Police Rescue

Episode "Mates"

Written by Peter Schreck & Directored by Michael Carso

Bob Harrison



Steve McClintock, a member of a unit called Police Rescue that performs emergency services in Sydney, Australia, is having a crisis in his personal life. In distress over his separation from his wife and the loss of contact with his two sons, he considers for a moment suicide by leaping off a overpass. Thankfully he comes to his senses. Back at work he is called to save a man from attempting to jump from an office building..

Inside the office building, Robert Harrison, a wealthy businessman is having a crisis of his own, after leaving notes with his secretary, he has locked himself on the balcony and is preparing to jump. Steve tries to reason with Harrison, he finds out that he too, is separated from his wife and his two sons who have very little love or regard for him, but this tactic does not work, and so tries to stall him. Due to standing on the edge for so long Bobs legs begin to cramp, which catches him off guard, and causes him to ask Steve for help. Steve is able to pull him away from the edge. Bob is angry with Steve when he realises that's what Steve was stalling for. Bob's face shows dejection as he is confronted by his son who rebukes him for humiliating him.

Bob Harrison

The next day Bob Harrison arrives at Steve's door to thank him for saving him and offers him a bottle of Scotch, they end up having lunch in an expensive restaurant. Steve is overwhelmed by Bob's wealth, and tries to make sense of his reasons for suicide. He thinks at first, it's because of Bob's separation from his wife and boys but Bob refutes this. Bob says he has done it all and has everything, there is nothing left for him. He has no challenges he only makes money! This completely confounds Steve for he sees him as someone, who has so much to live for, why would he want to 'top' himself!

At home later that evening Steve becomes despondent and is desperate to talk with someone so he calls Bob to see if he will join him in a drink. They decide to get drunk and they even do bit of singing. Bob is curious about why would Steve call him so late at night. Steve again questions Bob about his reasons for suicide. Bob says what Steve is really saying is that he was thinking of doing the same thing. Later down at the pier a bit worse for wear Steve tells Bob about nearly leaping off the bridge and that he is just like the rest of the 'nutters'. Bob says Steve is not like the rest, because he can come up with more reasons to stay alive! Steve at first does not believe him but Bob suggest they jump into the water off the peer there together, Steve cannot go through with it and thus realises that Bob is right, but he believes Bob can change his life. Bob says no, some people can't change.

The next day, Steve is asked to pick up the body of a man at the bottom of a cliff. He is shocked to discover when he turns the body over, the cold wet, sand-covered face of Robert Harrison! Steve is immersed with sudden horror and anger, he sputters, "You! You.... but can't get any more words out. As the body is taken away from the cliff top 'Frog' reads a note too Steve that was found on the body, it's addressed to Steve. It reads, "Thanks for giving me one more day, it was worth it."

Review of the Police Rescue episode Mates By Angela Pollard

Bob Harrison

"Mates" is the story of two men who although are from different backgrounds both are trying to deal with a personal crisis in their lives. They are brought together in a very unexpected way Steve rescues Bob from jumping from his office balcony and in doing so they find out they have something in common. The two of them spend a few hours being Mates and both in some help each other. Whereas Bob saves Steve by making him realise that he is not really suicidal, Steve gives Bob one day of knowing what it was like to have a life that meant something.

Steve McClintock is played, by Gary Sweet. Gary not makes you feel his characters despair but also shows you Steve's underlining will to get through this crisis some how. He gives you hope that his character will make it. On the other hand there is Bob Harrison who is played with, poignant sensitivity by Philip Quast. He makes you actually empathise with his character, by giving an insight into his essence. For Bob there are no close relationships, no one to love, no one to love him, he doesn't even have any Mates. He doesn't feel affection in his life or that any one truly needs him, or will miss him, for him the only answer is suicide.

This episode is very reflective and compassionate. The story has been thoughtfully produced no over sentimentality here. The scene on the pier is wonderful, both actors conveying each characters inner conflicts and final acceptance what they see their life holds.

Sound Waves

  1. Bob's response to Steve when he tells him go ahead a jump.
  2. Bob singing Streets of Lorrado down at the pier.



© Kate McCullugh & Angela Pollard 2001. No portion of this page may be copied without permission of the author.