1 9 7 8 (Australia)
9 x 90 minute episodes
Prominent Sydney defence lawyer John Case (John Hamblin, best-known in Australia for his appearances on Play School) always seemed to end up with the cases that appeared impossible to defend.
Case lived with his girlfriend Winsome Blake (Judith Arthy) – “Win” for short – who was also a lawyer and separated but not yet divorced from her abusive husband.
Other regular characters included Case’s widowed father, Rupe (Robert “Tex” Morton) who was often on hand to help or hinder; Wheems (Edward Howell), a clerk who worked in Case’s law office and had a penchant for selling raffle tickets; and Crown prosecutor Proudfoot (Max Osbiston).
Guests included John Waters, Sigrid Thornton, Belinda Giblin, Lorraine Bayly, Noni Hazelhurst, Gerard Kennedy, Lynette Curran, John Meillon, Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell, Bruce Spence, Angela Punch-McGregor, Gordon Piper, Grigor Taylor, Paul Karo, Joanne Samuel, Bettina Welch, Camilla Rountree, Anne Haddy, Norman Yemm and singer Mark Holden.
After Case and his friends were forced to engage in a certain amount of sleuthing themselves each week – usually with multiple suspects and many plot twists – the real culprit would then be revealed at the end of the episode.
It was formulaic but had high production standards and was very well written, acted and directed. Sadly, it was recorded on videotape rather than film, which gave it a cheap and amateurish look.
Case For The Defence was the first Australian television drama series to adopt the American 90-minute format which had proved popular with shows such as Columbo and McCloud. The series was also sold to the UK where it aired in a late-night timeslot during 1978.
Winsome “Win” Blake
Robert “Tex” Morton
Case For The Defence | The Killing Of Toby McGee | The Family Way | The Man Who Died Twice | Without Consent | Made For Each Other | Murder By The Book | Second Time Around | A Plea Of Insanity