Number 96

Network Ten 25m 1972

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Drama examining the lives of residents of a Sydney apartment block. Initial storylines focused on adultery, drug use, frigidity, rape, gossip, homosexuality, marriage problems, racism. The building's ground floor delicatessen run by...


Drama examining the lives of residents of a Sydney apartment block. Initial storylines focused on adultery, drug use, frigidity, rape, gossip, homosexuality, marriage problems, racism. The building's ground floor delicatessen run by Hungarian Jew Aldo Godolfus and the nearby laundrette provided central meeting places for characters. Original residents included busty blonde virgin Bev Houghton who fell in love with her neighbour, homosexual lawyer Don Finlayson. Don's flatmate lover was Bruce Taylor, a photographer who was secretly being kept financially by his employer, the bitchy and sardonic Maggie Cameron. Friendly Vera Collins read tarot cards for a living; her husband had deserted her and she would be perpetually unlucky in love. In flat 8 lived immigrants from Lancashire, whining Alf Sutcliffe and his salt of the earth wife Lucy, who worked in the laundrette. Interfering, malaproping gossip Dorrie Evans was the building's self-appointed "conserge"; her husband was the more friendly Herb. Lovable rogue and ladies man Jack Sellars romanced Bev, Aldo had the problems of his rebellious daughter Rose before she got married and moved away, and Aldo's new wife Roma Lubinski joined him in his comedy attempts to use modern Australian idiom. Also coming to work at the deli was new resident, the bookish young Arnold Feather. A wine bar opened in the building, run by bubbly Norma Whittaker. She and her amateur inventor husband Les moved in to live in flat 1. Camp young movie fan Dudley Butterfield arrived to work in the wine bar, and Dorrie's old friend and now lodger was the no-nonsense Flo Patterson: a perfect foil for snobbish Dorrie. Maggie Cameron later became part owner of the building, frequently making unsuccessful attempts to evict the residents. The regimented Reg "Daddy" McDonald, has dizzy wife Edie "Mummy" McDonald and their ebullient daughter Marilyn later moved in the flat 5. An early storyline was the dreaded 'knicker snipper', a devious intruder who ransacked the women's bedrooms and cut holes in their panties and bras. Later comedy storylines were added, while 1974 saw more crime with the horrific panty-hose strangler killing off two young women residents, and attacking one other. 1975 saw four major stars killed off in the infamous bomb-blast episode: a failed attempt to boost the show's by then declining ratings. Australia's first full frontal nude scene was added during the later episodes in 1977 but nevertheless, ratings waned and the series eventually ended, with Dorrie, Herb and Don the only original characters still around at the end.

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