23 December 2013 | amyrourke56
Television Can Do it Better ~ Our Local Hero
I found this true gem at my local library last week during a random roam around the shelves. I had never heard of it before ~ I was away that year. Each episode ( there are 4 ) is feature film length, so it covers the story with magnificent detail and great craft. It is the great Australian pastoral of truth and myth, politics and personalities, murder and mayhem. All the seeds of our current crises are here, for all to see, class distinction and factionalism and race relations ~ the English and the Scotch ganging up against the Irish. Cops who are two-faced or easily bribed, or are Irish themselves, but need to suck up to the Crown. The whole ecosystem of White Australia marking out territory of the stolen and colonised land.
John Jarratt is an amazing Ned. His eyes through the iconic armour are captivating. Previous reviewers refer to Mick and Heath ~ well each of those performances had their time and place. Remember the restricting corset of the feature film and the need to edit and make an action adventure or moody muck with a foreign 'star' ~ such were our lives back then ~ last century ! There will be other Neds, like Sherlock Holmes or Hamlet, Mr Kelly is not going to fade away any time soon.
Not only great television but a great history lesson. My particular favourite piece of costume design was the tin of Keen's Mustard Powder bolted on to the right hand side of his outfit ~ I'll have to fact check that.