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Young Doctors, The

NOT THAT there was anything very young about them. Possibly the foundation stone of the now omnipresent, scary Masonic-style icosahedron logo-bearing Grundy empire, this budgetarily-challenged Aussie medsoap found its way into many an early 80s ITV afternoon line-up, in lieu of anything else that wasn’t GIVE US A CLUE or TROPIC. Most famous graduate was a pre-NEIGHBOURS ALAN DALE, distinguished by a superb Afro haircut. Precious few sets: hospital lobby, minuscule ward (not that they ever got many patients), and a couple of multi-purpose offices a la ARE YOU BEING SERVED. Possibly a corridor for the evil Dr Steele and that white-haired bloke who ran the hospital to stomp down. Lots of “plain” nurses in thick glasses: “Just take those off for a moment…why, has anyone ever told you you’re beautiful?”. There for the course were hospital kiosk matriarch turned TV cookery celebrity Ada, and oft-engaged orderly Dennis.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Andrew

    April 20, 2016 at 2:20 am

    A hilariously young Russell Crowe appeared in an episode of this show playing a character called..er..”Russell”.

  2. David

    June 13, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Also stars Morag from home and away

    • Joanne Gray

      March 2, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      Whose character died by falling down a lift shaft, I seem to recall?

      The Young Doctors was the main inspiration for the Aussie comedy Let The Blood Run Free, which was shown in the early hours of the morning on Channel 4 in the early to mid 1990s and really deserved a better time and a bigger audience than insomniacs and the midweek post-nightclub crowd.

  3. Richard16378

    May 2, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Chatchy synth & guitar heady theme IIRC.

    Alexi Sayle did a good spoof of it set in a mental hospital.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    March 21, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    This started when I was in the fifth form at school, usually starting when we came from school, and rapidly became a must see show for teenagers, in the same way Neighbours would become in an even bigger way 4 years later. One memory I have of The Young Doctors is of an actor made to look like Rod Stewart having to go into the hospital, being a bit of a pain, and then giving the nurses free tickets to a concert. Said concert was of singer miming, some fake crowd noise and a green spotlight, but what the heck, it was a good plotline and we loved the cheapness of TYD.

  5. richardpd

    March 21, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    Granada usually showed it at lunchtimes in the early 1980s, along with The Sullivans and Son & Daughters at different times. I Can’t remember if A Country Practice was shown around then, but it certainly was screened a few years later.

    • Glenn Aylett

      March 21, 2020 at 9:42 pm

      Border started showing TYD in the autumn of 1983, when it rapidly became a hit with kids coming home from school. The Sullivans was the first of the Aussie invasion, I’m sure Border were showing it as early as 1978, but the serious subject matter meant it wasn’t watched much by kids and was often shown when you were at school.
      I do recall A Country Practice running as late as 1997 in some ITV regions as it was cheap and they needed to burn off the remaining episodes. Then it was endgame for the first wave of cheap Aussie soaps and even Home and Away and Neighbours were in steep decline by then, the former only having 3 years left on ITV.

  6. richardpd

    March 22, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    Channel 5 managed to buy up Sons & Daughter and Prisoner: Cell block H in their early years, but I don’t think they managed to get to the end of either run.

  7. Glenn Aylett

    March 22, 2020 at 8:40 pm

    Aussie soaps, of the non Neighbours and Home and Away variety, were really just filler for ITV regions in the afternoons and A Country Practice and Sons And Daughters were shown when the teen audience were at school, so never developed a cult audience that they could expand on. Mind you, A Country Practice seemed to outlive its stablemates by several years and was still being shown in Australia in 1994 and lived on in smaller ITV regions until 1997. Always recall that touching piano theme at the beginning.

    • richardpd

      March 24, 2020 at 1:09 pm

      A Country Practice seemed to be more of a continuing drama than a soap, with hour long episodes & shorter story arcs.

      It ran to over a 1000 episodes, which is impressive, & often these were edited into 2 half hours for export markets.

      There was an ill-advised re-boot towards the end of the run when most of the cast were replaced (not sure if recast or just replaced by a similar character) which didn’t go down well & the show was axed after a few months.

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