1 9 7 4 – 1 9 7 6 (Australia/France/Scotland)
26 x 50 minute episodes
Liberally plundering history is nothing new to television producers, and one period that intrigued many Australian TV producers in the 1970s was the Gold Rush.
The elements of struggle, quick fortunes, and a mix of foreigners and republicanism combined to make the ABC’s Rush a hit.
The series, starring John Waters as police sergeant Robert McKellar, was produced originally in black and white, but the second series was made on a bigger budget and filmed in colour.
Newly arrived from India, Commissioner Edmund Fitzalan (Brendon Lunney) had duties and responsibilities that often overlapped those of Sgt. McKellar and from their first meeting their widely different backgrounds created an ill-disguised hostility between them.
At the end of the first series, Sgt McKellar had just wed the desirable English aristocrat widow Sarah Lucas (Olivia Hamnett), strangely out of place among the rough and tumble taverns and mineshafts of Crocker’s Gully.
When the second season began it was nine years later and McKellar was now widowed (Sarah had died some time back of “the typhoid”) and sore-hearted.
He had moved to Turon Springs on the NSW goldfields but looked not a day older, still had the same slumbrous eyes, and still wore his shirts open to the waist in a most unpolicemanlike way.
He also now had as his sidekick another potential sex symbol, his new French co-star Alain Doutey, who played constable Emile Bizard, formerly a French sailor who jumped ship in Sydney to make his fortunes on the diggings but became a policeman to avoid starving.
Rush was filmed in Sydney on the old Ben Hall set, with French and Scottish production partners.
The series later gained a certain notoriety when comedy troupe the D-Generation used re-dubbed scenes from the series on The Late Show in 1992.
Sergeant Robert McKellar
Constable Emile Bizard
Supt. James Kendall
Commissioner Edmund Fitzalan
Dr. David Woods
Captain Richard Farrar