Ian's Number 96
episode guide:


What dark, family secret does Helen Sheridan keep concealed from Jack Sellars?

Can Arnold Feather survive the amputation of his injured leg?

Did Bruce Taylor or Maggie Cameron cause Bev Houghton's gunshot wound?

Does Dudley Butterfield really have a secret wife?

Will Harry Collins return to the bottle if his wife, Vera, gives birth to a black baby?

446. (28/1) Dudley is jealous because Don was out all night with Bruce, but he is unnerved when confronted by his past: his wife, Jan Butterfield (Denise Otto). Flo has lost Amanda in Honolulu. Arnold's injured leg has been amputated. Jan tells Don that Dudley has a three year old son, Ben (Ben Huber).

447. (29/1) Some new tenants, Reg and Edie MacDonald (Mike Dorsey & Wendy Blacklock) of Blacktown, and their daughter, Marilyn (Frances Hargreaves), have moved into Flat 5. Maggie shows her true colours, claiming that she wasn't present during Bev's shooting. When Marilyn accidentally tears her blouse, Aldo and Les encounter her ample charms.

Actually, Marilyn's charms were even more "ample" when the role was played by Judy McBurney. However, a bout of peritonitis led to the character being recast. Frances Hargreaves had to reshoot all of Ms McBurney's scenes.

448. (30/1) Marilyn has been out all night with a friend. Amanda returns home and soon has everyone in a party mood. Dorrie sees more of Marilyn than she anticipated. Don gets a phone call from Claire, who has some shattering news about Bev.

449. (31/1) Lucy frets about Arnold; he doesn't know his leg has been amputated. Norma considers her new modelling contract. Jack receives a letter from Helen. If Harry stops his game of pretence, Vera will be unable to face the consequences.

450. (1/2) Amanda takes Flo, Dorrie and Herb to her fancy dress farewell party, but Herb gets himself arrested. Claire vows to have her revenge over her daughter's death. Amanda resolves Herb's court ordeal. Lucy is uneasy about Mr Poreski (Tim Eliott) and his men, but Alf is determined to tell all on the "Names in the News" television show. Harry wants Vera to have an abortion.

451. (4/2) Maggie may be forced to tell the truth.

Repeats of the series, from Episode #1, commenced in a daytime timeslot (1.30 pm in Sydney). Due to censorship rules, some episodes were heavily edited and occasionally pre-empted by episodes of Room 222.]

452. (5/2) Claire rewards Jack's kindness in a most unexpected way... with a beach house.

453. (6/2) Don speaks plainly to Bruce. Harry requires some answers which only Vera can provide.

454. (7/2) Lucy's fears may be realised and Dudley meets his problem face-to-face.

455. (8/2) Alf has a secret plan. Arnold has some serious thinking to do about his future.

456. (11/2) Claire is still bitter towards Maggie. Dudley contemplates ways to change his story.

457. (12/2) Vera receives a cruel note. Marilyn meets an artist who has some colourful ideas.

The Box makes its Sydney debut in a 90-minute episode, achieving a rating of 46. The previous night, it had scored 32 in Melbourne.

458. (13/2) Dorrie is starting to doubt the wisdom behind her business venture.

459. (14/2) Jack tries to get the truth out of Helen. Maggie continues to be a problem.

460. (15/2) Arnold's hopes are dashed. Herb is planning a special treat for Dorrie.

461. (18/2) Roma suffers a situation with "too many cooks", while Reg's prim facade could be misleading.

462. (19/2) Maggie has had a distressing encounter with Claire.

463. (20/2) Les is in yet another predicament.

464. (21/2) Marilyn is confused by Dudley's emotional behaviour.

465. (22/2) Norma reacts in horror to Jack's news.

466. (25/2) Arnold hears something and is lost for words. Dudley wants to make a clean break.

467. (26/2) Is Claire hearing the truth from Maggie? Jack has cause for doubts.

468. (27/2) Norma faints in surprise, but Helen is also in for a shock.

469. (28/2) Shadows from the past keep turning up to haunt Mal Jackson (George Assang), while Arnold looks to his future.

470. (29/2) Helen amazes Jack again. Dudley has had a change of attitude.

471. (4/3) Jack agrees to let Helen's mother, Elissa Sheridan (Betty Dyson) stay with them, but Helen soon realises that her father (Tom Farley) may have known best after all. Maggie's problems are overwhelming and she threatens Claire, while Vera and Mal argue.

472. (5/3) Dorrie's voice returns and she puts a stop to Flo's reunion plans. Vera loses something very important: her sketch pad of pirated fashion designs. Claire's health is a cause of concern when she refuses an operation to remove a blood clot, but Jack signs the consent form. Norma reads an instalment of "54 Paddington Place". Elissa goes shopping with Helen, but why has she also brought a huge knife with her? Vera is a victim of Mal's nightmare.

473. (6/3) Edie confides in Marilyn. Mal tries to help Vera in his own way.

474. (7/3) Reg decides on the only appropriate course of action. Don has an important message for Dudley.

475. (8/3) Don has uncovered some undeniable facts during an investigation. Herb's Good Samaritan act has been discovered.

476. (11/3) Jack's words spoken in jest are actually close to the truth.

477. (12/2) Helen believes that Jack is being melodramatic, but Vera finds him to be a good friend.

478. (13/3) What will Jan think of Dudley's latest idea? Norma is mystified by something she reads. Jack wakes up just in time: surrounded by fire!

479. (14/3) There is a happy reunion at Number 96, but Norma is far from happy about her discovery.

480. (15/3) Maggie wins a round with Claire. Dorrie decides to start a petition. Elissa seems contented.

481. (18/3) Helen is disturbed by something she has found. Meanwhile, Arnold's nurse, Patti Olsen (Pamela Garrick), has some surprising intentions.

482. (19/3) Roma and Aldo are over-anxious in their desire to assist a friend. Marilyn is suffering from the pangs of unrequited love.

483. (20/3) Les's newly acquired prosperity is burning a hole in his pocket, leading to some strange ideas. Dorrie receives a gift and is overwhelmed.

484. (21/3) Jack gives the Sheridan family some time to be alone. Edie must realise that the holiday is over.

485. (22/3) Dorrie maintains that she has witnessed a crime, but nobody believes her.

486. (25/3) Dorrie receives a most unwelcome visitor. Helen must face the truth.

487. (25/3) Two marriages at Number 96 are under threat. Tragedy strikes again in Vera's life.

488. (27/3) Feelings between Aldo and Roma are strained. Don finds the door to the laundrette closed, but has no idea of the sinister dealings behind it.

489. (28/3) Reg and Edie endure a night of fear. Patti and Arnold find that it is difficult to be alone at Number 96.

490. (29/3) Jack gets a good reception, but Don can't say the same. Les finds that he has a lot to learn about photography.

491. (1/4) Helen tries to withstand her mother's plea. Aldo aims to equal Roma's achievement.

492. (2/4) Reg refuses to listen to reason. Alf gets the wrong idea about Tom Bartlett (Ron Roberts).

493. (3/4) Dorrie's party may not go according to plan. Tom decides to speak out.

494. (4/4) At last, Arnold finds the right words. Jack is shocked into silence by the scene that greets him.

495. (5/4) Jack is not sure if his problems are solved. Alf confuses Lucy even further.

496. (8/4) Don and Dudley tidy up the flat and discover that nothing has been stolen. Jack informs Helen of Elissa's death. In the cellar, a mystery surrounds the Buddha statue; it is found to be filled with packets of drugs. Les wants to try out a miracle hair restorer on Herb. Dean MacDonald (Marty Rhone) discloses a family secret over dinner: that Marilyn is adopted.

497. (9/4) An emotional outburst horrifies Vera. Dorrie dispenses some good advice.

498. (10/4) Alf is due to be shocked out of complacency. Flo becomes a martyr to a cause.

499. (11/4) Arnold's newfound happiness may be in jeopardy. Jack tries to get the truth out of Helen.

500. (12/4) There is a mixed welcome home for two residents of Number 96. Meanwhile, Helen seems have adopted a defeatist attitude.

Often claimed to be the first colour episode, Channel 10 in Sydney didn't convert its studio for colour production until Easter. Even then, although all scenes were being taped in colour, completed episodes would still be compiled in black and white for several more weeks.


Number 96 synopses © 1994 Ian McLean and Lindsay Street Productions. They have been rewritten from information derived from Sydney and Melbourne editions of TV Week and TV Times, cross-referenced with original Cash Harmon documentation and viewings of episodes. No text may be reproduced without the express permission of the author. To use this material in research, you are requested to inform the author and credit his contribution accordingly. Thank you.

1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1977.

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This page revised May 2012
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