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Best Australian Drama
Subcategory of Logie Awards
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Winners

1976 winner form y separately published work icon Number 96 Lynn Foster , Robert Caswell , David Sale , Ken Shadie , Eleanor Witcombe , Johnny Whyte , ( dir. Peter Benardos et. al. )agent Sydney : Cash Harmon Television , 1972 Z1812749 1972 series - publisher film/TV

A highly successful soap opera, Number 96's permissive and adult tone emerged, in Moran's terms, from 'the atmosphere of censorship liberalisation that had occurred in Australia in the early 1970s, and the intention to screen the serial in a late evening timeslot'. As such, the programme interspersed the domestic and romantic storylines that usually drive soap operas with plots exploring rape, drug abuse, and homosexuality. For example, the long-running character Don Finlayson (played by Joe Hasham) was an openly gay character whose relationships attracted neither censure nor any unusual degree of attention from his neighbours, showing him as unusually (for the time) integrated into a mainstream community.

According to Moran, 'Number 96 moved the Australian television soap opera completely away from its radio predecessor by organising a series of simultaneous storylines with various characters moving in and out of these, the storylines lasting only two to six weeks on air.' Long-running storylines included the 'Knicker Snipper' (a msyterious figure stealing the residents' underwear) and the Pantyhose Murderer (a serial killer).

As the show's ratings began dropping in 1975, various attempts were made to revitalise interest in the series, including killing (or otherwise writing out) long-running characters, increasing the amount of location shooting, and publicising the increased amount of nudity in the show (including both female and--briefly--male full-frontal nudity). Despite this, ratings continued to drop to the point where the show was cancelled in July 1977.

1975 winner form y separately published work icon Number 96 Lynn Foster , Robert Caswell , David Sale , Ken Shadie , Eleanor Witcombe , Johnny Whyte , ( dir. Peter Benardos et. al. )agent Sydney : Cash Harmon Television , 1972 Z1812749 1972 series - publisher film/TV

A highly successful soap opera, Number 96's permissive and adult tone emerged, in Moran's terms, from 'the atmosphere of censorship liberalisation that had occurred in Australia in the early 1970s, and the intention to screen the serial in a late evening timeslot'. As such, the programme interspersed the domestic and romantic storylines that usually drive soap operas with plots exploring rape, drug abuse, and homosexuality. For example, the long-running character Don Finlayson (played by Joe Hasham) was an openly gay character whose relationships attracted neither censure nor any unusual degree of attention from his neighbours, showing him as unusually (for the time) integrated into a mainstream community.

According to Moran, 'Number 96 moved the Australian television soap opera completely away from its radio predecessor by organising a series of simultaneous storylines with various characters moving in and out of these, the storylines lasting only two to six weeks on air.' Long-running storylines included the 'Knicker Snipper' (a msyterious figure stealing the residents' underwear) and the Pantyhose Murderer (a serial killer).

As the show's ratings began dropping in 1975, various attempts were made to revitalise interest in the series, including killing (or otherwise writing out) long-running characters, increasing the amount of location shooting, and publicising the increased amount of nudity in the show (including both female and--briefly--male full-frontal nudity). Despite this, ratings continued to drop to the point where the show was cancelled in July 1977.

1974 winner form y separately published work icon Number 96 Lynn Foster , Robert Caswell , David Sale , Ken Shadie , Eleanor Witcombe , Johnny Whyte , ( dir. Peter Benardos et. al. )agent Sydney : Cash Harmon Television , 1972 Z1812749 1972 series - publisher film/TV

A highly successful soap opera, Number 96's permissive and adult tone emerged, in Moran's terms, from 'the atmosphere of censorship liberalisation that had occurred in Australia in the early 1970s, and the intention to screen the serial in a late evening timeslot'. As such, the programme interspersed the domestic and romantic storylines that usually drive soap operas with plots exploring rape, drug abuse, and homosexuality. For example, the long-running character Don Finlayson (played by Joe Hasham) was an openly gay character whose relationships attracted neither censure nor any unusual degree of attention from his neighbours, showing him as unusually (for the time) integrated into a mainstream community.

According to Moran, 'Number 96 moved the Australian television soap opera completely away from its radio predecessor by organising a series of simultaneous storylines with various characters moving in and out of these, the storylines lasting only two to six weeks on air.' Long-running storylines included the 'Knicker Snipper' (a msyterious figure stealing the residents' underwear) and the Pantyhose Murderer (a serial killer).

As the show's ratings began dropping in 1975, various attempts were made to revitalise interest in the series, including killing (or otherwise writing out) long-running characters, increasing the amount of location shooting, and publicising the increased amount of nudity in the show (including both female and--briefly--male full-frontal nudity). Despite this, ratings continued to drop to the point where the show was cancelled in July 1977.

1973 winner form y separately published work icon Homicide Sonia Borg , Vince Moran , Phil Freedman , Luis Bayonas , Everett de Roche , Peter A. Kinloch , Ted Roberts , Roger Simpson , Charles E. Stamp , Margaret Kelly , Colin Eggleston , James Wulf Simmonds , Keith Hetherington , Michael Harvey , Cliff Green , Patrick Edgeworth , James East , John Drew , John Dingwall , Alan Cram , Ian Cameron , John Bragg , David William Boutland , Jock Blair , Don Battye , Fred Parsons , David Minter , Monte Miller , Ron McLean , George Mallaby , Ian Jones , Maurice Hurst , Barry Hill , Max Sims , Keith Thompson , David Stevens , Amanda Spry , Peter Schreck , Martin Robbins , Della Foss Pascoe , Bruce Wishart , ( dir. Bruce Ross-Smith et. al. )agent Melbourne : Crawford Productions , 1964-1975 Z1813076 1964 series - publisher film/TV crime detective

Running for twelve years and a total of 510 episodes, Homicide was a seminal Australian police-procedural program, set in the homicide squad of the Victoria Police. According to Don Storey in his Classic Australian Television, it represented a turning point for Australian television, prompting the development of local productions over the purchase of relatively inexpensive American dramas. Indeed, Storey quotes Hector Crawford as saying that his production company intended three outcomes from Homicide: demonstrating that it was possible to make a high-quality local drama series, counteracting criticism of local performers, and showing that Australian audiences would watch Australian-made dramas.

As Moran notes in his Guide to Australian TV Series, the program adopted a narrative structure focusing on crime, detection, and capture, rather than on character studies of the lead detectives. The early episodes were produced by a small crew (Storey notes that the crew was frequently limited to four people: cameraman, grip, director, and assistant director), requiring some degree of ingenuity to achieve a polished result (including, in some cases, the actors performing their own stunts). However, the program received extensive support from the Victoria Police (who recognised, in its positive portrayal of police officers, a valuable public-relations exercise) and, as its popularity grew, from the public.

The program's cast changed extensively over its twelve years on the air, though it remained focused on a small group of male detectives, with the inclusion of irregular characters such as Policewoman Helen Hopgood (played by Derani Scarr), written on an as-required basis to reflect the involvement of women in the police force. In Moran's words, 'The other star of Homicide was the location film work. These ordinary, everyday familiar urban locations were what gave the series a gritty realism and familiarised audiences with the shock of recognition at seeing themselves and their milieus on air'.

1972 winner form y separately published work icon Division 4 Howard Griffiths , Charles E. Stamp , Douglas Tainsh , Luis Bayonas , Everett de Roche , Gwenda Marsh , Ted Roberts , Roger Simpson , Sonia Borg , Colin Eggleston , Michael Harvey , Phil Freedman , John Dingwall , Jonathan Dawson , Ray Chamula , David William Boutland , Tom Mclennan , Ian Jones , Keith Hetherington , Tom Hegarty , David Stevens , Terry Stapleton , Mark Randall , John Orcsik , Don Battye , ( dir. Gary Conway et. al. )agent Melbourne : Crawford Productions , 1969 Z1814717 1969 series - publisher film/TV detective crime

Division 4, which Don Storey notes in Classic Australian Television was 'the only drama series on Australian television to rival the popularity of Homicide', was created as a vehicle for Gerard Kennedy, who had risen to popularity playing the complicated enemy agent Kragg in spy-show Hunter, after Tony Ward's departure left Hunter's future in doubt.

According to Moran, in his Guide to Australian Television Series:

The series differed from Homicide in being more oriented to the situation and milieu of a suburban police station staffed by a mixture of plainclothes detectives and uniformed policemen. This kind of situation allowed Division 4 to concentrate on a range of crimes, from major ones such as murder to minor ones such as larceny.

Though set in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Yarra Central, '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', according to Storey.

Division 4 ended in 1976. Storey adds:

Division 4's axing was a dark day for Australian television, as within months the other two Crawford cop shows on rival networks, Matlock Police and Homicide, were also axed. It was widely believed, and still is, that the cancellation of the three programs was an attempt by the three commercial networks--acting in collusion--to wipe out Crawford Productions, and consequently cripple the local production industry.

1970 winner form y separately published work icon Homicide Sonia Borg , Vince Moran , Phil Freedman , Luis Bayonas , Everett de Roche , Peter A. Kinloch , Ted Roberts , Roger Simpson , Charles E. Stamp , Margaret Kelly , Colin Eggleston , James Wulf Simmonds , Keith Hetherington , Michael Harvey , Cliff Green , Patrick Edgeworth , James East , John Drew , John Dingwall , Alan Cram , Ian Cameron , John Bragg , David William Boutland , Jock Blair , Don Battye , Fred Parsons , David Minter , Monte Miller , Ron McLean , George Mallaby , Ian Jones , Maurice Hurst , Barry Hill , Max Sims , Keith Thompson , David Stevens , Amanda Spry , Peter Schreck , Martin Robbins , Della Foss Pascoe , Bruce Wishart , ( dir. Bruce Ross-Smith et. al. )agent Melbourne : Crawford Productions , 1964-1975 Z1813076 1964 series - publisher film/TV crime detective

Running for twelve years and a total of 510 episodes, Homicide was a seminal Australian police-procedural program, set in the homicide squad of the Victoria Police. According to Don Storey in his Classic Australian Television, it represented a turning point for Australian television, prompting the development of local productions over the purchase of relatively inexpensive American dramas. Indeed, Storey quotes Hector Crawford as saying that his production company intended three outcomes from Homicide: demonstrating that it was possible to make a high-quality local drama series, counteracting criticism of local performers, and showing that Australian audiences would watch Australian-made dramas.

As Moran notes in his Guide to Australian TV Series, the program adopted a narrative structure focusing on crime, detection, and capture, rather than on character studies of the lead detectives. The early episodes were produced by a small crew (Storey notes that the crew was frequently limited to four people: cameraman, grip, director, and assistant director), requiring some degree of ingenuity to achieve a polished result (including, in some cases, the actors performing their own stunts). However, the program received extensive support from the Victoria Police (who recognised, in its positive portrayal of police officers, a valuable public-relations exercise) and, as its popularity grew, from the public.

The program's cast changed extensively over its twelve years on the air, though it remained focused on a small group of male detectives, with the inclusion of irregular characters such as Policewoman Helen Hopgood (played by Derani Scarr), written on an as-required basis to reflect the involvement of women in the police force. In Moran's words, 'The other star of Homicide was the location film work. These ordinary, everyday familiar urban locations were what gave the series a gritty realism and familiarised audiences with the shock of recognition at seeing themselves and their milieus on air'.

1970 winner form y separately published work icon Division 4 Howard Griffiths , Charles E. Stamp , Douglas Tainsh , Luis Bayonas , Everett de Roche , Gwenda Marsh , Ted Roberts , Roger Simpson , Sonia Borg , Colin Eggleston , Michael Harvey , Phil Freedman , John Dingwall , Jonathan Dawson , Ray Chamula , David William Boutland , Tom Mclennan , Ian Jones , Keith Hetherington , Tom Hegarty , David Stevens , Terry Stapleton , Mark Randall , John Orcsik , Don Battye , ( dir. Gary Conway et. al. )agent Melbourne : Crawford Productions , 1969 Z1814717 1969 series - publisher film/TV detective crime

Division 4, which Don Storey notes in Classic Australian Television was 'the only drama series on Australian television to rival the popularity of Homicide', was created as a vehicle for Gerard Kennedy, who had risen to popularity playing the complicated enemy agent Kragg in spy-show Hunter, after Tony Ward's departure left Hunter's future in doubt.

According to Moran, in his Guide to Australian Television Series:

The series differed from Homicide in being more oriented to the situation and milieu of a suburban police station staffed by a mixture of plainclothes detectives and uniformed policemen. This kind of situation allowed Division 4 to concentrate on a range of crimes, from major ones such as murder to minor ones such as larceny.

Though set in the fictional Melbourne suburb of Yarra Central, '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', according to Storey.

Division 4 ended in 1976. Storey adds:

Division 4's axing was a dark day for Australian television, as within months the other two Crawford cop shows on rival networks, Matlock Police and Homicide, were also axed. It was widely believed, and still is, that the cancellation of the three programs was an attempt by the three commercial networks--acting in collusion--to wipe out Crawford Productions, and consequently cripple the local production industry.

1961 winner form y separately published work icon Shadow of a Pale Horse Bruce Stewart , United Kingdom (UK) : ITV , 1959 7188803 1959 single work film/TV historical fiction crime

A murder mystery set in Cobar, New South Wales, in the mid-nineteenth century.

It aired first in the UK as part of anthology series ITV Play of the Week, then in the US as part of anthology series The United States Steel Hour, then in Australia as part of anthology series General Motors Hour.

A contemporary review offers the following detailed synopsis:

'The story starts when one of the young men of the town of Cobar, western New South Wales, is found battered to death. A man called Jem was lying in a drunken stupor beside the body and the murder weapon, an iron bar, is found near the scene of the crime.

'Jem is immediately accused of the crime, but floods prevent his being sent to an established court for trial.

'Coldringer, an old German opal prospector, suggests to the townsfolk that they set up their own court and have the trial in the town.

'The locals agree that the best way of ensuring that Jem is given a fair trial is to make Rigger, the father of the murdered man, defend Jem, and let the prosecution be handed by Kirk, who was Jem's employer.

'Neither Rigger nor Kirk is happy with the townsfolks' decision, but they eventually agree to accept the court arrangements.'

Source: 'Murder Trial in a Bush Town', The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 September 1960, p.7

For the General Motors Hour production.
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