Script cover page (Crawford Collection at the AFI Research Collection)
form y When The Cat's Away single work   film/TV   crime  
Issue Details: First known date: 1974... 1974 When The Cat's Away
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The wife of Tom Kelly, a suburban butcher, is murdered. Her throat has been cut. Rita, the lonely and frustrated next door neighbour has a clear view of the murderer as he drags the body to the garden shed, but she tells the police that she was out at the time.

'In the absence of Inspector Lawson, Harry White is made up to the position of acting inspector. He is anxious that all the angles of the investigation are followed up before charges are laid, and puts his staff under a lot of pressure.

'Kelly claims that he was in his shop all day and one of his regular customers confirms that he was in his shop at the time of his wife's death. White also suspects that the murderer might be Edward Grant, the neighbour on the other side of the Kelly's house from Rita. A Vietnam veteran, he shares a consuming interest in pedigree cats along with the deceased Mrs. Kelly. White considers his behaviour very peculiar.

'It becomes apparent after further investigations that Rita was in fact at home at the time and therefore must be witholding information. Detectives Redford and Deegan go to her house but she isn't home.

'Rita visits Kelly at his shop and explains that she knows he is the murderer. She demonstrates a consuming desire for Kelly. She vows her silence in return for sexual gratification.

'Redford and Deegan are surprised when Rita and Kelly arrive home together. They overhear a conversation that clearly indites Kelly as his wife's murderer. Kelly's alibi comes unstuck when it comes to light that the customer who vouched for his whereabouts at the time, hadn't reset his watch for daylight savings'.

Source: Synopsis held in the Crawford Collection in the AFI Research Collection (RMIT).

The script held in the Crawford Collection in the AFI Research Collection contains the following character notes (excluding regular characters):

'RITA: A thirty-five year old virgin, plain and randy, sentimental, old fashioned, ill at ease with men. A muscle freak.

'TOM KELLY: Mid forties. Butcher, ex-slaughterman. And looks like it: Big, muscular, a broken nose, a crew cut. Physically attractive. Under his brutal appearance there's a quiet introvert simple (NOT STUPID) man with a problem: He has a frigid wife.

'EDWARD GRAVES: Mid or late 20's. Good looking, nice, gentle personality. A Viet-Nam veteran, lost one lung from war wound. Lives on a pension from the Army. Writes poems and loves cats to the point of fanaticism.

'EDNA: Tom's wife. Late 30's or early 40's. Big, soft, chirpy, sweet and graceless. Nice round rump. She's frigid and breeds show cats.

'MR. COOK: Mid sixties pensioner, very fit, rosy cheeks, lives in the bush, grows his own vegies. A conservationist.




'UNIFORMED POLICEMAN: An ordinary constable.

'ALFRED: Edward's cat - the loser. A lynx-point siamese - (SEE WRITER).

'OTHER CATS: Siamese, burmese, abysinian, etc. (SEE WRITER)

'ALEXANDER: The champion cat. A superb burmese specimen. (SEE WRITER)'.


  • This entry has been compiled from archival research in the Crawford Collection (AFI Research Collection), undertaken by Dr Catriona Mills under the auspices of the 2012 AFI Research Collection (AFIRC) Research Fellowship.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

      1974 .
      Script cover page (Crawford Collection at the AFI Research Collection)
      Extent: 53p.
      (Manuscript) assertion
      • The script is labelled 'Code 37' on the cover page. '475' has been added in blue ink, although the episode aired as episode 470. A notation in the top right-hand corner of the cover page reads 'Please return' in red felt pen. There is no indication of to whom this copy of the script was designated.
      • Page 43 has been stapled out of order at the end of the script.
      • There are no further signs of annotation on this copy of the script.
      • The file also contains two separate episode synopses, both identical (see above).


      Held at: AFI Research Collection
      Local Id: SC HOM : 470
Last amended 26 Sep 2016 15:52:55