Review

  • I was well and truly an adult (50+) when I first watched this series. Strange that an ongoing tale about 10-year-olds getting up to mischief over a 200-year period would move me so greatly. I became aware of the series because of a book I was editing. I was enthralled from the first episode. It has a unique perspective. Each episode covers the story of a ten-or-something year old child, who gets into trouble but learns their lesson. Each episode goes back ten years in time. So the adults in one episode often become the children in the next. At the heart of the series is a magnificent tree that the children play on or meet at. In some episodes, they see an Aboriginal girl in the tree, but she quickly fades. The series creates a vast history lesson that has been used in schools to teach Australian children about their past. All kinds of political issues are dealt with - multiculturalism, immigration, Aboriginal rights, the two World Wars, the rise of the labour movement, the convict legacy - but it also deals with personal family issues, tragedies and grief. The girl in the tree is the subject of the last episode. A mischievous Aboriginal child that assumes her way of life will go on forever. Not so. I shed tears for this. Of course, the series has lots of modern interpretations of the past, but the intentions are sincere.