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person or book cover
Script cover page (Crawford Collection at the AFI Research Collection)
form y separately published work icon The Fat Cat single work   film/TV   crime  
Issue Details: First known date: 1976... 1976 The Fat Cat
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Bluey nearly collapses whilst in pursuit of a crim. It looks as though, should Bluey continue at his usual pace, he is in danger of suffering something more serious. Getting Bluey to take a holiday, however, is practically impossible as the Department B team discover.

'For once, the Assistant Commissioner shows that he actually cares about Bluey's well-being and with the aid of a Union Officer intends to cajole or, if necessary, force Bluey to take leave which has been accruing for six years.

'Gary, completely engrossed in using the computer to narrow down a cat burglar, cannot control his enthusiasm and, going against Monica's advice, unintentionally works up Bluey's interest in the case.

'It isn't until Gary's figures come up with a strong lead that the Assistant Commissioner finds himself faced with an important decision - solving hundreds of cases of house-breaking or Bluey's health. His "cases" win out and by a devious method, he entices Bluey into helping Gary.

'Constant stake-outs do little to improve Bluey's state of health, but a surprising thing happens when he comes face to face with "The Cat". Because of his health problems, Bluey has to let "The Cat" escape, but he has a new lease of life in his determination to outwit a man who has outwitted the police force for many years.'

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):

'BLAIR THOMPSON: 35. Intelligent. Cynical. Very fit. His own man. Sees life as a complicated joke. Meets people face on. Assessing them. Considers most of them below his mental capacity although he would not make this obvious. Quick to smile. Charming.

'TED POWERS: Late 40's. Aware of himself. Well groomed. Aware of the power structure and appreciating his place in it. Sees himself as being more handsome and intelligent than is the reality. Has an aggression about him common to many union officers.

'MRS. THOMPSON: 33. Intense. Concerned. Anxious to do the right thing. A decent type who badly wants to fit into a catholic [sic] way of life and not make waves. Good looking. Well groomed.

'SIR GREGORY DILLON: Late 50's. Ruling class type. Pompous. Limited appreciation of the realities of the lower classes. (PLAYS GOLF)

'HELENA: Past her prime and has seen it all, but attractive and a warm involved person. A sense of humour. And pride. A loser but making the most of it.

'MASON: 40. A con man. Slim and likeable.

'DR. ARMSTRONG: Sir Gregory's golf mate. A heart specialist. In the same ruling-class vein.

'MRS. O'BRIEN: 50's. Suburban.

'FATHER O'BRIEN: 30. An average priest.

'WORKER: Employee at cleaning contractors.

'3 POLICE CONSTABLES: #1. #2 Traffic. #3 Internal.'


  • 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

      1976 .
      person or book cover
      Script cover page (Crawford Collection at the AFI Research Collection)
      Extent: 70p.
      (Manuscript) assertion
      • The script is typed on thin yellow paper, labelled 'Code 11529' and 'Episode No. 24' on the cover page, although it was produced as episode 22. There is no indication on the cover page of to whom this copy of the script is designated.
      • The script is amended throughout with liquid paper, which is then typed over. The corrections are relatively frequent but also relatively minor: alterations to typing errors, primarily. Nothing appears to be substantial, other than the deletion of a section of dialogue that has been typed twice (see pages 59 - 60). Adjustments also include renumbering the scenes and pages.
      • The script has been typed on at least two different machines.


      Held at: AFI Research Collection
      Local Id: SC BLU : 22
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Crawford Productions , 1977 .
      Extent: 48 min. 16 secs (according to the script)p.
      Series: form y separately published work icon Bluey Robert Caswell , Vince Moran , Everett de Roche , James Wulf Simmonds , Tom Hegarty , Gwenda Marsh , Colin Eggleston , David Stevens , Peter A. Kinloch , Keith Thompson , Gregory Scott , Peter Schreck , Denise Morgan , Monte Miller , Ian Jones , John Drew , David William Boutland , Jock Blair , Melbourne : Crawford Productions Seven Network , 1976 Z1815063 1976 series - publisher film/TV crime detective

      According to Moran, in his Guide to Australian Television Series, Bluey (and its Sydney-based rival, King's Men) 'constituted an attempt to revive the police genre after the cancellations of Homicide, Division 4 and Matlock Police'.

      Don Storey, in his Classic Australian Television, summarises the program as follows:

      Bluey is a maverick cop who breaks every stereotype image. He drinks, smokes and eats to excess, and therefore is rather large, but it is his unusual investigative methods that set him apart. He has bent or broken every rule in the book at some stage, to the point where no-one else wants to work with him. But he gets results, and is therefore too valuable to lose, so the powers-that-be banish him to the basement of Russell Street Police Headquarters where he is set up in his own department, a strategem that keeps him out of the way of other cops.

      Moran adds that 'Grills, Diedrich and Nicholson turned in solid performances in the series and the different episodes were generally well paced, providing engaging and satisfying entertainment.'

      The program sold well overseas, especially in the United Kingdom. But though it rated well domestically, it was not the success that the Seven Network had hoped for, and was cancelled after 39 episodes.

      Bluey had an unexpected revival in the early 1990s when selections from the video footage (over-dubbed with a new vocal track) were presented during the second series of the ABC comedy The Late Show as the fictional police procedural Bargearse. (The Late Show had given ABC gold-rush drama Rush the same treatment in series one.)

      Number in series: 22
Last amended 4 Apr 2013 15:50:43