Australian tv dramasby dfle3 | created - 16 Jan 2014 | updated - 01 May 2015 | Public
Originally intended to be the basis of a "Greatest?" poll, I dropped that once it became clear that only polls which had "The dark knight" as a voting option got approved to go live on this site. So, I've now surpassed the limit of 35 titles for polls to be more exhaustive.
Titles in alphabetical order.
I'm not including series which had a short story arc, like "Janus" and "Phoenix", which appear in my List for Australian mini-series and short run series. Series which may have only run for one or two years and were axed will be included here too.
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1. Adventures of the Seaspray (1965– )
30 min | Adventure, Family
The story centred on widowed journalist Dan Wells, who is sailing the Pacific with on his 25-metre schooner "Seaspray", with his three children Mike, Noah and Sue, assisted by their Fijian crewman.
2. A Place to Call Home (2013– )
60 min | Drama
A mysterious woman is perched between the harsh legacy of World War II and the hope of a new life in Australia.
Wikipedia states that a 3rd series of this show had been commissioned by the Seven Network (according to TV Week magazine) but that they changed their mind and are now axing the show (either that or the TV Week story that the series had been commissioned for a 3rd series was false. TV Week ran both stories!).
3. Autumn Affair (1958–1959)
15 min | Drama
A soap opera about a middle-aged woman in a love-triangle with two men.
According to Wikipedia, a soap opera having a 156 episode run, which ended in 1959 (!). The National Film and Sound Archive has many episodes of this series.
6. Bluey (1976–1977)
90 min | Drama
Bluey was set at Melbourne's Russell Street Police Headquarters (Victoria, Australia), with "Bluey" Hills heading his own squad ("Department B"), due to his inability to work within the existing police squads.
7. Boney (1972–1973)
60 min | Crime
A Police Officer, who is also Aboriginal, arrives in outback central Australia from a big city. He begins to solve local major crimes. Not only through his intelligence, as he is highly ... See full summary »
The concept was revived with "Bony", starring...a white Australian! Cameron Daddo, from memory. However, even this original series (based on the novels, presumably, of Arthur Upfield...as in, I'm not sure how closely this series followed the books, if at all, not having read the books) had some controversy...the titular character, an Aboriginal tracker, was played by a New Zealand Maori.
8. Bony (1992)
60 min | Crime
Finding this title at this site I see that it was also a 1990 movie...which Wikipedia states was a "pilot movie".
Starred Cameron Daddo as "Bony". In the novels by Arthur Upfield, Bony is meant to be an Aboriginal. Wikipedia states for this reboot that Bony is a descendent of the original Bony, from the novels.
Even the original series of "Boney" seems to have been somewhat controversial...with the titular character being played by I New Zealand Maori, I believe.
9. Carson's Law (1983–1984)
50 min | Crime, Drama
Set in the 1920s. A female lawyer faces prejudice when she marries into a influentual family law firm. On top of this she has to bring up three children when her husband is killed in a plane crash.
12. A Country Practice (1981–1993)
60 min | Drama, Romance
Follow the highs and lows of the townsfolk of Wandin Valley. This drama TV series revolves around the daily happenings of a 'small town' rural Australian hospital, its doctors, nurses, ... See full summary »
14. East West 101 (2007–2011)
60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Major Crime is a metaphor for East and West, for the conscious and unconscious, for reconciliation and difference, for hope versus despair, as Malik struggles toward the sunlight while ... See full summary »
15. Emergency (1959– )
30 min | Drama
One of the earliest ever medical series, this Australian drama takes place in the Emergency Ward of a hospital, and was an early protype for series such as Emergency Ward 10 and Casualty.
GTV 9. 16 episodes (discontinued due to sponsorship withdrawal, according to Wikipedia).
17. G.P. (1989–1996)
Set around a fictional Ross St Surgery medical practice in inner Sydney explored both the personal and professional lives of the general practitioners working together, and the other doctors and staff who worked in the clinic.
20. House Husbands (2012– )
45 min | Drama
The lives of four Australian men who are raising their children.
A comedy drama. Since it poses a problem as to whether put this in my drama list or my comedy series list I'll just introduce this new categorisation rule: comedy dramas which take up an hour long slot on commercial tv go to the drama list and those which take up a 30 minute slot on commercial tv will go onto my comedy list.
25. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (2012– )
TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A female sleuth sashays through the back lanes and jazz clubs of Melbourne in the late 1920s, fighting injustice with her pearl-handled pistol and her dagger-sharp wit.
26. Mr & Mrs Murder (2013)
44 min | Comedy, Mystery
The series follows the adventures of married couple Nicola and Charlie Buchanan, who run an industrial cleaning business while solving the most baffling murder mysteries.
See "House husbands" for why this comedy drama makes this list instead of "comedy". The fact that I don't know whether this show got renewed also complicates matters...as in perhaps it should go into my "mini-series/short series" list? If the show got axed, it goes here, but if it was designed as a short run series then perhaps I should put it in my other list (i.e. "short series").
28. Number 96 (1972–1977)
25 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Drama examining the lives of residents of a Sydney apartment block. Initial storylines focused on adultery, drug use, frigidity, rape, gossip, homosexuality, marriage problems, racism. The ... See full summary »
30. Packed to the Rafters (2008–2013)
60 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Centres around Dave and Julie Rafter and their three children Rachel, Ben and Nathan. On the eve of their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary the couple thinks that they are finally about to ... See full summary »
31. Prisoner (1979–1986)
50 min | Crime, Drama
The lives of women behind bars in a female prison.
a.k.a. "Prisoner Cell Block H" in overseas markets...oh, "Caged women" too! Saucy Canadians!
N.B. this series has been 'rebooted' in recent years as "Wentworth" and that is near the end of my list here, due to alphabeticising this list.
32. Puberty Blues (2012–2014)
45 min | Drama
In the late 1970s, Debbie and Sue are inseparable teenage girls.
Not to be confused with the earlier movie of the same name.
33. Rake (2010– )
Not Rated | 60 min | Comedy, Drama
Criminal lawyer Cleaver Greene defends the indefensible - from bigamists to cannibals and everything in between. He is champion of the lost cause, both in the court room and in the bedroom.
35. Return to Eden (1986– )
45 min | Drama
Glossy Australian soap opera, where the beautiful, dynamic Stephanie Harper battles her enemies to gain sole control of the family company, Harper Mining Limited.
Not to be confused with the successful mini-series which prompted its serialisation.
36. Riptide (1969– )
60 min | Adventure
A charter boat operator who happens to be an American is also a bit of a Private Investigator!
I searched Wikipedia for Jackie Weaver's work and this came up. Unfortunately it had no information on this show...the link to it was for the wrong show (linked to a decades later US show of this name).
"The show featured foreign actors and a foreign producer, similar in approach to The Outsiders"
as well as the reception for the series being lukewarm, meaning it wasn't renewed.
37. Rush (1974–1976)
50 min | Adventure, Drama, History
Stories of the lives of people living in and around the goldfields in the Australian bush during the 1850's.
Set during the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s.
38. Rush (2008–2011)
Crime, Drama, Mystery
Rush follows the lives of members of the prestigious Tactical Response team (TR), which is based on the real life Victoria Police Critical Incident Response Team, a highly mobile unit that ... See full summary »
Modern police drama.
41. Silent Number (1974– )
60 min | Crime
Not much information via Wikipedia but there is an extensive entry on classicaustraliantv.com.
42. Skirts (1990– )
50 min | Action, Drama
A short lived Australian drama series centered around a community policing squad. Due to the high volume of female officers the squad is nicknamed "Skirts".
Wikipedia statest that this series about female police officers (the "skirts") was not renewed after its first series.
44. Spyforce (1971–1972)
Australian Intelligence Officers during World War 2.
Perhaps this series should be in my mini-series List. Wikipedia lists this as being Jack Thompson's first lead role and also had a seven year old Russell Crowe make a brief appearance in one episode. Fact based series.
45. Sweet and Sour (1984)
A young band, The Takeaways, try to succeed in the music business.
20 x 30m episodes on ABC TV. An account of the fictional music band "The takeaways" which features music by the likes of Deborah Conway and Sharon O'Neill, according to Wikipedia. Actors pretended to sing some of those songs though. The album of the series went platinum in Australia (70,000 sales).
47. The Fast Lane (1985–1987)
Two private investigators, Bryce and Ken operate a business known as The Excelsior Research Foundation.
Comedy drama by the successful writers John Clarke (of "Clarke & Dawe) fame as well as Andrew Knight. Hard to get info on this short run series (19 episodes)...one site mentions one episode being just over 51 minutes in length, making it a candidate for this list over my Australian sit-com list.
48. The Flying Doctor (1959– )
30 min | Drama
Was unaware of this programme. Only IMDB has information on it:
It's listed as an Australia/UK production and 39 episodes (30 minutes each).
Unfortunately no details on what channel it screened on here, if it did at all.
49. The Flying Doctors (1986–1992)
50 min | Drama
This series chronicles the events surrounding the activities of the Royal Flying Doctors Service, which operates its own aircraft -in this case from the base at Coopers Crossing, an ... See full summary »
Finding this entry I see that it was also a mini-series...which I'll have to add to that list of mine as well!
51. The Secret Life of Us (2001–2006)
60 min | Drama