1 9 7 7 – 1 9 8 4 (Australia)
582 x 60 minute episodes
Described as ‘cops and robbers with homes to go to’, Cop Shop followed the work and personal relationships of the police officers of Riverside Police Station in Melbourne.
By featuring women police, Crawford Productions were moving Australian crime drama away from being an all-male dominion, as it had been to date.
Riverside also provided a kind of Upstairs Downstairs world, as the police station was home to both uniformed police and plainclothes detectives.
The upstairs detectives included Tony Bonner and George Mallaby (ex-The Box) and the memorable Detective J J Johnson, played by Peter Adams who had previously usually played bad guys on TV.
Although Jeff Johnson was on the side of law and order, he drank, slept around and was far from pure.
He eventually fell in love with Valerie, a stripper (played by Joanna Lockwood), and settled down to a life of domestic marital bliss with her, until Lockwood decided to leave the series.
Sustaining female roles were played by Rowena Wallace as George Mallaby’s difficult wife, Paula Duncan as policewoman (later plainclothes detective) Danni Francis, and Lynda Stoner as PC Amanda King – a leggy and buxom bombshell in blue who spent an inordinate amount of airtime negotiating in high heels the stairs from the station’s front desk to the detectives’ room above.
Danni – who actually began life on the show as a bisexual hard case – had a revolving door love life with two detectives, a priest, and a crooked politician before marrying her policeman partner Mike Georgiou (played by John Orcsik). The couple later married in real life, although they eventually divorced after 18 years.
When Lynda Stoner was written out of the show so she could concentrate on film work, she was replaced by Olga Tamara (from the ill-fated Holiday Island) as WPC Julie Mitchell.
Comedic content was provided by the pairing of Terry Norris as the crusty old Desk Sergeant O’Reilly and Gil Tucker as his most naive young police officer, Roy Baker.
The partnership ended when Norris left the show to stand for a seat in the Victorian Parliament. He served as a Labor MP between 1982 and 1992.
Bill Stalker, who played DC Peter Fanelli, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Toorak (Melbourne) in 1981.
DC JJ Johnson
DC Danni Francis
DC Mike Georgiou
DC Tom Shannon
DS Glen Taylor
Snr Sgt Eric O’Reilly
PC Roy Baker
PC Tony Benjamin
PC Sam Phillips
PC Frank Rossi
Snr Detective Sgt Vic Cameron
Sgt Reg Wallis
PC Amanda King
Snr Det. Don McKenna
DC Peter Fanelli
DC Julie Mitchell
Terry Lindford Jones