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Thread: The Young Doctors

  1. #1
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    Default The Young Doctors

    I refer to the Australian soap opera which ran between 1976 and around 1982 in its country of origin, and from the mid 1980s to the early 1990s (give or take a few years, and various ITV regions) for the benefit of us Pommies here in Britain.

    I have just been watching the first and last episodes on the old YouTube - the original title sequence looks almost so dated and irrelevant - 1970s disco dancing in a bar and the like, and the opening scenes look like something out a Carry On film nearly a decade before. By the end, they seemed to have characters portrayed within "playing cards" images in the opening titles. The final episode was when the hospital closed down for good, and Ada was the last to leave, leaving behind a bare and empty corridor - I suppose that recent viewers would think of it as an Australian answer to Casualty or Holby City.

    Central was the first region to show the series in January 1982, on Thursdays, sandwiched between Get Up & Go! and Leonard Parkin's very own News at One, mostly because ATV had stopped showing The Sullivans in early 1981 and so was used as a replacement - so most would have seen it while eating their lunch at the time, along with the Bio-Tex, Pampers, and Milton Sterilising Fluid adverts in the ad breaks. Central thought it was pointless to show The Sullivans as a result once ATV disposed of it for some unknown reason. It finished in the Midlands in around July 1992, although some regions had shown it as late as 1995 where they reached the end of simply stopped showing it a la PCBH in the south of England. And within a year the replaced by the Kiwi Shortland Street which wasn't a patch on this.

    It was not long before other regions followed suit, and ironically Yorkshire TV - the first region to show PCBH was the last one to show this series. Scottish Television never shown it. So many PCBH stars appeared it over the years - too many to mention on here - the actress who played Karen Travers also appeared in the first Young Doctors episode as well. And the late Judy McBurney (Pixie Mason in that other place) appeared as a nurse as well, a sort of an Australian Raquel Wolstenholme out of Corrie. And it had Cornelia Frances as Sister Scott as one couldn't have an Australian soap opera with her appearing in it.

    I don't remember too much of these when they were originally on, mostly because it was usually the main programme that was on the TV at 3.30 pm when getting home from school on Mondays and Tuesdays (Sons and Daughters took its place on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays of course, transposed in the Granada region). I associate it with waiting for Children's ITV to start, and watching the second half of it.

    Dr Graham Steele reminded me so much of Fred Dinenage as they both looked alike; Dennis the male orderly was a bit camp (the YD answer to Benny from Crossroads); and Ada could have been a prototype for Mavis in Coronation Street. And the "Rovers / Woolpack / Queen Vic" of the series happened to be called Bunnies (or Bunny's).

    A Reg Grundy production of course - by the end of the series the "crystal" logo was used at the end, and it had twice as many episodes as PCBH, although each episode was only half the size.

    When Channel 5 repeated Sons and Daughters in the late 1990s, I asked them whether they had the rights to The Young Doctors, considering they were made by the same company, but they said that they had not - and I was surprised when they had the rights to PCBH considering that some ITV regions were still showing it when they started in March 1997.

    I don't suppose that anyone remembers it? - not even those in Australia themselves?
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Young Doctors

    I live in the ATV/Central area and I have a recollection that The Young Doctors may also have been shown after the afternoon children's programmes, so circa 5.20pm, and that would have been no later than mid 1983. I don't know if it was shown twice per day, but I have this memory of watching it prior to going to college for my evening class. Was Dr Steel the boo-hiss villan of the programme? I remember Bunny's and the main staff nurse, who was a bit of a tarter. I also recall Sons and Daughters--cheesey title song--and The Sullivans--set in WW2 I think. Out of the 3 series, The Young Doctors was my favourite.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: The Young Doctors

    I remember it being a feature of lunchtimes in the 1980s, along with The Sullivans and Sons & Daughters, not to mention Emmerdale Farm when it was very low key.

    Almost all Australian soaps seem to share performers, especially before someone got their big break.
    The Trickster On The Roof

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The Young Doctors

    Central showed it at 12.30 pm in 1982 in lieu of The Sullivans which ATV abandoned - it was shown in London on Fridays at 5.15 pm circa 1984 as the first LWT programme just after they come on air for the weekend. I believe that TVS also shown Sons and Daughters in a similar 5.15 pm slot in their region.

    I used to think that Air Supply had sung the Sons and Daughters theme - a lot of hits that they did sound like the S&D theme tune, but then again, a lot of Australian acts sounded like that back then.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Young Doctors

    I seem to remember it being shown just before the children's programs at around 3:30 in the Tyne Tees region in the late 80s.
    The only thing to look forward to is the past

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The Young Doctors

    Yes - by 1985 most ITV regions had the programme on at 3.30 pm - Central probably would have been the first region to do that.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The Young Doctors

    It's also worth mentioning on here that when HTV was showing an episode of The Young Doctors in the early 1990s, the screen suddenly went blue and so did the continuity announcer's vocabulary as well when he realised what had happened! Not certain whether it was both Wales and West, but it made it to The Sun or one of the other red top tabloids. Not sure whether anyone from that area remembers it, but I mentioned it on the TV Cream forum circa 2002 and someone on there had remembered it.
    I am now in my 40s (just in case anyone asks).

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The Young Doctors

    A few other HTV breakdowns are mentioned here http://www.hhg.org.uk/bds.html

    The Trickster On The Roof

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