A GTV9 Tipoff Regarding the Missing Episodes of The Adventures of Gerry Gee
Publication of the article The Mystery of the Lost and Found Episodes of The Adventures of Gerry Gee has turned up yet more leads about the whereabouts of the missing episodes.
In that article I mentioned how Ron Blaskett had written in his book “You, Me and Gerry Gee” that in 1991 some reels of the series had been re-discovered in the GTV9 archives:
“Denzil and I were called to GTV9 in October 1991, as some old film had been found in the archives — and here was the series that had been missing for 25 years — what treasures! Now we’ve had them transferred to videotape.”
That article also presented Denzil’s typed inventory of episodes he had on VHS tape — no doubt the episodes which Ron claimed had been “transferred to videotape”.
The remaining puzzle though was what happened to the film reels after they had been transferred? As speculated, the most likely destination was that they had been returned to the GTV9 archives. But where to from there?
Ron Blaskett thought the films went back to Fremantle International, the distribution arm of the Nine organisation. And former GTV9 staff member Wally Ritter had told me “that stuff eventually went to Ross Sellers at TCN9 in Sydney”. Attempts to investigate these leads proved a dead end.
New Information Comes to Hand
Then out of the blue in August 2020 I received an email from another former GTV9 staff member, Peter McBain:
“I was just looking at your page about Gerry Gee films. When I worked at GTV9 as editor of Postcards back in the late 2000s, the films were all there in the dungeon (vault). I had a section where I’d place each week’s master tape of Postcards and next to that were rows of film racks with mostly old news footage but also the Gerry Gee shows, cans of 16mm film, lots of them. I assume these were all sent to NFSA when GTV moved out of Bendigo Street.
“They were definitely still there but nothing was catalogued because the old cataloguing system was unable to be transferred across to any sort of modern system, so everything that (I think, Wally Ritter or Bob someone?) had catalogued was unable to be saved. The cans were still there but any information about what was in the archive was lost sometime in the mid 2000s.”
Peter McBain suggested contacting long-time GTV9 staff member Peter Corrigan who he thought was still working at Nine.
A call to Nine at Docklands referred me to their Human Resources department, whom I then emailed. A couple of emails later and I received a call from Peter Corrigan and thus began an interesting story which partially answers the mystery of the missing episodes.
Peter and a colleague consulted a database which showed the reels of The Adventures of Gerry Gee were sent to the NFSA at the time (circa 2010) when Bendigo Street was being cleared out during Nine’s move to Docklands. Peter read out an inventory:
Tarzan Gerry episodes 1, 2, 3, 4
Gerry At Gigantic
Gerry Flies Through
Smugglers Secret 2 episodes
Gerry’s Big Show episodes 1, 4
Big Circuit episodes 1,2,3,4
Big Dipper Gerry. Working reels, image and sound negs.
Plus there were also episodes of Around the World with Gerry Gee — another series of film productions whose whereabouts were unknown:
Episodes 4, 8 9
Episodes 19, 20, 21
Episodes 6, 7
Episodes 1, 5
Episodes 15, 16. A+B
Episodes 11, 10
And as confirmation that these materials had been sent, there was an NFSA acquisition number, 36200, and a set of NFSA box numbers: 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 175, 176, 177, 178, 179.
At last here was some concrete evidence of the fate of these films!
Armed with this new information, next stop was to contact the NFSA. Those reels must be somewhere! That will be subject of next post.