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
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
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
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
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,
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, Sen.
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
Patricia Smith was cast as WPC (Woman Police Constable) 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
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
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
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 OSullivan as his wife Eileen.
Tina Cornioley also had a semi-regular part as Const. Dwyers 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
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 Kennedys 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 wasnt contracted to the show
per se, he wouldnt 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
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 OConnell family would
return to Division 4 in another comedy episode, No. 87 The Luck Of The
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
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
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
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
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,
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."2628 Lisas real-life mother, actress Leila Blake, appeared as her mother
in the episode.
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."
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
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 services 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).
1. Melbourne Listener In-TV, Nov 16,
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.
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.
28. TV Week, June 10, 1972.
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
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.
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.
A complete cast photo. From left: Frank Taylor,
Patricia Smith, Gerard Kennedy, Chuck Faulkner, Ted Hamilton and Terence Donovan.
Patricia Smith as WPC 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
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
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'.
An advertisement for the Best Of
Division 4. Funny how the ad does not mention that the Friday night episodes are
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'.
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.
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.
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.