Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Fergus McPhail (2004 - 2004)

Children's series
26 episodes x 30 minutes

Series synopsis:

Fergus McPhail (Sean Ohlendorf) is an awkward, likeable teenager trying to make his way in a new city when his family moves to Melbourne. Desperate to be cool and to make friends, nothing ever seems to quite work out for Fergus and he spends most of his life stumbling from crisis to crisis – mostly of his own making. Covering a year of his life, this is the story of Fergus, his unpredictable family, his friends, his enemies, girls and his incredibly optimistic alter ego, Fergus II, who sees success in everything.

Curator’s Notes:

Fergus McPhail is an appealing comedy drama produced by Burberry Productions for 8 to 13-year-olds. Fergus McPhail is Burberry Productions’ third children’s television series developed by Ewan Burnett and writer David McRobbie, following The Wayne Manifesto (1997) and Eugénie Sandler PI (2000). This series is based on David McRobbie’s popular novel Fergus McPhail (Puffin Books Australia, 2001).

There is an interesting story behind this production that explains its similarities with The Wayne Manifesto (1997). The storylines for Fergus McPhail were initially developed by Burberry Productions as the second series of The Wayne Manifesto. However, despite high ratings for The Wayne Manifesto (1997), the ABC decided not to go ahead with a second series. Writer David McRobbie took the stories and wrote the novel Fergus McPhail which was then optioned by Burberry and developed into this new series, with pre-sales secured to the Ten Network and the BBC.

In another nice twist, talented child actor Jeffrey Walker – who played the lead role of Wayne in The Wayne Manifesto (1997) – directed episode 17 of Fergus McPhail.

Titles in this series

Fergus McPhail – Double Trouble 2004

Fergus McPhail (Sean Ohlendorf) and his family have just arrived in Melbourne. Fergus catches the attention of the attractive Angela (Heli Simpson) and Sophie (Megan Harrington) when they see him in a wheelchair. Fergus also makes a lifelong friend of ...