1 9 7 0 (Australia)
1 x 30 minute episode
Picture an 80-year-old Cleopatra and Beethoven as a honky-tonk barroom pianist banging out Stardust – complete with bum notes. Such was the fare of the trite and belaboured comedy of the pilot Australian show View From Beyond, which aired on ATN Channel 7 in October 1970.
The pilot was the brainchild of British-born Don Cash, who worked for 12 years in New York before moving to Australia in 1968, where he formed a film and TV production company with Bill Harmon.
The action was set in Heaven with Peter Reynolds as admissions officer Francis Travers (who used to be a drunk on earth) with all manner of crazy people arriving. Bernadette Hughson and Anya Castaldini played angels.
The pilot episode of View From Beyond was slated by audiences and critics alike, with Melbourne newspaper The Age describing the show as “frightful beyond words”. Needless to say, a series was not commissioned.
Cash-Harmon Productions would go on to produce the 1970s TV hit Number 96.