1 9 7 4 (Australia)
6 x 30 minute episodes
And The Big Men Fly was the first attempt by the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s Melbourne studios to produce a home-grown situation comedy.
The year is 1963 and the East Melbourne Crows Australian Rules football team haven’t won a premiership in 30 years. Their players are not much good and the team needs to find some new talent.
President JJ Forbes (Frank Wilson) sends his assistant Wally (Reg Evans) into the country to find some new players. Wally doesn’t find anyone, but on the way back to the city his car breaks down in Manangatang near the farm of Achilles “Acky” Jones (John Hargreaves) – a country farmer who has no real interest in the outside world but can drop kick full wheat bags across the shed with his bare feet.
JJ and Wally manage to get Acky to move to Melbourne where he pulls on the number 10 jersey for the Crows and the team notch up victory after victory and begin to move up the league ladder.
But a long-time feud between Acky and his farm neighbours, the Williams brothers (Terry Gill and Ivor Bowyer), erupts anew just before the vital Grand Final and Acky’s attention is not fully on the important game.
Things don’t improve when sports reporter Wobbly Coates (Colin McEwan) stands to lose a bet with JJ Forbes if Acky plays for the Crows in the final match against the Galahs, and will go to any lengths to protect his bet.
The series was adapted from a play by Alan Hopgood. A belated spin-off series called And Here Comes Bucknuckle was produced in 1981.
Achilles ‘Acky’ Jones