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From The Courier Mail  (January 18, 1994)

Tele Vision  by MIKE O'CONNOR

Cop show passes the first shot test

ROZ Patterson, wife of Constable Wayne, describes Mt Thomas as "the place where elephants go to die", an indication that she has not read the entire script for episode one of Blue Heelers (Seven, 7.30, tonight).

Had she done so, she would have realized that while the mortality rate among elephants tonight is zero, the Alsatian population is reduced by one, thanks to the uncommon marksmanship of newly arrived Constable Maggie Doyle.

Much has already been written about Seven's new soap and I can only repeat my view that I believe it will be a success.

That is not to say that it sets new standards for Australian drama or will become compulsive viewing in the same way as have some of the ABC's five-star British dramas.

Instead, it will succeed because it has a credible storyline, for a soap; is possessed of feel-good wholesome virtue; and is blessed with a competent cast.

I have only seen one episode and bearing in mind that it is necessary in the space of that single programme to establish a whole range of characters, I think it copes admirably.

I emphasise that I've seen only one episode so that if the whole affair degenerates halfway through the second, I can be spared the customary accusatory fingers.

With old man Doherty's dog gone to heaven, it is left to Sgt Tom Croydon, well played by John Wood, to have a chat with the distressed owner who has tried to square the score by shooting large holes in the police LandCruiser.

There are more pressing matters at hand however, for a local girl has been bashed and raped by her boyfriend and once more it's Maggie Doyle to the rescue.

A paternal, sage-like sergeant, a swaggering detective, a serious, steadfast senior constable, a keen young, newly married and ambitious constable, an equally keen female constable from a family of police officers and a feisty red-haired female publican may all sound like stereotypes, and perhaps they are, but they are likeable stereotypes and that is what counts with this type of product.

Watch it and judge.



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