1 9 6 8 (Australia)
132 x 30 minute episodes
An early home-grown soap from Australia’s ATN7, this black and white series told the stories of the staff and residents of the Greenfields Motel, halfway between Canberra and Sydney. The half-hour show screened at midday four times a week and was repeated in the evening.
The motel was run by Hal (Walter Sullivan) and Mary (Brenda Senders) Gillian, whose family included businessman son Rod (Noel Trevarthen), his glamorous – and none-too-faithful – wife Gaye (Jill Forster), their rebellious teenage son Chris (Gregory Ross) and their daughter Liz (Gae Anderson), who was secretary to a politician called Paul Brennan (Brian James) – This being Canberra after all.
Other characters included motel employees Maria (Margot Reid) and Janie (Maggie Gray), motel owner Alec Evans (John Faasen) and Reverend Larcombe (Ross Higgins).
The show’s stand out was local acid-tongued and opinionated matriarch Bunty Creighton, played by 80-year English actress Enid Lorimer.
Motel featured the first major television appearances by future Aussie film star, Jack Thompson, (pictured at right) who appeared in 26 episodes as the local chemist.
The regular cast ran to 17 people and the production had a generous budget, utilising several large and elaborate sets.
The theme tune was Love Is Blue by Paul Mauriat and his Orchestra.