TV Week: “Brutes!” The Sullivans 8th July 1978

TV Week
8th July 1978

Please note: this article is graphic.

Nazi’s execute Melina.

A BATTERED and bruised Melina stands expressionless before the German leader.

The Nazi officer turns to the group of Cretan villagers and announces: “Beware all traitors. You will be found out. You will be punished. You will die… as this spy before you will die now.”

In a dramatic sequence of events in the Nine Network’s The Sullivans, Melina was captured by the Germans when she and her new husband, Australian soldier Norm Baker, tried to leave Crete by submarine. Norm escaped back to the hills and tried everything in his power to rescue his Greek wife.

But now her time has come.

She stares at the chair that she will be tied in, and at the grim-faced German firing squad. The Greek villagers gather to watch.

Suddenly a disguised Norm and British Intelligence agent Barrington push their way through the crowd. Norm is desperate, horrified, and totally helpless

Melina holds herself proudly and begins her walk to the chair. She hesitates when she recognises Norm, but is soon bustled forward by her German escort.

Agony is written all over Norm’s face.

Barrington feels as though he is standing next to a human volcano, and prepares to restrain Norm if he has to. He urges Norm to leave, but is ignored.

Melina is tied to the chair and the firing squad takes aim. Norm’s face is white with shock.

Within a split second, it is all over.

Shattered and embittered, Norm returns to the hills and contemplates whether to fight, escape, or give himself up. No matter what he decides, he will never see his beautiful Greek wife again.

FOOTNOTE: The Sullivans producer John Barningham said the scenes were among the most graphic yet in the series.

“The crew really became emotionally involved during the filming of the episode. When it was all over they were visibly shocked,’ he said.

The episode will be screened in Melbourne on July 7 and in Sydney on July 21.

By Brett Stavordale

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