Vale: Ian Jones

Pioneering writer, producer & director Ian Jones, who wrote for many Crawfords dramas, has died 86.

He died on August 31 in Melbourne after a career in Australian screen distinguished by the Longford Lyell Award in 2006.

Amongst his formidable writing credits were Hunter, Division 4, Matlock Police, Bluey, The Sullivans, The Bluestone Boys, and Ryan.

With a strong interest in colonial and bushranger tales he wrote and produced Against the Wind and The Last Outlaw as well as Ned Kelly starring Mick Jagger and 1987 feature The Lighthorsemen.

In an Australian Writers’ Guild obituary, Tom Hegarty recalled when a Jones script saved the day for Crawford Productions.

“When the company ran into trouble — the networks had cancelled all three police shows within a few months of each other — Ian retrieved something called The Dream Makers from his bottom drawer. The Dream Makers had originally been designed for daytime viewing. We redressed it — or undressed it — as a raunchy tale of life in a television station. The Box was for adults-only viewing. It shook skeletons all over the industry but enabled the company to go on to make such memorable family fare as The Sullivans (co-created with Jock Blair) now regarded as a classic of Aussie television,” he wrote.

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