Leon Saunders began to establish his reputation as a scriptwriter in the late 1970s/early 1980s through such series as Holiday Island(1981), With Prejudice (telemovie, 1982), and Special Squad (1985). In 1981, Saunders also began a five-year association with the Seven Network's popular series A County Practice, writing at least twenty-four episodes during that period. (He also later wrote at least one episode for the 1994 series produced by Network Ten.)
A character-based television drama series about the lives of police officers in the fictitious Australian country town of Mt Thomas, this series began with the arrival of Constable Maggie Doyle (Lisa McCune) to the Mt Thomas station in the episode 'A Woman's Place'. Doyle and avuncular station boss Senior Sergeant Tom Croydon (John Wood) were the core characters of the series until the departure of Lisa McCune.
Immensely popular for a decade, Blue Heelers was cancelled in 2006 after thirteen seasons. The announcement was front-page news in Australia's major newspapers including The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney's Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun and The Age in Melbourne, and Brisbane's Courier Mail.
On June 8, 2006 Ross Warneke wrote in The Age:
'It's over and, to be perfectly blunt, there's no use lamenting the demise of Blue Heelers any more. When the final movie-length episode aired on Channel Seven on Sunday night, 1.5 million Australians tuned in, a figure that was big enough to give the show a win in its timeslot but nowhere near big enough to pay the sort of tribute that this writer believes Heelers deserved after more than 500 episodes.It is unlikely there will be anything like it again. At almost $500,000 an hour, shows such as Blue Heelers are quickly becoming the dinosaurs of Australian TV.'
'Maryam Zahedi, an immigrant woman originally from the Middle East, loses her job at the hospital. She and her daughter Zozan are getting a rough time from people in the community, and when Tom comes by to see them, Maryam's daughter runs away in fear of him, or more accurately, his uniform. A farmer leaves his barking dog with Anna when his neighbours start complaining but it doesn't take long for the incessant noise to get to Harry either. The dog it turns out, can only be soothed by the music the farmer's recently deceased wife used to play. Maryam's application for residency is rejected. The new clinic receptionist is fired for smoking on the job.
'Hugo finds Zozan hiding out at at the lodge and takes her back to her mother. Bernice consults Harry, the resident golf expert, about putting in a golf course in at Rainbow Farm, while at the same time, Darcy is undertaking a plan to revegetate the land. Maryam receives notice that her husband has been executed. She is sent the bill for the bullet which provides the evidence she needs to claim refugee status. A party for Terence's 50th birthday is held at the club.'
Source: Australian Television Information Archive. (Sighted: 21/6/2013)
'Lynette Cooper, a young and inexperienced farm hand, is left on her own to run the farm where she is working—until her long-lost sister shows up after having broken out of detention. Shirley has pneumonia. Harry tries to impress a young woman on the golf course. Steve has a close encounter with a horse on the highway.
'Harry decides that it would be best for him to move out of Steve's house and he finds a new home with Terence at Camelot. Rowie decides to donate one of her kidneys to save her sister. Tiger Kelly drives a truck into Cookie and Bob's house. Kate Bryant, a new nurse at the hospital, moves in with Steve and Luke at the farm and takes possession of the horse Steve nearly hit.'
Source: Australian Television Information Archive. (Sighted: 20/6/2013)