Blue Heelers: articles

Maggie returns, but in spirit only

ONE of the most loved TV characters of the past decade, policewoman Maggie Doyle, is to be resurrected as part of an effort to revitalise Channel Seven’s home-grown drama Blue Heelers.

The character, played by Lisa McCune, will be seen in a pivotal episode of the long-running show next month.

The episode marks a turning point in the series, paving the way for the introduction of four new cast members—played by Geoff Morrell, Rachel George, Danny Raco and Samantha Tolj—the departure of Jane Allsop, and is the catalyst for a major change in direction for the show’s core character Tom Croydon, played by John Wood.

While Maggie Doyle was killed off in 2000, the girl-next-door cop will appear in memory scenes with Martin Sack’s character PJ Hasham.

But McCune, who won four Gold Logies for her portrayal of Maggie, has not filmed new scenes.

Rather, producers have cut and pasted certain “Maggie” moments from long ago episodes and inserted them into the new episode.

Geoff Morrell, who plays Sergeant Mark Jacobs on Blue Heelers, was not surprisingly a little confused when he arrived for his first day on set. His driver delivered him to the film set of Hating Alison Ashley, where he received blank looks and polite greetings from cast and crew who could not figure out why he was visiting the production.

Realising his mistake, the driver bundled a bemused Morrell back into the car and took him to the right location.

John Wood and Cate Blanchett would have made an interesting pairing in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Heda Gabler.

Wood, a powerful theatre presence, was sounded out for the show last November but the company’s artistic director told him he was being passed over for someone younger.

Instead, Wood will tour Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane next year with the David Williamson play Influence.

Don’t be surprised if Blue Heelers favourite Martin Sacks spends some time behind the camera this year.

Sacks has been shadowing the director on certain episodes of the show, as well as spending time in the editing room.

By Fiona Byrne
June 27, 2004
The Herald Sun