1 9 6 5 – 1 9 6 6 (Australia)
45 x 25 minute episodes
This black and white children’s TV series from Australia centred around 14-year-old Tom Thumbleton (played by 18-year-old David Morgan), a boy living on an outback sheep farm.
He finds a magic boomerang among some Aboriginal relics his great-great-grandfather left in the attic which, in flight, makes time stand still for everyone but the thrower.
Tom and his pal, Wombat, begin to use the boomerang to foil the nefarious deeds of assorted villains and neer-do-wells.
Mischievous Wombat occasionally also used the boomerang to play tricks on the locals, while Tom was far more responsible and would use the boomerang only when its powers were truly needed.
The series – produced at Woodend, 40 miles from Melbourne – was extremely conscious in its deployment of Australian symbols which no doubt helped its marketing overseas. It suffered, though, from its rabid insistence to show nothing unpleasant – no violence, no guns, nothing that would upset the vicar.
But there was a lot of horse riding. Sadly, when you’ve seen one horse you’ve seen the lot. Especially if the horses are being ridden for long intervals and to no particular purpose.
For the final six episodes, filmed in 1966, there were significant changes to the cast, characters and setting, with a shift in emphasis from adventure to a more light-hearted show with an element of comedy. 15-year-old Robert Brockman played Nugget Morris, the new custodian of the magic boomerang – David Morgan was now too old at 19 to play the lead role – and Gavan Ellis played his older mate.
Nugget became involved in the schemes and machinations of an eccentric Englishman called Charles Swinbourne (William Hodge) and his pal, Bluey (Chris Christensen). The new baddies were Tiger Martin (Peter Aanensen) and Joe Manelli (Kurt Beimel).
The Magic Boomerang screened in Australia on the ABC and was sold to Canada, Britain, Italy, Malaysia and Rhodesia.
The Discovery | Christmas Cracker | A Visit From Grandma | Wombat Finds A Friend | The Hunter | No Mail Today | A Matter Of Survival | The Bushranger | Ill Wind | The Thief Who Believed In Magic | Fire Trap | The Hypnotist | The Uncatchables | North To Warralinga | The Big Catch | Moonlight Reef | Aunt Matilda | The Cattle Duffers | The Saucer From Venus | Masked Man From Manangatang | Moomba | Gentleman Jackaroo | Head Of The River | The Vanishing Spell | The Stand-In | Race Against Time | The Auction | A Lesson For Wombat | Friend Or Foe | The Good Turn | Pony Express | The Last Lap | Salt ‘n’ Pepper | Mother’s Day | A Night At The Thumbleton’s | My Friend Higgins | Stranger In Town | Mr Santa Claus | The Messenger | Bushranger’s Gold | Buried Treasure | Luck of the Game | Boys Camp | Double Trouble | Hollermaker’s Bargain