1.02 Trial by Gossip by Christine McCourt
Summary: Speeding through the Outback in a white, convertible car is the new pilot, David Gibson with his dog Zeppelin. He arrives in Coopers Crossing only to find the other newcomer, Chris, not just viewed with suspicion anymore, but downright hated and feared. Gossip is rife - she has crippled a man by amputating his leg. Surely she's not competent to do her job as a doctor, and if only she had made the decision to take off in the bad weather, his leg could have been saved. George Baxter, a friend of the amputee, convinces the man he should sue Chris for malpractice. On one of the clinic runs, Chris has to stay the night. The four-year-old girl of the house keeps coughing, but the mother won't let Chris have a look, even when the coughing turns into a difficulty to breathe. Meanwhile, Gibbo has come up with a plan to convince George that the neglected airstrip was in such bad condition that the plane couldn't possibly have taken off in a storm. The plan works and George ends up convincing the mother to let Chris do a tracheotomy to save the child's life. Town gossip Violet tries to find out why American Liz left Tom, and orders Ray to have a man-to-man with him.
Recurring characters: Chris, Vic and Nance, Kate, Tom, Ray, George, Ron, Frank, Jack, Violet, Sharon, Joe.
New characters: David "Gibbo" Gibson and his dog Zeppelin.
This episode is a good example of The Flying Doctors being full of comedy and absolutely hilarious. Jack booking Gibbo for speeding, Ray taking Gibbo's car for a spin - with Jack... but the best thing of all is Ray trying to find out what happened between Liz and Tom (Liz is his love interest the miniseries that sort of is a prequel to the "proper" show). He points out to nosy Violet that he won't know what to say to him, and that the only thing he can think of is "How come the Yank sheila dropped you like a bucket o' spuds?" which even he realises might not be the best thing to say. When it comes down to it and he can't find the right words, that's the exact question he poses to Tom, which made me laugh out loud.
Chris keeps having nightmares about the amputation from episode one. Did she do the right thing? When George Baxter pokes his nose in it, things get worse. They normally do when he's around, I seem to remember. When he ends up begging Gibbo to abort the landing because the landing strip is too dangerous. In your face, you bastard!
The biggest surprise, I found, was Gibbo. He struck me as effeminate originally, in a "I bet you're gay" type way, but now I'm not so sure. He's really flirty with the ladies and his personality is very considerate and sweet that I can't help but totally falling in love with the guy. What an unexpected bonus of re-watching the show from the beginning, finding a new character to be awesome. :) And he has a dog too, of course. Always did like a bloke who cares for animals.
Chris's struggle is very emotional, and you really want everyone to see that she just did what she had to do in order to save the man's life. Sadly, only Tom seems to be on her side. That her reputation in the end perhaps isn't restored, but at least rectified is great. How can you be willing to let your daughter die rather than being treated by the new doctor? Okay, she doesn't know that Chris was slandered, but still. If it's a life or death situation, wouldn't you rather gamble on the option where there's a chance your little girl will live, rather than the option that means she'll definitely die?
I like how we get to find out about how the service works, that people (like Baxter) can't come and use the Nomad to carry someone's goods around. They're not a postal service or a delivery company, no matter how much money you have or how much you've donated to the RFDS over the years. You tell him, Tom!