Blue Heelers: articles

Heelers face some real drama

THERE will be no second takes for the cast and crew of Blue Heelers next month when the series goes live to air for a special episode.

The homegrown cop drama will create television history with the one-off, which will be shot over two studios at Seven’s South Melbourne studios.

While they are still fine-tuning what sounds like a logistical nightmare for the crew, up to eight cameras will catch the action on three sets—the police station, the pub and the police cells.

And if the cast was hoping for plenty of time to ensure they are word perfect on the night, they can think again—the script is still being written.

The bold move has been done before—overseas. The Bill celebrated its 20th anniversary with a live episode last year and American medical drama ER also pulled it off.

The challenge ahead is creating mixed emotions for the cast.

“It’s a scary prospect, but it’s a really exciting prospect, too,” Simone McAullay told Confidential.

“I think it’s really going to inject some adrenalin into the cast.

“The thing that I reckon is going to be interesting is that sometimes our aim is to make each other laugh while we’re shooting.

“But there will be none of that. We’ll have to have our serious faces on.”

Even veteran actor John Wood admits that the concept is a bit nerveracking.

“It will be the biggest audience I’ve every faced. The maximum number you get in a theatre is about 2000. We are talking here about an audience of 1.5 million—more.

“But if it all goes according to plan, no one should know it was live.”

Now, what would be the fun in that?

March 5, 2004
The Daily Telegraph