Ian's Number 96 episode guide: 1976
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.
Will Grace "Prim" Primrose ever forgive Trevor Banks, her washed-up, Hollywood actor father?
How can Herb Evans explain to his wife, Dorrie, their inheritance of a very needy, 51-year old son?
Will Muriel Thompson's tragic accident cause an end to Vera Collins' happiness?
Can Eileen Chester cope if her wayward daughter, Debbie, is put into an institution?
Is Jaja Gibson really back from the dead? Who was in her coffin - and whatever happened to David Palmer?
911, 912. (19/01/1976) Flo conspires with Herb to withhold the facts - about his previously unknown son, "Junior" Winthrop (Curt Jansen) - from Dorrie. "Herbert Evans Jr" really wants to move into Flat 3 with his Dad. A strange turn of events has shocked Dudley and Norma: Jaja is alive, but has lost her memory. She thinks she has just arrived from her home town in the country to visit Cousin Dudley! And where is David? Don and Liz return from seeing Gary in gaol. Don suggests taking the letter to the police and Arnold agrees to do so. Liz destroys the vital evidence, flushing the torn pieces of the letter down the toilet. Don tries to sway the magistrate to let Debbie stay with Eileen, who blames herself for everything. Dorrie hears the truth about Junior - and faints. Liz confesses about the letter, but Don had already made photostats of it. Dorrie wants Don to help her divorce Herb. Jane and Debbie make resolutions to improve their behaviour for Eileen. Scott warns Prim about Trevor's fragile mental condition. Prim is unsympathetic. Edie has been elected to a position on the local council and her friendship with Alderman St John Farmer is of great concern to Reg. Vera fires a startled Eileen, then sends Warwick back to his wife, Muriel. Has Vera taken refuge with pills and scotch? Jane and Prim are horrified to find her unconscious.
Two episodes were now being screened back-to-back, twice weekly, on Monday and Tuesday nights. The show returned a week earlier than anticipated by the TV magazines.
913, 914. (20/01) Don is desperately worried about Vera, but she explains that she had only taken the one remaining sleeping pill in the bottle. Edie is invited to a special Council meeting, but inadvertently votes Reg out of a job. Debbie overhears Jane and Eileen arguing. She is the reason Eileen lost her job. Debbie sneaks out to plea her case to Vera, who offers Eileen her job back - but only until 3.00pm each day, so she can be home when Debbie returns from school each day. Eileen is pleased. Prim wants to be nice to Trevor, but cannot manage it. Trevor is upset about an article the reporter, Bill White, wrote about him. When approached by Bill, Prim pretends she is someone else. In the wine bar, Bill makes a nasty remark about Prim's mother. Trevor decks him and the journalist resolves to ruin him. A troubled Herb turns to Arthur for assistance. Dorrie wants to lock Herb out. She is is convinced that her life is in tatters but Flo is not taken in by her performance. Vera wants Laura to help her dissolve the partnership with Warwick, but Laura must make an apology. St John tells Edie how to vote against the untrustworthy Alderman Mrs April Bullock (Judi Farr). Jaja still can't remember anything. Norma is told that Gary has escaped from prison. Debbie wants her old job back and asks Arnold, who agrees. Dorrie tells Laura about the divorce. Dorrie thinks Arthur might make a good husband. Dudley lights a fire and Jaja reacts, screaming out "David!", but cannot explain why. Don requires Arnold's attendance at his office urgently. Reg wants Edie to follow his directive at Council meetings, not those of the other aldermen. Arnold realises that he has been tricked: Don is not at his office. Gary turns up at the Feathers' flat and he grabs Liz.
915, 916. (26/01) Gary finally loses his temper and Liz admits her guilt to him. Dorrie and Flo build a barricade to keep Herb out. Flo tries talking some sense into Dorrie. Gary drags Liz into the wine bar to make her confess but he is quickly rearrested. Trevor worries that his bad publicity will affect Prim. Dorrie has given Herb an ultimatum. Dudley finds him trying to sleep on the landing and invites him into his flat. Don is angry with Gary for escaping. Gary says that Don either believes him or drops the case. Prim tells Trevor that she's ashamed to be his daughter. Don takes Herb back to Flat 3 and tells Dorrie about Herb's rights. Racing car driver Guy Sutton (Peter Whitford) brings a busty broad into the House of Danielle salon but makes a play for Vera while he's there. Don questions Liz about Eunice, as their stories are different. Liz threatens Eunice to get her story straight - or else. Scott continues to work on Prim's attitude to Trevor. Dorrie is having a barbecue and Dudley lights the fire for her. Jaja reacts again, shouting, "David! Jump!" Warwick is the target of more harsh words from Muriel; he is trying to help her too much. Vera takes Guy on a tour of the flat to keep him from pestering to see the bedroom. Jaja's memory has returned and she knows that David is dead. Warwick catches up with Vera and Guy for lunch and tells Vera that he still loves her. Vera tells him it's hopeless, and later sees Don about dissolving the partnership. Don makes a surprising decision which may help Gary; he is off to New Zealand to investigate Liz's background. Jaja and Dudley go with the police to find the burnt-out car, with David's body in the boot. Vera lectures Prim about her attitude to her father. Warwick is not interested in talking to Don and Laura about the salon partnership. Vera tells Guy that she'll marry him. Prim goes to see Trevor but Scott tells her that he's missing. Dudley and Jaja plan to move into David's flat together, meaning that Laura can move in with Don. Guy is looking for Vera, but she is visiting Muriel, who demands that if Vera doesn't take Warwick off her hands, she will kill herself - and it will be Vera's fault.
917, 918. (27/01) Scott tells Prim that Trevor has returned, and is desperate to reunite with her, but Prim is not interested. Dorrie is still shutting Herb out of her life. Norma mentions to Liz about Don's trip to New Zealand. A barrister, Vaughn, tells Laura that Gary's case is weak. Arthur has been called as a witness in Gary's case. Junior is racking up bills at the nursing home for Herb. Don is stranded in New Zealand due to an air strike. Dudley and Jaja hold the fort at the deli, while Prim, Arnold, Norma and Liz give evidence. Liz breaks down in the witness box, and things look grim for Gary. Scott is giving up, to return to the USA alone, but Prim finally agrees to go back to Hollywood with Trevor. Vera again tells Warwick that it is over between them. Don finally returns and confronts Liz about her name change - and a previous dead husband! Liz gives Arnold a sob story and he says that he understands. Vaughn doesn't believe the new evidence can prove Gary's innocence, dampening Don's excitement. Herb receives a letter from Junior, who will be coming back to Flat 3 for his birthday. Flo realises that if that date really is Junior's birthday, then Herb could not be the father. Warwick questions Muriel about her threat to Vera. From the witness box, Gary blames Liz for everything. Don wants to testify, too, but Vaughn and Laura won't let him. Warwick and Guy meet up at the salon and have a fight. Flo attempts to smooth Dorrie's problems, but she won't make up with Herb because it still means he once had an affair before he met Dorrie. Flo reminds Dorrie that Joan, the Evans' daughter, was conceived before marriage. Warwick tells Muriel he won't leave her. Arnold believes he has reason to be angry with Don and intends to take action. Dorrie undergoes a change of heart and manages to confuse Herb. Gary is found guilty and sentenced to 15 years of penal servitude. He goes hysterical, blaming Liz.
919, 920. (2/02) Liz again threatens Eunice over the phone, telling her to stick to her story. She tells Arnold to forget about Gary. Dorrie won't listen to reason about Junior not being Herb's son. She still wants a divorce. Dudley tries to cheer up Don, who is beside himself with worry. Don is convinced of Gary's innocence. Arthur is offered jobs in both the deli and the wine bar. Arnold and Liz make plans to visit the Sutcliffes in Perth. Dorrie acts all motherly to Junior and insists that Herb sleeps in the same bed with him. A client overhears Laura making plans with Don to move into Flat 8. Herb and Junior play on the swings in the park. When Junior tries to help out in the deli, he eats the food off the plate he is serving to Jaja. While helping Laura move her things upstairs, Jaja remembers something of vital importance: Liz was in love with Gary. Don reopens the case. Dorrie puts a stop to Junior working in the deli. Jaja lets slip to Liz that Don is reopening the case. Arthur suggests that Herb get in touch with Shagger Stevens to confirm what they know about Junior. Dudley gets annoyed with Arthur for not doing his job properly. Don can't track down Eunice and he worries that Liz will get to her first. Liz convinces Arnold to sell the deli and leave Number 96. It seems that Liz is poisoning Arnold again. Reg is finding it difficult to cope now that Edie is on the Council. He is working from home while his office is being redecorated, but Edie is getting ready for a Cubs meeting. Muriel notices the bruise on Warwick's chin. Guy offers Vera a lift to the salon, which she eventually accepts. The Chesters arrive back at Number 96 from their holiday, but Jane and Eileen are arguing and Jane threatens to move out. Dorrie gives Junior one of Herb's old ties for his birthday. Warwick is jealous of the arrival of Guy into Vera's life. Guy flirts with Vera in the wine bar. Arthur is still looking for a wife. Maybe Norma would be suitable? Edie returns from the meeting and tells Reg that she promised them some land, but it is already earmarked for an old people's home. Warwick takes Vera to dinner and Guy invites himself along. Dorrie and Herb wonder how much longer Junior will stay on in their flat. Junior decides to celebrate his birthday at Luna Park. He thoroughly enjoys himself, but Dorrie, Herb and Flo barely survive the rides, hot dogs and fairy floss. Arthur proposes to Norma but she laughs too hard to answer him. Jane asks Vera if she can move in with her, but Eileen manages to insult Vera. Jane is welcome to move into Flat 7. Edie throws a party for Junior and manages to set fire to Reg's work papers. Muriel pushes Warwick away from her and towards Vera. Recovering from their day at Luna Park in the wine bar, Flo tells Dorrie about Herb looking for Shagger. He has been successful, but it will make no difference to Dorrie. Norma feels bad for turning Arthur down, so agrees to help him find a wife. Warwick proposes marriage to Vera, but she says that she has already agreed to marry Guy.
The amusing sequences at Luna Park Sydney in Episode #920 were essentially filmed unscripted. The children of director Peter Benardos can be spotted in some scenes. Greg Benardos recalls, "My brother and I were paid $50.00 (shared) to appear as extras in the episode, to be on the rides and generally have fun."
921, 922. (3/02) Muriel confides in Laura, while Liz attempts to persuade Arnold to let them make a new start. Don holds a trump card up his sleeve. Jane and Jaja are horrified by Dudley's plans.
923, 924. (9/02) A new turn in events has a shattering effect on Arnold. Jaja presents Dudley with an ultimatum. Debbie tries to assist Eileen, while Vera turns to Guy for help.
925, 926. (10/02) Vera can't believe her newfound happiness. Norma must face a difficult situation. Arnold is desperately unhappy, while Arthur expresses relief that his proposition did not work out as planned.
927, 928. (16/02) Eileen's disclosure proves a shock to Jane. Reg will stand by his ultimatum to Edie. What is the secret Guy seems to be keeping from Vera? Norma puts things straight with Gary via some serious talk.
929, 930. (17/02) Arnold has some shocking news, while Eileen is convinced that Debbie has run away from home. Dudley's mother, Mabel Butterfield (Sheila Helpmann), has a system which Herb is positive will make them all a lot of money. Jaja declares that she is fed up with Dudley and his possessiveness.
931, 932. (23/02) Dorrie, Herb and Flo undergo a terrifying experience, with Peter Raikes (John Paramor) holding them at gunpoint. Not only is he a petty thief, but a murderer and rapist. Reg's change of heart about his wife's council career is disconcerting to Edie. Eileen worries that all the police cars in Paddington have something to do with Debbie's disappearance. Dorrie phones Norma and tells her everyone in Flat 3 has the flu. Dudley discovers he cannot use his $15000 nest egg from Aunty Brenda for five years. Vera meets Guy's mechanic, Larry Maguire (Tim Eliott), and is perturbed by Guy's attempts at secrecy. Mabel moves in on Edie. Giovanni Lenzi (Harry Michaels) attempts to impress Jaja. Laura visits Eileen's estranged husband, Ian Chester (Stuart Finch), to ask about Debbie, but has the door slammed in her face. Trouble looms for Dudley: Mabel won't invest in Dudley's restaurant idea, but decides to buy the Bun 'n Oven herself. Ian realises that Eileen has lied to the girls about the past.
933, 934. (24/02) Eileen admits that Debbie was not the result of a rape, but an affair. The news causes a violent reaction from Jane. Georges applies for the chef position Norma advertised, but when he is found drunk on the job, Weppo takes over. A policeman arrives at Flat 3, but it's actually Raikes' friend, Kyley (Robert Quilter), in disguise. Ian and Eileen discuss future possibilities. Mabel gives in her notice. Debbie is back, but quickly runs into serious trouble in Flat 3. Guy will have to confront his fear head-on during a publicity shoot at Amaroo Park. Will Giovanni convince his father to buy the deli for him? Weppo is hired as the new chef of Norma's Bar. Raikes makes advances towards Debbie. Guy reacts strangely during the photo shoot. No-one seems to understand the situation in Flat 3. Guy makes a confession to Vera: he feels responsible for an accident which caused the death of a racing colleague.
935, 936. (1/03) Kyley warns everyone away from Flat 3 and barely saves Debbie from Raikes' attack. Dudley gets jealous of Giovanni's attentions to Jaja. Vera tries to reassure Guy. Herb manages to raise Gary's suspicions. Arnold has some astonishing news for Dudley; Arnold is the new owner of the Bun 'n Oven. Dudley is ecstatic, but Arnold doesn't want a partner. Reg spoils Edie and Weppo's surprise. A knock at the door of Flat 3 means more terror for the hostages. The implications of Debbie's disappearance while on probation worries Eileen greatly. Raikes stabs Kyley.
937, 938. (2/03) Kyley is dead - and Herb's attempt at a coded remark about Les is a source of worry for Gary and Norma. Arnold fears Mabel's interference if Dudley becomes his partner in the restaurant. Debbie and Gary overpower Raikes, but Herb is caught in the crossfire. Guy has made a decision to sell his racing car and the workshop and he is determined to stick with it. Dorrie claims the limelight. Dudley is thrilled to hear that his mother is returning to Beecroft. Larry warns Vera not to pester Guy about returning to racing. Phillip Chambers (Henri Szeps) surprises Laura by returning early from England. Jane is unbending about moving out, despite Eileen's pleas. Carlo Lenzi (Joseph Furst) is unimpressed by Giovanni's business manner. Weppo tries to teach Edie the rules of Two-Up, to Reg's horror. Vera and Guy argue about money. Laura plans a move.
939, 940. (8/03) Dudley and Arnold have reason to celebrate while Don reacts with scorn and anger over Laura's decision. Jaja suggests a menage a trois with Giovanni and Dudley. Carlo and Arnold discuss the sale of the deli. Don and Phillip meet to clarify their relationships with Laura. Jane must decide what to do about the flat Gary has found her. Ian has decided to stay with Eileen. Arnold is persuaded to lease the deli. Eileen is distraught and Gary is excited. Ian has harsh words for Gary. Laura tells Phillip that Don is a homosexual. Edie has the Two-Up bug. Larry has a disclosure to make: Guy killed his own best friend, not an enemy.
941, 942. (9/03) Carlo infuriates Giovanni. Debbie begins calling Ian "Dad". Weppo and Edie plan a secret rendezvous. Jaja moves out on Dudley, so Carlo offers her the use of Flat 2. Gary is angry over some accusations made by Jane and is warned off by both Weppo and Ian. Guy suffers a severe delayed reaction. Phillip and Laura have a problem to resolve. Arnold and Dudley argue over decor, but agree to flat together. Dorrie overhears more than she should about the Two Up tournament. Phillip is concerned over the strange behaviour of the boys at Kennard House. Weppo tries to sound a warning. Reg gets himself arrested.
943, 944. (15/03) Reg has an explanation to make. Flo and Herb disagree with Dorrie. Confusion overtakes Edie, but she tries to help Reg. Vera faces a difficult situation.
945, 946. (16/03) Eileen has an important decision to make about Ian. Gary is placed in a strange situation. Guy is troubled and Vera is worried. Something has upset Debbie.
947, 948. (22/03) Debbie makes a disclosure about Guy which shocks Vera. Jaja has a problem and Reg is dismayed. Edie and Weppo have made a discovery, while Norma's plan may prove of assistance to Jaja.
949, 950. (23/03) A visitor brings news to Flat 7. Dudley has made Gary angry. Laura pays a visit. Vera confides in Carlo. Phillip is puzzled. Norma finds it impossible to remain calm about a situation. What has happened to Laura?
951, 952. (29/03) Something has angered Guy and Vera is determined to find the answer. Carlo has an admirer. Jaja changes her ways. Norma's stand gains Edie's support.
953, 954. (30/03) Dorrie's statement shocks Flo. Don agrees to help Phillip. Giovanni has developed a plan. Vera seeks Don's advice. Herb and Weppo carry on with a plan. Carlo outrages Giovanni.
955, 956. (5/04) Havoc breaks out following the opening of the Continental restaurant. Phillip's situation concerns him greatly. Arnold's decision shocks Dudley. Norma is furious. Terror mars Debbie's vacation.
957, 958. (6/04) Disaster strikes as Eileen and Ian are devoured by sharks. Carlo's advice is taken up by Dorrie. Dudley is determined to stand his ground. Flo puzzles Dorrie. Don tackles Phillip's problem. A visitor returns.
The Eileen/Ian storyline was written as a spoof on the classic motion picture, "Jaws".
959, 960. (12/04) Guy is outraged, while Dudley has an idea to put to Arnold. Dorrie pays a visit to Debbie. Weppo is unbending and Herb makes an ultimatum. Jane is worried about Debbie's future. Phillip makes a confession.
961, 962. (13/04) Weppo's decision angers Gary. Jaja and Giovanni shock Carlo. Something has infuriated Don. Guy and Larry have a disagreement. Debbie confides in Carlo. Gary and Herb's plan results in success. What has shocked Guy?
963 964. (19/04) Carlo is worried. Don's anger stuns Dudley. Laura offers Guy some advice. Arnold surprises Dudley. Edie's actions are mysterious. Gary manages to insult Carlo. Guy is up to something.
965, 966. (20/04) Giovanni is concerned with his father's actions. Jaja has a decision to make. Weppo has a point to prove. Don manages to surprise everyone at Number 96. Phillip has a shock for Laura. Herb is in a quandary; what can he do about Junior?
967, 968. (26/04) Vera tells Guy about Don being made Debbie's legal guardian. She also tries to reassure him about New Zealand. Phillip tells Laura that Don propositioned him. In the wine bar, everyone is estatic about Debbie's news. Phillip sleeps with Laura and she is convinced that he isn't camp. Gary is angry about Norma receiving gifts from a secret admirer. Laura has accusations about Don, but he denies propositioning Phillip. She moves out and Don tells Vera about it when she drops in to see him. Everyone wonders whatever happened to Christina but Giovanni is hoping she never turns up. Gary convinces himself that it is Herb giving Norma the presents. Laura tells Vera about Phillip and Don, but Vera comes to Don's defence. Laura refuses to listen to Vera's interpretation of events. Warwick reassures Guy that he is not trying to come between him and Vera. Guy is unimpressed. Reg realises that someon has been giung throu Vettare (Karen Petersen) stuns Giovanni. Reg is confused by Edie's actions. Guy stuns Vera with a proposal of marriage.
969, 970. (27/04) Debbie takes responsibility for Laura's reaction to Don. Laura is determined to discredit Don. Warwick decides to assist Vera in tricking a confession out of Phillip. Laura is shocked to overhear a disclosure. Debbie sees Don leaving the scene of Phillip's murder.
971, 972. (3/05) Debbie is shaken by something she has seen. Don is very worried. Christina is the subject of an argument between Dudley, Gary and Giovanni. Jaja announces that she is fed up. Don and Warwick arrange a meeting.
973, 974. (4/05) Herb's decision shocks Dorrie. Christina confesses her knowledge to Carlo. Gary has an assignment for Junior. Arnold is confused by Carlo's reaction. Laura goes missing.
975, 976. (10/05) Warwick and Don work together on Laura's disappearance. Norma has a heated argument with Dorrie.
977, 978. (11/05) Don is plagued by the implications of the statement made by Robin Dunmore (Mark Lee). Christina discovers the secret of Carlo's past. Edie's new lodger does not meet with Reg's approval. Don arranges to meet Robin for additional discussions.
979, 980. (17/05) Laura has some explaining to do. Edie tells Christina about her plan. Junior's admission excites Dorrie and Flo.
981, 982. (18/05) Don is shocked by a grim finding. Did he really drive Robin to suicide? Vera has a talk with Debbie in an attempt to discover what she has seen.
983, 984. (24/05) Warwick has a stern warning for Vera; not even her marriage to Guy will prevent him from winning back her affections. Don reluctantly agrees to wait two days before reporting to the police about Phillip's murderer. Debbie retreats to a secret hideaway in an attempt to avoid her deadly pursuer. Christina accidentally reveals to Reg and Edie that her stories of life in a convent may really be a dangerous lie. Dorrie attempts to prove that Herb is Junior's father. Don has set a trap for the murderer and he tells Warwick.
985, 986. (25/05) Norma has been hiding a secret interest in the enchanting Carlo. Laura has vanished, strengthening Warwick's belief that she is guilty of murdering Phillip. Debbie and an injured Vera try to elude the ruthless, determined killer. Christina threatens to reveal Carlo's enigmatic past.
987, 988. (31/05) The identity of Phillip's murderer is revealed to Vera when Mr Bingham (Redmond Phillips) locks Laura and Debbie into a pantry at the farmhouse and starts a fire. Mr Dunmore, Don and Guy race to their rescue. Norma stays overnight in Carlo's flat. Vera and Guy are very much in love after their ordeal. Christina wants $10000 in cash from Carlo. Jane is stalked and raped by an ominous, hooded intruder. Reg prepares to take over as TC and Edie gets tipsy preparing a cocktail party. A daring jewel robbery places several Number 96 tenants under suspicion.
989, 990. (1/06) Rhonda Jackson (Justine Saunders), the new hairdresser, meets Arnold and Jaja, but they express concern about having a Aboriginal person in the salon. Dorrie and Herb are on the verge of tremendous wealth. Guy has been invited to race on the international circuits and Vera wants to accompany him. Flo suspects that Weppo is Norma's secret admirer. Reg's sister, Fay Chandler (Lynne Murphy), has arrived and he wants Edie to ask Christina to move out so that Fay can stay in the spare room. Warwick has been lying about Vera's contract and she soon finds out. Christina demands money from Carlo. Arnold and Jaja change their attitudes to Rhonda. Reg is arrested as a Peeping Tom, while Warwick reveals himself to be a dangerously jealous and violent man.
991, 992. (7/06) Carlo swears he did not steal the Moritza Diamond, but Christina doesn't believe him. Vera is forced to relate the terrifying story of how she received her injuries. Dudley wants to become a hairdresser, but refuses to be apprenticed to Jaja. Jane's recollections of being raped by a masked intruder grow more frightening. Her attempt at suicide is unsuccessful and Jane explains to Norma that she actually enjoyed being raped. Dorrie is spending the inheritance, but her fondest dream may quickly become a nightmare. A caravan arrives for Fay's family to live in, courtesy of Edie. Vera is tricked into taking a boat trip with Warwick, which turns nasty.
993, 994. (8/06) Jane begs Don not to report the rape to the police. Jaja makes unfriendly, racist remarks to Rhonda. Guy thinks Vera has run out on him, but Don sets him straight. Norma's secret admirer is revealed and she is stunned. Don tells Warwick that Vera and Guy have departed for Europe. Dudley and Jaja's hopes for the future are placed under threat by Arnold. Gary's attempts to blackmail Christina backfire on him. Giovanni finds the Moritza Diamond amongst Carlo's things and the police arrive.
Elaine Lee's final regular episode in "Number 96" was #993. It was reported in the media that the writers had played a practical joke, concerning Vera and Guy Sutton's departure to Europe. They had slipped an extra page into the script featuring a fantasy ending on a jumbo jet. When the show's cast took their final curtain calls in Episode #1218, Peter Whitford and Elaine Lee returned and actually acted out a version of these scenes.
995, 996. (14/06) The diamond goes missing again. Fay signs a lease on Flat 7. The police interview Jane about Don's report. Carlo must reveal the amazing truth of his background. Jane has come to believe that the Hooded Rapist is a resident of Number 96. Dorrie makes plans for a trip to the opera for herself, Herb, Flo and Junior. The Chandlers' furniture gets dumped in the entrance to Number 96. Jane makes several shocking accusations; she tells Gary that the rapist was Don, but tells Weppo that it was Gary. Dorrie goes house-hunting in Point Piper.
997, 998. (15/06) Jane has inadvertently attacked Debbie and calls for help. Carlo and Christina accuse each other of the recent robberies. A reception is held at the Continental Salon, but most of the guests are professional party-goers. The rapist terrorises his next victim: Rhonda. Business improves at the salon due to the publicity. Junior discovers true love at the Sydney Opera House and her name is Isobel Mainwaring (Jill McKay). The Hooded Rapist's leather mask is found in Dudley's drawer by Arnold. Dudley and Rhonda admit to their publicity stunt at the salon, but Arnold and Jaja do not approve. Someone perpetrates another Raven-style robbery, but it's Giovanni and he gets trapped by a security grill.
999, 1000. (21/06) Gary threatens to break up his mother's love affair with Weppo. Carlo and Christina race to free Giovanni. A valuable necklace disappears and Junior finds one in the groceries. Reg has reservations about Fay and her husband, Bernard Chandler (James Moss), living in the flat above his, especially with the imminent arrival of their two sons. Junior presents Isobel with a gift. Don is on the verge of a dangerous homosexual liaison with Grant Chandler (Michael Howard). The rapist attacks Laura, but he is chased off by Lee Chandler (Stephen McDonald).
The complete script of #1000, titled "This Is It, Kids", was included in the 1977 MacMillan paperback, "Zoom In: Television Scripts of the Seventies".
1001, 1002. (22/06) Edie is afraid of confronting Fay about her idea of alternating the cooking tasks. Grant and Debbie go to the beach. Jaja is put out because Dudley has fallen in love with Rhonda and wants her to move in with him. Don invites Grant to a pop concert. Dorrie makes plans to rescue Junior from Isobel, whom she perceives as a fortune hunter. Carlo has a plan to retrieve the stolen necklace. Rhonda tells Arnold she is actually in love with him, not Dudley!
The synopsis of #1001 was included in the 1977 MacMillan paperback, "Zoom In: Television Scripts of the Seventies".
SPECIAL: Number 96: And They Said It Wouldn't Last. (24/06) Introduced by Elaine Lee, Johnny Lockwood, Philippa Baker, Abigail, Gordon McDougall, Elisabeth Kirkby, James Elliott and Bettina Welch.
A two-hour special, screened at 8.30pm, celebrated 1000 episodes of "Number 96". Featuring flashback footage of favourite scenes. However, TV magazines had scheduled a movie, "Taste the Blood of Dracula", for the timeslot. The special was repeated in Sydney on 17/01/1977 (with a new ending), prior to the return of the final season. On 21/11/1994, a revamped version, "Number 96: They Said It Wouldn't Last", included most of the content of the original special, with new commentary from Abigail, and concluded with the actors' "curtain call" from the final episode.
1003, 1004. (28/06) Dorrie is relentless in her attempt to break up Junior's romance. Norma has a shocking announcement to make. Business is booming at the salon. Lenny Fisher (Terry Peck) is hired to work in the wine bar. Gary disapproves of Norma's relationship, but she accepts Weppo's proposal of marriage. Bernard's job hunting is unsuccessful and his sons neglect their studies. Isobel is arrested as a jewel thief. Don is being drawn deeper into a dangerous relationship. Dorrie and Herb receive bad news about the inheritance.
1005, 1006. (29/06) The necklace's owner reports that it has been returned, so the detective sergeant in charge (Gordon Piper) releases Junior and Isobel. Dudley's life is endangered by his own practical joke when he scares Jaja with the leather mask. The residents object to the rent increases. Junior announces his engagement to Isobel and learns that his true father was Shagger Stevens. Gary offers to teach Lenny about women. The Hooded Rapist finds his latest victim helpless; Rhonda assumes it is only Dudley again. Giovanni and Gary are prime suspects for the attacks. A new admirer both confuses and alarms Laura, Debbie steps closer to danger; the Hooded Rapist is hiding in Flat 4, but he flees when Jaja arrives home.
These episodes were later showcased in Foxtel/Austar TV1's "Television's Greatest Hits: The Best of Number 96" (2000), introduced by Andrew Mercado.
1007, 1008. (5/07) Lenny's activities as the Hooded Rapist make him late for work. Jaja nags Debbie about leaving the flat door unlocked and worries about her spending time alone in the deli with Giovanni. Norma and Weppo pretend that they are living in sin to annoy Dorrie. Dorrie is thrilled to learn that Isobel is well-connected socially. Jaja unwittingly puts her life in jeopardy. Fay has involved Reg in a dangerous web of intrigue. Giovanni becomes a victim of mistaken identity. Dorrie mistakes Isobel's father, Sir William Mainwaring (Les Foxcroft), for a delivery man.
1009, 1010. (6/07) Giovanni interrupts the Hood Rapist and is knocked unconscious, awakening in the rapist's clothes. Jaja is convinced that Giovanni is the rapist. Lee and Gary continue to harass Lenny about his bashfulness around girls. Norma is visited by a figure from the past: Trixie O'Toole. A bizarre romantic triangle includes Don, Debbie and Grant. Trixie is taken in once again, as a boarder, by the MacDonalds. Norma and Weppo's happiness is under threat. Debbie puts her safety in the hands of a trusted friend, but she is mistaken.
1011, 1012. (12/07) The revelation of Don and Grant's homosexual relationship stuns Debbie and she seeks consolation from Lenny. Trixie entertains Edie with stories of her trip to Hong Kong and the amorous Chinese man she met there. Jane puts her life at risk to unmask the Hooded Rapist. Gary notices Trixie's attraction to Weppo and tells Norma. Dorrie attempts to take over the arrangements for Junior's wedding. Bernard is irate and threatens Don with accusations of sexual perversion.
1013, 1014. (13/07) Gary is upset about his mother's engagement to Weppo. Arnold objects to Dudley about Rhonda's presence in their flat. Trixie O'Toole continues to create havoc in the deli. Edie receive a phone call which embroils her in a wild Hong Kong adventure. Rhonda's relationship with Arnold races towards a shattering climax when she accuses him of racism. Will Edie become a victim of mistaken identity? Bill gives Junior a job in his factory and a wedding is planned. Two hired thugs, Blackie and Tank (Barney Combes and Kevin Howard), kidnap Edie in a laundry basket.
1015, 1016. (19/07) Edie finds herself in a Dixon Street shop in Chinatown, but assumes she is in Hong Kong. Fay wants to move her family away from Number 96, but Bernard won't let her run away from her problems yet again. An ongoing controversy shatters Don's reputation. Edie begins to confuse her kidnappers while Junior is destined for an explosive bucks' night. Trixie gives up her job for the returning Carlo. Dorrie becomes convinced that Edie is a victim of Oriental white slavers.
1017, 1018. (20/07) Blackie puts an end to Edie's bid for freedom. Dudley and Arnold have a confrontation over Dudley's love affair with Rhonda. Dorrie takes seasick pills to prepare for her cruise. Junior and Isobel's wedding is a fiasco. Lee and Grant treat Jaja and Jane to a night on the town. Flo has a new admirer in Sir William. Edie breaks free from her kidnappers again and manages to send Reg on a wild goose chase. Some news concerning Maggie Cameron upsets Norma.
1019, 1020. (26/07) Grant hits a bump in the road while driving, so Lee takes over at the wheel... and is pulled over for drunk driving. Reg makes a mercy mission to Hong Kong to rescue Edie. Jane and Jaja are worried about what happened during their night out with the Chandler boys. Blackie and Tank make a second attempt to kidnap Trixie, but they are swiftly overpowered. A serious rift develops between Norma and Don over Maggie's impending murder trial.
1021, 1022. (27/07) Dudley wonders where Rhonda goes at night. Jaja is acting hysterically and Dudley suspects she is pregnant but, if she is, who is the father? Carlo has a solution to his financial worries and turns on the charm. Debbie is suffering through puppy love, but it takes a dangerous turn when Dudley suggests that Giovanni is the father of Jaja's baby. Rhonda is caught moonlighting. Despite the deaths of four of his friends in the deli blast, Don is being drawn towards the defence side in the Maggie Cameron case. Norma and Arnold make their feelings known.
1023, 1024. (2/08) Grant and Lee are terrified to find that the body of evidence about a hit-and-run accident implicates them. Don makes a startling decision about Maggie's guilt. Laura is concerned about Don's popularity at Number 96. Flo has her suspicions about Carlo when she sees him out with Claire Houghton; is he a fortune hunter? Gary loses his cool with Don and punches him. The MacDonalds are facing bankruptcy. Weppo is unable to console Norma.
1025, 1026. (3/08) An eager team of Gary and Weppo start a new business venture, but it is one which may soon draw the attention of the police. Rhonda tells Dudley that she can go out with whomever she wants. Grant is urged by Jane to face up to his responsibilities, but she is unprepared for his response. Fay thinks Jaja is a bad influence on her sons. Norma and Weppo call off their engagement. Edie and Trixie work hard at their new jobs as SP bookmakers. Claire plans to invest in Carlo's business ventures. Don warns Norma and Gary that they will be called to testify at Maggie's trial.
1027, 1028. (9/08) The illegal betting operation leads Trixie and Edie into big trouble. Bernard is adamant that, despite the serious consequences, Grant's accident must be reported. Claire finds a way to test Carlo's affections. Gary plans some time away with his army mates. Rhonda's new boyfriend, Geoffrey Matthews, is cheating on her. Reg is mystified about Edie's nest egg. Arnold swears to have revenge on Maggie.
1029, 1030. (10/08) Claire tells Carlo the truth about her financial situation and says she intends to marry him. Grant has disappeared, but when a bizarre postcard arrives it only deepens the mystery. Bernard searches for Grant in Townsville. Don locates a lawyer to assist him in defending Maggie. Trixie disguises herself as Carlo's long lost wife to scare off Claire. Geoffrey tries to convince Jaja of her talent as a photographic model. Trixie is left abandoned under a hair drier at the salon. The identity of Laura's new lover startles Don.
1031, 1032. (16/08) Reg receives a troubling phone call. Laura uncovers Grant's connections with a criminal group. Dorrie and Herb return from their holiday, but Flo seems to have vanished.
1033, 1034. (17/08) Dudley plans to hit the big time as a male model. A strange, young woman named Mandy Ward (Ingrid Mason) arrives at Flat 7 and announces that she is Grant's girlfriend. However, there is still no sign of Grant. Maggie believes that her lawyer is conspiring against her; she is full of accusations.
1035, 1036. (23/08) Mandy's urgent insistence that the search for Grant be continued puzzles Lee. Maggie's lawyer believes he can clear her of guilt. Dorrie insists that Flo must learn to live like a member of high society. Mandy reveals the truth about her interest in finding Grant.
1037, 1038. (24/08) Giovanni becomes the owner of a sports car as part of his inheritance. Edie's idea looks like it will be a real money-spinner. Weppo interferes in Norma's life, infuriating her. Arnold predicts a disaster if Maggie is acquitted of murder.
1039, 1040. (30/08) Giovanni strikes out again, but this time the reason is a puzzling one. Gary and Weppo's illegal bookie operation moves to a new locale. It's the MacDonalds versus a swarm of bull ants! Don has doubts when he becomes Maggie's sole defence lawyer.
1041, 1042. (31/08) Mandy's bizarre sexual hang-ups seem to have returned to haunt her. Dorrie and Herb must play out a painful pretence to protect Flo from the truth about Mr Perky's demise. The identity of Norma's new cook is a shock for Gary: it's Dudley! Arnold is stunned to see Maggie out of prison.
1043, 1044. (6/09) The Evans' new talking bird has a colourful vocabulary. Maggie has a damning accusation against Don and the other residents. Giovanni is closer than ever to his first romantic conquest. Reg is worried when he discovers the likely source of his allergy.
1045, 1046. (7/09) Dorrie has come to an alarming conclusion about Jane's new lifestyle and the source of her money. Maggie's sudden freedom has an ominous consequence. Gary wants vengeance and Norma worries that he will succeed. Reg and an unexpected partner make strange bedfellows.
1047, 1048. (13/09) Don finds himself in the midst of a deadly drug-smuggling operation. The MacDonalds realise that life together has become impossible; separation may be their only solution. Trixie dons a bizarre costume, which achieves equally bizarre results. Norma uncovers evidence which suggests that Jane has been earning money in immoral ways.
1049, 1050. (14/09) Maggie's psychiatrist delivers a most alarming opinion in regard to her sanity at the time of the bombing. A phone call spells disaster for Mandy. The death of an uncle will dramatically change Giovanni's life. Gary will ensure that if Maggie is acquitted, she will not live to enjoy her freedom.
1051, 1052. (20/09) The residents are startled by the unexpected return of Vera Sutton, whom they thought had gone forever. Giovanni proposes to Debbie and is alarmed by her reply. Sir William and his new wife, Lady Flo, return from their honeymoon, but Flo's behaviour shocks Dorrie. Mandy receives orders which will endanger Grant from The Master (Jon English).
1053, 1054. (21/09) Giovanni's search for a room-mate seems to be at an end and this one is very beautiful. Maggie's court case commences, but it is the residents of Number 96 who find themselves on trial. Don is faced with another agonising decision regarding Maggie's defence. Flo has returned to work in the wine bar, leading to speculation about her marriage to Sir William.
1055, 1056. (27/09) Dorrie continues to ensure that Flo is living up to her status as a member of the upper class. Don makes a difficult decision concerning Maggie, while Gary's attitude to his father's murderer confuses Jane. Giovanni's love affair is successfully consummated.
1057, 1058. (28/09) Trixie's new television career takes off, but she must try to keep Edie from becoming involved. Lee and Grant attempt to hitch-hike to safety, but their deadly pursuer knows of their plan. Reg fears he has been trapped. A verdict has been reached by the jury and disaster looms.
1059, 1060. (4/10) Reg's life and career are both headed for disaster. Gary's violent temper may leave Norma with no family at all. Flo acquiesces and transforms herself into a fashionable society matron, but her choice of assistants is bizarre. The lives of Lee, Grant and Mandy are in the hands of The Master, a deranged heroin addict.
1061, 1062. (5/10) Giovanni may have found a satisfactory substitute for his unsuccessful love life. Jane puts herself in a dangerous position when she becomes romantically involved with a former employer, Frank Hobson (Alister Smart). Dorrie and Herb are caught in the middle of a spectacular liquid display. A totally unexpected visitor turns up in Arnold's bed.
1063, 1064. (11/10) Jane is concerned about her increasing attraction to Frank; he is much older than Jane and, furthermore, is a married man. Lady Flo's new marriage is under threat when Wally Jarvis (Colin Croft), an old friend of Bill's arrives. Trixie is placed in a tight situation. Fay catches Lee in bed with Mandy.
1065, 1066. (12/10) Gary begins to rearrange his life, but one decision puts Norma's life in danger. Edie attempts an improbable impersonation. Arnold seems to have become a father figure for 17-year old Kerry Braddon. Flo's marriage is being haunted by a ghost, but is it real or imagined?
1067, 1068. (18/10) Edie's impersonation of Trixie's teenaged daughter appears to be successful... at least until Reg becomes unexpectedly involved in the charade. Jane finds out more about the ardent Frank. The Mainwarings' marriage faces a threat from an unexpected source.
The Lady Flo/Sir Bill storyline was written as a spoof on the classic motion picture, "Rebecca".
1069, 1070. (19/10) Gary learns that he may soon inherit the MacCraddanow title from his father's look-alike brother, Lord Andrew Whittaker (Gordon McDougall). Is Gary ready to become a member of the British aristocracy? Mandy causes new difficulties for Giovanni. Bernard's departure leaves Grant and Lee with a new freedom, but can they cope with it? Dorrie is shocked that Herb has taken in a new, and most unusual, boarder: Lord Andrew himself.
1071, 1072. (25/10) The Chester girls see a way out of their difficulties. Flo learns more about the mystery surrounding the death of Kate, the first Lady Mainwaring. Arnold and Dudley worry that Kerry is heading for trouble again. Reg considers a new career option, thanks to the return of Nigel Murston-Morgan.
Episode #1072 contains scenes from the first half of the unsuccessful 30-minute comedy spin-off pilot, "Mummy and Me".
1073, 1074. (26/10) In the hospital, Gary discovers some startling facts about his deceased father, Les. Debbie is puzzled over Jane's sudden wealth, but learns the answer in a way she never expected. Flo fears that a ghost occupies her new home and Andrew contends with a ghost of his own. Reg tries to make it as an advertising executive, working for O.P. Piper (John Ewart). Dudley hits it off with Gary's beautiful nurse, Annabelle (Nostalgia Mason).
These episodes contain scenes from the second half of the 30-minute comedy spin-off pilot, "Mummy and Me". On Friday 29/10, the "Number 96" movie had its television premiere in Sydney. It would not air in Melbourne until 16/11.
1075, 1076. (1/11) Dudley and Annabelle's lovemaking results in even more fireworks than they had hoped, thanks to Kerry's new smoking habit. Vera is back for a brief visit, but it turns into a startling moment of truth: her marriage to Guy Sutton has been over for some time. Sir William is positive that Flo's nightmares require medical aid, but she discovers that Bill himself may be the cause of her problems.
1077, 1078. (2/11) Jane's romance receives a jolt when she receives an ominous phone call from Frank's wife, which leads Jane to make a crucial decision. Bill has disappeared from Mainwaring House, without a warning or an explanation. Meanwhile, Flo changes her mind about leaving when she makes a strange discovery; has she found the body of Bill's long-dead wife? Vera is flat-minding for the holidaying Reg and Edie.
1079, 1080. (8/11) The ghost of Bill's first wife is even more real and terrifying than Flo had suspected. Vera and her friend Eve (Abigail) are flat-hunting, and Vera must use all of her feminine wiles to satisfy a reluctant landlord, Edgar Eggerton (Terry O'Neill). Laura begins taking an interest in Gary's health.
These episodes contain scenes from the first half of the unsuccessful 30-minute comedy spin-off pilot, "Fair Game".
1081, 1082. (9/11) Dorrie attempts to pry information from Debbie about Jane and Frank. The recently-divorced Samantha Minerver (Lynette Curran) disapproves of the immoral ways of her carefree flatmates, Vera and Eve. Eve becomes trapped by Sam's ex-husband, Joe Minerver (Peter Flett), whose sexual appetite is as great as her own. Laura gives Lee a piece of her mind. Is there a spirit haunting Flat 3? Jane's stormy romance with Frank rushes toward a horrifying climax of violence and death.
Episode #1081 contains scenes from the second half of the 30-minute comedy spin-off pilot, "Fair Game".
1083, 1084. (15/11) Jane is charged with the brutal murder of Frank's wife, Melissa Hobson (Pat Bishop). When Don takes over Jane's defence, he stuns the police with his aggressive and unorthodox tactics. Giovanni tries to break away from his indomitable aunt, Maria Panucci (Arianthe Galani), who is increasing her influence over his life.
Episode #1083 contains the opening scenes from the unsuccessful spin-off pilot, "A Law To Himself", a 60-minute drama.
1085, 1086. (16/11) Don uses an outrageous, but effective, technique to force an incriminating confession from the frightened mistress of an underworld figure. Debbie witnesses Don's fierce determination to free Jane, but noone anticipates the bizarre murder that is to come: when Mark Hobson kills his father, Frank.
These episodes contain scenes from the spin-off pilot, "A Law To Himself", a 60-minute drama. In Melbourne, the "Number 96" movie also had its television premiere.
1087, 1088. (22/11) When a man is hunted by a hired executioner, Don follows him, but soon Don himself becomes a target. Then, the sole source of information about his pursuers also suffers a violent death. Don is in desperate need of Debbie's help, but she has become involved with the son of the murdered man.
Episode #1087 contains scenes from the spin-off pilot, "A Law To Himself", a 60-minute drama.
1089, 1090. (23/11) Dorrie and Herb become embroiled in a poker machine scandal. Don and his enemies meet in a sudden and unanticipated confrontation. Arnold becomes the prime suspect when Kerry is discovered badly beaten and near death.
Episode #1089 contains the concluding scenes from the spin-off pilot, "A Law To Himself", a 60-minute drama.
1091, 1092. (29/11) Arnold and Dudley are accused of child-bashing, but only the testimony of the unconscious Kerry can clear them. Reg fears that Fay has renewed an affair with a former lover in Bernard's absence. The police reject Kerry's explanation of the beating he received and the result is a sinister threat of blackmail.
1093, 1094. (30/11) Laura's growing relationship with Gary alarms those who know of his unstable, and sometimes dangerous, emotions. Herb's dealings with a shady poker machine vendor turn sour and he is ordered to pay ten thousand dollars to a creditor.
1095, 1096. (6/12) Maria promises Giovanni that she will no longer interfere in his sex life, but he suspects that she is planning something even more aggravating. The unexpected return of an old problem, Gary's impotence, threatens to ruin his relationship with Laura. Lee is devastated to find his mother in bed with her employer, Dr Mike Purcell (Graham Corry).
1097, 1098. (7/12) Fay is about to leave for the airport when she is informed that Bernard has died. The MacDonalds are horrified to learn that they are stuck with two impossible house-guests: Nigel and Trixie, who have injured themselves on the stairwell. Kerry suffers a dizzy spell and failing eyesight. Norma receives a letter which infers that Andrew is a murderer. Don is surprised by Dudley's offer: he is in Don's bed. Herb seems to have disappeared and so has the entire contents of the Senior Citizens' Club bank account.
This episode's cliffhanger endings would not be resolved until the 1977 ratings season.
Number 96 synopses © 1994, 2020 Ian McLean and Lindsay Street Productions. They have been rewritten and annotated from information derived from Sydney and Melbourne editions of TV Week and TV Times, cross-referenced with original Cash Harmon documentation and viewings of episodes. No text may be reproduced without the express permission of the author. To use this material in research, you are requested to inform the author and credit his contribution accordingly. Thank you.
Page last updated August 2020.