691 & 692
Original --
Showcase --
? (Ronnie Bryce)
? (Kate Thompson)
? (Francesco Ginnini)
? (Victoria Flemming)
Writer Judith Colquhoun won an AWGIE (Australian Writers Guild) award for this episode in 1990.

The Alfa Romeo's license was PAX159

The winning ticket for Scarlet was #86

Plotlines, characters, dialogue quotes, hospital name, house image, show photos, & show-specific details JNP Productions. The wording and presentation of the information on this site and all of the ACP graphics 1998-2000 Kitty MacAlpine (unless otherwise noted).

Thanks to Martin C. for this description. :-)

"Bel Canto"

Matt comes into Boolaroo wiping his hands. He has problems with his car. Lucy is going through her bills and Matt is giving advice and comments about her having the most expensive wardrobe in Wandin Valley. Cathy arrives home and asks for something to drink. The house is a mess and there is no food or drink in the fridge. Matt and Lucy look helpless and Cathy looks exasperated. In her office Maggie asks a nurse to look for something that has gone missing. Terence and Cris come in talking about Esme and how great she is at looking after the house, like getting up in the middle of the night to prepare breakfast. Terence wants to tell Maggie about his holiday and Maggie wants to show him about her horse. She pulls out a pile of photographs and starts going through them, talking more to herself than to Terence. Terence excuses himself as he understands Maggie is not listening to him and goes off on his rounds. Maggie continues to look at the photos. Shirley and Frank are driving towards Wandin Vally in Shirley's car and are overtaken by a red Alfa Romeo that is being driven rather erratically. The car has a passenger with the driver. Frank tells Shirley to chase the car and as she pulls alongside a truck comes the other way and both the Alfa Romeo and Shirley have to brake very hard and end up stopped at the side of the road. All four occupants of the cars get out and go to meet each other. Frank is furious. The man driving the Alfa is adressed by Frank but ignores him and introduces himself to Shirley. Splendido. Frank tells him he is an off-duty policeman and he wants the man to show him some identification and his driving licence. The man, who is Italian, asks for Frank's ID. The man's wife is Australian. Each show the other their documents. The stranger's driving license is in Italian. The woman explains that his international driving licence is at their house. They point across the field from where they are parked. They have bought the Connolly place in Wandin Valley. Frank asks him to bring it over to him later on. After they leave Frank muses that the man didn't introduce his wife and Frank says he recognises her face from somewhere.

At hospital Mr. Ronnie Bryce is bought in by Kate Thompson, his secretary. He is suffering from loss of breath and chest pains. He has heart problems. He is stressed with work and asks Kate to make several phone calls for him and is generally irritated and rude. Luke is polishing his car and Fatso tries climbing in. Luke lifts him out. Matt and Lucy arrives in her blue 2CV. Lucy asks if Luke could check the car as it hs to go in for its test. Luke tells her she needs 4 new tires. He says he can get them for $300 to $400 and Lucy looks horrifed as her finances are in ruins. Luke says Lucy can borrow his car any time. Matt asks if he can. Luke says no way and looks insulted. At the hospital Mr. Bryce is being very awkward. He calls in Kate and tries to leave. Cris tells him he has a serious condition. Bryce asks for a private room and Maggie says it is not possible. He insists and Maggie refuses to accept responsibllity for his condition if he has to be moved. He says he will tolerate her behaviour and to put him a private room immediately. In a private room he is seen ringing to his office. Maggie informs him about Bev and how he should be civil to her or he will be isolated. Kate arrives with a fax machine and cigars. Maggie says he cannot have them. Cris tells him he has the forerunner of serious heart problems. At the Club Matt, Cathy, and Lucy are eating lunch and talking about costs in general. Cathy says she will have a lot of expenses from her trip to Kakadu. Luke comes in and asks Matt if he can get some money for having to clean the carpets in his car after their rounds in the morning. Maggie comes in and Matt informs her about the costs for keeping her horse. Cookie and Bob talk to her and Maggie suddenly says the horse is for sale.

The Italian couple arrive at the Gilroys' house. Francesco is the husband. He has come to bring his licence to show Frank. He can't find the licence but invites the Gilroys to dinner that evening and Frank says he has to check with Shirley first. Francesco insists they come at eight that evening and Frank agrees. After they leave he looks in his record collection and finds one by Victoria Flemming. Now he recognises who the woman is. At hospital Bryce is dictating to Kate and suddenly has heart pains. Cris and Maggie come rushing in and tell him to keep the monitor connected. All he does is complains about Kate's work. Back in the Club Luke tells Matt that he is not allowed in his car again unless he has bags on his feet. Cookie and Bob are asking for people to buy a raffle ticket. Cookie is trying to sell the horse. Maggie and Matt didn't realise at first.Frank comes in and meets Shirley and Terence. He informs them about Victoria Flemming. Terence knows her works, too. Frank tells him that she was booked into a season at the Metropolitan Opera in Milano but walked out in the middle. At the Connolly place Francesco is playing the piano. He is talking about being in small villages or in big cities. They both say they miss several aspects of big city life. Maggie is complaining about Mr. Bryce to Terence in her office. Bryce's own doctor is coming the day after. Lucy comes in and asks for her pay and gets it in a packet. Whe she hears Maggie needs extra staff she offers to work extra but Maggie doesn't want her overworked. Finally Lucy convinces Maggie to let her work. Shirley and Frank arrive at the old Connolly house and are welcomed in. Frank has his Victoria Flemming records with him for autographing. Victoria takes them out into the kitchen. After asking what they would like to drink Francesco goes into the kitcen to get the drinks and Victoris is upset because they know who she is. When all are together in the living room Frank says he has all her records but has never heard her in concert. He mentions that Terence says she is good and Victoria is worried that others also know. Frank asks if she could give them a concert. Francesco asks if they could be quiet about them being there as they are on a holiday and noone knows where they are. They need their privacy respected.

In the hospital Mr. Bryce and Kate are eating and Lucy comes in and takes away the cigar he is smoking. It is revealed that he is a a coal magnate. He is rude to Kate again. Lucy asks him which charm school he went to. Says she is going off duty soon so if there is anything he needs to tell her now. In the Club Cookie and Bob are raffling off the horse and showing everyone the painting of the horse. Maggie draws the winning ticket for her horse Scarlet after telling them about how she first found the horse. Cookie has the winning ticket. He kisses Maggie who looks disgusted. Back at the old Connelly house Victoria and Shirley go to fix coffee and Frank and Francesco talk. Francesco asks if Terence can be trusted. He says Victoria needs help badly. The next morning in the hospital Lucy meets an upset nurse in corridor. The nurse was upset by Bryce. Lucy goes into him and tells him she will have his sheets changed. He just asks for Kate to fax to New York. Francesco arrives at Maggie's office where Shirley is sitting. Terence arrives more or less directly and the Italian man introduces himself as Francesco Ginnini. Asks to talk with Terence for a few minutes. Francesco says he is heart broken and at first Terence doesn't understand and thinks he means he has heart problems. Francesco explains that Victoria will not sing. She stopped about three months ago without reason and with no problems. He asks Terence to speak to her. Matt Cookie and Bob are at Boolaroo. Matt is walking Scarlet and gives her to Cookie. Frank arrives and impounds the horse. He informed Cookie and Bob that they will be summonsed for holding an illegal raffle which is considered gambling. Lucy is talking to Kate by the coffee machine. Kate explains that Bryce is just letting off steam but has many good sides to him. Lucy says she can see Kate is in love with him. She admits it. She has worked with him since she was eighteen. He always had fears of failure and many enemies. Lucy asks why rational women try to change monsters into angels. Cris comes then but immediately has to rush off to Bryce's room to find him pushing the emergency bell just to get Kate back into the room.. He is on the phone bidding at Sothebys for an Egyptian artifact. He frantically bids $150,000 ...$200,000 ...$250,000 for the object. His final bid is $300,000 and he is getting really worked up. Cris tries to stop him but Bryce gets frantic and then has a heart attack. Even after electric shock treatment all fails and he dies. A voice is heard on the phone that fell on the floor. Lucy picks it up and is informed that the bid was successful. They all look at each other in disbelief and Kate says at least he got the artifact he wanted.

In the Club Frank is explaining to Cookie and Bob about what the had held an illegal raffle. Matt is asked to look after the horse but says he doesn't have time. Cookie explains to Frank that it was not a raffle but a syndicate. Frank has to accept the result after Cookie tells him that they have made all the appropriate applications. Matt tells Cookie and Bob that as they chose him as the syndicate's vet it will cost them $150 per week. Kate wants Bryce's body to be sent to Sydney for burial. She has to tell his wife. Lucy asks what Kate is going to do and Kate weeps on her shoulder. Maggie tells Lucy to take her to room 5 to lie down. She then mutters under her breath. Men! Terence arrives at the Connolly house and is met by Victoria. Terence explains why he is there and Victoria seems upset. She then tells him that there is nothing wrong with her voice. She says Francesco is dying and that is why she stopped singing.

[Part two of this episode will come when this episode is rebroadcast in Canada sometime in 2002. If you have this episode on tape and would like to provide a description of part two, please email me at klmacalpine@hotmail.com and let me know]