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Disney Channel Magazine
November 1983


All images are thumbnailed.  Click on picture to view the full-size.

pg. 3:

"There's a long, long trail a-winding..."

"...and now it leads to Australia for "Five Mile Creek," The Disney Channel's exclusive new series.  If history intrigues you, westerns thrill you, far-away places enthrall you and detailed authenticity of settings, costumes, and story impress you, you'll go for this rugged drama about two courageous women who run a stagecoach stop in the gold-mining country of the 1860s.  Read more about this unique adventure on pages 4 and 5.


Pgs. 4-5:

An Inside Look at a New Series from Down Under

Everything about 'Five Mile Creek' has been created on an epic scale designed for great entertainment.


The most ambitious production ever undertaken for cable television premieres this month with a two-hour episode of The Disney Channel's sweeping historical adventure "Five Mile Creek" (See page 13).

This continuing dramatic series set during the gold rush days in Australia and filmed on location there, is produced by Henry Crawford, an Australian whose earlier TV successes include the Emmy Award-winning "A Town Like Alice,"  "Against the Wind" and "Eureka Stockade."

Everything about "Five Mile Creek" has been created on an epic scale designed for great entertainment: production values, cast and crew, a multimillion dollar budget, and the scope of the story about two plucky young women (one Aussie, the other Yankee) working together on the frontier.

Authenticity has keynoted the production from the word go.  Cast and crew spent all summer (winter Down Under) filming on outdoor locations 40 miles north of Sydney, retreating to the six interior sets on a sound stage in Sydney when weather forced them indoors.  A genuine Concord stagecoach was refurbished and repainted by craftsmen at the Disney Studios in Burbank and shipped to Australia.  In an opening sequence it arrives by schooner at Port Nelson, a harbor village constructed for the series.  The schooner herself, New Endeavor, was borrowed from the Australian Sail Training Association and is identical to those used in the 1860s.  The mining camp at Wilga and the homestead at Five Mile Creek were built in the wilderness beyond Sydney.  A half-dozen seamstresses were kept busy sewing and fitting costumes throughout the six months of shooting.

The production, like the rugged wilderness stagecoach stop known as Five Mile Creek, is a cooperative effort between two cultures--and that's part of the excitement!

"An important element of the series," says Crawford, "is that is melds American characters into our history naturally, without affecting our cultural position or Americanizing the story.

"Historically, the development of the Australian frontier was ten to fifteen years behind America.  Our gold rush occurred in the 1860s and attracted many disappointed prospectors from the States.  That's how the American heroine of our story arrived Down Under, searching for her prospecting husband who'd gone off looking for a rich claim on a new continent."

"Five Mile Creek" premieres at a most opportune time.  The popularity of "The Thorn Birds," "A Town Like Alice," and Australian films such as "Breaker Morant" and "My Brilliant Career" has focused international attention on productions from Down Under.

The origin of the series lies in "The Cherokee Trail," a tale of the old American west by Louis L'Amour.  It was produced by Doug Netter for the "Walt Disney" Saturday night anthology show on CBS in 1981.  Then Henry Crawford thought of placing its two heroines in Australia and continuing their adventures there.  The idea met with immediate enthusiasm at The Disney Channel, and Netter joined Crawford as executive producer of the new series.


pg. 13:

Special Two-part Premiere!

Five Mile Creek

(Louise Caire Clark, Rod Mullinar, Liz Burch, Michael Caton, Priscilla Weems, Martin Lewis, Gus Mercurio, with Jay Kerr as Con Madigan)

Kate Wallace and Maggie Scott form a partnership.

Head for all the excitement, danger and adventure that crackled around the Australian gold fields of the 1860s in this two-part premiere of "Five Mile Creek," The Disney Channel's exclusive new series.

Five Mile Creek is an isolated coach stop for the Australian Express, a stage line linking the harbor town of Port Nelson with the mining camp of Wilga.  The hostelry is run by Kate Wallace (Liz Burch), an Australian, and Maggie Scott (Louise Caire Clark), who arrived recently from San Francisco with her small daughter Hannah (Priscilla Weems).

Another newcomer is Con Madigan (Jay Kerr) the best stagecoach driver in California, who has brought an American-made Concord coach to begin his job as partner and co-operator of the Australian Express with Jack Taylor (Rod Mullinar).

To get the fledgling line in service, these two hardy coachmen must overcome aggravating obstacles.  At the same time, Kate and Maggie are experiencing similar difficulties in trying to establish their little outpost.  But progress is made as the Australians and Americans work together.

New problems -- including mystery -- arrive with each coachload of passengers.  Supplies at Five Mile Creek begin disappearing at night.  The mystery is solved in a surprising manner by Hannah Scott.

Con Madigan and Jack Taylor reach Five Mile Creek on the first run of the Australia Express

This two-hour program opens the first series made exclusively for The Disney Channel.  Two more episodes will be shown next month.

November 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20, 22, 24


pg. 29:

We're All Ears

Dear Friends,

Right now everyone at The Disney Channel is talking about FIVE MILE CREEK, the new 13-part dramatic series premiering this month, and I want to let you in on the excitement.

To begin with, FIVE MILE CREEK is just plain good entertainment you and your family will enjoy.  It's full of adventure and some very likeable characters.  It's a pioneer story with remarkable warmth.  The twist is that the setting is Australia, where some of this year's most popular movies and TV shows have been produce.  FIVE MILE CREEK was filmed completely on location there, giving you a fascinating look at this intriguing country and its colorful past.  It's perfect family entertainment.

And speaking of families, remember sitting around the table at Thanksgiving listening to grown-ups talk and feeling comfortable and secure?  That's exactly how you'll feel when watching "The Thanksgiving Treasure," another program I'm sure you'll especially enjoy.

Thanks for all your comments, opinions, thoughts and ideas.  Stay in touch.

Linda Palmer


pg. 31:

Table Talk

Thanksgiving brings families together for turkey, trimmings and talk!  This season, add a new ingredient to your after-dinner conversation.  Watch "The Thanksgiving Treasure," a nostalgic tale of friendship and caring, "Amy," the story of a woman who breaks with tradition to teach deaf children to talk, and "Five Mile Creek," the new western series which focuses on two women surviving in the rugged Australian outback.  Then start your family talking with these suggested questions.

"Five Mile Creek"
Examining New Roles . . .

"Five Mile Creek" is the rousing saga of two women coping with frontier life on their own.  How do you think things have changed for women since?  What do you think are the benefits of women's expanding role?  The disadvantages?


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