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I would like to point out that Chopper Squad was NOT filmed in Western
Australia or set in Western Australia. It was in fact filmed and set
entirely on Sydney's beautiful Northern Beaches, based predominately
out of the Dee Why Surf Club, then later at the Palm Beach Surf Club.
The show was instrumental in raising the profile of the fledgling Wales
Rescue Helicopter Service that was based out of the COllaroy
Communication cente nearby and staffed by volunteer surf lifesavers and
For factual info of the old Wales Rescue Helicopter Service, now known as the Westpac LifeSaver Rescue Helicopter Service (flying several BK-117's), I recommend the book "Helicopter Rescue" by Dr. Ken Wishaw, Australia's first full-time helicopter doctor. You can get the series on DVD through Ravetv.co.uk Regards.
Just thought I'd add a few details I can remember about the show. Bear
in mind I only saw the show as a young fella at it's original
screening(and I was young at the time). The series was shot around the
Northern Beaches and Pittwater area of Sydney. A previous commenter
stated it was based in Western Australia, I can't comment on that as I
was too young to take note of these details at the time(I was more
interested in the action and seeing local scenes on TV) however given
the harbor and other local attractions it would surprise me. I grew up
in the area around that time so here are my recollections. The series
used the Dee Why Surf Lifesaving Club clubhouse as their base of
operations. Can't remember if they used actual place names or had some
fictitious location. The hospital they used was Mona Vale Hospital.
Looking back it wasn't too bad a show, might change my mind if I saw it now. And yes it did have a funky theme tune.
Despite having the funkiest theme tune on a tv show ever this is poor quality tv.The acting was wooden and the sets cheap on the plus side though it is unintentionally funny the clothes the hairdo's all make for a laugh an episode tv show.You can see why it only had one series though.to sum it up budget was low.
From the same folks that also gave us "Sons and Daughters," "Prisoner:
Cell Block H" and "Neighbours," "Chopper Squad" was set around the
Australian coastline, but it was more in the footsteps of "Emergency!"
than "Baywatch" - that is, the stories dealt more with the rescues and
the people than with the bronzed beauties of either sex (in any case,
the main cast was predominantly male).
As the only other person to comment on this pointed out, this did have a splendidly funky theme (by Mike Perjanik, who also wrote the more romantic themes for "A Country Practice" and "Home and Away" - oh for the days when you could settle with something cosy and Australian on ITV in the afternoons), and it remains the most memorable thing about the show. It passed the time, but in spite of the reliably beautiful Australian scenery and the Squad having a lower success rate than the Baywatch crew or Gage and DeSoto (in one episode the youngest member's female friend was injured on an island, and she died before he could get to her) you can see why this is less widely or fondly remembered than Skippy, Skippy, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.
This followed a 90-minute pilot movie produced by the O-Ten Network (now Network Ten, and the network that showed "Chopper Squad" in Australia) with different cast and characters; both movie and series made it to the UK on ITV, and the movie was on TV here not that long ago. The movie starred Rebecca Gibney some years before she did "Return To Eden." That was dire as well.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ignorable pilot for a thankfully so far unresurrected Australian TV
This focuses, with an exclusively routine lack of imagination, upon the reactions of an unprepossessing reactionary (in the best and worst sense) airborne rescue crew, to assorted antipodean adventures.
These range from skyward leering at topless good-time girls bronzing themselves on the beach - lads, they're probably someone's grandmother by now! - to becoming severely "strewth"-ed by a forest conflagration sparked by dilettante terrorists.
Fortunately, our 4-X compatriots have got rather better at this kind of thing over the years, such as "Fire" for example.
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