1 9 8 7 (Australia)
26 x 50 minute episodes
This ill-fated comedy/drama series from the Australian Nine Network revolved around two likeable but workshy and inept scam artists who would do anything to make money.
Smalltime conman Charles Willing (Grant Dodwell) and his street-smart hustler partner Abel Moore (Shane Withington) lived on an ancient ferry berthed in Sydney Harbour.
On the sidelines were Parramatta Jones, a street urchin who lived in a charity clothing bin (unconvincingly acted by Lucius Borich, son of guitar-legend Kevin Borich); manic policeman Sergeant Dobson (future Comedy Company star Mark Mitchell); Abel’s alcoholic bum father “Just One” Moore (Martin Vaughan); aspiring actress Angela (Rebecca Rigg); public solicitor Maggie (Tina Bursill) and Pisani (Simon Chilvers) whose nightclub was a front for all manner of shady deals.
Debuting in February 1987, the series – which was shot on film rather than videotape and cost more than $200,000 an episode to produce – was patchy and derivative of shows like Simon & Simon or Moonlighting but without the characterisations.
It was eventually moved again – to the “funeral slot” at 7.30 pm on Fridays – but still rated behind most of the other channels.
Channel 9 decided to let the remainder of the 26-episode first series run its course but not to produce any further episodes.
And so the series joined the Nine Network graveyard along with shows such as Prime Time, Possession, Waterloo Station and Taurus Rising, and Grant Dodwell and Shane Withington managed to lose all the goodwill they had earned in A Country Practice
‘Just One’ Moore