The Restless Years was an Australian soap opera following the lives of several Sydney school-leavers and young adults. It was produced by the Reg Grundy Organisation and screened on Network Ten from 1977 to 1981. The series screened in various early evening timeslots during its run, at times as two one-hour episodes a week, and at other times as four or even five half-hour episodes each week. The series had a predominantly young audience.
There was a high turnover of attractive youngsters in the cast. The most enduring characters were Dr Bruce Russell (Malcolm Thompson), his eventual wife Olivia Baxter (Zoe Bertram), rebellious youth Peter Beckett (Nick Hedstrom), and his former school teacher Miss Elizabeth McKenzie (June Salter). Thompson was the only cast member to appear through the show's entire run. Salter and Hedstrom left the series in 1981 but returned for the final episode.
The series made use of dramatic storylines involving murders, kidnapping, amnesia, serial killers and prostitution among the more standard elements as teenage problems, unemployment, romance, jealousy and parental problems.
The show was remade in the Netherlands as Goede tijden, slechte tijden (first broadcast 1990) and in Germany as Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten (since 1992): both these titles mean "Good times, bad times" but a more accurate translation would be The best of times and the worst of times. As of 2006, the Dutch and German shows are still running - although they have long since diverged from the original Australian storylines - and are the highest rated soap operas in their respective countries.