CLASSIC AUSTRALIAN TELEVISION

DIVISION 4

Part 1

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Copyright © 2013 Don Storey.  All rights reserved.


DIVISION 4
FEATURE ARTICLE

Part 2

 

DIVISION 4
EPISODE DETAILS
Part 1: Eps 1 - 50
Part 2: Eps 51 - 100
Part 3: Eps 101 - 150

Part 4: Eps 151 - 200
Part 5: Eps 201 - 250
Part 6: Eps 251 - 300

 

HOME

 

INTERVIEWS

 

CHRONOLOGICAL
OVERVIEW

 

F.A.Q.

 

LINKS


Division 4 was the only drama series on Australian television to rival the popularity of Homicide. Division 4 was a product of the same company, Crawford Productions, and arrived on the scene five years after Homicide first started its ground-breaking run. The genesis of Division 4 can be traced back to August 1968, when Tony Ward resigned from the lead role of another Crawfords show, the innovative spy series Hunter.

The Nine Network were very happy with Hunter which was rating quite nicely, but the departure of Tony Ward from the title role immediately brought the future of the series into question. There were two main options - continue Hunter with another actor in the title role, or discontinue Hunter and produce an entirely new series. The first option could easily be accommodated, as the scripts always made it apparent that 'Hunter' was a code name. Production did continue in the short term, and Rod Mullinar was signed to replace Tony Ward. There was much speculation in the press as to who would be promoted to 'Hunter' status - Kragg, or the new character to be played by Mullinar.

An important factor to be considered was the impact Gerard Kennedy made in Hunter playing the complex Kragg character. On the surface, Kragg appeared to be just an evil enemy agent, but he was actually a misguided idealist. Kennedy brought such depth to the role that the character swapped sides and joined John Hunter as a 'goodie'. This impact was not lost on the Nine Network or Crawfords. Hector Crawford, head of Crawford Productions, said, "We have long realised Gerard's appeal to the public and have him under a long-term contract."1

Confusing the issue was the mysterious signing by Crawfords of actor Terence Donovan, who had recently returned to Australia after working in England for a few years. "I'm being paid a retainer to do nothing for 13 weeks," Donovan said. "After that, they have promised me work for 12 months. But I know nothing else about it. I asked Mr. Hector Crawford what role he had in mind, and was told: 'The less you know the better'. I don't think it has anything to do with Hunter, and frankly I would prefer not to go into Hunter. I'd much rather create a new role of my own."2

Continuing Hunter did pose problems because Tony Ward had become so indelibly associated with the title role that it was doubtful if the public would accept another actor in the part. There was some talk of renaming the series 'Kragg', but it was eventually decided that Hunter should be discontinued and a new series created as a better vehicle for Gerard Kennedy.

Crawfords persuaded Nine to change to a new show, and Nine agreed (with network owner Frank Packer threatening unpleasant reprisals if it didn't rate as well as Hunter). A police series was chosen, but it was not to be a carbon copy of Homicide. Set in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda, it was given the imaginative title Saints And Sinners, and was to be centred on the activities of a suburban police station in an area renowned for its crime and vice. The project was initially shrouded in secrecy, and media journalists were guessing who would be cast in the new series. Gerard Kennedy, Terence Donovan and Rod Mullinar were all predicted to be certain starters.

Ian Jones and Terry Stapleton, part of the creative team who dreamed up the concept, spent a lot of time with the St Kilda police researching the series. They even accompanied the uniformed police and the detectives on their rounds. Sets were constructed that were replicas of the actual St Kilda police station charge counter and CIB room, with an attention to detail that extended to having the same picture hanging on the wall.

Shooting of exterior film sequences commenced in late November 1968, and then a major setback occurred. St Kilda City Council objected to the series, claiming that it would do great harm to St Kilda's image and property values. "We have been aware of crime and prostitution in our city for years now, and we're just starting a big drive to get rid of it," said St Kilda Mayor John Staughton. "If Crawfords had gone ahead with their original idea it would have ruined our plans."3 The concept of the series was altered and the setting became the fictitious suburb of Yarra Central, and the title was changed to the rather innocuous Police File.

Not entirely happy with the Police File title, Crawfords were looking for another name. A secretary was typing a list of suggestions, one of which was 'Department 24' (a throwback to the successful radio series D24), and she mistyped it as 'Division 4'. It struck a chord, and Division 4 was adopted as the new title.

"The tragedy with Division 4 is that its original concept wasn't followed through," said Ian Jones. "Division 4 was a fine police drama, but it would have had its feet totally planted one thousand percent in reality if we had been able to carry through the St Kilda concept. Setting it in St Kilda would have given it a cosmopolitan ambience which Division 4 never gave being set in the amorphous Yarra Central."4

Yarra Central is a fictitious inner Melbourne suburb with a broad demographic, enabling all aspects of the typical workings of a police station to be dramatised. Like Homicide, Division 4 has an emphasis on realism and authenticity. The cases could be taken from the daybook of any police station, and were often based on actual events. As with Homicide, the Victoria Police gave full co-operation, and police procedure and detection methods were followed faithfully.

Gerard Kennedy was given the role of Senior Detective Frank Banner in Division 4. As Hunter was still in production, the turnaround to Division 4 was immediate. In fact, the interior video scenes for the final Hunter episode were being filmed at the same time as the exterior film scenes for the first Division 4. Consequently, Banner had to retain Kragg's characteristic crew cut hairstyle.

Banner is in his mid-30's, and is a hard, tough man. He has been a loner since his pregnant wife, Joy, died during premature child-birth brought on after being terrorised by a criminal (in the first episode, 'The Soldiers'). He tends to bury himself in his work. He respects but sometimes disagrees with his superior, Sergeant Vickers, and sometimes employs rough-house methods of handling criminals. He is a fair man and a conscientious cop. Gerard Kennedy said there were inevitable difficulties for any actor switching from one role to another. "It is only that they are exaggerated, because you play one role for so long. Mannerisms become habits when you use them for any length of time. I'm finding it very difficult because Banner is similar in some ways to Kragg. He is a sad case, a plain, square fellow."5

Head of the Yarra Central CIB is Det. Sgt. Keith Vickers, played by Chuck Faulkner. Faulkner was a real-life policeman for two years before he joined TCN-9 and became a well-known Sydney TV personality. Vickers is in his mid-40's, and is married with two sons. He often clashes with his younger son Jamie, a university student, over anti-Vietnam demonstrations. His bark is usually worse than his bite, and although he comes across as a very serious person most of the time, he has a dry sense of humour which lends itself to some nice comedy touches.

Terence Donovan was cast in the role of the station's third plain-clothes man, Det. Mick Peters. In his early-30's, Peters has a happy-go-lucky nature, and has an eye for the ladies. He has a good record with the Victoria Police, although Vickers sometimes has to pull him into line for being too much of a comedian.

The uniform branch is presided over by Sgt. Andrew 'Scotty' Macleod, played by Frank Taylor who previously had a support role as Vile in My Name's McGooley - What's Yours? Scotty is in his late-forties and is a meticulous man. Originally from Scotland, he is married with four daughters. Scotty's role is mainly confined to the station charge counter, and he therefore rarely appears in exterior scenes - a fact which allowed Frank Taylor to live in Sydney and commute to Melbourne for the three days he was required for shooting. "I've never had a broad accent," said Taylor who was born in Scotland himself, "but when I'm playing the part of Scotty Macleod I relax into it just a little bit more."6

Singer and former In Melbourne Tonight compere Ted Hamilton played Constable Kevin Dwyer. In his late 20's, Dwyer is an ambitious and dedicated cop, and is always keen to work with the CIB. Ted Hamilton said he disliked wearing the uniform, but admitted that it helped him portray the character: "When things like handcuffs are part of your normal clothing they make you aware of your assumed character. They make you think like a cop."7

Patricia Smith was cast as Policewoman Margaret Stewart. Patricia landed the role on the strength of her performance as Kragg's girlfriend Georgie Savage in Hunter, opposite Gerard Kennedy. Margaret Stewart is in her mid-20's and lives with her mother. A fairly conservative person, she has a keen interest in the reformation of criminals, and is friendly with and has great respect for Banner. It is a fairly static part, reflecting the limited role of policewomen at the time, and the light workload allowed Patricia Smith to live in Adelaide and commute to Melbourne. "Margaret is a serious type of person, very intelligent and not at all frivolous," said Pat Smith. "If the viewers ever get to see Margaret having a love affair it will be the real thing. Unfortunately, I don't think there is scope for her to have a love affair in the script, because the accent in the show is on action not romance."8

The Nine Network were sufficiently impressed with Division 4 to order an initial 46 episodes, to be produced at the rate of one a week. Each year the series was renewed, until 301 episodes had been completed. The first 232 episodes of Division 4 were shot in black and white, the final 69 being in colour. (The discrepancy in episode numbers, i.e. the first colour episode being No. 232 and the final episode being No. 300, is due to one black and white episode being numbered with an 'A' suffix). About half of each episode consisted of exterior scenes using film, the other half being shot in the GTV-9 studios on video tape.

Before Division 4 went to air and while Hunter was still being screened, there was some confusion among members of the public who happened upon a location production unit. During filming of the first episode, Director Ian Jones had to field comments from some baffled youngsters: "Yes, sonny, it is television. No, it's not Homicide. Yes, I know it's a police car. No, it's not Hunter. Yes, I know that's Kragg over there."9

The final episode of Hunter went to air in Melbourne on March 5, 1969, and one week later, on March 11, Division 4 had its premiere. It was initially shown at 8:30 PM on Tuesday, following Homicide at 7:30 on rival channel HSV-7. Sydney and Adelaide also screened the series at 8:30 Tuesday, and Brisbane showed it on Thursday. Critics were unanimous in their praise, and many considered the newcomer superior to Homicide or any overseas show.

Although dealing mainly with police business, the private lives of the characters featured fairly prominently. Ian Jones explained: "It deals with their personal lives, their private crises; reveals their characters more than we're doing with Homicide. We're trying to show what makes a policeman."10

There were some recurring support roles in the first few years of the series. Peter Hepworth appeared in a few episodes as Sgt. Vickers’ son Jamie, as did Moya O’Sullivan as his wife Eileen. Tina Cornioley also had a semi-regular part as Const. Dwyer’s girlfriend Kay Hogan, and Roy Lyons made a number of appearances as Sammy Judd, a local barman. The most prominent support role was that of Const. Grice, played by Tony Shepp, who first appeared in ep. 31. He was next seen in ep. 45, after which his appearances gradually became more frequent. Grice's Christian name was always different in his first few episodes until he eventually became known as Tony.

The narrator for the series was Nine newsreader Kevin Sanders; his duties were taken over by GTV announcer Bruce Mansfield in May 1970. The narrator read out the criminal's sentences at the end of each episode, and announced the preview scenes for the next week's episode. From 1973 the narrator was dropped, and the sentences were read out by Gerard Kennedy.

Division 4 was an instant hit with viewers. The series attracted much favourable comment, due to its willingness to explore social issues and its basic realism. "Getting the stories is the easiest part of the show," said Ian Jones. "Any police station anywhere in the country could provide us with a storyline every day of the week. That's why we don't need to make up situations; our scripts are invariably based on police files. And it's this truth of plot, coupled with an honest presentation of police life, that makes Division 4 so appealing."11 The ratings were sky high right from the start: in Melbourne it averaged 48, with a peak of 52.

The opening titles of the first episode featured a sequence of shots following behind a detective as he pulls up in a car, enters the police station, passes some crims at the charge counter, walks up stairs, enter the muster room, then turns around to be revealed as - Gerard Kennedy. This sequence was obviously inspired by Kennedy’s popularity, and intended to build up suspense to maximise the impact of his presence; it was shortened considerably from episode 6 onwards. The other cast members are seen engaged in various routine police duties – except for Terence Donovan, who was conspicuous by his absence. The theme music with its distinctive beat would become one of the best remembered in Australia, yet it was not especially written for the show - it was library music titled ‘Power Drive’.

Terry Donovan had only a minor part in the first few episodes - in fact, in some episodes he does not appear at all - before his character of Det. Peters was developed into a major role. However, for the first year he was not credited on the original stock opening. This was due to contractual arrangements - Donovan was placed on contract by Crawfords, and when Division 4 started he refused to sign another contract for that show because certain things that had been agreed to were not included. Therefore Crawfords reasoned that because he wasn’t contracted to the show per se, he wouldn’t receive an opening credit. When the Division 4 contracts were due for renewal the problems had been ironed out, and Donovan then signed a contract for the series, and consequently received a credit - albeit as last billed.

As early as episode 3, 'The Big Spender', controversy surrounded Division 4. The episode concerned prostitution and had some strong language, depicted two brutal bashings, and showed a prostitute's daily life in frank detail. Before the episode was screened GTV-9 televised a warning that it was unsuitable for children. Immediately after its showing, St Kilda magistrate F. Power wrote a letter of complaint to the Broadcasting Control Board. The Board responded by instructing all stations yet to screen the episode that it must not be shown before 8:30 PM, and subsequently issued guidelines to all channels regarding strong adult television.

Crawfords and GTV-9 were inundated by calls from the public in support of the episode. Scriptwriter Ian Jones said the flood of calls vindicated the series: "Division 4 is firstly entertainment, but it has an important secondary purpose - to show the ugliness of crime."12 Crawfords stated that unless they were instructed by the Control Board, they would not be intimidated into toning down the show. Ian Jones defended the episode: "I regard it as a worthwhile social document, showing people the awful loss of human dignity that surrounds prostitution. Before writing the episode I spent a long time with the members of Melbourne's vice squad. I learned about as much as a layman can about prostitution. What I discovered horrified me. The episode of Division 4 was a direct result of my research and showed as clearly as a television show can the dangers of falling into this kind of society."13 In response to the controversy, a special replay of the episode was arranged for the Victoria Police vice squad - they concluded there was no reason for them to take any action.

Episode 7, 'It's A Great Day!', had a deft touch of comedy, following the antics of the O'Connell family and the mayhem they cause when they start their own crime wave. The episode drew much acclaim, and Crawfords were quick to realise its potential. A proposed spin-off comedy series reached an advance stage of planning, and at one point Terence Donovan was being considered for a lead role, not as Det. Peters but as one of the O'Connell family sons. Nothing came of the proposal. The O’Connell family would return to Division 4 in another comedy episode, No. 87 ‘The Luck Of The Irish’.

Episode 49, 'The Desecration', was another controversial episode. Written by Terry Stapleton, the episode concerns an embittered man who is against all religion, and he vandalises a church when his girlfriend decides to join a convent. A GTV-9 spokesman said: "The episode is probably the most violent and shocking in the series so far, but the channel also believes it to be one of the best episodes. We are appealing to people who might have strong religious views which might be offended to think seriously before they switch the programme off."14

"Two or three years ago we couldn't have attempted it," said Hector Crawford, "but in view of the increasing sophistication in public taste, I'm sure the majority of viewers will find this a completely valid and legitimate drama. Public acceptance changes. At one time we couldn't have tackled prostitution, birth control or abortion either. But these days, people want to discuss social issues of this nature. And that includes religion. I'm sure that if people see the whole programme they'll agree that it presents a fairly balanced point of view."15

As early as February 1970, Ted Hamilton thought he had gone as far as he could with his Division 4 role. "I feel it's reached the stage where Kevin Dwyer has become part of the office furniture," Hamilton said. "During the early episodes of Division 4 there was more emphasis on the private lives of the main characters; but now we're just cops doing a job."16 Hamilton signed a contract for 1970, but doubted if he would be in the series in 1971 as he wanted to develop his career in other directions.

In May 1970, GTV-9 started screening repeats of Division 4 that were barely one year old. Billed as Best Of Division 4, they were slotted in direct competition against Seven's Best Of Homicide repeats at 7:30 PM Friday. As Best Of Homicide was rating in the top ten, it was inevitable that Nine should also want a share of the action. However, the choice of timeslot was seen by many as a test case for a possible showdown on Tuesdays - if the Best Of Division 4 out-rated the Best Of Homicide, then Nine could be tempted to slot first-run Division 4 episodes against first-run Homicide episodes. A GTV-9 spokesman said this development was possible, but it was "not planned at the moment."17

"Where the stations slot programmes is decided by them and not us," said Hector Crawford. "In this case, we were not even informed by GTV-9 of the change. It came as quite a surprise to us."18 GTV-9 justified the move by stating they had re-run rights which they must take up. "It was important to do so as soon as possible, because there were changes in the lives of several Division 4 characters coming up in future episodes which would render the previous episodes out-of-date."19 The Best Of Division 4 ran until August, and was soundly defeated by the Best Of Homicide in the ratings, probably because the Division 4 episodes were still in recent memory, whereas the Homicide repeats had not been seen for several years. A GTV-9 spokesman said that the Division 4 repeats were not dropped due to the ratings, but because they had run out of episodes suitable for the 7:30 timeslot: "Those we haven't repeated are a little too heavy in content for an early night-time spot."20

John Dingwall was joint winner of an Awgie Award (Australian Writers Guild) for Best Script For A TV Drama Series (1970) for episode 54, ‘Johnny Reb’. (He shared the award with Tony Morphett for episode 5 of the ABC's Dynasty series, 'Cry Me A River').

Sue Donovan, hostess of the ABC children's series Adventure Island and wife of Terence Donovan, had a small guest role in episode 59, 'The Emerging Man' - playing opposite her then husband as Det. Peters' girlfriend. "Crawfords have often asked me to appear in Division 4, but I have to be very choosy about what sort of role I take on, because I can't afford to damage my image with viewers of Adventure Island. I told Crawfords that I would accept their offer when the right part came along, and this was it."21

A few weeks later, in episode 64, 'The Prisoners', Det. Peters got married while on holidays - in rather rushed circumstances. When he gets called back from leave a day early, the other police are astonished when Peters is asked how his holiday was and he casually replies: "Not bad. I got married". His new wife Mandy was played by Amanda Irving, but it was destined to be a rocky and short-lived union, as Peters was rushed into the marriage by a pregnancy claim, and by episode 81, 'Running Sheet', it was all over.

Episode 75, 'For Better, For Worse', featured another wedding. This time it was Const. Kevin Dwyer marrying his girlfriend Kay Hogan (played by Tina Cornioley). Their relationship had been developing for some time, and the wedding formed an integral part of the episode. It was filmed at St. Ignatius church in Richmond, and the actual parish priest performed the ceremony. GTV-9 capitalised on the publicity by inviting the public along to attend the wedding filming, and they turned up in droves - even a black dog wandered through the church.

Episode 76, ‘The Recruit’, concerned the bumbling antics of Const. George Bell, played by Ross Thompson, who had a habit of rushing into situations without thinking. The character was so well received that he was brought back for another spell of temporary duty at Yarra Central in episode 124, ‘No Hard Feelings’.

In October 1970, in a blaze of publicity, GTV-9 announced that new episodes of Division 4 would now be seen twice a week - at 7:30 Sunday in addition to 8:30 Tuesday. And so it was for a few weeks, until the end of November. Then repeat episodes were screened on both nights for the summer non-ratings period. The Sunday night episodes were dropped altogether in early 1971.

A special 90-minute episode of Division 4 was screened in April 1971. Titled 'Conspiracy', it was reported in the press to be the 96th episode and was screened as the 98th episode, but was officially numbered 102A. Channel Nine claimed the longer episode was an experiment to test viewer reaction. Hector Crawford said the episode was a trial run to establish a working budget and assess any technical problems associated with feature length production, as a precursor to possible future film projects.22 Although the format had been used in overseas productions, this was the first time a 90-minute episode had been made of an Australian drama series.

John Fegan, formerly Inspector Connolly in Homicide, was the lead guest actor in the 100th episode, 'The Return Of John Kelso'. Critics and viewers alike applauded the episode, drawing particular attention to John Dingwall's well-written script and praising John Fegan's acting performance. This episode won three awards: a Penguin Award for Best Episode Of An Australian Drama; a Logie Award for John Fegan for Best Individual Acting Performance; and an Awgie Award for John Dingwall for Best Script For A TV Drama. Fegan, who was actually fourth choice for the role, gave most of the credit to John Dingwall. "Dingwall is a man with immense social understanding," said Fegan, "and he wrote a powerful story about a bully, basher and bad slum-type who returned to the outside world after 25 years in prison, a mere husk of a man. What does 25 years in jail do to a man? How can he be expected to cope with a hostile environment where he is surrounded by people with old scores to settle? Dingwall wrote about our society which makes no provision for assimilating the reconditioned criminal. He understood it. That's why the script was so powerful."23

Although Division 4 drew very strong ratings, its appeal had minimal benefit as a 'lead-in' on the preceding show which was up against the indomitable Homicide. Most viewers were watching Homicide at 7:30 on HSV-7, then switching over to Division 4 at 8:30. GTV-9 decided that Division 4 might provide a better 'flow-on' effect to other programmes in their schedule if it was shown on another night, and in August 1971 it was moved to the new time of 7:30 Wednesday (the slot formerly occupied by Hunter). Also in August the first overseas sale of Division 4 was made when 13 episodes were sold to Yorkshire Television in England.

A new support role was introduced from ep. 109: Const. Ray Preston played by Peter Cavanagh. As the role of Const. Preston grew in importance, appearances by Const. Grice became less frequent until he was phased out altogether, last being seen in ep. 148 'Come The Revolution'.

Well-known character actor Stewart Ginn (formerly Nancarrow in the situation comedy My Name's McGooley - What's Yours?) made his final television series appearance in Division 4 before he unfortunately passed away, in episode 116, 'Last Of The Independents'.

As Division 4 went on, viewers were anticipating a romance between Banner and Margaret Stewart, partly because of the previous romantic involvement in Hunter between Kragg and Georgie Savage. It was not to be. Patricia Smith commented on what she saw as a lack of character development for Margaret Stewart: "Writers have established her as a drab type of character who lives with her widowed mother. There was a time she was romantically involved with a police doctor, but it fizzled out after a couple of episodes. Personally I would like Margaret Stewart to have a romance in the series to bring out some of her private life and show her as a woman for a change. After all, she can't be a policewoman 24 hours a day. She needs to be shown on a lighter side, bringing out her feminine characteristics and charm."24

Public recognition of actors can have its lighter side. Terry Donovan found this out when a brawl broke out in the lane behind his home and his wife Sue became concerned. "I was trying to ignore it but she kept pestering me about it so I called the police," said Terry. The police arrived and appeared puzzled when Donovan answered the door. "Aren't you from Division 4?" asked the policeman. When Terry confirmed that he was, the copper said "Well, why call us - you can go out and stop it yourself, can't you?"25

The other side of the coin is when the public don't recognise you. During February 1972 Willie Fennell, a well-known actor and comedian, was on location in St Kilda filming a guest role in Division 4 as a deadbeat. So convincing did he look that when he wandered off between takes a real police patrol picked him up. "I'm Willie Fennell," he protested, and the Constable replied, "Yeah, I'm Bob Dyer". Crawford Productions staff intervened and Willie was released.

By mid-1972 Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide were showing Division 4 twice a week - one night of new episodes and one night of repeats. Melbourne and Sydney were showing new episodes at 7:30 Wednesday with repeats on the weekend; Adelaide was screening new episodes at 8:30 Tuesday and repeats on Friday at 7:30; and Brisbane was showing new episodes on Thursday at 7:30 with repeats at 7:30 Monday. Perth was showing only one episode per week on Thursday nights at 8:30.

Mid-1972 saw Division 4 delve even deeper into social commentary topics, not that it ever shied away from them in the past. Script Editor Don Battye said the move was a result of writers getting together to discuss things they wanted to do: "The subjects to be dealt with will be stronger and we also plan to try for more realism in the character of the people involved." One of the episodes concerned, No. 157 'The Oracle', looked at the drug scene: "In some ways it's a dramatised debate," said Battye. "The police officers have varied personal attitudes to the pot problem and this allows us to pose questions. Of course, we cannot provide answers."26

Another episode, No. 154 'Natural Victim', concerned a series of rape attacks on teenage schoolgirls. "It will be fairly graphic," said Battye, "but I think it will prove dramatic television. We are not doing it for sensationalism. It's very good drama and frankly I think it's something parents should make sure (their children) watch."27  ‘Schoolgirl In TV Sex Shocker!’ screamed a TV Week headline in June, 1972. But what was it really about? Teenager Lisa Peers (who later played the lead role in the ABC sci-fi series Andra, as well as many other film and television roles) made her acting debut in the episode. "I play a schoolgirl with a bad family background who is a bit wild and precocious," said Lisa. "The villain of the piece is a sex offender who is just released from prison. Eventually I end up getting mauled about and murdered. In the scene I am thrown on to the bed by the man and it is cut. The next time you see me I am lying there dead."
28 Lisa’s real-life mother, actress Leila Blake, appeared as her mother in the episode.

In line with changes in the Victoria Police force, two of the Yarra Central team were assigned new ranks. Banner was promoted to Detective Sergeant and Vickers was bumped up to the new rank of Detective Senior Sergeant.

1973 saw GTV-9 apply a most creative interpretation of running order for Division 4, with many episodes being shown out of sequence, and more repeats being slipped in among the first-run episodes. The year kicked off with episode 160, ‘Flight Plan’, which featured location filming in Sydney. Unlike Hunter, which travelled extensively in Australia and overseas, this was the only Division 4 episode to be filmed outside the confines of Melbourne.

Expatriate Australian actor Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell’, who had been living and working in England since 1956, returned to Australia for a holiday and accepted a guest role in episode 172, ‘Big Bad John’. Bud was so impressed with the high production standards achieved since he had been away, that when he was offered a lead role in Homicide (to replace Alwyn Kurts) he accepted, and remained in Australia ever since.

The ‘Angel Of Mercy’ helicopter, operated by the Peninsula Ambulance Service on the Mornington Peninsula, was featured in episode 174, ‘Today Is Eagle Day’. The ambulance service’s fund-raising committee suggested using the helicopter in the Crawford police dramas in return for the good publicity they would receive. Scriptwriter Charles Stamp easily worked the helicopter into the plot, which provided much action and some excellent aerial shots. The helicopter was also later put to similar good use in a Matlock Police episode (No. 122, ‘Sky High’).


 

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

 

1. Melbourne Listener In-TV, Nov 16, 1968.
2. Melbourne Listener In-TV, Aug 24, 1968.
3. TV Week, Nov 30, 1968.
4. TV Eye No. 5, June 1995.
5. Australian Women's Weekly, Feb 19, 1969.
6. South Australia TV Guide, May 25, 1974.
7. Australian Women's Weekly, April 23, 1969.
8. TV Week, Dec 5, 1970.
9. TV Week, March 15, 1969.
10. Ibid.
11. TV Week, July 12, 1969.
12. TV Times, April 9, 1969.
13. TV Week, April 12, 1969.
14. TV Times, April 8, 1970.
15. TV Week, April 11, 1970.
16. TV Week, Feb 7, 1970.
17. Melbourne Listener In-TV, May 9, 1970.
18. TV Times, May 13, 1970.
19. TV Week, May 16, 1970.
20. TV Times, Aug 26, 1970.
21. TV Week, May 23, 1970.
22. TV Week, May 1, 1971.
23. Melbourne Listener In-TV, July 24, 1971.
24. TV Week, Jan 15, 1972.
25. TV Times, Dec 23, 1970.
26. TV Times, July 1, 1972.

27. ibid.

28. TV Week, June 10, 1972.


 

DIVISION 4 ON DVD

Division 4 is currently in on-going DVD release in 26-episode sets. They are only available direct from the Crawfords website, and are not being distributed to retail stores. Check the Crawfords website for further details: http://www.crawfordsdvd.com.au/

 


Terence Donovan as Det. Mick Peters and Gerard Kennedy as Det. Frank Banner outside the Yarra Central police station.


An early cast photograph. From left: Ted Hamilton, Chuck Faulkner, Gerard Kennedy, Patricia Smith and Frank Taylor. Terence Donovan is absent.

DV4Cast1969CarE.jpg (57753 bytes)
Another early cast photo, posed with the powder-blue Holden police car: From left: Ted Hamilton, Patricia Smith, Terence Donovan, Gerard Kennedy and Chuck Faulkner. This time Frank Taylor is missing.


Location filming for an early episode.

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Kate McKittrick as Joy, Frank Banner's wife in a scene from the first episode.


Another scene from the first episode, 'The Soldiers'. Chuck Faulkner as Sgt. Vickers and Gerard Kennedy as Det. Banner question a group of criminals played by Ron Ferrier, Roger Ward and Graham Rouse.

DV4CastCol.jpg (23859 bytes)
A complete cast photo. From left: Frank Taylor, Patricia Smith, Gerard Kennedy, Chuck Faulkner, Ted Hamilton and Terence Donovan.

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Patricia Smith as Policewoman Margaret Stewart. The utilitarian style uniform was replaced in late 1969 with a more modern style, in keeping with changes in the Victoria Police.


Gerard Kennedy as Det. Frank Banner.


Ted Hamilton, Chuck Faulkner and Gerard Kennedy.


Original opening titles, which did not include Terence Donovan.


Gerard Kennedy as Det. Banner accompanies a witness played by Margaret Cruickshank in an identification line-up, in a scene from episode 45, 'Word Of A Lady'. The two suspects from the left are played by Bill Pearson and Graeme Blundell.


Judy Morris and Tim Eliott in a scene from the controversial episode 'The Desecration'.


Roger Ward playing a criminal arrested by Det. Peters (Terence Donovan) in a scene from episode 61, 'Closed Doors'.

DV4BestOfAdE.jpg (42354 bytes)
An advertisement for the Best Of Division 4. Funny how the ad does not mention that the Friday night episodes are repeats.

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A scene from episode 70, 'Payroll'.


In Melbourne Tonight personality Honnie Van Den Bosch in her first dramatic acting role in episode 73, 'Smiler'. Honnie is pictured with Terry Donovan and Gerard Kennedy.


Ted Hamilton as Kevin Dwyer and Tina Cornioley as Kay in the wedding episode, No. 75 'For Better For Worse'.

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Cutting the cake in another scene from the wedding episode. From left: Chuck Faulkner, Patricia Smith, Ted Hamilton, Tina Cornioley, Gerard Kennedy and Terence Donovan.

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An advertisement for Division 4, when GTV-9 started showing first run episodes twice a week for a couple of months towards the end of 1970.

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An advertisement for Division 4 that appeared in the glossy magazines.


Chuck Faulkner and Gerard Kennedy with Hector Crawford, head of Crawford Productions, the man who started it all.


Gerard Kennedy, Chuck Faulkner, Terence Donovan, Frank Taylor, Ted Hamilton and Patricia Smith.