The Flying Doctors: episode guide

Will To Survive

Liz Burch

Episode 1.01
May 15, 1986
Written by Tony Morphett
Directed by Rob Stewart

City doctor Chris Randall arrives in Coopers Crossing but many of the locals object to having a female doctor at their local RFDS station. Violet is particularly outspoken in her resentment. When Chris takes radical action to save a patient's life, things go from bad to worse. The Nomad is unable to take injured Jim Spencer back to the hospital. His leg injury is so horrific Chris believes his life is at risk. She decides to amputate his leg in very challenging circumstances, even though his wife argues strongly against it. Meanwhile, Tom and Kate treat Ted with a stomach complaint but end up trying to re-unite him with his sons.

Guest Starring: Chris Connelly as Ray Masters, Lloyd Cunnington as Jim Spencer, Glennen Fahey as Paul Hudson, Mark Hennessy as Colin Hudson, Margo McLennan as Helen Spencer, Simon Thorpe as Mellow Truckie, Martin Vaughan as Ted Hudson

Note: the series' working title was Cooper's Crossing

Trial By Gossip

Andrew McFarlane, Bruce Barry, Lewis Fitz-Gerald

Episode 1.02
Written by Christine McCourt
Directed by Rob Stewart

Following the amputation of Jim Spenser's leg, Chris faces a cold reception from the locals of Coopers Crossing; patients refuse to be teated by her and Baxter threatens to take her to court. The locals remain convinced she could have treated him without resorting to amputation. Meanwhile, Chris suffers from recurring nightmares about that fatal night at the Spenser's property and she has moments of self doubt. Later, Chris finds herself in the midst of another emergency when a young girl who is suffering from croup needs an emergency tracheotomy on a flight back to the Crossing. Baxter and the girl's mother are vehement that Chris should not perform the procedure. Tom talks to Baxter via the radio in an effort to convince him to support Chris in her decision to treat the girl. Meanwhile, the RFDS gets a new pilot when David Gibson arrives, along with his pet dog Zepplin.

Guest Starring: Chris Connelly as Ray Masters, Lloyd Cunnington as Jim Spencer, Katrina Lambert as Sarah Stuart, Margo McLennan as Helen Spencer

Hot Enough For You

Neil Melville

Episode 1.03
Written by Vincent Moran
Directed by Arch Nicholson

A naive Scottish family who have no knowledge of the conditions in the Outback have a tragic time. The Robertsons are on their way to a job on an outlying property when they get lost en-route. After a night in the car, Mrs Robertson and her two sons Alfred, Alexander and their infant daughter remain at the car while Mr Robertson goes off looking for help. However the heat gets too much for Mrs Roberson, and she suffers from dehydration and collapses as a result. Meanwhile, her disobedient sons run off and also become lost in the bush. When the Robertsons fail arrive for their new job, an emergency is declared and the search is on to find them before the heat kills them. They manage to locate all family members but it is too late for one of them.

Guest Starring: Neil Melville as Niall Robertson, ? as Janice Robertson, ? as Alexander Robertson, ? as Alfred Robertson, ? as Meg Robertson

Dreams of Sand

Episode 1.04
Written by Peter Hepworth
Directed by Arch Nicholson

Hurtle returns from his holiday and reveals that he intends to sell his half of the garage and move up north. Dave's relationship with Sharon gets him in hot water with Vic. Chris tries to help a persistant old opal miner.

Guest Starring: Robina Beard as Dot Collins, Willie Fennell as 'Rabbit' Cox, Ed Turley as Barwick

Public Property

Episode 1.05
Written by Denise Morgan
Directed by Colin Budds

The locals gear up for the annual desert boat race, hoping Hurtle and Ron might finally be defeated. Tom takes in a young woman when her fiancé-to-be learns she is pregnant.

Guest Starring: Peter Curtin as Clive Hayes, Brian Mannix as Lionel/Max, Rowena Mohr as Joylene, Mark Neal as Bruce Hayes

Is Nothing Sacred?

Episode 1.06
Written by Peter Schreck
Directed by Colin Budds

A well-known black activist arrives in Cooper's Crossing.

Guest Starring: Marina Finlay as Debbie Wilson

Square Pegs

Episode 1.07
Written by Howard Griffiths
Directed by Chris Langman

Chris performs well at the annual shooting competition and finds acceptance in the local community.

Sins of the Fathers

Episode 1.08
Written by Peter Pinney
Directed by Chris Langman

The locals are still hopeful that Tom and Chris will get together.

Guest Starring: Lesley Baker as Mrs. Jackson, Vikki Blanche as Prue Browning, Jane Menelaus as Mrs. Windsor

Rally to the Cause

Episode 1.09
Written by Peter Herbert
Directed by Brendan Maher

An international car rally comes to town for a night's stopover.

Guest Starring: Shane Briant as Pierre Costelle, Nikki Coghill as Sandra Wetherby, Brian Mannix as Lionel/Max

Talk of the Town

Episode 1.10
Written by Mary Dagmar Davies
Directed by Brendan Maher

Emma attempts to tackle the garage's finances. Chris and Tom have difficulty finding time for themselves and their new relationship is the talk of the town.

Do You Read Me?

Episode 1.11
Written by Galia Hardy
Directed by Colin Budds

Chris prescribes the Pill for a young girl in Cooper's Crossing. But he didn't bank on the locals finding out that the Pill had been given to a young unmarried girl.

Guest Starring: Lindy Davies as Linda Cooke, Taya Straton as Margie Cook

E.T. — New Girl in Town

Episode 1.12
Written by Vincent Gil
Directed by Colin Budds

A young girl is found in the outback living in primitive conditions. When she is taken back and placed in care she tries to run away.

Guest Starring: Judith Bourke as Mrs. Sutton, Nadine Garner as Amanda

A Choice of Enemies

Episode 1.13
Written by Judy Colquhoun
Directed by Dan Burstall

A young adventurer, trying to cycle to Birdsville, eats a poisonous plant and has to be airlifted out.


Episode 1.14
Written by Graham Hartley
Directed by Dan Burstall

Sharon decides to pursue a career in the city.

A Lost Generation

Episode 1.15
Written by Gwenda Marsh
Directed by Brendan Maher

Preparations are made to unveil a plaque to honour the men who died in Vietnam, but Chris and Tom discover they have different opinions on war.

Someone Special

Episode 1.16
Written by John Reeves
Directed by Brendan Maher

The relationship between Tom and Chris has reached a critical point.

Return of the Hero

Episode 1.17
Written by Tony Morphett
Directed by Mark Callan

A war hero with Aids is spurned by the locals. Chris is one of the few who reaches out to help him.

Guest Starring: Peter Fisher as Johnnie, Sydney Jackson as Father Jacko, Gerard Kennedy as Les Foster

Eye of the Beholder

Episode 1.18
Written by Cassandra Carter
Directed by Mark Callan

Chris fears for Geoff's chances of survival in Cooper's Crossing.

Guest Starring: Judith McGrath as Cynthia Cumberland-Brown, Peter Tabor as Bernie

Million Acre Prison

Episode 1.19
Written by Peter Schreck
Directed by Dan Burstall

Chris is called out to attent to a child who has been shot only to be grounded due to bad weather. Geoff is believed to be leaving Coopers Crossing after he receives a job offer from a clinic in Sydney.

Guest Starring: Lynette Curran as Jean Irving, Gregory Fleet as Mark Irving, Sean Scully as Barry Irving

Like a Death In The Family

Episode 1.20
Written by RogerDunn
Directed by Dan Burstal

Nancy learns that she must have a hysterectomy.

Guest Starring: Frank Gallacher as Harry Morgan, John Jacobs as Charlie, Carole Skinner as Joan Morgan, Dominic Sweeney as Peter Morgan, Paul Young as Auctioneer

Fearless Frank

Episode 1.21
Written by Peter Hepworth
Directed by Colin Budds

Gibson takes a holiday and his replacement terrorises the entire team.

Guest Starring: Ray Barrett as Frank Watson, Tommy Dysart as Simpson, Val Lehman as Val Bates, John Proper as Don Kennedy


Episode 1.22
Written by Graham Hartley & Annie Beach
Directed by Colin Budds

Geoff gets caught up in an intriguing situation when a prowler threatens a local woman.

Guest Starring: Rhonda Burchmore as Carol, Robyn Gibbes as Sarah Gordon, Paul Glen as Fred, Niall O'Donnell as Mick, Klaus Schulz as Martin Gordon


Episode 1.23
Written by Graham Hartley
Directed by Mark Defriest

A disturbed man causes havoc when he comes out of sedation during a flight.

Guest Starring: Gary Adams as Phar Lap Cochrance, Laurie Dobson as Radiographer, Graham Duckett as Carbine Cochrane, Katrina Foster as Josie Rattan, Peter Moon as Clem, Glenn Robbins as Mac

The Show Goes On

Episode 1.24
Written by Vince Moran
Directed by Mark Defriest

A troupe of travelling theatre players have an accident on the road to Coopers Crossing.

Guest Starring: Julian Branagan as Rick, Patsy Martin as Mrs. Burke, Robert Morgan as Steve Ryan, Andrew Spence as Col, Marty Fields as Piano Player

To the Rescue

Episode 1.25
Written by Vince Moran
Directed by Colin Budds

Violet and Emma have some last-minute conflicts over the Queen of the Outback contest.

Guest Starring: Terry Brittingham as Gary, Matt Brown as Spike, Paddy Burnet as Edie, Mitchell Faircloth as Chook, Esme Melville as Grace, Marcus White as Carrots

Into The Future

Episode 1.26
Written by Vince Moran
Directed by Colin Budds

Gibbo is going to the Queen of the Outback competition in Windoona.

Guest Starring: Tina Arena as Miss Broken Hill, Allen Bickford as Arthur Maxwell, Carl Bleazby as Clarrie Byrne, Robin Dene as Ted Wills, Sydney Jackson as Father Jacko, John Murphy as Edward Taylor, Louise Siversen as Debbie