1 9 8 2 (Australia)
10 x 55 minute episodes
This all-but-forgotten 10-part drama series from Australia’s ABC debuted on 24 August 1982 and chronicled the naughtiness of Melbourne businessmen and the dealings of a fictitious mining company called Mincoh.
Dick Coleman (Ronald Falk) headed the company, which was largely financed by his neglected and vindictive wife, Margaret (Diana McLean). Coleman’s mistress, Liz Bell (Tina Bursill), was the company’s financial whizz kid.
Also central to the plot were Margaret Coleman’s cousin, Carol Catani (played a little too flakily by Briony Behets) and her husband, John (Sean Myers), a silkily sophisticated but dodgy financier and chairman of an investment company – who also owed money to some drug bosses.
Most of the storyline concerned the plots and manoeuvres as Mincoh’s share prices went up when a war in Namibia threatened world thanadium supplies, making Mincoh a prime takeover target.
To Dick Coleman, the opportunity presented the chance to be financially independent of his wife for the first time. The only danger appeared to be “the Yanks, Japs and Krauts” he imagined were crawling under his bed.
Meanwhile, his wife decided to bank-roll a feature film directed by her secret Italian lover Mangione (Frank Gallacher).
Howard Nash (Peter Curtin) was Mincoh’s lawyer, and Jacqui Janowski (Mercia Deane-Johns) the company receptionist.
The trappings were all there: the slickly decorated sets, tree-lined Toorak locations, elegant clothes, private jets, white Rolls-Royces and upmarket courtyard restaurants.
But the scripts were bogged down with banalities – unconvincing phone calls, an over-emphasis on trivialities like cigarette brands, flight times and appointments – which, although small things, proved an unnecessary distraction.
A Friend in Need | The Company You Keep | The Squeeze | Business as Usual | Ground for Argument | Downside Risk | Family Business | Futures | Australian Rules | Balance of Payment