I've taken the first week of the school holidays off work. Today at the library Marcus chose a DVD of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. It was probably first shown when I was about his age - I think it was made in 1972.
The credits are made up of Dons, Alans, Maxes, Bills, Kevins, Jeans, Bevs, Cheryls and Joans. Seventies Australia.
In the first episode, we see Bev at the beach put her baby's crib into a basinette (with wheels) under a tree. Bev and her hubby Alan go off in a kayak. His trunks have a belt. Shortly we see a possum nudge the bassinete and the wheels become unlocked. It rolls (yes, across a beach) to the waters' edge, in a homage to Battleship Potemkin. Baby floats away (in a homage to the Old Testament)and is rescued by the deft paws of Skippy. Sonny wonders aloud what to feed the baby - Skippy hops out the door, camera cuts to deft paws plucking a fat tuft of grass.
EH Kingswoods and XB Falcons abound. While the police and rangers search for the baby, Alan stares out across the water and smokes intensely. Police wear bad suits. Finally the baby is located with Skippy. A relieved Alan drives away in the Kingswood, with Bev holding the baby in the front seat.
Episode two - the big parade. The boys are on the back of the float as Ranger Matt and Ranger Jerry tow it behind the jeep. Unbeknownst, a diamond thief is hiding in the shrubbery of the float. No-one has ten cents for the toll when they go across the harbour bridge. Hand holding a coin emerges from undergrowth. After they have rumbled away, the tollbridge guy does the 3rd worst double take in TV history.
As they are cruising down George St in the big parade, past the Premier (Robert Askin playing himself I think) the thief emerges and Sonny and Mark fight him continuously for about seven minutes. Mark says "grab his leg Sonny" about four times. Mark and thief swap hefty punches, and a few elbows to the head. Sonny eventually joins in, "smack" sound effects to prove he is connecting. I don't think today there are any children's shows, or adults ones for that matter, that would show a ten year old and his 16 year-old brother in a punch-fest with a grown up. Matt and Jerry miss all this as they can't see anything from the jeep.
When they get home Sonny is asleep. Everyone laughs about his "big day", and there is no mention of concussion.
I have to declare that as a kid one of my favourite 45s to spin on the radiogram was the Skippy theme played by the Eric Jupp Band. I'm sure Sally and Jacki can remember the B side.