1 9 8 6 (Australia)
10 x 60 minute episodes
This saga of the lives of a working-class Irish-Australian family begins in 1892 with Australia in the grip of a severe depression and works its way through to the Gough Whitlam era via the Vietnam War.
Through the story of the Irish Catholic Quinn family, the saga traces the stormy development of the Australian Labour movement, covering some of the most dramatic and violent moments in Australia’s recent history, including the 1892 shearer’s strike, the Broken Hill Lockout and the World War I Anti-Conscription campaign.
Both idealistic young sheep shearer turned trade union activist Paddy Quinn (Patrick Dickson) and wealthy suffragette and squatter’s daughter Nesta Darling (Penelope Stewart and Melissa Jaffer) oppose conscription.
Paddy’s son Frank (Jay Hackett and Drew Forsythe) is caught up with extreme left-wing radicals and his other son, Leo (Peter Kowitz) with the church. Overworked, Paddy has a fatal heart attack, so never knows his third child, born two months later.
Tying events together is Maureen Green (and then Patricia Kennedy) as Maureen Corrigan-Quinn, who begins her life onscreen as a gawky servant girl and ends it as a matriarchal martinet who has deployed four generations of Quinn men into political battle.
The cast also includes Benjamin Franklin as Kevin Quinn, Melissa Jaffer as the mature Nesta, and Patricia Kennedy as the old Maureen Quinn.
The ten-part $7 million series was produced by Australia’s Channel Seven. It was an ambitious and admirable attempt to stimulate interest in Australia’s history and heritage, made by JNP (the producers of A Country Practice).
Young Maureen Quinn
Old Maureen Corrigan-Quinn
Young Mary Quinn
Old Nesta Quinn
Old Frank Quinn