CLASSIC AUSTRALIAN TELEVISION

THE MAGIC BOOMERANG
EPISODE DETAILS


Copyright © 2013 Don Storey.  All rights reserved.


THE MAGIC
BOOMERANG
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EPISODES: 45 (39 series 1, 6 series 2).
LENGTH: 30 mins.
FORMAT: Mono, Film (series 1); Colour, Film (series 2).
PRODUCTION: 1964 - 1965 (series 1), 1966 (series 2) Pacific Films Production in association with the ABC and Fremantle International.
RUNNING ORDER: Airdate.
NETWORK: ABC.


Series 1
CAST:
Tom Thumbleton.......DAVID MORGAN
Dan Thumbleton.......TELFORD JACKSON
Gwen Thumbleton.......PENNY SHELTON
'Wombat'.......RODNEY PEARLMAN (eps 1 - 28)
Support:
Penny Harmon.......SUSAN HAWORTH
Philip Harmon.......GARY GRAY

CREW:
Producer.......ROGER MIRAMS

Series 2
CAST:
Nugget Morris.......ROBERT BROCKMAN
Charles Swinbourne.......William Hodge
Bluey.......Chris Christensen
‘Tiger’ Martin.......Peter Aanensen
Joe Manelli.......Kurt Beimel
Nugget's mate.......gavan ellis

CREW:
Director.......DAVID BAKER
Producer.......ROGER MIRAMS
Associate Producer.......
CHRIS STEWART


EPISODE TITLES
Series 1
1. The Discovery
2. Christmas Cracker
3. A Visit From Grandma
4. Wombat Finds A Friend
5. The Hunter
6. No Mail Today
7. A Matter Of Survival
8. The Bushranger
9. Ill Wind
10. The Thief Who Believed In Magic
11. Firetrap
12. The Hypnotist
13. The Uncatchables
14. North To Warralinga
15. The Big Catch
16. Moonlight Reef
17. Aunt Matilda
18. The Cattle Duffers
19. The Saucer From Venus
20. The Masked Man From Manangatang
21. Moomba
22. Gentleman Jackaroo
23. Head Of The River
24. The Vanishing Spell
25. The Stand-In
26. Race Against Time
27. The Auction
28. A Lesson For Wombat
29. Friend Or Foe
30. The Good Turn
31. Pony Express
32. The Last Lap
33. Salt 'n' Pepper
34. Mother's Day
35. A Night At The Thumbleton's
36. My Friend Higgins
37. Stranger In Town
38. Mr. Santa Claus
39. The Messenger
Series 2
40. Bushranger’s Gold
41. Buried Treasure
42. Luck of The Game
43. Boys Camp
44. Double Trouble
45. Hollermakers Bargain

SERIES 1

1. The Discovery

Harvey Jackley.......Fred Parslow
Milloo.......Bindi Williams
Smedley.......Charles Haggith

Script.......John Sherman
Director.......Roger Mirams
Production Manager.......Chris Stewart

Synopsis: Tom Thumbleton, who lives with his parents on a sheep farm, finds some Aboriginal relics his great-great-grandfather left in the attic. Among them is a boomerang, and Tom finds that while it is in flight everything living stands still, and when he catches it again all goes back to normal. When Tom's cousin Harvey and an unscrupulous solicitor try to take over the Thumbleton homestead, Tom uses the magic boomerang to foil the attempt.

Airdate:
Melbourne 2/5/65
Adelaide 27/6/65

2. Christmas Cracker

Director.......Joe McCormick

Synopsis: A jockey friend of the Thumbleton's has been forced into the position of choosing between deliberately losing a race or possibly endangering his family. Tom and Wombat go along to the Picnic races with the magic boomerang to try and help their friend.

Airdate:
Melbourne 9/5/65
Adelaide 4/7/65

3. A Visit From Grandma

Grandma.......Agnes Dobson

Director.......Joe McCormick

Synopsis: Tom's grandmother comes to the farm determined to help with the work, causing one disaster after another and creating tension within the family. When a newly hired, but lazy, hand steals the farm cash box, Grandma gives chase on a horse and, with the aid of the magic boomerang, captures the villain and restores the peace.

Airdate:
Melbourne 16/5/65
Adelaide 12/7/65

4. Wombat Finds A Friend

Synopsis: When Wombat meets a strange little elf-like Irishman, Michael, who has come to mend fences on the Thumbleton property, the two become firm friends. Michael is accused of stealing after a series of sheep thefts.

Airdate:
Melbourne 23/5/65
Adelaide 19/7/65

5. The Hunter

Director.......Joe McCormick

Synopsis: Tom is perturbed by the arrival of a hunter who intends to shoot kangaroos on the Thumbleton property. He and Wombat make a plan to outwit him with the aid of the magic boomerang.

Airdate:
Melbourne 30/5/65

6. No Mail Today

Whitey.......Paul Karo
Milloo.......Bindi Williams

Script.......John Sherman
Director.......Joe McCormick

Synopsis:  Whitey the postman is ambushed and kidnapped by two men, and his registered mail is stolen. Tom and Milloo, an Aboriginal boy, track him to the crook's hideout where Tom makes use of the magic boomerang.

Airdate:
Melbourne 6/6/65
Adelaide 2/8/65

7. A Matter Of Survival

Director.......Joe McCormick

Synopsis: On a sheep station near his family's property, Tom is watching the loading of a small plane belonging to the owner of the property, Frank Ford. An employee of Ford's with a grievance against his boss suddenly pushes Tom into the plane and takes off, holding Tom hostage, and threatens to drop explosives on the property. When the plane lands, Tom uses the magic boomerang to outsmart and capture the man.

Airdate:
Melbourne 13/6/65

 

 


David Morgan and Rodney Pearlman

 

8. The Bushranger

Director.......Joe McCormick

Synopsis: Tom and Wombat climb to a bushranger’s cave to investigate stories of an alleged ghost. They find the pistols and chains of a long-ago bushranger, and as they are about to leave the cave their way is barred by a strange figure. They are caught by a modern-day bushranger using the cave as a hide-out.

Notes: Some program guides list this episode as ‘The Ghost Of Ned Kelly’.

Airdate:
Sydney 9/5/65
Melbourne 20/6/65
Adelaide 16/8/65

9. Ill Wind

Script.......Chris Dale
Director.......Joe McCormick

Synopsis: A woman is driving her sick child to the doctor when her car becomes bogged in a creek during a bad storm. She goes to the nearby Thumbleton farm for help, and, as the storm has knocked the phone out, Tom rides into town for the doctor. An escaped criminal who has been shot is holding the doctor captive in order to get treatment. He then ties up the doctor and steals his car, but Tom uses the magic boomerang to stop time and free the doctor and hide in the car. The doctor uses Tom’s horse to get to the farm to treat the baby, while Tom takes the car keys when the criminal stops for fuel, delaying him long enough for the police to arrive.

Airdate:
Sydney 16/5/65
Melbourne 27/6/65
Adelaide 23/8/65

10. The Thief Who Believed In Magic

Wally Johnson.......Kit Taylor
Prison escapee.......Allan Bickford

Director.......Joe McCormick

Synopsis: A young escapee from a prison farm sees Tom throwing the magic boomerang and realises its potential. At night he breaks into Tom's bedroom and steals it.

Airdate:
Melbourne 5/7/65
Adelaide 30/8/65

11. Firetrap

Arthur Eccles.......Bob Hornery
Fire controller.......Roger Mirams
George Jones.......Bill Bennett

Script.......John Sherman
Director.......Joe McCormick
Production Manager.......Chris Stewart

Synopsis: An irresponsible farmhand at the Thumbleton's property lights fires for his own amusement and laughs at the trouble he causes. However, the tables turn when the firebug gets caught in a bushfire he lit.

Airdate:
Sydney 30/5/65
Melbourne 12/7/65
Adelaide 6/9/65

12. The Hypnotist

Synopsis: 'Marvo The Mystic', an evil hypnotist, befriends Wombat and places him under hypnosis to compel him to steal the magic boomerang from Tom.

Airdate:
Sydney 6/6/65
Melbourne 19/7/65
Adelaide 13/9/65

13. The Uncatchables

Rocko Pacino.......Frank Rich
Sazari Pacino.......Joseph Szabo
Const. Harris.......Peter Armstrong
Bank teller.......Roger Mirams

Script.......Anthony Marriott & Keith Williams
Director.......Joe McCormick
Production Manager.......Chris Stewart

Synopsis: Two inept Italian Mafia-type crooks plan to kidnap Tom and steal the magic boomerang.

Airdate:
Sydney 13/6/65
Melbourne 26/7/65

14. North To Warralinga

Script.......John Abbott
Director.......Joe McCormick

Synopsis: Invited to North Queensland by an American friend, Tom finds that the valuable documents in his possession regarding ownership of the station land have been switched for worthless forgeries during a 2000 mile plane trip, by a stranger on the flight who befriended Tom at Sydney airport. Upon arrival at Cairns, Tom is met by his friend and they fly to Warralinga Station. When they discover the deception, Tom and his adult friend return to Cairns where Tom uses the magic boomerang to get the papers back.

Airdate:
Sydney 20/6/65
Melbourne 2/8/65
Adelaide 27/9/65

15. The Big Catch

Philip Harmon.......Gary Gray
George Duffy.......Max Osbiston
Bloke in boat.......Joe McCormick

Script.......Chris Dale
Director.......Joe McCormick
Production Manager.......Chris Stewart

Synopsis: Tom arrives at a tropical island resort to holiday with his cousin Philip, whose father runs a
motel. Duffy, the motel bookkeeper, knocks out the owner, steals the cash box and attempts to make his getaway during a fishing trip with Tom and Philip.

Notes: Telford Jackson, Penelope Shelton and Rodney Pearlman do not appear in this episode.

Airdate:
Sydney 27/6/65
Melbourne 9/8/65
Adelaide 4/10/65

16. Moonlight Reef

Synopsis: Tom, still on holiday in Queensland with his American 'uncle' Joe, sees a plane drop an object into the sea. A mysterious stranger suggests he is 'seeing things' and tries to scare him off, and Tom and his American ‘uncle’ Joe become involved with a gang of smugglers.

Airdate:
Sydney 5/7/65
Melbourne 16/8/65

 


David Morgan

17. Aunt Matilda

Aunt Matilda.......Ethel Gabriel
Det. Smith.......Lloyd Cunnington
Walts.......Joe McCormick

Script.......James Workman
Director.......Joe McCormick
Production Manager.......Chris Stewart

Synopsis: Tom and Wombat become involved with an eccentric lady named Aunt Matilda who is running a one-woman detective agency.

Notes: Telford Jackson and Penelope Shelton do not appear in this episode.

Airdate:
Sydney 12/7/65
Melbourne 23/8/65
Adelaide 18/10/65

18. The Cattle Duffers

Wally Johnson.......Kit Taylor
Duff.......Charles Allen
Const. Harris.......Peter Armstrong
Eberley.......Kenric Hudson

Script.......John Abbott
Director.......Joe McCormick
Production Manager.......Chris Stewart

Synopsis: When some of the Thumbleton's cattle is stolen by duffers, Tom and his drover friend Wally Johnson ride out to investigate. The magic boomerang plays a big part in getting the cattle back to the Thumbleton station.

Notes: Rodney Pearlman does not appear in this episode.

Airdate:
Melbourne 30/8/65
Adelaide 25/10/65

19. The Saucer From Venus

.......Marcella Burgoyne

Synopsis: An air of mystery surrounds the Jackson family, who have come to live in Tom's district and have built a strange object. It transpires the object is a machine disguised as a flying saucer by the Jackson's in an attempt to save their failing circus.

Airdate:
Melbourne 6/9/65
Adelaide 1/11/65

20. The Masked Man From Manangatang

.......Peter Aanensen
.......William Hodge
.......Kevin Colson
.......Kenneth Burgess

Script.......John Abbott
Director.......Joe McCormick

Synopsis: The success of two rival timber merchants may be affected by the result of the forthcoming log-chopping championships. A challenger is run down before the event by the champion's father. He is taken in by the Thumbleton's to recuperate, and they help him train for the event. So his identity is not discovered by the villains he wears a mask. Tom foils the villain's plans by using the magic boomerang.

Airdate:
Sydney 4/8/65
Melbourne 13/9/65
Adelaide 8/11/65

21. Moomba

Synopsis: Guisseppe, an Italian boy living in Australia, cannot make friends and longs to go back to Italy. He runs away from home and goes to the docks.

Airdate:
Sydney 11/8/65
Melbourne 20/9/65
Adelaide 15/11/65

22. Gentleman Jackaroo

Oswald Proudlock III.......Paul Karo

Synopsis: Oswald Proudlock III comes to the Thumbleton farm to learn to be a 'gentleman farmer'. Despite warnings from Tom, Oswald attempts to climb treacherous Dreamtime Gorge Mountain.

Airdate:
Sydney 18/8/65
Melbourne 27/9/65
Adelaide 22/11/65
Perth 6/12/65

23. Head Of The River

.......Jennifer Claire

Synopsis: When Tom narrowly defeats his rival, Kevin Willis, for the position of coxswain in the school rowing team, Kevin becomes jealous. Kevin resorts to trickery to try to prevent Tom from reaching the place where the boat race is to be held.

Airdate:
Sydney 25/8/65
Melbourne 4/10/65

 


David Morgan and Rodney Pearlman

24. The Vanishing Spell

Philip Harmon.......Gary Gray

Synopsis: Wombat 'borrows' the magic boomerang to convince Philip, Tom's cousin from Queensland who has found an old book of magic spells, that magic really works.

Airdate:
Sydney 1/9/65
Melbourne 11/10/65
Adelaide 6/12/65

25. The Stand-In

Dizzy.......Ian Turpie
Billo.......John Derum
Mrs. Woods.......Sheila Florance

Script.......John Sherman
Director.......Joe McCormick
Production Manager.......Chris Stewart

Synopsis: Two yobbos threaten Wombat and Tom, which ultimately leads to Tom in disguise playing in a local croquet game.

Airdate:
Melbourne 18/10/65

26. Race Against Time

Philip Harmon.......Gary Gray
Jim Carson.......Edward Howell
Partner.......Mark Albiston
Ray McKinley.......Raymond O'Reilly

Script.......Chris Dale
Director.......Joe McCormick
Production Manager.......Chris Stewart

Synopsis: Tom and Philip find themselves aboard a ketch in which there is a time bomb set to explode.

Notes: Telford Jackson, Penelope Shelton and Rodney Pearlman do not appear in this episode.

Airdate:
Melbourne 25/10/65

27. The Auction

Synopsis: A mysterious gang are overheard by Tom as they plan to rig an auction by keeping down the bidding on Mr. Frost's farm.

Airdate:
Melbourne 1/11/65
Adelaide 27/12/65

28. A Lesson For Wombat

Synopsis: Wombat is lonely and wants to borrow the magic boomerang from Tom so that he can impress some new friends.

Notes: Final episode with Rodney Pearlman as Wombat.

Airdate:
Melbourne 8/11/65

29. Friend Or Foe

.......Don McManus

Director.......Joe McCormick

Synopsis: Tom forms a friendship with a visiting artist who has a penchant for quoting Shakespeare. He learns the sad lesson that his trust was misplaced.

Airdate:
Melbourne 15/11/65

30. The Good Turn

Penny Harmon.......Susan Haworth
Philip Harmon.......Gary Gray
Miss Farrell.......Louise Homfrey

Script.......Mary Wilton
Director.......David Baker

Synopsis: Mrs. Thumbleton and her niece Penny, who is on holiday with her brother Philip from Brisbane, are puzzled by the independent attitude of the local battleaxe, Miss Farrell. When Miss Farrell is driving Mrs. Thumbleton along a deserted country road she blacks out and crashes the car, and Tom, Penny and Philip render assistance.

Airdate:
Melbourne 22/11/65

31. Pony Express

Bob Grantley.......Mark Albiston
Philip Harmon.......Gary Gray
Jim Wallace.......Edward Howell
Randall.......George Fox

Script.......John Sherman
Director.......David Baker

Synopsis: Tom has to deliver £200 in payment for cattle purchased by his father from a neighbour. Two dishonest farmhands plan to steal the money.

Notes: Also referred to (erroneously) as 'The Case Of The Missing Money'.

Airdate:
Melbourne 29/11/65

 


David Morgan

32. The Last Lap

Penny Harmon.......Susan Haworth
Philip Harmon.......Gary Gray
Blunt.......Keith Lee
Charlie Dawson.......Ron Pinnell
Johnson.......Paul Karo

Script.......Tranter & Macainsh
Director.......David Baker


Synopsis: While Tom is away, car racing comes to Gunnaganoo, and Philip becomes a last-minute replacement for one of the drivers. Penny discovers the secret of the magic boomerang, and uses it to thwart the nefarious intentions of the two race organisers.

Airdate:
Sydney 27/10/65
Melbourne 6/12/65

33. Salt 'n' Pepper

.......John Gray
.......Edward Howell
.......William Hodge

Script.......Jeff Underhill
Director.......Joe McCormick

Synopsis: Two tramps, who have seen better days, arrive in Gunnaganoo bent on making a fortune by swindling the townsfolk.

Airdate:
Sydney 3/11/65
Melbourne 13/12/65

34. Mother's Day

.......Kurt Beimel
.......Simon Chilvers
.......Frank Taylor

Script.......John Sherman
Director.......Joe McCormick

Airdate:
Sydney 10/11/65
Melbourne 20/12/65

35. A Night At The Thumbleton's

Philip Harmon.......Gary Gray
Lady Agatha.......Barbara Brandon
Sir Penrod.......Geoffrey King

Script.......Jeff Underhill

Synopsis: An eccentric old couple, Sir Penrod and Lady Agatha, descend on the Thumbleton's in a mini-car, and announce that they are long-lost relatives from Britain. They are tolerated until the old couple state their intention to make a prolonged visit and that they wish to take up land nearby.

Airdate:
Sydney 17/11/65
Melbourne 27/12/65
Adelaide 21/2/66

36. My Friend Higgins

Philip Harmon.......Gary Gray
Billy Watson.......Robert Brockman
Watson Snr.......Roly Barlee
Saleyard worker.......Michael Boddy

Script.......Lyle Martin
Director.......David Baker

Synopsis: A boy called Billy runs away from home because his father lacked understanding and showed him little affection. Tom and his father find him hiding in the back of the sheep truck, but matters become complicated when he takes the magic boomerang.

Airdate:
Sydney 24/1/65
Melbourne 3/1/66

37. Stranger In Town

Synopsis: Believed to be a witch by the townspeople, an eccentric old woman is held in awe by the local children, and in particular by Tom's friend Janie.

Airdate:
Melbourne 10/1/66
Adelaide 7/3/66

38. Mr. Santa Claus

Synopsis: A little girl, Janie, a friend of Tom Thumbleton's, comes across an old bearded man camped by the side of the river. She thinks him to be Father Christmas, and he, a retired actor, decides to go along with her childish fantasy and remain in town until Christmas Eve.

Airdate:
Melbourne 17/1/66

39. The Messenger

.......Joe McCormick

Script.......John Sherman

Synopsis: A surprise party is planned for Tom's birthday. A middle-aged Aboriginal, describing himself as a messenger, startles Mrs. Thumbleton in the kitchen. He announces he is looking for Tom, then disappears as if by magic.

Airdate:
Sydney 15/12/65
Melbourne 24/1/66
Adelaide 14/3/66

 


Ep. 32: Susan Haworth

SERIES 2

40. Bushranger’s Gold

 

41. Buried Treasure

 

42. Luck of The Game

 

43. Boys Camp

 

44. Double Trouble

Ollie Gubble.......William Hodge

Script.......Lyle Martin

Synopsis: A swagman visiting town is the spitting image of local eccentric Charles Swinbourne. The two resident rogues, 'Tiger' Martin and Joe Manelli, enlist the aid of the swagman to impersonate Swinbourne in order to swindle him out of the rights to his property ‘Rainbows End’. A comedy of mistaken identity results until Nugget can fix the situation with the aid of the magic boomerang.

45. Hollermakers Bargain

Hiram T. Hollermaker.......Chuck Keogh

Script.......John Abbott

Synopsis: A rich American car enthusiast is visiting town, and the local radio reports that he will pay up to $15,000 for a vintage car. Charles Swinbourne and Bluey come up with the idea of assembling a car from all the junk lying around 'Rainbows End', helped by Nugget. 'Tiger' Martin and Joe Manelli hatch a scheme to steal the car, but are thwarted by Nugget and the magic boomerang.

 

 


Chris Christensen, William Hodge and Robert Brockman