1 9 8 0 (Australia/Spain)
26 x 30 minute episodes
This children’s adventure series featured a group of kids who run a holiday camp called Secret Valley in the Australian outback, on land owned by old prospector Dan McCormack (Tom Farley).
The kids – led by Miles (Miles Buchanan) – have to battle property developer William “WW” Whopper (Hugh Keays-Byrne) who is determined to close down their camp and acquire the land.
WW is assisted by his brother-in-law, Councillor Claude Cribbins (Max Cullen), and a gang of kids led by Spider McGlurk (Kelly Dingwall) who set out to sabotage the camp in every possible way.
All ultimately ends well with Dan McCormack finding gold on his land.
The series – a co-production of Grundy Television Productions (Australia) and Televisión Española (Spain) – was filmed at the now-defunct Smokey Dawson ranch in Terrey Hills, north of Sydney, and the old El Caballo Blanco Spanish horse theme park in Catherine Field, NSW. The theme tune presented new lyrics to the tune of Waltzing Matilda.
A sequel of sorts – Professor Poopsnagle’s Steam Zeppelin – was produced in 1986.
Councillor Claude Cribbins