Copyright © 2018 Don Storey.  All rights reserved.













By 1972, Crawford Productions had the top-rating drama series on each of the three commercial networks, and all three were police shows - Homicide on Seven, Division 4 on Nine and Matlock Police on 0-Ten. All three were produced in black and white using the film and video integration method (film for exterior scenes, video for interiors), and were aimed squarely at the Australian market. Hector Crawford, head of Crawford Productions, thought the time was ripe to produce a fourth series.

With the introduction of colour television only three years away, Crawfords were faced not only with the necessity of shifting into colour production, but also of the desirability of overseas sales to meet costs.1 The new series, Ryan, was a perfect opportunity for Crawfords to meet both these challenges.

39 one-hour episodes of the series were sold locally to the Seven Network, in what was one of the biggest single programme contracts signed by the network up to that point. However, that sale would recoup only 55 percent of production costs. Ryan reportedly cost $30,000 an episode, compared to $24,000 for a Matlock Police episode, which at that time was the most expensive of the three Crawford police shows. “If we don’t sell the series overseas, we will lose on it,” said Hector Crawford. “Production of this series is timed specifically to spearhead our drive for the international market.”2

Although looking for overseas sales, Crawfords refused to compromise the integrity of their product, and many offers of percentage deals from international producers were turned down flat. “One overseas group wanted to co-produce Ryan with us,” said Hector Crawford, “but we refused because it would have meant surrendering vital scripting and directional control, and using an overseas star. And they wanted kangaroos and koalas and all that stuff besides.”3

Ryan was a variation of the police theme - the work of a private detective. Rod Mullinar was cast in the title role as Michael Ryan, a private investigator with a conscience. Ex-cop, ex-army, ex-social worker, Ryan is not your ordinary private detective. He does not deal in divorce cases like most private eyes, but takes on investigations involving blackmail, kidnapping, industrial espionage, robbery, vice, and even murder. In fact, he will handle any crime or problem that is too private, too delicate or too controversial to involve the police - as long as it does not conflict with his stringent code of ethics. On some occasions, Ryan will assist the police, although usually on his own terms.

Mullinar, who had previously played the role of secret agent Gil Martin in the final episodes of Hunter, said he accepted the Ryan role mainly because of the character. “Ryan has a very interesting background,” said Mullinar. “He’s ex-Army, which you would think would tend to put limitations on him. Then he goes into the police force which is further regimentation, and from there he becomes a social worker.  If the character hadn’t appealed, I wouldn’t have done it.” Not wanting to get into a series again, Mullinar made an exception for Ryan. “I was in Hunter for a while and that was enough, I thought, but when I saw the scripts and how the character of Ryan was to develop I was fascinated.”5

Mullinar was not only impressed with the character, but also the series as a whole: “There is not much similarity between myself and Ryan. He is going to be wearing some pretty sharp clothing and is a pretty tough character who can really look after himself. From what I have seen of the scripts so far, and they are beautiful, he’s going to have a hard time of it. There is lots and lots of action, plenty of fights and some heavy stunts. People are going to be surprised when they see the show. It is nothing like any other Crawford production.”Mullinar signed a one-year contract for the series, with an option for a further twelve months if Ryan proved successful.

Pamela Stephenson played Ryan’s efficient secretary Julie King. A blonde with beauty and brains, Julie often finds herself involved in fieldwork, and is not easily shocked.  Julie usually calls her boss ‘Mr. Ryan’, and very rarely uses his first name. There was no romance between Ryan and Julie, but there were subtle hints that they each had an interest in the other. “Julie is such an interesting character that she can develop in many different ways and I don’t expect to become tired of the role,” said Pamela. “Because she is an intelligent person there is far more scope than if she was just an ordinary secretary.”7

Originally it was intended that Ryan and Julie King would be the only regular roles, then it was decided that Ryan needed an assistant. Luigi Villani was cast as Tony Angelini, a taxi driver with lots of contacts, providing an invaluable source of information for Ryan. He was introduced in the second episode, but by the end of the third episode Tony commenced working for Ryan full time as an assistant, although occasionally he would still drive a cab. The role added a lighter touch to the series: “I play Tony Angelini, an Italian-looking Australian,” explained Luigi, “who is wiry and talks like a machine-gun and noses out information for Ryan. When you’ve got a funny little guy like me in the series, there has to be an element of comedy.”Luigi previously played a support role in Matlock Police as service station proprietor Tony Angelini - a different character with the same name.

Colin McEwan played a support role as Detective Sergeant Dan Cullen, Ryan’s main liaison with the police force. No private eye series would be complete without a cop to help or hinder, and after introducing Det. Sgt. Cullen in the second episode, it was decided to make him a recurring character. Cullen doesn’t always like Ryan’s approach, but is willing to help, and, although there is an obvious clash of personalities, there is also an underlying respect for each other.

McEwan had difficulty with the part at first: “Cullen started out a slightly ill-defined character and after a couple of episodes I had to ask that we sit down and sort him out. He turned out quite a decent fellow but he is the sort of character who would not normally be acceptable as a Crawford style cop. He would not get a guernsey in any of the other series. Cullen is a decent bloke but he is a cop through and through. He's a no-nonsense fellow. He bends the law a little for Ryan at times, but that is because he knows Ryan can get away with things he can't.”Cullen appeared only as required, and consequently McEwan did not receive a credit on the opening titles.

Another recurring character was Det. Sgt. Ken Wade, a former police colleague of Ryan, played by Carl Bleazby. And Jack Hume played crime syndicate boss Ward in a couple of episodes.

The genesis of Ryan was no overnight affair. After tossing around many ideas, Crawford Productions settled on four concepts that they thought had equal merit. “After a long deadlock, we reduced these to a pair,” said Hector Crawford, “and then we started looking around for someone to play the leads. This was when we settled on Ryan. You see, we developed a character first, without an actor in mind, so we had to find the right man for the job. We found that with the alternative there just was no one available who would suit.  But, when we found Rod Mullinar, Ryan was a dead cert.  He fitted in every possible way, as did his co-star Pamela Stephenson.”10 The whole process spanned the best part of a year.

The dynamic theme music was also the result of careful thought and planning. “I kept out of that department,” said Hector Crawford, “but the rest of the team listened to literally hundreds of tapes. Eventually there were three pieces which everyone liked but could not separate, so only then was I asked for my opinion. As it happened the one which appealed to me most was also the one which had picked up most votes along the way - and it is a beautiful piece of music. Exactly right in every way.”11

Executive Producer of the series was Terry Stapleton, who was also instrumental in its development. To assist with the first script, Crawfords engaged the services of American scriptwriter Mort Fine, who had previously worked on the U.S. series I Spy. Hector Crawford sent Stapleton and Fine off ‘bush’ for a week, so they could write the first script away from the pressures and interruptions of the office, and they spent many long hours plotting the outline and writing. “It wasn’t easy either,” said Stapleton. "At one stage I was very worried because, despite all the talking and plotting, I still could not see Ryan’s face. Eventually I had to admit it to Mort. Which turned out great, because he was in the same position. We talked around more and eventually, when we started to write the draft script, things began to fit in and Ryan became a character with a face and personality. This was why I got so excited, as did Mort, when we saw Rod Mullinar’s audition tape. He actually fitted our mental picture almost perfectly.”12

The Seven Network were not consulted during the programme’s development, and they bought the series sight unseen on the strength of the concept, and on Crawford Production’s excellent track record. “When we presented the Seven Network with the first script and the full run-down on the show we were already writing script number three,” said Hector Crawford. “That’s how advanced we were.”13

Production commenced on July 17, 1972. The series was produced in colour and entirely on film. (Shortly afterwards the other three Crawfords series also moved into colour - Homicide became all-film, whereas Division 4 and Matlock Police remained as film/video integration).

Auditions for the lead roles were conducted in secrecy to prevent the press, other production companies and rival television networks from finding out what was going on. “We put the word out that we needed someone to take over a sustaining role in one of our series,” said Hector Crawford. “The audition script had to be carefully disguised and made to look as though it could fit into any of the current series, but even so it caused a lot of worry.”14 John Stanton and Penny Ramsay were hot contenders for the lead roles before Crawfords finally settled on Rod Mullinar and Pamela Stephenson. "Apparently I lost that part because I wasn't sexy enough,” said Stanton, “but it didn't worry me unduly."15 Nor should it have - shortly afterwards Stanton was cast in a lead role in Homicide as Sen. Det. Pat Kelly.

High fashion was a feature of the series, which is not as bad as it sounds - Ryan was made in the early 70’s, and the more heinous fashion crimes of that decade had not yet been committed. Designer Baroness Freda Zerdzicka, who was responsible for Honor Blackman’s wardrobe in the British series The Avengers, was engaged as fashion consultant for Ryan. “I’m having half a dozen suits made to fit the character,” said Rod Mullinar. “Ryan isn’t going to be a scruffy character.”16 Pamela Stephenson’s clothes were designed to be about six months ahead of the fashions in the shops.

Each episode of Ryan was filmed over six days. Unlike the other Crawford shows that featured an ensemble cast, Ryan was largely centred on one character, which imposed a large workload on Rod Mullinar. (Even the earlier Crawford spy series Hunter, although named after a central character, had the action shared between Hunter and Kragg.) Mullinar would usually find himself working between 50 and 80 hours per week; on one occasion he clocked up 115 hours for the week. “I’m not complaining,” said Mullinar. “I knew when I took the job on I would have to work incredibly long hours and I knew it would be terribly hard work. We work generally three days out on location and three days in the studio. The studio work is less physical, but usually harder for me than the exteriors. They are invariably 14-, 16- or 18-hour days. And I just never stop, being in nearly every scene. Then, of course, there’s the mental work; when I finish at night I have to start learning lines for the next day.”17

Pamela Stephenson’s role of Julie King would vary in importance from episode to episode. Although it did not require the same long hours as Mullinar’s, she nevertheless considered it a demanding part: “Getting Julie’s character is the hardest thing I’ve had to do,” said Pamela, “partly because there’s little to go on. Julie’s role is secondary to Ryan’s and, especially in the early episodes, she was somewhat undefined. Her personality was flexible, depending on the episode and the writer. I had to be very careful not to round her out from within my own personality. Julie will be a much more definite person in later episodes. She’s an ordinary girl. Very feminine.”18

In fact, the producers were adamant that Julie must have femininity – they did not want a karate-chopping femme fatale. “I’m certainly no Avenger girl,” said Pamela. “Sometimes I am in the office doing all the donkey work and sometimes I do get mixed up in the action. But when I do I don’t use strong-arm tactics. Sometimes I get into a tight corner, but I use female tactics to get out rather than efficient fighting.”19

Pamela learnt to drive and take falls for the role, as well as fake typing and shorthand abilities. And she displayed an uncanny talent for getting lost: “I have no sense of direction,” she said. “One lunch time, I left a location to buy some sandwiches from a shop which was literally just around the block. Two hours later I was still trying to find my way back.”20

Ryan’s car was a tan Valiant Charger, and was nearly written off on more than one occasion. A scene for ep. 8, ‘Come The Liberation’, required Ryan to drive the Charger through a shallow creek, sending up a spray of water. The location was checked and the following the day the scene was filmed - however, overnight rain had swelled the creek and the Charger plunged into deep water and came to an abrupt halt. The mishap looked effective and was retained in the episode.

A number of stuntmen were employed to double for actors in potentially dangerous situations. Even Pamela Stephenson would be doubled by a man wearing a blonde wig: “It’s a bit hysterical to see these guys with their big beefy shoulders trying to get into my clothes,” she said.21 Rod Mullinar said the most dangerous stunt he had done himself involved running up and down the ‘Big Dipper’ at Luna Park: “Running down was terrifying,” said Mullinar. “There’s just nothing you can do but keep running... there’s no way of stopping, so you just keep going until you reach the bottom or you fall over.”22

Pop singer Johnny Farnham was approached by Crawfords in April 1973 to appear in an episode of Ryan that was specially written for him and Pamela Stephenson. Titled ‘A Song For Julie’, the story concerned a visiting English pop star, Johnny Wyatt, who apparently had been drugged before appearing on stage, and Ryan is called in to investigate. Julie is involved in the case, and Wyatt develops a romantic attraction to her - he even writes a song for her. “This is a special show,” said a Crawfords publicity officer, “which is a bit out of the ordinary for a normal crime series. Julie appears in every scene and Johnny’s part includes a few songs.”23 The episode would have marked Farnham’s television acting debut, but unfortunately, he was not available due to concert commitments in Perth. Filming of the episode was postponed, but when it became apparent that Farnham would not be available in the near future the part was given to John Diedrich (later Det. Dawson in Bluey), and ‘A Song For Julie’ became episode number 32. (Farnham later made guest appearances in other Crawford shows before landing the lead role in their sit-com Bobby Dazzler).

Scripts for the series were drawn from the usual pool of Crawfords writers, the same writers who worked on Homicide, Hunter, Division 4 and Matlock Police. Ryan, however, also had two scripts written by American William Froug, who wrote for the U.S. series Judd For The Defence. Froug was in Australia on a 'busman's holiday' when he wrote the two episodes.

Ryan did not go to air for almost a year after production commenced. A Seven Network spokesman explained: “We had nowhere to put it. We had Homicide and Boney running and couldn’t afford another expensive local production until Boney was finished.”24 The series finally premiered in Melbourne on May 27, 1973, in the prestigious 7:30 PM Sunday timeslot. HSV-7 were very optimistic about the series, hence the first time a local drama series had been allocated this prime spot. In Brisbane, Ryan premiered two days earlier than Melbourne, on Friday May 25, 1973, replacing Boney in the 7:30 timeslot. In Sydney and Adelaide, Ryan commenced screening in June, Sydney also allocating it the prime 7:30 Sunday spot.

Critics gave the series a mixed reaction. Some praised the series; some thought there was room for improvement. Most critics were impressed by the performances of the lead cast, but some had reservations about Ryan’s voice. ‘Blessed with a magnificent speaking voice,’ was how the Melbourne Listener In-TV critic put it, followed by the observation that ex-policemen, and people in general, simply do not sound like that.25 Mullinar said he would have preferred that Michael Ryan was more Australian: “When I took the part I was told to speak with a mid-Atlantic American accent. Hence the accent that Ryan has.”26

Ryan rated well in Brisbane and Adelaide, but not so in Sydney and Melbourne. ATN-7 Sydney persevered with the show in the Sunday night timeslot for three months before shifting it to Saturday night. In Melbourne it fared even worse - after only four weeks HSV-7 withdrew the series due to very poor ratings, and two weeks later Ryan resurfaced on Monday night. Unfortunately, Ryan was soundly beaten on Sunday because GTV-9 moved its stablemate Division 4 into direct conflict against it. As Division 4 was a very successful show with a loyal audience, Ryan did not stand a chance. HSV-7 Programme Manager Gordon French explained the move:  “Ryan didn’t prove as popular as we thought it would on a Sunday night, but we did not have a weeknight vacancy for it. We are making our normal winter changes and we have now created the 7:30 vacancy from July 9. This will be the perfect time channel for Ryan.”27

On its first night in the new Monday timeslot, the Australian Broadcasting Control Board ordered some scenes to be cut, from ep. 5 ‘King’s Bishop To Queen Three’. The order came in response to a promo run by HSV-7 that showed a scene of Michael Ryan being beaten up. A Homicide episode featured in the same promo was also ordered to have a scene cut. The Control Board advised HSV-7 that if the promo faithfully represented scenes of violence in the two programmes then they would be unsuitable for screening before 8:30 PM. With only three hours before the episode was due to go to air, HSV-7 edited out the offending scene, plus two other scenes that they thought the Board could object to.

The following night HSV-7 re-screened the complete episode, with no scenes cut, at 9:00 PM. The General Manager of HSV-7, Ron Casey, explained the station’s action: “In accordance with a direction from the Control Board we have cut a small part from tonight’s Homicide, which will be shown at 7:30 PM. We have decided to show Ryan at a later time because there is so much public interest in the question of censorship. We believe these are isolated cases and we don’t expect the Board to interfere again.”28

The 39th Ryan episode was completed in July 1973, and production went into recess with the expectation of resuming later in the year. Pamela Stephenson, however, indicated that she might leave the series. “We expect the recess to last for about four or five months and, as yet, I haven’t made a final decision as to whether I’ll be going back into the new series or not,” said Pamela. “When we first went into production, we didn’t realise it was going to take so long for Ryan to go to air and now we’re almost a year ahead of what is appearing on the screen, it’s difficult to tell what is going to happen.”29

By this time the series had lost its initial impact, and the ratings were still very low. The Seven Network had until October to decide on a second series, and they were not going to make any rush decisions. “Mr. Crawford will have to wait until the viewers have seen more of the series,” said an ATN-7 Sydney spokesman. “It is likely that we won’t make up our minds until we have the results of the last ratings survey of this year.”30

In the interim, to avoid retrenchments and prevent the Ryan crew from disbanding, it was decided to double-up production of Homicide. The Ryan crew was used for the second Homicide, and episodes were being produced at the rate of two a week. An interesting outcome of this situation was a rare ‘crossover’. Homicide episode 408, ‘As Simple As A.B.Z.’, featured the Ryan cast - Michael Ryan was investigating a blackmail case that resulted in murder, which in turn brought him into conflict with the Homicide squad. Rod Mullinar, Luigi Villani and Colin McEwan appeared in the episode playing their Ryan characters. Pamela Stephenson did not appear (although Julie was mentioned in the script) as by this stage Pamela had confirmed her intention to leave Ryan. Use was made of the Ryan sets, and, although it was a Homicide episode, it could easily have stood alone as the 40th Ryan episode.

Scriptwriter and Executive Producer Terry Stapleton was, at that stage, still optimistic about Ryan’s future and, with 25 episodes still to be screened, thought it could pick up in popularity. Stapleton thought viewers were comparing Ryan to the other Crawford police shows, rather than to other private detective shows, and went on to state that he thought Ryan was better than similar American shows such as Cannon and Mannix.31

Nevertheless, the writing was on the wall. The ratings did not improve (not helped in Melbourne by Division 4 following Ryan across from Sunday to Monday night) and Seven made a decision in September 1973 not to renew the series. Consequently, production of Homicide reverted to normal, and the Ryan crew was disbanded. Some of the crew were absorbed into production of a new soap opera for the 0-Ten Network, The Box, which commenced production in October. However, soapies by definition are cheaper to make, and as The Box did not require an outdoor filming unit, some retrenchments were unavoidable - for the first time in Crawford’s history.

The cancellation of the series led to scathing criticism in public. Mullinar cast the blame for the series failure squarely at the Seven Network: “The series was doomed even before it went to air because of bungling by network executives. Fancy putting a new series up against a well-established Australian show and a top-rating British comedy series. Little thought was given to programming the series and this is the main reason why it died a fast death. It makes me sick to think that I sweated my guts out on the show, and nearly ended up with a nervous breakdown - and all for nothing.

“Another reason Seven lost interest in the series was the fact that we had made too many episodes and they hadn’t seen enough. It was also unfortunate they were forced to change the night early in its run. My personal opinion is that ratings will improve in the future. After all, only 10 or 11 episodes have been shown and with the changes in days it couldn’t be expected to rate well for the first couple of months. Seven didn’t even let it run for the normal 13 episodes before making their decision. We made 39 episodes of Ryan and another episode of Homicide with Ryan in it. I’m not a whinger, but I see red every time I think about it. The Seven Network handled the series like schoolboy amateurs.”32

Seven responded with an unprecedented public criticism of one of their own personalities. ATN-7 Sydney General Manager John Doherty said Rod Mullinar was the wrong choice for the title role, and said that Mullinar’s criticism of the Network was “stupid and immature”. Doherty said that the first episode had been tested for acceptance by Audience Studies Incorporated, which had reported that the concept was sound but that Mullinar was weak in the main role. Seven passed the information to Crawfords, but by that stage production was well advanced. Doherty went on to say that the Network would have preferred to see a 90-minute pilot episode: “If we had seen a movie pilot we would have said, ‘OK, we want another Ryan’.”33

Doherty also defended the programming of the series: “Ryan got the biggest promotional push HSV-7 has given to any programme. As soon as GTV-9 and ATV-0 learned of the date Ryan was being premiered they got moving. GTV-9 moved in Division 4 and ATV-0 brought Benny Hill against us. I understand that, and it is quite legitimate programming to try to beat your competitors at the ratings game.”34

Mullinar did not believe Ryan would get a reprieve, and in any case he was reluctant about doing a second series because of the taxing workload: "I wouldn't do it again, not unless I had people to help me. It was my first taste of doing commercial drama at that speed. There were never proper rehearsals. We were averaging eight minutes of colour film a day, one episode every six days, and that's incredible. We did 39 episodes in 31 weeks and finished right on schedule. I was working 12, 14, 15 hours a day. I was having to sit down and learn so much dialogue per week that there was nothing left. To get good results you need rehearsals. I reckon if we had 10 days to make each show, if you could give just two of those days to rehearsing, our performances would have improved."35

HSV-7 persevered with playing the series until November 5, 1973, when it was pulled from the schedule after 23 episodes had been screened. It returned the following year, when seven more episodes were screened in the November and December non-rating period. The remaining nine episodes were finally screened - in colour - during the summer non-rating periods of 1975 - 1976 and 1976 - 1977. In many other parts of Australia, all 39 episodes were screened during 1973 and 1974.

The production standards of Ryan are very high - good writing, solid acting performances, smooth direction and excellent camera and editing work combined to form a polished and professional product. And Ryan was very successful overseas - proportionate to the number of episodes made, Ryan has probably done better overseas than most other Crawford shows. Yet it was the first Crawford show not to do well locally.

Certainly, Ryan was badly programmed by the Seven Network; and certainly, it suffered because Nine moved Division 4 against it, which Seven obviously had no control over. Coupled with that, local audiences had trouble associating the Rod Mullinar look and sound with the private eye scene. As reviewer Mike Russell put it in TV Guide:  “Ryan is an ex-cop. Mullinar sounds like an ex-ABC newsreader. Mullinar is a splendid actor: but Ryan he just ain’t.”36 Mullinar said that decision was not up to him: "I played it the way I was told to play it by the executive producer." 37

However, probably the major factor in Ryan’s lack of success was the nature of the series - private eyes in the entertainment sense are largely an American concept. The larger-than-life exploits of Peter Gunn and his ilk are part of the unreal bulldust that Aussies associate with Hollywood, and is rather out of place against an Australian background. Ian Crawford, in a TV Eye interview, concurred: “I think probably the real reason was that people didn't believe that Australian private detectives would go around with guns. Overseas they would believe that of Australian detectives, they don't know any better, and here we would believe that of American private detectives because we don't know better. But they knew that a private detective in Australia just dealt in divorce, and not much else.”38

Nonetheless, Ryan is a very enjoyable high-quality series. It was repeated on several occasions in off-peak timeslots, but has not been screened since the early 1980’s. The complete series was released on DVD in 2018.




1. Other production companies had previously made series in colour that were aimed at both local and international markets (Fauna Productions with Skippy, Barrier Reef and Boney; NLT with Woobinda and The Rovers, and Pacific Films/Roger Mirams with Adventures Of The Seaspray and Spyforce).  Up to this point, Crawford's focus was on the domestic market with any overseas sales regarded as a bonus.
2. Melbourne Listener In-TV, June 17, 1972.
3. Ibid.
4. TV Times, July 8, 1972.
5. TV Week, Dec 16, 1972.
6. TV Week, July 15, 1972.
7. TV Week, July 29, 1972.
8. TV Week, Aug 18, 1973.
9. TV Times, Aug 4, 1973.
10. TV Week, July 22, 1972.
11. Ibid.
12. Ibid.
13. Ibid.
14. Ibid.
15. TV Week, Aug 26, 1972.
16. TV Week, July 15, 1972.
17. TV Times, May 26, 1973.
18. Ibid.
19. TV Week, June 16, 1973.
20. TV Times, May 26, 1973.
21. Ibid.
22. Ibid.
23. TV Week, April 28, 1973.
24. TV Times, Aug 18, 1973.
25. Melbourne Listener In-TV, June 2, 1973.
26. TV Guide, July 28, 1973.
27. Melbourne Listener In-TV, June 23, 1973.
28. Hobart Mercury, July 4, 1973.
29. TV Week, Aug 4, 1973.
30. TV Times, Aug 18, 1973.
31. TV Guide, Sept 29, 1973.
32. TV Week, Sept 29, 1973.
33. TV Week, Oct 13, 1973.
34. Ibid.
35. TV Guide, Oct 27, 1973.

36. TV Guide, Aug 18, 1973.
37. TV Guide, Oct 27, 1973.
36. TV Eye No. 8, May 1996.

The complete series of RYAN has been released on DVD and is available from

Rod Mullinar, who replaced Tony Ward in the final episodes of Hunter, played the title role of private detective Michael Ryan.

Pamela Stephenson played the female lead role of Julie King, Ryan's glamorous but efficient secretary.

Pamela Stephenson and Rod Mullinar with Luigi Villani, who played Ryan's offsider Tony Angelini.

Colin McEwan (right) played a support role as Det. Sgt. Dan Cullen. He is pictured here with Rod Mullinar.

Rod Mullinar as Michael Ryan and Pamela Stephenson as Julie King, the two lead roles in Ryan.

A scene from ep. 2, 'This Little Piggy Went To Pieces', with Edward Ogden, Judy Morris and Rod Mullinar.

Ryan opening titles.

Ryan commercial integration

Rod Mullinar and Max Phipps in a scene from ep. 7, 'Death Watch'.

Rod Mullinar and Pamela Stephenson.

Rod Mullinar as Michael Ryan roughing up a thug.

Pamela Stephenson with some of the Ryan film crew.

Pamela Stephenson and Rod Mullinar in the 'Michael Ryan Inquiries' office.

Arna-Maria Winchester emerges from Ryan's Charger after the car drove into unexpectedly deep water while filming ep. 8, 'come The Liberation'. The mishap was retained in the episode.

Retrieving the Charger from the drink.

Rod Mullinar and Jon Finlayson in a dramatic scene from ep. 16, 'Nobody's Perfect' (above). However, filming a drama is not always a serious business, as the picture below shows.

Pistols at twenty paces. Robert Bruning and Rod Mullinar have a 'duel' during a break in filming.

Ryan (Rod Mullinar) roughs up another thug (Tom Richards) in a scene from the first episode.

Ryan roughs up yet another thug while a horse looks on, in a scene from ep. 26, 'Giant, Giant Had A Great Fall'.

Make-up girl Helen Dyson applies a gunshot wound to Rod Mullinar...

...and Rod Mullinar is 'shot' in ep. 23, 'Pipeline'.

Luigi Villani is 'beaten up' by the make-up artist.

Jack Thompson made a guest appearance in ep. 14, 'But When She Was Bad'.

Fred Betts, David Foster and Rod Mullinar in a scene from ep. 17, 'Person Or Persons Unknown'.

Rod Mullinar and Pamela Stephenson with Colin McEwan as Det. Sgt. Cullen.

Ryan roughing up another thug in a scene from ep. 23, 'Pipeline'.

Rod Mullinar and Colin McEwan.

After Ryan, Pamela Stephenson worked in film and television in Australia, England and America. Her overseas credits include the Superman 3 movie and the acclaimed British comedy series Not The Nine O'Clock News.