Secret Valley is an Australian children's television adventure series first shown on the ABC in 1980. It was produced by the Grundy Organisation in association with Telecip, S.A. and Televisión Española.
|Created by||Terry Bourke|
|Opening theme||My Secret Valley|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Executive producer(s)||Roger Mirams|
|Running time||30 mins|
Secret Valley is a fictitious children's holiday camp in Bildarra which had been transformed from a run down ghost town into a resort. The children who worked and visited the camp often found themselves in battle against a gang of bad kids – Spider McGlurk and his gang from "Spider Cave". These battles usually featured flour bombs and other food related missiles and everyone inevitably ended up in a big mess.
Spider McGlurk and his gang were not the biggest threat to the peace at Secret Valley. Secret Valley was also under threat of closure by the local council, and property developer William Whopper (also known as 'WW') played by Hugh Keays-Byrne.
The series was aired in New Zealand, Spain, Greece, Italy, the UK on ITV in the 1980s, and the Netherlands in 1982/1983 by KRO television. It was also broadcast by the Dutch TV station Kindernet in 1989/1990. It was also aired in South Africa in 1983 on the state-owned SABC.
- This program was a co-production between Australia, Spain and France (Grundy Organisation, TVE and Telecip).
- Some of the child actors in this show were real-life siblings – Beth, Miles and Simone Buchanan.
- The series was at Smokey Dawson's ranch in the NSW town of Terrey Hills and also at the theme park El Caballo Blanco.
Roger Mirams originally intended to make a series called The Ghost Town Gang at Smoky Dawson's ranch at Ingleside, which had been used to film Luke's Kingdom and Lost Islands. However bushfires went through it, and there was no ghost town so the show became Secret Valley. Thirteen days after the fire, filming started again. Producer Mirams says the overall theme of Secret Valley is depicted through kids doing their own thing in what usually is an adult world.
The theme song
The theme song "My Secret Valley" was sung to the tune of "Waltzing Matilda" and composed by Bob Young, with lyrics by series producer Roger Mirams (credited as David Phillips).
I had a dream I could ride across the mountaintops
Ride on the waves where the sea turns blue
Gum trees, some trees rise until they touch the sky
I know a place where it all comes true
I know a valley, I know a valley
My Secret Valley the world has to see
One place for children, welcome from around the world
Please come and share Secret Valley with me
Paris, London, Montreal and Amsterdam
So many friends that we want to know
From the hills of Spain to the city streets of Germany
I know a place where we all can go
1. Big plans
2. Secret weapon
3. Battle stations
4. The horse who could dance
5. The junkman
6. The ghost of Secret Valley
7. Save the bunyip
8. The monster
9. The magnetic machine
10. The runaway
11. Double trouble
12. The great mini bike race
13. Spanish gold
14. I spy
15. Secret Valley Bush Fire
16. Super scoop
17. Spider McGlurk Meets His Match
18. The Trojan Bull
19. A sticky situation
20. The worm turns
21. Lost in the bush
22. Express delivery
23. The Bildara Bank Bust
24. The oily bird catches the worm
25. Big city
26. End of the rainbow
- Ed. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p137
- "LIFE STYLE". The Canberra Times. 54, (16, 142). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 5 December 1979. p. 39. Retrieved 1 April 2017 – via National Library of Australia.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
- "Out of the ashes comes". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 24 December 1980. p. 160 Supplement: TV World. Retrieved 14 July 2013.