Blue Heelers

Season 3 Episode 13

Priorities

0
Aired Wednesday 8:30 PM Apr 23, 1996 on Seven Network
7.8
out of 10
User Rating
2 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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Priorities
AIRED:
Tom is sent away for some retraining, leaving the station seriously understaffed. Things go from bad to worse when the computer system goes down, an old man goes missing, and a young mother's car is stolen with her baby asleep in the back seat.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Inspector Falkner stands in for Tom when he is sent off on a training course. It's a hectic day as the station's computer goes down, an elderly man goes missing, and in the midst of a rash of car thefts, a woman's baby vanishes. Fun "day in the life" ep..moreless

    9.5
    This review contains spoilers.



    It hasn't got one "solid" plot, but I really like 'Priorities' for the "day in the life" look at a day in the station it presents – even if Inspector Faulkner is temporarily in charge whilst Tom is sent off on some half-hearted training refresher course.



    Although Inspector Faulkner in the past has been rather pompous and slightly "out of touch" on occasion, his character here does seem to be bent slightly to suit the purpose of the story – i.e. he seems VERY out of touch, continually misevaluating the situation, and making the wrong decision and wrong course of action. However, it wasn't such a dramatic change of character that it bothered me; it played out convincingly enough, especially when considering this is one of the show's more light hearted instalments.



    There is some nice dialogue and good (as always) performances by the main cast. Of particular note is the continual bickering between Maggie and P.J., after Maggie found out that P.J. has spent the night with Gina at the end of the previous episode.



    There are numerous plot threads to this one, and all of the officers get a spot in the spotlight to do their thing. Its nice how several of the plots (the missing elderly man; the baby in the back of the car presumed to have been stolen) eventually all tie in to each other. I have to say, I wasn't completely convinced by the elderly man suffering dementia – he seemed to be played too comically, as if he was the worse for drink rather than genuinely forgetful. However, again considering that this is a lighter hearted episode, I could forgive this.



    Then there is the thread about the young man who waits at the station all day (it turns out, just to pick up some brochures on joining the Force). He is well-meaning but slightly slow witted and awaiting trial after being involved in a road accident where a child was hurt. All along I predicted there would be some kind of eventual twist with him – personally, I thought he might pull out a gun and hold Faulkner hostage. So I wasn't *that* surprised when, after some uncaringly harsh words from Faulkner, he was planning to jump from a building and kill himself at the climax of the tale. It was all played out very well though, and I enjoyed seeing this, and the episode's various other threads, unfold.



    Then there is Tom's estranged daughter Anna (who reappeared after not seeing her father in five years near the end of the previous episode), who has several false alarms that she is about to go into labour, sending Tom rushing back from his training course not once but twice, in fear of not being there for the birth. As always, John Wood breathes real life into his role as Tom.



    The episode is executed well, and – whilst it may seem a trivial point to some – I liked the lighting and direction of the location shoots (Nick and Adam on various callouts, the climax on top of the old building with Maggie and the young man).



    All-in-all, it's not exactly one of the Top 10 best ever 'Blue Heelers' instalments, and I know that some probably won't like it for it's multi-stranded approach over one (or two) real "main" plots, but personally, I love the whole "day in the life" feel it gives. I like this episode enough to give it a very decent score of 9 out of 10.moreless
Martin Sacks

Martin Sacks

Senior Detective Patrick Joseph "PJ" Hasham (1994 - 2005)

John Wood

John Wood

Senior Sergeant Tom Croydon

Julie Nihill

Julie Nihill

Christine "Chris" Reilly

Lisa McCune

Lisa McCune

Senior Constable Margaret "Maggie" Doyle (1994 - 2000)

Damian Walshe-Howling

Damian Walshe-Howling

Constable Adam Cooper (1994 - 1998)

William McInnes

William McInnes

Sergeant Nick Schultz (1994 - 1998, recurring 2004 and 2005)

Norman Yemm

Norman Yemm

Nigel Carmody

Guest Star

Suzanne Chapman

Suzanne Chapman

Michelle Tomminello

Guest Star

Shauna MacEwan

Shauna MacEwan

Kerry

Guest Star

Nick Waters

Nick Waters

Inspector Faulkner

Recurring Role

Alexandra Sangster

Alexandra Sangster

Anna Croydon

Recurring Role

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