With the recent release of the 1960s cult favourite TV show Number 96: The Beginning And The Bomb DVD set Volume 3, it’s amazing that these episodes existed.
The show described as “The day Australia lost its virginity”, Number 96 was controversial from the start. Nudity, sex, homosexuality, racism, violence, flimsy cardboard doors and walls – it had it all.
Australian TV Historian Andrew Mercado has put all his blood, sweat and tears into the project release, but the show would only be released in “volumes”.
Why? Because a lot of the master tapes were wiped or destroyed. Sadly, Number 96 wasn’t the only show that suffered the same consequence. Early episodes of Graham Kennedy’s In Melbourne Tonight, Hey Hey It’s Saturday and even Countdown are missing a bunch of episodes due to cost cutting back in the day, and that the film was extremely expensive.
WIPED: The Destruction of Australia’s Television History – is an upcoming documentary by Producer Larry Boxshall. His aim is not to point the blame, but to highlight Australia to see if they have any episodes of any kind of any vintage TV shows in storage. They may not even realise that their grandparents might have a VHS copy of Bellbird in the garage. Australia has lost a lot of TV heritage – most of it forever. Think BBC’s Doctor Who series… incomplete.
If you have a missing episode of some sort or any questions about the documentary, contact Larry Boxshall at boxfilms at hotmail.com.