Blue Heelers: episode guide


Dancing With The Devil (Part 1)

Episode 6.01 (212)
Wednesday, February 10, 1999
Written by Bill Garner
Directed by Robert Klenner

Probationary Constable Jack Lawson has barely arrived in Mt. Thomas before he is in trouble with the police. Jack's misdemeanours are small ones and quickly forgiven as his unassuming charm disarms Maggie and Dash. Even Tom can't find fault with the new recruit, whose initiative and enthusiasm for menial tasks prove an immediate asset.

But Jack's sunny welcome to Mt. Thomas is clouded by a report of sexual assault at the local retirement home. This one requires a woman's touch. Maggie and Dash visit the home to discover the alleged victim is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, she claims her assailant is the devil. Maggie is not prepared to dismiss the report and neither is Dash, who finds the devil alive and well in the Mt. Thomas video store in the form of a plastic mask.

As the new kid on the beat, Jack is ready for some action. PJ and Ben aren't about to let him shine all day long and dispatch him on a wild-goose chase around the district. Problem is, they've got a bush turkey on their hands and they don't know it.

Maggie's got more important things on her mind, and her investigation turns up a list of suspects with easy access to the nursing home. Two belong to a new counselling group for troubled men which is run by the local reverend. Maggie convinces Ben to attend a meeting to check them out. Besides, it may do him some good. Ben's frustration with his wife, Rachel, and her attempts to limit access to their children is mounting.

Starring: Rupert Reid, Paul Bishop, Tasma Walton, Julie Nihill, Martin Sacks, Lisa McCune, John Wood

Guest Starring: Brian Lipson as Robin Summerhayes, John Sheedy as Alex Prentice, Catherine Wilkin as Sally Downie, Richard Sutherland as Graham Swamey, Steve Payne as Anthony Gray, Jocelyn Evans as Trish Swamey, Kate Hood as Jill Fowler, Marj Howden as Vera Pownall, Katie Campbell as Margaret Fowler, Paul Teiwes as Barman Sam

Notes: Rupert Reid's first episode as Jack Lawson. Image galleries are available for each episode, click the images.

Dancing With The Devil (Part 2)

Episode 6.02 (213)
Wednesday, February 17, 1999
Written by Harry Jordan
Directed by Kevin Carlin

Maggie recovers from the assault by the devil who has the women of Mt. Thomas terrified. Always the copper, Maggie refuses to be treated like a victim but she's got her work cut out for her with PJ and Ben fighting to protect this reluctant damsel in distress.

PJ and Ben's theory on a prime suspect collapses when a witness leads them to the local reverend who runs a group for troubled men — they are certain he is protecting one of them. But when Maggie receives a threatening tape and pornographic magazines are found in the reverend's car, the Heelers drag in the man of the cloth to air his dirty laundry.

Media reports whip the town into a frenzy and the public's anxiety turns to anger when the Heelers release their prime suspect. Then, the mother of a young victim takes matters into her own hands and shadows the Heelers, looking for clues to nail the suspect. Tom decides to hold a public meeting to calm things down.

When Maggie receives a frightening audio tape from the attacker, PJ and Ben engage in a tactical battle to win the nightwatch at her home. Yet another attack occurs and the devil's mask is lifted. He escapes to a hideout but it is Maggie who must overcome her fear and lead the Heelers to him.

Guest Starring: Brian Lipson as Robin Summerhayes, John Sheedy as Alex Prentice, Catherine Wilkin as Sally Downie, Kate Hood as Jill Fowler, Katie Campbell as Margaret Fowler, Stephanie Daniel as Eleanor Prentice, Eileen Price as Mrs Fellows, Martin Williams as Graffiti Kid

Winning At All Costs

Episode 6.03 (214)
Wednesday, February 24, 1999
Written by Beverley Evans
Directed by Esben Storm

Jack is the only competition for Dash and her athletic brother, Alec, in the Heritage Day Races — and the McKinleys aren't about to let a boy from the bush swallow their odds. The Heelers lay their bets on Jack, which only spurs Dash on.

Alec has returned to Mt. Thomas as the new Physical Education teacher with high hopes of coaching the girls' hockey team and his two best players to stardom. For Alec the game is to win, at any cost. Dash is proud of her big brother but at a loss to defend him when she sees his star hockey player slap him hard across the face. What could he have done to deserve that? A rejected schoolgirl crush?

Maggie discovers Alec was accused of sexual interference with a student at his last school, then catches him hugging another student. Dash, protective in her disbelief, goes on the defensive. Maggie seems determined to nab her brother and Dash is none too pleased about it.

Two young hockey players claim Alec coaches them in more than hockey, and when Alec gets clubbed from behind during training, even Dash must suspect foul play. Maggie and PJ field the girls' conflicting accusations against Alec, while Jack earns the trust of one who, he discovers, has alarming bruises on her body. Alec is suspended from the school while the Heelers investigate.

With the town and a pack of lies against him, Alec refuses to scratch his start in the Heritage Race. No one's going to cow him into Coventry. The track is tough and so is the competition. But when Dash takes a bad fall midway and requires assistance, the racers must decide: who will be the stayers and who will last the distance? Someone's got to come out on top of this mess and Alec is going to make sure it's him. There can only be one winner.

Guest Starring: Paul Mercurio as Alec McKinley, Michala Banas as Tara Bruckner, Kim Krejus as Sonia Bruckner, Casey-Lee Walker as Kathy Sullivan, Nikolai Nikolaeff as Stephen Chernov, Fiona Machellan as Lorraine Kindler, Paul Tawers as Sam the Barman.

Love Is The Drug

Episode 6.04 (215)
Wednesday, March 03, 1999
Written by Dave Worthington
Directed by Steve Mann

Maggie and PJ are caught in the crossfire of a jealous husband spying on his wife and her lover at Govet's Leap. Determined to expose the philandering louse, the husband takes a video tape of them before settling the score with his fists. PJ springs to the defence — but who's going to defend him, when the tape submitted for evidence exposes Maggie and PJ canoodling? The Boss won't have a bar of this — their jobs and their relationship are on the line.

Dash is having her own clandestine affair on the Internet with a knight called Lancelot whose romantic handle masks a more deviant agenda. Jack reckons she should get a life but romance on the Internet seems safe, until it seeps into the real world and Dash's virtual buddy becomes a living nightmare.

When a young girl with a reputation as the town bikey is found drugged and raped after an evening at the nightclub, Dash has a hard time finding sympathy. Letting her personal opinion of a victim get in the way of her job is unprofessional, but this time it's also dangerous: the rapist meets his victims on the Net.

Troubled by his own marriage break-up, Ben's personal problems seep into his police work. He finds sympathy for the angry cuckold who keeps getting hauled in for bashing his wife's lover. Ben just doesn't want to see another man ruin his marriage because he isn't thinking straight. When another rape is called in, Dash gets a lead that's right up her alley — the rapist bores his victims with computer-related chat before assaulting them. Could it be a computer geek whose net fantasies get out of control in the real world? Dash dives into the virtual world to draw him out. She finds him alright, but he's flesh and bone and she's the next victim.

Guest Starring: Matthew Dyktynski as Clayton Saunders, Laura Fitzpatrick as Mandy Barnes, Steve Adams as Alan Greenwood, Jane Nolan as Debbie Greenwood, Daniel Kerr as Warren MacArthur, Callie Gray as Sharon Adams, Louis Dingemans as Declan Mahoney, Cam Van Steel as Stan

An Eye For An Eye

Episode 6.05 (216)
Wednesday, March 10, 1999
Written by Tony Morphett
Directed by Steve Mann

While checking out a routine noise disturbance, Dash and Jack witness a horrifying double fatality involving two popular young locals. Dash's upset turns to anger when she discovers the car accident was caused by a boy with a crush on one of the victims. Between Dash's fury and the victim's distraught brother, he'll be lucky to walk away with just his crash injuries.

Jack sees a different side to the culprit, who is a country boy like himself and appears genuinely distressed. The only way Jack can deal with this senseless waste of young life is to understand what went wrong. Is this guy really capable of a twisted lover's revenge or was the vehicle somehow responsible? The bereaved families aren't asking questions. They want a head on a stake — an eye for an eye.

With the council election just days away, Chris' campaign manager jumps onto the tragedy as a fine platform for youth issues and government spending. If kids had something better to do, proper entertainment facilities, they wouldn't be hooning around the streets. More than just a publican, Mt. Thomas will know that Chris Riley's got heart. But Chris' coverage in The Gazette reeks more of sensation than genuine concern. How can she justify dragging in a victim's mother to score votes? For Chris, there's no time to undo the damage as she faces a voter backlash.

In retracing events, Jack suspects several reasons for the car's loss of control but he's got to play out the hunch before anyone will listen to him. The Boss will never allow him to attempt such a crazy feat. Jack's error is to involve Maggie in a reenactment without telling her. When the truth comes out, someone's going to end up dead.

Guest Starring: Jason Clarke as Troy Harris, Stephen Pease as Max Bennett, Kim Krejus as Sonia Brookner, Jeremy Kewley as Tony Timms, Daniel Tobias as Sean Hughs, Natalie Playford as Mrs. Bennett, Erin Mountford as Marlene Scott, Tenley Gillmore as Roxanne Lennon, Naomi Lang as Tania Harris, David Lawson as Hamish Scott, Roberta Connelly as Wendy Harris, Kevin Groves as Alan Harris, Paul Teiwes as Barman Sam.

Wishful Thinking

Episode 6.06 (217)
Wednesday, March 17, 1999
Written by Jenny Lewis
Directed by Richard Jasek

Cupid comes to Mt. Thomas in the form of Ben's mischievous daughter, Emma. Dressed in a fairy costume and armed with magic fairy dust, Emma's wish on this visit is to find her dad a new wife — and Maggie is the fairy godmother of her dreams. Police work and parenting without a babysitter are an impossible combination in the busy Mt. Thomas station. While Emma schemes and PJ halps tiny Josh add to his vocabulary of naughty words, Maddy watches silently and sullenly. That's one troubled little girl.

Jack is also troubled after his routine roadworthy check of a semi-trailer puts its owner/driver off the road and out of a job. Where's he going to find $20,000 to fix his rig by the morning? If only Jack had the answer. But when two new tractors are reported stolen and carted off in a semi, Jack's dilemma appears resolved. If only the solution hadn't dropped from the back of a truck. It is only when the luckless truckie becomes the victim of a hit and run that the Heelers detect a frame gone wrong — and that someone is trying to kill him.

The Heelers become entangled in a tricky love triangle when the truckie's two wives arrive to comfort him, clueless as to their husband's bigamy. Ben's matchmaker, little Emma, finds the injustice hard to bear — why does this man have two wives and her father none? — but her orchestration of chance meetings between Ben and Maggie may be paying off. There is indeed some chemistry abubble, the Heelers notice — as does a piqued PJ.

Their interest in Cupid's diversions is quashed when Maddy disappears and a distraught Ben heads out to find her. A road accident is called in, involving an unroadworthy semi and a little girl. Ben prepares for the worst… Maddy?

Guest Starring: Mick Innes as Colin Davies, Elizabeth Welch as Paula Davies, Wendy Stapleton as Maya Greene, Matthew Tingate as Wren Southey, Nikita Plummer as Emma Stewart, Jessica Clarke as Madeline Stewart, Nicholas Mayer as Josh Stewart, Sapidah Kian as Dr Jasmin Farah, James Lawson as Singing Telegram Man

Pillow Talk

Episode 6.07 (218)
Wednesday, March 24, 1999
Written by Mary Graham
Directed by Karl Steinberg

After a vicious attack on an elderly woman, Jack runs down a prime suspect near the crime scene and he's one nasty piece of work. Cocky, confident and preying on vulnerable women, Troy is the kind of gutless crim who enjoys the sport of making a cop's blood boil. He's an antagonist who intends to wind PJ up like a taut guitar string. With scant evidence and Sally Downie as his legal advisor, the Heelers are going to have a hard time nabbing Troy. Their only hope of an ally is his hapless girlfriend, who is intimidated into silence.

When a terrified victim dies of a heart attack and a brazen Troy threatens Maggie, PJ's frustration reaches breaking point. He would give anything to lose his badge, just for a moment.

Tom lets Sally know he's more than a little concerned about her defending a man with a record of violence against women, but she will not be cowed by Tom Croydon! This is the not the first time she and Tom have clashed over ethical obligations but it could be their last. After Tom breaks up an angry encounter between Sally and Troy, Sally accidentally divulges privileged information that would allow the Heelers to trap their man. It is a moment of truth for Tom, who must decide whether to betray Sally's trust and threaten her career.

Guest Starring: Travis McMahon as Troy Rees, Catherine Wilkin as Sally Downie, Gil Tucker as George Stanford, Tony Hawkins as Frank Williams, John Jacobs as Benny Danders, Christine Wools as Belinda Carmichael, Mary Fitzgerald-Parker as Vera Stanford, Adrian Woolcock as Rudy, Louis Ceberano as Kenny.

The Good Weed

Episode 6.08 (219)
Wednesday, March 31, 1999
Written by Cassandra Carter
Directed by Fiona Banks

Seeds of a greener lifestyle are planted in Mt. Thomas. Councillor Chris Riley has concerns about a proposal for an abattoire by the river but the locals won't hear of any opposition. They need jobs for their kids — forget environmental concerns! The Heelers can't ignore the matter when the pub's beer delivery is smashed by some dangerous stunt driving that nearly takes Jack out as well.

When Tom's ex-army and retired policeman buddy, Bob, decides to grow organic herbs, his crop-spraying neighbour is furious. He reckons Bob is growing weeds, but if he sprays his own land Bob's patch will be contaminated. Tom finds himself planted firmly in the middle of two men who have a right to their livelihood, but at grave cost to each other. Loyalties to an old mate must be put aside. This becomes far easier when Bob hires Tom's sweetheart, Sally Downie, to sort things out and begins to romance her after hours.

Tom is confounded when cannabis plants are found on his mate's property. He's an ex-copper and knows the score, but this isn't the kind of greening Tom wants in his town. The Heelers become tangled in a vine of suspicion — Bob's neighbour might well have planted them. He's not going to let Bob sic the Department of Agriculture on him without a fight.

Maggie is suspicious of Bob's friendship with his neighbour's pregnant daughter, who has a history of drug abuse. Memories of her brother Robbie's promises to stay clean remain noxious. When the pregnant woman and Chris become violently ill and end up in hospital after using Bob's popular herbal tinctures, the spat over good weed versus bad has gone too far.

Guest Starring: Catherine Wilkin as Sally Downie, Denis Moore as Bob Carrick, Patrick Frost as Alan Noble, Sapidah Kian as Dr. Jasmin Farrah [sic], Brenda Monaghan as Jenny Noble, Denise Scott as Pam Kelly, Troy Beckwith as Brendan Kelly, Matthew Maloney as Pete Moss, Terry Brittinghim as Ed, Tate Blackhurst as Baby Noble.

By The Book

Episode 6.09 (220)
Wednesday, April 07, 1999
Written by David Allen
Directed by Kevin Carlin

Out alone on a routine call, Jack confronts a dangerous driver who threatens him with what Jack thinks is a sawn-off shotgun. Jack panics and shoots. No one is hurt, however, the driver — a local troublemaker — plans to play the situation for all it is worth. He cries attempted murder and claims Jack has also stolen some money from his glove box.

Inspector Falcon Price arrives to conduct a full investigation and is greeted by a fine melee. Darren Dawson, the troublemaker, is whipping up a protest in the station for the benefit of anyone who will listen. When a young graffiti artist brought in for questioning accuses Jack of beating him, Dawson takes up his case — it's police harassment and it's all "Shooter's" fault. Falcon Price is most unimpressed and Tom comes under pressure to prove he has a handle on his newest member and that the police's reputation in Mt. Thomas remains upstanding.

After Falcon Price's car is stolen from outside the station and found ablaze, the future for Tom and Jack looks bleak. The Heelers understand the pressure of being in the line of fire and support their mate, but Jack has no witnesses to defend him, and when it's your word against theirs, the evidence is all that counts and Jack has none.

While Inspector Falcon Price holds Tom responsible for his constable's seemingly wayward actions, he does take pride in Acting Sergeant Doyle's calm handling of matters at the station. In fact, Maggie suspects, the Inspector's interest might well be more than professional. While Maggie has his ear, she'll put in a good word for Jack, but without evidence to clear him, Jack is history.

Guest Starring: Neil Pigot as Inspector Falcon Price, Torquil Neilson as Darren Dawson, Jeremy Kewley as Tony Timms, Carmelina Di Guglielmo as Maria Bell, Christopher Chapman as Dylan Bell, David Wicks as Barney Thompson, Joanie Thomas as Lily Hodda, Michael Seymour as CFA Captain, Joshua Schmidt as Sam, Elise Hearst as Becky

Dirty Money

Episode 6.10 (221)
Wednesday, April 14, 1999
Written by Dave Marsh
Directed by Richard Jasek

Maggie's father, Sgt. Pat Doyle, arrives in town on long-service leave and surprises Maggie during a rare, intimate evening alone with PJ. Pat is protective of his only daughter but it becomes clear that his business in town is more serious than a check-up on her love life. Pat shows a curious interest in an antiques dealer who is the victim of a road rage incident. When PJ learns the dealer is the one who got Robbie Doyle onto drugs, he suspects Pat of carrying out a personal vendetta over his son's death.

The Heelers are ruffled by the unexpected arrival of two St. Davids detectives, one of whom is Maggie's brother Mick. They take over the accident investigation under a veil of secrecy. A large sum of money is reported missing from the dealer's wrecked car. The detectives turn their suspicions to Ben when his home in the watchhouse is trashed. They know Ben is having financial problems and was the arresting officer.

When Mick finds Pat beating up the dealer and hauls them both in for questioning, it's crunch time. Their relationship has been strained since Robbie's death, but with Pat masking a hidden agenda and refusing to talk to Mick, it's ready to explode and a confused and upset Maggie is caught in the crossfire. She wants to resolve the family differences but first must get to the bottom of the investigation that has become their battlefield.

When the dealer is found dead and the missing money turns up in Pat's motel room, Maggie's father becomes a murder suspect. Maggie knows PJ and Pat have talked about the case and is furious when PJ suggests that Pat's involvement may not be as innocent as he claims. Hurt by PJ's suspicions of her father, Maggie insists on time apart. Pat begs PJ to keep Maggie out of it — two people investigating the drug ring have already been murdered. As Maggie heads into dangerous territory, neither Pat, Mick nor PJ can stop her.

Guest Starring: Dennis Miller as Sgt Pat Doyle, Terry Serio as Mick Doyle, Robert Taylor as Detective Barry Craig, Peta Doodson as Monica Draper, Sapidah Kian as Dr Jasmin Farah, Gerald Lepkowski as Marcus Jacobs, Mark Wilson as Benny Matthews, Chris Bidlo as Ernie Rudge, Fraser Gray as Ambulance Officer

Married To The Job

Episode 6.11 (222)
Wednesday, April 21, 1999
Written by Beverly Evans & Kelly Lefever
Directed by Kevin Carlin

Ben becomes the knight in shining armour for a victim of domestic violence after she misconstrues his offers of support for affection. While Ben is blind to Vanessa's growing attraction, Dash and Tom try to warn him of the danger of caring beyond the call of duty.

As Vanessa preys on Ben's responsiveness to her calls for help, Ben's professional boundaries invade his private life. His ex-wife, Rachel, arrives in town unexpectedly, seeking a reconciliation. She quickly finds that little has changed: Ben is still married to the job, except that now she has another rival for his affections — and it is not the abused woman. Both women can sense there's something special between Ben and "that blonde policewoman", and he becomes the apex of an impossible emotional triangle involving Rachel, Vanessa and Maggie.

Maggie is angry at PJ's unwillingness to help clear her father's name in a murder investigation and pressures Ben for some useful contacts. With an irate PJ on his back to keep her out of the case, and Maggie's insistent pleas for help, Ben pulls back — he wants to support Maggie, but not if it will put her in danger. When Ben goes to Maggie's house to give her some contacts, his unrequited love decides it is time to declare her affections — forcefully. This time, Ben's well-meaning actions turn to disaster when he discovers he has a jealous love, a rejected ex-wife… and that Maggie has gone missing.

Guest Starring: Margaret Mills as Rachel Stewart, Peter Houghton as Karl Mackay, Mandy McElhinney as Vanessa Mackay

Web of Lies

Episode 6.12 (223)
Wednesday, April 28, 1999
Written by Roger Dunn, Dave Worthington
Directed by Raymond Quint

The Heelers call a full-scale investigation when Maggie goes missing after delving into the drug ring that killed her brother Robbie. Warned against trying to break the syndicate, Maggie refused to listen. Now she is in real danger.

PJ's fears for Maggie's safety escalate when the body of a young boy is found. They learn he had hoped to become the syndicate's local dealer and had made contact with Maggie. Overwrought, PJ blames Ben for giving Maggie the leads to investigate the ring. The tension between them mounts as they struggle to find her.

When St. Davids sends reinforcements, Inspector Draper and Detective Sergeant Barry Craig, PJ is suspended from the case. It is all too apparent to the Heelers and his district superiors that PJ's relationship with Maggie goes far beyond the professional. Even Tom can hide his knowledge no longer. Unable to pursue her trail officially, PJ teams with up with her father Pat to find Maggie.

Pat is way ahead on his own enquiries and tells PJ that the force has been infiltrated by a crooked cop known to the syndicate as "Babe." While Babe is in action, the drug trade flows free. Pat's deep throats suspect Inspector Monica Draper of being involved, but informers also place Maggie in the picture. When the Heelers learn that Maggie had arranged to see the syndicate's new dealer, they race to stake out the meeting. But what they find is beyond comprehension: Maggie's car in flames and the charred remains of a body inside. PJ is inconsolable as the Heelers grasp their last hope and await the autopsy.

Guest Starring: Dennis Miller as Sgt Pat Doyle, Terry Serio as Mick Doyle, Robert Taylor as Barry Craig, Peta Doodson as Monica Draper, Anne Cordiner as Tess Ganning, Elizabeth Shingleton as Melissa Reeves, Paige Alcock as Courtney Birmingham

End Of The Road

Episode 6.13 (224)
Wednesday, May 05, 1999
Written by Brian Bell, John Banas
Directed by Pino Amenta

Jack scores a place on the Mudlarks football team when its star player is killed in a suspicious road accident — it's not quite the way he planned to earn his guernsey. PJ recalls the dead boy was a troublemaker and suspects he was drunk at the time. However, Senior Constable Robyn Taylor from Melbourne's Accident Investigation squad has sharper ideas and gives PJ a run for his money on the investigation. He's feeling pretty poorly without Maggie around and whether he likes it or not, Robyn will be his partner in crime until Maggie returns from the Witness Protection program. She's just moved to Mt. Thomas with her husband, Jeff, and baby daughter, Lucy.

After a quiet wake for the Mudlarks' star player, Jack and a few of the team head off to enjoy a more appropriate celebration. The drinking gets out of control and Jack's new mate, Matt, entertains the group with some dangerous driving. Afraid someone will get hurt, Jack brings them into line, but pulling rank on mates only earns him their scorn. No one likes dobbers, especially the Mudlarks' president — who happens to be Matt's father. Jack is kicked off the football team.

Robyn's detective work convinces her that the boy died in a fatal game of chicken — someone forced him off the road at high speed. As fighting breaks out among Jack's footy friends, Robyn shares her suspicions with the Heelers. The boys are brought in for questioning but everyone's lips are sealed. Their truth will out, but not at this police station. Rejected by the Mudlarks for being a copper instead of a mate, Jack is invited to play for the opposition St Davids team. As Jack and Matt come head to head in a football game, Jack is led unknowingly into a fatal grudge match.

Guest Starring: Belinda McClory as Robyn Taylor, Terence Donovan as Ian Waldron, Fletcher Humphrys as Matt Waldron, Verity McIntyre as Letty, Jeremy Angerson as Scott

Lies and Whispers

Episode 6.14 (225)
Wednesday, May 12, 1999
Written by Cassandra Carter
Directed by Chris Langman

Dash's career prospects look bright when Inspector Monica Draper arrives for the monthly inspection and recommends she undertake the CIB training program. A McKinley as a detective? Tom has his doubts, and PJ takes Dash on board with reluctant good grace. Dash's first case presses her to overlook good character when $10,000 goes missing from the local Catholic school's safe. The only suspects are the school's new principal, Deborah Williams, and Father Brian.

As Dash and PJ investigate, it becomes clear that both principal and priest have opportunity, means and motive to steal the money. Dash's faith in authority figures waivers as she pressures suspects with unshakeable profiles within the Mt. Thomas community. The scales tip in Father Brian's favour when the Heelers learn that the financially strapped Deborah is also being blackmailed — ten grand or her career is over. How would St. Brigid's Catholic School like to know it has a lesbian as its principal? Trapped and looking guilty, Deborah has one big card to play: Inspector Draper is her best friend. PJ will not be cowed by the chilly Inspector and warns her against interfering in his investigation.

A little more nervous is Dash, who jumps to conclusions. She suspects the Inspector is the secret lover mentioned in the principal's ransom note. Once again, her faith in an authority figure is put to the test. The Inspector seems determined to avoid any declaration of her sexual preference and Dash begins to wonder uneasily whether the Inspector's interest in her advancement is carnal rather than career-oriented. She is about to find out.

Guest Starring: Belinda McClory as Robyn Taylor, Peta Doodson as Monica Draper, Catherine Wilkin as Sally Downie, Merfyn Owen as Fr Brian Hegarty, Christopher Lee as Richard Elliot, Debra Lawrance as Deborah Williams, Rob Lyon as Kevin Wiliams, Helen Neville as Rebekah Williams, Brent Howard as Luke Williams.

Notes: Debra Lawrance will return in the reoccuring role of Reverend Grace Curtis in series 8-11.

Jack of Hearts

Episode 6.15 (226)
Wednesday, May 19, 1999
Written by Bob Cameron
Directed by Fiona Banks

When Jack and Dash are called out to the local high school, Jack becomes the victim of a schoolgirl prank — it seems that some of the girls have a large crush on Mt. Thomas' most handsome constable. Determined to make more than his professional acquaintance, the girls misconstrue Jack's awkward attempts to fend them off as the shy response of a sincere copper. Unluckily for Jack, he's even more adorable than they imagined.

While PJ and Ben enjoy ribbing the new "Don Juan" of Mt. Thomas, the Boss sees trouble brewing. As a father, Tom knows how unchecked fantasies can turn the minds of teenage girls, and Lawson must learn to wear the uniform without his heart on his sleeve. With Tom's disapproval apparent, Jack turns to the newly arrived recruit, Constable Greg Mason, for advice. Mason is a former teacher with a degree in schoolyard psychology, and he warns Jack to stay well clear of schoolgirl affections. The advice comes too late for Jack, who has unwittingly become the man to lean on in the mind of one troubled young girl.

Tom's patience with Jack's awkward handling of the situation vanishes when one of the girls' mothers assaults Jack and accuses him of having a relationship with her daughter. An explicit love letter to Jack leaves no doubt that her daughter's imagination — or experience — is extensive indeed. Jack's protests of innocence fall on deaf ears when the troubled girl goes missing and he starts to receive anonymous phone calls. The game is up when her diary, implicating him as a confidante, is discovered with blood on it. Now she is in danger and Jack appears to know more than he is willing to tell.

Guest Starring: Belinda McClory as Robyn Taylor, Bruce Venables as Ossie Callow, Matthew Green as Greg Mason, Desiree Munro as Erin Callow, Rebekah Jay as Tiffany Lewis, Lauren Pratt as Chelsea Smith, Pixie Jones as Barbara Smith, Geoff Gaskill as Terry Lewis, Carole Patullo as Teresa Boland

The Grace of God

Episode 6.16 (227)
Wednesday, May 26, 1999
Written by Jenny Lewis
Directed by Grant Brown

Seven a.m. The phone rings. One by one the Heelers receive a devastating wake-up call — one of their own lies dead on a quiet country road.

It is a crisp day and Jack is enjoying an early morning horse ride until he finds Constable Greg Mason sprawled across the front seat of his vehicle, gun safely in its holster and the letters P.E. penned on his blood-spattered clipboard. Half an hour earlier, Mason took a bullet through the head and by the looks of the crime scene, he never had a chance. The scene is enough to make the young constable sick to his stomach and to his heart.

PJ and Robyn Taylor arrive to relieve a shaken Jack but Robyn cannot hide her emotions — this was supposed to be her shift but she pressured Greg into a swap the night before. Guilt overwhelms Robyn as the Boss tries to piece her back together. PJ handles initial enquiries with purpose and directs a willing but sombre team.

A robbery of $20,000 reported the same morning and a local car-stealing racket seem somehow tied to Greg's killing. For PJ, there's no question that he must solve this crime before Homicide arrive to take over. It is the only mark of respect he can offer a mate killed in the line of duty. Together with Dash, driven by anger and frustration, they seem to be the only ones functioning clearly. But it's a fragile mask they wear.

Tom and Ben must inform Greg's wife of his death. It is a moment of truth for Ben, as his visiting children beg him to stay with them. They don't want to lose their dad too.

When the Heelers turn up a suspect, all struggle to put a leash on their emotions. He's not the man, but the suspect's confession leads them to the real culprit and an ominous realisation — Tom is on his way to question the suspect about another matter and doesn't know he is about to walk into the home of a cop killer, and there is no way to warn him.

Guest Starring: Belinda McClory as Robyn Taylor, Neil Pigot as Inspector Falcon-Price, John Penman as Gary Scully, Tom Hutchings as Brian White, Craig Adams as Neville Watson, Justin Lehman as Tony Moore, Libby Sandy as Mary Banks, Christopher Pitman as Jeff Taylor, Rebecca Riebe as Janice Mason, Matthew Green as Greg Mason, Ebony Di Luca as Ella Mason, Nikita Plummer as Emma Stewart, Jessica Clarke as Madeleine Stewart, Nicholas Mayer as Josh Stewart, Madeleine Ward-Stecch as Lucy Taylor

The Stag

Episode 6.17 (228)
Wednesday, June 02, 1999
Written by Bill Garner
Directed by Declan Eames

Jack's deer hunting plans go happily awry when his girlfriend arrives unexpectedly in Mt. Thomas with his cousin. Jack and Craig have made plans to go hunting but Molly has come as a surprise — since Jack left Molly behind in Swift's Creek, the long-distance relationship has taken its toll on her. Jack doesn't realise this yet, but he's about to find out.

As deer season arrives, the Heelers go on alert as the blood sport always brings a squadron of men to town with an armoury of weapons. It seems inevitable that trouble is nigh. When two deer go missing from a hobby farm, one a prize stag worth $25,000, the urbane owner claims he's become an easy target for unsuccessful hunters seeking trophies. While the Heelers' evidence points to a neighbouring farmer, town prejudice prefers to prey on stray hunters. In particular, Dash can't bear the high-spirited machismo that follows a day's deer stalking.

The Imperial seems to be full of men with more bravado than brains as Jack collars one drunken opportunist manhandling Molly. When it comes to this girl, gentleman Jack becomes a law unto himself but the Boss is unimpressed. Jack plans to marry Molly, and until that time she is the only woman for him. But Molly has decided that there is more than one man in her life. The cousins head off on their overnight trip, where Craig reveals his infidelity with Molly. Devastated, Jack loses control and when Craig does not return from the trip, Molly fears the worst.

The Heelers find the cabin where Jack and Craig spent the night sprayed with bullet holes. There is a blood-stained shirt nearby. Jack proclaims his innocence and no one wants to suspect him — except Molly who pleads with the Heelers to listen. She knows Jack better than anybody — and there is a side to him they have not seen.

Guest Starring: Belinda McClory as Robyn Taylor, Peta Doodson as Monica Draper, Petra Yared as Molly Malloy, Nick Barkla as Craig Ryan, Justin Ratcliffe as Johnny Planski, Michael Carman as Albie O'Connell, Christopher Elliott as Simon Morse, David Le Page as Steve Planski, Andrew Larkins as Ted McDonald

The Good Life

Episode 6.18 (229)
Wednesday, June 09, 1999
Written by Harry Jordan
Directed by Chris Langman

The Heelers provide protection for the local vet, who orders inspections of all sheep properties after an outbreak of a highly infectious disease. Johne's disease threatens to kill every sheep in Mt. Thomas, and "Dr Death" — as the vet becomes known — is not popular.

Farmers demand a scapegoat as they succumb to the inspections — somebody must be responsible for carrying this blight to the district, and the only new sheep in town belong to Senior Constable Robyn Taylor. Robyn and her husband Jeff escaped the city to reap the good life in Mt. Thomas. Jeff decided a few sheep might supplement their income while they establish a vineyard. The local farmers have little respect for these dabblers and immediately suspect the Taylors are responsible for the Johne's outbreak. When one of Robyn's sheep dies, the town's worst fears are confirmed.

Ben and PJ investigate and find that Jeff has forged a deed of sale and that he bought the sheep via the Internet. How could he be so gullible? they wonder. Ben's new friendship with Jeff becomes strained as he begins to suspect that his mate left Melbourne for reasons other than fresh air and farm life.

Unsettled by the town's angry reaction against her, Robyn becomes defensive with PJ and Ben as they look into the matter. At first, she is certain that her husband was duped into the sale, however, Robyn twigs that something is amiss when the bank begins to chase her for overdrawn funds. As Ben and PJ delve further, they discover that Jeff is in real strife. When Robyn learns of her husband's wayward dealings, she confronts him. Unable to face his wife's despair, Jeff disappears. Now Robyn must decide whether to be a wife and allow him to run, or be a copper and orchestrate his fall.

Guest Starring: Belinda McClory as Robyn Taylor, Christopher Pitman as Jeff Taylor, Tim Robertson as George Tyndall, Peter Docker as Sam Tyndall, Geoff Brooks as Ken Jacobs, Colin Duckworth as Tibor Kerenyi, David Lennie as Charlie Higgins, Madeleine Ward-Stecch as Lucy Taylor

Perfect Match

Episode 6.19 (230)
Wednesday, June 16, 1999
Written by Deborah Parsons
Directed by Fiona Banks

Paternal instincts and police work conflict for Ben when he is drawn to a sick girl and a hardworking father in trouble — Rosie needs a new kidney and time is running out. When George's car is stolen, Ben offers them a lift to hospital for her weekly treatment. The problem is, George's car was used in an armed robbery. Ben hopes, for Rosie's sake, that her father was not involved.

PJ is distracted from the investigation when Maggie returns from six weeks in the safety house program. After the rushed and fractured parting, PJ is desperate to know whether they still have a relationship. With Dash busily organising welcome home drinks and dinners, PJ can barely find a second alone with his golden girl. And when he does, it is clear that Maggie has doubts about their future together.

The Heelers begin to suspect Rosie's father when his ex-wife, Carol, shows up in town and displays some mysterious hold over him. Carol skips the pub without paying her bill and demands that George settle the matter. When the Heelers are called to stop him from destroying her car, the truth begins to unfurl.

Rosie believes her mother is dead. Her father, however, has asked Carol to give their dying daughter one of her kidneys. Carols has agreed but there are strings attached. Might a large sum of money be involved?

Like Ben, Maggie finds this woman's careless attitude to Rosie intolerable. As PJ investigates the family, keeping his police work separate from personal feelings, Maggie is touched by Ben's more considerate approach.

When Maggie and PJ find the driver of the getaway vehicle, PJ errs by throwing himself in front of Maggie to protect her. Nothing has changed, says Maggie, who finds her human shield stifling. If there's one thing Maggie has learned in her absence, it's that she wants the freedom to make her own mistakes.

In the hot seat of the getaway vehicle is Rosie's father. Guilty of armed robbery, he cannot pay Carol her blood money. Now he has lost his freedom, will his daughter lose her life?

Guest Starring: Adriano Cortese as George Zerves, Sheryl Monks as Carol Wickham, Gemma Bromley as Rose Zervos, Sapidah Kian as Dr Jasmin Farah, Ralph Marsden as Dennis Sheehan, Ezra Bix as Brian Grace, Ben Harkin as Erik Cenius

Oil & Water

Episode 6.20 (231)
Wednesday, June 23, 1999
Written by Lyn Ogilvy
Directed by Grant Brown

After months of courting, Tom is ready to declare his feelings for Sally Downie with a special gift that once belonged to his wife, Nell. Though at times Tom's position as a copper and Sally's position as a lawyer cause them to clash professionally, they usually manage to separate work from their relationship.

When the case of a drunk driver comes up for court Sally takes the assignment, only to find her relationship with Tom also on trial. Tom has a special interest in this case — Sally's client killed a friend of his and in similar circumstances to the death of Nell. Old wounds open.

As Maggie prepares the prosecution's case, she is caught between duty and concern for Tom. On the one hand, the Heelers are determined to put this recidivist drink driver away. On the other hand, Maggie knows that the personal issues at the root of the case plan Tom and Sally firmly apart. Tom wants to see justice done by the book and for the sake of his friend. Sally believes her client deserves a second chance.

The Heelers are confident of a conviction until a procedural oversight by Dash loses their most important evidence. An astute and accomplished lawyer, Sally deconstructs Maggie's case using the letter of the law until there is barely a shred of evidence left.

Tom comes under pressure from relatives to salvage the case, but when the Heelers learn their prime witness has died from a heart attack, there seems no chance of a win. In spite of her assured position, Sally cross-examines Tom and suggests his personal interest in the case gives the police an agenda to jail her client. This time, Sally has gone too far.

Tom makes one last attempt to secure a reluctant witness to the trial who could turn their case. If Tom wins this court action, however, he is certain to lose Sally.

Guest Starring: Catherine Wilkin as Sally Downie, Marshall Napier as John Scanlon, Natalie Bate as Linda Putnam, Mercia Deane-John as Raelene Stevens, Lucy Gould as Courtney Putnam, Ruby Kirov as Justine Putnam, Lyn Semler as Felicity Lewis, Burt Cooper as The Magistrate, Szumai Anderson as Gwen Scanlon, Narelle Taylor as Karen Lewis

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Episode 6.21 (232)
Wednesday, June 30, 1999
Written by David Allen
Directed by Declan Eames

Tom's day brightens when he learns his favourite actress is in town visiting relatives. A woman to be reckoned with, Audrey Roper wastes no time in introducing herself to Mt. Thomas' most senior police member. Tom is chuffed to make Audrey's acquaintance as she demands he reprimand and punish her 17-year-old granddaughter for buying cigarettes. The Heelers are policing a crackdown on under-age smoking in conjunction with the council. Dissatisfied with their progress, the militant Audrey intends to supervise their operation personally.

Maggie learns that Audrey is on a crusade to save her granddaughter — and all who come in contact with her — from the ills of smoking. Tom and Maggie wonder whether her end justifies her means. The law presents no boundaries to this woman whose protests keep the Heelers and cigarette retailers of Mt. Thomas on their toes.

Maggie takes a liking to the feisty older woman and offers counsel to Audrey's granddaughter. In spite of Maggie's attempts at discussion, Jack catches the girl buying cigarettes again, this time from the pub's cigarette machine. The offending retail dispenser comes to Audrey's attention and Chris cops a serve for her duplicity. How can Chris reconcile her role as councillor, promoting an anti-smoking campaign, with her role as a publican, selling cigarettes from an unsupervised machine? Chris finds herself stuck for an answer. Audrey is right.

Maggie's interest in Audrey's granddaughter appears to have little effect on the girl. When a carload of cigarettes goes missing and cartoons surface at the local high school, Maggie suspects only one crusader behind it and Audrey confesses. The schoolchildren found the dumped vehicle, raided it, and turned their stash into a lucrative street trade.

Reluctantly, the Heelers charge Audrey but she gives them the slip to stage one last stunt. Audrey drives her car to the edge of a cliff. With Maggie beside her, Audrey threatens to plunge into the raving below unless Mt. Thomas rids itself of all cigarette machines. Maggie tries to talk them to safety but knows Audrey has nothing to lose: she has lung cancer. Audrey's only focus is to save others from her pain — a martyr to the cause.

Guest Starring: Nancye Hayes as Audrey Roper, Rebekah Jay as Tiffany Lewis, Lisa Crittenden as Julie Lewis, Marty Fields as Steve Talmen, Vince D'Amico as Joseph Malouf, Marcus McGlashan as Daryl Gillespie, Marilyn O'Donnell as Mrs Gillespie, Jeremy Kewley as Tony Timms, Carole Patullo as Teresa Boland, David Armstrong as TV reporter, Reg James as Frank Goodie

King Of The Kids

Episode 6.22 (233)
Wednesday, July 07, 1999
Written by Jenny Lewis
Directed by Chris Langman

Dash treads a thin line when social worker Tim Ryan convinces her the overloaded welfare system can no longer protect abused children. The Heelers and the Department of Human Services take a dim view of Tim's attitude. His obvious frustration in applying band-aid solutions to violent domestic situations is bound to lead to trouble.

Trouble begins when Dash arrives to break up a violent argument between old family friends. The father appears to be strangling his son, who retaliates by stabbing him. While in hospital, the boy confides that his father regularly bashes him. Soon after he returns home, the boy disappears and the Heelers struggle to find a lead.

Dash suspects Tim knows more about the boy's disappearance than he is willing to divulge when two missing children are found in his care. Tim passionately defends his actions — someone's got to look after these kids when the system fails them! Dash admires Tim's determination to put their welfare before his own, even if it does mean breaking his department's code and when necessary, breaking the law. She begins to wonder whether her uniform hampers rather than helps to protect the community.

Tim suspects Dash is his secret ally and a hint of romance brews between them. When the Heelers discover the missing boy is without his asthma medication, the search to find him before another attack escalates. Dash tackles Tim on the subject and learns that he does know where the boy is hiding, but if he tells Dash, she will have to bring him in. He stays her a kiss and Dash trusts Tim to ensure his young client's health and safety. When the Heelers finds the boy unconscious, Dash blames herself for endangering his life.

Guest Starring: Grant Piro as Tim Ryan, Tom Considine as Ned Burgess, Jackie Kerin as Lorraine Burgess, Zac Jardine as Dean Burgess, Sapidah Kian as Dr Jasmin Farah, Naomi Davies as Casey Sharpe, Robert Tremlett as Brett Sharpe, Glynis Angell as Glenys Sharpe, Louis Dingemans as Scott Collins, Judith Roberts as Sheila Needham, Andrew Ferguson as Bank Teller

The Full Circle

Episode 6.23 (234)
Wednesday, July 14, 1999
Written by Dave Worthington
Directed by Kevin Carlin

For months Dash has shadowed PJ on the job to prove she is worthy detective material, and her efforts are rewarded when she makes the short list for a job in Criminal Investigation in Melbourne. Dash is hurt to learn that, while Tom supports her endeavours, he does not believe she is ready for the job. PJ certainly never took her seriously.

At least her mother, Beth, believes in her and accompanies Dash to Melbourne for the final interview and a spot of shopping. They have a close relationship and Dash's promotion is a proud moment for her hard-working mother. The moment is all too brief, however.

When Dash returns to Mt. Thomas, she and Ben are called out to a hit and run accident. On the road nearby is a clutch of shopping bags belonging to the victim. Dash recognises them, and in one afternoon her dreams of a new start are shattered. The victim is Beth.

The Heelers close ranks around their distraught mate, but Dash shifts into auto and works maniacally to ward off the grief that awaits to consume her.

The cause of the accident is unclear. It appears a car was trying to run down the visiting magistrate in the street and another vehicle swerved to avoid collision, killing Beth. Their only suspect is a local hoon who recently vandalised the magistrate's car. Dash cannot believe this boy is the culprit and launches her own investigation. She finds a chip of paint that identifies one of the vehicles involved. It belongs to a panel beater who sought revenge on the magistrate for putting him away. It was a six-month sentence but the punishment far outweighed the crime.

Dash solves the case, but she tells the Heelers it is her first and last. Her mother's death has given cause for soul-searching and Dash decides it is time for new beginnings, outside the police force.

Guest Starring: Paulene Terry-Beitz as Beth McKinley, Kevin Harrington as Charlie McKinley, Shanyn Asmar as Madeleine; Burt Cooper as Bill Dodson, Magistrate; Richard Young as Brad Nelson, Ross Thompson as Pop Nelson, James Smith as Johnno Nelson, Timothy Schwerdt as Paul MacFee, Marie Therese Byrne as Freda Glover

Note: Tasma Walton's final episode

Behind The Badge

Episode 6.24 (235)
Wednesday, July 21, 1999
Written by Piers Hodson
Directed by Fiona Banks

An overnight trip to Melbourne turns stormy for Maggie and Chris when they stumble into an armed holdup at a service station. Prison escapees, the McKenzie brothers, are on the run when they confront Chris paying for petrol with Maggie's purse. Maggie returns from the bathroom and manages to raise the alarm but receives a bashing for her trouble. Mistakenly believing Chris is a cop, Tyrone starts to squeeze the trigger as the Heelers arrive, raised by the alarm.

Maggie is overwhelmed with guilt and blames herself for the incident as she watches Chris breakdown, unable to cope. Maggie attempts to overcome her own trauma by throwing herself into the investigation. Under the watchful eye of Tom and PJ, she struggles to maintain her facade and stubbornly refuses to take time off in spite of a bad head injury.

The only person privy to Maggie's distress is her father Pat who arrives as soon as he hears the news. Pat loves his daughter above all else but offers more cause for concern when Maggie realises he has a drinking problem that is out of control.

Reports of interstate sightings lead the Heelers to believe the McKenzies are long gone but Maggie remains unconvinced: one of the brothers was seriously wounded and the getaway car was found in reasonable condition in Mt. Thomas. On a routine patrol, Maggie mistakes two local for the McKenzies and gives chase. Frustrated by her mulish insistence that all is well and her professional judgment, unaffected, Tom orders Maggie to take time off.

Maggie continues her investigation at night aided by PJ. They uncover a police file on the McKenzies that offers their only clue, a love letter. One of the brothers has a girlfriend called Lindy and if they can find Lindy, chances are they'll find the McKenzies seeking refuge.

There is no need to look further when the McKenzies kidnap Dr Farah to attend to their wounded and Maggie's trail of investigation leads her straight to Lindy's safe house and another desperate confrontation.

Starring: Rupert Reid, Paul Bishop, Julie Nihill, Martin Sacks, Lisa McCune, John Wood

Guest Starring: Dennis Miller as Pat Doyle, Steve Le Marquand as Tyrone McKenzie, Cameron Nugent as Jordan McKenzie, Sapidah Kian as Dr Jasmin Farah, Marian Haddrick as Cheryl Pearce, Philip Haddad as Trev Bishop

The Angel Cruise

Episode 6.25 (236)
Wednesday, July 28, 1999
Written by Bill Garner
Directed by Richard Jasek

Maddie's school fees are due, she needs a new flute and Ben's pay cheque falls short. As Ben's ex-wife begins her new life with another man, Ben feels doubly under pressure to fulfil his duties as a father and provider for his children. Aware of his financial problems, the Heelers become concerned when Ben shows interest in a pyramid game that has surfaced in Mt. Thomas.

Leila Clegg has won $16,000 on the Angel Cruise and the citizens of Mt. Thomas are keen to clamber aboard the next ship to set sail. Before Tom has a chance to make inquiries, the assertive organiser of the game, Natalie Roberts, pays him a visit. Mt. Thomas has nothing to fear from Angel Cruise, a forthright Natalie explains. The game is perfectly legal and has been vetted by a Queen's Counsel. Tom can lay his fears to rest, she insists.

Ben tries to keep an open mind about Angel Cruise. What's wrong with taking the gamble if it is legal? Sure, some people lose, but some people win and that's the name of any game, he reasons. Ben's enthusiasm tempers when he learns some friends have booked him on a cruise. The Ritchies, a financially-strapped local couple to whom he has lent $500, will do anything to raise the $2000 needed to play. Rather than pay him back, they offer Ben a quarter share of their cruise ticket and use his upstanding policeman profile to draw others onboard.

The temptation for Ben to accept is strong when the bank delays approval for his loan and reports of Angel Cruise winners dangle the town into winners and losers. A spate of robberies confirms that luckless cruisers are taking desperate measures to sail. Tom attends a meeting to float his concerns but is rocked to find Ben on the crew list.

Guest Starring: Nell Rollinson as Maureen Ritchie, Alan Cinis as Joe Ritchie, Marie Trevor as Leila Clegg, Peter Aanensen as Merv Poole, Peter Hosking as Jim Fully, Carolyne Bock as Natalie Roberts, Neil Melville as Kevin Sutton, Genevieve Morris as Judy Ballard, Stig Wemyss as Geoff Hird, Alwyn Kurts as Les Collister, Margie Nunn as Grace Pollard, Jamie McCarney as George.

Downsizing

Episode 6.26 (237)
Wednesday, August 04, 1999
Written by Dave Marsh
Directed by Richard Sarell

Tom can't believe his eyes when his old mate Max Arnold arrives at the bank with a hefty cheque written on the side of a cow. It's legal tender, snorts Max, and if the bank is so determined to milk him for mortgage payments, well let them learn how — milk this!

Country life has changed. There was a time when a bank manager would cut some slack to catch up on a missed payment. Not any more. Tom goes to see bank manager Kevin Sutton to discuss Max's difficulty but Sutton remains steadfast.

Tom returns to find the station empty and the phone ringing. It is a struggle coping one member down and no replacement for Dash in sight. When the Heelers learn from St David's that staffing levels are under review, tempers become short. Are they really expected to continue like this?

More bad news when Chris arrives to see Tom. Has he heard that the Vic Bank is closing down? What are they to do without a bank? Tom wonders whether his beloved Mt. Thomas is about to suffer the same downward spiral that has ruined so many rural communities. One by one, the commercial resources are plucked away until prospering towns wither and fade.

Unnerved by the bank's closure and noticing the Heelers under pressure, Chris spreads word that the station may be in danger of shutting down. Well-meaning locals keep the Heelers busy with a spate of false crime reports, hoping St David's will reconsider its drastic proposal if the town is ravaged by crime. But the ploy takes a tragic turn when Leila's urgent call of assistance sits on the pile. Her partner Merv cannot be found and, they discover, has had a bad accident. Where were they?

Kevin Sutton is having the same trouble. Everyone wants to open a new bank account but no matter how much business they bring it's too late. The bank will close, and with it Max Arnold's farm. Unbeknownst to the town, Sutton tells Tom he has tried to save the branch but the locals' anger is fierce and he bears the brunt of their jibes with a heavy heart.

Tom learns the town has misjudged Sutton as Max walks into the bank with a shotgun. Now there are two lives at stake: Max's life on the farm and Sutton's life. Which is it to be?

Guest Starring: Terry Norris as Max Arnold, Peter Aanensen as Merv Poole, Marie Trevor as Leila Clegg, Sapidah Kian as Dr Jasmin Farah, Neil Melville as Kevin Sutton, Genevieve Morris as Judy Ballard, Stig Wemyss as Geoff Hird, Norman Yemm as Dan Ballard, Andy McPhee as Arnie, Ed Rosser as Doug Roberts

The Deepest Cut

Episode 6.27 (238)
Wednesday, August 11, 1999
Written by Emma Honey & Peter Dick
Directed by Kevin Carlin

Ben becomes the victim of anti-gay slurs when his hairdresser friend, Tony, arrives in town. Prejudice builds however, when Tony's popularity wilts the opposition and happy clients confide their closest secrets to him. Someone it seems, confided too much, and Ben finds Tony dead in the salon stabbed in the neck with a pair of scissors.

Guest Starring: Merridy Eastman as Patricia Chalmers, Robert Grubb as Derrick Chalmers, James Sherry as Tony Stevens, Evelyn Krape as Kaye Anderson, Marcus Eyre as Paul Donald, Gabriel Egan as Cameron Martin, Leigh Wannell as Jared Ryan, Katherine McLean as Allison McCarthy, Michael O'Malley as Warren McCarthy

Hello Goodbye

Episode 6.28 (239)
Wednesday, August 18, 1999
Written by Ysabelle Dean
Directed by Karl Steinberg

When the Heelers attend a call to a disturbance at a general store, they find the matter already taken in hand by a capable young women — Constable Joanna Parrish. At last, the cavalry has arrived and she's impressive — Parrish has arrested two feral shoplifters single-handedly. Jo's good impression fades when Tom learns there were no witnesses to the shoplifting and the offenders accuse her of false arrest. Horrified with this turn of events on her first day, Jo is up for an ESD investigation in front of Monica Draper and may face disciplinary action. Then news arrives that feral Clay Thurgood is pressing a civil suit.

On hand to comfort Jo is her ex-boyfriend, Andrew, who helped her move from Melbourne to Mt. Thomas. The Heelers are curious about Jo's friend, who seems reluctant to leave her to begin her new life. Jack spies the bigger picture when he sees Jo and Andrew arguing vehemently in the hotel car park. Jo wants Andrew to go — now!

While Jo impatiently awaits Monica Draper's decision, she visits Clay Thurgood to sort things out. Jo spies bales of lucerne hay which, she suspects, are connected to a recently reported theft. Tom is furious that Jo has conducted her own investigation but wonders if she may be on track when the brakes on her car are tampered with, causing a nasty accident. So much for a new recruit and peace of mind! The Heelers begin to wonder if Parrish is a curse more than a blessing. Her profile shows she has a history of attracting trouble.

When an unexpected lead links Clay Thurgood to the general store manger, the Heelers are able to uncover Thurgood's operation and redeem Jo's reputation. They discover Thurgood cultivates a healthy cannabis plantation and barters it for essentials such as groceries and hay. With the civil suit against her dropped, things for Jo appear to look up. There is unfinished business yet. Back at her hotel room, Andrew awaits. He has come back to town and this time, he's not leaving without her...

Guest Starring: Jane Allsop as Constable Jo Parrish, Peta Doodson as Inspector Monica Draper, Andrew Curry as Andrew Franklin, Amanda Bishop as Bree McNamara, Cristin Daniel as Clay Thurgood, Stewart Faichney as Reg Mobray, Adam May as Ellis Corby, Jim Daly as Tony Lennox, Christopher Lyons as Martin Lennox

Notes: Jane Allsop's first episode as Constable Jo Parrish. Christopher Lyons last appeared in series 3 during the run up to the departure of Grant Bowler

Whip Crack Away

Episode 6.29 (240)
Wednesday, August 25, 1999
Written by Tony Morphett
Directed by Richard Jasek

The Greatest Little Western Show on Earth trundles into Mt. Thomas and Jo and Jack are sent to ward off pickpockets reported to be operating in the audience. They arrive to find the show's ringmaster, Sandy Rivers, challenging anyone to a whip-cracking competition.
From the crowd emerges a handsome, rugged stranger who beats Sandy squarely at his own game and demands the $500 prize money. Sandy's show has seen better days, however, and with no prize money forthcoming the contest ends in fisticuffs.
Down at the station, Sandy promises to pay the winner back once the ticket sales trickle in. Jo is intrigued by the stranger, who is reluctant to give his name and appears to have no family or fixed address. Like the stranger, Jo feels displaced in Mt. Thomas, where country folk welcome city slickers with folded arms. She takes it upon herself to settle him in, whether he likes it or not.
Jack worries that Jo has misjudged the wanderer when Sandy Rivers is found bashed and Jo's gypsy comes under suspicion. They find him camped illegally by a riverbed and killing protected wildlife for food. The stranger's name is Janos Molnar and he denies the attack on Sandy. Jo trusts Janos and offers him her bed at the pub to get him out of the bush. She bunks in with Jack, much to his delight and embarrassment. Jack is clearly infatuated with Jo, who remains clueless as to her own charms.
Janos mixes with the wrong crowd at the pub and Jo overhears that he may be involved in a scam at Sandy's show. The gig is up when Janos challenges Sandy to another whip-cracking event — double or nothing — and wins the competition. The Heelers investigate and find Janos' crooked mates, Stacker and Compo, had run a book against him and owe their punters hundreds of dollars. Now Janos is missing.
Sandy Rivers rings to report the theft of his collection of antique guns and Janos lands firmly in the frame. Tom suspects he is an illegal immigrant running from town to town, chased by trouble, and Jo's just run out of excuses to protect him.

Starring: Jane Allsop, Rupert Reid, Paul Bishop, Julie Nihill, Martin Sacks, Lisa McCune, John Wood

Guest Starring: Martin Vaughan as Sandy Rivers, Mitch Mathews as Maisie Rivers, Kristof Kaczmarek as Adam Janos, Tony Rickards as Compo Hayes, Ron Kamoen as Stacker Nicholls

The Price Of Silence

Episode 6.30 (241)
Wednesday, September 01, 1999
Written by Cassandra Carter
Directed by Richard Sarell

A pro-police politician campaigning in Mt. Thomas gets the Heelers offside when he indecently assaults Maggie in the station. Shocked by his audacity, Maggie tells the Boss of her ordeal but asks him to keep it quiet — she will deal with Powers herself. When Inspector Falcon Price hears of Maggie's encounter, however, he casts doubt on her ability to judge these situations. After all, didn't she once misinterpret his interest in her career as personal? Falcon Price will not look upon her favourably if she makes a formal complaint and impresses upon Maggie the importance of Mark Powers winning his seat.

Powers promises to bring vast improvements to the police force and Falcon Price expects the Heelers to support his every endeavour while in town. As Powers presses the flesh at a public gathering, it is easy to see that he has a penchant for the ladies, particularly his branch secretary, Kerry Barron, and a journalist covering his tour. Powers' growing profile is called into question when a heckler punches him square in the nose during a speech. Bill Stockton refuses to tell the Heelers the reason behind his beef with Powers but it is strong enough to want to damage him. Powers refuses to press charges, raising Maggie and Jo's suspicions that he hides a past. Jo decides to dig further.

When the Heelers receive a report of a disturbance at Kerry Barron's place, Maggie and Ben arrive to find her traumatised by an attempted rape. Severely sight-impaired, Kerry claims to have no idea who attacked her, but Maggie is sure she is covering for Powers. There is no sign of forced entry and Kerry had the party faithful over for a few too many drinks.

Jo lets slip to Ben and PJ that Powers assaulted Maggie, giving them a mission to nab him, but under tough scrutiny Powers professes wide-eyed innocence. He admits he loves women, perhaps a little too much, but he'd never force one into a sexual encounter. PJ understands Maggie's need to handle the situation herself but the incidents angers Ben and deepens his ardour for Maggie. He wants to protect her.

Jo finds the incriminating history she's been looking for: Powers got Bill Stockton's young daughter pregnant years ago and she committed suicide. In the face of Falcon Price's avid disapproval, Maggie lays a charge against Powers, hoping it will encourage Kerry to give him up, but when Maggie learns Kerry has landed a job in Melbourne working with him, she is certain Kerry is paying a high price for the opportunity and her silence.

Guest Starring: Andrew McFarlane as Mark Powers, Paul English as Steve Parker, Neil Pigot as Inspector Falcon Price, Fiona MacLeod as Kerry Barron, Barry Friedlander as Bill Stockton, Leah Vanderberg as Helene Lee, Jeremy Kewley as Tony Timms

Without Judgement

Episode 6.31 (242)
Wednesday, September 08, 1999
Written by Geraldine Pilkington
Directed by Roger Hodgman

The Heelers are drawn into a hostile domestic situation when a distraught man arrives in Mt. Thomas in search of his missing lover who is terminally ill. Robert is sure his long-time partner, Peter Jones, has returned to make amends with his parents, whom he hasn't seen for 8 years. As Peter is not officially missing, Jack can do nothing to help him and is assaulted by an overwrought Robert.

Behind the station counter, emotions are on a short leash as Ben and Maggie struggle to come to terms with their impassioned kiss at Ben's birthday bash. A few drinks, some silly games, a fine time had by all and then, somehow, it just happened. What now? Ben longs to pursue the matter with Maggie, who avoids him, unable to admit her true feelings.

Although he seems genuine, Robert skirts some incriminating details of his relationship with Peter. The Heelers learn that theirs was a tumultuous household and that Peter has a history of prostitution. Could Peter be hiding from a violent domestic situation?

Tempers in the Doyle family boil over when Pat arrives on a surprise visit with his new fiancée, Evie Osborne, in tow. Maggie is in no mood to welcome another woman in her mother's place. Evie seems a harmless enough chatterbox until she lets slip that her relationship with Pat goes back longer than fidelity allows. Furious and aggrieved, Maggie turns the guilty couple from her house. Between Ben and Pat, Maggie is having a bad day.

Robert, meanwhile, is working hard at harassing families by the name of Jones, but when the Heelers find Peter's car being driven by his father, the parents have much to answer for. The Jones deny having seen their son in years but burnt clothing in the incinerator and a fresh grave nearby suggest otherwise. As the Heelers investigate, it appears Peter Jones death was indeed a crime of passion and while the Jones seem the obvious suspects, new evidence uncovers a most tragic murder.

Guest Starring: Dennis Miller as Pat Doyle, Robert Essex as Mal Jones, Helen Tripp as Alice Jones, Lynette Curran as Evie Osborn, Mark Henessy as Robert Cruikshank, Melanie Beddie as Annie Jones

Smoke Without Fire

Episode 6.32 (243)
Wednesday, September 15, 1999
Written by David Allen
Directed by Kevin Carlin

Tom joins Chris on a board of upstanding citizens preparing to set up the new community bank. However, his position is compromised when both he and Pat Doyle are named in a parliamentary committee investigating bent coppers. The Heelers rally round to support Tom but Jo finds herself on the outer when she suggests Tom might well have been on the take. Small gratuities, a little cash on the side — it was the way things were done back then. Though concerned for Tom, Maggie breathes a small sigh of relief. At least her father is retired and unlikely to suffer any fallout from the inquiry.

At first, Tom refuses to worry — his conscience is clear. But word spreads throughout the town and the bank board requests his immediate resignation. The citizens of Mt. Thomas have lost confidence in their Senior Sergeant.

After her contrary attitude to Tom's dilemma, Jo is left grappling for allies when her own friend, school teacher Selina Harvey, is accused of supplying dope to, and having a sexual encounter with, one of her students. Jo believes implicitly in Selina's innocence but verdicts of guilt are apportioned against Tom and Selina as the town's rumour mill takes hold.

Tom's worries multiply when he mistakenly believes the braid have set up an integrity test to reel him in and Inspector Falcon Price arrives to suggest he transfer to another station until the scandal settles. Tom's superiors believe he has no charges to answer but firmly planted seeds of distrust sprout throughout the town.

Maggie implores her father to stand up for Tom and publicly advocate his innocence, but Pat crumples in the face of his daughter's pure intentions and confesses it was not Tom who was on the take but himself. Maggie is rocked by the revelation. Her father was the reason she joined the force and now she learns he was knee-deep in graft.

Distraught by Maggie's angry withdrawal from him, Pat is compelled to clear Tom's name, and discovers a former colleague with a personal grudge who is determined to bring Tom down. Jo comes unstuck when her own investigations reveal that her new friend was recently transferred from another school for inappropriate behaviour.

Guest Starring: Dennis Miller as Pat Doyle, Neil Pigot as Inspector Falcon Price, Marie Trevor as Leila Clegg, Peter Aanensen as Merv Poole, Lisa Baumwol as Selina Harvey, Tom Budge as Evan Roberts, Brook Rowan as 'Rick' Rixton, Margot Knight as Stephanie Roberts, Bruce Carter as Derek Giles, David Lennie as Charlie Higgins

Starry Starry Night

Episode 6.33 (244)
Wednesday, September 22, 1999
Written by John Banas
Directed by Declan Eames

A mystery unfolds on night patrol when Jack and Jo stumble across a troubled stranger who carries a message for the Heelers that they won't soon forget. When Jack and Jo draw the short straw, night patrol finds them embroiled in a case that involves an abandoned suitcase and a mysterious stranger. Throughout the night, each of the Heelers stumble across the stranger at different times, but when dawn arrives, he reveals a reason for his visit that deeply affects them all.

Guest Starring: Leigh Morgan as Nell Croydon, William Gluth as Noone, Lisa Heenan as June Crichton, Clayton Watson as Heath Jamieson, Rod Densley as Mr Condsidine

Note: the only appearance of Tom's late wife, Nell

Paradise Lost

Episode 6.34 (245)
Wednesday, September 29, 1999
Written by Bill Garner
Directed by Richard Sarell

Maggie takes Ben's daughter Emma off his hands for a day on a mushrooming expedition, but the event has nasty repercussions for Emma when they come across a tourist who dies from eating field mushrooms.

Ben and Maggie head out to inform the local community of the potential danger of mushrooming and come across an idyll commune called Paradise. The inhabitants — three women, a cluster of kids and a charismatic, gentle man named Rod Cathcart — present an alternative lifestyle that appeals to them both. Enchanted by the mood of the place, Ben and Maggie find themselves drawn to each other once again.

Rod invites Maggie and Ben to return for lunch the following day, but their rapturous account of Paradise makes PJ resentful of their common fondness for a country lifestyle, PJ is also wary of Emma's open scheming to bring Ben and Maggie together. Conscious of PJ's annoyance, Ben tries to placate PJ by pulling out of the lunch date.

Tom detects the growing tension between PJ, Ben and Maggie and has a strong word to PJ, warning him to leave his personal life at home.

The Heelers learn that the poisonous mushrooms came from a local store whose owner claim a child sold them to him. With the troublesome fungi removed from Mt. Thomas shelves, they are confident the problem is solved until Maggie turns up to work stoned from eating magic mushrooms. Someone laced her lunch at Paradise and PJ is determined to bring charges against these "yuppie hippies".

When one of these women confesses to the incident, Maggie is torn between charging and helping her. Rod is threatening to expel her from Paradise. Rod seems quite taken with Maggie and visits her at home to apologise, bumping into PJ, whose patience with Maggie's string of suitors is wearing thin.

PJ gets a warrant to search the property for magic mushies but returns empty handed. When Rod is poisoned by a native variety of death cap, the Heelers suspect a devil at work in Paradise. The women close quarters, but after hard questioning reveal they blame Maggie for upsetting the equilibrium of life on the property. They believe Rod has designs on bringing Maggie into the fold.

But when the commune's youngest child goes missing, feared dead, the Heelers suspect a devil discovery. Just how far the coven will go to protect their clan and punish its leader?

Guest Starring: Andrew S. Gilbert as Rod Carthcart, Jane Conroy as Tara Macrae, Georgina Naidu as Bronwyn Salter, Natasha Herbert as Gemma Wansley, Cameron Knight as Forrest Macrae, Isabelle Frazer as Twiggy Macrae, Peter Gustus as Oscar Salter, Nikita Plummer as Emma Stewart, Peter Aanensen as Merv Poole, Sapidah Kian as Dr. Jasmin Farrar [sic], Jacinta Brearley as Sian Cathcart, Sam Shephard as Luke Wansley, Sue Dwyer as Mini Grolscher, Gary Files as Billy Legge

The Game

Episode 6.35 (246)
Wednesday, October 06, 1999
Written by Dave Marsh
Directed by Julian McSwiney

It's Grand Final week in Mt. Thomas and the money is on Awesome Lawson to win the cup, and the town's honour, from the St. Davids football team. Jack finds it hard to focus on work with footy fever upon him — until Marnie Sommers yanks him to attention with yet another incident of petty crime.

Jack is tiring of Marnie's brushes with the law and her open antagonism toward him. Marnie resents the blind worship the town affords footy players like Jack and her husband, Harro, who is serving time for armed robbery. As far as Marnie's concerned, footy heroes are all the same — good for nothing.

When Marnie's husband returns to town, she demands an intervention order against him, claiming he is violent, but her troublesome reputation makes the Heelers wonder if Harro is a threat at all.

He seems a nice enough bloke to Jack. Besides, he's a fellow footy player! Harro's done his time, now he just wants his wife and his kids back. When a report of stolen CD players comes in, Jack suspects Marnie is involved and organises a search warrant for her home.

As Grand Final Day draws close, Jack feels the pressure of the town's expectations crowd in on him. Then the Mudlarks' coach, Ian Waldron, is kidnapped. Could this be pregame high jinx or is Ian really in danger?

Jack and Jo arrive at Marnie's to issue the search warrant and break up a heated argument between husband and wife. When Marnie learns the real reason for the visit she turns her vitriol on Jack. He's just another pig bloke, like her husband, giving a hard-up mother a tough time. Jack remains suspicious of Marnie and determined to get to get to the bottom of the matter, but Jo's wondering if the town's adulation may have clogged Jack's sensibilities.

The Heelers find Ian Waldron, safe and sound, the willing victim of a prank by the St Davids team. Jack decides to match the caper and raids the St Davids team's locker rooms. He stumbles across the stolen CDs in the process, which puts him in trouble with the Boss — at least the discovery knocks out one of the opposing team.

The find weighs heavily on Jack's mind, however. He was wrong about Marnie and maybe she does deserve his compassion. With the big game just hours away, Jack goes to Marnie's to make amends but gets caught in the midst of an explosive domestic. At gunpoint, Harro demands Marnie cough up his stash from the armed robbery. Then Marnie is badly injured. No one is going to get anywhere until Harro gets his stuff.

Guest Starring: Michelle McClatchy as Marnie Sommers, Paul Gleeson as "Harro" Harrison, Daniel Daperis as Jason Sommers, Aaron Donovan as Jesse Sommers, Terence Donovan as Ian Waldron, Jeremy Angerson as Scott Daitch, David Whitely as Garth Haddrick, Peter Ashby as Gary Harvey, Murray Mitchell as Mick Lyons, Brad Wade as Grant

Note: Jeremy Angerson's character is miscredited as Scott Daitch when he has appeared previously and is refered to many times in this episode as Scott Forster

Miracle at Rabbit Creek

Episode 6.36 (247)
Wednesday, October 13, 1999
Written by Tony Morphett
Directed by Kevin Carlin

Tom pursues a local troublemaker in a high-speed chase when the boy's car veers off the road, crashing into Rabbit Creek. It's a devastating scene for Tom who has known Tim Sullivan all his life. As he watches the boy slip away, Tom prays to God to absolve Tim of his sins. Ten minutes later, the ambulance arrives to take the body away. But before Tom can cover the boy's face, Tim coughs and sits upright, he's alive!

At first, the Heelers enjoy a few jokes at Tom's expense, but for Catholics Tom and Maggie, the event inspires a deep questioning of their faith and is a cause for spiritual upheaval. They deal with life and death every day, but this time it is Tom who has been God's servant.

John Waterson's declaration that Tom has performed a miracle has the town's faithful out in search of answers and the sacred site. Is their Senior Sergeant blessed? Falcon Price, would certainly like to know.

Young Tim has had a hard time coping with his second chance. It feels more like a sentence to purgatory as his fervently religious mother presses him to reform and his schoolmates ridicule him mercilessly.

When the city's television crews get hold of the story, the pilgrims begin to arrive, including one crippled man who touches Tom and claims he is healed. For once, Tom Croydon finds it hard to rely on faith alone when faced with the unbelievable.

It is not until property owner Keith Purvis dams Rabbit Creek to bottle and sell the "holy water" that the town demands an answer from Tom. Is this creek really holy and has a miracle occurred?

PJ remains the station's cynic until his mother arrives in town unexpectedly. She has a terminal illness and PJ despairs that he lacks the faith of Maggie and Tom to deal with this confronting news, but he cannot believe a miracle alone will save her, let alone his Senior Sergeant.

Feeling his life has become a freak show, young Tim runs away from home and Tom, feeling responsible, goes in search. Tom finds Tim on a stretch of road, city bound, when a call comes across the radio that someone has planted a bomb in Keith Pervis' new dam on Rabbit Creek. They have ten minutes to get there or visitors to the creek will be killed.

Tim acts on impulse and grabs the bomb and throws into the creek just in the nick of time. The bomb explodes harmlessly in the water. Later, Tim thanks Tom for saving his life. Has Tim turned a new leaf?

Guest Starring: Ben Rogan as Victor Cacey, Jeffrey Walker as Tim Sullivan, Jenny Seedsman as Bernadette Sullivan, Merfyn Owen as Father Brian Hegarty, Arianthe Galani as Helena Hasham, Francis Greenslade as John Waterson, Reg Evans as Keith Pervis, Sapidah Kian as Dr. Jasmin Farah

Note: we previously saw Jeffrey Walker in episodes 3.14 and 3.15, Francis Greenslade in 4.16, Jenny Seedsman in 5.27, and Arianthe Galani as PJ's mum in 1.42

Second Chance

Episode 6.37 (248)
Wednesday, October 20, 1999
Written by David Boutland
Directed by Steve Mann

Jo's blossoming romance with out-of-towner Travis Watson is cut short when PJ reveals Travis is a dangerous criminal put way for murdering his girlfriend. The vicious crime haunts PJ who arrested Travis and is immediately suspicious of his return to Mt. Thomas.

Tom warns Jo to dump the romance before she becomes too involved and jeopardises her job — he can't have a constable going out with a criminal, even if he is reformed. When a spate of vicious armed robberies against women are reported, PJ believes Travis is involved. Mindful of Jo's broken heart, Maggie provides a shoulder but counsels Jo to leave him. The promise of a new love never felt so lonely.

PJ keeps tabs on Travis who seems contrite and is certainly cooperative. He has returned to Mt. Thomas to start afresh and find work but PJ makes it clear — he expects Travis to leave town. Tom becomes uneasy with PJ's relentless pursuit of Travis and warns him to go by the book.

Jo struggles with her decision. She wants to believe that everyone deserves a second chance. Where Travis is concerned however, PJ cannot spare Jo's feelings and pushes her to end it by showing her shocking photos of Travis' dead girlfriend. Jo is deeply disturbed by the photos and Jack promises PJ he'll keep an eagle-eye on his lovelorn mate.

Jo confronts Travis over the murder. She wants to believe he didn't do it but there are strong doubts and the overwhelming conviction of her workmates to contend with. She tells him their relationship cannot continue.

Determined to win the Heelers over, Travis provides information on a planned armed robbery of the Imperial's takings but is bashed severely for turning informer. Feeling indebted, Chris gives him some work around the pub. PJ is furious to find Travis entrenched at the Imperial and remains convinced he is hatching some plan of vengeance.

The Heelers wonder if PJ has become unreasonably obsessed with Travis but what they haven't seen or heard is a private moment between the adversaries where Travis makes his intentions perfectly clear.

He spent five years in prison because of PJ and now PJ is going to pay for it.

Guest Starring: Kieran Darcy-Smith as Travis Williams [sic], Jamie Van Bruggen as Les Ogden, Matt Trihey as Mick Crowe

The Price of Friendship

Episode 6.38 (249)
Wednesday, October 27, 1999
Written by Karin Altmann
Directed by Richard Sarell

The prospect of the Racing Club Carnival dance has the Heelers in a frenzy to find partners. There is little to celebrate when an armed robbery of the race takings leaves a security guard seriously wounded. The only clues, a Mudlark's Grand Final pin is found at the scene of the crime. Could one of Jack's fellow football team be responsible?

The Heelers call in football coach, Ian Waldron, to find out which Mudlarks' players have pins but the carnival atmosphere fades for all when Ian tells them that his son Matt, Jack's good friend, is dying from a brain tumour. Ian has spent his company's fortune trying trying to find a cure for Matt in Brazil and must close his factory. There is little chance Matt will survive to see his wife deliver their first child.

Jack finds it difficult to confirm the alibis of his football buddies for the time of the robbery and is puzzled by the behaviour of his mate Scott who has been acting strangely since Matt returned from Brazil. Jack is certain something's up. Scott is about to lose his job at Ian's factory. Putting two and two together, Jack dare not believe his own thoughts — could Scott or Ian have stolen the money to help Matt? Or themselves? Jo saves him the trouble. Both men have a motive for the robbery.

Maggie is moved by Matt and his wife Letty's sad predicament and understands their desire to have a child a spite of the knowledge that it will grow up without a father but she is shocked by PJ's lack of compassion.What kind of life is that for a child?

PJ gets a lead on the race course robbery. Two witnesses believe the suspect may be identified by a conspicuous limp but when Scott fails to hand in his badge, PJ targets him for questioning.

When PJ finds the weapon from the armed robbery at Ian's factory, both Scott and Ian confess to the crime. Jack is certain they are covering for someone and when new evidence puts Matt in the frame, PJ is forced to arrest him. Jack and Ben have the difficult task of escorting Matt to the St. David's courthouse where Matt manages to escape. Jack knows Matt has gone into hiding until the baby is born and has a good idea where they might be. For Jack, the price of a friendship is high. Matt's tumour could kill him at any time and Letty's baby is due. They may be together but Matt has placed his families lives at risk.

Guest Starring: Fletcher Humphrys as Matt Waldron, Jeremy Angerson as Scott Forster, Verity McIntyre as Letty Brown, Terence Donovan as Ian Waldron, Bill Bennett as Will Stone, Sapidah Kian as Dr Jasmin Farrar [sic]

Under Fire

Episode 6.39 (250)
Wednesday, November 03, 1999
Written by Peter Dick
Directed by Raymond Quint

Jack receives unsettling news when his ex-girlfriend Molly calls with plans to visit Mt. Thomas to try and repair their broken relationship. Jack is not sure whether he is ready or willing to recover his shredded emotions after Molly's infidelity.

The Heelers investigate the death of a drug dealer whose burnt body is found in the ashen remains of a house used for the manufacture of amphetamines. They believe a man called Graeme Palmer is involved and when Maggie and Ben spy Palmer's car on the road they give chase.

Ben reports to Tom via radio that the pursuit is reaching dangerous speeds and they are about to terminate, when Ben yells a warning to Maggie and the radio cuts dead. The Heelers are left hanging until a shaken Maggie calls to say both vehicles are trashed and a passenger bus that swerved to avoid collision has crashed on its side. The situation is serious.

The Heelers and emergency services arrive to a scene of confusion and devastation. They break into the bus to find six dead passengers. The CFA commander, Russ Cavell, blames the police for this carnage after the high speed chase. Tom can expect nothing but grief from Cavell during this chaotic rescue effort.

Dr. Mel Carter, Mt. Thomas' newly arrived hospital resident, tackles her first shift with furious efficiency but there is further cause for alarm when a list of passengers from the bus company indicates one passenger is missing: 38 walking wounded, 6 dead and 3 seriously injured.

Maggie and Ben climb back aboard to drag the wreckage and find beneath a double seat, the missing passenger. It is Molly and her condition is critical.

Jack pushes aside concerned mates as he races to reach Molly. Her rescue is going to be difficult. Molly is impaled on a piece of metal anchored to the floor and she requires urgent surgery. As the SES workers begin to cut her out, the Heelers learn from a barely conscious Graeme Parker that there are highly volatile drug lab chemicals on board the bus. One small spark from the angle grinder and the bus could blow.

Russ Cavell takes charge and orders everybody off the bus. Jack makes distraught pleas to Tom and Russ to save Molly but Russ declares the bus out of bounds. Beside himself with anger and despair, Jack threatens anyone who gets in his way, including the boss. He refuses to leave Molly's side.

The Heelers defy Russ' orders and begin a frantic search for the chemicals. They uncover a suitcase full of money and suspect the chemicals are in Palmer's car, Russ declares the entire area unsafe until the chemicals are found. Dr Carter warns the Heelers that Molly must be moved immediately and, taking matters into his own hands, Tom leavers Palmer's car over a cliff, running to safety as the chemicals explode and the car bursts into flames.

Now they can free Molly if it is not too late.

Guest Starring: Petra Yared as Molly Malloy, Kevin Hopkins as Rod Norton, Roger Oakley as Russ Cavell, Suzi Dougherty as Dr Mel Calder [sic], Ian Scott as Sam Walker, D J Foster as Dougie Jenkins, Andy McPhee as Graeme Palmer, Brad Wade as Brent Prior, Libby Stone as Denise Webb

Notes: Suzi Dougherty's first episode as Dr Mel Carter (note her character is credited as Dr Mel Calder). Kevin Hopkins appeared previouly as Detective Stan Lazar in 5 episodes from 1996-1996

Fifty-Fifty

Episode 6.40 (251)
Wednesday, November 10, 1999
Written by Lyn Ogilvy
Directed by Peter Sharp

Ben is troubled to learn that his daughter's tutor, Amy Fordham, is struggling through the maelstrom of her parents' marriage breakdown. Concerned for her welfare, Ben drops Amy off at home, arriving in the middle of an explosive fight during which Amy gets hurt.

Unwilling to leave Amy to deal with the aftermath of their anger, Ben brings her back to the Watchhouse, determined to alert the department of Human Services to Amy's plight. Tom cautions him to attempt a reconciliation with the parents fist. The Fordhams agree to behave themselves and though Ben is not convinced, he sends Amy home and promises her that she can depend on him at all times.

Ben's troubles multiply when Maggie returns shaken from an internal enquiry into a bus crash. Although the enquiry clears her of reckless driving, it leaves her overwhelmed with remorse for those killed. She finds comfort in Ben's arms... and PJ walks in on the moment. PJ's patience for their intimate friendship is waning but both he and Ben are thrown when Maggie requests leave to spend time with her father. They suspect Maggie needs the time away to examine her heart.

The Heelers receive a report of a burglary at the Fordham's fabric factory but arrive to be told by Don Fordham that his secretary was mistaken. Don took the bolt of exclusive fabric home overnight as a security measure, he says. Ben suspects there is more to the incident than Fordham will tell, but neither PJ nor Tom has any patience for his hunch and tendency to become personally involved with his cases.

Ben stops by the Fordham place to discuss the burglary and finds a hysterical Claire sawing Don's boat "Endless Love" in half with a chainsaw. If this marriage is over, the split will be fifty-fifty.

Up on criminal charges for property damage, Claire counters that her husband must be charged with fraud for squandering company finds on his mistress — their secretary.

In a desperate measure to flee the abusive household, Amy files to become a ward of the State and names Ben as her temporary guardian. Tom is unimpressed. It is one thing for his coppers to care about some hard-luck cases but quite another to adopt them.

The Fordham war continues to rage as the Heelers learn Claire is guilty of destroying the bolt of fabric to sabotage a major order, but when their factory is burned to the ground and husband and wife stop to survey the wreckage they are shocked by a dreadful reality. Their livelihood is gone and so is their daughter — the charred frame of Amy's bike lies on the factory floor , but where is Amy?

Guest Starring: Louise Siversen as Louise Fordham, Ken Radley as Don Fordham, Stephanie Johnson as Amy Fordham, Mary-Anne McCormack as Megan Hutton, Nikita Plummer as Emma Stewart, Ben Harkin as Eric Cenius

Note: Ken Radley is erroneously credited as Ken Radlee

Kids

Episode 6.41 (252)
Wednesday, November 17, 1999
Written by Deborah Parsons
Directed by Steve Mann

Ben's divorce finally comes through, but it's hard news for his daughter Emma who must return to her mother in Melbourne. In anger and frustration, Emma trashes the station. Tom has patiently watched Ben struggle with single parenthood and his duties as a cop but warns him that this interference with work must stop.

PJ discovers $20.00 missing from petty cash and Emma seems the likely suspect, but Ben's troubles boil over when he learns Emma has run away and a teacher confides that she frequently skips school with a friend.

Ben finds Emma at her friend's grandmother's house. They seem to be in good hands and after reassurance from Nanny Nora, Ben realises his daughter has found comfort he has been unable to provide.

Back at the station, the Heelers puzzle over a series of house burglaries in which odd trinkets and valuable electrical goods are stolen. The crimes seem unrelated but are taking place in the same area. Jo and Ben attend a report at an older woman's home and find another break-in. Some strange things are missing, such as a snow dome and a fairy magnet. This time, however, the homeowner is found severely assaulted and unconscious.

The Heelers enlist the aid of a roof tiler who seems to have the perfect vantage point to view the crimes but he offers no clues. PJ's main lead is a collection of dumped goods found at the local quarry — discarded booty from burglaries reported months earlier. At the quarry he also discovers an abandoned car turned into a kids' cubby house. It seems certain that children are involved in these burglaries and when Emma arrives at the station with an expensive new fairy doll and a bag of lollies for all to share, PJ puts her in the frame.

After an interview with the bashed woman confirms children were involved in her robbery, PJ confronts Ben with his suspicions. Emma has been skipping school, hasn't she? Does she have an alibi? The suggestion whips Ben into a fury. He lashes out at PJ accusing him of acting out of jealously over his close relationship with Maggie.

Tom questions Emma about the burglaries and she appears very uncomfortable when news of the older woman's plight is relayed. Some digging later, the Heelers learn the roof tiler's work pattern corresponds with another spate of robberies in nearby St. Davids and he becomes the prime suspect. This is little comfort to Ben who finds Emma has run away again.

The Heelers have some success with an ID photoboard of children when the older woman recovers and identifies Emma's truant friend as the culprit. The Heelers keep this grim counsel — how can they possibly tell Ben?

PJ has a hunch Emma might be hiding at the quarry but when he and Ben arrive, they find the abandoned car has fallen down the embarnkment and Emma is lying unconscious beneath it.

Guest Starring: Nikita Plummer as Emma Stewart, Caitlin Wainrib as Melissa Sharpe, Lois Ramsey as Nora Sharpe, Scott Irwin as Terry Munks, Mary Ward as Betty Withers, Jamie C Wilson as Graham Grieves, Caroline Lloyd as Sharon Milburn, Suzi Dougherty as Dr Mel Carter

Be Prepared

Episode 6.42 (253)
Wednesday, November 24, 1999
Written by Bill Garner
Directed by Steve Mann

With the turn of the new year just weeks away, Inspector Falcon Price pulls an impromptu blackout at the station to test the Heelers' preparedness for potential Year 2000 problems. There can be no cause for alarm if the police force and emergency services are ready for every situation.

Jack finds Gary Scully dangling in a net up a tree on the Janssen property, the victim of a crude but effective mantrap. Ben's daughter Emma returns to the Watchhouse after a stint in hospital but her presence is a painful reminder for PJ of Ben and Maggie's vigil over Emma's sickbed. They make a picture perfect family.

PJ tells Ben he can no longer stand in the way of Maggie's happiness and asks her to consider Ben as her future partner. Now Maggie must choose between her troublesome love for PJ and growing intimacy with Ben.

The Heelers talk to the Jenssens about the mantrap and learn the family has been zealous in their Y2K preparations. The family expects the worst-case scenario and has secured their property like a fortress and stored ample provisions should they need to isolate themselves from a community starved of essential services.

The Janssens do their best to persuade Tom that their survivalist approach to the century's end is no more unreasonable than the measures taken by emergency services. Their assurances fool no one however when the Janssen's son reacts violently to Jack's attempts to study his threatening pocket knife.

Tom worries that the town is working itself into a state of panic when a local tries to register an antique gun to protect himself, a collector's machine gun is stolen, and Gary Scully becomes a target for stray bullets while wandering near the Janssen's property.

Ben goes out to check on the Janssen family but is bailed up by the mother when she learns the Heelers have contacted the welfare services about their children. One of the children escapes as the situation escalates out of control and the Heelers arrive to find the family armed and ready to protect its own at all costs. Ben and PJ put their lives at risk but only one recovers with a determination to win Maggie's heart and hand.

Guest Starring: Trudy Hellier as Barbara Janssen, Andrew Blackman as Warwick Janssen, Brandon Burns as Toby Janssen, Bonnie Piesse as Miranda Janssen, Josh Jay as Aiden Janssen, Neil Pigot as Inspector Falcon Price, Nikita Plummer as Emma Stewart, John Penman as Gary Scully, Roger Oakley as Russ Cavell, Alwyn Kurts as Les Collister, Ian Scott as Sam Walker, Ali Jonas as Jill Galvakis, Cormac MacArt as John Mulberry

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