Blue Heelers is a character-based drama about coppers in a country town. The young team of police are the focus of the stories, the impact of events on each of them and their loved ones are the heart of the series. We watch their successes and their failures and learn to grow with them. The series is the one of Australia's most successful and long running dramas with 510 episodes produced over 13 series. 49 Discs
"Blue Heelers" continues the rich Australian tradition of flourishing police dramas set around the lives of people living in the bush.
In a clever plot turn, the police officers at Mt. Thomas have been largely recruited from the city, where, in a classic "city slickers" set piece, their perceptions are challenged by the alien (but very moral) values of the bush. Actions speak louder than words in the country backblocks of "Blue Heelers", where the law is more likely to be applied in the straightforward manner of the residents. And as any lawyer will tell you, magistrates in the country are not like their fellow judiciary in the city, sometimes ruling more by decree than recognizable rules of evidence. No doubt this is part of the vast appeal of "Blue Heelers" - in the city we often wish that justice was dispensed quickly and without fuss. And in this show the country folk are not backwards in coming forward when they don’t agree with the local coppers. It’s one thing to deal with an anonymous customer - it’s altogether different when you’re likely to meet up with the same person at the local over a beer! This is the contemporary Australian cousin of "Heartbeat".
There’s also a substantial element of the "old dog/new dog" about this show. Sgt. Tom Croydon (actor John Wood) has well and truly marked his territory - the rookies are here to challenge his methods and values - sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong. The Sarge could not be called a liberal - Wood himself has described his character as a bit of a reactionary. Whether it’s Mr. Smith going to Washington or the New Yorkers mixing it with the yokels in "Green Acres", this is a tried and true formula - thankfully over its many hundreds of episodes it has proved not to be "tired" and true. This isn’t to say that "Blue Heelers" just plays it safe, but they’re certainly treading a well-worn path to ratings success. Play the opposites off against each other and watch the sparks fly, on the screen and in our lounge rooms! Check out how Tom hates the way PJ bends the rules to suit himself, and how he’s nearly sent the younger man back to where he came from to pay for his sins.
Like most police dramas we have reviewed at Law4u, "Blue Heelers" focuses on the lives of a close knit group of coppers, both in and out of the police station (or "the house" as it’s known in the trade). And where better to look at the lives of a cozy group than in a country town where everyone already knows everybody else’s business? So let’s take a look at the fictitious town of Mt. Thomas.
Where is it set?
With a population of about 10,000, Mt. Thomas is your average medium sized Australian town: large enough to generate a few seasons’ worth of crimes and pub-addicted characters, but small enough to encourage the intimacy that pervades the show’s consciousness. In this way Mt. Thomas is similar to Rome, Wisconsin, the small/medium town in which the late lamented "Picket Fences" was set (though the characters of "Picket Fences" tended to the extremes of eccentricity - remember the Potato Man?).
The town is the commercial center for the farmers in the area, and as we all know, farmers are straight talkers who don’t take to the city values they’ve deliberately avoided. This is not to say that there is no contact with the outside world - after all, there’s serious revenue (and plot lines) in the passing parade of no-good city slickers who travel the highway that runs past the town (we’d like to write "past the mountain", but we’re not too sure it’s really a mountain at all!). And like any self-respecting Australian town, there’s a feud of sorts with the neighboring town (St. Davids), often settled (in the grand Australian tradition) of footy and cricket matches. It’s not like a real country town, of course – it’s a television town, where morality reigns and goodness triumphs over evil. What the heck!
Each Season $35
DVD-R Region Free. Excellent Quality. No refunds but will replace any defective discs, should there be any. In paper sleeves.