Country of origin Australia
No. of seasons 8
Final episode date 30 March 1983
Number of episodes 1,396
Created by Alan Coleman
Original language(s) English
First episode date 8 November 1976
Network Nine Network
Genre Soap opera
|Directed by Alan ColemanReg WatsonIan CoughlanMax VarnelDavid C. WilsonBrian FaullPeita LetchfordKendal FlanaganChris AdsheadMike MurphyChris ConnellyMichael PattinsonPhillip BowmanRusty BuckleyDenny Lawrence|
Starring (see detailed cast and character list below)
Cast Cornelia Frances, Russell Crowe, Alan Dale, Gwen Plumb, Judy McBurney
Similar Sons and Daughters, The Restless Years, The Sullivans, Cop Shop, Prisoner
The young doctors opening titles 1982
The Young Doctors was an Australian early-evening soap opera. The series was set in the fictional Albert Memorial hospital and primarily concerned with romances between younger members of the hospital staff, rather than typical medical issues and procedures. It screened on the Nine Network from Monday, 8 November 1976 until Wednesday, 30 March 1983. The program was shown in numerous international locations, particularly throughout the United Kingdom, North America and also in France and Spain.
- The young doctors opening titles 1982
- The young doctors complete episode from 1979 part one of 2
- Story and setting
- International screenings
The young doctors complete episode from 1979 part one of 2
The series was created and produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation and started a week earlier than the Nine Networks' other soap opera, The Sullivans, which was produced by Crawford Productions. Nine Network made it clear only one of the series would be kept after 13 weeks.
After the 13-week trial period The Sullivans (which had a budget which was three times bigger than The Young Doctors) emerged as the critical success, so The Young Doctors was cancelled. Fans of The Young Doctors lobbied Channel 9, who reversed their decision. The Young Doctors continued in its 6.00 pm slot and had a successful run. After several years, many long running characters left the series and in the final season during 1982 several new cast members were added.
Producer and creator Alan Coleman also left, and was replaced by Sue Masters shortly before the series finished production in late 1982. Masters went on to produce Grundy's stablemate Prisoner from 1983; several The Young Doctors cast members, including Judy McBurney, Genevieve Lemon, Babs McMillan and Peter Bensley also went into leading roles in Prisoner after The Young Doctors finished.
The advent of one-day cricket led to Channel 9 moving the show around the schedules. These factors contributed to a decline in ratings which saw the series cancelled in late 1982. The final episode was aired in March 1983.
When the series ended after 1396 episodes, it held the record of Australia's longest-running commercial television drama serial, which was previously held by Number 96. This was later surpassed by A Country Practice and then Neighbours, which is currently the longest-running Australian drama serial.
The Young Doctors also holds the distinction, rare among long-running Australian dramas, of having never won any sort of television award.
Popular Actress Peta Toppano who appeared in the first season of Prisoner had also previously appeared in The Young Doctors for just over a year. One of the more popular cast members included Gwen Plumb, a recipient of the British Empire Medal and AM recipient for her service to the arts and communities service, who portrayed gossippy kiosk lady Ada Simmonds for the length of the series. The original cast members Lyn James who portrayed the doctors receptionist Helen Gordon and Tim Page who portrays Dr. Grahame Steele, appeared to the end of the series, as did Judy McBurney as Nurse Tania Livingstone who first appeared in episode 40.
The relatively long-running serial also achieved modest international cult success, particularly in the United Kingdom, where it aired in a daytime slot on the commercial ITV network. The programme was shown regionally, meaning each region was free the show the series as and when they liked. Central Independent Television were the first ITV region to start the serial from January 1982. Most other regions gradually followed over the next few years and Yorkshire Television were the last to start in 1988. Central were the first to finish in August 1992, and Westcountry Television was the last ITV region to air Young Doctors in December 1995.
Story and setting
Despite the medical setting, medical procedures rarely figured in storylines, with most of the stories and plots focusing more on the personal life and romances of the staff. The local Club Bunnys was another venue for the staff to mingle.
The programme was acquired by 13 of the 14 weekday members of the ITV Network, Scottish Television never purchased the series. Most of the ITV regions initially screened The Young Doctors at their own regional pace in their 15:30 slot on Mondays and Tuesdays with Sons and Daughters on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
The Series was also broadcast in Trinidad, Barbados, Angola, the Netherlands and Canada.
In November 2007, the Nine Network announced plans to remake the series in conjunction with FremantleMedia. Originally, it was set to be broadcast in 2008 but due to script delays, the premiere date had been pushed back to 2009. The remake was set to be named Young Doctors (minus "The"). However, at the end of 2008, the Nine Network officially passed on the idea. The network decided against the remake, instead, confirming a second series of the popular Australian drama Underbelly. FremantleMedia is currently searching for another television station to contract the programme.
Selected episodes of the serial were released on DVD in October 2006, under the title of The Best Romances. A second set of selected episodes, under the title of Classic Cliffhangers, was released in February 2008. In 1994, prior to the DVDs, a VHS was edited in the UK by "NTV entertainment" collecting episodes A, B (pilots) & 1.