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Doctor Lucien Blake returns to Ballarat after an attempt to reunite with his long lost daughter. But it's no longer the safe haven he left behind: Danny has been transferred to Melbourne, replaced by a new Senior Constable hell bent on making Blake's job as police surgeon as difficult as possible. And of course there are the strange and baffling murders that come his way, there are mysteries seeping out of every corner from political corridors and church vestries, to, art galleries and rock'n' roll halls.
Episode One: The Heart Of The Matter
Blake returns from China, and finds himself thrown straight into an investigation: the newly elected Mayor of Ballarat is found dead at the bottom of the Town Hall steps. But threats of betrayal, adultery and double dealing lead him to some high and low places. Jean kept in the dark worries for him. There is a gallery of potential killers for Blake and Lawson to do battle with, each with strong motives to see the newly elected Mayor taken out of play. Tyneman is not happy to see Blake back in town and it becomes clear that he isnt the only one questioning the maverick ways of the Police Surgeon. Danny has been seconded to Melbourne and the new Senior Constable, Charlie Davis, who has been sent from the big smoke to take his place, is not the friendly face that Blake has been used to. On top of that, snooping journalist Joy McDonald is back in town. She now appears to be working for Tyneman, but still has a strong attraction to Blake, who is enjoying her attentions. The time has come for Blake to make some decisions about his private life.
Episode Two: The Food Of Love
Doctor Blake must unravel the mystery of the death of an up- and-coming rocknroll star, after he collapses into the arms of his fans at a sell out performance. Rock'n'roll is here to stay but not too many people in the quiet City of Ballarat are keen on this new fad. In contrast there is a touring religious road-show in town and that brings with it a seemingly much more acceptable Billy Graham like fervour. God versus the Devil has never been more clear-cut than this, but nothing is ever that straight forward is it? Money, sex and ambition are fuelling a motley collection of suspects and each of them has good reason to see the end of the new king of Rock. So, while Blake investigates, Lawson must try to keep the peace in a town divided. In the meantime the new policeman Charlie encounters the feisty Mattie for the first time and it doesnt go well, in fact it goes as wrong as it can go.
Episode Three: A Foreign Field
The body of a well-dressed man is found dead on a picnic blanket in Ballarats botanical gardens. He has been lying there for 24 hours unnoticed by the Sunday afternoon revellers in the Park. So begins one of Blakes most intriguing investigations. This is the late 1950s, a time of fear for the changing World and fear for the end of the old order, reds under the beds Castro, Russia and the rise of ASIO could these elements be anything to do with this mysterious stranger? A stranger with no identification and apparently no past. But everyone has a past, and as our strangers details start to seep out so do the suspects. Blake's own murky military past starts to rear its head and Lawson is getting calls from the powers that be about his Police Surgeon and what he was doing in China. Can Blake discover more about the mysterious stranger and indeed more about himself and solve the crime before all the clues are covered up and hidden forever?
Episode Four: Smoke And Mirrors
On a wild and stormy Saturday night those few brave souls out on such a night are horrified to see a man fall from the Colonists Club and crash onto Lydiard Street in front of them. After surveying the Clubs balcony Blake begins to suspect foul play and a crime far more complex than he or Lawson could dream of. Meanwhile Lawson and Charlie are caught up in a hit and run involving one of their fellow officers. Could there be a connection between these two crimes on the same night? And if there is what will it lead to, and how dangerous will it all become? The only clue linking both incidents appears to be a pouch of tobacco. Blake also finds himself faced with ex military suspects and memories of the war that might be best forgotten. Charlie is still regarded as an outsider, as both Lawson and Blake continue to question the new Constables loyalties and abilities.
Episode Five: Crossing The Line
Cinemagoers hurry to safety after a fire breaks out in the projection booth. The projectionist has been burned to death and every employee and patron in the cinema is a suspect. Lawson introduces Blake to Richard Taylor and Richard introduces himself to Jean, who seems to be quite taken with him. What will Blake feel about a beau for Jean? Meanwhile, on further investigation Blake believes that the fire was no accident and the projectionist was no innocent bystander. But then who is? They all look guilty of something and people are keeping secrets and telling half truths. When Mattie tells Blake about the wedding of the year local girl Amelia Yorke is marrying wealthy bachelor Vincent Foster, Blake starts to piece together the dark goings-on and what emerges is down right ugly. Finally, Charlie looks like he is starting to come round to Blake's way of thinking and the pair are starting to build a grudging respect for one another. But trust? Well, thats another matter altogether.
Episode Six: Mortal Coil
The sadness of a local funeral takes a macabre twist when a second body is found in a coffin just before its about to be buried. It turns out to be the body of a local rag and bone man but why would someone kill him, and then go to such elaborate measures to get rid of the body? Blake knew the old man and remembers him fondly from his childhood. This memory of the old man makes this mystery more personal than usual and Blake wont let the matter or indeed the bodies rest in peace until he has uncovered the truth. Blake realises that he may have been asking the wrong questions perhaps theres more than one body waiting to be discovered. A missing man may even still be alive. Can Blake solve the puzzle in time to save him? Finding the answers involves Blake grappling with his own mortality, and Jean and Lawson both worry as his behaviour becomes more and more out of control. This also feeds into Charlies concerns for the Doctors methods. Could this be the moment Charlies bosses have been waiting for?
Episode Seven: The Silence
When a Ballarat school Principal is found dead Blake and Lawson go back to their old school. Why has this man of standing been killed? Well, it would appear that there are more than a few women folk in the town that wouldnt be sorry to see him gone. Then theres the Assistant Principal, a man known to both Blake and Lawson - they all went to school together and neither of them remember him fondly. But the motive to murder has to be strong, and Blake and Charlie have to overcome Lawsons prejudices to get to the truth. Its a truth that Lawson doesnt want to accept, one that makes him face his demons from the past and tests his resolve to near breaking point. The school awakens all sorts of family feelings and for the first time Jean talks on the subject of her two boys. Tuck shops, school bullies, the old schoolyard and corporal punishment make for a very singular backdrop to this latest Blake mystery.
Episode Eight: The Ties Of The Past
Art student and life model, Vanessa Mackay, is found brutally murdered and her keys to Ballarat Art Gallery are the only things missing from her handbag. All this comes a few days before a major exhibition at the Gallery. Lawson calls in Blake to determine how the girl was killed, a task that is not as easy as it appears. Blake is forced by circumstance to think about his long dead Mother, and so we start to find out more about the young Blake and his relationship with this person who has over time become all but a stranger to her own son. The past is everywhere, and it all seems to tie in somehow to this present day murder. Then when a stolen painting is dumped in an alleyway and the alleged thief becomes the victim of a hit and run, Doctor Blake starts to piece the whole puzzle together. The ghosts of past play a major part in this fascinating crime and Blake learns far more than he expected to about long forgotten times.
Episode Nine The Sky Is Empty
When beloved Father Morton is found dead in the confessional booth, Blake concludes his death was no accident. It was a nasty way to go with no apparent motive, but Blake knows that underneath the calm peace of Gods House all is not well. As he investigates which of the parishioners might have motive to kill their own priest, Blake is forced to examine his own beliefs in the Almighty. It has been a very long time since Blake stepped into a Church, and the war years gave him more than enough reason to question his faith in God and religion. Lawson is trying to keep a leash on Blake this time out, he doesnt see the need to snoop into Church matters. But he knows that Blake will continue to dig until he uncovers the truth. Some things are best left alone but Blake is not that kind of man. Lawson is a very troubled man; something is not right, and Blake tries to find out what that is. Blake and Jean are also forced to re- examine their relationship.
Episode Ten An Invincible Summer
Ballarat is in an uproar, when the bodies of one of the most well respected and caring families in the town, the Dennisons, are found brutally murdered in their own home. It is the morning of The Dennison Gift, the Daylesford to Ballarat cross-country race, sponsored by the now murdered family. With the town in a rage, its exactly the wrong time for Jeans neer-do-well son Jack to turn up. He wins the race, but is soon put right in the middle of the investigation. Blake promises Jean that he will look after Jack, but the truth keeps getting in the way and the truth is not looking good for Jack. As Blake and Charlie investigate the Dennison family and those connected with it they discover this revered family is not quite as perfect as everyone thought. Blake must fight to find the killer and save those around him from destruction.