The Doctor Blake Mysteries: Fans pay special visit to Ballarat

FANDOM: Yannick Beukema, Rianne van Zalinge, Flynn Beukema, 12, Jesse Beukema, 16, and Jerry Maroulis at the Ballarat Gold Museum on Wednesday. The family of five want to see The Doctor Blake Mysteries given a sixth season. Picture: Kate Healy
FANDOM: Yannick Beukema, Rianne van Zalinge, Flynn Beukema, 12, Jesse Beukema, 16, and Jerry Maroulis at the Ballarat Gold Museum on Wednesday. The family of five want to see The Doctor Blake Mysteries given a sixth season. Picture: Kate Healy

Five members of a Dutch family went to extraordinary lengths to live out their television fandom dream in Ballarat on Wednesday.

Rianne van Zalinge, husband Jerry Maroulis, and children Yannick, Jesse and Flynn are the Netherlands biggest The Doctor Blake Mysteries fans.

It was an easy decision to divert their travel plans for Australia to include Ballarat, where much of the ABC murder mystery is filmed.

Ms van Zalinge said she had taken quickly to The Doctor Blake Mysteries – soon after the whole family were fans.

“We were coming out here anyway to visit family, but if we had never known about the show we’d have never come to Ballarat,” she said.

“I know several people in Holland and friends in Europe that love it, it is very internationally popular.”

Ms van Zalinge lives near Amsterdam with her family.

There had been no plans to visit Victoria at all, but she insisted they add a stop over in Ballarat and Melbourne once she found our where the show was filmed.

In the Netherlands the show was aired on the BBC.

Husband Jerry Maroulis, a Greek-Australian who previously lived in Toowoomba, said Ballarat had been a revelation.

“I also got hooked onto the show as well and thought, it sounds like a really interesting town,” he said.

Despite enjoying the sites from the show there was another mystery the family also want solved – who will pick up Dr Blake for a sixth season?

The ABC has cut the show from its programming after season five and a telemovie go to air.

Rumours in May suggested Channel 7 was considering taking on the show.

Ms van Zalinge said the uncertainty surrounding Dr Blake’s future was disappointing for its global audience.

“It would be a shame to see it stop, because it is quality and it is entertaining,” she said.

“It is so well done for the 1950s and 60s, which you don't see a lot of.

“The story line just sucks you in – it keeps you going and then you are waiting for the next episode.”