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E Street

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250px-E Street Title

The original title card for the Australian television soap, E Street.

E Street was an Australian Soap Opera that ran from 1989 to 1993 on Australia's Ten Network, created by Forrest Redlich.

The series focused on the lives of the residents of Westside, a rough inner-city neighborhood of Sydney. The name E Street comes from the shortened form of Eden Street, the major street in Westside.

The show was modeled on another successful Australian soap, A Country Practice, in that it was somewhat similar. While ACP was set in a rural town, E Street was more trendier and hip and was set in the inner city.

The two leading characters in the beginning years of the series were Dr. Eleanor "Elly" Fielding (Penny Cook; Diane Craig), the resident GP for Westside, who was divorced from Dr. David Fielding (Noel Hodda), and had a young daughter, Claire (Brooke Anderson); and Reverend Robert Brown (Tony Martin), Westside's vicar, who had a romantic attraction with Elly.

Also seen frequently were widower Ernie Patchett (Vic Rooney) and his son, Chris (Paul Kelman). Ernie ran the local pub, Patchett's Pacific, in Westside and Chris, a high school student was romancing wrong-side-of-the-tracks girl Lisa Bennett (Alyssa-Jane Cook), one of his father's barmaids.

Other original characters included Sergeant George Sullivan (Leslie Dayman), an older police officer working in Westside, nurse Martha O'Dare (Cecily Polson), the nurse at the Medical Center and worked with Elly, who would later fall in love with the gruff George (George and Martha would be the only two original characters who would last for the show's full run; Elly would return at the end, but played by a different actress); Sarah McKillop (Katrina Sedgwick), the area's local legal aide attorney who opened the legal aide clinic in the first episode, who also befriended Elly; and Police Constable Paul (Warren Jones) and Rhonda Berry (Melanie Salomon) who had just recently married and moved to Eden Street to begin their married life together. Rhonda would get a job at the Clinic with Elly, and she would also befriend her.

Six months into the show's run, some massive changes were made. The show's originally socially based stories were scrapped for more upbeat and somewhat more comedic stories, but the darkness and grittiness were still evident with the murder of Rhonda Berry and the strangulation death of Sarah McKillop by an evil man named Sam Bulmer (Serge Lazareff) who had a fixation on the latter and raped her before strangling her.

Sarah would be replaced in the legal aide office by the much sexier Jennifer St. James (Virginia Hey).

However, new characters would come along, to replace the old, with Rev. Bob's rebellious son, Harley Kendrick (Malcom Kennard), coming along, George's free spirited daughter, Alice (Marianne Howard); and a wheelchair bound rock-n-roll singer named Stanley "Wheels" Kovak (Marcus Graham) joining soon after.

Also joining was Martha's niece and nephew, Nikki and Zac Spencer (Melissa Tkautz; Daniel Knight) who had been dumped in Westside by their drug-addicted mother, Martha's sister, Heather.

Nikki would remain through the series end, while Zac would return to New Zealand with Heather. Nikki would also return to New Zealand for a time, but she would return to Westside. Nikki gained a new rival in Bonnie Tate (Melissa Bell), but in the end, she realized that Bonnie and Max were meant to be together.

Chris, Ernie's son, would be dumped by Lisa for the newcomer "Wheels", and he would soon be involved with a neurotic society girl, Megan Bromley (Lizbeth Kennally) and embarked on a neurotic marriage. Megan and Chris would soon have a baby. However, they and another member of the family, Ernie's new American girlfriend, Abby Rossiter (Chelsea Brown, of Laugh-In fame) would all be killed in a car explosion engineered by the evil Sonny Bennett (Richard Huggett), the vengeance-ridden brother of Lisa.

Chris and Megan's baby, named Rachel, survived and she was raised by Ernie and his gruff Auntie Vi (Bunney Brooke), who had joined him at the pub. After realizing that he couldn't remain in Westside after the deaths of his son, his daughter in-law and Abby and after having Rachel taken away from him by Megan's wealthy and snobbish parents, Ernie would leave for England to follow Rachel, leaving Auntie Vi in charge of the pub. When Vi left, Ernie's cousin, Mary (Joan Sydney) would come to Westside to run the pub, but after she was mugged, she returned to England, and Ernie would come back home.

Veteran Australian actress, Briony Behets, played Lisa and Sonny's mother, Margaret. Margaret would figure into a story when she would choose her rapist boyfriend (the same Sam Bulmer who had raped and killed Sarah McKillop) over her own daughter. She did not believe that her beloved boyfriend would rape her own daughter, even when he raped her again! She finally believed Lisa after she witnessed her getting hypnotherapy through Dr. Elly Fielding. Wracked by guilt for not believing her daughter, she vowed to make the monster pay and pay dearly. An opening came to her when she poisoned the rat with a cake liberally laced with (appropriately) rat poison, and she would be off to jail.

Becoming a more long-term character was the bumbling but lovable Max Simmons (Bruce Samazan), the new PC, having replaced the widowed Paul Berry, who had left in 1991 after having to struggle through life after Rhonda's death.

Popular Australian actress, Peta Toppano (Prisoner) would join the cast as Miki Fallon, the manipulative and scheming girlfriend of Dr. David Fielding. She was a part of the cast for the first 51 episodes, most of them manipulating David to try to gain custody of Claire from Elly. David wasn't sure of doing that, since he really did not want to be a full-time parent, but he would, with Miki manipulating him to do so.

However, it was clear that Miki did NOT love Claire, although she claimed to do so. She only saw Miki as a pawn to keep David. David would drop the custody application, to Miki's dismay and he broke off with her. He would later leave Westside for good to move to America (after he and Elly would briefly go to work as Doctors in Bangladesh).

He would later move to Boston, where he was involved in a car accident. Claire would go to be at his side, and would eventually stay in America with her dad. David would remarry and would still be a doctor.

Dr. Elly would catch the eye of widowed airline pilot Daniel Windsor (Chris Orchard), who was the father of four children. However, that romance did not last when Daniel would cheat on Elly with Jennifer St. James, who had had an affair with David Fielding, who was supposed to be her platonic roommate, as well!

Harley would gain a romance with teenager Toni Windsor (Toni Pearen), the only one of the Windsor family to remain in Westside. (The rest of her family would move to Switzerland, due to her youngest brother's cancer treatments) She would move in with Elly and Claire, giving Claire a sister that she had never had.

Lisa would break up with Wheels (he would link up with his former rock and roll chick, Jo-Jo) and would embark on an on again-off again relationship with television producer Michael Sturgess (Graham Harvey). The two would eventually marry, despite the conniving of his family.

But by and large, the story that put E Street on the map and give it its longest spurt of popularity was the Mr. Bad storyline. This man, who had a face painted half-black and half-silver, would become the worst serial killer to ever plague Westside and its denizens.

The story began, quite innocuously enough, when Michael's scheming sister, Sheridan (Kate Raison), arrived in town to take over WTV8, the television station Michael worked at in Westside. She would antagonize her sister in-law, Lisa, who lost her job at the Westside Advocate, the local newspaper, thanks to Sheridan.

Lisa and Sheridan would become arch-enemies. Sheridan had an argument with her and Michael's father, and uttered that she would be taking over his empire. He died of a heart attack soon after. She would scheme to have Michael declared dead (he had disappeared at sea, but was back, alive and well, to his sister's dismay), but that would fail.

At first, one of the most scheming women to ever darken the skies of Westside, Sheridan would later become one of the more beloved characters.

Steven Richardson (Vince Martin) premiered as an architect and karate instructor for Elly's daughter, Claire. He was a good guy by day, but at night, he was horrid! Bedecked with face paint, one side painted black, the other side painted silver, he was nicknamed Mr. Bad. The name certainly fit him! He would kill many people over the course of the series (including his girlfriend, Virginia Travis, and Sheridan's brother, Michael), until his reign of terror was ended with him being killed and thrown into the river. However, his body was never recovered.

The Mr. Bad storyline was the most popular storyline in the whole series run. The show would start to lose ratings not long after that. Many long-time characters would leave, with the most high-profile one being Tony Martin, who had played Reverend Bob Brown from the series' very beginning. He would be killed off in a terrible car accident. Everyone would gather in Westside to mourn him.

His long-time friend, and many times, fiancée, Dr. Elly Fielding (played this time by Dianne Craig), who had returned to Westside from Bangladesh, where she had worked with her former husband, David; would place a rose on Bob's grave, implying that she would always love him.

She threw her former sister in-law, Laura, out of her life, because she had been involved with Bob's brother, Jack, who had been responsible for his brother's death! She would remain in Westside to run the new Robert Brown Community Centre, informally called Bob's place. She realized that she would always love him, and she kept his memory alive by working at Bob's place.

The series finale featured a violent explosion at Patchett's Pacific, which destroyed the pub, and injured many people including Elly. However, Max and others would surround Bonnie's bed, where she was lying in a coma. Upon coming out of her coma, she saw Max and the two would reunite, with Nikki's full support. And the story of Westside ended thusly.

Many Australian actors became famous from this show. And some also gained some musical success from this series (i.e.: Bruce Samazan; Melissa Tkautz). Successful alumni included the late Bunney Brooke (Auntie Vi), who had been best known from her role on Number 96; Chelsea Brown (Abby Rossiter) who was a member of the cast of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In in the 1970s; and Simon Baker-Denny (better known as Simon Baker, the star of the CBS police procedural drama, The Mentalist) who played PC Sam Farrell for the series final two years.

Cast

  • PENNY COOK -- Dr. Eleanor "Elly" Fielding #1
  • DIANNE CRAIG -- Dr. Eleanor "Elly" Fielding #2
  • NOEL HODDA -- Dr. David Fielding
  • BROOKE ANDERSON -- Claire Fielding
  • VIC ROONEY -- Ernie Patchett
  • TONY MARTIN -- Reverend Robert Brown
  • PAUK KELMAN -- Chris Patchett
  • ALYSSA-JANE COOK -- Lisa Bennett Sturgess
  • KATRINA SEDGWICK -- Sarah McKillop
  • WARREN JONES -- PC Paul Berry
  • LESLIE DAYMAN -- Police Sergeant George Sullivan
  • CECILY POLSON -- Martha O'Dare
  • MELANIE SALOMON -- Rhonda Berry
  • BRIONY BEHETS -- Margaret Bennett
  • VIRGINIA HEY -- Jennifer St. James
  • BUNNEY BROOKE -- Violet "Auntie Vi" Patchett
  • CHELSEA BROWN -- Abby Rossiter
  • PETA TOPPANO -- Miki Fallon
  • BRUCE SAMAZAN -- Max Simmons
  • MARCUS GRAHAM -- Stanley "Wheels" Kovak
  • CHRIS ORCHARD -- Daniel Windsor
  • TONI PEAREN -- Toni Windsor
  • MALCOLM KENNARD -- Harley Kendrick
  • MARIANNE HOWARD -- Alice Sullivan
  • ADRIAN LEE -- Craig "CJ" Jones
  • MELISSA TKAUTZ -- Nikki Spencer
  • MELISSA BELL -- Bonnie Tate
  • GRAHAM HARVEY -- Michael Sturgess
  • KATE RAISON -- Sheridan Sturgess
  • VINCE MARTIN -- Steven "Mr. Bad" Richardson
  • SIMON BAKER-DENNY -- PC Sam Farrell

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