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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.

14 Comments

14 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.

    • George White

      October 12, 2021 at 10:54 am

      Re the Rod Stewart thing, there was also a storyline involving a terminally ill country singing teenage girl, played by Jewel Blanch, an actual Australian teen country singer/actor whose career was mostly in the US,. She’s the niece in that Night Gallery adap of Algernon Blackwood’s the Doll, did a lot of US TV and starred in the Richard Boone kiddie western Against a Crooked Sky, which is featured in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

      Australian country singer brats playing posh English girls in US shows seems to be a trend – see the actress who played Geoffrey’s old boss’ daughter in Fresh Prince.

      • Andrew Barton

        October 12, 2021 at 9:25 pm

        There was a plot involving Helen Gordon’s son Roger being a singer too.

        He was played by Ric Herbert, who went on to Prisoner as the boyfriend of Paddy Lawson, played by Anna Hruby, who was his girlfriend\wife in The Young Doctors.

        Ric went on to an ABC series called Sweet and Sour about a Sydney rock band wanting to make it big. Should be noted none of the actors making up the band in it actually sang and just mimed to other people’s vocals, and the instruments were played by session musicians. Probably with that in mind, and the whole stink Down Under over Britney Spears doing it (or Milli Vanilli), is one reason ABC won’t release it on DVD.

  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.

      • Andrew Barton

        October 11, 2021 at 10:32 pm

        That reboot of A Country Practice coincided with a switch to another network in Australia – Network Ten.

        Ten thought they would strike gold again with another axed Seven show, given the mega success of Neighbours.

        Production of the Ten version was switched from Sydney to Melbourne, so Wandin Valley was played by the town of Emerald, outside of Melbourne.

        The characters played by Andrew Blackman, Joan Sydney, and Joyce Jacobs were carried over to the Ten series. The rest of the characters were just ignored.

        The revived series flopped with viewers so it was demoted from Wednesdays at 7.30pm to Saturday nights also at 7.30pm. As poor ratings continued, Ten relegated the series to 5.30pm just before it ended.

  8. Andrew Barton

    October 11, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    The Young Doctors was ridiculous. The early opening was comedy – disco dancing to the beat.

    Not much patients in a supposedly busy hospital,and the only bar in town was Bunny’s Place. Except they did a Taggart and kept the name although the owner died.

    Ada’s kiosk was lucky to get customers as well.

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