Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Mr. Magoo Show (1961)

Our post for the 1960 episodes of The Mr. Magoo Show covered the series' origins, format, characters, and many deficiencies, so those topics will not be repeated here as we deal with the last 12 episodes, which may have aired in 1961 but for which there is no definitive schedule, in part because it was a syndicated series whose airtime was dictated by each station that carried it. Unsurprisingly, the episodes do not improve in quality over the course of the episodes as the producers and writers struggle to come up with original stories and resort to rehashing already used plots and gags and trying to latch on to any other popular cartoon or topic in an effort to boost viewership. One such topic is TV talent shows (a la Arthur Godfrey), which are spoofed in Episode 15's "Top the Music" short in which Presley pushes Waldo into lip-syncing to a record player in an attempt to beat out weekly winner Squirrely Evans and His Magic Tuba. But Evans is on to their game and destroys the record player, forcing Waldo to sing in his natural voice, which it turns out is good enough to win the contest. However, afterward Presley wonders what they will do with all the ridiculous prizes they have won, including an aircraft carrier, the Statue of Liberty, and an outer space rocket. This is humor applied with a sledgehammer.

"Safety Magoo" attempts to lampoon the advertising industry by showing a board room of identically dressed ad executives launching a safety campaign with Magoo randomly chosen as the spokesperson. What could go wrong? The series also pokes fun at TV exercise pitchmen, a la Jack LaLanne, in both "Slim Trim Magoo" and "Muscles Magoo." If a joke doesn't work the first time, repeating it only makes it funnier, it would seem.

The series takes a dig at both TV's most popular western Gunsmoke and its best cartoon series The Bullwinkle Show in "Marshal Magoo" from Episode 18. Marshal Matt Magoo, decked out all in white, is being driven in a stagecoach to Ford City (as opposed to Matt Dillon's Dodge City) when the stagecoach is hijacked by an unnamed outlaw clearly based on Boris Badenov (and voiced by Paul Frees), who periodically turns to the narrator and tells him he talks too much before firing his pistol at the camera. Breaking the fourth wall was a regular feature on The Bullwinkle Show which made a habit of spoofing the artificiality of television, even showing Rocky and Bullwinkle sitting around the film set between takes in one episode, but this tactic was rarely used on Magoo, making the Badenov appropriation more obvious. Also featured in this short are a group of Indians discussing plans on a roll-up presentation screen, which they hide every time the narrator begins talking about them. In the end we learn that they are diagramming a football play, not planning an attack on the stagecoach, the sort of joke one would expect on an episode of Bullwinkle

The producers and writers try exploiting one of the UPA studio's more popular past hits in Episode 24's "Magoo Meets McBoing Boing," in which Magoo is called on to babysit for the baby Gerald McCloy who speaks in sound effects rather than words. In this episode Magoo naturally mixes up the baby with the family dog and tucks the latter into bed while putting the baby outside for the evening. The original McBoing Boing short won an Oscar in 1950 and several successful shorts followed thereafter, but an attempt by UPA to turn it into a TV series for the 1956-57 season proved too expensive to produce and was canceled after 3 months.

But perhaps the most bizarre short on The Mr. Magoo Show was its abuse of the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale in "Magoo and the Beanstalk" from Episode 21. In this cartoon Magoo apparently plants some magic beans in his garden and up sprouts a magic beanstalk that climbs into the clouds, only Magoo thinks that his neighbor Smedley has stolen all his beans from the beanstalk, so he climbs up to confront him. In the clouds he meets Alfred, the son of Fee Fi and Fo Fum who tangled with the original Jack, who is now in danger of losing his castle because he has had no one to spar with and bring him fame and fortune like his parents. His encounter with Magoo doesn't improve his fortune, and in the end his castle is put up for sale, but when the narrator asks him if he isn't worried about his future, the young giant, seen reading a Mad magazine, says "Why, me worry?" and lowers the magazine to reveal that he is Alfred E. Newman. Even comics historian Jerry Beck, who provides DVD commentary for this episode, fails to provide an explanation for this strange trick ending.

Equally puzzling is the fate of houseboy Charlie in Shout! Factory's DVD release. As we noted in our post on the 1960 episodes, Charlie's stereotypical characterization was vociferously panned when the series was rerun in syndication in the 1980s, prompting UPA to overdub his voice (but not change his physical appearance) to be less offensive. The DVD release seems to suggest that this overdubbing was not done to all 26 episodes because through the first 16 episodes we hear the original racially offensive version of Charlie, but we get the overdubbed version (except for "Magoo and the Medium" in Episode 23 in which he has only a couple of lines) for the remaining 10 episodes. And the overdubbed Charlie, while not offensive, is jarring because of its flat delivery in the midst of all the other exaggerated cartoon voices. It's as if someone walked in off the street and read the lines in one take rather than having them delivered by a professional voice actor. All of Charlie's punch lines are drained of any humor they might have registered by the deadpan delivery.

Elsewhere, Magoo borrows heavily from popular culture to lessen the boredom of seeing Magoo stumble through one catastrophe after another. Magoo wanders into Dr. Sam Frankenstein's castle in "Magoo Meets Frankenstein" in Episode 21, and he imagines himself back in old England in "Robin Hood Magoo" in Episode 24. But more entertaining are when Magoo disappears altogether for a stretch in "Magoo's Western Exposure" from Episode 23 when Magoo turns on the TV instead of the air conditioner and falls asleep during an episode of the Lone Ranger knock-off The Masked Hombre, or when he attempts to tell Charlie the story of Cyrano de Bergerac in "Cyrano Magoo" from Episode 25. These stories within the story more nearly approach the humor of Bullwinkle's "Fractured Fairy Tales" in retelling classic plots with unexpected twists, and they work much better than the rest of the program because they aren't burdened with Magoo's worn-out schtick.

It's ironic that the last view of Magoo we get in this series has him in jail, just like the characters in the finale of Seinfeld, because the two series couldn't be farther apart in the number of laughs they produced.





The Actors

For the biographies of Jim Backus and Jerry Hausner, see the 1960 post on The Mr. Magoo Show.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Whiplash (1961)

Given the success of 1950s British-produced TV series running in syndication on American TV, such as The Adventures of Robin Hood and Ivanhoe, coupled with the great popularity of American western-themed series in the 1950s and early 1960s, it was only a matter of time before someone attempted to merge the two, in a manner of speaking, and produce an Australian-based western series. That series would be called Whiplash created by Australian scriptwriter Michael Noonan and scriptwriter Michael Plant, whose other credits included episodes of One Step Beyond, Men Into Space, and The Detectives. The series was loosely based on American historical figure Freeman Cobb, born in Brewster, MA, who worked in the U.S. for transport venture Adams & Co., which had set up a stagecoach line in California during the gold rush there. When the Victoria region of Australia experienced its own gold rush in the early 1850s, Cobb was sent there to help set up a similar company there. However, that effort did not succeed, so Cobb joined with three other Americans there to form Cobb & Co., which began making runs between Melbourne and what is now Port Melbourne in July 1853. The company began passenger service the next year, but Cobb would only remain with his company for three years before selling his interest and returning to America. He would later try a similar venture transporting for diamond mines in South Africa in the 1870s, where he died in 1878. However, he left behind a reputation as a clever organizer and a fair and supportive employer, and Cobb & Co. maintained a brand synonymous with reliable service until it finally dissolved in 1924.

The TV series cast American actor Peter Graves, fresh off five years as the star of the children-oriented western Fury, in the lead role as Christopher, rather than Freeman, Cobb. Graves' relocation to Australia with his family was touted in an October 14, 1959 issue of The Australian Women's Weekly, which called him the first American movie star to work in the country "in the flesh" and mentioned that his contract called for a hefty increase in salary from his Fury days. However, the production quickly ran into problems when original producer Maurice Geraghty was replaced after only four episodes by Ben Fox. A May 20, 1960 article in The Beverley Times noted that production was halted on December 23, 1959 due to lack of money and that the British and American participants in the venture decided to change course by bringing on producer Fox and associate producer John Meredyth Lucas with production resuming on March 20, 1960. The series was initially slated to film 39 episodes but wound up producing only 34, and British production company ATV had purchased Australia's Artransa Studios with the idea of co-producing more series in the future. But after their experience with Whiplash, they quickly sold out.

Despite the production difficulties, the series premiered on ATV in the UK on September 10, 1960, began airing in Australia in February 1961, and was available in America as a syndicated series also in 1961. The series is noteworthy for American audiences not only for the presence of Graves but also for using 4 scripts by a young Gene Roddenberry as well as providing lessons in Australian history and geography. Much was made in early press reports about location shooting at Alice Springs, attempts to capture the natural sounds of birds and other wildlife in the area, and flying in top aboriginal actors Robert Tudawali and Henry Murdoch to portray a variety of aboriginal characters in several episodes. As far as capturing Australian history, many episodes begin with a scrolling narrative touching on the origins of cultural phenomena such as horse racing in Australia, the practice of British nobility sending their young sons to Australia for a season to sew their wild oats and mature, and the country's white population originating as a British penal colony.

Speaking of the latter point, the first episode produced (but not the first one aired in the UK), "Convict Town," centers around an isolated community of convicts run by gruff old Tom Ledward, who is determined to prevent any modernist influences from intruding on his territory due to a distrust of the government and a fear that the community's citizens will be prosecuted for their past crimes. When Cobb & Co. try to build a new road to expand their stagecoach line as the surrounding areas are developed, Ledward sends a band of ruffians to beat up Cobb's foreman. However, Ledward's son Dan is against the use of violence and actually yearns to break away from his father's grip and seek a better life in the city, which is where he runs into Cobb and asks for a job. Though his father sends his men to kidnap Dan and force him back to their community, Cobb goes after him and is able to persuade the elder Ledward to let his son pursue his passion and to be less paranoid about being arrested. This episode's primary purpose is to introduce the theme of Australia's penal colony roots and to introduce the character of Dan Ledward, Cobb's reliable assistant and stage driver for 26 of the series' 34 episodes.

But this episode is also worth highlighting because it is one of the few where Cobb actually uses a whip as a weapon, despite the series' title and frequent characterizations that say "Cobb used a bullwhip instead of a pistol to settle disputes" (taken from the copy on the back of the Timeless Media Group DVD release). In "Convict Town" Cobb does use a bullwhip briefly when he is cornered by Tom Ledward's sadistic henchman Peter Garth, but it isn't even Cobb's own bullwhip--he pulls it down from a hook on Ledward's shack when Garth threatens to shoot him with a rifle. Cobb uses a bullwhip as a weapon in less than 5 episodes, but its outsize role in the identity of the series is due to its best episode--written by Gene Roddenberry.

"Episode in Bathurst" was the second episode produced and the first one aired in the UK, though it was relegated to being shown sixth in the series' U.S. running order. In this story the town of Bathurst, where Cobb has a waystation for his stage line, is taken over by a trio of Texas brothers led by Matt Denvers, who choose the town because very few of its citizens wear guns. The Denvers boys start an extortion racket by setting up a roadblock over the bridge out of town and charging anyone wanting to pass a fee based on the value of what they are hauling. When Dan informs Cobb that their stage can't enter the town without paying the fee, Cobb says he will go there to discuss the situation with the Denvers. Dan urges Cobb to take a gun for protection, but Cobb refuses, saying that one of the reasons he moved to Australia was because there wasn't so much gun violence and besides, if the Denvers' were such crack gunslingers they wouldn't have left Texas and traveled 5000 to set up their criminal enterprise. When Cobb arrives in Bathurst he tells Matt Denvers that he has seen his type before--little men who think they are big just because they carry a gun. He refuses to "dance" when Denvers fires at his feet, and when Tiny Denvers tries to pull his gun on Cobb, the latter beats him up and knocks him down with his fists. Humiliated, Tiny tries to stalk Cobb after he leaves the saloon to exact his revenge, but Cobb fells him with a boomerang that kills him. The next day Matt Denvers calls Cobb out into the street for a showdown. This time Cobb brings his bullwhip and conveniently stands just far enough away where his bullwhip can reach Denvers, who apparently isn't smart enough to step back a few feet. When Cobb tells Denver to reach for his gun, he snaps it out of his hand with the whip, and the two remaining Denvers are chased out of town by the laughter of its citizens. This is Roddenberry's takedown of the myth of the American western and America's obsession with guns. Granted, a boomerang in the right hands appears to be as deadly as a gun, but this episode shows tough-talking Texans being routed by a man with a whip. However, this theme was not carried forward into the remaining episodes, which show Cobb frequently using a rifle as well as a pistol to subdue criminals. It makes one wonder what precipitated the change in direction.

Roddenberry's three other scripts for the series are also among the best. "Sarong" depicts a slave ring of young women who travel from around the world to serve as indentured servants for a season but are instead kidnapped and forced to work for a well-respected man as pearl divers, that is, until Cobb receives complaints that the young ladies who traveled on his coaches never reached their intended destinations. The slave-ring leader, Lucien Zumwalt, espouses a perverted theory about women, likening them to animals that are only deadly if you show them affection. After Cobb gets rid of Zumwalt's henchmen in shark-infested waters, Zumwalt is overpowered by the young women and almost thrown into the pen with his guard dogs until Cobb offers him the option of standing trial instead. After Zumwalt is removed, the women take over the pearl business to run it for themselves, striking a chord for female empowerment.

"Dutchman's Reef" offers a commentary on the greed for riches as Cobb is hired to find the long-lost son of a mining matriarch who is rumored to be living among the aborigines in an area believed to contain vast stores of unmined gold. Cobb finds the son, who has no interest in returning to white "civilization" because he finds he is accepted amongst the aborigines. When Cobb and Dan stumble upon the treasure of Dutchman's reef, the errant son asks for Cobb's compass and smashes it against a rock so that he will have to rely on the natives to find his way back and will not be able to return to mine the gold, which he says the aborigines have no need for.

In "The Actress" Roddenberry skewers romantic notions of criminal anti-heroes and the vanity of actresses when a young actress agrees to run away with a notorious highwayman who robs one of Cobb's stages after the highwayman is smitten with her. But neither of them lives happily ever after because the isolated life of a criminal soon wears thin for the actress, who needs to hear applause rather than words of love. Though she is able to use her talents to save the highwayman from a lynch mob, she then leaves him broken-hearted to return to the stage. Roddenberry himself had a rather complicated romantic history and an open defiance of monogamy, particularly in the Star Trek years, so it's a bit difficult to discern his intentions with this episode.

As Whiplash wore on, the scripts became more rote or far-fetched, sometimes veering into generic action-hero fare that has nothing to do with Cobb & Co. business. For example, "The Magic Wire" revolves around the effort to build the first cross-country telegraph wire, which Cobb is dragged into because now he is driving a supply wagon rather than a stagecoach. In "The Secret of the Screaming Hills" he gets embroiled in pursuit of a treasure map while for some reason riding his horse near the edge of a desert. No explanation, not even a tenuous one, is given for what he is doing there. It would appear that the producers felt constrained by the premise of running the first stagecoach line across Australia, but in so doing they abandoned what had originally made the show unique, and if they themselves grew tired of the concept, imagine how their viewers felt.

The Whiplash theme was written by Edwin Astley and sung by Frank Ifield. Astley was born in Warrington, Lancashire in the UK and served as a musician in the Royal Army Service Corps during World War II. After the war he wrote arrangements for British bandleader Geraldo and won a song-writing contest for "I Could Never Tell," co-written with Billy Bowen, which was later recorded by Vera Lynn. He broke into film scoring in 1953 with Gilbert Harding Speaking of Murder and found steady work throughout the 1950s with scores for everything from Devil Girl From Mars to The Mouse That Roared. His first TV work came in 1954 with the British series The Vise. This would be followed by Boris Karloff's Colonel March of Scotland Yard, The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, The Buccaneers, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and Ivanhoe. But his best known work would be for 1960s TV series including Danger Man (later renamed Secret Agent for the American market), The Saint, The Baron, The Champions, and Department S. He also wrote the operatic score for the Hammer Films remake of The Phantom of the Opera in 1962. His daughter Karen was the first wife of Pete Townsend of The Who. Astley retired in the late 1970s and died May 19, 1998 at age 76.

Frank Ifield was born in England to Australian parents, and the family returned to Australia when Frank was 10. He entered his first talent contest at age 13 and recorded his first single at age 16, which led to a series of regular appearances on radio and, later, television. He actually recorded the song "Whiplash," which would be used for the television series of the same name, in 1957. After scoring two top-30 hits in 1959, he moved back to England to pursue greater opportunities. Signed to Columbia records, his first single "Lucky Devil" reached number 22 on the UK charts but he was advised not to use his yodeling talent as it was feared this would pigeon hole him. His next six singles failed to chart, but when he decided to abandon the anti-yodeling advice on a cover of the standard "I Remember You" in 1962, he scored his first #1 hit. His next two singles, "Lovesick Blues" and "The Wayward Wind" also went to #1, and he released his fourth and final #1 with "Confessin'" in 1963. Despite the emergence of beat groups and later harder-edged rock, Ifield continued to find chart success with 8 more singles in the top 40 through 1966. Ifield returned to Australia in 1988 and was inducted into the Australian Music Industry Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2009 he received the Medal of the Order of Australia. He continues to perform at age 81, and more information can be found at frankifield.com.

The complete series has been released on DVD by Timeless Media Group.

The Actors

Peter Graves

Born Peter Duesler Aurness in Minneapolis, MN on March 18, 1926, Graves was the younger brother of Gunsmoke star James Arness. In high school he starred as a hurdler on the track team, played in the band, inspired by the music of Benny Goodman, and was a radio announcer at WMIN. After graduating from high school in 1944 he joined the Army Air Forces during World War II and reached the rank of corporal. After the war, he studied acting at the University of Minnesota and met his future wife of 60 years Joan Endress, though it is reported that her parents asked him to get a steady job before they married. After college he worked a series of jobs as a cab driver and a musician in Denver before finally settling in Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He was first signed to Eagle-Lion Pictures in 1950 and made his feature film debut in 1951's Rogue River. His early film career consisted mainly of westerns and B-grade sci-fi fare such as Red Planet Mars, Killers From Space, and It Conquered the World. But he also gave memorable supporting performances as unsympathetic characters in Stalag 17 and The Night of the Hunter. His first TV credit came in 1952 on the drama anthology Gruen Guild Theater, and he continued mostly in this vein until he landed the lead role of Jim Newton in the kid-oriented western about a boy and his horse Fury, which ran from 1955-60. Immediately after this series concluded, he was cast as stagecoach pioneer Christopher Cobb on Whiplash.

After Whiplash's brief run, he found occasional guest spots on series such as Route 66, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and The Virginian before landing the co-lead role with Bradford Dillman in the UK-based World War II legal drama Court Martial in 1965-66. More guest spots and TV movies filled the next year until he was tabbed to replace Stephen Hill by playing director Jim Phelps on Mission: Impossible, his most memorable TV role for which he received an Emmy nomination in 1969 and won a Golden Globe in 1971. After that series ended in 1973, he returned to TV movies and schlocky science fiction such as The Clonus Horror in 1979. But in 1980 his career took a left turn when he was cast as Captain Clarence Oveur in the disaster spoof Airplane!, a role he reprised in the sequel Airplane II after considering the script for the first film "the worst piece of junk" he had ever read. He then returned to drama as Palmer Kirby in the 1983 mini-series The Winds of War, a role he reprised in War and Remembrance 5 years later. He returned as Jim Phelps on the Mission: Impossible reboot from 1988-1990, which like Whiplash was filmed in Australia. He took over as host and narrator for the A&E channel series Biography in 1994, for which he won an Emmy in 1997, and remained in that role until 2001. Beginning in 1997 he made occasional appearances as John "The Colonel" Camden on 7th Heaven, which continued over the next decade. By this point he had become such an icon that he played himself in the 1999 horror feature House on Haunted Hill and the 2002 sci-fi spoof sequel Men in Black II. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2009, and his last credit was narrating the video game Darkstar: The Interactive Movie. He died from a heart attack on March 14, 2010, just 4 days shy of his 84th birthday.

Tony Wickert

Scant early biographical information is available for Australian actor, director, and producer Martin Anthony Wickert. His biography on screenskill.com notes he began his acting career at the Independent Theatre and was a founding member of the Ensemble Theatre in Sydney, though no years are given for either of these periods. His filmography begins in 1961 with his role as Dan Ledward, Christopher Cobb's younger sidekick on Whiplash, as well as a role in the Australian TV movie A Little South of Heaven. His remaining acting credits all came in 1962 on the TV series Top Secret and the feature films Murder Can Be Deadly, Mystery Submarine, and The Painted Smile. From there he moved on to becoming a production assistant on the TV series Theatre 625 in 1966 and into directing single episodes of several TV series beginning in 1967, with 6 directing credits on Z Cars in 1969. While in the UK he became drama director for BBC Television and later Yorkshire Television and London Weekend Television. He began teaching film and television in London in 1979 before returning to Australia in 1982 to teach directing at AFTRS, eventually becoming Supervisor of Industry Training. In 1985 he formed Summer Hills Films, a production and distribution company specializing in online learning and video production.

Notable Guest Stars

Note: virtually all the guest stars cited below and the TV series on which they appeared are Australian.

Season 1, Episode 1, "Convict Town": Ken Goodlet (shown on the left, played Sgt. Ted Driscoll on The Long Arm, Jerry Styles on The Company Men, and the Assistant Commissioner on Bluey) plays Cobb & Co. employee Mike Jacky. John Fegan (Insp. Jack Connolly on Homicide and Fred Lucas on Certain Woman) plays Ledward henchman Peter Garth. Phillip Ross (Grimble on Class of '74, Pat on Singles, and Reverend Flowers on Home and Away) plays road crew foreman Matthews. Stuart Finch (Ian Chester on Number 96 and Don Page on Prisoner: Cell Block H) plays Cobb & Co. office manager Gilley.
Season 1, Episode 2, "Rider on the Hill": Gordon Glenwright (Hubbard on Class of '74, Arthur Partridge on Number 96, and Det. Insp. Harry King on King's Men) plays vengeful father Carthy. Eric Reiman (Trip Fenner on The Adventures of Long John Silver) plays shackled prisoner Morgan. 
Season 1, Episode 3, "The Legacy": Betty Lucas (shown on the right, played Clara Goddard on Prisoner: Cell Block H and Florence Holiday on Always Greener) plays inheritor Jo Acton. Moray Powell (Managing Director Pringle on The Private World of Miss Prim) plays estate caretaker Adam Carter. Reg Livermore (host of Crackerjack) plays aboriginal young man Maloomba. Kenrick Hudson (Justice Carter on Consider Your Verdict and Sir Howard Marks on Hunter) plays solicitor Harold H. Lenke. Ron Graham (Alan Stone on Certain Women) plays Jo's English boyfriend Alfred. John Brunskill (Old Stingley on The Adventures of Long John Silver) plays stable owner Paul.
Season 1, Episode 4, "The Other Side of the Swan": Nigel Lovell (Charles Blake on Hunter and Capt. Balfour on Over There) plays bank employee Wilfred Swan. Margo Lee (Caroline Smithers on A Country Practice and Mrs. Anderson on Colour in the Creek) plays his wife Anna. Ken Fraser (Mr. Fenwick on Are You Being Served in Australia?, James Sheppard on Sons and Daughters, and Maj. Clarence Duggan on A Country Practice) plays governor Sir John Eddington. Maurice Travers (Evans on The Racketty Street Gang) plays a hotel clerk. Edward Hepple (Charlie Appleby on Barley Charlie, Zodian on Vega 4, Cap McGill on The Rovers, and Sid Humphrey on Prisoner: Cell Block H) plays a cab driver. Reg Lye (appeared in Smiley, King Rat, and Fathom and played Mr. Anstruther on Emergency-Ward 10, Bill Lee on Mrs. Thursday, Tom Morgan on Treasure Island, Jigger Lees on Dixon of Dock Green, and Tom on Wings) plays a police sergeant.
Season 1, Episode 5, "Barbed Wire": Grant Taylor (shown on the left, played Patch on The Adventures of Long John Silver, Alan Amrstrong on Weavers Green, and Gen. James Henderson on UFO) plays sheep herder Dundee. Eric Reiman (see "Rider on the Hill" above) plays his employee Walt Sullivan. Don Barkham (Irving on Castaway, the doctor on The Box, and Senior Det. Hal Whelan on King's Men) plays his employee Tercell. Phillip Ross (see "Convict Town" above) plays farmer Pierce. Gerry Duggan (Moocho on Gather Your Dreams and Professor Poopsnaggle on Professor Poopsnaggle's Steam Zeppelin) plays Dundee's doctor. 

Season 1, Episode 6, "Episode in Bathurst": Joe McCormick (shown on the right, host of Tuesday at One and The Joe McCormick Show, director of The Magic Boomerang and Adventures of the Seaspray) plays Texas bully Matt Denvers. Chuck Faulkner (Det. Sr. Sgt. Keith Vickers on Division 4 and Capt. Doug Daly on Bellbird) plays his brother Tiny. Richard Meikle (Sen. Ross Lindsay on The Restless Years and Col. Gerrard Bainbridge on Sons and Daughters) plays his brother Pecos. George Roubicek (Mr. Pym on Badger's Bend and Sgt. Sikowski on Tightrope) plays young gunslinger Tim Perkins. Tom Farley (Pa Walsh on Ben Hall, Grandfather on All the Green Years, and Dan McCormack on Secret Valley) plays an old farmer. Annette Andre (Jeannine Hopkirk on My Partner the Ghost and Sally Woolfe on The Brothers) plays a Cobb & Co. customer. Ron Shand (Herbert Evans on Number 96) plays a saloonkeeper.
Season 1, Episode 7, "The Twisted Road": Tom Farley (see "Episode in Bathurst" above) plays celebrated physician Dr. Inigo Table. Ben Gabriel (Jim Shurley on Contrabandits, "Unk" Martel on Dynasty (Australian version), Chris on Lane End, Pop on Over There, Edward Warner on Prisoner: Cell Block H, and Bert Wilkins on Sons and Daughters) plays his assistant Ted Cammidge. 
Season 1, Episode 8, "Dutchman's Reef": Queenie Ashton (shown on the left, played Granny Bishop on Autumn Affair, Dolly Lucas on Certain Women, Mrs. "Coote" Duggan on A Country Practice, and Mrs. Jessica Sculthorpe on G.P.) plays mining matriarch Mrs. Culbert. Derani Scarr (Helen Hopwood on Homicide) plays her daughter Edwina. Leonard Teale (Will Bryant on The Hungry Ones, Capt. Wolcott on Seven Little Australians, Charles Oglivy on Class of '74, and Det. Sr. Sgt. David Mackay on Homicide) plays her long-lost son Norton. Phillip Ross (see "Convict Town" above) plays saloon owner Kelly.
Season 1, Episode 9, "The Actress": Jennifer Jayne (shown on the right, appeared in The Black Widow, The Crawling Eye, Roommates, On the Beat, and They Came From Beyond Space and played Hedda Tell on William Tell, Ann Somers on The Vise, and Madeleine on The Further Adventures of the Musketeers) plays self-absorbed actress Genevieve Rochelle. John Sherman (wrote multiple episodes of The Magic Boomerang) plays theatre troupe leader Bert Elkins. Lew Luton (Dr. Julian Meyers on Number 96) plays notorious highwayman Mike Upton. Cherry Butlin (host of Desmond and the Channel 9-Pins) plays Cobb's friend Clarisse.
Season 1, Episode 10, "Divide and Conquer": Owen Weingott (Larry Muir on Autumn Affair, Tony Kendall on The Private World of Miss Prim, Platonus on Phoenix Five, Jacob Goldberg on Dynasty (Australian version), Phillip Bailey-Smith on The Box, and Walter Bertram on Home and Away) plays outlaw Bill Fry. Colin Croft (appeared in The Accursed, High Hell, Rock You Sinners, and The Wild Duck) plays wanted killer Paddy Cowan. Lionel Long (Dr. Bert Costello on Homicide) plays gang member Jim Witton. Harry Dearth (casting consultant for Whiplash) plays nobleman Sir John Wickett.
Season 1, Episode 12, "Sarong": Joe McCormick (see "Episode in Bathurst" above) plays pearl dealer Lucien Zumwalt. John Fegan (see "Convict Town" above) plays his henchman Capart. John Tate (Philip Ross on Emergency-Ward 10 and Jack Mason on Dynasty (Australian version)) plays government agent Oscar Wenders. 
Season 1, Episode 13, "The Solid Gold Brigade": John Gray (shown on the left, appeared in Seven Days From Now and Ned Kelly) plays Cobb imposter Derby Strickland. Walter Pym (Sid Merrymore on The Box and Angus Melody on The Unisexers) plays gold trader Oscar Wenders. Ken Goodlet (see "Convict Town" above) returns as Cobb & Co. employee Mike Jacky. Don Pascoe (John Stevens on Woobinda, Animal Doctor and Father Patrick McBride on A Country Practice) plays traveling assayer Dodsworth Fenton. John Brunskill (see "The Legacy" above) plays fisherman Adam Douglas.
Season 1, Episode 14, "Stage for Two": Leonard Teale (see "Dutchman's Reef" above) plays bank robber Henry Wallace. Peter Guest (Peter Harvey on Number 96) plays his colleague Reeves.
Season 1, Episode 15, "The Bone That Whispered": Nigel Lovell (see "The Other Side of the Swan" above) plays fugitive Edwin Regnor. Reg Lye (see "The Other Side of the Swan" above) plays general store owner Barrow. 
Season 1, Episode 16, "The Day of the Hunter": Chips Rafferty (shown on the right, starred in The Overlanders, The Sundowners, The Wackiest Ship in the Army, and Mutiny on the Bounty and played Mick Doyle on Emergency-Ward 10) plays sheep herder Pat Flegg. Max Osbiston (Proudfoot on Cast for the Defence) plays rival land owner Garth Blake.
Season 1, Episode 17, "The Canoomba Incident": Janette Craig (Meg Parrish on Autumn Affair) plays horse groomer Joan Geddes. Lew Luton (see "The Actress" above) plays her brother Rick. Ralph W. Peterson (wrote multiple episodes of Whiplash, My Name's McGooley, What's Yours?, and Rita and Wally) plays gold agent Thurston. Stewart Ginn (Perrigrine Nancarrow on My Name's McGooley, What's Yours?) plays near-sighted prospector Peebles. 
Season 1, Episode 18, "The Rushing Sands": Gordon Glenwright (see "Rider on the Hill" above) plays long-time Cobb & Co. agent Petey Hibberd. Barry Linehan (shown on the left, appeared in Death Trap, The Rivals, and Witchcraft and played Inspector Scott on The Big M, Bordenave on Nana, Spicer on Big Breadwinner Hog, Miller on Canterbury Tales, The Friar on Ivanhoe, and Arthur Torbayon on Clochemerle) plays notorious outlaw Chad Karpner.
Season 1, Episode 19, "Fire Rock": Kevin Golsby (Trevor Banks on Number 96, Sgt. Kelly on Kingswood Country, and Barry Baxter on A Country Practice) plays opal hunter Walter Clauson. 
Season 1, Episode 20, "The Hunters": Phillip Ross (see "Convict Town" above) plays rancher Len Dillon. Bettina Welch (shown on the right, played Maggie Cameron on Number 96) plays his wife Mary.
Season 1, Episode 21, "Stage Fright": Barry Linehan (see "The Rushing Sands" above) plays undertaker Joe Scammell. Margo Lee (see "The Other Side of the Swan" above) plays actress Rosie London. Eric Reiman (see "Rider on the Hill" above) plays accountant Magnus Irving. Terry McDermott (Det. Sgt. Frank Bronson on Homicide, Max Pearson on Bellbird, and John Brice on Neighbours) plays newlywed Tom. Fernande Glynn (Eve Halliday on Hunter) plays his wife Margaret.
Season 1, Episode 23, "Ribbons and Wheels": Tom Farley (see "Episode in Bathurst" above) plays former Cobb drive Bunyip Joe. Ursula Finlay (Pat Bronson on Homicide) plays his grand-daughter Kate Parsons. Grant Taylor (see "Barbed Wire" above) plays Western Stage Lines office manager Horton. 
Season 1, Episode 24, "The Wreckers": Guy Doleman (shown on the left, appeared in On the Beach, The Ipcress File, Thunderball, and Billion Dollar Brain and played Angus McKay on General Hospital) plays outlaw Norris. Max Osbiston (see "The Day of the Hunter" above) plays bank manager Gillespie. Deryck Barnes (Daniel J. Penrose on The People Next Door, Sgt. Gil Gilbert on Silent Number, and Jack Hayden on A Country Practice) plays bank clerk Harris.
Season 1, Episode 25, "Storm River": Grant Taylor (see "Barbed Wire" above) plays novelist John Kerrabee. Norman Erskine (one-time boxer and nightclub singer whom Frank Sinatra called "The Swinging Kangaroo") plays his son Cloy. Annette Andre (see "Episode in Bathurst" above) plays his ward Cassie.
Season 1, Episode 26, "Flood Tide": Shirley Broadway (shown on the right, host of The Saturday Show variety series) plays bride-to-be Sarah Bartley. Barry Linehan (see "The Rushing Sands" above) plays her betrothed Jess Beldon.
Season 1, Episode 27, "A Dilemma in Wool": Janette Craig (see "The Canoomba Incident" above) plays young Spanish woman Nina Alvarez. Neil Fitzpatrick (Ted Harvey on A Nice Day at the Office, Father Joe Carroll on Cop Shop, Allen Lawrence on Neighbours, and Peter Juillet on A Country Practice) plays her "husband" Carlos. Nigel Lovell (see "The Other Side of the Swan" above) plays Carlos' uncle Jose. Lionel Long (see "Divide and Conquer" above) plays sheep farmer Dyson. Chris Christensen (Bluey on The Magic Boomerang) plays a sheep drover.
Season 1, Episode 28, "Dark Runs the Sea": Joe McCormick (see "Episode in Bathurst" above) plays outback magistrate Arnold Lofton. Annette Andre (shown on the near left, see "Episode in Bathurst" above) plays his niece Fiona Merrick. Guy Doleman (see "The Wreckers" above) plays kidnapper Raike Dartner. Reg Lye (see "The Other Side of the Swan" above) plays animal fancier Bradley Bradley. John Brunskill (see "The Legacy" above) plays one of Lofton's police lieutenants.
Season 1, Episode 29, "The Magic Wire": Terry McDermott (see "Stage Fright" above) plays telegraph contractor Jack Sheridan. Peter Aanensen (Tiger Martin on The Magic Boomerang, Jim Bacon on Bellbird, Det. Insp. Thorne on Prisoner: Cell Block H, and Merv Poole on Blue Heelers) plays foreman Sam Green.
Season 1, Episode 30, "The Haunted Valley": Ron Whelan (shown on the right, appeared in The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze, My Fair Lady, and The Greatest Story Ever Told) plays rancher Colonel MacReady. Bettina Welch (see "The Hunters" above) plays land owner Catha Cameron.
Season 1, Episode 31, "Love Story in Gold": Neva Carr-Glynn (Mrs. Gillipop on The Gillipops and was the mother of actor Nick Tate) plays convict colony matriarch Tamros. Owen Weingott (see "Divide and Conquer" above) plays her head "son" Smitty. Chris Christensen (see "A Dilemma in Wool" above) plays a minister.
Season 1, Episode 32, "Secret of the Screaming Hills": Ken Goodlet (see "Convict Town" above) plays dying robber Hal Wooster. Marion Johns (Mrs. Hardy on The Private World of Miss Prim and Amy Frizell on Mrs. Finnegan) plays his wife. Reg Livermore (see "The Legacy" above) plays his son Tad. James Elliott (Alf Sutcliffe on Number 96) plays Wooster's partner in crime Ryan. George Roubicek (see "Episode in Bathurst" above) plays the general store owner's son Frank Garrett.
Season 1, Episode 33, "Act of Courage": Guy Doleman (see "The Wreckers" above) plays roaming outlaw Jerry Bartley. Margo Lee (shown on the left, see "The Other Side of the Swan" above) plays his estranged wife Terri McKenna. Ric Hutton (Prime Minister Rufus Quad on The Lost Islands, Randolph King on The Restless Years, Count Sator on Professor Poopsnagle's Steam Zeppelin, and Mr. Hughes on E Street) plays expecting father Phil Lachlan. Janette Craig (see "The Canoomba Incident" above) plays his pregnant wife Catherine. Terry McDermott (see "Stage Fright' above) plays Bartley's accomplice Slyter.
Season 1, Episode 34, "The Adelaide Arabs": Chips Rafferty (see "The Day of the Hunter" above) plays bank robber Sorrel. Chuck Faulkner (see "Episode in Bathurst" above) plays his accomplice O'Hara. Don Barkham (see "Barbed Wire" above) plays whistling accomplice Link. Walter Pym (see "Episode in Bathurst" above) plays bank president Mr. Poole.