrives and he and Trixie dance together. Les and Dudley are concerned about Jack. Gary talks to his mother about Maggie and Marilyn. He tries to convince Marilyn to close the laundrette early. Don brings Jack back to Flat 4, but Jack collapses. Marilyn tells Reg she is going to find her birth parents. Maggie wonders about Jack's fire insurance. Vera and Alf talk about Trixie. He again asks if Vera knows where Lucy is; she reassures him she has no idea. Alf finds some consolation. Maggie tells Gary he should take her out to lunch, but Marilyn arrives and Maggie must take second place. She is furious when they depart together. Don reads Amanda's letter to Jack, but they are interrupted by a phone call. It brings more anxiety for Jack: his insurers are suspecting arson. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
521. (14/05) Arnold tries to warn Aldo about the need for caution with the share market. Colin is wrestling with a problem but he won't discuss it with Penny. He goes for a walk. Maggie has been investigating Jack's finances; he is in a lot of debt. Patti and Arnold are making love on the couch in Flat 8 - and Alf, Vera and Trixie walk in on them. Jack admits being in debt but promises Don that he doesn't remember the fire starting. Arnold is running late, returning from his Rest & Recreation period. Arnold suggests that Roma take up painting. Aldo finds a new interest: he wins some money on greyhound racing. Colin tells Penny that he wants to go to bed with her. They are arguing when Trixie arrives and tells them they should go to bed and solve all their problems. Vera and Dudley discuss Trixie, while Maggie argues with Gary. Arnold and Patti are again on the couch together but they are interrupted by Roma and Aldo. Alf is in high spirits until he sees Lucy's photo in its frame. Vera talks with Patti and Roma about their dresses for the wedding. Colin arrives to chat to Vera, but leaves when he sees she is busy. He does not keep to his agreement with Penny. He says that he wants her and grabs her violently. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
522. (15/05) Dorrie insists that Herb must accompany her to the Paddington Purity League rally at the Domain. Flo disagrees, since Herb is Vice President of the Pensioners' Liberation Movement. He must make up his mind whether he supports the Purity League or the PLM. Norma is out of bed, nagging Les to get a brick to prop open the door. He sends her back to bed. Penny is packing her suitcase, to return to her mother. Colin doesn't want her to go. Marilyn makes an offer: she will tell Mummy and Daddy who her new boyfriend is if they tell her about her real parents. Aldo and Les discuss money-making schemes. Reg and Dorrie make plans for the Domain tomorrow. Penny is back already; her mother tossed her out. Penny will stay in Flat 6, but only on her own terms. Dorrie experiences a severe blow to her campaign: she walks into the deli and catches Aldo, Roma, Arnold and Patti staring at Herb's nude centrefold in the Paddo Scream. Back in Flat 3, Dorrie has taken to her fainting couch, telling Herb she can never be seen in public with him again. Marilyn drops in on Penny and Colin. She asks if she could sometimes entertain a friend for lunch, in Flat 6, while they are at school. Edie is worried she might lose her baby and Reg thinks that a miscarriage might be a blessing in disguise. Herb is caught in the middle of an argument and promptly faints. Later, in the wine bar, a little old lady recognises Herb from his centrefold and wants his autograph. Patti and Arnold leave for a night at the Sydney Opera House while the Godolfuses argue about Aldo's gambling. Professor Teddington pays Aldo $5 for the old brick that Les left behind on the deli counter. Dean creates great concern for his family; the hospital rings to say he has been in an accident. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
523. (16/05) Dorrie gets back from church and accuses Herb and Flo of throwing out her Domain speech. She finds it in the garbage bin, where she had it thrown it herself, along with the pornographic Sunday newspapers. Reg won't tell Marilyn or Edie which hospital Dean is in, in case they upset him. Colin goes to Vera with his troubles, just as Alf arrives. Dorrie coerces Penny to sign her Purity League petition but Colin is not interested. Reg says that Dean is seriously ill and may not survive. Trixie arrives at Flat 6 with decorative posters. Alf has lunch with Vera and she tells him that she saw Lucy getting into at car being driven by Tom Bartlett. Dorrie leaves for her rally but Flo pressures Herb to go with her instead. Herb explains that he promised Dorrie he would only leave the flat if he were carried out feet first. When Mr Raintree arrives, Flo tells him to carry Herb out... feet first. Trixie and Penny discuss Penny's refusal to go to bed with Colin. Vera succeeds in bringing Alf to his senses: he realises he has been treating Lucy badly. Alf sweeps everything off the dressing table, including Lucy's photo, and sobs in Vera's arms. Penny is unimpressed by Colin's pot-smoking mates (Chris Benaud & Angela Punch) and, when she finds them undressing in her bedroom, Penny orders them out of the flat. Marilyn finally finds out which hospital Dean is in, and races off to see him. Both rallies are in full swing at the Domain. Old ladies recognise Herb from his centrefold. Dorrie and Flo disagree over their ideas and create a calamity. Drunk, Flo's PLM members heckle Dorrie, Reg and the Purity League - and a brawl ensues. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
Chris Benaud, who portrays a cannabis-smoking teenager, fulfilled this guest role to satisfy the "Number 96" contract that he had signed when first cast as Colin Campbell. (Chris had been offered a longer-running, starring role in "Class of '74", and needed to be released. Steve Bannister played Colin instead.)
524. (17/05) Roma is so preoccupied by her painting that she forgets to prepare Aldo's dinner. Patti and Arnold announce that they are going to be eating upstairs. Aldo pulls a banana from Roma's still life and eats it. Roma is furious. Patti and Arnold find Flat 8 in disarray. Don and Jack discuss insurance policies. Don answers the door to a dishevelled Herb, back from the disastrous rallies. He tells Don that Dorrie, Flo and Reg are all down at Central Police Station, but Don says that nothing can be done until the morning. Returning to Number 96 the next day, Dorrie is convinced that her public life is at an end. Gary and Les awake to Norma cooking a high cholesterol breakfast. They talk her into a black coffee instead. Roma is painting but Aldo wants to set the table. Arnold tells the Godolfuses of his fears for Lucy after seeing the mess in the Sutcliffes' flat. Don, Jack and Maggie discuss the fire with the insurance representative. Mrs Terry rings Dorrie to congratulate her on getting her photo in the newspaper. Maggie worries that the tenants of Jack's building will sue their company if the fire is deemed to be arson. Arnold suggests that Patti could move into his room in Flat 8 after they are married. Aldo tells Les that Professor Teddington paid Aldo $5 for the old brick. Les is puzzled. Jack is angry that everyone seems to think he set the fire deliberately. Gary and Les ask him if they can employ additional help in the wine bar while Norma is unwell. He storms out. They are are surprised by Jack's reaction. Herb receives a phone call asking him to be Australia's "Mr Pep". Aldo and Les have plans to make a fortune: Les realises that the cellar of Number 96 is full of genuine, convict-made bricks. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe.]
525. (20/05) Les's behaviour puzzles Norma. Alf is about to make a rash decision, which causes Vera to regret her honesty with him. [Episode written by Stan Mars.]
526. (21/05) Colin refuses to go to school and Penny gets angry. Reg tells Marilyn not to visit Dean. Dorrie is not pleased about Herb's job as "Mr Pep". Penny gets the wrong impression. Flo is completely unaware that she is ruining an important project; she allows Dorrie to lock her in the cellar as an experiment in Gaol Reform, but takes a few hidden necessities with her. Gary and Marilyn make use of the vacant Flat 6, unaware of Colin's presence. Gary leaves for the wine bar and Penny walks in, leaping to the wrong conclusion. Reg finds Edie collapsed on the bathroom floor. [Episode written by David Sale.]
527. (22/05) Dorrie serves her "prisoner" a lunch of leftovers. Edie has been overusing headache powders. Trixie tries to cheer up Alf by inviting him to her club show. Edie's disappointment brings its reward when she and Reg visit Dean in the hospital. Herb falls asleep and Dorrie gets lonely so she plans to let Flo out "on probation". Dean asks Marilyn if she is still going to marry him. [Episode written by David Sale.]
528. (23/05) Don's arrival is eagerly anticipated by Maggie and Jack. Lorelei Wilkinson (Josephine Knur) starts working in Norma's Bar. Vera checks on Alf's mail. [Episode written by David Sale.]
529. (24/05) Marilyn startles Dean. Jack has to make his story very convincing. [Episode written by David Sale.]
530. (27/05) Alf has urgent business to discuss with Don. [Episode written by David Sale.]
531. (28/05) Dudley is feeling neglected. Two good friends turn to each other for comfort. [Episode written by David Sale.]
532. (29/05) Aldo and Les send sparks flying at Number 96. Edie has help with her entertaining. [Episode written by David Sale.]
533. (30/05) Patti issues Arnold with an ultimatum concerning the date of the wedding. [Episode written by David Sale.]
534. (1/06) Flo has invited Dick Riggs (Colin Taylor) for dinner. Vera has a new family pattern: a letter from Margo means that Colin will have to stay longer. He explains that Penny has gone, and he asks about to moving back into Flat 7. Don offers Colin to visit whever he needs company. Gary's farewell is a source of concern for him; Marilyn wants him to take her with him. [Episode written by David Sale.]
This b/w episode, along with #450, has supposedly survived (when the rest of 1974's b/w episodes were lost). However, no copy of #534 is on file with the Australian Film & Sound Archive. It may be in private hands?
535. (3/06) Flo tells Herb that she has invited Dick Riggs to dinner. She sees it as her responsibility to ensure that an ex-con looks well-fed, to make up for what society has done to him. Dorrie has braved Sales Week in the city and has bought a wedding present at Mark Foys for Arnold and Patti - "a beautiful set of Splades in a presentation box" - but the wedding is off. Why wasn't she told? Edie smuggles a bottle of gin into Flat 5 right under Reg's nose. A business deal turns sour for Aldo. Marilyn attempts to escape her problems. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte.]
536. (4/06) Colin indulges in hero worship. Some delivery men bring cases of champagne to Flat 4. One of them turns out to be a disguised Baroness Amanda von Pappenburg (Carol Raye). Norma is not looking after her own health. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte.]
Carol Raye returns for Amanda von Pappenburg's second extended stint in the series from this episode.
535. (5/06) Arnold cannot think of an answer to his friend's simple question. Jack finds himself speaking out of turn. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte.]
538. (6/06) Alf refuses to accept Lucy's explanation. Dorrie must decide between two important events. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte.]
539. (7/06) Mrs Olsen (Susan Swinford) and the tenants of Number 96 celebrate the long-awaited marriage of Arnold and Patti. Presiding over the ceremony is a minister (Derek Strahan). Dudley, Lorelei and Amanda provide a musical contribution to the reception in Norma's Bar. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte.]
Two of the stable of regular writers play onscreen roles in this episode. Susan Swinford portrays Mrs Olsen and Derek Strahan plays the minister. Mrs Olsen will return in a story arc from Episode #716 and Derek Strahan will portray Rory O'Hoolihan in Episode #1169. The iconic portrait of nude Norma, which has hung on the wall of the wine bar since its opening, has been tastefully covered up with a temporary negligee. The lyrics of the Feathers' wedding jingle were probably penned by David Sale:
"Here's to our very good friend, dear Mr Feather,
At last together, husband and wife.
And now that they've signed the marriage pact,
We wish them, in point of actual fact,
The fairest of fairest weather all their lives!
And in no time, we know, that they're gonna go,
When they're together, as little Feathers feather their nest.
We may be so bold to coin a phrase,
And say what we know the whole world says,
To Mr and Mrs Feather, the best!
To Mr and Mrs Feather, the best!"
540. (10/06) Marilyn indulges in fantasy. Alf's crumbling marriage is only one of his problems. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
541. (11/06) Les has a good idea, but it backfires. Colin seems to resent Vera's happiness. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
542. (12/06) Marilyn faces the moment of truth. Someone takes a frightening interest in Aldo's delicatessen. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
There are probably no surviving records of official synopses after this episode (until Episode #544. Plots are drawn from episode descriptions in the TV magazines.)
543. (13/06) Aldo has a terrifying experience when a robber (Andrew Peterson, aka Robert Neesam) and his mate hold up the deli. Meanwhile Marilyn is torn between two loves. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
544. (14/06) Dudley realises that three is a crowd. Alf's attitude shocks Lucy. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
Following this episode, there are once again official synopses to use.
545. (17/06) Alf's plans are changed for him. Amanda is the recipient of horrifying news. [Episode written by Stan Mars.]
546. (18/06) Lucy is able to convince Alf, but there are still more troubles to come. [Episode written by Stan Mars.]
547. (19/06) Reg urges Bill Sumner (Alan Tobin) to tell Marilyn the truth. Flo gets an opportunity that makes Dorrie envious. Colin and his friends are caught smoking pot and Colin must break the news to Vera that he has been suspended from school. Marilyn is unsure of herself. [Episode written by Stan Mars.]
Colin Campbell's friends from Episode #523 are referenced in this episode, but do not appear onscreen.
548. (20/06) Reg shows an unexpected depth of feeling. Herb wears the scars of battle. [Episode written by Stan Mars.]
549. (21/06) Amanda has a confession for Don, while Vera unwittingly hurts Jack. [Episode written by Stan Mars.]
550. (24/06) Reg decides that Marilyn needs to hear the truth. [Episode written by David Sale.]
There are probably no surviving records of official synopses after this episode (until Episode #551. Plots are drawn from episode descriptions in the TV magazines.)
551. (25/06) Alf is optimistic, but the mood won't last for long. [Episode written by David Sale.]
Following this episode, there are once again official synopses to use.
552. (26/06) Roma fears a grotesque visitor. Dorrie asks Reg to grant a favour. [Episode written by David Sale.]
553. (27/06) Aldo has a single clue, but it disappears. Patti is kept busy. [Episode written by David Sale.]
554. (28/06) Amanda finds out the truth. Colin is happy about his new friendship. [Episode written by Michael Lawrence.]
Writer Michael Laurence went on to write many episodes of the series, credited onscreen as "Michael Lawrence". He was already well known as creator, director and star of "The Godfathers" (1971). He later created and wrote "Return to Eden" (1983).
555. (1/07) Roma and Aldo believe they have traced the intruder. Don has his suspicions about Otto Schiller (Alfred Sandor). [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
This marks the first episode ever viewed by yours truly.
556. (2/07) Lucy needs comforting. Don's services are required by several tenants. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
557. (3/07) Lorelei gets the wrong idea about Jack. Dorrie is grief stricken. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
558. (4/07) Lucy and Vera confide in each other. Aldo receives a particularly vicious phone call. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
559. (5/07) Reg and Edie experience a short-lived happiness. The Sutcliffe saga undergoes a new development. [Episode written by Ken Shadie.]
560. (8/07) Don suffers a bout of jealousy. Alf finds that his cloud has a silver lining.
There are probably no surviving records of official synopses after this episode (until Episode #564. Plots are drawn from episode descriptions in the TV magazines.)
561. (9/07) Marilyn is enjoying her new role. Jack and Vera are taken aback by Colin's outburst.
562. (10/07) Alf suffers a setback, while Reg makes an awful discovery.
563. (11/07) Don and Colin's friendship causes confusion for others. Marilyn is astonished.
564. (12/07) Amanda demands the truth from Otto. Vera has placed her friendship with Don in jeopardy.
Following this episode, there are once again official synopses to use.
565. (15/07) Flo misses a good friend. A outburst from Bill catches Marilyn by surprise. She wants to know more about his girlfriend, Pauline. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
566. (16/07) Dudley is a source of disappointment for Don. Maggie finds a new interest: Cain Carmichael (Tristan Rogers), who is fresh out of jail and looking for work. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
567. (17/07) Arnold is displeased while Les finds a new love: an abandoned puppy in a box. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
568. (18/07) Les calls the puppy Webster (Himself). Otto finally achieves success. Roma is not amused. [Episode written by Derek Strahan.]
569. (19/07) Maggie's judgment lets her down, but she is not the only one. [Episode written by David Mitchell.]
570. (22/07) Dick is impressed by Amanda's display of wealth. Reg has a reprimand for Edie.
There are probably no surviving records of official synopses after this episode (until Episode #574. Plots are drawn from episode descriptions in the TV magazines.)
571. (23/07) Vera dabbles in the occult once again. Some of the tenants are keeping Webster a secret from Dorrie.
572. (24/07) A long-distance phone call puts Aldo into a panic. Roma resumes her hobby.
573. (25/07) Cain has a frightening proposition for Dick. Dorrie's plan looks like it will succeed.
574. (26/07) Patti defies Arnold's wishes. Amanda behaves recklessly.
Following this episode, there are once again official synopses to use.
575. (29/07) Amanda confronts Otto about the money from the will. She knows he lied about her owing it to him. Otto warns her that she hasn't won yet. Norma tells off Les for not keeping his eye on Webster, their secret puppy. When Flo arrives, Les hides the dog in the bedroom. Cain tells Dick that he had been testing him to see if he was really going straight. Jack arrives at Flat 4 and invites Amanda to see the new office he has picked out for Don. She declines, but Maggie is unimpressed by the office. Dropping Helen's name, Maggie gets a reaction from Jack. Dorrie shows Flo the guest list she has prepared for Flo's wedding. Herb tells Amanda about the trouble Flo is having over Dorrie's interference. Don returns from the auction and Amanda fills him in about Otto. Don promises to go and see him. Flo and Dick make plans for their future. He asks her when they will be getting married. Jack mentions Maggie's reaction to the office to Don. Cain and Amanda join them - and a fight starts brewing between Maggie and Amanda. Dorrie sings Flo's praises to Dick and boasts about the size of the wedding reception she is planning for them. Maggie discovers that Cain has cancelled his modelling appointment. Don sees Otto about the will and Otto threatens Amanda again. Don tells Jack about about Otto but their conversation is overrun by Dorrie, who wants to host a wedding reception in the wine bar. Flo tells Dorrie that she is going to see Raylene to tell her about getting married. Amanda's actions meet with disastrous results: when Otto threatens her, she hits him over the head with a vase. [Episode written by David Sale.]
576. (30/07) Dudley is trying to choose a new hairstyle for Lorelei. Vera tells Don and Jack about the work she will be doing for Claire and asks about the new office. A wine bar customer tries to chat up Lorelei and Dudley quickly sends him packing. Aldo and Roma argue about moving. When Arnold comes in, it is established that Patti is on duty at the hospital, and he is invited to dinner. Don checks in on Amanda. She tells him about Otto - and that she has burnt the other will. Don rings the hotel and finds out that Otto has already left for Europe. Reg impresses upon Edie the importance of the dinner she is hosting for Alderman Mrs Bullock. Dudley hears about Otto, then heads off to help Lorelei move. Amanda asks Don not to tell anyone that she has no money. A letter informs Vera that Margo Campbell is coming back. Aldo and Roma are concerned about Patti rarely being home to look after Arnold. Vera tells Colin that his mother is due soon, but he has no intention of living with her. Lorelei is wearing an Afro wig and asks Dudley why he couldn't try to like girls. Colin has plans to go to a commune with Penny and some other kids. Edie tries to return the $50 she borrowed from Amanda and tells her all about Alderman Mrs Bullock. Aldo informs Roma that has invited Arnold to dinner but Arnold wants to cook for them instead. Aldo's enemies strike once again: Roma finds a threatening note under their door. Vera bids a sad farewell to Colin. Everyone wishes him luck. Edie tells Reg she plans to have the dinner for the Alderman catered, but he is angered about the Baroness influencing Edie. He goes to return the $50 but she convinces him to have a drink and a chat with her. Don invites Dudley to a party and Dudley invites Lorelei to come along. Roma shows Arnold the threatening blackmail letter. [Episode written by David Sale.]
577. (31/07) Aldo interrupts Roma and Arnold's discussion about the letter. Edie is worried about Reg's wherabouts. He arrives home tipsy and becomes rather saucy with Edie. Dudley and Lorelei return from the party but Don is not home yet. Lorelei confesses her love for Dudley. Norma has been using Les's subliminal education tapes and realises she has absorbed the knowledge. Alf is determined to apply for a builder's labouring job and Lucy tells Vera about it. Roma is worried about Aldo when he goes out alone. She sends Arnold after him. Dorrie visits the deli to shop for cheap food for the wedding reception but Roma is so preoccupied she doesn't hear a thing Dorrie says. Lorelei and Marilyn discuss their experiences with homosexual men. Maggie drops in on Vera and tells her about Jack's reaction whenever Helen Sheridan's name gets mentioned. Vera gets angry and tells Maggie to leave. Dudley shows Lorelei the correct way to set a table, while Norma helps Les with his studies. Edie is preparing dips for the next evening when Reg arrives home with a hangover. He has no memory of the previous night's events. Lucy, Maggie and Vera are having a drink when Alf arrives with the news that he got the job. Norma tells Les that Webster has piddled in the hall. Dorrie sees Les wiping up the puddle and wants to go through the doorway of Flat 1 to see Norma, but Les makes her go around through the shop entrance. Norma tells Les that she can't find Webster. Roma wants to comply with a threat. Arnold thinks she should go to the police about the letter. Dorrie asks Norma about using the wine bar for Flo's reception. Vera and Maggie finish their lunch and Les asks them if they have seen a dog. Edie comes in to buy sherry and Norma asks her if she has seen a puppy. Dorrie reacts with anger to a small, furry visitor sitting on her doorstep. [Episode written by David Sale.]
578. (1/08) Dorrie's heart softens and she takes Webster into Flat 3. Marilyn and Lucy chat about Arnold having to do his own washing, now that Patti had returned to work. Marilyn insists that she would have made a better wife for Arnold. Norma is upset that Webster is still missing but she helps Les with his studies. Dorrie and Herb discuss Webster and are almost overheard by Flo. She quickly realises something is up and Dorrie shows her the puppy she found. Edie continues with her preparations for the dinner event as Reg arrives home with news: he has passed his exam and has been promoted to MBI. Alf needs a massage after a hard day's work. Les finds it difficult to study with Webster missing. Norma thinks he's gone for good. Just as Edie, Reg and Marilyn settle down to a dinner of random, reheated leftovers, Alderman Mrs April Bullock (Judi Farr) turns up: one day early. Flo and Dorrie discuss how Raylene is disapproving of her mother's forthcoming marriage. Herb enters the room holding Webster and Dorrie warns him that he is not to breathe a word. April has dinner with the Macdonalds and is impressed with Edie. Alf's latest job confirms Lucy's fears, but he tries to hide how he is feeling. Les leaves for the hospital, leaving Norma still fretting about Webster. Reg tells Edie that the previous night's dinner was a disaster but Marilyn reckons that she coped very well. Roma appears over-anxious about a situation. Reg bumps into Dorrie on the staircase and she drops her tins of dog food. She makes an excuse about pensioners needing to be frugal. Lucy is with Marilyn and Norma in the laundrette when a phone call comes in: Alf has fallen off a building site and has been hospitalised. [Episode written by David Sale.]
579. (2/08) Flo chats to Amanda and confesses her worries about the decision to marry Dick. In the wine bar, Don and Dudley argue about Don disappearing after the party. Jack and Vera arrive, to tell Don about Alf. Maggie and Cain join them, but Maggie excuses herself to get some dinner items from the deli. Maggie thinks she has discovered the truth about who is harassing Aldo; he must then explain to Roma and Arnold about Cliff Stevens, and how Aldo's testimony had once sent Cliff to gaol. Vera goes to see Lucy at the hospital, concerned about Alf's progress. Amanda hears Flo and Dick discussing their upcoming marriage and encourages them to have a large wedding. Maggie, Don and Vera are in Don's office, surrounded by furniture, when Amanda arrives with even more stuff. Aldo goes to the police, taking Roma's threatening letter with him. Dudley is giving Lorelei more culture lessons. She asks Dudley if he loves her and he says "Yes". Don and Amanda arrive and Lorelei tells them that Dudley has professed his love for her. Jack and Vera try to cheer up Lucy, who is convinced that Alf has been crippled by the accident. Lorelei is a source of trouble; Don and Dudley have a row over her. Maggie tells Cain about her suspicions over Cliff's involvement in Aldo's situation. Aldo returns with the news that Cliff is still in gaol. Dick and Flo announce their engagement in the wine bar and Amanda treats everyone to champagne. Roma, Aldo and Arnold try to relax and forget about the blackmail threats. Cain says he is tired and wants to rest before dinner. Aldo gets a phone message during dinner. He is given instructions on where to leave the $40,000. It is Cain giving Aldo the instructions - and Maggie has overheard everything. [Episode written by David Sale.]
580. (5/08) Aldo wants to tell the police about the phone call but Roma and Arnold convince him to see Don first. Dorrie and Herb admire Flo's engagement ring and Dorrie gets all clucky over the puppy, whom she has named "Rover". She feeds him vitamin tablets and declares that she doesn't want to part with him. Don attempts to assist Aldo, but is very concerned. Cain has plans for dealing with Maggie: he has her tied to the bed and boasts of his plans for Aldo. Patti and Arnold bicker about the amount of time she spends at the hospital. Vera helps Lucy in the laundrette while they await a progress report on Alf. When he regains consciousness, Patti fetches the doctor. Arnold offers Lucy a lift to the hospital. Don organises the money that is to be delivered to the blackmailer. Patti tells Arnold she will be giving up nursing. Herb fits "Rover" with a flea collar. Flo announces that she has a date with Dick on Friday. Dorrie realises that this is date coincides with the Paddington Senior Citizens Club's surprise shower tea for Flo. Don delivers the money to a public telephone box, watched by Cain through binoculars. The phone rings; Cain insists that it has to be Aldo, not Don, who delivers the money. [Episode written by Stan Mars.]
581. (6/08) Norma and Les are in bed and Norma is awakened by Les's tape recorder. Don is getting jealous of Dudley's growing relationship with Lorelei. Vera receives a letter from Helen. Edie finds an envelope, containing $50, pushed under her door. Dudley tries to put Lorelei off. Dudley and Amanda are puzzled by Don's secrecy. Meanwhile, Maggie tries to escape. Cain gets violent and she falls ever deeper into his trap. Edie shows Reg the $50 and he insists that it will be returned to the Baroness. Vera confides to Amanda about Helen's letter. Norma is increasingly upset about losing Webster. [Episode written by Stan Mars.]
582. (7/08) Dorrie is still urging Flo to cancel her Friday date with Dick. Alf is upset because the results of his x-rays have not been forthcoming. Aldo plans to deliver the money to Cain. Dorrie and Herb organise to have Flo's reception wedding reception in Norma's Bar. Dick queries Flo about the wedding plans. Norma confides in Flo and manages to surprise her, revealing the loss of Webster. Flo realises that Dorrie's "Rover" is Norma's Webster. Flo approaches Dorrie about giving the puppy back. Dorrie is about to comply, until she hears that the rightful owner is... Norma. She snatches him back. Patti has concerning news for Lucy about Alf's condition. [Episode written by Stan Mars.]
583. (8/08) Aldo makes Roma happy by putting the money back in the bank, supposedly. Edie receives another anonymous $50. Don is in need of cheering up; Amanda makes an attempt by presenting him with a bicycle. Aldo leaves to pay the blackmailer the $40,000. Reg is furious when he hears how much Edie spent on the dinner that never happened. Roma approaches Arnold for help and he calls Don. A disaster is barely averted; on a lonely road, in a remote location, Aldo drops off the money. The blackmailer speeds by on a motorcycle, knocking him to the side of the road. [Episode written by Stan Mars.]
584. (9/08) The Whittakers discuss Alf's condition. Maggie is still tied to the bed as Cain counts his $40,000, unsure if he killed Aldo or not. Flo talks Dorrie into returning Norma's dog, with the condition that Flo will go to the bowling match after all, which is actually the shower tea. Edie and Marilyn decide that it is Dean who is sending the anonymous money. Dudley and Lorelei discuss Aldo's situation with Amanda. Jack demands an explanation from a horrified Vera; he informs her that he has found Helen's letter. Maggie knows that Cain intends to kill her. Norma is still upset about Webster. Marilyn and Edie realise that Dean must be nearby, since none of the envelopes are postmarked. Vera tells Jack the contents of the letter Helen sent her. Les fails his exams. Flo opens all of her shower tea gifts: a plethora of tea towels and eggcups. Cain tries to drug Maggie. Reg assures Edie that Dean is still living in Adelaide. Cain underestimates the formidable Maggie. She is not really drugged - and she lunges at him with a pair of scissors. Cain falls to the bed, wounded, but tries to grab her. Maggie races to the phone. [Episode written by Stan Mars.]
This episode was the last to be compiled in monochrome for its 1974 broadcast. Since the Easter weekend's conversion of the studio to colour production, and ongoing testing of the equipment, the daily colour footage (for Episodes #505-#584) was still being edited onto black and white masters for broadcast.
585. (12/08) Amanda, Dudley and Lorelei are in the wine bar discussing Don, while Jack and Vera make a mercy dash to Maggie's place, where Maggie has apparently stabbed Cain. Don is also at Maggie's and they all try to sort out the details. Lucy visits Alf in the hospital, where he is still being treated for the injuries he suffered as a brickie's labourer. He is keen to be discharged but the doctor tells Lucy that he may be there for a month. Roma and Arnold fuss over Aldo when he demonstrates some signs of damage after the car incident. They discuss the rumours of Cain's stabbing. Arnold finds out that Roma has placed $40,000 in the sideboard. It is Don's first day at the office and Amanda has made him a packed lunch. Dudley has ironed him a shirt, but it is the wrong one. Arnold takes a grocery delivery to Lucy and they discuss Alf's stubborness. Vera is a bit suspicious about Jack "going for a walk" prior to breakfast, as it is "not like him". Arnold reminds Aldo that he needs to rest. Maggie emerges as quite the heroine. Roma wants to throw her a party for her role in the Cain situation. Dudley and Lorelei hear about Alf from Lucy and decide to visit him in the hospital. Jack tries to convince Alf that the doctors are right. Alf gets angry. It is Vera's first day working in Don's office but she is preoccupied. She makes many typing errors. Amanda arrives with food and an impromptu, but elaborate, "picnic lunch" begins - just as Maggie arrives. Alf's back surgeon, Dr Peter Rathbone (John Fitzgerald), warns Alf to stay flat in bed. Dudley and Lorelei are visiting and Alf tries to sit up - and suffers a spasm of agonising pain. An exasperated Don has escaped Amanda's lunch to work from home, but first Jack, then Amanda and Maggie, all arrive to interrupt him. Aldo promises Lucy that he will talk to Alf while Arnold tries to get to the truth with Roma about the $40,000. She will not discuss it - it's a secret. Vera and Jack are back in Flat 7 after Vera's "hard day at the office". Their discussion turns into an argument. Why hasn't Jack told Helen that he and Vera are living together? [Episode written by Michael Lawrence; directed by Howard Scrivener.]
This episode was the first to be compiled in colour, but was initially broadcast in b/w. When the series was repeated by Network Ten in a late-night timeslot (Sydney 4/02/1980; Brisbane in 1982), this episode was chosen as a starting point (and thus had its colour premiere in 1980). All colour episodes are on record and stored at the National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra. In 2021-2022, all of these episodes were digitised to safeguard against the videotape masters perishing beyond viability.
586. (13/08) Les stumbles across something mysterious: a totally bandaged woman is been brought into the hospital. He chats to the policeman guarding her room. Les has a theory that the patient, Susi O'Donnell, is a victim of gang warfare. Lucy has dinner with Arnold and Patti, who try to console her about Alf's reactions. Dorrie and Flo discuss the upcoming wedding. It seems that Flo's daughter, Raylene from Mittagong, does not approve. Dorrie is quick to dismiss the very idea of Raylene's interference. The MacDonalds discuss the money that has been arriving. Reg and Edie wonder if Bill Sumner is responsible and it is decided that Marilyn should ask him. Les tells Norma about the arrival of the female patient and she tells him to keep out of it. Patti and Arnold have a discussion about his shortage of clean underpants. They argue about her shoddy housekeeping and his fastidiousness. Dorrie and Flo create a guest list for the wedding and Dorrie wants to leave Raylene's name off it. Meanwhile, Norma happens to be on the landing when Herb lets Webster out. Dorrie and Norma argue about who is the rightful owner. Dorrie snatches the puppy back. Arnold is in the laundrette and acting "twitchy" because he is not wearing any underpants. Marilyn and Lucy notice. Dorrie, Herb and Flo argue about returning "Rover" to Norma. Dorrie decides the Whittakers should not be on the guest list for the wedding. Over lunch, Marilyn reports to Reg and Edie that Bill was not behind the money mysteries. Norma tells Arnold and Lucy about Dorrie snatching Webster. Arnold is still twitching. Edie receives a large package from a delivery boy. Patti and Arnold again discuss their laundry difficulties and the division of labour. Norma and Dorrie are still feuding. Edie greets Reg at the front door thanking him for the fur coat that has arrived. Reg denies responsibility and demands an explanation. Les is looking for the police guard at the hospital. In the patient's room, a pair of feet move behind a screen. Les enters the room, trying to understand what the patient is trying to say. He goes off to get a doctor. A hand moves in to remove the blood transfusion drip line from the woman's arm. [Episode written by Michael Lawrence; directed by Howard Scrivener.]
587. (14/08) Reg is angry about the fur coat. Marilyn suggests that maybe Mummy has a secret lover. Amanda and Maggie discuss Amanda going to work. Maggie suggests to Lorelei that she reveal her feelings for Dudley to him. Lorelei goes over to him, grabs him, and kisses him. Has Lorelei has gone too far this time? Aldo, Roma and Arnold discuss the party for Maggie. Patti arrives with the news that Les's patient has died and he is being held for questioning. The next morning, Aldo arises to find Roma making food for the party. Dudley has made breakfast for Don, while Amanda brings up the Lorelei incident, encouraging them not to let anything destroy their relationship. Reg and Edie discuss her upcoming luncheon with Alderman Mrs Bullock. Edie chatters incessently but Reg complains that he hasn't slept, wanting to know what she is doing today. He has a suspicion that Edie is hiding details of a secret lover. Lorelei and Dudley are in the winebar when a sinister character wanders in, looking for Les. Roma and Patti prepare the party while Aldo and Arnold are kept busy in the deli. Aldo is concerned that Roma is keeping a secret from him. She is buying a home unit. Patti offers to help out in the deli. Maggie and Don are at the office discussing the party being held in her honour. Maggie is saving her appetite. They ponder Jack's seeming lack of interest in their partnership's business. Arnold spots Roma studying the classifieds in the newspaper. He is curious but Roma continues to keep her secret. Aldo has Patti remove his sticking plaster. Arnold is put out that Patti working in the deli interferes with their domestic chores roster he designed. Edie returns home from her appointment with Alderman Mrs Bullock and Amanda sees her, telling Edie that her new "fun fur" is a genuine mink. Against Reg's instructions, Edie arrives at the party wearing her fur coat. Lorelei and Dudley go up to Flat 4 so that Lorelei can change for the party. Don arrives home unexpectedly - just in time to see Lorelei in her underwear - and he jumps to conclusions. He orders Dudley out of the flat. During the party, Roma tries to tell Aldo about her surprise. She has bought them a new home unit in Rose Bay and has put down a deposit of $20,000. Aldo is very angry. [Episode written by Michael Lawrence; directed by Howard Scrivener.]
588. (15/08) Les is finally back from the police station. He and Norma discuss the tragic Susi O'Donnell affair. It seems that the police guard had been lured away so that Les's patient could be murdered. After Maggie's party, Jack and Vera discuss the surprising breakup of Don and Dudley. Vera heads off to bed but Jack stays up. Flo, Herb, and a rather tipsy Dorrie, are the last to leave the party. Dorrie seems reluctant to leave. When they are finally alone, Aldo and Roma are able to talk about the home unit. Aldo can't see why they have to move from the flat behind the shop and he forbids Roma from buying the home unit. Marilyn observes that Edie has more confidence now and they decide it is due to the mink coat. Reg thinks this is a nonsense and demands that she will not wear it. Vera is miffed to realise that Jack spent the night on the couch. Norma is annoyed by an early morning phone call that interrupts breakfast. It is the police, wanting Les to answer more questions. Dorrie has a hangover but is in denial. She and Flo discuss the wedding. Flo has decided on the 7th for the date. There is a knock at the door and it is Raylene Shackleton (Robina Beard), Flo's daughter. She has arrived to meet the man that her mother intends to marry. Raylene has some unsolicited advice. She disapproves of the marriage due to her mother's age, and the effect that will have on Raylene's own social circles in Mittagong. Roma tries to discuss the unit with Aldo but he is being stubborn. Vera goes to the office but it is closed, due to Don's split with Dudley. Returning home, Vera finds Jack arranging to go to the races with a friend and sportswriter, Andy Marshall. Reg and Marilyn have lunch in the wine bar because Edie is off at a charity luncheon. Norma is annoyed that Dorrie still has possession over Webster. Over lunch, Raylene, Flo, Dorrie and Herb discuss the wedding. Dick will be coming tomorrow to meet Raylene. Flo gives Dorrie and Herb strict instructions that no one is to mention that Dick is an ex-con. Webster wanders out of Flat 3 and makes his way to the wine bar. Dorrie follows her "Rover" to retrieve him. In the middle of Norma and Dorrie's argument, the puppy's real owner (Gordon Poole) comes in and claims him. The dog's actual name is Stinky! Reg scolds Edie for wearing her mink to the luncheon. Norma is forlorn about the departure of Webster. Les is talking to a policeman. When he leaves, Les tells Norma that it wasn't the same policeman who rang this morning. Is Les is being deceived? [Episode written by Michael Lawrence; directed by Howard Scrivener.]
589. (16/08) Amanda tries to talk to Don about Dudley, but he doesn't want to discuss it and gets annoyed. Flo and Dick discuss the wedding. Dick is not keen on hiding his past from Raylene, but agrees to do it for Flo. Vera fills Jack in on the debacle over Webster and then the latest on Don and Dudley. She comes into the bedroom to find Jack rereading the letter from Helen. He argues with Vera and decides to sleep in the spare room. Norma and Les talk about the murder at the hospital. Les can't remember Susi's last words. Vera and Jack discuss their tiff of the night before and she remarks about him writing to Helen. In Flat 4, Amanda cooks Eggs Florentine for Don, but he is not feeling well. Dudley arrives to collect the rest of his belongings. He has moved to Mrs Parallel's boarding house. Dick and Lorelei strike up a conversation at the Boulevard Cafe. They discuss the Baroness and Dick is suddenly very interested in Amanda's finances. In Flat 3, preparations begin for the lunch, at which Dick will meet Raylene. Amanda drops in to see Don in his office but he is not there, so she chats with Vera instead. Vera is troubled by a problem. She suspects that Jack is still in love with Helen. Dick really turns on the charm when he meets Raylene and she tries to pry information out of him, such as his occupation. Les has received a $50 reward for finding Webster. Norma is too proud and says she doesn't want it, telling him to give it to Dorrie. Don and Dudley share an awkward farewell. After the lunch, Raylene claims that she quite likes Dick, but is confused that everyone kept changing the subject whenever she asked him questions. Dorrie pretends not to understand. Les brings the $50 reward money to Dorrie, who also refuses it. Is Dick's freedom under threat? Herb rushes into Flat 3 to announce that Dick was just picked up at the bus stop by the police. [Episode written by Michael Lawrence; directed by Howard Scrivener.]
590. (19/08) Norma again insists that Les should give Dorrie the $50 reward money. Raylene expresses concern about Flo and Dick getting married. Jack tells Vera that Andy is going to write a profile on him. Les tells Jack about the stripper who was killed at the hospital. Vera makes a phone call to her old friend, Helen Sheridan (Jill Forster). Flo tells Amanda that the wedding has been called off. Jack assures Don that he will not do the wrong thing by Vera. Dorrie again refuses the reward money for finding Webster. Vera pays a visit to Helen at the convent and they discuss Number 96 - and Jack. Les's concern for his wife saves him from trouble. Fred Sweeney, the hospital orderly who replaced him, has been beaten up. [Episode written by Ken Shadie; directed by Peter Benardos.]
Jill Forster returns as Helen Sheridan for a series of cameo appearances from this episode. Flashback footage of Helen's relationship with Jack Sellars are in b/w.
591. (20/08) Amanda and Dorrie discuss Flo's cancelled wedding plans. Norma and Les discuss the Fred Sweeney bashing. Dudley tells Lorelei that he has met a new man. Amanda has a run-in with Raylene and tells her that Flo will definitely not be marrying Dick. In the laundrette, Marilyn and Lorelei gossip about men while Dorrie eavesdrops. Marilyn catches her and tells her off. Dudley tells Amanda about Osborne Taylor, his new guy, a young cinema manager. Dick charms Raylene again and Flo tries to make a decision about the wedding. Amanda is having lunch with Marilyn and Lorelei in the wine bar when Andy Marshall (Peter Adams) arrives. Later, at the Boulevard Cafe, Lorelei chats to Andy and he asks her out. Amanda warns Don that Dudley might be heading for some emotional turmoil. Dorrie tells off Raylene. Don visits Dudley to check if he is okay. Norma notices someone watching the wine bar. She is very worried about Les returning to work at the hospital. Raylene is stunned by her mother's attitude and gives her an ultimatum. Flo demands that she stop interferring and tells her to return to Mittagong. [Episode written by Ken Shadie; directed by Peter Benardos.]
592. (21/08) Roma's latest project causes Aldo distress. They argue about the home unit and Aldo accuses Arnold of taking sides. Reg orders Edie never to wear the fur coat again. Lucy arrives at the hospital to take Alf home. Marilyn fronts up to Andy and he offers to take her out. Roma invites Arnold and Patti to see her new home unit. While Dudley is chatting to Marilyn, he realises that Andy is seemingly planning to take out two girls at once. Alf fully intends to return to his labouring job, enraging Lucy. Dudley offers to decorate Roma's unit. The mystery surrounding Edie's presents deepens with the arrival of a new chest freezer, brought upstairs by a gum-chewing deliveryman (Paul Chubb) and his offsider. Marilyn is dressed for her night out while Edie tries to deter Reg from noticing the freezer. Lorelei and Marilyn wait for Andy to pick them up from the wine bar. Roma moves out of Flat 2. [Episode written by Ken Shadie; directed by Peter Benardos.]
Paul Chubb makes another uncredited cameo as a deliveryman, reprising his appearance from the movie version. Here, he is delivering a freezer to Edie MacDonald.
593. (22/08) Jack has to go to Melbourne and Vera takes the opportunity to invite Helen to dinner. Aldo blames Arnold and Patti for Roma leaving. Jack warns Marilyn that Andy is a married man. Arnold explains to Alf that he should be eligible for Workers' Compensation. Vera confides in Lucy that she is setting up a surprise meeting between Helen and Jack. Marilyn and Lorelei tell Dudley all about their night out with Andy. Arnold invites Marilyn to join him for dinner. Lucy tells off Alf about his attitude to his back. The Godolfuses are being stubborn again, but Roma turns up to Flat 2 with a casserole for Aldo. Vera excuses herself from her own dinner party and heads down to see Don. Will there be a happy ending for Jack and Helen? Vera breaks down and tells Amanda and Don everything. [Episode written by Susan Swinford; directed by Peter Benardos.]
How Alf Sutcliffe manages to negotiate the stairs at Number 96 to attend his physiotherapy sessions is not addressed.
594. (23/08) Dorrie blames Raylene for breaking up Dick and Flo. Helen and Jack declare their love for each other. Les offers Edie the $50 reward money as a donation for the Meals on Wheels Committee. Jack is on top of the world, and thanks Vera for reuniting him with Helen, but Vera and Don cannot share his optimism. Amanda is still trying to get Don and Dudley back together. Reg discovers the new freezer in the kitchen. Helen makes her decision and will go away with Jack to start a new life together. Don tells Vera that Dudley has a new boyfriend, Osborne. Andy interviews Jack for a racing profile. Don and Vera return from a late lunch, to find Jack and Helen ready to leave for Melbourne. In a touching farewell, Jack thanks Vera for everything. Vera wishes them both every happiness, but breaks down when they are gone. [Episode written by Susan Swinford; directed by Peter Benardos.]
595. (26/08) Edie arrives in the wine bar to collect her fur coat. Norma teases her about having an affair with Les. Don, Amanda and Vera discuss Helen and Jack over dinner. Maggie arrives, furious over Jack's decision to walk out on their new business at such short notice. Maggie then challenges Amanda. Why did she ignore her, recently, when they passed each other on the street? Amanda has no idea what she is talking about. Reg and Edie discuss her "affair" and what the people of Blacktown would think. Edie decided she must wear the fur coat in case she is surreptiously photographed as co-respondent in the Whittakers' divorce case. Arnold brings Patti breakfast in bed, to calm her cranky mood over his roster and efficiency. Roma arrives from her Rose Bay unit, to cook Aldo's breakfast and clean his flat. Aldo insists that he is fine and does not need her help. The place is a mess! Reg recovers Edie's coat from Norma and establishes that there is no affair, nor a divorce - and that Norma was only joking. Reg still isn't convinced that Edie does not have a secret lover. He is determined to get to the bottom of it. Norma stirs Les about the "affair". The phone rings and it a warning for Les to stay out of the Susi O'Donnell case. Roma and Arnold discuss Aldo's stubbornness about living behind the deli. If Roma allows Flat 2 to get even more untidy, maybe Aldo will decide to move into the Rose Bay unit? Maggie and Don are discussing business and signing letters. She discovers one with lots of typographical errors and takes it out on Vera. Maggie is still in a foul mood over Jack's absence. Les, Norma and Amanda are in the wine bar when Aldo enters in a stained shirt. He explains that all of his clothes are in the same wash. He gets annoyed when Amanda suggests that he needs someone to look after him. He explains that Roma has moved out. Les's threatening phone call is mentioned and Les decides he wants to investigate. Norma is opposed to this plan. Patti complains to Roma about Arnold's housekeeping roster. Aldo and Roma argue about Aldo's living conditions. While doing grocery deliveries, Arnold drops into his flat. He finds the iron has been left on and Patti is not at home. Maggie and Don are discussing work matters in Flat 4 when Vera drops in with some letters she typed up at home. She mentions to Amanda that she saw her in a cab earlier, but Amanda ignored her. Amanda doesn't know what's going on. Arnold and Patti argue about the iron being left unattended, but soon make up. In the wine bar, Aldo is pouring out his sorrows to Norma. Norma says that she fears for the safety of her husband. The hospital has rung because Les has not reported for duty. Has he defied Norma and gone snooping? [Episode written by David Mitchell; directed by Brian Phillis.]
596. (27/08) Alf is restless in bed and complains to Lucy about the board he has to have under the mattress to help his injured back. Norma is lying awake in bed, fretting over Les. He finally arrives home and admits that he has been snooping. Norma is really angry. Les tells her that he followed a man who had been watching him, and it led him to a block of flats in Kirribilli, but he doesn't know which flat. Dudley visits with Amanda and tells her about Osborne. Amanda is testing her eyes. Aldo needs some help from his friends. Flat 2 is still a disaster and he wants Flo to be his housekeeper, but she refuses. She hasn't seen Dick for three days. Meanwhile, Dick is in Flat 3, telling Dorrie that he hoped to take Flo to lunch. He has been busy working with the ex-prisoners' program. In the laundrette, Flo talks to Lucy about Alf's back and offers to show him some exercises to strengthen it. Les is about to experiment on Alf with some amateur acupuncture, but Flo arrives just in time. Alf drops into Norma's Bar for lunch and everyone scolds him. Dorrie, Herb and Flo have plans to attend a Whist drive this afternoon, but Herb develops a headache and is unable to go. Dorrie chats to Amanda about Flo's wedding reception. Over lunch, Dick and Flo discuss the likelihood of Amanda buying them an expensive wedding present. Flo is on her way to see Alf and show him some exercises when she runs into Dorrie and Amanda. Perhaps the reception could be held in the wine bar? They could book Fernando's Latin Rhythms to play there. In Flat 8, Flo manages to put her back out demonstrating the exercises for Alf and has to withdraw from the Whist drive. The police are unimpressed by Les's detective work and tell him to keep out of the case. Lorelei arrives at Flat 2 to clean up for Aldo. Dudley and Amanda arrive as well, and make plans to redecorate - with beanbags and mobiles! In the process of Lorelei doing the housework, a photograph is dropped on the floor. Dick goes to Flat 3, thinking no one is at home and makes a phone call to one of his gang mates. They talk about stolen goods. Herb emerges from another room and makes an astonishing discovery: an open suitcase full of silverware. Dick promises he can explain everything. [Episode written by Derek Strahan; directed by Brian Phillis.]
597. (28/08) Dick tells Herb that the contents of the suitcase is not real silver, but electroplate, and begs him to keep it secret because it is Flo's wedding present. Reg is about to make a terrible mistake. He sneaks home to catch Edie with her lover. She is not home, so he examines the new freezer for a supplier's tag and finds one. He plans to contact them. Patti arrives at the deli and convinces Arnold to go to a party with her that night. Roma is shocked by the transformation of Flat 2: beanbags, elaborate mobiles and incense. She finds Lorelei there, doing more housework. Aldo explains that Lorelei "does everything" for him now. Andy is in the wine bar and an annoyed Lorelei confronts him about him being a married man. Marilyn arrives and competes with Lorelei for Andy's attention. Reg and Edie discuss Marilyn's new boyfriend and Reg is displeased that Andy is a journalist. He also suspects that Edie has several lovers. Marilyn and Lorelei declare war over Andy's affections. Edie and Lorelei are in the deli when Andy walks in. Lorelei makes a point of telling Edie that Andy has a wife. Edie is disappointed for Marilyn. Arnold is running late for work, having stayed in bed with Patti after their night out. Dick drops another suitcase off to Flat 3. Arnold rushes into the deli and Aldo tells him that, after being married this long, surely the honeymoon should be over by now? Dick makes another call about the suitcase of stolen goods. Edie and Marilyn talk about Andy being married and Marilyn explains that he is getting a divorce. They decide to invite him to afternoon tea. Herb brings Edie her $12.50 change from the deli and Reg arrives to accuse Herb of being Edie's secret lover. Aldo apologises to Arnold for his earlier outburst. Andy arrives for afternoon tea and he helps her get the biscuit tin down from a high shelf. They fall onto the floor, just in time for Reg, returning from the TH early, to discover them in a compromising position. Reg accuses Andy of being Edie's lover. Amanda returns from her eye test and she has passed with flying colours. Maggie says that Amanda ignored her the other day in Double Bay. Flo and Dorrie talk about the wedding. Dorrie mentions that she hasn't been sleeping well - her nights have been plagued with dreams - but she won't divulge their contents. Amanda is considering a return to modelling. Dudley talks to Don about Osborne, but Don doesn't want to know. [Episode written by Derek Strahan; directed by Brian Phillis.]
598. (29/08) Amanda's eyesight is still a mystery. Why did she not see Maggie in Double Bay? Is it possible that Amanda has a double? Dorrie and Flo discuss plans for Flo's upcoming wedding and honeymoon. Flo teases Dorrie about the dreams Dorrie has been having, but she still won't discuss them. Amanda is seriously considering a return to modelling. She manages to attract the attentions of a lecherous wine bar patron while she is doing her eye exercises. Dudley mentions Osborne again and suggests that Don might like to meet him. The Sutcliffes argue about Alf wanting to return to labouring on building sites. Alf manages to upset Vera by mentioning Jack. Dorrie mentions to Flo that she has awakened to a pleasant dream this time. Don mentions to Amanda that she needs to cut down on her spending. Patti realises that she has forgotten to take the Pill and Arnold jumps to conclusions. Maggie tells Don about the possibility of buying into Claret Development and they get in touch with Jack. Arnold tells Lucy of the chance that he is to become a father. Vera is upset when she realises Don is on the phone to Jack and Maggie comforts her. Don tells Jack about Claret Development. Arnold announces to Alf that he may soon be a father. Dorrie, Flo and Amanda discuss Norma's Bar as the venue for Flo's wedding reception. Patti is chatting to Lucy and becomes annoyed when she realises that Arnold has been talking about pregnancy possibilities. Arnold arrives - and walks into a hornet's nest! Alf tells Vera about Arnold's news and Lucy interjects by relating Patti's reaction. Flo, Dudley and Dorrie discuss the food for the wedding reception. Don and Maggie approach Amanda about her spending a lot of money on clothes at Jacqueline's Boutique recently, but Amanda denies it. Don and Maggie are confused. [Episode written by Derek Strahan; directed by Brian Phillis.]
599. (30/08) Marilyn and Lorelei are fighting over who will win Andy's attention, which greatly amuses Andy, Norma and Herb. Dorrie approaches Vera about Flo's wedding dress. Vera suggests making a new dress and mentions that Jack is on a world tour with Helen. Why is Dorrie always the last to be told? With Marilyn and Lorelei still fighting over their new man, Norma and Andy decide to stage a dramatic exit: they are off to the Journos' Club together! Marilyn and Lorelei are unimpressed. Dorrie tells Vera she intends to buy Flo's wedding dress from St Vincent de Gair (sic). Norma commiserates with Roma about Les's investigation escapades. Dorrie is being nosy about Lorelei spending so much time in Flat 2. Don and Maggie discuss two letters which, it turns out, Vera has forgotten to post. Maggie is furious. The topic moves on to Amanda and why she seems to be lying. Flo is indulging in a large bowl of spaghetti bolognaise in the wine bar because Dorrie has put her on a strict diet for the wedding. Marilyn brings lunch to Andy's place, but he is just out of bed and is entertaining a female guest. Herb and Dorrie discuss Aldo and Roma splitting up and Dorrie holds Lorelei responsible. Herb attempts to explain Lorelei's role at Aldo's flat. Of course, Flo is unable to eat her special dietary lunch that Dorrie has prepared. Dorrie worries that Flo needs to keep up her strength. Marilyn tells Lorelei about going to Andy's flat and what she found there. Roma is chatting with Vera about Aldo and is upset that he seems to be managing without her. Lorelei needs to slip out of the wine bar for 20 minutes, but Norma is relieved that Les has turned up. Les once again trailed his follower to Kirribilli. Maggie tells Don that Vera has somehow mixed up two batches of correspondence and sent the wrong letters to the wrong people. This has cost an amount that Maggie estimates to be $5000. Don promises to talk to Vera. Lorelei visits Andy's flat and asks him if he has a girlfriend. Due to his interference, there are consequences for Les to face. Norma is angry with him for putting them all in danger. Don tells Vera about her error at the office. Lorelei rushes back into the wine bar. A man (Lex Marinos) is looking for Les and Lorelei says that she just passed him on the way to the cellar. This is the gang's hatchet man and he goes off to confront Les in the cellar - with a gun. The gunman threatens to kill Les. [Episode written by Derek Strahan; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Dorrie's malapropism, "St Vincent de Gair", parodies both the St Vincent de Paul Society and Senator Vince Gair, then-recent leader of the Democratic Labor Party (1965-1973). Les Whittaker goes off to fetch the bomb disposal device he invented in an earlier story arc.
600. (2/09) Les manages to capture the gunman. Don accuses Amanda of purchasing the expensive clothes. She tells him that his moodiness is because he is missing Dudley. Andy explains he only pretended to be having an affair with his secretary to put Marilyn off. Maggie denigrates Vera's secretarial skills. Les rushes into the bar having caught the gangster. Alf complains that the physiotherapists have only made his back worse. Roma wants to start painting again but Aldo won't let her unless she promises to move back into Flat 2. Amanda unsuccessfully tries to explain things. She has received a bill for $900 worth of clothes that she did not buy. She confronts Madame Jacqueline (Anne Charleston), who insists that she had served the Baronness herself. Don confides in Vera about Amanda's extravagant spending. He can't understand why she would lie to him. At the Boulevard Cafe, Arnold fusses over Patti. He brings her milk, convinced she is pregnant. Patti gets annoyed. Les drops in to see Alf, bringing a box of games for occupational therapy. Alf is unimpressed. Vera receives a most unusual present from Jack: a racehorse, which she christens I Kid You Not. In the wine bar, Amanda tells Norma about her unexpected clothing bill. Aldo and Roma argue about her painting. Vera is very excited about her horse. Amanda visits the boutique which billed her for the clothing and is shocked when the saleswoman readily recognises her. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Peter Benardos.]
Anne Charleston, who portrays Madame Jacqueline, will return to play "Mad" Stella in Episode #860. "I kid you not" was one of Jack Sellers' trademark sayings. The horse portraying "I Kid You Not" was an actual racehorse named "Scarlett O'Hara".
601. (3/09) Don and Vera arrive home after a late lunch. Don has a go at Amanda about the clothing purchases and she breaks down and rushes out. Flo and Dick are having a cuppa and decide to go to the wine bar for dinner. Reg demands details of the person who ordered Edie's freezer - and the description of the man fits Reg exactly. Aldo invites Patti and Arnold to dinner at The Blue Danube, but they refuse. Dick is concerned that Flo and Amanda seem to have had a falling out. Arnold and Patti end up going to dinner at the Cosmopolitan restaurant. Amanda tells Don that she thinks she is losing her mind. Reg tells Edie that believes he has discovered the identity of the ringleader of a sinister plot. Her benefactor is someone who lives at Number 96. Andy takes Vera to see her racehorse. Don tells Amanda that she has no choice other than to pay for the clothes. Aldo is furious that Arnold and Patti turned down his invitation only to go to a different restaurant. Vera loves her horse! Amanda confides in Vera and asks her if she really saw her in that taxi. Vera verifies that she did. Aldo tries to make amends with Roma and they go on a date to the Blue Danube. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Peter Benardos.]
602. (4/09) While Andy chats with Norma in the wine bar, Lorelei notices that Dudley is in a grumpy mood. Andy invites Lorelei to go out with him tonight. Reg forbids Edie from wearing her fur coat to the Meals-on-Wheels meeting, but she can't resist and wears it anyway. In her typically vague way, Edie manages to suggest to Dorrie that she is having an affair with Herb. Dorrie immediately accuses Herb. He tries to set her straight. Marilyn discovers that Andy has asked Lorelei to go out. Dudley and Lorelei are bickering again and Norma asks Dudley if he is unhappy with Osborne. He claims that he is. Les visits Alf with more occupational therapy, this time a box of millinery. Alf tells him where to go. Marilyn reprimands Lucy for not reporting Alf's setback to the doctor. Dorrie chases down Reg to assure him that Edie and Herb are not having an affair and he jokes with Dorrie about her pursuing him. She is left bewildered. Norma gives Lorelei the night off so she can go out with Andy. Reg announces to Edie that the man behind all the gifts is... Don Finlayson. Lucy is fed up with Alf's complaining and heads off to sleep in the spare room. Dorrie has more strange, romantic dreams, one involving her being romanced in the jungle by Reg MacDonald, who is dressed as Tarzan. Marilyn takes the initiative with Andy. When he arrives at his flat with Lorelei, Marilyn is already there - with no gear on. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Peter Benardos.]
603. (5/09) Roma has spent the night in Flat 2 after the outing to the Blue Danube. Lorelei and Marilyn have a confrontation at the Boulevard Cafe. Alf seems determined to be difficult and Patti advises Lucy to talk to his doctor. Dudley and Lorelei are arguing in the kitchen of Flat 1 and there is a spill of bolognaise sauce. Les comes in to settle them and manages to slip over on the sauce. Arnold and Patti are pleased that Aldo and Roma are reunited. Dorrie comes into the wine bar to discuss the wedding reception with Norma. Norma gets testy when Dorrie appears to suggest that something needs to be done with the iconic portrait of nude Norma on the wall. Dorrie continues the conversation with Les. Marilyn seeks advice from Patti about how to win her man. Arnold is again carrying on like an expectant father, which annoys Patti. Dorrie has another dream, this time featuring Les, set in a wine bar. Lucy has been to the doctor on Alf's behalf. If he doesn't agree to surgery he may become permanently crippled. Alf refuses to have any operations. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Peter Benardos.]
604. (6/09) Reg tells Edie that he is prepared to ruin Don, businesswise. Flo and Herb discuss Dorrie's series of unsettling dreams. Dorrie runs into Reg, remembers her dream of the night before, and is embarrasssed. Amanda still can't convince anyone that she has a problem. She receives a bill for a diamond cluster ring which she knows she did not buy. Dorrie drops into Flat 4 to ask Amanda some questions about Flo's wedding, but the Baroness breaks down and rushes off to her bedroom. Vera and Don discuss Amanda's situation and they decide it is all very strange. Vera urges Don to consider reuniting with Dudley. Amanda has lunch with Maggie and seeks her advice. Is she going mad? Maggie wonders if someone is impersonating Amanda. Flo decides on the 21st for her wedding. Reg comes to the office to see Don. Vera sends him to Maggie. Dudley tells Amanda about Osborne. Reg, as ATC at the TH, warns Maggie that she and Don will be out of business very soon. Dorrie has another dream. This time she is a bride, marrying Don Finlayson. (He wears hippy garb: a caftan and an Afro hairstyle, and the Matron of Honour is Amanda Von Pappenburg.) A visitor to Mrs Parallel's boarding house surprises Dudley. It is Don, wanting to meet Osborne. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Peter Benardos.]
Dorrie's wedding dream features a cabbage bouquet. (The cabbage is from an anecdote of Elaine Lee's, from her real-life marriage to comedian Garth Meade.) This episode was later showcased in Foxtel/Austar TV1's "Television's Greatest Hits: The Best of Number 96" (2000), introduced by Andrew Mercado.
605. (9/09) Dudley's plan has the effect on Don that he intended. He reveals that Osborne does not exist, and he is still in love with Don. Reg tells Edie that Maggie is trying to bribe and corrupt him through the gifts that were being sent to their flat. Maggie confides in Amanda, wondering if Don could be involved in the attempts to bribe Reg. Les is due in court to give evidence in the Susi O'Donnell murder case. He dramatises his speech and Norma reminds him that he is not as important as he thinks. Don arrives home, having spent the night at Dudley's. Amanda is delighted that they are back together and that Dudley is moving back in. Amanda wants Don's help with the bill for the ring but he says that she needs to get out of it herself. She mentions Maggie's visit earlier that morning concerning Reg's accusations of bribery against the business. Edie drops in to see Vera. She asks her to pass on her thanks to Maggie for the mink coat and the freezer. Marilyn apologises to Andy for sabotaging his date with Lorelei. Andy makes it clear he has no intention of getting involved but Marilyn expresses her love for him. Amanda welcomes Dudley back to Flat 4. An argumentative Maggie quizzes Don about the charges of bribery made against him by Reg. Don denies it and reminds Maggie that it was her idea for him to buy shares in Claret Development, and that maybe that company is the source of the corruption? Norma is going over Flo and Dick's wedding reception arrangements with Amanda, but the Baroness is preoccupied by her own troubles and tells Norma to do what she likes. Marilyn talks Andy into taking her out to dinner. He agrees but reiterates that he does not want to be romantically involved. Andy then mentions to Amanda that he spotted her at the races. She denies being there. Edie serves Reg his luncheon: an unthawed chicken pie from her new freezer. Reg is displeased and storms off to confront Don. Maggie, Don and Reg discuss the accusations of bribery. Maggie is being particularly difficult and Reg decides to escalate his complaints to the TC, rather than discussing the matter with them further. Norma expresses her concern to Dudley about Amanda's seeming lack of interest in the wedding reception. Don convinces Maggie that he should investigate the bribery incidents himself. Les boasts to Norma about the importance of his evidence in the court case. She is unimpressed with his exaggeration. Andy and Marilyn are confused. While dining at the Cosmopolitan, they see Amanda enter. She sweeps past, ignoring them. She goes to a table further down and sits with a man named Rudi (Kev Golsby). He scolds her for wearing a particular diamond ring. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Amanda's imposter double, soon to be revealed as Claudine, was played by Carol Raye.
606. (10/09) Maggie is in fine form, even more bitchy than usual. Don and Dudley talk about Amanda's apparent extravagance. Don says that Amanda is practically broke. They can't understand why she is behaving so strangely and Don is worried. Arnold is trying to show Aldo how to write up the deli's financial records. To escape further tuition, Aldo volunteers to take Roma back to Rose Bay. Alf is still in agony with his back. Will he have a change of mind? Lucy finally convinces him to agree to the operation. He remains dubious about its chances of success. Amanda overhears Don and Dudley discussing her monetary situation and state of confusion. Amanda worries that Don thinks she is lying. He tells her she must be responsible for her own debts. Dorrie insists that Flo should undertake some pre-marital instruction, and to give up her menial job as cleaner in the wine bar. Flo refuses. Aldo tries to tell Roma about his plans to welcome her back from Rose Bay but they are interrupted by delivery men bringing her furniture through the deli. It is finally decided that the Godolfuses and the Feathers will celebrate together with a dinner. Don has given Vera the day off to see I Kid You Not race. Maggie notices her absence and Don makes up an excuse. Amanda comes into the office to explain that the jewellery store is going to prosecute her over the ring and she needs someone to represent her. Aldo and Arnold warn Roma that she may lose money if she sells her home unit at this time. Roma says she doesn't care. Arnold suggests that the deli should offer a takeaway food service. Dorrie forces Flo and Herb to go through a wedding ceremony rehearsal. Lucy tells Patti that Alf has agreed to the operation. Patti warns her that she needs to tell Alf that his chances of success are 50/50. Maggie's solicitor has assured her that Claret Development is not involved in bribery, but Don will investigate them anyway. While making deliveries, Arnold notices the door to Flat 4 is ajar. He enters to find Amanda inside, weeping. Aldo, Roma, Arnold and Patti discuss the takeaway food service options. Arnold emphasises the bookkeeping aspects, but Aldo doesn't want to hear such details. Don and Maggie disagree about the trustworthiness of Claret Development. Amanda is upset that everyone keeps accusing her of being in places she wasn't, and decides never to be alone again, so she will always have an alibi. Lucy delivers the odds of success for Alf's operation and he decides not to have it. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Brian Phillis.]
607. (11/09) Aldo and Roma go to the wine bar and buy two bottles of wine for their celebration dinner with Arnold and Patti. Aldo decides it is time to leave when Les starts spouting his theories on thought association. Andy tells Norma that Amanda denies it was her whom he saw at the races recently - and now she has ignored him in a restaurant! Norma warns Andy that Marilyn seems to be getting serious about him. Reg voices his disapproval of Andy. He threatens to confront him if Marilyn doesn't stop seeing him. Patti breaks the news to Arnold that she is not pregnant and he is very disappointed. Reg has written up a report and plans to take his bribery accusations to the TC. Andy tries to discourage Marilyn but she plans to visit him later that evening. Patti drops in to see Alf, and encourages him to agree to the operation. He remains dubious. Arnold tells Roma that he won't be a father. Aldo has a new dish he wants to add to their takeway menu. Arnold says he will add it to the roster, but Aldo complains that rosters interfere with his creativity. Andy tells the Whittakers that Vera's horse won her race. Les suggests he could write Andy a feature story, but he has a rather weird theme in mind. Marilyn tells Edie of her plans to move out and live with Andy. Edie assumes she will be working as his housekeeper. Arnold tries to explain to Aldo how the takeaway service will operate. Andy is telling Aldo about Vera's horse. Roma joins them, expressing concern for Amanda, who is at the Boulevard Cafe feeling miserable. Lucy rushes into the deli to plead with Arnold to get Alf to the hospital. Patti helps out during the crisis. When they arrive at the hospital, Arnold has some comforting words for Alf. Lucy is quite distraught. Roma hears from her real estate agent. Her unit has made a profit, but she is reluctant to tell Aldo. Reg has formalised his accusations, but they backfire on him. He arrives home from the TH early. Reg, himself, is now accused of corruption for accepting bribes. He is on suspension, pending an enquiry. He may be prosecuted and sent to prison. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Brian Phillis.]
608. (12/09) Flo shows Herb the suit she has bought for the wedding. Dorrie arrives with a dress she has just bought for Flo, for the same purpose, from the St Vincent de Gair Opportunity Shop. Dorrie insists that Flo can't wear the suit and yet Flo doesn't like Dorrie's choice. Vera tries to reassure a worried Lucy that Alf having the operation is for the best. Roma offers to help Aldo with the takeaway food but he doesn't want any help. When Aldo boasts that he found a cheap source for the takeaway containers, Arnold says that he can get them cheaper. Aldo doesn't seem to be able to win. Marilyn gets her own way. She goes to Andy's flat and succeeds in seducing him. Aldo leaves early to go to the wholesale meat supplier. Patti and Arnold have a serious talk about starting a family. Arnold is all for it but Patti is against it. Marilyn has stayed the night with Andy. He warns her that he is not interested in having an affair with her and warns her about seducing men. Dorrie, Herb, Flo and Dick have a wedding ceremony rehearsal. Vera arrives at Flat 3 with the wedding dress she has made. Just before Alf's operation is to commence, it is Lucy having second thoughts about cajoling him into it. There are numerous interruptions to the wedding reheasal, much to Dorrie's annoyance. Marilyn announces to Lorelei that she has slept with Andy. She also tells Vera, who is astonished. Aldo and Roma again bicker over the takeaway service. Roma wants to help because Arnold is too busy. Roma finally tells Aldo to do it by himself. Flo tries on her wedding dress that Dorrie bought and parades in it for Dick and Herb. Herb mentions that she can't wear it now. It is bad luck because Dick has seen her in it. Aldo has produced his first batch of takeaway Hungarian goulash. The butcher calls to warn him that the meat might be contaminated. Aldo is worried he has been poisoned because he has been tasting it all day. Alf's operation is over and Doctor Tobius (Robert Quilter) gives Lucy a good preliminary report. Now they must wait. Lorelei turns up at Andy's flat and tells him she knows about him sleeping with Marilyn. Andy reassures her that being a bit moral is a virtue. Dick looks forward to a rosy future. He delivers a suitcase full of stolen goods to his fence, Berni (Ed Thompson), and tells him that he is expecting a nice, fat cheque from the Baroness as a wedding present. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Dorrie's malapropism, "St Vincent de Gair", parodies both the St Vincent de Paul Society and Senator Vince Gair, then-recent leader of the Democratic Labor Party (1965-1973). Accommodations were still being made to the lighting of scenes for taping in colour: Berni's shirt shifts from pink to orange as he moves through a scene. Robert Quilter, who plays Doctor Tobius, would return in a 1976 story arc as the criminal Mr Kyley.
609. (13/09) Vera tells Norma about Lucy's ongoing concern for Alf. Herb, Dorrie and Flo come into the wine bar, where Norma mentions Amanda's apparent disinterest in the wedding reception. Dorrie misunderstands and thinks it's been cancelled. Maggie calls in to see Edie, to clear up the matter of the bribe gifts, but ends up more confused than Edie. Don and Reg discuss the Claret Development business and Don has a few leads to investigate. Amanda is still distraught over the diamond ring. She makes plans to go to dinner with Don and Dudley, and insists on accompanying Don to his office today so she won't be left alone at any time. Flo and Dick have decided they will be honeymooning in Katoomba, but this horrifies Dorrie. Reg tries to establish why Maggie visited Edie but ends up thoroughly confused. Les suggests that Dudley go into filmmaking. Maggie finds out that Don had given Vera the day off recently, so she could go to the races, and Maggie is furious. She also suspects that Don is covering up information about Claret Development. Meanwhile, Reg is also trying to sort out the facts and decides that Don is definitely behind the corruption - and is also Edie's secret lover! Les is still on about moviemaking and is nattering away to Dudley about it. Amanda is presented with an opportunity to prove herself. She promises to do something about Flo and Dick's reception and goes to write out a cheque for a wedding present. She has run out of cheques! Reg confronts Don with a list of accusations, including being Edie's lover. Reg goes to Norma's Bar and gets drunk. He mentions to Norma that Don is having an affair with Edie, which amuses Norma greatly. Flo says that she really doesn't care about the cheque Amanda had promised. Don, Dudley and Amanda enjoy dinner at the Blue Danube. Unnoticed by them, Amanda's double is seated at a nearby table. She gets up and leaves. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Brian Phillis.]
610. (16/09) Edie tells Reg that Don is a homosexual. Reg is embarrassed because he has accused Don of being her lover. Over dinner, Amanda, Don and Dudley wonder if schizophrenia is a possible explanation for Amanda's troubles. Alf tries to get out of his hospital bed and his nurse, the exasperated Patti, threatens him with an injection if he doesn't remain still. Roma teases Aldo that he needs to do some exercise. Edie applies for a job and Reg denies her right to do so. Amanda is making a nusiance of herself, following Don and Dudley around the flat. Amanda's imposter double, Claudine (Carol Raye), is an out-of-work actress with a broad Australian accent. Rudi has been grooming her to help him in a complex scheme. She is furious with Rudi over the mess-up when Amanda, Don and Dudley came into the Blue Danube and almost saw her. Edie comes into the wine bar looking for a job. Alf admits to Arnold that he is afraid he is crippled for life. Edie asks Lucy about a job in the laundrette. While she is there, Edie tells Lorelei that Marilyn is going to live with Andy. Rudi is outside the deli, observing Amanda and Dudley as they buy some of Aldo's takeway food. Alf needs cheering up, so a delegation of friends is formed to visit him. Rudi is Amanda's only surviving ex-husband. He tells Claudine that the switch should take place shortly. He believes their outrageous plan will succeed. [Episode written by Ken Shadie; Peter Benardos.]
Repeat b/w episodes continue, at the rate of two per day, at 11.00am weekdays.
611. (17/09) Reg apologises for his recent behaviour in the wine bar. Les has concerns about the poor quality of a sample of concrete and Reg suggests that it could be sent out for testing. Les visits Flat 5 to tell Edie that he will be testing the concrete sample down in the cellar. Maggie, Vera and Andy are having a drink together. Maggie ponders aloud why the name "Andy Marshall" is familiar to her. Les is about to hit the concrete sample with a sledgehammer when Reg races in. Les ends up dropping the concrete onto Reg's toe. It hurts! Lucy experiences disappointment. Doctor Tobius says that Alf can't get out of bed until tomorrow afternoon. Maggie remembers that Andy is a millionaire. Both Lorelei and Marilyn are extremely impressed. Andy is furious. Reg discovers that the concrete in the sample is, indeed, faulty. Lorelei confronts Andy to suggest that they have an affair. Meanwhile, Vera stands up to Maggie and walks out on her. Reg takes the concrete sample to TC Ian Buchanan (John Rayner). Alf suffers another setback, collapsing while trying to get out of bed. [Episode written by Ken Shadie; Peter Benardos.]
612. (18/09) Amanda is supposed to be going out to dinner for Flo's hens' night. Flo, Dorrie, Edie, Vera and Roma are already seated at the Cosmopolitan. They are approached by a sailor (Al Taylor) who wants to join their table. He puts the hard work on Dorrie, who is aghast. Rudi informs Claudine that it is time to make the switch. Amanda is alone in Don's office and receives a phone call from Claudine, who tries to lure her out. Don turns up and spoils the plan. Andy is concerned that both Marilyn and Lorelei are pursuing him. Don's detective work into Reg's accusations of corruption uncovers some startling facts: everything leads to Reg himself taking bribes. [Episode written by Ken Shadie; Peter Benardos.]
613. (19/09) Everyone gets ready for Flo's wedding. Dorrie applies a mud pack to Flo's "cracks and wrinkles". Arnold shows Aldo how to use his "golf knockers". Vera tries to make adjustments to Flo's dress but Flat 3 is invaded by more and more visitors bearing gifts. The residents all gather for drinks in the wine bar, then move on to the church. Flo is disappointed not to have heard from Raylene. Les and Norma are running late, trying to deal with a drunk (Richard Gilbert) in the wine bar. Everyone else has arrived for the wedding - except Dick. Dorrie is called upon to make an important announcement regarding Flo's wedding: due to unforeseen circumstances, the wedding has to be postponed. [Episode written by Ken Shadie; Peter Benardos.]
This episode was later showcased in Foxtel/Austar TV1's "Television's Greatest Hits: The Best of Number 96" (2000), introduced by Andrew Mercado.
614. (20/09) Flo experiences the warmth of friendship after her wedding debacle. The guests are all upset and Flo is despondent. Back in the wine bar, they try to encourage Flo to come downstairs and the reception goes ahead. Dorrie decides that she and Flo should take up the honeymoon booking for the bridal suite at the Hydro Majestic in Medlow Bath. Marilyn visits Andy at night on the pretext of delivering his laundry. Andy chastises her and she cries. He takes her to the wine bar for dinner. The noisy reception has moved into the loungeroom of Flat 1. Aldo and Arnold return to the wine bar so that Aldo can ask Andy all about golf. This new interest has Aldo enthused. Dorrie puts Flo to bed. Once alone, Flo breaks down in tears after her dreadful day. Back at Andy's flat, Marilyn and Andy end up in bed together, after all. A photographer breaks in. There is a flash - and a shot is taken of them in bed. Will Marilyn become the co-respondent in Andy's divorce proceedings? [Episode written by Ken Shadie; Peter Benardos.]
615. (23/09) Alf arrives home from hospital. He and Lucy talk to Patti about their plans for a holiday in Surfers' Paradise. Amanda and Dudley talk about Amanda's unusual phone call she received. She is worried about the string of strange events that have been happening. Andy's past catches up with him. He and Marilyn talk about the problems that will arise from the photograph that was taken. Andy says that he still loves his wife. Les wants to do some investigating into Dick Riggs. Norma is against the idea. Herb comes in to announce that Dorrie and Flo have gone on Flo's honeymoon. Trixie is back - but only briefly - and makes a surprise visit to Alf and Lucy in Flat 8. Marilyn confesses to Dudley about her predicament with Andy. Dudley makes light of it. Rudi is coaching Claudine in Amanda's cultured mannerisms and accent. He almost loses his temper with her. Trixie tells the Sutcliffes about her latest showbiz tour, which will take her along the east coast. They tell her that Valerie Mason, who was supposed to manage the laundrette while Lucy was on vacation, became annoyed by the delays and has left. Pamela Marshall (Louise Howitt) talks with Andy about their forthcoming divorce. She is determined to proceed with it. Les and Herb are back from the races and announce to Norma that they won $5 each. They have a complicated betting system, but it didn't work as expected. Rudi's plan is likely to succeed as Amanda plays into his hands. Dudley and Amanda discuss her plan to stay at a health farm, which will get her away from current dramas. Rudi and Claudine overhear and realise that it is a perfect opportunity for Claudine to start her impersonation. Patti tells Lucy that she cannot come to dinner on their last night because she has to study. Trixie barges in. Her tour has been cancelled, so she can take over for Lucy in the laundrette. Herb comes into the wine bar and tells Amanda, Les, Norma and Dudley about the police coming to Flat 3, looking for Dick. They located stolen good in Dick's abandoned flat. Andy and Pam argue over the proposed divorce settlement. [Episode written by Susan Swinford; directed by Brian Phillis.]
The oft-mentioned character of relief laundrette manager, Valerie Mason, was originally portrayed by Sally McMaster in 1973, but has rarely been seen since. Her next onscreen appearance is in Episode #775.
616. (24/09) Don and Reg argue about Edifix Constructions and the mess that Reg has found himself in. Don quizzes him about disgruntled work colleagues and their suspicions fall upon the resentful Stanley Rogers, whom Reg once beat to a promotion in LG. Marilyn tries to tell Edie about Andy and the photographer. When Edie finally realises what has happened, she worries what Daddy will say. Alf and Aldo argue about golf during the Sutcliffes' dinner party. Trixie diverts their attention by getting everyone singing. Reg overhears Marilyn and Edie discussing the Andy incident and is furious when he learns the truth. Lucy is packing for her holiday and tries to cram too much into her suitcase. Trixie comes to her rescue, helping Lucy pick out only the essential items. Aldo surprises Roma when he turns up in the deli dressed for golf - in a most outlandish outfit. He requests time off from Arnold's roster. Arnold refuses but Aldo insists he will go anyway. Trixie arrives at the laundrette to be shown the ropes. Marilyn tells her about Andy but she encourages Marilyn to look on the bright side. Maggie makes some bitchy comments about Vera's typing skills. Don establishes that Claret Development's Vice President Hamilton is a major shareholder of Edifix Constructions and the profits of both companies seem excessive. Don will keep investigating. Reg is feeling depressed and Edie tries to cheer him up. He is concerned that Stanley is mixed up in the corruption scandal at the TH. Marilyn goes to Andy's flat and Pam arrives. They argue. Andy is prepared to make a sacrifice. He says that he will agree to the divorce if it will keep Marilyn's name out of it. The Sutcliffes depart on their Gold Coast holiday. Don and Maggie are at lunch when they meet up with Mr Hamilton, who happens to be dining with Stanley. Don, Reg and Maggie discuss the profits made by Claret and Edifix. They realise that Stanley is being bribed by Hamilton to let Edifix use inferior building materials on each project. Arnold, exasperated by Aldo's enthusiasm, takes him for a golf lesson, leaving Roma alone in the deli. Aldo accidentally hits Arnold on the head and knocks him out. [Episode written by Susan Swinford; directed by Brian Phillis.]
617. (25/09) Andy talks to Norma and Les about the wine bar, on the assumption that they share in the profits. He is shocked to realise they are salaried employees. Vera arrives and joins them. I Kid You Not's trainer, Billy Barnes, has been in contact. He wants her to enter the horse into a better class of races. Arnold seems to have survived his head injury but is given time off. Roma lectures Aldo about being more careful next time. Don brings Reg the news that Edifix was planning to use inferior materials on the Buena Vista project, so Reg is now in the clear. It is Stanley Rogers who is in trouble and Claret Development has been suspended from doing further business. Roma's latest painting is a portrait - of Lorelei. Aldo is impressed with the result. Arnold is unable to sleep and he interrupts Patti's study period. She gives him a sleeping tablet. Reg has been reinstated at the TH and decides to invite the TC - and the TC's mother, Mrs Buchanan - to dinner. Edie is worried, as the TC thinks that Edie is Trixie - and that Trixie is Edie. Maggie admits to being responsible for her and Don buying into Claret, and she actually apologises to him. Andy, Vera and Dudley discuss Vera's horse and the fact that it shows promise. Andy has put a progressive thought into the Whittakers' minds. How might they go about buying a share in the wine bar? Les is particularly keen. ("We could make a fortune, Norma!") Arnold's head is feeling much better. Les and Norma work out how much they could afford to invest in the wine bar. They rustle up $2000 and are now very keen. Reg is feeling exhilarated, but Edie complains of feeling trapped because the TC and his mother are coming to dinner. Arnold returns to duty in the deli. Aldo is practising his golf swings in the living room. Arnold is on his way to tell Roma that he does not think the living room is a safe place to play golf and gets another knock to the head for his trouble. Norma and Les tell Dudley about their plan to invest in the wine bar. Lorelei tries to con Andy into taking her out. Andy refuses. Don, Vera and Maggie are at lunch discussing the Claret Development situation but the conversation switches to Vera's horse. Reg comes home with the news that, although the TC can't make it for dinner, his mother is still coming. Edie is dismayed. [Episode written by Michael Lawrence; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Billy Barnes eventually appears onscreen in Episode #664, where he will be played by Reg Gillam. Previously, Reg portrayed the recurring role of Mr Bayswater.
618. (26/09) Herb takes advantage of Dorrie's absence. He runs a poker game for Les and two friends. He has a sudden unwanted guest: Raylene Shackleton, Flo's daughter from Mittagong. Roma scolds Aldo about clonking Arnold on the head again. Arnold is okay. Patti needs to have three or four days in the nurses' quarters at the hospital so she can get some study done. Claudine is worried that Amanda might contact Don from the health farm. Rudi assures her it is not a problem. Is he planning to kill Amanda? Claudine maintains that she is against violence but Rudi tells her she will have to do as he says. Raylene talks about Dick walking out on her mother. Raylene never trusted him, of course. She fails to notice the irony that she has just walked out on her own husband, Tyrone. She breaks down in tears as she describes the big fight. Now she has nowhere to stay, so she'll have to move in with Herb. Herb is reluctant. Reg comes home to find Edie drunk. She is fretting about Mrs Buchanan coming over for dinner. Raylene is still raving to Herb about her troubles with Tyrone. Herb decides to escape by going to the trots. Raylene insists that she will accompany him. They decide to stay home instead. Les is making sketches of wine bar renovations. Norma reminds him that they don't have a share yet. Amanda is in the wine bar and Lorelei asks for advice about Andy. Amanda says she plans to be in the bar for hours - Don and Dudley have gone out and she doesn't want to be alone - so she can devote her time to Lorelei and they can think up a plan of action. Rudi is testing Claudine with photos of Number 96 residents. She is not learning their names too well. Rudi is getting impatient with her. Herb comes to the wine bar to escape Raylene - but she follows him in! He introduces her to everyone and Lorelei assumes she is Flo's sister. Raylene is not impressed. Aldo and Roma worry that Patti is neglecting Arnold and her marriage. Arnold forbids Roma from mentioning that sentiment to Patti. Herb arrives back in Flat 3. Raylene has piled up all the pots and pans in the living room. She is upset that Herb left her in the wine bar. Also, when she phoned home to Mittagong, Tyrone was not there. Herb tries to comfort her. Reg is worrried about the imminent arrival of Mrs Buchanan. Edie is falling asleep. Reg rings the TC, to try to cancel the dinner, but he cannot get a word in. Success is within Rudi's grasp: Amanda makes her booking for the health farm, and Rudi is listening in with bugging equipment. Claudine is worried. [Episode written by Michael Lawrence; directed by Brian Phillis.]
619. (27/09) Raylene wants Herb to take her to the Argyle Arts Centre in The Rocks. Herb agrees to take her if she helps him with his chores around the building. She manages to break a plate from Dorrie's best dinner service. Trixie is on duty at the laundrette and the jokes are flowing. Amanda and Dudley arrive when Maggie has a head of steam about the Claret Development situation. She is upset by Don's business judgment, demands that he "do something", then storms out. Herb is demonstrating to Raylene how the stairs are to be cleaned. She develops a headache and goes to lie down. Lorelei announces to Dudley that she is thinking about sailing around the world. Amanda and Trixie are having champagne in Flat 4. Trixie suggests that Amanda go on a cruise, rather than to the health farm, because she's be bored. Listening in with his bugging device, Rudi is pleased. If Amanda is on a cruise, she'll be unable to have ease of contact with Don. Maggie tries to prise information on Don's whereabouts, but Vera is not telling. His chores completed, Herb finds Raylene, who has miraculously recovered. She is ready for the Argyle Arts Centre and cajoles him into taking her. Don tells Maggie that he has sold their shares in Claret Development, but at a 60% loss. Maggie is furious. Don and Vera placate her by saying that they got Jack's agreement. Maggie barges out and Dudley asks Lorelei about her upcoming trip on the sailing boat. He is suspicious. Vera is taking shorthand, but unsuccessfully. Maggie turns up with the latest stock market report and Claret Development shares have risen. Don and Vera have to admit that Jack wasn't informed. Maggie is again very angry. Rudi comes into the wine bar and is served by Lorelei. She is nattering about Amanda. Herb tries to lose Raylene at the Argyle Arts Centre, but his plan fails. Trixie and Amanda have had too much champagne and are quite intoxicted. Don and Vera arrive home. By now, Amanda has rejected the idea of the cruise and plans to hang around the laundrette instead, to keep Trixie company. With his plans disrupted yet again, Rudi horrifies Claudine with a change of plans: he will need to kill Amanda after all. [Episode written by Michael Lawrence; directed by Brian Phillis.]
620. (30/09) Amanda has decided: she won't go to the health farm nor take the cruise, but will be helping out Trixie at the laundrette. Claudine wants no part of Rudi's new plans. Raylene is so nervous being alone in Flat 3, she convinces herself that Herb is a prowler - and smashes a vase over his head. Lorelei tries to be helpful, but unwittingly gives crucial information about Amanda to Rudi. Amanda confesses everything. She decides to go on the cruise after all. Listening in, Claudine is relieved. Herb puts $100 on Vera's horse. Norma visits Don in his office. She and Les would like to buy into a half share of the wine bar. Don thinks it is a good idea, but will have to discuss it with Maggie and Jack. Rudi has decided that Claudine will take Amanda's place when she leaves for the cruise. Tyrone Shackleton (James Bowles) arrives to take Raylene back to Mittagong. Maggie is dead against allowing the Whittakers to buy into the wine bar. Raylene complains that Tyrone does not pay her enough attention. Maggie gives Norma and Les and mouthful and threatens to fire them. [Episode written by Derek Strahan; directed by Peter Benardos.]
621. (1/10) Raylene accuses Tyrone of having an affair with Violet Parsons. Andy announces that I Kid You Not will win her big race. Andy shows Aldo how to play golf. Vera sides with Don about allowing the Whittakers to invest in the wine bar. Edie tries to get Trixie to agree to taking her place when the TC's mother comes to dinner. Trixie declines. Vera tells Aldo and Roma about her horse. They give her money to place a bet for them. Reg puts aside his pride and approaches Trixie about assuming Edie's place for the dinner party. He has some luck and finally talks her into it. Everyone at Number 96 is listening in to the big race. Vera is optimistic, but the feeling is short-lived. I Kid You Not loses the race and Herb has lost $300 - he had put on an extra $200 at the last minute. [Episode written by Derek Strahan; directed by Peter Benardos.]
This episode opens with an establishing "push-in" shot towards the deli, instead of "Norma's Bar". The scene involves Maggie and the Whittakers arguing in Flat 1.
622. (2/10) Marilyn decides she is going overseas and Edie is upset. Aldo goes out for his first game of golf. Poor Herb will have some explaining to do. He is dejected because there is no way to tell Dorrie that he lost $300 on a horse race. Patti comes home from the hospital to have dinner with Arnold. Self-pity takes the place of Aldo's enthusiasm. He fears he may be too old to be a golfer. Patti asks Arnold if her work colleague, Tracey, can come to stay for a while, as she is going through a difficult marriage split. Herb gets tiddly at the wine bar due to his betting loss. Lorelei suggests that Edie wear something sexy and lowcut for the dinner with Mrs Buchanan. Reg is astounded. Tyrone tries to take Raylene home to Mittagong but she refuses to go. Marilyn and Reg have a row over her plans for overseas travel. Aldo is shattered. He has a little lie down because he is too old to work in the deli. Herb's bookie is demanding immediate payment. [Episode written by Derek Strahan; Peter Benardos.]
623. (3/10) Don tells Aldo and Roma that Vera has been in a car accident but she is supposedly okay. Marilyn stays overnight with Andy after the row with Reg. Don assures Norma that, as far as he and Jack are concerned, Maggie can't fire them from the wine bar. Maggie involves Vera in a lie, with Don the victim of her deception. Maggie convinces Jack over the phone that Don agrees with her that the Whittakers should not have share of the wine bar, so he sides with her. Don is furious when he hears of the decision but must relay the disappointing news to Norma and Les. Aldo drowns his sorrows at Norma's Bar because he is still feeling old. Andy has an exciting proposal: he will start up a new wine bar and Norma and Less can run it - and share in the profits. The Whittakers are thrilled! Vera has her leg in plaster from the car accident. She is upset that so many of her friends lost money betting on her horse. Claudine arrives at Don's flat, impersonating Amanda, having supposedly returned early from her cruise. Vera is shocked to learn that Herb lost $300 on I Kid You Not. [Episode written by Derek Strahan; Peter Benardos.]
Vera's car accident was written in at the last-minute, to explain Elaine Lee's injuries in an actual car accident.
624. (4/10) Edie is fretting about the upcoming dinner for Mrs Buchanan (Lea Denfield). Claudine turns down a "Welcome Home" dinner with Don and Dudley, which puzzles them both. Trixie, Reg and Edie rehearse their roles for the dinner. Edie comes out, dressed as Trixie, in a pink jumpsuit, pearls and a tulle tail. Trixie breaks up in hysterics and Reg is just shocked. Trixie promises to find something more typical of what she would wear. Maggie gives the Whittakers one-month's notice to vacate the wine bar. Claudine takes fright - and races to see Rudi - when she receives Amanda's bank statement. There is only $3,524.16 left in the account. Rudi orders her to find out where the rest of the money is. Edie hits the gin while preparing dinner and Trixie has to take over. Edie and Trixie are dressed for their respective roles, but Edie has an attack of nerves. Before she can leave, the TC's mother arrives - and consternation reigns supreme. After the dinner, Mrs Buchanan invites them all to spend a weekend at her Mona Vale beach house. They are aghast, but she is adamant. Claudine may yet be caught in her own trap. She is chatting with Don when Amanda arrives home from the cruise. There is a confrontation and Don demands to know who Claudine really is. [Episode written by Derek Strahan; Peter Benardos.]
625. (7/10) Reg must think of a way out. To take up Mrs Buchanan's offer to visit her at the beach house means that Edie and Trixie will have to maintain their identity charade for a whole weekend. Andy talks to Norma, Les and Lorelei about finding a location for his new wine bar. Claudine is taken away by the police. Amanda explains that she had been having lunch with Fred, another passenger on the cruise, when the ship departed without them. Then Fred's wife turned up, so Amanda came home. Don is worried that Rudi is dangerous. The MacDonalds discuss strategies to avoid the weekend trip and decide that Edie will get the flu. Rudi has left his flat in a hurry, leaving behind his bugging device. Maggie talks to Vera about Amanda's situation and doesn't believe its validity. She is annoyed that Don is not at work, slowing progress on the Whittakers' ousting from Norma's Bar. Trixie, Norma, Amanda, Don, Lorelei and Les search Flat 4 for a bugging device. Les is operating his bomb detector and knocks something over, accidentally revealing the device. Amanda's freedom is cause for celebration. In the wine bar, she fills everyone in on the events. Trixie regales the same audience with her recent identity swap with Edie. Don arrives with the news that Rudi has been arrested. Amanda confesses that she is penniless. Edie tells Reg that the TC's mother has booked her to sing at a private function. Reg says that this is impossible. Of course, Mrs Buchanan is under the belief that she has booked entertainer, Trixie O'Toole. Vera, Andy and I Kid You Not's new trainer, Bert Kelly (Reg Gorman), talk about the horse's progress. Her next race in on Saturday. Maggie, Don and Amanda argue over Maggie's relentless pursuit of the Whittakers. Trixie refuses to let Edie sing under her name. Don finally gets Maggie to extend the Whittakers' notice to three months. Andy announces that he has found the new wine bar location. Maggie arrives to hear this news - and changes her deadline to the end of the week, for both the wine bar and Flat 1! [Episode written by Rozamund Waring; directed by Brian Phillis.]
On this day, Australian TV channels began doing broadcast tests of their colour transmission equipment, but nothing during prime time until Episode #649 on "Number 96" on (8/11/74).
626. (8/10) Amanda suggests to Raylene and Tyrone that they share the interest in ham radio that Tyrone is so passionate about. Aldo is behaving like an invalid. Vera and Maggie discuss the wine bar business. Vera has no sympathy for Maggie's situation, but Maggie thinks that she will cope just fine without Norma and Les. Patti is confident about the results of her first exam, but she has another one today. She is expecting the arrival of her friend, Tracey, whose estranged husband beats her. Herb tells Amanda about losing $300 on I Kid You Not's last race. She suggests betting more money on a sure thing. Aldo comes into the deli looking completely recovered, having been invited to play golf by a friend. Don disagrees with Maggie and tells her he wants out of their partnership. He will be setting up his own private practice. Tyrone brings Les's old "devon-ham" radio set into Flat 3. Over lunch, Arnold encourages Patti and wishes her all the best for her exam. Don, Dudley and Arnold discuss Don becoming a barrister. Maggie and Vera argue about Don's plans to leave. Maggie is unconvinced that he was being serious. Vera announces that, if Don goes, she will be leaving, too. Roma has been unsuccessful finding a gallery to exhibit her paintings. Aldo returns, a little under the weather, after celebrating his hole-in-one. Raylene and Tyrone are playing with the ham radio. Vera tells Andy about her clash with Maggie. Herb asks Andy for some "sure thing" betting tips and he recommends I Kid You Not's next race. Arnold receives an undeserved blow. He answers a late-night knock on the door of Flat 6 - and receives a punch to the eye by an angry man (Dennis Miller). [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Brian Phillis.]
As Les Whittaker's ham radio returns in this episode, it would seem that he lied to Norma about selling it in 1972. Dennis Miller's character, Peter Wilson, the estranged husband of Tracey, makes his first appearance.
627. (9/10) Reg gets out of the Mona Vale weekend by telling Mrs Buchanan that Edie is sick. Patti puts a steak on Arnold's black eye. Raylene seems addicted to the ham radio. Flo and Dorrie arrive home unexpectedly. Dorrie demands to know what's going on. Aldo is determined to practise his putting technique and Roma needs to go to some art galleries - but where is Arnold? Dorrie wants Raylene and Tyrone to leave the flat. Dorrie and Flo argue about the events of their holiday. Roma has found a gallery to exhibit her art. Arnold suggests to both Aldo and Roma that they consider business before pleasure. Aldo ignores him and manages to get a golf ball into the beaker in one shot. Mrs Buchanan phones Edie to enquire about her health but, fortunately, Reg answers the call. Edie is practising her singing. Raylene and Tyrone leave for Mittagong. Edie has news for Reg, but it won't please him. Flo and Dorrie are still arguing and Flo storms out. Patti breaks the news to Arnold that the man who punched him was Tracey's husband and now Arnold says that she can't stay. Dorrie answers the phone to a threatening voice who demands that Herb pays his debts. Herb denies any knowledge of it. Flo is in the deli catching up on gossip when Patti comes in. Patti mentions that Tracey is very upset. Arnold relents and says that Tracey can stay, but just for a few days. Edie tells Reg about the TC's mother dropping by and Trixie was there and made up the story of recovering from influenza, so now they are again expected to take up the invitation to the beach house. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Arnold recalls an incident from the past when he defended the late Beverly Houghton against the unwelcome advances of an intruder in Flat 6, where Arnold and Patti now live. When Raylene, on the ham radio, claims "I have Madagascar!", Dorrie assumes she has brought "an affectionate disease" into Flat 3.
628. (10/10) Norma and Les are having trouble locating somewhere to live. The Whittakers may have found a friend, but Dorrie might lose one. Trixie, boarding in Flat 6 while the Sutcliffes are away, offers Les and Norma temporary accommodation. Flo is at her wit's end with Dorrie's bickering. Trixie explains to the MacDonalds that she is not prepared to go for a whole weekend of pretending to be Edie in Mona Vale. She heads down to Flat 1 to help the Whittakers move their stuff up to Flat 8. Les's junk threatens to overwhelm them. Edie and Reg worry about the weekend and Marilyn volunteers to talk to Trixie. Les arrives at Flat 3 to take back his ham radio set and tells Dorrie about their move to Flat 8. Everyone is on the staircase, taking stuff up to the Sutcliffes' flat. Dorrie opens her door - and Dudley and Trixie fall into the doorway, with the Whittakers' belongings going everywhere. Arnold complains to Roma about Aldo going off to golf again. Dorrie comes into the deli to tell them what is happening on the stairs and gets annoyed that Flo has been gossiping about the Hydro Majestic holiday. Art gallery owner, Alex Bardwell (Colin Drake), arrives and impresses Arnold and Dorrie with his smooth manner. The Sutcliffes' flat is in disarray, with the Whittakers' stuff everywhere. Dorrie makes it her business to comment on the goings-on in Flat 8 and Norma does not hold back on telling Dorrie to mind her own business. Alex flatters Roma about her paintings. Dudley and Lorelei tell Flo they will be moving across to the Whittakers' new business venture. Flo thinks she will join them. Marilyn finally succeeds in getting Trixie to impersonate her mother again at the weekend. Lorelei and Dudley tell Norma that they would like to work in the new wine bar. Alex leaves the deli after his meeting over coffee and has impressed Roma. Reg is relieved that Trixie will accompany them to Mona Vale but is concerned that Edie will give the game away. Flo gets fed up with Dorrie's arguing and upsets a plate of mince onto her head. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Brian Phillis.]
629. (11/10) Andy announces to the Whittakers, Amanda, Dudley and Lorelei, that it will be a month before the new wine bar can open. Dorrie is convinced that Flo has gone for good. Flo tells Aldo and Trixie about her fight with Dorrie. She assumes she will need somewhere to stay and Trixie offers Flat 8. Don tells Amanda that the police have cleared her name over the debts that Claudine had racked up. A letter arrives from the late Max Von Pappenburg's family. They will be giving Amanda a share of the estate, after all, but she will need to travel to Germany. Dorrie is missing Flo. Maggie is being bitchy about Dudley and Lorelei only giving a week's notice. An impromptu party is in full swing in the Sutcliffes' flat. Dorrie appears at their door, looking for Flo, and is horrified by what she sees. Maggie is pumping Vera for details on Andy's new wine bar project, the intention being to overhaul Norma's Bar to look superior. Les, Norma and Trixie are hung over after the party. Norma suggests that Flo should hang onto her cleaning job until the new wine bar opens. Andy is chatting to Aldo about golf and recommends placing a bet on Vera's horse. Dorrie is annoyed that she is only just finding out about I Kid You Not. ("Why wasn't I told?") Maggie tries to get information about the new wine bar from Amanda. Everyone is bitchy to Maggie as Andy and Vera arrive to take Amanda to the races. Don is keen to get away from big business and run his own life. Herb is hoping for a reprieve. He manages to pacify his bookmaker and get another bet on the big race. Dorrie wonders why she is never informed about anything and criticises Flo about her behaviour at the party. Aldo is no match for Lorelei. He complains about being lonely in the deli and she volunteers to help out for the hour she has spare between her two jobs. She gets so excited that she hugs Aldo - just in time to be caught out by Dorrie, who is shocked! Everyone is listening to Vera's horse race. Herb has bet an additional $200, while everyone else has made smaller bets. Unfortunately, I Kid You Not loses again, meaning the Herb now owes $500 all told. [Episode written by David Sale; directed by Brian Phillis.]
630. (14/10) Herb's day of reckoning has arrived. Vera's decision raises doubts for Andy. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte; directed by Peter Benardos.]
This episode was later showcased in Foxtel/Austar TV1's "Television's Greatest Hits: The Best of Number 96" (2000), introduced by Andrew Mercado.
631. (15/10) The weekend at the TC's beach house goes from bad to worse for the MacDonalds. Don is forced into recklessness by Maggie's attitude. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte; directed by Peter Benardos.]
This episode, also, was later showcased in Foxtel/Austar TV1's "Television's Greatest Hits: The Best of Number 96" (2000), introduced by Andrew Mercado.
632. (16/10) Maggie loses another wine bar employee after insulting Lorelei. Trouble looms following Patti's gesture of friendship to a work colleague, Tracey Wilson (Chantal Contouri). Vera and Andy celebrate their new business partnership, but Andy seems to have ulterior motives. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte; directed by Peter Benardos.]
633. (17/10) Trixie must teach Edie how to sing. Herb visits his loan officer, Mr Fisher (David Goddard) and finds it hard to believe his current bank balance, while Don gets a nasty surprise; his chicken pox will prevent him and Dudley from going to Heidelberg with Amanda. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte; directed by Peter Benardos.]
634. (18/10) Roma has found a flat in Chestnut Lane and her behaviour arouses suspicion. Lorelei is placed in isolation with Don and Dudley. Amanda leaves Number 96 in grand style. Will Flo move back in with Dorrie and Herb? Tracey offers a melancholic Arnold some sympathy. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte; directed by Peter Benardos.]
635. (21/10) Aldo doesn't comprehend Arnold's warning. Vera realises that her trust in Bert Kelly, the horse trainer, was misplaced. Dorrie places Herb in quarantine. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Brian Phillis.]
636. (22/10) Norma worries about her plan to open a wine bar in opposition to Maggie. The new barman (Edward Wall) and Deirdre the waitress (Sheila Taylor) at Norma's Bar prove to be fairly hopeless, but unwilling to undertake non-union duties. Dorrie and Marilyn are hired to work in Maggie's wine bar, but Dorrie manages to turn the tables. An impromptu party in Flat 8 attracts unexpected guests: Alf and Lucy. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Deirdre the waitress, played by Sheila Taylor, was probably miscredited ("Shiela"). The character was only named in dialogue.
637. (23/10) Alf is not pleased to have Trixie, Les and Norma under his roof. Alex charms Roma about her paintings. Herb gets the blame for Dorrie's predicament: now she has chicken pox. Tracey has been beaten up and will need the support of her friends. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Brian Phillis.]
638. (24/10) Aldo tries to be romantic with Roma on the eve of her exhibition. Marilyn's honesty and her outfit cause trouble. Tracey receives a threatening telegram. Maggie has reached breaking point. The big day has arrived for Roma. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Brian Phillis.]
639. (25/10) Edie's new friendship with the TC's mother, Mrs Buchanan, will be beneficial to Reg. Marilyn gets her laundrette job back. The TC, Edward Buchanan (Brian Moll) arrives at Flat 5 to take his mother home. The Whittakers suffer a major setback when their financial backers go bankrupt. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Brian Moll takes on the recurring role of TC Buchanan, explained previously as Edward being the brother of TC Ian Buchanan, who was played by John Rayner. In the final year, Brian Moll returns as a different TC, Mr Duncan.
640. (28/10) A sudden change in events perplexes Les; Maggie offers the Whittakers a 50% interest in the wine bar. Andy senses trouble, while Alf overhears words said in confidence. Is Tom Bartlett back from New Zealand? [Episode written by Ken Shadie; directed by Peter Benardos.]
641. (29/10) Patti attempts subtlety. A promise is revoked. Reg meets Michael Bartlett (Peter Flett) and Marilyn feels left out of the conversation. Dudley is faced with an emergency; his mother is ill in Melbourne. Tracey thinks that Patti should work at her marriage. [Episode written by Ken Shadie; directed by Peter Benardos.]
642. (30/10) Aldo is in need of reassurance; Alex has fallen for Roma. Herb continues his attempt to trace his mysterious benefactor, but Lorelei ruins everything when she tells Dorrie about the lost $500. [Episode written by Ken Shadie; directed by Peter Benardos.]
This episode was screened in Sydney at 7.30pm, against Channel 9's final episode of "Silent Number". At 8.00pm, Ten presented the television premiere of the James Bond movie, "Doctor No".
643. (31/10) Vera's horse, I Kid You Not, wins its race and Dorrie is thrilled. Michael stops avoiding Lucy. Edie becomes a relief counsellor for the Community Aid Line. Meanwhile, Dudley's sense of duty to his mother leads to an unpopular decision. [Episode written by Ken Shadie; directed by Peter Benardos.]
644. (1/11) Patti and Tracey have reason to celebrate; they have passed their exams. Roma has a change of fortune when someone buys all her paintings. Tracey thinks Andy is a nice person. Alf and Les decide to start up a help line, which they name Dig Up a Treasure. Lucy is shattered by Michael's news that his father, Tom, is dead. [Episode written by Ken Shadie; directed by Peter Benardos.]
645. (4/11) Dorrie is given an assignment with a difference. Reg jumps to the horrifying conclusion that Marilyn was the blonde woman found strangled to death with pantyhose in Chestnut Lane. [Episode written by Susan Swinford; directed by Brian Phillis.]
646. (5/11) Matt Barrington (John Paramor) comes into the wine bar and chats to Lorelei. Marilyn turns up alive; she has been flat-hunting on Michael's behalf. Roma's paintings materialise in an unexpected place: Arnold's flat. It seems that Roma has purchased them herself and sworn Patti to secrecy. Matt takes over Arnold's chef duties while Dudley is away. With Tracey's husband, Peter Wilson (Dennis Miller), back on the scene, her new freedom seems to be short-lived. [Episode written by Susan Swinford; directed by Brian Phillis.]
John Paramor, who plays Matt Barrington, returns as a new character, Peter Raikes, in 1976.
647. (6/11) Dorrie's despair turns to panic when her hand gets stuck in Lady Mendl's vase. In the deli, she mistakes actor Frank Thring (Himself) for Paul Hogan when he buys a packet of Winfield cigarettes instead of Martins. Roma's son, Irving Lubinski, calls from America; he is in urgent need of $100,000 and Roma doesn't have enough to send him. After smashing Dorrie's hand free, Flo delivers the news that the vase was a Ming. Alf is resentful when Lucy offers accommodation to Michael. [Episode written by Michael Lawrence; directed by Brian Phillis.]
648. (7/11) Alf's jealousy shows. Michael goes flat-hunting. Vera's psychic powers are at work again. A suspicious character spooks Marilyn at the laundrette. Alf tells Don that he saw Dudley at the airport. [Episode written by Michael Lawrence; directed by Brian Phillis.]
649. (8/11) Tracey is falling for Andy, but she knows that Peter won't agree to a divorce. Matt distresses Lorelei when he peeks at her in the shower. Andy is unable to partner Tracey to the hospital ball as he has to work late. Dudley is still in Melbourne, which depresses Don. Arnold is upset about Patti's new job as a private nurse and he drowns his sorrows with Don in the wine bar. A chilling sight greets Norma and Les when they return from the ball: Lorelei has fallen victim to the Pantyhose Strangler. [Episode written by Michael Lawrence; directed by Brian Phillis.]
This was the very first episode of "Number 96" to be broadcast in colour when Channel Ten, Sydney, commenced an irregular series of prime time colour equipment tests. It was later showcased in Foxtel/Austar TV1's "Television's Greatest Hits: The Best of Number 96" (2000), introduced by Andrew Mercado. 32 consecutive colour episodes (#649-680) were released on DVD in 2008, "Number 96: The Pantyhose Strangler" (Volume 1), by Umbrella Entertainment Australia.
650. (11/11) Arnold is furious with Patti for accepting a new job offer from Dr Mason without discussing it with him first. Detective Sergeant Short (Ken Fraser) and Constable Ted (Frank Menzies) investigate Lorelei's death. The publicity about the latest murder means that business is booming at the wine bar. The ghouls are out in force; however, Matt has disappeared. Arnold is without an alibi. Don is tortured by doubts about Dudley, while Michael seems evasive. Alf is sure he heard Dudley talking to Lorelei on the night she was strangled. [Episode written by Derek Strahan; directed by Peter Benardos.]
651. (12/11) The Godolfuses seek assistance from Dig Up A Treasure. Reg reminds Edie of the forthcoming Paddington Council's Kerbing & Guttering Ball. Flo begins work at the deli. Lucy disturbs an intruder and follows up a clue concerning Michael. Herb loses a baby at the movies. Roma hears more news of Irving, who faces a gaol term unless she can send him the money he needs. [Episode written by Derek Strahan; directed by Peter Benardos.]
The oft-mentioned Myrtle McIntyre, of the Senior Cits, is seen as a customer in the deli.
652. (13/11) Andy claims that he was seeking a divorce from his wife on the night of the murder. Les catches Detective Sergeant Short in his elaborate murderer trap. Herb gets a legacy from his job: an abandoned baby. Dudley learns of Lorelei's death. Matt finally seems to have an alibi when Maisie Burnett (Josie Mackay), a big-noting prostitute, loudly claims to be the last person to see Lorelei Wilkinson alive. Matt had been Maisie's client. Patti suspects Peter of murder, but finds incriminating evidence in Arnold's pocket; what does he need with a packet of pantyhose? [Episode written by Derek Strahan; directed by Peter Benardos.]
This episode was broadcast in colour. Although the synopsis indicates the episode was assigned to Tim Purcell, Derek Strahan is credited onscreen as the writer.
653. (14/11) Don confronts Dudley about conflicting information. Aldo suspects Reg of murder. Arnold is told a lie about a gift. Arnold and Aldo try to dissuade Roma from sending money to Irving. Edie discovers she must let Reg take Alderman Mrs April Bullock to the Kerbing & Guttering Ball. Dudley is the one to suffer when Don decides to be ruthless. [Episode written by Derek Strahan; directed by Peter Benardos.]
654. (15/11) Vera has a strange dream about stolen paintings. The MacDonalds' key is missing from Dorrie's master keyring, which means that Marilyn is in danger. Dorrie departs for a week in Epping to visit her sister, Connie. Meanwhile, a Cinderella goes to the ball when Herb becomes Edie's escort. Vera is stunned by her own predictions. [Episode written by Derek Strahan; directed by Peter Benardos.]
655. (18/11) Dudley inherits $2000 from Lorelei's will, but Alf sticks with his story. To Reg's horror, Edie does a stint of waitressing at the wine bar. Arnold is surprised to find that Patti's new bracelet has an inscription from Graham Thompson, her patient. April plots to keep Edie occupied with committeee work so that she can spend more time with Reg. Don finally gets the truth, if not an explanation, out of Dudley. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe; directed by Brian Phillis.]
656. (19/11) Dudley finally tells Don that he was in Sydney the night Lorelei was killed; he had spent time with his wife, Jan, and their son, Ben. Roma must decide whether her true loyalties are to Irving or Aldo. Don's spare room is in use again now that his sister, Carol Finlayson (Paula Duncan), has arrived. Carol approves of Dudley. Andy invites the insurance investigator, Mr Scott (Doug Ramsay), to interview Vera about her strange dream and the stolen paintings. Arnold offers Roma his share of the deli as collateral. Reg believes he has ascertained the identity of the killer when he finds Don on the landing. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe; directed by Brian Phillis.]
This episode was broadcast in colour.
657. (20/11) Is Tracey jealous of Andy spending time with Vera? A postcard from Tokyo disproves Andy's alibi. Les's hopes for a reward are dashed when Flo finds an article about stolen paintings in the paper. Michael is confused and manages to upset Alf. Vera is being used by Andy against her will. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe; directed by Brian Phillis.]
658. (21/11) Edie's suspicions about April have been aroused. Carol warns Don about her boyfriend's homophobia. Alf is suspicious of Lucy. Les has lost his key and Don is implicated. Everyone at Number 96 feels uneasy, but none more so than Marilyn when she finds a sinister package on the doorstep. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe; directed by Brian Phillis.]
659. (22/11) Who sent Marilyn a pair of knotted pantyhose? Vera's situation is hopeless: she is interviewed by Detective Sergeant Merry (Ian Dyson) and Detective Constable Head about the stolen Pintor paintings, but she needs to give a statement at the police station. Peter apologises to the Feathers and begs Tracey to come back home. Andy takes Marilyn to the police station. Aldo has prepared himself to make a big sacrifice. [Episode written by Eleanor Witcombe; directed by Brian Phillis.]
660. (25/11) The police think Vera knows too much about the Pintor paintings. Flo suspects Dorrie of being an intruder. Andy admits the truth about his whereabouts the night of Lorelei's murder; he was asking Peter to divorce Tracey. Dorrie has a theory that the strangler only murders blonde women. Will Marilyn be the next victim? Arnold's sacrifice makes two people very happy, while Patti is confronted by a terrifying sight: Tracey has become the latest victim of the Pantyhose Strangler. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Peter Benardos.]
661. (26/11) Tracey has miraculously survived the attempt on her life, but several of the tenants have some explaining to do. Sergeant Short insists that the perpetrator is a tenant of Number 96. April flirts with Reg, while Carol fights with her boyfriend, Brad Hilton (Terry Bader). Alf's peace of mind is shattered by a chance meeting with Mrs Cole (Judith "Judy" Champ) of Kurrajong. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Peter Benardos.]
662. (27/11) Alf quizzes Lucy about Mrs Cole. The Godolfuses are unimpressed with the new deli owner, Freda Fuller (Sheila Bradley). She plans numerous changes. April cannot restrain her feelings for Reg any longer. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Peter Benardos.]
663. (28/11) Arnold and Freda have their first confrontation. Dorrie has thought of a form of protection against the strangler: a brunette wig. Times will change for Arnold as his old friends, Aldo and Roma, make a sad departure from Number 96. [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Peter Benardos.]
This episode was broadcast in colour. Joyce Jacobs, presumably playing Daisy Carson, is an uncredited extra farewelling Aldo and Roma Godolfus at the airport. Johnny Lockwood was very upset that he was asked to pretend that he had left the series. Instead, it was a secret paid vacation. Aldo and Roma Godolfus were supposedly written out and the deli sold to a new proprietor, Freda Fuller, portrayed by Sheila Bradley. In fact, this plotline was to give Johnny Lockwood and Philippa Baker their annual vacation time but Publicity wanted it to appear that they and their characters had left the series. The Godolfuses were absent for crucial episodes that made dramatic changes for Arnold Feather's story arc, left to cope without his substitute parental figures. Then Aldo and Roma bought the shop back! While waiting to be written back in, Johnny was approached to play a major role in a Crawfords Production police drama. He turned down the offer, of course, because he was still under contract to "Number 96", but the media was running stories about him being unemployed. Crawfords ostensibly blackbanned him - and never offered him other roles.
664. (29/11) Dorrie has a premonition of a plane crash. Norma is disturbed when she sees the ghost of Lorelei in the kitchen. Another premonition disturbs Vera. In the opinion of trainer Billy Barnes (Reg Gillam), someone doped Vera's horse. Andy seems to know more about I Kid You Not's poor performance than he will admit. Is the doping going to decrease the horse's odds in the upcoming Wiltshire Classic? [Episode written by Stan Mars; directed by Peter Benardos.]
Josephine Knur makes an uncredited cameo as Lorelei Wilkinson's ghost. Reg Gillam portrays the oft-mentioned Billy Barnes. Previously, he portrayed the recurring role of Mr Bayswater in 1972 and 1973. One of the horses racing against Vera's, during the race callover the radio, is cheekily named "Harry's Woman", a reference to Harry Collins and Vera herself.
665. (2/12) Don and Dudley need dates for their night out with Carol and Brad. A scandal embroils Andy and Vera. Strange occurrences at Number 96 keep alive the tenants' memories of Lorelei. Freda asserts her authority. Andy is fired over the scandal involving I Kid You Not. [Episode written by Peter Thornburn; directed by Brian Phillis.]
Josephine Knur makes another uncredited cameo, as a photo of Lorelei Wilkinson in Dudley Butterfield's wallet.
666. (3/12) Marilyn attempts to warn Edie about April's intentions towards Reg. Alf delves into the past, but Michael's latest news involves Lucy even more; she has inherited money from Tom's will. Dorrie and Flo are vying for supremacy when their Paddington Senior Citizens Club requires a new president to replace the outgoing Mrs Terry. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte; directed by Brian Phillis.]
667. (4/12) The Feathers meet up with Carol and Brad at The Red Baron. Flo manages to enebriate Dorrie on the campaign trail in Norma's Bar, then buys Myrtle McIntyre a drink to secure her vote in the Senior Citizens Club presidential election. Freda offers temporary work to Dorrie. A meeting in the stairwell with Peter both puzzles Alf and arouses his suspicions. Arnold is saddened by memories of the past and Patti urges him to apply for a new job. Tracey's happiness with Peter is curtailed. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte; directed by Brian Phillis.]
668. (5/12) Edie doesn't understand when Reg tries to explain about April's crush on him. Vera is frightened when she finds Michael in her flat. Les disguises himself as a sidewalk artist to catch the strangler. Special Branch Detective Constable Mallet (Anthony Wheeler) believes that Vera's ex-husband, Harry Collins, is still alive and may be hiding in the area. Lucy must deal with the appearance of a ghost from the past: Tom is alive and well. It is obvious that Michael has been playing some kind of game. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte; directed by Brian Phillis.]
This episode was broadcast in colour.
669. (6/12) Arnold must travel to Canberra for an interview with a hotel chain. A distraught Tracey claims that Peter has tried to kill her, but refuses to call in the police. Dudley finds two "bonza sheilas", Shirl Boothroyd (Zoe Salmon) and Petal Wagstaff (Terry Foggarty), in the wine bar. They agree to be dates for him and Don when Brad insists on them coming to The Red Baron for an evening out with Carol. Brad is not pleased when the meal is over and the rest all want an early night. Flo has been elected President at the Senior Cits and Dorrie plans to tell Flo to move out of Flat 3. Arnold is the new assistant manager of a luxury hotel in Tahiti. The truth about Brad is revealed: he would prefer being with Don. Arnold invites Andy into Flat 6 to celebrate with Patti, who has bought champagne. Tragedy strikes once again as Arnold's moment of joy turns to horror: Patti is the Pantyhose Strangler's latest victim. [Episode written by Johnny Whyte; directed by Brian Phillis.]
This episode's cliffhanger endings would not be resolved until the 1975 ratings season. This episode was later showcased in Foxtel/Austar TV1's "Television's Greatest Hits: The Best of Number 96" (2000), introduced by Andrew Mercado.
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 existing 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 November 2023.