1977

Ian's Number 96
episode guide:
1977

Cliffhangers:

Will the adulterous Fay Chandler cope with the news that her husband, Bernard, is dead?

What has convinced Dudley Butterfield to return to Don Finlayson's bed?

Will young Kerry Bradden regain his sight?

What does Lord Andrew Whittaker keep in his mysterious hatbox?

Will Gary Whittaker's impotence ruin his relationship with Laura Trent?

Is Herb Evans a thief, a cheat and a playboy?


Original painting by John Northcote, restored by Ian with Adobe Photoshop

REPEAT OF SPECIAL: Number 96: And They Said It Wouldn't Last. (17/1) With a new ending presented by Dina Mann.

This special recapped the cliffhangers from the previous season and previewed forthcoming episodes. Aired at 8.30 pm in Sydney.

1099, 1100. (18/1) Don and Dudley reminisce about their past relationships and agree that, this time, it is too late to start afresh. Kerry undergoes emergency surgery to restore his sight. When Andrew arrives home with a box of rat poison, Norma's grave suspicions about him are raised to new heights. On the strength of the overwhelming evidence concerning the missing Herb, Dorrie commences divorce proceedings. Is Herb really a thief and a playboy? Kerry's father, John Braddon (Revelly Jones), loses his temper.

Two episodes were again being screened back-to-back in Sydney, twice weekly, now on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

1101, 1102. (20/1) The disappearances of Herb and the Bowling Club funds threaten to break up the Mainwarings' marriage, too. Dudley tells Laura that Gary's impotence prevented him from making love to Jodi (Judy McBurney). Jane and Debbie have returned from their holiday with a new boarder named Rob Forsyth (John McTernan); he staggers a concerned Don with the statement that he is a homosexual.

1103, 1104. (25/1) Grant maintains that Lee's actions goaded their father into suiciding, but Lee believes that Bernard may not be dead. Laura uses all her feminine wiles to help Gary to regain his virility. A bizarre letter from South Africa accuses Andrew of having murdered his wife. Rob thinks that Don is straight. Sir William withdraws his donation from the Bowling Club.

1105, 1106. (27/1) Gary seems to be the perpetrator of a cruel hoax: is he trying to convince the Chandlers that Bernard is still alive? Dorrie suspects that the murderous Andrew has poisoned her dinner. Fay's strange behaviour is a set-back; she is responsible for the phantom phone calls and telegrams. Jane and Dudley try to set the scene for romance between Don and a fellow homosexual. Lee feels the weight of responsibility over Bernard's suicide and his mother's sanity.

1107, 1108. (1/2) Lee's attempt on his own life is unsuccessful. A conversation between Norma and Gary is overheard by Andrew. Dudley dabbles in a little matchmaking on Don's behalf. Rob's visa expires in two weeks, but he refuses Don's offer of help. The bandages are removed from Kerry's eyes. Norma conducts a fruitless search for Andrew's hat box. An important overseas phone call for Laura and Gary is intercepted by Andrew.

1109, 1110. (3/2) The contents of Andrew's mysterious hat box are a source of great alarm for at least three residents of Number 96. The truth is out: Gary is the true Earl Macraddonow, but will Laura agree to become his wife? Dorrie gets an unexpected call from Flo, who is holidaying at Wattamolla Beach. Clan warfare develops between the MacDonalds and the Whittakers, but Dorrie is the first casualty. Arnold and Dudley are hurt by Kerry's reaction to his father. Don must reveal his true feelings about Rob. Will Giovanni join the priesthood? Maria becomes besotted by Arnold. Flo receives the shock of her life.

1111, 1112. (8/2) Sir William is missing, presumed drowned. Open war breaks out between the Whittakers and the MacDonalds as the result of a flying haggis. Don tries to determine the reason why Rob won't apply for an extension to his visa. Claire Houghton has further news about Sir William which shatters Flo. Debbie plans for her future. Janine Vezzula (Delores Ernst) arrives at the deli to meet Giovanni, but Maria is horrified. Who is Jane's secret boyfriend?

1113, 1114. (10/2) Gary tries to live up to the promise he made to Laura. Edie withdraws all of her "services" from Reg. Grant prepares for life as Claire's gigolo. Don makes his most serious decision. There are dire consequences for the MacDonalds during the Highland Games. Debbie attempts to convince Don to abandon his plan to emigrate to America, but Rob surprises everyone and puts an end to all discussion.

1115, 1116. (15/2) Jane and Rob have married and they must try to justify their actions to Don. Edie's destiny is being influenced by tea leaves. Claire introduces Grant to her maid, Jasmine, and informs Grant of the extent of his duties. Don wants Rob to seek an annulment. Giovanni is shocked by Janine's vulgarity. Jane announces that she is pregnant.

1117, 1118. (17/2) There are plans afoot for Lee and Grant to move into Flat 5. Flo still has trouble accepting that Sir William is dead. Gary has an ultimatum which he plans to put to Laura. Reg discusses an important cultural exchange with Dorrie. Arnold has won the New South Wales Sauce Making Contest and must travel to Melbourne to compete in the finals.

1119, 1120. (22/2) The situation regarding Janine causes Giovanni to come to blows and a vendetta rears its ugly head. Did Sir William fake his own death? Dorrie hears some shattering news about the American trip. The predicament facing Don, Rob and Jane reaches a stalemate. It seems that Arnold has taken to keeping a gun under the counter in the deli. Dudley is convinced he saw Sir William alive and well in Oxford Street.

1121, 1122. (24/2) Luigi Vezzula (Franco Valentino) is seeking Janine and he threatens Maria with a knife. Lee is fired from his new job at Kings Cross, but this of great relief to Reg. A prowler breaks into Flat 2. Jane is jealous that Rob spent the night with Don. Laura does not intend to let Gary disappear into thin air. Benito Vezzula tells Luigi that he has found Giovanni. Dorrie gets into practice for her American exchange. Don is left for dead after an assault.

1123, 1124. (1/3) A surprise for Norma and Andrew arrives in the post. Sir William's "ghost" seems to be everywhere. Claire is horrified when it appears that Serena, her pet poodle, has been kidnapped. Norma finally agrees to accept Andrew's proposal to move to Texas. A crank call for Don is intercepted by Debbie. Lee finds Serena and Grant suspects him of taking her in the first place. Edie's tea leaf prophecy may come true: Giovanni is in grave danger of being killed.

1125, 1126. (3/3) Jane's attempt to seduce Rob is a failure and he moves in with Don. As predicted by Maria, Arnold's peace conference is a complete failure. Flo comes under suspicion. The vendetta is finally resolved in time to thwart a knife battle from reaching its bloody conclusion. Luigi presents Giovanni with a worse problem: Janine's hand in marriage. A farewell party is being planned for one of Number 96's residents. Flo discovers a "stranger" in the house.

1127, 1128. (8/3) Flo makes secret plans to leave Australia with Sir William, whom is very much alive. Edie confirms a previously foreseen death through the tea leaves: her own. Herb's news about the American exchange may split he and Dorrie forever. Jane's pregnancy is no longer a secret. Dudley has grand plans, both for the wine bar and the "King of Trivia" TV show. A tragedy ensues from Don's exhaustive enquiries.

1129, 1130. (10/3) Grant "moves in" on Claire. Dudley makes his dazzling debut on television. Don informs Flo that Sir William has been killed in a plane crash, but a false passport will ensure that his reputation will remain intact. Jane finds herself in a position which can have Rob deported and the truth about her forthcoming baby is revealed. Grant has been fired. Edie refuses all assistance, despite her steadily weakening condition. Claire is attacked by an intruder in her home. As Arnold prepares for his Melbourne trip, Charles "Chook" Feather (Jeff Kevin) arrives unannounced; he is Arnold's identical twin brother.

Melbourne temporarily suspended its regular twice-weekly screenings of episodes at this point, due to unsatisfactory ratings. Upon its return a week later, only one hour per week was screened until the show reached its finale.

1131, 1132. (15/3) Arnold has received the shock of his life. Police Sergeant Derek Costa (Stephen O'Rourke) has questions for Reg, which he cannot answer. An old friend comes into Don's life. Maria wants $1000 from Luigi for breaking the marriage contract between Giovanni and Janine. Flat 7 has a new tenant: Edie's psychiatrist, Dr Harold Wilkinson (Dave Allenby). At the airport, Dorrie sheds sad tears of farewell. Grant is unable to come up with an alibi when he most needs it. Edie is missing.

1133, 1134. (17/3) Edie's tragic situation goes from bad to worse. Nobody has remembered Debbie's 18th birthday. Dudley's new plans for the wine bar exasperate Rob. Dorrie plans to devote herself to Herb's American exchangee, Henri P Dobb, when he arrives. Jane upsets Rob with news of her recent abortion. Claire makes a serious decision following her dreadful experience. Giovanni threatens to sue Rob over his insult. Arnold sends surprising news from Melbourne; he has won the sauce contest.

1135, 1136. (22/3) Grant makes desperate plans to extricate himself from trouble. Debbie resolves to lose her virginity. Madame Zenda is called in to save Edie's life, but she is revealed to be a scruffy journalist named Jock Walpole (Brian Wenzel). Dorrie's American visitor is still missing. Dudley's new-look wine bar, Duddles, takes the neighbourhood by surprise. Dorrie and Flo are stunned when Herb becomes involved in an international incident: his plane is hijacked.

1137, 1138. (24/3) Grant has devised a scheme with Claire to save himself. Harold has strong words for his grandmother, Opal Wilkinson (Nat Nixon), about her outrageous behaviour. The phony Madame Zenda convinces Edie that she isn't dying. Giovanni is in deep financial trouble, but has a coaching session in poker with Opal. Dorrie is upset by a satellite news report from America; Herb had missed the plane, but is he having an affair? Giovanni and Maria's bistro is thriving because the wine bar no longer serves meals. Grant knocks out an intruder at Claire's, but it is Derek. Together, they capture the real burglar: Jasmine the maid. Arnold returns with an unusual problem. He can't remember the recipe for his prize-winning sauce.

1139, 1140. (29/3) A homeless Giovanni saves Debbie's life. Dorrie and Flo have to face facts with Henrietta P. Dobb (Chelsea Brown). The MacDonalds decide to leave Number 96 and book a trip to Spain to see Dean and Marilyn. Reg catches a thief in their flat, but it's only Henri collecting the garbage. Arnold leaves for Paris, still concerned over the bistro. Dudley hears from Channel 10 and is presented with the chance to alter his whole life. Jane is still causing trouble for Don and meets a stranger to make a mysterious pay-off.

1141, 1142. (31/3) Henri's behaviour raises Dorrie's suspicions. Giovanni's losses continue to soar as the poker game in Flat 6 attracts several other residents. Dorrie may be guilty of indecent exposure. A former resident of Number 96, Marilyn MacDonald, returns to be with a dying relative. Rob is the victim of a cruel set-up. Harold has a surprise patient who asks for psychiatric help. Giovanni is wrongly accused. The truth about light-fingered Chook is revealed.

1143, 1144. (5/4) Marilyn tells Grant about the death of her Spanish bullfighter husband, El Bordello. Opal outfits a new consulting room for Harold. Dudley promotes Lee to the position of manager of the wine bar, which allows Dudley to concentrate on his new career: as compere of "Duddles' Magic Lantern Show" on television. Harold overhears, and misinterprets, a conversation between Debbie and her temporary flatmate, Giovanni. News of her nephew's carnal desires reach the ears of a stunned Maria. The possibility that Don has a new lover in Canberra is too much for Rob, who breaks down under the pressure. Henri has something to hide. Who has branded Jane a "fag hag"?

1145, 1146. (7/4) Dorrie and Flo may have discovered a way to make millions: is there oil beneath the Sunshine Patio? Debbie coerces Jane to confess to her evil deeds, but the poison pen letters remain unexplained. Grant burns his bridges and prepares for a life of ease as a gigolo. Henri is hiding her true identity. Giovanni takes a shine to Marilyn. Henri and Grant perform a duet. Opal discovers Dorrie's secret. A violent assault takes place in Flat 5.

1147, 1148. (12/4) Marilyn tells Giovanni that the intruder examined her bare bottom with a magnifying glass. She tries to identify her attacker for the police. During a consultation, Harold's new patient, Miss Hemingway (Deborah Gray), bares more than her soul. Grant wants Claire to keep her promise. Giovanni suspects that Chook is the mysterious, would-be rapist. Claire consults Harold about her attraction to Grant. Rob thinks he has guessed the identity of the blackmailer; only Jane knew about his past. Maria has designs on Chook. A bikie harrasses Giovanni. Claire receives a blackmail letter and accuses Harold.

1149, 1150. (14/4) Claire threatens to start criminal proceedings against Harold. Dudley discovers the down side of being a celebrity. Manuel (Garth Meade) believes that Marilyn is in grave danger of losing her life. Blackmail threatens to destroy Dudley's new career. The tattoo on Marilyn's bottom is actually Pepe Bordello's Swiss bank account number! Herb writes that he has met Henri's granddaughter! Opal is suspected of being the blackmailer. Giovanni is the victim of a vicious attack. Grant returns to Claire, who melts in his arms.

1151, 1152. (19/4) Reg and Edie's luggage comes under the scrutiny of customs' officials. Maria and Chook go in search of Giovanni after a mysterious phone call. Marilyn and Manuel are caught in a compromising situation. Edie has a slide show. News of two deaths shocks the residents. Giovanni is revived by cardiac massage, but the real Henri has died in Tahiti.

In Sydney, these episodes aired at 9.30 pm due to the screening of the mini-series, Roots.

1153, 1154. (21/4) The truth about Henri is finally revealed: for a start, her real name is Hope Jackson. Marilyn's decision to live in sin is a shock to Reg, so Chook protects her honour in a duel with Manuel. The police evacuate all of the residents to protect their lives from a dangerous oil leak. Giovanni wakes from his coma. Paul Sheldon (David Foster), of the Race Relations Board, interviews Chook about the bikie incident. Claire receives a blackmail demand from the anonymous letter writer. Some important evidence is discovered by Opal in Harold's consulting room.

In Sydney, these episodes aired at 9.30 pm due to the screening of the mini-series, Roots.

1155, 1156. (26/4) Don conceives of a plan to trap the blackmailer with his own bugging device. Paul gives Chook a Nazi text. Harold is unable to help Miss Hemingway with a solution to her problem. Jane's discovery about Debbie horrifies her. Hope cannot find her property on a map of Petersham. Chook receives a surprise phone call from Arnold, who is still in Paris. Edie confesses to Reg that, in order to protect Marilyn, she has paid Chook to break their engagement. Manuel confesses all: he was after Marilyn's bank balance and is already married. A priest visits Giovanni in the hospital - and removes his life support tubes!

In Sydney, these episodes aired at 9.30 pm due to the screening of the mini-series, Roots.

1157, 1158. (28/4) Some nuns see Chook physically attacking a priest in the grounds of the hospital; it is not Father Quinn, but Duncan Swann (Ken Shorter) in disguise. Opal overhears Marilyn discussing her fortune and puts in a good word about Harold. Edie's secret meeting at the Town Hall, with DTC Bobby Bullock, causes her to question Reg's feelings. Grant and Hope compete for singing gigs. Paul threatens Duncan to remain silent. Dudley embarrasses Claire through a reference to a film, "Pal Joey", on his television show. Marilyn tries to seduce Harold. Jane tells Don about finding the tape recorder in Debbie's drawer.

1159, 1160. (3/5) Rob confronts his blackmailer with a courage that reflects his true self. He is a schizophrenic! Paul leaves a funnelweb spider in Duncan's cell. Edie's secret about her husband's knighthood has become common knowledge at Number 96. Don is convinced that Debbie has committed a terrible crime. Dudley is attacked and stripped naked by screaming fans outside Number 96. Reg learns of Edie's connection with the Communist Party and is terrified of the repercussions. Rob decides to play a deadly game with Don and rigs a booby trap. Claire interferes in Grant's career.

1161, 1162. (5/5) Rob falls victim to his own trap when a gunshot misses its intended victim. Chook's memory about the bikie attack is slowly returning. Don's grief results in his vicious attack on Debbie. Lee tells Grant that Fay requires private psychiatric care. Paul and his gang plot against Chook. Rob dies of his injury. Dudley's newfound stardom is threatened by Claire's lawsuit. Reg discovers an unwelcome visitor in his bathroom. Dorrie makes up her mind to evict Hope from Flat 3. Chook puts his life in danger.

More...

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, 1974, 1975, 1976.

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