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The Scarecrow
Episode 160 - September 16, 1997
Nick is manning the desk when a young man, Gavin Stone, comes in to report that his father's car has been stolen. This doesn't seem too out of the ordinary until a horrified Dash states that Gavin Stone is the scarecrow and his father the Troll. Elaborating on local legend, Dash explains that the Troll and his son have been feared by every child in the district for many years, even now the scarecrow gives her the creeps. Maggie encounters Gavin Stone as he is leaving the station. She looks at his car-it is falling apart as they speak. Gavin pleads with her to give him a chance to repair it, as it is now their only way of getting around. Although Maggie lets him off with a warning she is later forced to register the car unroadworthy. Meanwhile, PJ is investigating a series of car thefts from the supermarket parking lot. Each
theft victim seems to have a similar description of a man that they saw loitering at the scene. Tom firmly believes that these are not isolated random thefts, they may be witnessing the handiwork of an organised ring. Tempers flare over Maggie's decision to register the Stone's car as unroadworthy. Arthur Stone is furious and demands to know how his son is supposed to make his way into town for supplies. Maggie attempts to console him, this is a point of law and there is nothing that they can do about it. However it is clear that he will only be happy when his son is allowed to use the car again or if the Heelers find his stolen vehicle. A call out to a possible burglary at Maggie's home turns out to be the arrival of her elder brother Robbie. Maggie is thrilled to see him, but PJ is not so sure that Robbie's return is such a positive event because of his history as a heroin addict. Maggie manages to find Robbie a job at Lemon Motors, a situation that PJ later uses to his advantage. He believes that the owner of the lot, Paul Dent, is tied into the car thefts and used Robbie as a spy. When Maggie learns of PJ's plans she is furious that he has put Robbie's job in danger. However, Maggie has more pressing things to worry about. When she sees that Gavin Stone has decided to use a friends motorbike she reminds him that if he is planning to take his girlfriend for a ride then he must also get a helmet for her. As Gavin returns to his friend's property for another helmet he has an accident. Dash and Adam find him lying dead in a ditch. When Arthur Stone hears of his son's death he flies into a rage, blaming Maggie, and demanding some answers. Next, Maggie's car is vandalised and someone is making strange phone calls to her home. But no one suspects the life threatening situation that will befall Maggie when the car vandal tries to revenge Gavin's death. Unless Robbie and PJ can discover can discover her tormentor's identity, Maggie's point of law may result in a death sentence.

Our Patch
Episode 162 - September 30, 1997
Is Tom Croydon going soft? That's what Chris Riley and the Heelers think when Tom fails to reprimand a bunch of drunken louts. Even when they let a live snake go in the pub and make rather unsavoury advances towards Maggie and Dash, Tom stops PJ from charging them. The Heelers are suitably unimpressed and are left wondering why Tom would protect a bunch of "yobbos". Meanwhile, Maggie and Nick are investigating some strange behaviour by the Torrinis, local market gardeners, and friends of Nick's. Augusta had come into the station to speak to Nick but her husband took her out before she could say anything. Now their stall has been knocked over and Augusta has been bashed. Maggie believes that she may be the victim of domestic violence but Nick has other ideas. He suggests that both the Torrinis are the victims of harassment, perhaps at the hands of the Belfanti brothers, major market gardeners in the area. They had been the Torrinis' agents but were recently fired. Nick believes that the brothers maybe employing some standover tactics to ensure that the Torrini don't spread rumours about them. The Heelers' curiosity about the new louts in town gets the better of them, PJ rings around and discovers their true identity. Never one to let things go PJ grabs Maggie and they follow the men into the National Park. There PJ stumbles onto a hothouse full of marijuana. Who are the growers of the marijuana crop, and how are the Torrinis, the Belfantis and the new louts in town connected to it? Will the Heelers be able to put the pieces together in time to bring the drug ring down?

The All Seeing Eye
Episode 163 - October 07, 1997
What seems to be a case of petty theft turns into an investigation of a two year old kidnapping when Maggie and PJ realise that a fingerprint found on a stolen figurine bought at a local car-boot sale actually matches one found on the ransom note. In no time the wealthy parents of the missing child, Helen McMurtrie, arrive in town and start demanding action. Felicity, the
mother, is particularly anxious, and when she runs into an old acquaintance, Siobhan Kennedy hairdresser and witch, she insist that the police employ her as a clairvoyant. Much to Tom's surprise, Siobhan refuses, it's not what she does. But the McMurtrie's offer of a $50,000 reward brings another clairvoyant contender into the station. This is Magda Lupescu, who introduces herself as a Romanian Gypsy. Under skeptical police supervision, Magda uses a bracelet belonging to the missing child to perform psychometry over a local map. She assures the Heelers that if they search in a particular spot, they will find evidence of the little girl, who is, unfortunately, dead. Sure enough, the search leads straight to a hidden garbage bag containing the clothes Helen McMurtrie was wearing when she was kidnapped. This raises the suspicions of the ever-skeptical PJ, if you discount "mumbo-jumbo", how did Magda know where to find the clothes? His suspicions are increased when he and Maggie discover that Magda has a small girl living with her. Trouble is, Helen is blonde and Australian and would be eight years old now, whereas this girl is dark-haired and Romanian and only six. What does Magda really know? The best person to find out, under the circumstances, seems to be Siobhan Kennedy. Her verdict is that although Magda is a genuine "finder", she is lying about the child being dead. With this incentive, the Heelers renew their efforts to find the missing child. Meanwhile, after one look at Robbie Doyle, Siobhan tells Dash that she thinks he is taking drugs-he has a "murky aura". But when Dash passes this intelligence onto Maggie, Maggie refuses to believe it... until she has the house to herself and just can't resist the temptation to search it for drugs. The house is clean, and Maggie heaves a huge sigh of relief-until she remembers the veggie patch that Robbie was so keen to dig for her.

Playing Possum
Episode 164 - October 14, 1997
PJ is on the trail of a cat burglar known as the Possum. This thief is responsible for a number of jewellery thefts in Mt. Thomas and has proven virtually impossible to catch. PJ enlists Maggie's help but she is having trouble focusing on the case as her thoughts are firmly fixed on her brother Robbie and her discovery that he is using heroin again. Maggie realises that the only way she can help her brother overcome his addiction is with the help of her family so asks their father, Sgt. Pat Doyle, up from Melbourne. Maggie and Pat face Robbie who tries to convince them that he can stop using heroin whenever he likes. Maggie and Pat realise that this is just another junkie line and explain that they will help him any way they can if he is willing to combat his addiction. Robbie suggests that with their help he can go cold turkey. Maggie and Pat decide that they will take shifts in watching Robbie while he goes through withdrawal. However, this makes it even harder for Maggie to concentrate on the jewellery thefts. Gail Russell, a victim of the Possum, arrives at the station claiming that she' seen her stolen emerald dress clip in a local jewellery shop. However, when PJ questions the shop owner he discovers the feature stone of this piece is a garnet, not an emerald. Could she be lying as part of an insurance scam? Maggie discusses Robbie's heroin addiction with Dash but asks her to keep it to herself. However, PJ knows something is wrong and manages to heavy Dash into telling him about the heroin. With this knowledge he tries to lend support to Maggie but she shuts him out. She just wants him to keep quite about it and leave her alone, everything is fine. But everything is not fine. Robbie is going through the horrors of cold turkey, and there is little Maggie can do but watch her brother try to deal with the pain. Meanwhile, PJ is making progress with the jewellery theft investigation. It now seems that Gail Russell could be right about her dress clip, the stones may have been swapped. This may be the piece of information PJ needs to unmask the Possum. Maggie wakes the next morning to find that her brother has made it through the worst of the withdrawal and seems relieved to have his addiction behind him. Pat Doyle leaves Maggie and Robbie for Melbourne, sure that everything is under control. Then Dash announces that her CD player has gone missing. Is Robbie as clean as Maggie hopes?

Collateral Damage
Episode 165 - October 21, 1997
During a routine school locker search for stolen money, the Heelers find a foil of heroin in a fourteen year old girl's locker. She says she was given it at a party and PJ immediately concludes it is a free sample, handed out by someone determined to expand their drug business in Mt. Thomas. Maggie is particularly concerned because of her brother Robbie's previous addiction, but is determined to believe that he is still clean in spite of his admission that he did "borrow", Dash's CD player. When Maggie demands it back, he first says he has lent it to his girlfriend, Anise, and then admits that she pawned it, probably to pay for drugs. Maggie is convinced Anise is a bad influence on him, and urges him to break off with her. Then Maggie finds Anise shooting up in her living room, and promptly arrests her, dragging her down to the station. PJ, however, is determined to catch suppliers, not just users, and does a deal with Anise, in return for not being charged, she is to lead them straight to her dealer, who is one of the bouncers at the nightclub. Anise carries out her part, but the operation is a complete fizzer, there are no drugs to be found in the club. It seems they must have been warned in advance. Could there be a leak at Mt. Thomas station? Maggie comes home to find that Robbie has just used heroin. She is furious, but he pleads for her help and understanding, telling her he has done a deal with his new boss, information from his policewoman sister in return for drugs. And he hears for his life if he doesn't comply. Maggie comforts and reassures him. Meanwhile Tome and PJ are determined to find the source of the leak so they set a trap, telling the Heelers of another raid that night. PJ is astonished when the person he catches informing the nightclub owner is none other than Maggie.

The Big Picture
Episode 166 - October 28, 1997
PJ and Tom refuse to believe that Maggie could be leaking information to a suspected drug dealer. PJ is stymied, but before he and Tom can decide what to do, their boss, District Inspector Russell Falcon-Price, arrives demanding to know why they have not yet reported Maggie. He calls in Inspector Monica Draper, from Ethical Standards Division, who interviews Maggie-and promptly suspends her from duty. Still convinced of her innocence, PJ is frantic. When he can't get through to Maggie, he sends Tom, who is similarly unsuccessful. Maggie, it seems, just will not help herself. In stunned disbelief, the other Heelers continue with the business of trying to clean up the local hard drug scene-in spite of the previous night's failed raid on Shorty's nightclub. Nick and Dash observe young Kylie Bunton behaving suspiciously outside 'the party palace'-another suspected drug dissemination point-and plan to mount a raid the next day. Unfortunately by then Kylie Bunton has gone missing. Her parents seem uncharacteristically unconcerned, and then change their story to say that Kylie is staying with her grandmother. It is on their next visit to the Bunton's that Nick and Dash hear
a window smash and discover that Kylie is being kept prisoner by her own parents-the only way they can think of to keep her away from heroin. Meanwhile, PJ is getting very disturbing news about Maggie. It seems she has gone to see Shorty Abbot, the suspected drug-dealer who is owner of Shorty's nightclub and Robbie's boss. They have been seen lunching at the Imperial where Maggie was obviously negotiating for a job. Determined to force the truth from her by any means, PJ picks a fight with Maggie, telling her he's glad they never got closer, because she's obviously untrustworthy. Even still, she refuses to speak. Then Maggie finds Robbie and Anise about to shoot up in her living room. In a fury she chases Anise off, but not before learning enough to make her realise that the big district drug distribution will be happening that afternoon. When she tries to warn the Heelers, Falcon-Price won't believe her. But PJ does. He forces the others to mount a raid on the nightclub, where they arrive just in time to stop Maggie from receiving a lethal 'hot dose' from Shorty Abbot. The drug distributors are all caught, and Maggie is able to satisfactorily explain her part in the scheme. She is reinstated into the force and has a reconciliation with PJ, who tries to explain that he doesn't hate her brother, just what he's doing to her. But her drug nightmare is not over, Maggie returns home to find a dead body on her couch-Anise has overdosed. Fortunately Robbie is all right...this time.

Settlement Postponed
Episode 167 - November 04, 1997
It's Melbourne Cup time in Mt. Thomas and the Heelers are watching the race in the pub along with a number of other notables, such as Richo, Celia Donald and Compo Hayes. When Compo introduces them to his angry mate, Stacker Nicholl, as his best friends, the Heelers begin to get
suspicious. Their suspicions are increased when they learn the TAB takings for the Cup are well down on last year's, and Tom deduces that an illegal Starting Price bookie must be in the town. Maggie and PJ are convinced that Compo is involved in some way after Chris discover that his room at the Imperial has been trashed and he has gone missing. A short search of the hotel soon finds him asleep in the cellar, but Compo's explanation satisfies no-one. When Stacker is brought in and charged, Nick is able to establish that he is a customer of the new SP bookie-even though Stacker denies all knowledge. So who could the SP be? Celia Donald is very anxious about her missing Filofax, and she is well-known to like a flutter on the horses. Could it be her? Could it be Stacker himself? While they are puzzling over this, Compo reports another future crime, and talks his way into sitting off the Steam Packet bottle shop with Nick and Adam, waiting for it to be robbed. It isn't. Nick throes Compo out of the car and tells him to get lost. Then Nick feels incredibly guilty, because the next day it seems Compo has taken him at word. He is missing, and all a search of his room produces is Celia's Filofax, which contains an SP booking sheet listing a number of local punters-including Richo, Stacker and Celia herself. The only punter not mentioned is Compo, so he must be the SP bookie. Meanwhile PJ is dismayed to discover that Maggie has borrowed $5 000 to put Robbie into Thea Copeland's clinic in the hope that it alternative use of hypnotherapy and the like can finally cure him of his addiction. Robbie seems to be doing very well there... until he too disappears. When the Heelers learn that Compo Hayes has also been attending the clinic to get therapy for his gambling addiction, they are not too surprised to learn that Compo and Robbie have taken off together. It is not long before they're found, in circumstances which make Maggie realise that her battle against Robbie's heroin addiction is far from over.

Episode 170 - November 25, 1997
Maggie is telling Dash of her recurring nightmare of a dark and angry horse when Robbie brings in his new employer, Doreen Jackson, and her father, Jim Jamieson, to report that one of his paintings has been stolen- a painting of a horse. Ever since Jim was crippled by a rogue horse, it seems he paints nothing but horses- the same one, over and over again. But when Maggie and PJ go to his derelict property to investigate, they discover that the stolen painting has been replaced. Jim can't understand it , but PJ thinks that answer to the confusion lies in the empty liquor bottles on his table. Robbie heads off to his job at Doreen's service station, but is soon calling the station to report he has been robbed. Apparently two leather clad bikers held him up at knife point and stole the takings in the till. PJ is frankly skeptical, suspecting that Robbie may have staged the robbery in order to use the money to support his heroin addiction. Maggie vehemently rejects this suggestion, desperately needing to believe that Robbie has turned a new leaf. Tom mediates between them, insisting PJ take the case at face value. At the hotel, PJ meets one of Chris's guests who rides a motorbike. He says he is a food critic, but PJ finds his attitude suspicious. That night Maggie wakes from another nightmare and hears Robbie going out in her car. He doesn't return until the next morning, but when Maggie learns more of Jim Jameison's paintings were stolen in the night and that Jim has been hospitalised, she evades PJ's questions about Robbie's whereabouts by saying that she was asleep. The injured Jim won't admit to being bashed, and can't give a description of the thief. Dorren alibis Robbie, defiantly telling Maggie that they slept together last night. Then Tom discovers that Chris's mysterious guest is in fact an art-dealer, with priors for selling forged
paintings. PJ and Maggie investigates this theft, but it quickly emerges that they have different agendas. PJ is trying to establish some link between Robbie and the dealer, but Maggie knowing what she knows, is desperate to prove that Robbie was not involved. Instead she finds the opposite. She finds tyre prints from her car out at Jasmine's, and a small triangle of wood in the boot of her car. The dealer explains to her that this is a framing wedge, used to help stretch an unframed painting- like the stolen ones. Maggie confronts Robbie with this evidence, accusing him of the crime. He admits it, but says he got rid of the paintings for Doreen, who wanted to stop her fathers obsession with painting the horse. He threw them out at the local tip. Maggie wants to believe him. Meanwhile PJ accidentally learns that Maggie had evidence that she is not sharing with him. He finds a courier clerk who remembers sending a large package to Sydney for someone of Robbie's description. He is now certain Robbie is linked to the crime, but instead of proceeding officially, he goes to Maggie and offers to help her hide the evidence in return for a promise that she will now get Robbie out of her life. Maggie is extremely moved by this demonstration of the depth of his love for her, but soon realises that she cannot allow him to sacrifice his integrity for her. It is in PJ's arms, in bed, that Maggie accepts that she must be true to herself-she is a copper, that's her job. Maggie and PJ get back to work, first proving the case against Robbie and then arresting him. He will go to prison, where he may or may not get off heroin. Maggie has finally realised that it is his problem to solve, not hers. And life will go on in Mt. Thomas.

Episode 209 - November 11, 1998
Maggie's life is turned upside down when her brother, Robbie, shows up after having escaped from gaol. When she can't give him the help he expects, he takes off and the Heelers begin an extensive search. However, what appears to be a simple job turns into a frightening chain of events-a speed boat show goes terribly wrong and Maggie finds herself in a struggle to save the life of a five year old boy from the hands of a determined killer.

Blue Heelers is a character-based drama about coppers in a country town. The young team of police are the focus of the stories, the impact of events on each of them and their loved ones are the heart of the series. We watch their successes and their failures and learn to grow with them. The series is the one of Australia's most successful dramas.

Brett Climo as Robbie Doyle in Blue Heelers