Bed of Roses (TV series)

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Bed of Roses
Bed of Roses TV series.jpg
Intertitle for Bed of Roses
Genre Drama, Comedy
Created by Jutta Goetze
Elizabeth Coleman
Developed by ABC Drama Department
Starring Kerry Armstrong
Julia Blake
Hanna Mangan-Lawrence
Theme music composer Ross Wilson
Eris O'Brien
John Pullicino
Composer(s) Niko Schäuble
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 26
Executive producer(s) Miranda Dear
Amanda Higgs
Producer(s) Mark Ruse
Stephen Luby
Location(s) South Gippsland, Australia
Editor(s) Steven Robinson ASE
Running time 50 min
Production company(s) Southern Star Entertainment
Original network ABC1
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
Audio format Stereo
Original release 10 May 2008 – 26 February 2011
Related shows SeaChange
External links

Bed of Roses is an Australian comedy drama television series which first screened on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) from 10 May 2008. It stars Kerry Armstrong (SeaChange and Lantana) and was created by Jutta Goetze and Elizabeth Coleman; produced by Mark Ruse (Kath & Kim, The Games) and Stephen Luby (Crackerjack).[1]


Bed of Roses is about Louisa Atherton (Kerry Armstrong) handling her life after she discovers her husband has died in the arms of another woman, leaving her broke. She returns to her home town of Rainbow's End to live with her feisty mother, Minna (Julia Blake). Rainbow's End is in a 'growth corridor' with neighbouring town of Indigo. Besides problems with Minna, Louisa encounters trouble with her teenage daughter Holly (Hanna Mangan-Lawrence) and local residents.[1] Louisa has few financial assets except "Mary Kelly's Shack" she inherited from her father. Louisa decides to demolish the shack and build a new house to sell. Holly has taken the death of her father very hard and insists on carrying around his ashes. Louisa's irresponsible driving results in numerous traffic offences, which she can ill afford.


The first season contained six 50-minute episodes, with the $5 million production being shot over nine weeks, mostly in the South Gippsland towns of Foster and Meeniyan, it has taken six years from its initial conception to final screening. It has distinct overtones of Armstrong's previous ABC-TV series SeaChange.[2] Bed of Roses aired on Saturday night on ABC at 7:30 pm, leading into The Bill at 8:30 pm.

The ABC ordered 8 episodes for season two, up from 6 episodes for season one. Bud Tingwell and Philip Quast have joined the cast for the second season.[3] Season two of Bed of Roses was filmed over five months in regional Victoria (South Gippsland), Melbourne and in the ABC TV studios, Ripponlea.[4]

“We knew whilst making series one that we had something special on our hands and so went straight into developing a second series. The audience response was terrific both on ABC1 and Podcast".

Head of ABC TV Drama, Miranda Dear, on announcing season two of the hit drama: Season Two of Bed of Roses is the story of a woman's search – and a community's search – for a workable identity in the 21st Century. It is also a love story. Because whether you're 80, 50 or 17, none of us is immune to that totally infuriating, confusing, heating, frighteningly vulnerable sensation that renders us smiling, crying, despairing, and hopeful, all in the same breath. Particularly when you're not sure which man you're in love with.[5]

Season Three began filming in May 2010.[6] the program was filmed over five months in regional Victoria (South Gippsland), Melbourne and in the ABC TV studios, Southbank. For the second time the number of episodes will increase, with Season 3 to have 12 episodes and will begin airing 4 December 2010.[7]


Main cast[edit]

  • Kerry Armstrong as Louisa Atherton, recently widowed, returns to Rainbow's End.
    • Becomes editor of The Rainbow Echo, responds to community issues, problems with Tim and Nick.
  • Julia Blake as Minna Franklin, Louisa's mother, member of the Heritage Society.
    • Renews friendship with Sandy, fights redevelopments.
  • Caroline Gillmer as Marg Braithwaite, estranged wife of Gavin Braithwaite.
    • Now a marriage celebrant, tries to gain Tim's interest.
  • Hanna Mangan-Lawrence as Holly Atherton, Louisa's daughter, Indigo High year 11 student, works at Lim's.
    • Now in year 12, becomes involved in local issues, misunderstanding with Sean.
  • Jay Laga'aia as Nick Pickering, Louisa's old friend who runs Nick's Tyre Service.
    • Goes out with Louisa, helps Holly with driving lessons.
  • Andrew S. Gilbert as Gavin Braithwaite, hardware store owner, local councillor.
    • Continues self-promotion, buys The Rainbow Echo, appoints Tim as manager.
  • Kaarin Fairfax as Deb Mathieson, new friend, worked on The Rainbow Echo, looks after injured wildlife.
    • Runs a wildlife sanctuary, because of conflicting work hours sees less of husband Trev.
  • Tim Phillipps as Sean Smithwick, local footballer, undertakers' son, has a crush on Holly.
    • Misunderstanding with Holly, drives undertaker's van.
  • Dina Panozzo as Gemma O'Reilly, gym owner, old friend.
    • Intimacy problems with husband Pat.
  • HaiHa Le as Rita Lim, Rainbow Inn restaurant & Happy Nuggett mini-market manager, Gavin's girlfriend.
    • Involved in community projects, new boyfriend is Chin.

Season two[edit]

Additional cast[edit]

  • Dave Thornton as Shannon Atherton, Louisa's 24-year-old son, plays Aussie Rules football professionally.
  • Cameron McKenzie as 'Young Cop' (Gregg Russell), books Louisa for traffic offences, returns run-away Holly.
    • Books Sean for driving while intoxicated – ticket withdrawn by Sergeant.
  • Kallista Kaval as Wendy Watt,The Rainbow Echo editor, Louisa's boss.
    • Leaves newspaper for a better offer.
  • Richard Davies as 'Rooster' McIver, football team captain, makes an advance on Holly, Marty's 'chippie'.
  • Greg Stone as Jack (Thomas) Atherton (1956–2008), Louisa's husband, dies of a heart attack.
  • Jaqueline Brennan as Anna (Mayhew), Jack's girlfriend.
  • Amanda Ma as Lily Lim, Rita's mother, Rainbow Inn restaurant & Happy Nuggett mini-market co-owner, disapproves of Gavin.
  • Lawrence Mah as Wayne Lim, Rita's father, business co-owner, friendly with Gavin, proposes expanding shopping centre.
  • Frank Magree as Marty Mason, a builder, Rainbow Roos' coach.
    • Also a taxi driver, continues building projects for Gavin.
  • Brandon Burns as Macca, footballer, Marty's labourer, turns 21.
  • Susie Dee as Vivien Dixon, Minna's friend, member of the Heritage Society.
    • Works at The Rainbow Echo, runs 'Caring Caroline' column.
  • Geoff Morrell as Tibor Havel, a psychiatrist, Louisa's widowed neighbour.
  • Leverne McDonnell as Robyn (Blake), Louisa's friend in Melbourne, offers her a job.
  • Ronald Boyter as Clem Blackwell, Rainbow's End resident.
    • Cliff Ellen as Clem.
  • Tim Sullivan as Ern Swann, real estate agent.
  • Nicole Gulasekharam as Tahlia, Holly's school friend.
    • Protests, with other students, against redevelopments with Holly.
  • Graham Thwaites as Jase, Marty's roofing sub-contractor and nephew.
  • Julie Wynn as Meilin (Chee), ghost seen by Louisa, previous owner of the shack.

Season two[edit]

  • Jasper Bagg as Trev Mathieson, truck driver, work hours conflict with Deb's wildlife work.
  • Christopher Bunworth as Pat O'Reilly, intimacy problem with Gemma.
  • Richard Moss as Bob Stinson, previous Rainbow Echo owner.
  • Christopher Connelly as Lionel Smithwick, undertaker, Sean's father.
  • Terry Gill as Owen Diston, goat farmer, annoys Minna.


Season one (2008)[edit]

# Title Director Original airdate
1 "Not Worth A Cent" Paul Moloney 10 May 2008 (2008-05-10)[9]
Louisa's husband Jack Atherton suffers a heart attack and dies, leaving massive debts and a mobile phone containing photos of him hugging another woman. Holly is unable to part with her father's ashes. Louisa returns to Minna's home in Rainbow's End with Holly, hoping to sell "Mary Kelly's Shack". Minna is against the sale as the shack was owned by Louisa's father, after some indecision Louisa resolves to live in the shack. Holly meets local man Sean Smithwick.[8]
2 "Reality Check" Paul Moloney 17 May 2008 (2008-05-17)[9]
Louisa gets work: cleaning Gavin Braithwaite's house but is fired, The Rainbow Echo newspaper photographer and Golf Club cleaner. Holly finds a waitress job at the Rainbow Inn restaurant, meets Rainbow Roos footballers including 'Rooster' McIver who makes an advance on her, Holly runs away back to Melbourne. "Mary Kelly's Shack" is due to be demolished by local builder Marty Mason but Louisa's mother arrives with a council order having the site heritage listed.[10]
3 "Things Can Only Get Better" Paul Moloney 24 May 2008 (2008-05-24)[9]
Marty begins to renovate the shack, but delays occur and expenses mount. Shannon is in financial and professional trouble so he turns to Louisa. Louisa builds her friendship with Marg and Deb, while Holly becomes friends with Rita Lim and Sean. Minna objects to Wayne Lim (business owner) and Gavin's shopping centre expansion. Rainbow Roos finally win a game using Shannon's advice and Sean's effort. Louisa meets Tibor her neighbour who collects his pony.[11]
4 "A Friend in Need" Mandy Smith 31 May 2008 (2008-05-31)[9]
Marty's work is shonky but Louisa refuses to fire him despite Holly's urgings. Minna loses her licence due to failing eyesight. Louisa learns "Mary Kelly" was Meilin Chee living in 1858 and Hector Kelly's widow. Louisa becomes friends with Tibor, while Holly is able to release her father's ashes. Marg and Gavin conflict over their divorce. Deb brings an orphaned wombat to work and is fired. When the roof is blown off Louisa sacks Marty and her friends rally to restore it.[12]
5 "The Truth Will Set You Free" Mandy Smith 7 June 2008 (2008-06-07)[9]
Louisa is exhausted from working two jobs and at the shack, Holly's crush on Sean deepens and they kiss. Louisa offends her friend Nick, a rain storm destroys her plaster sheets and she considers selling the shack unfinished. After Holly sees the mobile phone images of Anna, Louisa travels to Melbourne to meet Jack's lover and resolves some issues. Rainbow's End residents help renovate the shack, Louisa sees Meilin's ghost and decides to repatriate the bones to China.[13]
6 "Over the Rainbow" Mandy Smith 14 June 2008 (2008-06-14)[9]
Now about a year after Jack's death, Louisa is ready to move on, she's going to auction the shack and get a job in Melbourne. Minna has a fall and is hospitalised, Holly doesn't want to go back as she has close ties locally. At a Sorry Ceremony, Meilin Chee's bones are exhumed and handed over to Chinese authorities.[14]

Season two (2010)[edit]

In South Africa, season two premiered on 24 November 2009. In Australia, it premiered on 13 February 2010.[4][15]

# Title Director Original airdate
1 "The Cockatoo Has Landed" Grant Brown 13 February 2010 (2010-02-13)[16]
Louisa and Holly return to Rainbows End, with Louisa determined to make some significant changes in her life, only to see none of her plans go quite as she hoped.
2 "Rainbow Warriors" Grant Brown 20 February 2010 (2010-02-20)[16]
Minna learns that a local factory is polluting Rainbow's End's waterways. This prompts Holly to become embroiled in an environmental protest that rapidly goes further than she originally envisioned.
3 "The Front Page" Grant Brown 27 February 2010 (2010-02-27)[16]
Louisa and her new co-worker, Tim Price, agree to disagree about what the future holds for The Echo. Rita and Tsung Chi delve into the mystery of his ancestor Ah Chin, who disappeared during the Gold Rush.
4 "Gaa-aarth" Darren Ashton 6 March 2010 (2010-03-06)[16]
Deb's marriage with Trev is barely surviving, prompting Louisa, Marg and Gemma to try to save it. Minna watches on helplessly as the Heritage Committee finally seems to be falling apart.
5 "Goddess of the Rainbow" Darren Ashton 13 March 2010 (2010-03-13)[16]
Gemma's ongoing intimacy issues with Pat threaten their relationship. Vivien's role as the Echo's Caring Caroline causes chaos in the lives of those she genuinely cares about.
6 "Green Versus Gold" Ted Emery 20 March 2010 (2010-03-20)[16]
Rainbow's End is threatened by a large mining corporation and this could mean the end of the Community Garden. The police detain Minna and Sandy after suspicious substances are seized at his museum.
7 "Two Bulls in a Paddock" Ted Emery 27 March 2010 (2010-03-27)[16]
Nick and Tim continue to fight for Louisa's affections like two bulls in a paddock.
8 "Raucous Angels" Ted Emery 3 April 2010 (2010-04-03)[16]
With her career and personal life at a crossroads, Louisa has to make a very important decision.

Season three (2010–11)[edit]

In Australia, season three premiered on 4 December 2010.[17]

# Title Director Original airdate
1 "5835 Plus One" Ted Emery 4 December 2010 (2010-12-04)[17]
Louisa is embarking on a new chapter of her life as co-owner and editor of the Rainbow's End Echo. She is in love with Nick and daughter Holly is planning to attend university in Melbourne. Everything seems perfect in Louisa's life until the bubble bursts. Months after Sandy's death Minna is gripped with a grief that threatens to sink her.
2 "Mind The Gap" Ted Emery 11 December 2010 (2010-12-11)[17]
Louisa loses her engagement ring and worries to Marg and Deb that it is a bad omen.
3 "Womb To Tomb" Ted Emery 18 December 2010 (2010-12-18)[17]
Louisa comes to the rescue when local woman Tamara Denning falls on hard times after her husband leaves her and their three young children.
4 "Laid Bare" David Cameron 1 January 2011 (2011-01-01)[17]
Minna's secret plans to take up ballroom dancing again are hijacked when she confronts a burglar in her home.
5 "Cat Fight" David Cameron 8 January 2011 (2011-01-08)[17]
When Domestic Cat Regulations come to a head in Rainbow's End, Louisa finds her two closest friends, Deb and Marg, fall on opposite sides of the argument.
6 "Fryberg's Frolly" David Cameron 15 January 2011 (2011-01-15)[17]
Minna is thrown off-kilter when her long estranged sister, Frida, returns to Rainbow's End.
7 "Insurgent Activity" Daina Reid 22 January 2011 (2011-01-22)[17]
The Army come to Rainbow's End to perform a training exercise and Nick is recognised from his time spent in Queensland.
8 "Every Time We Say Goodbye" Daina Reid 29 January 2011 (2011-01-29)[17]
Louisa is thrown in the deep end when Vivien unexpectedly leaves her to manage the annual Heritage Society fundraising concert.
9 "Dirt Rich" Ted Emery 5 February 2011 (2011-02-05)[17]
Louisa and Nick are finally ready to take the plunge — a wedding date is set.
10 "Heartache" Daina Reid 12 February 2011 (2011-02-12)[17]
Louisa wants to deliver a great community newspaper but Vivien's absence is making this a challenge so Rita is hired to fill in.
11 "Mount Misery" Ted Emery 19 February 2011 (2011-02-19)[17]
Louisa wants her wedding to be special and has been searching for something meaningful to wear. In a surprising gesture Minna offers to buy Louisa a dress and so along with Holly, the women embark on a shopping expedition to Melbourne. But the weekend goes horribly awry when they breakdown in the bush and become stranded without mobile coverage.
12 "Forged By Fire" Ted Emery 26 February 2011 (2011-02-26)[17]
Louisa wants for nothing more than to be married to Nick but things are not going according to plan. With adverse weather conditions and fire warnings, Rainbows End is instructed to enact their fire plans. Nick is called to duty with the CFA to fight the fires and the wedding is postponed.

DVD releases[edit]

Series Date Released # Of Episodes # Of Discs Special Features
Series One 6 August 2008 6 2 None
Series Two 1 April 2010 8 2 Unknown
Series Three[18] 3 March 2011 12 3 Unknown
Series 1-3[19] 3 April 2013 26 7 Unknown

International broadcasts[edit]

Bed of Roses is screened in South Africa on pay television operator DStv on the Series Channel. The Show also airs on Ireland on RTÉ One


  • The Sydney Morning Herald reviewer, Judy Adamson, praised the characterisation of Bed of Roses for episode 1.[20] Jodie Pfarr found that despite a slow start, the series had improved by episode 3 with Armstrong showing mastery of a range of emotions.[21] Kate Duthie felt the series was too cliche-ridden by episode 4.[22]
  • The Age reviewer, Catherine Deveny, was disappointed that the talented cast delivered a painful performance.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Bed of Roses". Australian Television Information Archive. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Enker, Debi (8 May 2008). "Coming up roses". The Age. Fairfax Digital. Archived from the original on 16 June 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  3. ^ Knox, David (20 November 2008). "Bud to bloom in Roses". TV Tonight. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "The PHILIP QUAST Guide – Screen – Bed of Roses". The Philip Quast Guide. The Philip Quast Guide. Retrieved 26 December 2009. 
  5. ^ (Source: Film Victoria)
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Not worth a cent". ABC-TV. 10 May 2008. Archived from the original on 2 May 2008. Retrieved 10 May 2008. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Bed of Roses – episode guide". Australian television information archive. Retrieved 25 May 2008. 
  10. ^ "Reality Check". ABC-TV. 17 May 2008. Archived from the original on 19 May 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2008. 
  11. ^ "Things Can Only Get Better". ABC-TV. 24 May 2008. Archived from the original on 3 May 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2008. 
  12. ^ "A Friend In Need". ABC-TV. 31 May 2008. Archived from the original on 3 June 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2008. 
  13. ^ "The Truth Will Set You Free". ABC-TV. 31 May 2008. Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2008. 
  14. ^ "Over the Rainbow". ABC-TV. 31 May 2008. Archived from the original on 7 June 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2008. 
  15. ^ ABC TV guide
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h "Bed of Roses – episode guide – Series 2". Australian television information archive. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Bed of Roses – episode guide – Series 3". Australian television information archive. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ Adamson, Judy (9 May 2008). "Bed of Roses". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 25 June 2008. 
  21. ^ Pfarr, Jodie (24 May 2008). "Bed of Roses". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 June 2008. 
  22. ^ Duthie, Kate (30 May 2008). "Bed of Roses". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 June 2008. 
  23. ^ Deveny, Catherine (29 May 2008). "Bed of Roses should be put to sleep". The Age. Retrieved 5 June 2008. 

External links[edit]