In 1960 something new appeared on America TV: Whiplash, a western, if that’s the right word, set in Australia.
It should’ve been a hit. The star, Peter Graves, had been a success with Fury, a great kids’ show about a boy and his black stallion. Graves would go on to have a huge hit with Mission: Impossible, but at the time, Whiplash didn’t seem to do much for his career. Maybe because the British and Australian co-producers spent a fortune to film the series in Australia, but Graves insisted on filming much of it in a studio once they got there.
Much of the show was written by Gene Roddenberry, who went on to become famous for Star Trek.
You’d think the exotic locale, stories of adventure in the Outback during the Great Australian Gold Rush of the 1850s, and episodes featuring many of Australia’s most successful actors of the era, would have propelled the show to the TV hall of fame. But it only ran for two seasons, 1960-61. Critics are kinder to it now than they were then.
It even had a cool theme song. What’s not to like?
Well, I liked it! I was eleven years old, I’d been a Fury fan for years, and this show made me want to go to Australia and see the kangaroos close up.
I have yet to meet anyone else who remembers it, though.