First Kangaroos/Flight Into Hell

Philip as Bluey 1

First Kangaroos

Aired 21st April 1988 Channel 4 in United Kingdom

Directed by Frank Cvitanovich
Written by Nigel Williams
Produced by Moya Iceton
A Roadshow, Coote & Carroll Production

Philip as Bluey 2


Philip Quast .... Bluey Burdon
Dennis Waterman .... Albert Goldthorpe
Chris Haywood .... James Giltinan
Dominic Sweeney .... Dally Messenger
Tony Martin .... Dan Frawley
Clarissa Kaye-Mason .... Mrs. Messenger
Jim Carter .... Arthur Hughes
Alexander Broun .... Morton
Wayne Pygram .... Abie Rosenfeld
John Dicks .... Reverend Green
Nell Schofield .... Betty
Kelly Dingwall .... Devereaux
Robert Giltinan
Harold Kissin
Allan Surtees
Vic Rooney
Ian Gilmour
Kim Lynch
Edward Peel
Patrick Monckton
Charles Pemberton
Kim Knuckey
Julie Godfrey
Charlotte Mitchell

Philip as Bluey 3Synopsis:

The First Kangaroos is about the first Australian International Rugby League Team who toured England in 1908 to help promote the new professional sport, which had followed the British example and broken away from the traditional union game.

The first half of the film is about the Australians splitting away from Rugby Union to Rugby League. Alex "Bluey" Burden played by Philip Quast was actually one of the major "agitators" for the forming of RL. The second half covers the tour.

Led by entrepreneur James J. Giltinan the First Kangaroos sailed for England on the RMS Macedonia in August of 1908. The 34 Kangaroos were a mix of talented players worthy of the honour of representing their country, but there were others who could best be described as "passengers". Dally Messenger was the star player of the squad and was again hugely popular in England. But, there were also many other fine players to support him - the likes of Alex "Bluey" Burden, Sid "Sandy" Pearce, Jim Devereux, Dan Frawley, Albie Rosenfeld, Arthur "Pony" Holloway, Larry O'Malley and Sid Deane. Veteran North Sydney skipper Denis "Dinny" Lutge was elected tour captain during the sea voyage to England, with Messenger named vice-captain.

They played 46 games through a long hard English winter, winning 18, drawing six and losing 22. The record is a moderate one statistically, but there were some outstanding performances.

The First Test against England produced a 22-all draw to immediately establish the Australian competition's credibility. This was followed up by a 12-11 win over the English champions Hunslet with their famous forward pack known as the "Terrible Six" including Albert Goldthorpe played by Dennis Waterman. Albert Goldthorpe who in his day was the best player in England, but in this film he has just passed his heyday. When these two teams meet It's like a collision between lions (England) and Christians (Australia).

In the deciding 3rd Test Bluey Burden returns to captain Australia.

Financially, the tour was so far in the red at it's completion that the Northern Union had to step in and pay the players passage home (plus some money to live off!). As the finances dwindled ten of the players joined English clubs - some stayed for years and became very familiar faces to English supporters, notably Jim Devereux (Hull) and Albert Rosenfeld (Huddersfield, Wakefield Trinity and Bradford Northern). The players arrived home in May 1909 to a game which was effectively broke and in disarray.

Philip as Bluey 4Philip as Bluey 5Philip as Bluey 6

We would like to thank Jackie for taking the time to take screen captures and send the to us.

Flight Into Hell

Aired 1985 Channel ABC Australia

Period drama serial. In 1932, German pilot Hans Bertram and Adolph Klausmann his mechanic are lost at sea for a terrifying 53 days. Based on a true story.

Director: Gordon Flemyng
Writer: Peter Yeldham
Producer: Ray Alchin
Camera: Peter Hendry
Design: Laurie Johnson
Costume: Jim Murray


Philip Quast as Chris Gordon
Anne Tenny as Kate Webber
Helmut Zierl as Hans Bertram
Werner Stocker as Adolph Klausmnn
Gerard Kennedy as Sgt Steve Lucas
Dennis Grosvenor as Constable Maxwell
Tim McKenzie as Constable Anderson
Robin Cumming as Captain Mitchell
Jill Perryman
Norman Kaye
William Kerr
Kevin Howard
Michael Watson
Bill Pearson


"Flight into Hell" is the story of the search and rescue of two German aviators, pilot, Hans Bertram and his mechanic, Adolph Klausmann. Who in 1932 were flying from Cologne, Germany to Australia on a goodwill flight for the makers of Junkers aircraft in their seaplane "Atlantis 1925" when it went missing.

May 14, 1932, after flying from Europe in a series of easy hops they took off from Soerabaja in the Dutch East Indies. Their destination is the Australian port of Darwin and their estimated time of arrival, the early hours of Sunday. But, after a refuelling stop in Koepang, the Atlantis is caught in a violent storm over the Timor Sea, pushed miles off course and forced to land on the remote coastline of north west Western Australia. They have little fuel and water and no food. At first the aviators are confident that it will only be a matter of time before they are found.

Four days after their disappearance the Flores a Dutch destroyer, set sail from Surabaya to carry out what proved to be a fruitless search along their planned route across the Timor sea. The Western Australian government also commenced a land, sea and air search of possible landing sites. A West Australian Airways de Havilland DH50 mail plane was chartered for the search. Hope was fading until on June 13 evidence showed that the Germans had not been lost at sea and the search was resumed with increased vigour.



© Kate McCullugh & Angela Pollard 2003. No portion of this page may be copied without permission of the author.