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A Country Practice

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A Country Practice
Main title caption in 1981,
depicting the Wandin Valley Clinic.
GenreSoap opera
Created byJames Davern
Starring(see Cast List in Article)
Theme music composerMike Perjanik
Opening themeA Country Practice (instrumental)
Ending themeReprise
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons14
No. of episodes1,088 (List of episodes)
ProducerJames Davern
Running time48 minutes
Production companyJNP Productions
Original release
NetworkSeven Network (1981–93)
Network Ten (1994)
Release18 November 1981 (1981-11-18) –
5 November 1994 (1994-11-05)

A Country Practice is an Australian television soap opera/serial which was broadcast on the Seven Network from 18 November 1981 until 22 November 1993, and subsequently on Network Ten from 13 April 1994 to 5 November 1994. Altogether, 14 seasons and 1,088 episodes were produced.

The show was produced at the ATN-7's production facility at Epping, New South Wales, Pitt Town and Oakville, suburbs on the outskirts of northwest Sydney, Australia, were used for most of the exterior filming, with the historic heritage-listed Clare House, built in 1838, serving as the location of the Wandin Valley Bush Nursing Hospital.

Many other fictional locations, including Dr. Terence Elliot's (Shane Porteous) medical practice, Frank and Shirley Gilroy's house Brian Wenzel and Lorrae Desmond, the Wandin Valley Church and Burrigan High School where filmed in the Hawkesbury.[1]

Several of the regular cast members became popular celebrities as a result of their roles in the series. It also featured a number of native Australian animals, particularly the iconic 'Fatso the wombat' adding to its appeal both domestically and internationally. After the series was cancelled by the Seven Network in 1993, the series was relaunched on the Network Ten in 1994.

At the time of its cancellation, A Country Practice was the longest-running Australian TV drama; however, by the late 1990s, that record was surpassed by Network Ten series Neighbours. At the height of its popularity, the show attracted 8–10 million Australian viewers weekly[citation needed] (at a time when the population of Australia was 15 million). The series was eventually sold to, and broadcast in 48 countries.


A Country Practice creator and executive producer James Davern had previously worked on a similar rural-based series as the producer and director of the long-running Bellbird, which screened on ABC Television (1967–1977). In 1979, he entered the pilot episode for a script contest by Network Ten, which was looking for a new hit soap opera after the demise of Number 96. Davern came third and won a merit award.[2][better source needed] Although TEN turned the series down, rival TV station Seven Network picked it up. Davern's contribution to the industry was recognised when he was honoured with the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2014.[3]



Though sometimes considered a soap opera, the storylines of the show's two 45 minute episodes screened over any one week formed a self-contained narrative block. The storylines were meant to have a primary appeal to adult and older youthful audiences, and in particular they had greater appeal to children from middle-class backgrounds.[4] As it did not have the open ended narrative of a traditional soap opera, it was technically a "series".[5] Nevertheless, many storylines were developed as sub-plots for several episodes before becoming the focus of a particular week's narrative block. Overall, the program "so emphasized the ongoing storylines of its major characters as to make the distinction between series and serial more or less meaningless".[5]

Cancellation and continuation[edit]

After the end of its run on the Seven Network, it was announced that the serial would be picked up by Network Ten with a mainly new cast and a few key cast members continuing from the Seven series. Unlike the Seven series which was produced in Sydney, the Network Ten series was produced in Melbourne with location shooting in Emerald, Victoria. The new series debuted in April 1994, but was not as successful and was abruptly cancelled in November. The series featured actors including Paul Gleason, Jane Hall, Vince Colosimo, Claudia Black and Laura Armstrong.


Main cast (Seven Network series) 1981–1993[edit]

NOTE: Actors highlighted in blue were original cast members. Note: Actors highlighted in yellow were retained in the series when switching from Seven Network to Network Ten.

Actor Role Duration Episodes
Shane Porteous Dr. Terence Elliot 1981–1993 986 episodes
Brian Wenzel Frank Gilroy 1981–1993
Lorrae Desmond (MBE, AM) (Note:[6] Nurse: Sister Shirley Dean/Gilroy 1981–1992 816 episodes
Grant Dodwell Dr. Simon Bowan 1981-1986 332
Penny Cook Vicki Dean Bowan 1981-1985 (returned as guestt artist in 1986 and the seven network finale episode (1993) 330 Episodes
Helen Scott Matron Marta Kurtesz 1981-1983 126 Episodes
Shane Withington Brenden Jones 1981-1986 367 Episodes
Anne Tenney Molly Jones 1981-1986 299 Episodes
Gordon Piper Bob Hatfield 1981-1992 742 Episodes
Wendy Strehlow Sister Judy Loveday 1981-1986 212 Episodes
Syd Heylen Vernon "Cookie" Locke 1982-1992 (returns a guest in series 4) 729 Episodes
Joyce Jacobs Esme Watson 1981–1993 805 episodes, Seven Network. Semi-regular cast member until episode 99 onwards (debuted in episode 1 as Norma). Retained to Network Ten 1994 series (30 episodes)
Joan Sydney Matron Margaret 'Maggie' Sloane 1983–1990 453 episodes, Seven Network. (Retained to Network Ten 1994 series after appearing in the Seven Network series finale (30 episodes)). Guest starred in the last episode of season 13.
Emily Nicol Chloe Jones 1983-1986
Josephine Mitchell Jo Loveday (later Langley) 1985-1989 254 Episodes
Nicholas Bufalo Dr. Ben Green (vet) 1985-1988 206 Episodes
Annie Davies Kelly shanahan 1985 35 Episodes
Mark Owen Taylor Mr. Peter Manning (teacher) 1985-1986 (returned as a guest artist in 1987) 88 Episodes
Caroline Johansson | Nurse Sister Donna Manning 1985-1986 98 Episodes
Diane Smith Dr. Alex Fraser 1986-1989 246 Episodes
Kate Raison Cathy Hayden 1987-1990
John Tarrant Matthew Tyler 1988-1990
Michael Muntz Dr. Chris Kouros 1989-1991 174 Episodes
Georgina Fisher Jessie Kouros 1989-1991 112 Episodes
Georgie Parker Nurse Lucy Gardner/Tyler 1989–199 266 episodes (had previously appeared in a guest role as Barbara Gottlieb in 1988)
Matt Day Julian "Luke" Ross 1989-1992 117 Episodes
Mary Regan Director of Nursing Ann brennen 1990-1991 85 Episodes
Maureen Edwards Matron Rosemary Prior/Elliot 1991–1993 243 episodes (had previously appeared in guest roles as Yvonne McLean in 1983, and Katherine D'Angelo in 1990)
Andrew Blackman Dr. Harry Morrison 1991–1993 236 episodes Seven Network (Retained to Network Ten series 1994 – 30 episodes)
Michelle Pettigrove Nurse Kate Bryant/Morrison (1991–1993 230 episodes Seven Network (appeared in Network Ten series 1 episode, 1994) (had previously appeared in a guest role as Mary O'Connor in 1988)
Kym Wilson Darcy Hudson (1991–1993 183 episodes (had previously appeared in a guest role as Leanne Baxter in 1989)
Gavin Harrison Hugo Szreclecki 1992–1993 161 episodes (had previously appeared in a guest role as J.J. Moffitt in 1987 and Mick O'Brian in 1990)
Jon Concannon Senior Constable/Sgt. Tom Newman 1992–1993 160 episodes
Judith McGrath Bernice Hudson 1992–1993 149 episodes. Guest starred in the last episode of season 13
Allan Penney Perce Hudson 1987–1993 114 episodes (had previously appeared in guest roles as Arty Turner in 1981, Alf Trotter in 1982 and Alfred Hitchins in 1984). Appeared from time to time as a valley resident. Not credited until season 13
Anne Looby Dr. Anna Lacey/Newman (Vet) 1990, 1992–1993 148 episodes (had previously appeared in a guest role as Jennifer Rose in 1990)
Jamie Croft Billy Moss 1992–1993 111 episodes (had previously appeared in a guest role as Ashley Baker in 1991)
Brian Moll Councillor Alfred Muldoon 1982–1992 (recurring)

Primary and recurring cast (Network Ten) 1994)[edit]

Only four of the original cast members from the Network Seven series were retained in the Network Ten re-launch: Joan Sydney, Joyce Jacobs, and Andrew Blackman, and Michelle Pettigrove.

Actor Role Episodes
Joan Sydney Matron Maggie Morrison
Joyce Jacobs Esme Watson
Andrew Blackman Dr. Harry Morrison
Michelle Pettigrove Kate Bryant 1994 (episode 1)
Paul Gleeson Ian McIntyre 30 episodes (appeared in the final 8 episodes of the Seven Network series)
Claudia Black Claire Bonacci 30 episodes (appeared in the final 4 episodes of the Seven Network series)
Vince Colosimo Danny Sabatini 30 episodes
Jane Hall Dr. Jess Morrison 30 episodes
Laura Armstrong Georgie Wilkes 30 episodes
Katherine Murray Fred Bates (Georgie's schoolfriend) 10 episodes
Alyce Platt Sarah Wilkes (Georgie's mother) 5 episodes
Chris Lyons Miles Ferdenbach (Georgie's schoolfriend) 4 episodes
Clarissa House Dr. June Munroe 2 episodes


SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
11418 November 1981 (1981-11-18)31 December 1981 (1981-12-31)Seven Network
2925 January 1982 (1982-01-05)17 November 1982 (1982-11-17)
3841 February 1983 (1983-02-01)16 November 1983 (1983-11-16)
49031 January 1984 (1984-01-31)8 December 1984 (1984-12-08)
5765 February 1985 (1985-02-05)6 November 1985 (1985-11-06)
6887 January 1986 (1986-01-07)31 December 1986 (1986-12-31)
7885 January 1987 (1987-01-05)22 December 1987 (1987-12-22)
8905 January 1988 (1988-01-05)9 November 1988 (1988-11-09)
9843 January 1989 (1989-01-03)7 November 1989 (1989-11-07)
10862 January 1990 (1990-01-02)27 November 1990 (1990-11-27)
119022 January 1991 (1991-01-22)26 November 1991 (1991-11-26)
128619 January 1992 (1992-01-19)24 November 1992 (1992-11-24)
139018 January 1993 (1993-01-18)22 November 1993 (1993-11-22)
143013 April 1994 (1994-04-13)5 November 1994 (1994-11-05)Network Ten

Setting and stories[edit]

The series followed the workings of a small hospital in the fictional New South Wales rural country town of Wandin Valley, as well as its connected medical clinic, the town's veterinary surgery, RSL club/pub and local police station. The show's storylines focused on the staff and regular patients of the hospital and general practice, their families, and other residents of the town. Through its weekly guest actors, it explored various social and medical problems. The series examined such topical issues as youth unemployment, suicide, drug addiction, HIV/AIDS and terminal illness. Apart from its regular rotating cast, A Country Practice also had a cast of semi-regulars who made appearances as the storylines permitted. The program also showcased a number of animal stars and Australian native wildlife, most famously Fatso the wombat. Fatso was played throughout the series by three separate wombats, the original actually named Fatso (1981–1986) was replaced due to temperament issues with the cast, a wombat George (1986–1990), he himself replaced due to early signs of wombat mange (a marsupial viral disease), and Garth (1990 through series end).

Highest rating episode[edit]

Anne Tenney played Molly Jones, who became one of the most popular characters, particularly in the series' early years. Molly, was an unconventional fashion designer, farmer and Green-hugging local environmentalist, and after Tenney decided to leave the series, her character's death episode became the highest rating, and most remembered storyline. The series 13 week storyline arc dealt with how a young woman, as well as her husband and local residents, coped with terminal illness, after the character was diagnosed with leukaemia. The final episode sees the character of Molly sitting in her back garden and waving while her husband, Brendan, is teaching his daughter to fly a kite. He sees Molly is fading, and calls her name as the screen fades to black.[7] This storyline arc was originally written to be featured over a continuing 11 week script. A producer realised that the ratings were not being monitored during this period, so it was extended for 13 weeks, and hence 4 extra 1 hour episodes.

Other iconic storylines over its 12-year run include the wedding of Dr. Simon Bowen (Grant Dodwell) to local vet Vicki Dean (Penny Cook) in 1983, the death of nurse Donna Manning in a car crash in 1987, and the off-screen death of longtime resident Shirley Gilroy, played by original Lorrae Desmond in a plane crash in 1992.

Logie Awards[edit]

A Country Practice is the third most successful television program after Home and Away (1st) and Neighbours (2nd), at the Logie Awards, having won 29 awards during its twelve years of production.[8]

Logie Awards 1983

  • Best Supporting Actor In A Series: Brian Wenzel
  • Best Juvenile Performance: Jeremy Shadlow

Logie awards 1984

Logie Awards 1985

  • Most Popular Lead Actor: Grant Dodwell
  • Most Popular Lead Actress: Anne Tenney
  • NSW Most Popular Male: Grant Dodwell
  • NSW Most Popular Female: Penny Cook
  • NSW Most Popular Show: A Country Practice
  • Most Popular Drama Program: A Country Practice
  • Best Lead Actor In A Series: Shane Withington
  • Best Supporting Actress In A Series: Wendy Strehlow

Logie Awards 1986

  • Most Popular Australian Actor: Grant Dodwell
  • Most Popular Australian Actress: Anne Tenney
  • NSW Most Popular Female: Anne Tenney
  • NSW Most Popular Program: A Country Practice
  • Most Popular Australian Drama: A Country Practice

Logie Awards 1987

  • NSW Most Popular Program: A Country Practice

Logie Awards 1988

  • NSW Most Popular Program: A Country Practice

Logie Awards 1989

Logie Awards 1990

Logie Awards 1991

  • Most Popular Actress: Georgie Parker

Logie Awards 1992

  • Most Popular Actress: Georgie Parker

Logie Awards 1993

  • Most Popular Actress: Georgie Parker


A Country Practice originally aired on Seven Network Monday (Part 1) and Tuesday (Part 2) nights at 7:30. [citation needed] The unsuccessful 1994 Network 10 remake of the series aired originally at 7:30 on Wednesday nights, but then moved to 7:30 on Saturday nights a few weeks later. In late July, it moved to a low-rating timeslot of 5:30 Saturday evenings, directly against Channel Seven's Saturday AFL coverage.

Seven also aired repeats of the original series at 9:30 weekday mornings from 1995 to 2002.

Foxtel's Hallmark Channel broadcast the complete series twice (including the short-lived Network Ten series) in a 2-hour block at 3:30 to 5:30 weekday afternoons from 2002 to 30 June 2010.

In 2014, 7TWO ran repeats at 02:00 on weekday mornings.

International broadcasts[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

The series also had a successful run on the ITV network in the United Kingdom. A Country Practice began on Wednesday, 27 October 1982 – less than a year after its debut on Seven Network in Australia.

Originally, the series was partially networked (similar in theory to syndication) by Thames Television, the weekday contractor for the London area, to a cluster of five ITV regions; Anglia Television, Border Television, Tyne Tees, Yorkshire Television and TVS. These regions all aired one weekly episode on Wednesdays at 14:45–15:45, and in the original, hour-long format. The remaining ITV contractors: Central Independent Television, Channel Television, HTV, TSW, Granada Television, Scottish Television, UTV, and Grampian Television – all started later, with UTV being the last to start in late 1989.

Of the broadcast years covering 1982 through to 1989, all of the ITV regions began scheduling the program on a day and at a time of their own choice, but most generally continued with the weekly hour-long format. The slower pace of one weekly episode all year round (as opposed to two in Australia for ten months, Feb-Nov) meant that UK broadcasts quickly fell behind Australia, and the regions were all at vastly different points in the storyline by 1988 when the serial was put on hiatus in a handful of areas for a new Australian series, Richmond Hill, which took the Wednesday and Thursday afternoon 14:00 slot from October. When that series ended in August the following year, A Country Practice was resumed as its replacement (although some regions, such as Thames, TSW, TVS, and Granada, had continued to show it).

By around May 1990 (regions do vary), the ITV network decided to change how it broadcast episodes of A Country Practice. Each franchise adopted the method of editing each episode into two half-hour editions, which allowed the series to be stripped Monday to Friday, usually before, or after, the lunchtime edition of Home and Away. This half-hour format of airing the series had already been established by Yorkshire Television from October 1984, TVS from 1987, Thames from 1988, and due to the backlog of episodes now available, stripped half-hour editions could air uninterupted (except on bank holidays etc) and at an increased output of up to two and a half episodes each week. This format did however result in the curtailment of the full closing credits in certain regions from January 1994. Scottish Television was the only exception, and they chose various days and timeslots, but always screened A Country Practice in the original hour-long format.

A substantial amount was withdrawn from transmission by some regions as the content was considered unsuitable for daytime viewing and this inevitably led to considerable chunks of the story being skipped. Considered a daytime soap, A Country Practice was popular in the UK and achieved consolidated viewing figures of between 2–3 million. Some regions (HTV, Border, Grampian, TSW and Granada) moved the later episodes of the series to an early evening slot of 17.10–17.40.

ITV regional broadcasts

  • Originally starting in 1982, Yorkshire Television were the first region to break away from the networked transmissions in October 1984 and began editing each episode into two half-hour episodes, screening on Mondays and Tuesdays at 15:30. This led to continuity problems as whenever a public holiday occurred (on Monday), the 15:30 slot would be unavailable. The series was moved back to an early afternoon hour-long format in 1988 when Sons and Daughters was aired five afternoons a week at 15:30. A Country Practice then replaced Sons and Daughters when that series ended in March 1989, again split into half-hour episodes and shown five afternoons a week for the first time. In 1990, it was then moved to earlier afternoon, 13:50–14:00, and eventually, hour-long episodes were reinstated. The series concluded in March 1998 and the Network Ten series was not shown. When Tyne Tees Television merged with Yorkshire, a number of episodes were skipped. This was to allow an alignment of schedules for the two regions.
  • After initially airing weekly hour-long episodes (usually on Wednesdays) from 1982, both TVS and Thames Television followed Yorkshire's example of showing half-hour episodes each week. TVS initially used 14:00-14:30 from 1987 before following Thames with the 12:30–13:00, Monday to Wednesday, slot, from 1988. In 1990, both of these regions adopted the 13:50–14:20 time, on various days and frequency.
  • Central Television originally began A Country Practice in July 1983, airing weekly on Tuesday mornings, 11:10–12:00, during the summer of 1983, but by September, the series had been shelved. Several years later in the spring of 1990 - while all the other ITV regions were well into their respective runs – Central re-launched the series, and followed Thames, Yorkshire, and TVS with half-hour episodes, starting with the first episode of the 1982 season. In May, it appeared in an early-afternoon slot, 14:00-14:30, Monday to Friday, and in September 1990, this changed slightly to 13:50–14:20. From January 1993, moves to 13:15–13:45, and then briefly switches to mid-afternoon in September 1993, and then 15:00–15:30 until the end of that year. Returns to 14:50–15:20 until March 1994, after which, it is moved back to lunchtimes at 13:55–14:25. By 1997, Central was airing A Country Practice at 12:55–13:25, and in 1998, the network concluded the original series in April in the 13:00–13:30 slot, and then immediately commenced the short-lived, 30-episode Network Ten version, finally completing all the episodes on Friday, 31 July 1998.
  • Scottish Television started broadcasting the series in 1983 and always aired A Country Practice as hour-long episodes. Throughout the 1980s the program moved about in time and day but was generally broadcast once a week in an afternoon slot. In January 1994, after (episode #486), it was dropped from the schedules for about 4 months until June. From episode 491 screened every weekday morning at 10:55 for the duration of the summer school holidays (around 6 weeks) until 2 September. It reverted to its old weekly Tuesday slot the following week. It was the dropped completely after episode #588, during 1996. Although the company took over Grampian Television, the series continued until the end, doing so by airing daily episodes during the summer of 1998.
  • HTV started the series on Wednesday, 26 October 1983, broadcasting 1 hour episodes [most] Wednesdays, 14:00–14:55, until 1990, when the series moved to 15:25, Wednesday to Friday as replacement for Sons and Daughters in half-hour format for the first time on HTV. This briefly increased to Monday-Friday, but from September 1993, it's moved to earlier time, 13:50–14:20, and only twice weekly. In March 1994, it began airing in the early evening, 17:10–17:40. By the end of 1998, the series had been reduced again to being shown on Thursdays and Fridays only. From January to March 1999, the series was shown on Tuesday through to Friday until Friday 5 March 1999 when the final Channel Seven episode was reached. HTV were the last ITV region to complete the series (and did not show the short lived Channel 10 series).
  • Carlton Television superseded Thames Television in January 1993, and they continued to air the series using the 13:50–14:20 timeslot. In January 1995, Carlton launched a new Australian series, Blue Heelers, and it took the 14:50–15:20 slot, Monday to Wednesday, and a new series from New Zealand Shortland Street in the 13:55 slot on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with A Country Practice on Tuesday and Thursday, and this pattern continued until they became the first region to reach the last episode, on 25 April 1996. Anglia Television was next to finish in 1997, and they then began a short repeat of the first 40 episodes.
  • Granada Television originally began with a regular weekly episode on Thursdays, 14:00–15:00, from January 1984. This continued until mid-1990, when Granada decided to follow the majority of ITV regions with the half-hourly stripped format, broadcast at lunchtime, Monday to Friday, 13:50–14:20. During 1994 until the autumn of 1996, the series was moved to the early-evening 17:10–17:40 timeslot, Monday to Thursday – in September 1996, however, it returned to 13:50–14:20, and now airing Tuesday to Friday. By January 1998, hour-long episodes had been reinstated, and these aired on Mondays and Fridays, 13:55–14:45, and this continued until the end of the series in April 1998. Border Television had, by now, aligned with Granada's run of the series and followed their broadcast schedule.
  • TSW and Channel Television did not begin until 1984, and initially aired A Country Practice weekly on Tuesdays at 14:00–15:00. In August 1989, TSW added an additional hour long episode on Thursdays (replacing Richmond Hill). In 1990, TSW followed the rest of the English ITV regions and aired five, half-hour episodes, Monday to Friday, at lunchtimes. In January 1993, Westcountry Television took over the regional franchise, and they moved the series to 17:10-17:40, until they concluded the series in 1997. Due to changes in their networking arrangements, Channel Television aligned with TVS broadcasts rather than TSW broadcasts from January 1986, meaning some episodes were skipped in the Channel Islands.
  • TVS was replaced by Meridian Television on 1 January 1993 and the company continued to air A Country Practice. The original 7 Network series concluded in April 1997, and then Meridian immediately commenced the Network Ten series, with half-hour episodes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 12:55-13:25, until the last episode aired in September 1997.
  • UTV dropped A Country Practice in early September 1998. At that particular point, UTV had been airing episodes only once a week - on Mondays - at 2:45pm, in a 30-minute slot. UTV had reached episodes from early 1993, season 13.

Satellite and Cable broadcasts

  • In the mid-1980s, A Country Practice was a prime-time series on the pan-European satellite channel, "Sky Channel", twice weekly at 20:00, from April 1984, on Tuesday and Thursday. By August 1985, the series was being screened at 19:20 and 20:10, still on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and in 1986, it was screened at 20:00 again. By January 1988, it was broadcast on Tuesday and Wednesday evening at 20:25. When the Sky Channel was re-launched on the new Astra 1A satellite in February 1989, it became a UK-only service, and play-out facilities for Sky programmes were moved to the UK. Due to the ITV network having first-run rights to A Country Practice in the UK, and Sky Channel having overtaken the point where ITV were in the storyline, they weren't able to premiere new episodes before ITV - therefore, A Country Practice disappeared from the Sky schedule after four and a half years and was never resumed. For a brief period, later episodes were shown in 1997 on the cable channel Carlton Select.

Only the first 40 episodes have ever been repeated in the UK, in 1997, when ITV contractor, Anglia Television, were the only region to repeat any episodes. Unlike other Australian soaps, which became cult viewing due to multiple runs; Prisoner was broadcast twice, first on ITV, and then Channel 5; The Sullivans also had two full runs, once on ITV and repeated on UK Gold; and also Sons and Daughters, which had three runs, first on ITV, then UK Gold, and finally, Channel 5 – A Country Practice has never been repeated in the UK or achieved the cult status of other soap operas of the same vintage.

European screenings[edit]


A Country Practice was named "À Coeur Ouvert". The series premiered on FR3 in 1989.


A Country Practice was named Das Buschkrankenhaus (The Country Hospital), and aired on Sat 1 in 1985, and then on ARD from 1989 to 1991.[9]


A Country Practice was named "Wandin Valley". Only 170 episodes were broadcast on local television stations in Italy, and the dub was made at TSI in Switzerland.


Episode one debuted on RTÉ Two on Monday, 23 September 1985 at 18:15 airing weekdays. Start time later moved to 18:30. RTE split each episode in two to fill a 30-minute slot. On 3 October 1988, to make way for Home and Away, RTE moved ACP to the main channel RTÉ One, continuing weekdays at 17:30 in a 30-minute slot. The final episode (1088) aired on 13 February 1997.[10] Between 1998 and 2002, RTÉ rebroadcast seasons 8–10 (1988–1990). Episodes aired around midday and later moved to 09:30.


A Country Practice (called "Hverdagsliv") was broadcast on TV2 from the channel's inception in 1992 to 2000.



A Country Practice was also transmitted on Kenyan Television (VoK now KBC) during the 1980s.


A Country Practice was broadcast on ZBC state television in the 1980s.


New Zealand[edit]

A Country Practice was first transmitted on TV2 on the afternoon of Thursday 13 February 1986. It was shown once a week on Thursdays at 2.30pm before moving to twice a week on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6.30pm by 1987. By 1988, the series went back to once a week on Sundays at around 4pm, and by 1989 an additional episode was broadcast on Saturdays in the same timeslot. By 1990, A Country Practice screened on Channel 2 on Saturdays and Sundays at 5pm until it moved to TV One during the final months of 1991 replacing Fair Go, where it was shown once a week on Tuesdays at 7.30pm until the end of 1992.

North America[edit]


The entire series was broadcast by CBC Television outlet CBET in Windsor, Ontario. Two episodes were broadcast daily, Monday through Friday, starting in the late 1980s, until they were caught up to contemporary episodes in the early 1990s. Its inclusion on CBET's schedule was out of necessity to fill a television schedule: because Windsor stations cannot carry programming licensed for broadcast in the United States. Many Australian soap operas, A Country Practice among them, thus found loyal audiences in the Metro Detroit area, while they otherwise remain unknown in North America.

From 1991 to 1994, the show also aired on ASN, a cable network that served Canada's Maritimes. Four hour-long episodes aired each week, from Monday to Thursday with Monday's and Tuesday's episodes repeated on Saturday and Wednesday's and Thursday's episodes on Sunday. The station aired the show from episode 1 to somewhere in the early 700s.

ASN ceased carrying the show when specialty cable channel Showcase was launched on 1 January 1995, as they picked up A Country Practice for broadcast throughout Canada. It broadcast one episode daily, from Monday to Friday, and completed the entire series run (including the 30-episode Network Ten series) in June 1999. It began rebroadcasting the entire series on 28 June 1999, with promises that the entire series would be broadcast for those who missed the first airing. However, a single line of text scrolling across the bottom of the screen during 21 August 2000, episode announced that the show would be removed from the Showcase lineup as of Monday, 28 August 2000. According to the station's email autoresponse at the time, the decision was based on "declining viewership and a demand by viewers for more current programming". [citation needed]


Series writer Judith Colquhoun, who also wrote episodes for other Australian serials, Blue Heelers, Neighbours and Home and Away released a novel in 2015. Called New Beginnings, it is based on the early episodes of the series from 1981. This was followed up by two further novels from the same author, To Everything a Season and Silver Linings.

DVD release[edit]

In late 2005, MRA Entertainment announced they had obtained the rights to release the entire series on DVD. In 2008, Magna Pacific Pty Ltd bought out MRA Entertainment, with plans to release Series 6, however the rights were then acquired by Beyond Home Entertainment which then re-released the first 5 seasons in 2007–2008, followed by Season 6 in 2010.[11] On 27 May 2020 Via Vision Entertainment announced they would be releasing season 11 on DVD on 26 August 2020.

Episodes Discs Licensed to Released
Season 1 1–14 4 MRA Entertainment 3 April 2006
Season 2, Part 1 15–44 6 MRA Entertainment 3 April 2006
Season 2, Part 2 45–106 12 MRA Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 3, Part 1 107–148 12 MRA Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 3, Part 2 149–190 12 MRA Entertainment 11 July 2007
Season 4, Part 1 191–236 12 MRA Entertainment 14 November 2007
Season 4, Part 2 237–280 12 MRA Entertainment 14 November 2007
Season 5, Part 1 281–318 12 MRA Entertainment 23 April 2008
Season 5, Part 2 319–356 12 MRA Entertainment 23 April 2008
Season 6, Part 1 357–400 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 7 April 2010
Season 6, Part 2 401–444 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 9 June 2010
Season 1 1–14 4 Beyond Home Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 2 Part 1 15–44 6 Beyond Home Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 2 Part 2 45–106 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 3 Part 1 107–148 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 3 Part 2 149–190 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 11 April 2007
Season 4 Part 1 191–236 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 14 November 2007
Season 4 Part 2 237–280 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 14 November 2007
Season 5 Part 1 281–318 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 16 April 2008
Season 5 Part 2 319–356 12 Beyond Home Entertainment 16 April 2008
Season 7, Part 1 445–488 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 5 October 2011
Season 7, Part 2 489–532 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 5 October 2011
The Early Years: Seasons 1–6 1–444 116 Beyond Home Entertainment 1 May 2013
Season 8, Part 1 533–576 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 2 January 2014
Season 8, Part 2 577–622 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 2 January 2014
Season 9, Part 1 623–666 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 5 March 2014
Season 9, Part 2 667–706 10 Beyond Home Entertainment 5 March 2014
Season 10, Part 1 707–750 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 28 April 2014
Season 10, Part 2 751–792 11 Beyond Home Entertainment 28 April 2014
The Middle Years: Seasons 7–10 445–792 87 Beyond Home Entertainment 28 April 2014
Season 11 793–882 22 Via Vision Entertainment 26 August 2020
Season 12 883–968 22 Via Vision Entertainment 21 October 2020
Season 13 969–1058 23 Via Vision Entertainment 2 December 2020
Season 14 1–30 8 Via Vision Entertainment 6 January 2021
Collection One 1–148 34 Via Vision Entertainment 17 March 2021[12]
Collection Two 149–280 34 Via Vision Entertainment 21 April 2021
Collection Three 281–400 35 Via Vision Entertainment 19 May 2021
Collection Four 401–532 33 Via Vision Entertainment 21 July 2021
Collection Five 533–666 34 Via Vision Entertainment 18 August 2021
Collection Six 667–792 32 Via Vision Entertainment 22 September 2021
Collection Seven 793–968 44 Via Vision Entertainment 6 April 2022

7plus streaming service[edit]

As of January 2021 Channel 7's streaming service 7plus has made Seasons 1-14 available.

Title Format Episodes # Release Date Streaming Status Special Features Distributors
A Country Practice (Season 1) Streaming Episodes 14 20 March 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 2) Streaming Episodes 93 20 March 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 3) Streaming Episodes 84 7 April 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 4) Streaming Episodes 90 14 May 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 5) Streaming Episodes 76 11 June 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 6) Streaming Episodes 88 9 July 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 7) Streaming Episodes 88 6 August 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 8) Streaming Episodes 90 3 September 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 9) Streaming Episodes 84 1 October 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 10) Streaming Episodes 86 29 October 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 11) Streaming Episodes 90 26 November 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 12) Streaming Episodes 86 15 December 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 13) Streaming Episodes 90 30 December 2020 Currently Streaming None 7plus
A Country Practice (Season 14) Streaming Episodes 30 24 February 2021 Currently Streaming None 7plus

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Wonders of Wandin Valley".
  2. ^ baybee. "A Country Practice (TV Series 1981–1993)". IMDb.
  3. ^ "Mr James Edmund Davern". It's An Honour. Archived from the original on 19 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  4. ^ Jacinta Burke; Helen Wilson; Susanna Agardy (1983), "A Country Practice" and the child audience: a case study, Australian Broadcasting Tribunal, Melbourne. ISBN 0-642-87073-X
  5. ^ a b Bowles, Kate. Soap opera: 'No end of story, ever' in The Australian TV Book, (Eds. Graeme Turner and Stuart Cunningham), Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW, 2000. ISBN 1-86508-014-4 p 127
  6. ^ Australia didn't have a national honour's system in place until 1975, so Australian recipients received British honours, and Desmond was given the Order of the British Empire. She also received the Order of Australia and won the Gold Logie
  7. ^ "How Molly's death on A Country Practice touched the nation:'the writers' room was shedding tears'". TheGuardian.com. 6 February 2020.
  8. ^ "TV Week Logie Awards – Past Winners". Yahoo!7 TV.
  9. ^ Das Buschkrankenhaus – fernsehserien.de
  10. ^ "RTÉ TV Listings 1981 – 1996". Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  11. ^ "A Country Practice – Full Episode DVD Box Sets". www.acountrypractice.com. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  12. ^ "A Country Practice - Collection 1 - DVD". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved 31 December 2020.

External links[edit]