I Can Jump Puddles
|I Can Jump Puddles|
|Created by||Alan Marshall (novel)
Cliff Green (writer)
Roger Simpson (writer)
|Written by||Cliff Green
|Directed by||Kevin James Dobson
|Theme music composer||Kevin Hocking|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of episodes||9|
|Editor(s)||Edward Richard Lowe|
|Running time||48 min.|
|Original network||Australian Broadcasting Corporation|
|Original release||7 June 1981|
I Can Jump Puddles is a 1981 Australian television mini-series based on the 1955 autobiographical series of the same name by author Alan Marshall. Adapted for television by screenwriters Cliff Green and Roger Simpson, the series starred Lewis Fitz-Gerald, Adam Garnett, Tony Barry, Julie Hamilton, Ann Henderson, Lesley Baker, Olivia Brown, Debra Lawrance and Darren MacDonald.
Several prominent television actors also had supporting roles including Lisa Aldenhoven (The Young Doctors), Kaarin Fairfax (Bed of Roses), Maurie Fields (Skyways), Terry Gill (Bluey), Reg Gorman (Fergus McPhail), Matthew King (Dogstar), Julie Nihill (Blue Heelers), Maureen Edwards and Dennis Miller (A Country Practice) and Jason Donovan and Cliff Ellen (Neighbours).
A large part of supporting and minor roles also featured cameo appearances by cast members of Prisoner such as Esme Melville (Beryl Hudson), Peter Curtin (Ian Mahoney), Ian Smith (Ted Douglas), Christine Amor (Jean Vernon), Fiona Spence (Vera Bennett), Edward Hepple (Sid Humphrey), Sigrid Thornton (Roslyn Coulson), Leila Hayes (Jeannie Baxter), Sandy Gore (Kay White), Mary Ward (Mum Brooks), Anne Phelan (Myra Desmond). Future cast members included Billie Hammerberg (May Collins) and Pepe Trevor (Lexie Patterson).
Based on Alan Marshall's three-part autobiography I Can Jump Puddles (1955), This is the Grass (1962) and In Mine Own Heart (1963), the film tells of Marshall's childhood growing up in rural Victoria around the turn of the century. Contracting polio soon after attending school, the story retells the obstacles he faced as a child in trying to overcome his disability. Later as an adult, he encounters prejudice due to his debilitating disease while looking for work in Melbourne.
Cast and characters
- Lewis Fitz-Gerald as Alan Marshall
- Tony Barry as Alan's Father
- Julie Hamilton as Alan's Mother
- Adam Garnett as Alan (Aged 11)
- Ann Henderson as Mary
- Lesley Baker as Matron
- Bruce Kerr as Dr. Robertson
- Brian Hannan as Alec
- Olivia Brown as Prostitute Maisie
- Clare Binney as Prostitute Filsy
- Earl Francis as George
- Debra Lawrence as Nurse Conrad
- Darren MacDonald as Steve
The series was first aired on 7 June 1981 and ran for nine episodes. It was shown again two years later before being released on dvd by Roadshow Home Entertainment in August 2005.
Adam Garnett, who played the 11-year-old Alan Marshall, won a Logie Award for Best Performance by a Juvenile in 1981.
- Ed. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p205