Ryan is an Australian adventure television series screened by the Seven Network from 27 May 1973. The series was produced by Crawford Productions and had a run of 39 one-hour episodes.[1]

Created byCrawford Productions
Music byGarry Hardman
Country of originAustralia
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes39
Executive producerTerry Stapleton
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time60 minutes
Production companyCrawford Productions
Original networkSeven Network
Original release25 May 1973 (1973-05-25) –
13 April 1974 (1974-04-13)

Synopsis Edit

The title character was a dashing private investigator played by Rod Mullinar. (A few years prior Mullinar had briefly taken the lead role in the similar Crawfords series Hunter (1967) in its closing episodes after the original lead actor Tony Ward left the show.) Ryan's assistant Julie King was played by New Zealand-born actor Pamela Stephenson, soon to leave for England and a successful television career.[1] Other regular characters were Tony Angelini (Luigi Villani), a taxi driver and Ryan's regular informant, while Detective Cullen (Colin McEwan) was Ryan's main liaison with the police force.[2]

Production Edit

Ryan was shot entirely on film and in colour with an eye to potential international sales. An initial sale of 39 episodes to the Seven Network recouped only 55% of the series' relatively high production costs. An international sale was therefore crucial to the show's continued feasibility.[2]

Australian television was still in the process of transitioning to colour broadcasting in 1973, while key international markets were already in colour and would more readily purchase a colour series. Though many Australian series shot their interior scenes on videotape in the studio using a multiple-camera setup with only outdoor scenes shot on film, many television studios were not yet equipped with colour equipment. This meant Ryan had to be shot entirely on film. In another concession to international marketability Mullinar was instructed to play the role using a Mid-Atlantic American accent.[2]

The series premiered in May 1973, rating well in Brisbane and Adelaide, but failing in the crucial Melbourne and Sydney markets. A key reason for low ratings was the fact that the Nine Network had moved the highly popular police drama Division 4 to a new night to compete with the much-hyped new series. Ryan was moved around the schedules in order to find an audience, but ratings remained mediocre. After the initial 39 episodes were in the can the Ryan crew were, in expectation of a second series, retained by Crawfords and put to work on Homicide - whose output was increased to two episodes a week - on that show's second weekly episode. This resulted in one cross-over episode, with the Ryan regular characters appearing in an episode of Homicide. One regular cast member, Pamela Stephenson, did not appear, having opted to leave the series during the recess.[2]

Ultimately Ryan was not renewed by the Seven Network due to insufficient ratings.[2] The Homicide production reverted to one episode a week. While some of the Ryan crew were rolled into new Crawfords serial The Box, that show featured little outdoors filming so inevitably some of the Ryan crew were retrenched - the first time Crawfords had ever retrenched staff.[2]

Cast Edit

Main Edit

Guests Edit

Episodes Edit

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Liz"Simon WincerMorton S. Fine
Terry Stapleton
25 May 1973 (1973-05-25)
22"This Little Piggy Went to Pieces"Andrew SwansonPeter Schreck1 June 1973 (1973-06-01)
33"Firing Squad"Gary ConwayColin Eggleston8 June 1973 (1973-06-08)
44"Nut File"Gary ConwayNeil Atkinson
Terry Stapleton
15 June 1973 (1973-06-15)
55"King's Bishop to Queen Three"Gary ConwayPeter Schreck22 June 1973 (1973-06-22)
66"Catalyst"Gary ConwayRon McLean29 June 1973 (1973-06-29)
77"Death Watch"Ian BennettPhil Freedman6 July 1973 (1973-07-06)
88"Come the Liberation"Simon WincerWilliam Froug13 July 1973 (1973-07-13)
99"The Messenger Birds"Ian Crawford
Andrew Swanson
James Wulf Simmonds20 July 1973 (1973-07-20)
1010"Tribe"Simon WincerDennis Paul
Peter Schreck
27 July 1973 (1973-07-27)
1111"The Girl with the Golden Slippers"Simon WincerDavid Boutland3 August 1973 (1973-08-03)
1212"Miss Ogilvie Repents"Andrew SwansonDennis Paul10 August 1973 (1973-08-10)
1313"A Man with a Mission"Simon WincerJames Wulf Simmonds17 August 1973 (1973-08-17)
1414"But When She Was Bad"Gary ConwayDavid Boutland24 August 1973 (1973-08-24)
1515"Moon Monkey"Gary ConwayEverett De Roche31 August 1973 (1973-08-31)
1616"Nobody's Perfect"Ian BennettJosé Luis Bayonas8 September 1973 (1973-09-08)
1717"Person or Persons Unknown"David JohnstoneDavid Boutland15 September 1973 (1973-09-15)
1818"Fibber the Dancing Galah"Simon WincerEverett De Roche22 September 1973 (1973-09-22)
1919"Hamlet's Horse"Simon WincerDennis Paul29 September 1973 (1973-09-29)
2020"Where Thunder Sleeps"Simon WincerIan Jones6 October 1973 (1973-10-06)
2121"The Far Away Girl"Simon WincerJohn Blair13 October 1973 (1973-10-13)
2222"Hickory Dickory Dock"Ian BennettJosé Luis Bayonas20 October 1973 (1973-10-20)
2323"Pipeline"Gary ConwayMichael Harvey27 October 1973 (1973-10-27)
2424"Three-Legged Duck"Gary ConwayEverett De Roche3 November 1973 (1973-11-03)
2525"A Bag Full of Miracles"Ian BennettJosé Luis Bayonas10 November 1973 (1973-11-10)
2626"Giant, Giant Had a Great Fall"Simon WincerNeil Atkinson17 November 1973 (1973-11-17)
2727"Way Back"Simon WincerTerry Stapleton24 November 1973 (1973-11-24)
2828"Negative Proof"Gary ConwayJohn Edwards1 December 1973 (1973-12-01)
2929"A Little Something Special"George MillerWilliam Froug8 December 1973 (1973-12-08)
3030"Red Alert"Ian BennettJohn Blair15 December 1973 (1973-12-15)
3131"A Deep Dark Place"Gary ConwayDavid Boutland25 January 1974 (1974-01-25)
3232"A Song for Julie"Ian BennettEverett De Roche1 February 1974 (1974-02-01)
3333"The Man in Room 16"Andrew SwansonIan Jones18 February 1974 (1974-02-18)
3434"Give Them the World"Simon WincerDavid Boutland2 March 1974 (1974-03-02)
3535"Wild About Harry"Simon WincerIan Jones9 March 1974 (1974-03-09)
3636"King Hit"Gary ConwayJosé Luis Bayonas16 March 1974 (1974-03-16)
3737"Goodbye Holly Beckett"Ian BennettJohn Blair
Terry Stapleton
23 March 1974 (1974-03-23)
3838"There's Going to Be a War"Gary ConwayDavid Boutland30 March 1974 (1974-03-30)
3939"A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Altar"Gary ConwayNeil Atkinson
Terry Stapleton
13 April 1974 (1974-04-13)

DVD release Edit

The complete series was released on DVD in June 2018. It and other Crawford Productions series are available to international viewers from Eaton Films in the UK and Australia and New Zealand based buyers from Crawfords DVD. As well as the full run of 39 episodes, the DVD set includes the Homicide crossover episode "As Simple As ABZ".

Title Format Ep # Discs Region 2 (UK) Region 4 (Australia) Special Features Distributors
Ryan (Complete Collection) DVD 39 10 June 2018 June 2018 HOMICIDE - Episode 408 featuring Ryan Crawford Productions

References Edit

  1. ^ a b Moran, Albert. Moran's Guide to Australian TV Series, Allen & Unwin, 1993. ISBN 0-642-18462-3 p 398
  2. ^ a b c d e f Storey, Don. TV Eye - Classic Australian Television, TV Eye - Classic Australian Television

External links Edit