TV Week: “Rafferty rules on… and on” Rafferty’s Rules 11th April 1987

TV Week
11th April 1987

Magistrate set to declare the court in session again.

THE cast of Rafferty’s Rules is being brought together yet again, this time to make another six episodes, with the possibility of a further nine later in the year.

It is the third time the regular cast – John Wood, Catherine Wilkin, Simon Chilvers and Arky Michael – have been brought together to work on the series, which already is a hit in Sydney and recently had its premiere in Melbourne.

Terry Serio, who joined as a regular when episodes additional to the original series were made late last year, also is back again.

“As far as I am concerned, Rafferty’s Rules has been going on forever,” Says John Wood, who has the title role of magistrate Michael Rafferty.

“It’s three years since we made the pilot, but I’m absolutely delighted that we’re making more.

“Already they are talking about making another 20 episodes in September, but there are a lot of discussions that have to go on before that.

“I think the show is terrific and so far we have had wonderful reviews.”

Another six Rafferty’s Rules episodes went into production in Sydney on April 6. On their completion John will go straight into rehearsals for the Sydney Theatre Company’s new play Blood Relations.

“I have the lead role in the play and that takes me right up until the end of August,” he says.

“Whether or not we do more episodes depends obviously on how this lot goes.

“I’m well aware that it’s all right for me to go on doing more because I have the lead role,” he adds with a laugh.

The Seven Network’s director of drama and special projects, Alan Bateman, is hopeful that another nine episodes of Rafferty’s Rules will be made as soon as John finishes the play and that more will be produced next year.

“We always intended for it to be done this way,” Bateman says. “Rafferty’s Rules is not soap. It’s real TV. John Wood is in 85 per cent of the scenes. We’d kill him if we tried to do 40 hours a year.”

However, Batman admits it was “a nightmare” getting the cast back together.

“We had to wait for John to finish a play in Melbourne and then secure the release of Simon Chilvers (who plays police prosecutor Sergeant Flicker) from Nine’s Willing And Able, in which he has been playing the club owner Pisani.

Bateman says Willing and Abel co-producer Lynn Bayonas has been “terrifically co-operative”.

The two roles have created a unique situation for Chilvers – in Melbourne Rafferty’s Rules and Willing and Abel are pitted head to head in the ratings race, and now the actor is further sharing his talents. Later this month he joins the cast of the Sydney Theatre Company production of Pericles.

Rafferty’s Rules is the first drama to come out of the Seven Network drama unit.

“I have always had great faith in the program, so I’m thrilled that it’s been received so well,” John says.

Amanda Zachariah

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