1 9 7 1 (Australia)
72 x 30 minute episodes
Hungarian Maria Varga (Anna Volska) is a wheelchair-bound widow (she was crippled in the car accident that killed her husband) living on Sydney’s North Shore with her nine-year-old son, Mike (Ashley Grenville).
To help out financially she takes in three boarders: Taxi driver Chris Johnson (Robert Bruning); Pete Fairhall (Michael Laurence), a 30-year-old commercial photographer and 21-year-old service station attendant Gary Peterson (Eric Oldfield), who has just moved down from the country.
The three men become fond of Mike, who in return adopts them as his ‘godfathers’.
Child Welfare Officer Elizabeth Dent (Tina Grenville) is considered a threat by the godfathers at first, but soon becomes a close friend of the household. Mrs Frenchman (Queenie Ashton) was their next-door neighbour and the nosy and gossipy Mrs Parsons (Eve Wynne) lived across the road.
An additional “godfather” – Dave Milson (Harold Hopkins) – was introduced from episode 27 onwards when Michael Laurence (who wrote all the episodes) wrote his character, Peter, out of the series. He returned occasionally in guest appearances.
The series ended after 72 episodes with Maria and Chris marrying. The characters of Elizabeth Dent and Dave Milson appeared in a spin-off series called The People Next Door.
Guest stars included Gordon Chater, Maggie Kirkpatrick, Noeline Brown, Brian Henderson, June Salter, Stuart Wagstaff, Jacki Weaver, Benita Collings, John Ewart and pop star Ronnie Burns.