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                                 McLeod's Daughters

The Number 1 Australian Drama Series. Read about the history of the series,

the story and the members of the cast.


                          The History 

Creator Posie Graeme-Evans developed the original concept for McLeod's Daughters for a successful and high-rating 1996 Nine Network telemovie (starring Jack Thompson, Kym Wilson and Tammy MacIntosh), and it has been in development since as a series.

The series McLeod's Daughters was launched on the Nine Network in August 2001 and was the third most watched Australian TV drama series in 2002. Posie says a photograph depicting "blue skies and quintessentially Aussie girls' faces with big wide grins under the broad brim of a classic RM Williams hat" inspired her.

While the series was being developed, Kingsford, the property featured in the original telemovie, was put on the market. The Nine Network seized the opportunity to purchase the property in 1999, knowing that being able to film on a working farm would be fundamental to the success of the series. Although the location remains the same as the telemovie, the characters in the series of McLeod's Daughters have been developed considerably and are played by a different "well-balanced" cast. 

The four female leads carry the heart of each story throughout the series, which Posie believes reflects much of the truth of what's happening in Australia. "The timing was right for this type of show - a rural-based series which showcases a predominately female cast and tells stories that reflect the lives and desires of contemporary Australian women," said Posie.

McLeod's Daughters is the first prime-time drama series to be filmed entirely in South Australia. The series, which is currently in its seventh series, is a co-production between Millennium Television and Nine Films and Television, produced with the assistance of the South Australian Film Corporation.

                           The Story

Hardship and respect for the land are key at Drovers Run, a vast cattle ranch in the Australian outback that once belonged to Jack McLeod. Drovers Run has been in the McLeod family for generations, handed down from father to son. But Jack McLeod never had a son. Now, with his passing, his two daughters are reunited after 20 tears of seperation to decide the ranch's future, because his daughters each inherit half of heavily mortgaged Drover's Run.

Claire (Lisa Chappell) is Jack’s daughter by his first marriage. After the death of his wife and son during childbirth, he married headstrong city girl Ruth, who gave him a second daughter, Tess (Bridie Carter). But the isolation of the Australian bush was more than Ruth could bear. Eventually, she fled back to the city with five-year-old Tess in tow, leaving Jack to raise Claire on his own.

Twenty years later, after Jack's sudden death, his daughters each inherit half of heavily mortgaged Drover's Run. Tess, who recently lost her mother to breast cancer, returns to Drover's in the hopes of cashing out and opening a café in the city. It is a tense reunion: Claire, who has spent her entire life on the ranch, still grieves for Jack. And she has never forgotten the hurt of being abandoned by her stepmother and half-sister. Tess, meanwhile, is forced to give up her hopes of a windfall when she learns that Drovers Run is in financial straits.

Despite this rocky start, Tess commits to helping Claire keep the business alive — a decision that will spell changes for both of them. After years in the city, Tess must learn to cope with the realities of the ranching life, from runaway livestock to the lizard in her dresser drawer. And the capable Claire must adjust to the presence of a spirited younger sibling whose outlook on life is very different from her own.

Slowly, however, Jack McLeod’s daughters mend their old wounds. And, with the help of the other women who live and work on the homestead - their housekeeper and mother-figure, Meg, her teenage daughter, Jodi, and a local girl, Becky, who is escaping her own troubles in town- they begin to build a future together at Drovers Run.

Tess had to learn to get along with her sister, master horse-riding and farming and, above all, work out which of the attractive local boys she was going to choose...

Brothers Alex (Aaron Jeffery) and Nick (Myles Pollard) Ryan lived on the neighbouring property to Drovers, Killarney. Initially both brothers took a shine to Tess, but after quite a few false starts and hurdles (Dave also proposed to Tess!), it was Nick who finally won her heart and her hand. Alex was not so lucky. He was all set to move in with Claire – despite the fact she'd recently had another man's baby – when tragedy struck. Claire was killed in an accident and Tess was left to raise her niece, Charlotte, and look after Drovers.

Fortunately, Tess was surrounded by a bunch of strong, capable women, including Stevie Hall (Simmone Jade Mackinnon), Kate Manfredi (Michala Banas) and Jodi Fountain (Rachael Carpani). Jodi later found out that her father was actually Jack McLeod, making her and Tess half-sisters.

When Nick was offered a job in Argentina, Tess decided to go with him, leaving Stevie and the other girls to run the property, with a little help from Tess's newly-arrived cousin Regan (Zoe Naylor). Tess returned briefly to Drovers to discover that she was pregnant and that her husband's plane had crashed and he was missing, presumed dead. It later turned out that Nick was alive and well and he and Tess returned to Argentina, once again leaving the girls in charge.

Dave Brewer (Brett Tucker) was the local vet who looked after all the cattle on Drovers, Killarney, Kinsellas, Wilgul and other properties. The funny, cheeky, innocent, loving and caring Dave helped the girls out when much needed en developed a crush on Tess. They had a brief, intens relationship that ended in Dave proposing to Tess. At first she said yes, but after a while it turned out that Dave was still in grief over the loss of his wife. Dave took off and returned a few months later, renewed and everything sorted out. Back at Drovers, Nick tried to win Tess for him and with Dave there, it gave some tense moments. During this all, Kate was madly in love with Dave, but was to shy to tell him that. 
When Regan arrived, Dave fell in love, but Regan decided to leave Drovers, leaving Dave with a broken heart. Dave got offerered a job in Africa and decided take it. On his last day in Australia, he realised that he was looking for a love that already was there all the time: Kate.



                          The Cast


Lisa Chappell: Claire McLeod

Bridie Carter: Tess Silverman-McLeod

Rachel Carpani: Jodi Fountain-McLeod

Jessica Napier: Becky Howard

Sonia Todd: Meg Fountain-Dodge

Aaron Jeffrey: Alex Ryan

Myles Pollard: Nick Ryan

Michala Banas: Kate Manfredi

Brett Tucker: Dave Brewer

Simmone Jade Mckinnon: Stephanie 'Stevie' Hall

Jonny Pasvolski: Rob Shelton/Matt Bosnich

Luke Jacobz: Patrick Brewer

Doris Younane: Moira Doyle

Zoe Naylor: Regan McLeod

Dustin Clare: Riley Ward

 Matthew Passmore: Marcus Turner

Gillian Alexy: Tayler Geddes

Abi Tucker: Grace Kingston McLeod


Marshall Napier: Harry Ryan

Catherine Wilkin: Liz Ryan

John Jarret: Terry Dodge

Luke Ford: Craig Woodland

Fletcher Humprys: Brett 'Brick' Buchanon

Charlie Clausen: Jake Harrison

Reece Horner: Nat

Ben Mortley: Alberto Borelli 

Roger Corser: Peter Johnson

Alisha and Sarah Hart: Charlotte 'BOM' McLeod

Brooke, Kaitlyn and Tahlia Stacy-Clark: Charlotte 'BOM' McLeod

Inge Hornstra: Sandra Kinsella-Ryan

Dean O'Gorman: Luke Morgan

Craig Mclachlan: Kane Morgan

Kathryn Hartman: Sally Clements

Alicia and Connor Randall: Harrison Ryan-Clements

Daniel Feuerriegel: Leo Coombes

Basia A'Hern: Rose Hall

Michelle Langstone: Fiona Webb

John Stanton: Bryce Redstaff

Peter Hardy: Phil Rakich

Sam Healy: Ashleigh Redstaff

Sandy Winton: Heath Barrett

Rachel Coopes: Ingrid Marr

Gus Murray: Father Daniel