Australian Screen

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Number 96 – Episode 35 (1972)

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clip ‘Oh, the pain!’

Original classification rating: M. This clip chosen to be PG

Clip description

Bev (Abigail) is none too happy to discover her mother Claire Houghton (Thelma Scott) waiting inside her apartment. Claire is demanding some answers about her daughter’s present lifestyle.

Curator’s notes

Bev has already been posing for nude photos and fighting off the violent advances of a sleazy theatre producer. But whilst she appears to be a sexually permissive wild child of the ‘70s, she is in fact a virgin who was rather hoping Don (Joe Hasham) would deflower her. She does not like her dominating mother and has clearly moved to the apartment block to escape her. On arrival, her mother Claire seems to half expect that Beverley (as she calls her) is pregnant (‘got yourself into trouble?’), but upon learning that her daughter has fallen in love with Don, a homosexual, she sniggers (‘you mean one of those creatures who wear false eyelashes and douse themselves in Chanel No. 5?’).

Whilst this is Claire’s first appearance in the series it certainly isn’t her last. Though daughter Bev would die in a 1973 Christmas cliffhanger, Claire remained a recurring character right up to the end of the series in 1977. It’s easy to see why Abigail would become Australia’s first fair dinkum sex symbol. Although she was later sensationally sacked and replaced in the role by Vicki Raymond, today everybody thinks they saw her totally nude throughout the show. The truth is she only ever did brief and partial nudity. Her legend (and bosoms), however, loom much larger in people’s recollections.

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australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

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