John Diedrich in the opening titles for Special Squad (screen cap)
form y Special Squad series - publisher   film/TV   crime   detective  
Issue Details: First known date: 1984 1984
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

An attempt to re-invoke the popularity that police procedurals had enjoyed a decade earlier, Special Squad was the most expensive program produced in Australia up to 1985 (at $150,000 per episode), yet received such lukewarm ratings that Channel Ten chose not to commission a second series.

According to Moran, in his Guide to Australian TV Series,

it was good to watch, with expert stunt work and special effects. With well-paced narratives, intelligently and nicely worked out situations and plenty of emphasis on the villains and victims, Special Squad was just as watchable and entertaining as Homicide had been in its last series.

According to Moran, the failure of Special Squad lay both in its difference from and its similarity to Homicide. The novelty (of Australian accents and Australian locations) that had helped make Homicide so successful was no longer in play, and 'the sight of tough men (on both sides of the law) made the program [Special Squad] seem very old-fashioned. In addition, the plethora of other Australian dramas on air at the time gave viewers more than enough alternatives.'


  • The list above includes only Australian script-writers. Special Squad also included writing by British-based writers David Wilks and Gerry O'Hara, who were shortly to work together on Dempsey and Makepeace, and Ranald Graham. For a more detailed list, please see list of episodes below.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Crawford Productions , 1984 .
      Title screen for Special Squad (screen cap)
      Extent: 43x60min. episodesp.
      Description: Produced on film; colour
Last amended 10 Aug 2012
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