The opening screen of Bluey which was used for the first eleven episodes.

In 1976, a much loved police TV-series were produced and broadcast by Crawford Productions in Australia. Its name was Bluey and it is still remembered today for its exciting detective work and action scenes. Gerda Nicolson played Sergeant Monica Rourke in this Australian version of Hill Street Blues. The fact that the main character is named Detective Inspector Bluey Hills (played by Lucky Grills) really put a strong link between the American original and its Australian version. The character name is also connected with ABCs long running series Blue Hills.

During 1976, 39 episodes were produced, all in which Gerda appeared. Her character was one of the main ones, and one of the standing storylines was Bluey's secret feelings for Monica Rourke.

Actually, the role of Sgt. Rourke was first to be given to Noeline Brown, but at the last moment Gerda was cast. Crawford had tried to cast Gerda before as a regular in other cop shows, but she had been tied up with Bellbird.

What we see in Bluey are exciting car chases, thrilling action scenes and the police squadron chasing villains on the dangerous streets of Melbourne. The difference is quite big from the characters Gerda later came to play.

The series became very popular, not only in Australia, but also in Europe. In England, Bluey actually had its own fan club. Lucky Grills visited the UK in the late Seventies, and people were flocking around him so intensly that he had to have two body guards with him when being outside.

 
The original Bluey cast. From left to right: John Diedrich, Victoria Quilter, Lucky Grills and Gerda Nicolson.

   
Another shot of Bluey-cast during the filming of episode 32, 'The Wrong Coffin'. From left to right: Peter Aanensen, Ken Goodlet, Gerda Nicolson, John Diedrich and Lucky Grills.
Gerda as Policewoman Rourke.

 

 

Thanks to Don Storey at

Classic Australian Television

for pictures and information.