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Big Sister began in 1942, the first daytime serial for women to be broadcast nationally throughout Australia.Until then nothing had really rated in daytime, but Big Sister, with full publicity and a great cluster of star actors, rated enormously.When a Girl Marries was the best known soapie to follow Big Sister in the 1940s.Another feature of the 1940s was the establishment of more production houses in Melbourne as radio reached its boom stage.Big Sister was impeccably produced by Lynn Foster, who, on its conclusion, followed it up with her own serial Crossroads of Life.Big Sister was reproduced by another network in the late 1950s but only had a short run.
Its importance lay in its success, which led to scores of daytime serials that followed over the next twenty years and gave work to so many writers, actors and producers.
Fine drama programs produced in Sydney in the 1940s included The Library of the Air and Max Afford's serial Hagen's Circus.
Among the comedy programs listed from this decade are the George Wallace Shows, and Mrs 'Obbs with its hilariously garbled language.
BEA and John Hickling carried on from the 1930s and they were joined by Donovon Joyce Productions, Crawfords and Morris West's Australasian Radio Productions (ARP).
Serials produced by Donovon Joyce included Convict Girl, The Devils Duchess, The Lillian Dale Affair, Two Roads To Samarra and Office Wife; Crawfords produced Opera For The People, Glenda Raymond Sings and a great many serials; BEA produced The Markhams and other titles in The Markhams of Four Winds series, all written by Madge Thomas; and Morris West, among other programs, wrote the very fine Prince of Peace, a down-to-earth study of Christ, for ARP.Lindsay Hardy wrote many of Donovon Joyce's serials, but Grace Gibson, who set up her studio in Sydney in 1944, rather scooped Joyce when she commissioned Hardy to write the three very successful suspense serials Dossier on Dumetrius, Deadly Nightshade and 26 Hours.