TV Week
19th July 1997

… and she’s under siege again on Blue Heelers

BURGLARY, suspicion and a fiery relationship mark Beth Buchanan’s return to Blue Heelers after an 18-month absence.

Beth has the recurring role of Susan Croydon, one of the daughters of Sgt Tom Croydon (played by John Wood).

In the episode titled Sisterly Love, to screen July 22, Susan begins teaching at the Mt Thomas school and assigns her students the task of drawing plans of their grandparents’ houses, including hiding places for money and valuables.

So when there’s a series of robberies in the town, P.J. immediately suspects Susan is involved and tracks down evidence to one of the pupils in her class.

It doesn’t help matters that Susan has a somewhat chequered past with a history of drug abuse. Beth says the biggest repercussion is for Tom and Susan.

“Tom doesn’t show complete faith in her,” Beth says. “It causes a lot of hostility and bad feeling that ends up leading to her moving out.

“There’s also a bit of tension between Susan and P.J., because he doesn’t show any sensitivity to the children involved and for jumping to conclusions.”

John has said in interviews that his on-screen scenes with Susan and Anna (Ally Sangster) reflect his real life with his daughters. But Beth says she can’t draw such comparisons.

“My relationship with my dad is nothing like Susan’s. I’ve got a good relationship with my dad, but my parents separated years ago.”

While Beth enjoys her time on the Seven Network drama and would like a bigger role, her attitude to acting has changed in the past few years — a result of the difficulties of finding full-time work.

“It’s always difficult (to make a career out of acting), but | think I’m getting a better perspective on it,” she says.

“You can’t let your self-esteem hinge on whether or not you are getting acting jobs, because the nature of the industry is that there are too many actors and not enough work for them. You have to find other alternatives you’re interested in.”

Beth has certainly done that — she poses as a life model for artists, teaches English, works at a migrant research centre and is involved with a theatre company.

The fruit of Beth’s labor will be seen at the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts. Her theatre group, called Ranters and made up of Victoria’s College of the Arts graduates, is producing a play for the festival.

“It’s going to be a really exciting experience,” she says. “Our play’s called Blown Youth and I play a feral character called Syv.

“It’s about a bunch of youths living in a shared household who have to deal with a lot of topical things in regard to depression, unemployment and sex.”

Beth admits to drawing on her own experience, but says she’s nothing like her character.

“She’s very different to me. She’s an opportunistic, manipulative girl,” she says.

Meet Maggie’s Bad-Boy Brother

FORMER Banjo Paterson’s The Man From Snowy River favorite Brett Climo has joined the cast of Blue Heelers as Maggie Doyle’s brother, Robbie. Brett started work two weeks ago, but won’t be seen on air until September.

Like his sister, Robbie has been a member of the police force but that’s where the similarities end. Forced to leave the force because of a heroin addiction, he has returned to Mt Thomas after undergoing rehabilitation and detox. Using his classic good looks to charm and manipulate the women in Mt Thomas, it isn’t long before Robbie goes back to his old ways. Brett will be with the show until Christmas.

Original content copyright TV Week.