Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Debuting in May 1989, the Australian TV soap opera E Street was designed as a "hip," youth-oriented variation of the long-running continuing drama A Country Practice, featuring one of the stars of the earlier series, Penny Cook. Set in the inner-city community of Westside, the daily 50-minute series cast Cook as dedicated general practitioner Dr. Ellie Fielding. Other regulars included beat cop George Sullivan (Les Dayman); George's rebellious teenaged daughter Alice (Marianne Howard); feisty legal-aid lawyer Sarah McKillop (Katrina Sedgwick), who was abruptly killed off six months into the series; Sarah's rather sexier replacement, Jennifer St. James (Virginia Hey); social worker Martha O'Dare (Cecily Polson); pub keeper Ernie Patchett (Vic Rooney) and his hotheaded son Chris (Paul Kelman), who was forced via an unwanted pregnancy to wed snooty socialite Megan Bromley (Lisabeth Kennaly); and the series' most popular character, "cool" Reverend Bob Brown (Tony Martin), who like most of the adults on the program was saddled with a contentious offspring, namely his son Harley (Malcolm Kennard). Whenever the ratings flagged -- as they did when Ellie Fielding was written off the series -- the producers hauled in another Country Practice alumnus, notably Kate Raison as rich-bitch dowager Sheridan Sturges and Joan Sydney as Ernie Patchett's sister Mary. The series also indulged in the time-honored practice of sweeping the boards clean by having several characters killed off at once in a single tragedy (an explosion, an auto accident, etc.) so that a whole new flock of younger, prettier regulars could be introduced. By the time the series entered the home stretch, most of the stories focused on a crippled rock singer named Wheels (Marcus Graham) and his entourage. Created by Forrest Redlich, E Street chalked up 404 episodes before its cancellation in 1993.