The Doctor Blake Mysteries is an original 10-part murder mystery series starring Logie award-winner Craig McLachlan as the maverick country town doctor Lucien Blake. A risk-taker, he's impulsive and not afraid to upset the status quo.
Set in the late 1950s, the series begins as Dr Blake return to a place he once called home to take over his deceased father's medical practice. Everything seems peaceful on the surface, but seething underneath are the age-old passions of a regional town clashing head-on with the tensions and fears of the decade to come.
Haunted by the horrors of war, his own personal loss and changed by his experiences as a POW, the wry, dry, yet very human Dr Blake undertakes his other role as police surgeon with precision and gusto — yet many find his unpredictable and unconventional manner unnerving.
Beside Blake, helping and at times hindering, are his housekeeper Jean (Nadine Garner), her nephew Danny (Rick Donald), a young constable, District Nurse Mattie O'Brien (Cate Wolfe) and Chief Superintendent Matthew Lawson (Joel Tobeck).
When a young woman's body is found floating in the local lake, Dr Blake can't help digging deeper into the mystery. There is more to the case than meets the eye. He is certain the dead girl — a runaway from a local reform school — was dead before she was dumped in the water. The autopsy proves his theory but finding the killer is more complicated.
In a classic whodunit, Dr Blake sifts through the obvious suspects, before revealing the culprit.
Starring: Craig McLachlan as Doctor Lucien Blake, Nadine Garner as Jean Beazley, Rick Donald as Constable Daniel Parks, Cate Wolfe as Mattie O'Brien, Joel Tobeck as Chief Supt. Matthew Lawson
With: Louise Siversen as Rosemary Morrisey, John Wood as Patrick Tyneman, Penne Hackforth-Jones as Nell Clasby, Tim Potter as Gus Hawting, Ian Bliss as Keith Morrissey, Ryan O'Kane as Phillip Morrisey, Michael Clarke Tokely as Ricky Arnott; Philli Anderson as Ann Fitzgerald, Ian Rooney as Cec, Kate Atkinson as Monica Patterson, Bianca Linton as Josie McPhee, Annelies Bachman as Kathleen, Thomas Moore as Bodgie #1, Kayla Jackson as Girl #1, Andrew Day as Mr Bradley, Lance Anderson as Stunt Performer
In memory of Kathryn Seabrook
The Greater Good
On the eve of ANZAC Day, Dr Blake bumps into a former British Army colleague at the police station, Major Derek Alderton. Alderton is in town, trying to track down two army deserters believed to be hiding out in the area. But before they can reminisce, Dr Blake is called to the morgue where the body of the attendant, Bert Prentice, lies with shocking injuries in a pool of blood.
Chief Superintendent Lawson immediately suspects the obvious culprit, the former morgue attendant Ron Jackson. Ron was sacked to make way for the new boy, Hugh, and it appears Ron has also done a runner… what more evidence do you need? But when Constable Parks finds lowlife Gordon McRae snooping in Bert's bachelor pad, he adds him to the list of suspects.
Meanwhile on the home front, tension is growing between Dr Blake and his housekeeper Jean. Convinced he doesn't need her, Jean threatens to leave. Blake responds by wishing her well with a job interview!
The mystery deepens when a local woman starts bothering Dr Blake with fake symptoms — even though she looks fine. Blake wonders whom she is protecting.
With: David Whiteley as Sergeant Bill Hobart, Neil Pigot as Major Derek Alderton, Ben Anderson as Sgt Robert Hannam, Chloe Boreham as Sally Clements, Jamieson Caldwell as Ron Jackson, Patrick Kelleher as Gordon McRae; Brendon Bacon as Hugh Stevens, Josh Blau as Doctor Angus, Sharelle Starr as Nurse, Ian Rooney as Cec, Richard Davine as Police Photographer, Roy Edmunds as Bert Prentice
Death of a Travelling Salesman
When a travelling salesman dies in a single car accident on a quiet country road, Chief Superintendant Lawson labels it a drink driving case. But when Constable Parks reveals the corpse's face was blue, Dr Blake is intrigued. Although the victim's clothes reek of alcohol, Blake concludes that the salesman was not drunk and certainly died before the crash. But how? And why is the face blue?
Dr Blake and Jean head to the boarding house where the dead salesman had been staying. In town for the appliance fair, the state's top vacuum salesmen pitch their new vacuum cleaners to Jean — who is desperate for a new machine. With everyone distracted, Blake snoops around the boarding house and finds a locked basement.
Lawson considers the obvious culprits however Dr Blake follows his own hunches until he makes an alarming discovery that shocks everyone.
With: Socratis Otto as Clive Churchill, Fred Whitlock as Frank Connolly, Petra Glieson as Claire Connolly, David Bradshaw as Eddie Carlin, Tim Potter as Gus Hawting, Sean James Murphy as Jim Thurlston; Phil Di-Gusto as Truck Driver, Rowan Francis as Carlin's Heavy [Morris], Christian Poppi as Ray Beck, Chris Weir as Stunt Performer, Nicole McDonald as Stunt Performer
When a delirious prisoner on death row tells Dr Blake he is innocent of the police shooting for which he is soon to hang, Blake is stunned — and believes him. But no one else seems interested in uncovering the truth.
Irish immigrant Sean McBride is accused of shooting a policeman, Clive Cooper. Sealing his fate on death row, Sean originally pleaded guilty to the crime and refused to defend himself in court.
The town is divided over the rights and wrongs of capital punishment. The police rally around their own, determined to get 'justice'.
District Nurse Mattie O'Brien is vehemently against capital punishment and finds herself at loggerheads with friend Danny Parks. Constable Parks arrived at the crime scene just minutes after the shooting that fateful day and Sean McBride even shot at him. Danny desperately wants to back his copper mates but starts to doubt the evidence as Dr Blake asks more and more pertinent questions.
The closer Blake gets to the shocking truth, the tighter the circle closes.
With: David Whiteley as Sergeant Bill Hobart, Sara Gleeson as Joy McDonald, Daniel Daperis as Sean McBride, Luke Ryan as Xavier McBride, Brendan McCallum as Peter McBride, Tamara Donnellan as Brigid McBride, Rachel Berger as Nurse Gloria, James Lawson as Bill Parsons, Timothy Quabba as Harris, Sullivan Cassidy as Baby Cooper, Graham Jahne as Clive Cooper, Antonius Verlaan as Stan the Publican; Hamish Pearce, Estella DeBolfo & Taylor Radford as McBride Children
Hearts And Flowers
When the Begonia Festival's head judge is found incinerated in his own glasshouse, all eyes turn to two feuding contestants.
Nick Manos and Charles Griffiths are lifelong rivals at everything, thanks to a family argument that started back in 1870. They are also fierce competitors in the flower festival. The day before the head flower judge died, Manos publicly accused him of taking bribes and threatening him. Charles Griffith also has motive. It is an event also marred by the sudden collapse of another judge, heiress Angela Waterston.
Chief Superintendent Matthew Lawson suspects it could be either of the men. The autopsy reveals how the professor was murdered however vested interests want to keep it quiet until after the festival. Lawson agrees and Dr Lucien Blake reluctantly takes Professor Ormond's place on the judging panel.
Entrant Maria Manos thrills locals by publicly demanding pageant host Charles Griffith shake hands and end the family feud with her father. She then announces her engagement to Griffith's son, Oliver. Meanwhile Dr Blake is asked to walk the terminally ill heiress, Angela, down the aisle and do the bridal waltz, to which he agrees despite loathing dancing.
Back at Dr Blake's surgery, an airmail letter arrives from Singapore, giving him hope of finding his missing wife and daughter.
Are people really murdering over their prize winning begonias — or is there something more sinister going on?
With: David Whiteley as Sergeant Bill Hobart, John Wood as Patrick Tyneman, Tony Nikolakopoulos as Nick Manos, Alinta Chidzey as Maria Manos, Michael Bishop as Charles Griffith, Bartholomew Walsh as Oliver Griffith, Pia Prendville as Angela Waterson, Paul Cousins as Anthony Farmer, Chris Waters as Professor Ormond
If The Shoe Fits
The death of a foreman at a shoe factory looks like a hideous industrial accident. The body of Polish migrant Giulio Mosca is found mangled in a press, with his hand amputated. It's the fourth accident in nine months. Police Surgeon Dr Lucien Blake is furious the factory has such a lack of safety measures and calls for its immediate closure.
The owner, local businessman Patrick Tyneman, admits there was no safety guard on the press despite Blake's previous two reports calling for it to be added. Things get physical and Chief Superintendant Matthew Lawson has to intervene. Dr Blake leaks a story about the industrial accident to a reporter, hoping the pressure will force Tyneman to improve safety.
Meanwhile, Blake's housekeeper, Jean Beazley, auditions for the town's play even though she knows the lead will go to the usual actress. She rehearses and eventually succeeds in securing a part in The Importance of Being Ernest.
The deeper Dr Blake digs into the foreman's death, the more suspicious he becomes about the veil of silence between the migrants at the shoe factory. What exactly are they hiding?
With: Jacek Koman as Miroslav Gorski, John Wood as Patrick Tyneman, Syd Brisbane as Stan Egan, Kasia Kaczmarek as Romana, Marta Kaczmarek as Klara Krol, Sara Gleeson as Joy McDonald, Ben Prendergast as Robert Manifold, Tim Potter as Gus Hawting, Jenny Seedsman as Susan Tyneman, Ante Kreso as Giulio Mosca
A psychiatric inmate, David Hoyle, is the clear culprit in the fatal stabbing of a nurse at Blackhill Asylum. When Chief Superintendent Matthew Lawson and Police Surgeon Dr Lucien Blake arrive at the crime scene, Hoyle is having electro convulsive therapy.
Still confused after the shock treatment, Hoyle tells Blake and Lawson he thinks he killed nurse Violet Ashby but cannot recall the incident. Lawson says Hoyle was found crouched near the body holding a large kitchen knife. However Dr Blake is not convinced.
A voluntary patient at the institution, Oriel Vogel, surprises Dr Blake when she turns up unannounced at his surgery with a painting she's done of him. She has also done a moody portrait of David Hoyle, which interests Blake.
Back at the asylum Blake tests his theory in a rather unorthodox manner.
At home, Blake consoles his ego with a bottle of Scotch whisky and ends up terribly drunk. When Jean helps him to bed late at night, she takes the opportunity to read his private letters from Singapore. She finds a photo of Blake with his family, dated September 1940.
John Stanton as Douglas Ashby,
Adam Schmerl as David Hoyle,
Matt Dyktynski as Doctor Kenneth Laine,
Paul English as Doctor Ted Winters,
Emily Tomlins as Oriel Vogel,
Lara Jean Marshall as Violet Ashby,
Steve Hayden as Bryn Grymus;
Game of Champions
Handsome challenger, James Holbrook, takes out the jackpot, all the prizes and £1,000, on the popular TV quiz show Game of Champions and is then found dead from what appears to be a heart attack. However Chief Superintendent Matthew Lawson and Dr Lucien Blake find evidence of sabotage.
When the locals make deaths threats against a suspect, Blake takes him home like a lost animal, much to Jean's annoyance. Simon tells Blake every detail about the patterns in people's movements on the quiz show, giving Blake useful insights. The number of suspects is growing, as are the motives.
Dr Blake turns to Jean, Mattie and Daniel to help him make sense of the baffling case. He gets them to role-play a whodunnit version of the quiz show with a surprising answer.
With: John Wood as Patrick Tyneman, Matt Hetherington as Alan Coleman, Verity Hunt-Ballard as Verity Coleman, Nicholas Bell as Professor Robert Waterman, Aljin Abella as Simon Lo, Victoria Thaine as Dawn Prentice, Adrian Auld as Roger Lambert, Richard Aspel as Tony the Voice Over Guy, James Harvy as James Holbrook, Glen Hunt as Shop Assistant
All That Glitters
A prospector announces to a crowded pub that he has struck gold, and later that night is found dead at the bottom of his mine shaft after showing off the nugget in the pub.
When he examines the crime scene, Police Surgeon Dr Lucien Blake is overcome with anxiety in the claustrophobic mine — a result of distressing war memories. Even in this state, Dr Blake spots clues no one else sees.
Chief Superintendent Lawson and Dr Blake break the news to the dead man's landlady, Margaret Reid, although her reaction makes Blake immediately suspicious.
Back home, Jean is fitting Mattie for a red bridesmaid's dress for her best friend Eadie's wedding.
When Eadie's fiancé, Russ, gives her a ruby and diamond engagement ring, Mattie wonders where he got the money. Later that night Eadie, and Russ sweaty with fever and an injured hand, turn up at Dr Blake's practice for medical assistance.
Dr Blake doggedly follows other clues and hunches, and it turns out the prospector may have picked a very unlucky place to find his gold.
With: David Whitely as Sergeant Bill Hobart, Adam McGurk as Eric Reid, Meredith Penman as Margaret Reid, Penne Hackforth-Jones as Nell Clasby, Simon Maiden as Joe Springer, Holly Shanahan as Eadie McIntyre, Kristof Kaczmarek as Jan Vennick, Nathan Strauss as Russ Barlow, Tim Potter as Gus Hawting, Adam Morgan as Brian 'Blondie' Bolton, Wil Greenway as Arthur Pike, Jonathan Vaughan as Detective, Andrew Cason as Detective, John Higginson as British Consul
Note: the final performance for veteran actor Penne Hackforth-Jones, she would pass away on May 18, 2013 shortly after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
Someone's Son, Someone's Daughter
The suicide of Ballarat Hospital's first female doctor shocks the community. Dr Lucien Blake suspects foul play and sets out to find the murderer amongst the staff and board of the hospital.
Meanwhile, another letter from Singapore arrives for Lucien. It takes him days to work up the courage to open it. His reaction to the news about his missing wife and daughter shocks Jean, Mattie and Danny.
With: John Wood as Patrick Tyneman, Sara Gleeson as Joy McDonald, Russell Fletcher as Geoffrey Nicholson, Tim Potter as Gus Hawting, Ellen Simpson as Nancy Carmody, Laura Pike as Carol Stanning, Samantha Morley as Hazel Mahoney, Lucy Moir as Linda Butler, Tony Brown as Mr. Gardy, Sharelle Starr as Stunt Performer
For Peter John McLachlan & James Harvey Adams
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