Blue Heelers: articles


Time to go… Tess Gallagher farewells her colleagues at Mt Thomas

Goodbye, Tess

Nosy visitors, fury at colleagues, tears, a medical crisis… it's all go as Tess leaves Blue Heelers

The fans of Blue Heelers who were hoping for a last-minute reconciliation between Tess Gallagher and the man who has always lover her, Evan "Jonesy" Jones, may be in for a huge shock.

TV WEEK can now reveal the circumstances leading up to the pregnant police sergeant's departure from Mt Thomas—and they couldn't be more dramatic!

In Tess' final episode—which screens on Wednesday, September 10—she will be forced to choose between motherhood and her police career.

With her and her baby's life suddenly in grave danger, Tess (Caroline Craig) must decide what is important to her. But where does this leave of-so-devoted constable Jonesy (Ditch Davey), who has never hidden his feelings for her?

It was an extremely emotional episode for Caroline to film.

"I didn't think that it would be, because I had my mind of a lot of things at the time," she tells TV WEEK. "I thought it would be fine—that it would be just another episode.

"But it's so bizarre saying goodbye as an actor and as your character. You don't realise how intertwined those two are—and how close you have become to your character.

"When my character was saying goodbye to Jo (Parrish) and PJ (Hasham), I was saying goodbye to Jane (Allsop) and Marty (Sacks)," Caroline continues.

"When I got to Ditch, he hugged me and suddenly all these emotions came out and we were both crying, but crying for real. I hadn't prepared for it at all."

The drama unfolds when the parents of Dr Josh Carmichael (Daniel Frederiksen), Tess' ex-husband and the father of her unborn child, arrive in Mt Thomas.

Andrew and Eve Carmichael (Ian Scott and Liz Chance), both of whom are doctors, are passing through town to visit a friend at a nearby vineyard when they stop to help an apparent hit-run victim in the middle of the road.

Tess, who has never met the couple, is completely taken aback when they turn up unexpectedly at the police station—particularly by their highly intrusive questions about her failed marriage. They demand to know whether their son has told Tess that he was gay.

"Not before we were married," is her stunned response.

"Are you sure it is his baby?" Eve then asks.

Jonesy tells Eve that she is way out of line, and that it hasn't exactly been a picnic for Tess. But the interrogation quickly turns to concern for Tess, who has been looking more and more exhausted in recent weeks.

Now suffering severe headaches, blurred vision and swollen hands, feet and ankles, her worrying symptoms alert Eve, a gynaecologist, to the possibility that she may be suffering from Pre-Eclampsia—a potentially life-threatening condition for an expecting mother and her baby.

However, Tess is stubborn as always. She refuses to accept that anything serious could be wrong.

It is then that her boss Senior Sergeant Tom Croydon (John Wood) steps in, thanks to Jonesy's intervention.

"You have to choose now—job or baby," she tells Tess. "It's that simple."

He demands that Tess take sick leave immediately—but never one to be told what to do, she is furious. Leaving Tom's office, she marches towards Jonesy to give him a piece of her mind.

Tess begins screaming at him, but it becomes clear that her outburst could have a far more serious consequence. Tess collapses on the floor of the police station, and her blood pressure is revealed to be dangerously high.

This time, Eve doesn't mince her words.

"You have to choose now—job or baby," she tells Tess. "It's that simple."

Eve also tells the independent Tess that she needs full-time care. This poses a major problem for Tess, who has no one to ask to look after her.

"It's an extremely hard moment for Tess," Caroline says. "She has always been searching for belonging and a sense of family, because her family life was so fraught. But she had been looking for answers in the wrong places."

As he has done so many times before, Jonesy does everything he can to help Tess, including contacting her estranged mother Denise (Colette Mann).

But when Denise, who has had anything but a good relationship with her daughter, breezes back into her life, Tess is angrier with Jonesy than ever.

Will she forgive her colleague and ardent admirer before she walks out of his life forever? Don't miss it!

By Jackie Brygell
TV Week
August 24, 2003