1 9 8 9 (Australia)
3 x 90 minute episodes
20-year-old Australian girl Katrina Stanton (Nicole Kidman) has been searching for her father in England when she befriends handsome and charming American freelance photographer Arkie Ragan (Jerome Ehlers) while travelling home to Australia from London via Thailand.
Ragan hides 2.4 kg of heroin in a camera case with a false bottom and gets Kat to take it through Thai customs for him, but the police at the airport find the drugs in her bag.
Kat is charged with heroin trafficking and taken to the horrific “Bangkok Hilton” at (the fictional) Lum Jau prison, where she makes friends with fellow inmate Mandy Engels (Joy Smithers), who has been given the death sentence and is awaiting execution by machine gun (the mandatory sentence in Thailand for drug smuggling).
Whilst she endures the terrible conditions inside, Kat’s lawyer Richard Carlisle (Hugo Weaving) and ex-pat “Bill Worthington” (Denholm Elliott) – who turns out to be Kat’s father, Hal Stanton – battle with the authorities to have her freed. The requisite body search and the misery of sharing a bare cell with eight other women and a slop bucket are shown in graphic detail.
Handsomely filmed in Australia, England, India and Thailand, this is a superb miniseries. The writing and acting are first-class, and it is still one of Nicole Kidman’s finest roles.
Bill Worthington (Hal Stanton)
Kang (‘Pretty Warder’)
Deborah Kara Unger
Thai Police Sergeant
Immigration Officer, GOA
Kat Aged 5
Lin Chin Lee