1 9 7 8 – 1 9 7 9 (Australia)
26 x 50 minute episodes
Australian drama series based around the work of a helicopter rescue team operating on Dee Why beach in Sydney. In the second year, the location moved ten miles up the coast to Palm Beach.
Most external shots were filmed along Sydney’s northern beaches including Mona Vale, Collaroy, Dee Why, Newport, Avalon and Palm Beach.
The series was held up initially because the scripts were rejected by Ian Holmes, then general manager of Channel 10, and producers decided on a change of format after only five episodes had been filmed.
The chopper became less the centre of attention and the number of dramatic incidents per episode was reduced, allowing – the producers said – more time to investigate the characters with the aim of sustaining viewers’ interest.
Unfortunately, what happened in the air verged on exciting and was well-photographed, but what happened on ground level fell terribly flat.
Dennis Grosvenor, Robert Coleby and Eric Oldfield as the heroic rescue trio were young, good looking and energetic – but none was allowed a distinctive personality.
A real-life Bell Jet Ranger 2 rescue helicopter was used in filming. It was sponsored by the then Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac) and was used for filming Chopper Squad during the week. On weekends, the helicopter was engaged in actual rescue work based at Long Reef, near Collaroy in Sydney.
When the series was completed the aircraft was used full time as a rescue helicopter, transferring to tourist flights around Ayers Rock in 1995.
Guests over the 26 episodes included Picnic at Hanging Rock star Anne Lambert, Delvene Delaney, Sigrid Thornton, Abigail, Briony Behets, Chantal Contouri, Joanna Lockwood, Carmen Duncan, Belinda Giblin, Robina Beard, Tina Bursill, Lynette Curran, Shane Porteous, Maureen Elkner, Normie Rowe, Max Cullen, Slim De Grey, Camilla Rountree, Lucky Grills, Alwyn Kurts, Maggie Kirkpatrick, Serge Lazareff, Henri Szeps, Lex Marinos, Brian Wenzel, John Orcsik, Mike Preston, Anne Haddy, Ivor Kants, Nick Tate, Vincent Ball, Gordon Piper and singer Jon English.
Dr Georgie Batie
Dr Edward Allen
Something to Shout About | Cliff Rescue | Surf Carnival | A Dream Before Dying | Psychotic Lady | The Drifter | Lifeboat | Long Weekend | A Pride of Lions | J Is for Julie | Dangerous Operation | Dangerous Weapon | The Farewell | Cliff Hanger | Happiness Is | A Deed Without a Name | Sweet Youth, Sweet Madness | 8:52 A.M. | Wanting Things | The Eye of the Beholder | The Other Man’s Grass | People Can See | Freedom | No Strings | Stunt | The Big Trip