The Doctor Blake Mysteries

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The Doctor Blake Mysteries
GenreMystery
Crime
Costume drama
Created byGeorge Adams
Tony Wright
StarringCraig McLachlan
Nadine Garner
Rick Donald
Cate Wolfe
Joel Tobeck
Country of originAustralia
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Tony Wright
Carole Sklan
Christopher Gist
Producer(s)George Adams
Location(s)Australia
DistributorABC Television
Broadcast
Original channelABC1
Picture format576i (SDTV)
Original run1 February 2013 (2013-02-01) – present (present)
 
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The Doctor Blake Mysteries
GenreMystery
Crime
Costume drama
Created byGeorge Adams
Tony Wright
StarringCraig McLachlan
Nadine Garner
Rick Donald
Cate Wolfe
Joel Tobeck
Country of originAustralia
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Tony Wright
Carole Sklan
Christopher Gist
Producer(s)George Adams
Location(s)Australia
DistributorABC Television
Broadcast
Original channelABC1
Picture format576i (SDTV)
Original run1 February 2013 (2013-02-01) – present (present)

The Doctor Blake Mysteries is an Australian television series which premiered on ABC1 on Friday 1 February 2013 at 8:30 p.m.[1] The series stars Craig McLachlan in the lead role of Doctor Lucien Blake, who returns home to Ballarat in 1959 to take over his deceased father's general medical practice after an absence of 30 years. Doctor Blake is a keeper of secrets and a solver of mysteries.[2] The series is produced by Tony Wright and George Adams.[3]

The series is set and filmed in the gold rush town of Ballarat, in Victoria, Australia. It features Lydiard street, and many of the heritage buildings, including the Colonists Club that Lucien Blake belongs to. You can visit Ballarat today and see the Old Colonists Club plaque on the wall outside.

The series is produced in partnership with December Media, ABC Australia and UK-based ITV Global. It will also screen on the ITV network in the United Kingdom and has been picked up by Universal for DVD release.[4]

The Doctor Blake Mysteries was renewed by ABC1 for a second series on February 28, 2013.[5]


Cast[edit]

Lucien left Australia in his 20s to study medicine in Scotland. After graduating in 1931, he did a stint in a London hospital before joining the British Army as a medical officer. Come World War II, Lucien served in many places – especially the Far East. Unbeknown to his family, he fell in love with and married a Chinese woman and they had a child. But at the fall of Singapore, he lost them both.

From here on, Dr Lucien Blake’s life is somewhat of a mystery. He is clearly a well-travelled, educated man of the world – but one who has seen the worst that men can do to each other. His time in Thailand’s Ban Pong POW camp triggers recurring nightmares. The photo of his missing wife hidden in an old wooden chest both comforts and torments him.

After a 33-year absence, Blake returns home to take over his late father’s medical practice and continue the family tradition. Outwardly, Lucien is the community’s moral compass in an age of change … a trusted voice in uncertain times. Privately, he is a man cursed with firsthand knowledge of man’s inhumanity to man. Perhaps, not surprisingly, he doesn’t fit in anywhere, but getting justice for those who can’t speak for themselves helps calm the demons. Bit by bit, Blake’s active mind twigs to the unexpected worth of finding a new life in his old world.

Before Dr Blake’s return home, Jean Beazley had been working as receptionist and housekeeper for Dr Blake Snr for over 12 years.

Many would consider Jean old-fashioned. Having a modest secondary education she married early and kept house. But she is fierce, loyal, proud, and implacable when she chooses to be. She guards her territory zealously. She misses nothing and is an expert at sifting gossip for kernels of fact, which she dispenses when necessary. She knows when to tell the unvarnished truth, and when to stay quiet.

Her dedication to Doctor Blake Snr has been transferred to Lucien. But Lucien is a very different man. Jean struggles with his eccentricity, his left-field approach and the damage he hides from the rest of the world. He would be lost without her.

An attractive woman, she’s aware town gossips raise their eyebrows because she’s sleeping under the same roof as the eminently presentable and unattached new doctor. But in the privacy of their household, Jean also nurtures her nephew Danny Parks, and lodger Nurse Mattie O’Brien. She treats Danny as her own. She understands boys; makes sure he’s fed and watered, roars him out when he needs it, and is quietly proud of her handsome, decent nephew.

Daniel was pursuing a semi-professional cricket career, until an injury stopped him only two years in. About the same time, his father was diagnosed with emphysema so he found himself, along with the help of Dr Lucien Blake, caring for his father in the final stages of the disease.

Danny will never forget Dr Blake’s help and Lucien, when he remembers, regards Danny with fondness. He’s taken Danny under his wing, and has made a point of opening his eyes to the world beyond Ballarat. This will be both a blessing and a curse.

Not long after his father’s death, Danny joined the police force. Practical, strong and resourceful, Danny makes a terrific copper – he sees the world in black and white. His boss, Chief Superintendent Matthew Lawson, regards him as a potential leader. But Danny, now 24, finds himself caught between two mentors: Lawson on one hand; the country cop who understands policing is about keeping a community together, and Dr Blake on the other; anarchic, intellectual and progressive - and also the man who cared for his dying father. Danny, just quietly, would die for Blake.

He loves his aunt Jean with the unquestioning love of a young boy for whom family is everything. And Jean unreservedly loves him in return. Always protective, she really doesn’t like the way city-girl Mattie O’Brien thinks she’s a cut above him. No one is above her Daniel.

Mattie, who is a lodger in Dr Blake’s house, has become one of Danny’s strongest allies. She doesn’t realise it, but Danny regards her as family, much like an annoying sister or cousin.

Feisty and independent, Matilda O’Brien (Mattie) is the district nurse and also a lodger at Dr Blake’s house. She is driven by the urge to prove herself, to show how strong and smart she is - yet never quite gets the approval she needs. Mattie often finds herself frustrated by the failings of the people around her.

As district nurse for the town and surrounding area, Mattie works closely with local GP and police surgeon Dr Blake. She admires Dr Blake immensely - his authority - but not in the overbearing way of her father. It doesn’t take her long to appoint herself as his protégé.

She takes it for granted that Blake favours her. In some ways he does: she’s smart, and she’ll always remind him of the daughter he lost in the war. But Blake is, somehow, always just out of reach. She takes it on herself to keep him emotionally honest, but no matter how she tries, she can’t work him out.

Mattie is in the habit of overlooking the housekeeper Jean Beazley, which doesn’t endear her to the older woman. Much like Mattie’s mother, Jean keeps house, which is perhaps why Mattie doesn’t show her enough respect. She doesn’t deliberately antagonise Jean but she just can’t help it: Jean’s ideas are so hopelessly out of date. It’s as if she’s been living on another planet.

Born into a police family Chief Superintendent Matthew Lawson was destined to continue the family tradition. He has worked hard and been promoted regularly. Lawson is physically imposing, tough and tenacious. An old style gentleman, he has a touch of the ‘mongrel’ about him which helps get the job done.

He knows his city back to front. With a staff of four coppers, he runs a large district. Lawson maintains social order. And he knows, with all the certainty of his dour Protestant upbringing, that the city’s elite will never regard him as an equal.

Lawson maintains a wary respect for Blake. He admits the man is a remarkable doctor with a fine mind. And when he’s not being a complete nuisance, Blake is even an asset to Lawson’s investigations.

He knows the constable on his team, Daniel Parks, has the makings of a first rate copper. The lad’s strong, smart and from the right stock, but spends too much time with Blake who’s filling his head with all manner of things. The one person Lawson really doesn’t like – or trust - is Patrick Tyneman. But his job requires a close working relationship with the man who, to all intents and purposes, runs the town.

Episodes[edit]

References[edit]

http://www.freeview.com.au/shows/view.aspx?showId=893