Follow TV Tropes


Series / Whiplash

Go To

Whiplash is a British/Australian TV-series that ran for one season and aired between February 18, 1961 and October 14, 1961 in Australia.

Peter Graves starred as stagecoach company owner Chris Cobb and the series featured his adventures in the constant struggle against bushrangers, Aborigines and competitors during the country’s formative years.

Writers for the show included Gene Roddenberry and James Clavell.

Contains examples of:

  • Abduction Is Love: In "Love Story in Gold", Cobb is paid handsomely to undertake 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.
  • Alliterative Name: Christopher Cobb
  • Bad "Bad Acting": "The Actress" features a rather poor troupe of travelling players whose wooden and melodramatic performances are met with derision from their audiences. The leading man acknowledges that they aren't very good, or they wouldn't be playing remote towns in the goldfields. The climax involves the leading lady demonstrating that she has some serious acting chops in order to save a man from a lynching.
  • Battle Boomerang: In "Episode in Bathurst", Cobb kills the gunslinger chasing him throw the town with a boomerang he snatches off the wall of the stage office wall. However, he seems as surprised by this as anyone.
  • Bullet Dancing: In "Episode in Bathurst", outlaw Matt Denver attempts to to this Chris Cobb; who does not even flinch as the bullets impact by his feet. at the end of the episode, Cobb forces Denver to dance by cracking his whip at Denver's feet.
  • Confronting Your Imposter: A variant in "The Other Side of the Swan". Cobb arrives in Melbourne looking for a missing man: knowing only that he has been using the alias of Padgett. Locating Padgett's post office box, he meets a man named Swan who is delivering maill to that box. Hoping Swan can lead him to Padgett, Cobb introduces himself as Padgett's son. Unfortunately, Swan is actually Padgett under yet another alias.
  • Cutlery Escape Aid: In "The Other Side of the Swan", Cobb is being held prisoner in an attic. He uses the knife from his breakfast to wedge the door lock shut and keep his captors out while he jimmies the window lock open with the fork.
  • False Confession: In "The Other Side of The Swan", it is revealed that the Governor's brother is wanted for murder in England. It is ultimately revealed that he had sent a letter to the police confessing to the crime and then fled the country to protect the woman he loved.
  • The Gunfighter Wannabe: In "Episode in Bathurst", the young of the town banker starts idolizing the three American gunslingers who have taken over the town and becomes their henchman and tries to emulate them, although he is not very good with a gun. Cobb is able to show him that men who rely on guns are not truly brave.
  • The Highwayman: As a series about a stagecoach line, the most common villains were bushrangers: outlaws who hide in the bush and rob travellers on the road. In "The Actress", the eponymous actress thinks bushrangers must be romantic rogues like the dashing highwaymen in her plays. When she encounters one, she discovers the truth is decidedly less romantic.
  • Kangaroos Represent Australia: The opening credits feature multiple shots of mobs of kangaroos, presumably to inform the American and British audiences that the show is set in Australia. They often appear in the individual episodes as well.
  • Mugged for Disguise: In "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.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: In "The Solid Gold Brigade", a pair of bushrangers named Strickland and Logan steal a fortune in gold from a mining camp. Stopping on a nearby beach to divide the gold and go their separate ways, Strickland tells Logan to open the chest. As he kneels down to do so, Strickland shoots him In the Back.
  • One-Word Title
  • Outlaw Town: In "Convict Town", Big Tom Ledward is as ex-convict who went bush after his sentence was up and founded the settlement of Ledward Bore, which is open to anyone on the run from the law. As such, Big Tom will do anything to stop Chris Cobb from putting through a new stage road that will bring civilization and the law in its wake.
  • Pistol-Whipping: In "Convict Town", Big Tom Ledward clouts his runaway son Dan over the head with his pistol to knock him out and drag him back to the Outlaw Town.
  • Pregnant Hostage: In "Act of Courage", while on his way to testify at the trial of a killer bushranger, Cobb stops at a way station run by a widow with a young son. To prevent him from testifying, a gang arrives and holds Cobb, along with the widow, the boy, and Cobb's passengers, a man and his pregnant wife.
  • Railroad Plot: In "Convict Town", Big Tom Ledward rules his settlement with a rod of iron much to his son Dan's distaste, and is determined to stop Cobb opening a new stage route by any means.
  • Remittance Man: In "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.
  • Rip Tailoring: Done to achieve the opposite effect of its usual intent in "The Actress". The actress in question tears all the frills and bows off her elegant gown in order to turn it into something a farmer's wife might wear.
  • Showdown at High Noon: In "Episode at Bathurst", Cobb has a showdown in the main street against an American gunslinger: with the gunslinger using his pistol and Cobb using his whip.
  • Siblings in Crime: The Denver brothers in "Episode in Bathurst". A trio of gunslingers who found the US was getting to hot for them, they move to Australia and take over the town of Bathurst and start charging a toll for anyone to enter or leave.
  • Slipping a Mickey: In "The Other Side of the Swan", Cobb is abducted. His affable captors feed him a hearty breakfast, which they have secretly drugged so he can be delivered unconscious and in chains to a waiting ship.
  • Taking Over the Town: In "Episode in Bathurst", a trio of American outlaw brothers arrive in Bathurst and quickly cow the townsfolk with their superior gunplay; killing anyone who tries to oppose them. They set up roadblocks on all the roads into town and demand payment from passing traffic.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The series was inspired by the life of Freeman Cobb, founder of the iconic Australian stagecoach line, Cobb and Co. However the characters and events in the series bore no resemblance to the real Freeman Cobb or his company. Freeman Cobb did not carry a pistol or use a stockwhip to settle disputes.
  • Weapon Specialization: Although good with a pistol, Christopher Cobb's preferred weapon was his stockwhip.