Whiplash: The Complete Series
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Set in the 1860s, Whiplash is a western set in the outback of Australia, and stars Peter Graves Mission Impossible as Christopher Cobb. The series is loosely based on the life of Freeman Cobb, who was the genuine founder of Australia's first stagecoach line Cobb and Co. Cobb used a bullwhip instead of a pistol to settle disputes, however, he did carry a rifle and had to use it on more than one life or death occasion. Keen observers will notice that the team that Cobb drives is led by 5 horses, not the Western American stage's traditional four, six, or even twelve horses. The landscape is pure Western Australia, as rugged and beautiful as its American counterpart, and the series is in crisp black and white.
Whiplash stands out from other television western series of its era in that the guest casts are composed of some of the best Australian actors including Leonard Teale, John Fegan, Chips Rafferty, Chuck Faulkner, Terry McDermott, Stuart Wagstaff, Lionel Long and Aboriginal actor Robert Tudawali, who is featured in several episodes. 34 episodes. B&W
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The series stands out from other television Westerns of its era in using only Australian actors as guest stars, rather than character actors from American Westerns.
Ok onto what you want to knows. 4 discs with 34 episodes Fairly good video quality with no skips and steady audio. Lot of interesting story lines as well.
"Episode in Bathurst"
Three brothers set up roadblocks in the town of Bathurst demanding payment from passing traffic. With a big contract at stake Cobb must act quickly.
Big Tom Ledward rules his settlement with a rod of iron much to his son, Dan Ledward, distaste and is determined to stop Cobb opening a new stage route.
"Rider on the Hill"
A Cobb & Co. coach is wrecked by two bushrangers. A passenger is killed in the crash, and Cobb kills the bushrangers in self-defenses. He later receives an Aboriginal death-stick, marking him to die at the next full moon. Defying the warning, Cobb takes a coach into Aboriginal territory, knowing that one of his passengers is his would-be killer.
A vicious landowner has a young farmer flogged for attempting to fence in his land with barbed wire. Cobb and Ledward find the injured man, and Cobb goes after the landowner.
Cobb heads north towards Brisbane to investigate the disappearance of several female indentured servants who have vanished while travelling on Cobb & Co. coaches. He finds that the women were kidnapped and taken to a secluded inlet, where they are forced to dive for pearls.
A wealthy matriarch asks Cobb to search for her missing son rumored to be living with an Aboriginal tribe, and stumbles across a legendary rich gold deposit, known as ‘Dutchman’s Reef’.
"The Other Side of Swan"
While in Melbourne to open a branch office, Cobb is asked to do a personal favor for Sir John Eddington, the Governor of New South Wales - to locate his brother, who fled England after being charged with murder.
Miners will no longer send their gold with Cobb & Co. - unless Cobb can prevent bushranger Mike Upton's raids on the coaches. During the trip, Upton waylays Cobb's coach and kidnaps a female passenger. Cobb trails Upton to his lair and rescues the girl. When their trail crosses that of the irate miners, who are intent on lynching Upton, the aspiring actress must give the performance of her career to save his life.
"Love Story in Gold"
Cobb is paid handsomely to undertakes the transport of brandy, a trousseau and two coffins, into the heart of New South Wales. At the agreed meeting place, Cobb is overpowered and taken to meet the female leader of a group of escaped convicts. She tells Cobb that he is to marry her daughter and he will be given more gold than he can imagine. If he refuses, he will fill one of the coffins.
"The Bone that Whispered"
Dan has vanished and when a small girl is left motherless, Cobb sets out to track down her father, a man charged with murder who has fled the law swearing his innocence and now lives with an Aboriginal tribe.
"The Secret of Screaming Hills"
Cobb finds a dying man in the bush, and undertakes to deliver a map to the man's wife. With the help of an Aboriginal, Cobb solves the mystery of the 'frog fella' and a missing treasure.
"Act of Courage"
On his way to testify at the trial of a bushranger charged with killing one of his stagecoach drivers, Cobb arrives at drought-stricken Cross Creek Way Station with two passengers, a married couple. He is met by a gang who plan to keep him prisoner until after the bushranger's trial.
"The Twisted Road"
Returning to Brisbane from an outback run, Cobb's coach is commandeered to transport a prisoner, Ted Cammidge, who is to stand trial for murder, and is accompanied by his employer, Dr. Table, who plans to vouch for his innocence at the trial.
"Divide and Conquer"
A murderous gang abduct Cobb and a Government minister looking for a mountain pass to open up the fertile land beyond.
"The Remittance Man"
Jimmy Quicksilver, a 'gentleman' bushranger who has been robbing coaches, asks Cobb to conceal knowledge of his activities from two members of his aristocratic family, who have come to Australia to take Quicksilver's son to England to be educated.
"Day of the Hunter"
A squatter's farm where Cobb wants to build a way station is burned down by a land-hungry neighbour who trades on people's fears by terrorising their families. Cobb undertakes a hazardous crossing of an Aboriginal burial ground to assist.
"The Solid Gold Brigade"
Cobb is transporting miner's gold from Fury Creek to Sydney, but en route a bushranger shoots him and leaves him for dead. The bushranger takes Cobb's coach and clothes to impersonate him and get away with the gold.
"Stage for Two"
Cobb becomes the reluctant ally of an escaping bank robber who is sought not only by the police, but also by the outlaw gang he has cheated.
Upon arrival in Canoomba, Cobb and Dan Ledward find the men are away digging gold and the women are running the town. Dan Ledward finds romance in the town before being assigned the perilous task of carrying a fortune in gold from the diggings to Canoomba.
"The Rushing Sands"
In his Duranga office, Cobb finds Peter Hibberd, a one time star driver for the Cobb & Co stage line and now a mere husk of a man expecting death. Hibberd dedicates his last days to tracking down a bushranger who is believed to have murdered his son.
"The Adelaide Arabs"
Cobb is in competition to buy three magnificent Arabian horses, and the contest soon becomes a fight to the death after he is robbed by three masked men who intend to buy the horses.
A white cattleman, Dillon, inadvertently interrupts the ritual killing of a bull by a tribe of Aboriginals, and must himself be killed to complete the cycle of events. Seriously wounded Dillon manages to escape. When Dillon's rider less horse returns to the homestead Cobb sets out on a desperate race against time.
Anxious to obtain good grazing land for his horses, Cobb approaches the heir to a dilapidated estate to enquire about a grazing lease on the property. Cobb's request falls on unresponsive ears and a chain of events behind an Aboriginal boys stolen legacy.
A trusted Cobb & Co agent disappears in the ‘Taroomba’ (burning land),a sacred Aboriginal burial ground which is rich in opal. His alluring wife, persuades Cobb to lead a search party.
Cobb has a full load of passengers on the return journey from Mowamba, and it seems certain that among them are a man and a woman who have committed a brutal murder.
A group of bushrangers capture a Cobb & Co. coach, and use it in a series of raids and robberies implicating Cobb. To protect his company's reputation, Cobb tracks down the bushrangers.
"Portrait in Gunpowder"
Cobb accepts a commission to transport a renowned artist newly arrived from France to an undisclosed destination. He again crosses the path of Jimmy Quicksilver, a 'gentleman bushranger' whose dishonesty is equaled only by his good manners and sense of humor.
"Ribbons and Wheels"
The sleepy calm of outback Ginini is shattered when Cobb accepts a challenge to race a Western Co. stagecoach over the usual route to Brindabella to win the exclusive franchise for the route.
Their route cut off by a flood Cobb and his sole passenger, Sarah Bartley, spend the night in a deserted house. During the night a violent storm strikes, and all is not as it seems when a mysterious stranger arrives to seek shelter.
During a violent storm with a lame horse, Cobb is felled by an unseen foe. He recovers consciousness in an outback cabin, minus his money-belt. The cabin's other occupant is a girl who wants to travel to Sydney. She asks Cobb to take her with him, but when they set off they meet with deadly opposition.
"Dilemma in Wool"
Cobb becomes involved in the strange story of a beautiful Spanish woman, and a disapproving family. The beginning of Australia's wool growing industry.
Aboriginal attacks imperil the laying of an overhead telegraph line. Cobb, contracted to freight supplies from the coast to a telegraph construction camp, discovers that the attacks are being instigated by a white man.
"The Haunted Valley"
Cattlemen at Wallaby Junction lose stock in mysterious thefts which convince Cobb that there must be a secret pass through the surrounding mountains. He sets out to find the trail and catch the thief.
"Dark Runs the Sea"
Attractive, adventurous, niece of the local magistrate, is kidnapped in the outback. Cobb is mystified when he discovers that she is apparently a willing victim, and her uncle is reluctant to press on with the search for her.
Top international reviews
Even thought the star is an American, the show had a terrific Australian feeling about itself. At that time we had only seen two T.V.
series come out of Australia.' The Adventures of Long John Silver' and 'The Flying Doctors', I hope both these series will become available soon along with another Aussie series of the 60's called 'The Adventures of the Seaspray'.
All are good value for money!
Whiplash has all the qualities needed to hold your attention to the plots it has in its storylines.
Do not expect great adventure and action. Just nice episodes here and there with bank robberies, ambushes on the road, murders, and all kinds of grotesque people attracted by the gold rush and the wilderness. The adventure came to an end when the telegraph was installed since communication could be in the real time of this invention. But transporting goods and people had still to use stagecoaches, waiting for trains to come still of course.
The nicest moments of this series are both the opening and closing credit sequences with song and kangaroos, jumping and leaping everywhere, a few koala bears and some other animals from the area, all more or less dangerous like water snakes, crocodiles or caimans, and sharks. Birds are also funny though they are mostly signals of something happening in the brush.
We could of course mention the Aborigines who are shown within a rather narrow cliché though not systematically hostile. But they are only men. No women and no children. I guess the children were already taken away to be educated in white colonial school in the 1950s. They are shown as very black, only dressed with feathers and leaves, though they wear briefs under the feathers, I guess for decency. They are always painted up and they constantly dance and chant with boomerangs and other stone-age weapons. Some are integrated with pants and shirts, and some whites are manipulating them to get some hostility from them to slow down some project or to create some fear in order for them whites to make a profit out of it.
The series is wrapped up in a rather fast and funny ending. Christopher Cobb falls in love with a Parisian artist invited by the bandit Quicksilver to paint his house before he gives away his loot and goes back to England as a respectable person to rejoin his son who is educated there. It is obvious Christopher Cobb has new cats to take care of with this Woman who has to go back to France anyway. I guess Christopher Cobb will have to move to Paris too and he could try to install some underground stagecoach system in this city for both local rats and local people (people could be rats and rats people, such things are never very clear in Paris). He could call that transportation system the Métro(politain). I am pretty sure this invention could work, even today: nostalgia always has it strong in the minds of Parisian people and elites.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU