Rush (1970s TV series)
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Running time||50 minutes|
|Original network||ABC TV|
|Original release||1974 – 1976|
Rush is an Australian television series produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation between 1974 and 1976. The first 13 episodes were produced in 1974 and filmed in black and white. In 1976, 13 more episodes were produced, in colour, in conjunction with French production company Antenne 2. Each series featured a different cast with the exception of John Waters.
Story and characters
Rush was a historical drama set during the Victorian Gold Rush during the 1850s. The first series was set at "Crocker's Gully", a fictitious goldfield created for the series at the foothills of the Dandenongs, near Melbourne. The village of tents and timbered huts was modelled on the lithographs of Samuel Thomas Gill, an artist who portrayed life on the Victorian goldfields during the 1850s.
The story revolves mainly round Edmond Fitzalan (played by Brendon Lunney), a young and inexperienced Gold Commissioner who is stationed at Crocker's Gully. The Gold Commission Service was formed to maintain law and order and to deal with licensing fees on the goldfields.
The sequel in 1976 had the setting relocated to New South Wales, with the action occurring nine years later (1860) than the first series. It was set in Turon Springs (formerly Wheogo), but shot near Belrose outside Sydney utilising sets left over from a previous historical drama about Ben Hall. John Waters, playing the part of Sgt Mackellar, co-starred with French actor Alain Doutey as Constable Emile Bizard. Other stars included: Jane Harders, Delore Whitman, and Vincent Ball. Hugh Keays-Byrne won a Logie Award for his performance in one episode of the second series.
Theme music and commercial releases
The theme to the series, was released as a hit single in Australia by Brian May and the ABC Showband (b/w The Theme from Seven Little Australians) on the Image record label in 1974. The composer of the score was George Dreyfus, whilst Brian May was responsible for the arrangement. The single made number 5 in the Australian national singles chart in December 1974.
The original television series has not been commercially released, because the talent was contracted for broadcast rights only.
In the early 1990s the ABC comedy program The Late Show featured a parody-overdub of Rush entitled The Olden Days. The collected segments were later released on VHS tape. In 2007, they (along with Bargearse, based on Bluey, a similarly overdubbed TV show from the 1970s) were released on DVD. On the commentary track Santo Cilauro revealed they discovered a missing episode, mislabelled in a film can.