TV Week
14th October 1989

Seven gives nod to new police series

WHILE everyone has been getting a bit jittery about tough times ahead for Australian television, over at the Seven Network they’re not worried.

They’ve called in the police to arrest the gloom.

Seven has just given the green light to a new series, Skirts, set around the activities of the Community Policing Squad, and is confident it will prove one of the big hits of 1990.

Starring AFI and TV WEEK Logie-award winning actress Tracy Mann, the new series goes into production later this year.

According to Des Monaghan, Seven’s director of network production and program development, the show is “gutsy, but with plenty of humor and emotion”.

Monaghan says: ‘‘We really believe we have a winner on our hands.” He adds that it is impossible to compare Skirts to earlier police series such as Cop Shop or Cagney And Lacey.

“It’s not really like anything that’s been done before. It’s fresh, very exciting and shows something of the reality of police life.

“Roger Simpson and Peter Herbert have written a great pilot with very engaging characters.”

Centring around the predominately female community policing unit, it looks at what is an incredibly stressful job for the officers coping with the dally problems of child abuse and violence.

“We also see how the work affects their personal lives,” Monaghan says.

Tracy Mann, whose credits include the mini-series Tracy and Sword Of Honour and movies Hard Knocks and Going Down, Is Senior Constable Pauline Reardon, who is effectively the leader of the unit.

Karen Davitt will play Constable Debbie Priest, who has a heart of gold but little time for police bureaucracy. Then there’s Constable Wanda Nowacek, played by Kate Gillick, a strong, big-hearted woman who is also extremely practical. An adrenalin junkie, she is in her element when called on to sort out a roughhouse.

While cast contracts are still being finalised, the line-up for Skirts will include English-born actor Nicholas Bell, who appeared in a lot of Agatha Christie telemovies and toured with the Royal Shakespeare Company before opting to settle in Australia.

He’s signed on as Sergeant Gary Block, a ruthlessly efficient officer who is admired rather than liked by the others on the force.

Skirts will be produced in Melbourne by Simpson LeMesurier, the team responsible for Sword Of Honour and Darlings Of The Gods, It is set for a one-hour-a-week slot early in the new year.

Patrice Fidgeon

Original content copyright TV Week.

Thanks to TV Week Appreciation Page.