1 9 8 3 (Australia)
1 x 120 minute episode
1 x 180 minute episode
Based on a novel by Osmar White, this two-part five-hour miniseries from the Nine Network in Australia starred Graham Kennedy as easygoing and hard-drinking bush pilot, Chasser Fitzpatrick, American Robert Vaughn playing security chief and former CIA agent Steven Sinclair, and Helen Morse portraying Antonia Russell, his lawyer helper.
Hamish Wrightson (Leonard Teale) – an aggressive diamond mining magnate in North Queensland – hires Sinclair to investigate a series of ‘mishaps’ and industrial accidents at the massive industrial and mining empire of Conwright Industries.
Sinclair finds that a couple of Wrightson’s right-hand men, Peter Mountford (John Howard) and Ben Burnie (Tommy Lewis), have discovered industrial diamonds on a Wrightson-owned property and are stirring up trouble amongst local aboriginals.
The pair decide to get Sinclair out of the way by trying to kill him.
While the production would have benefited from some ruthless trimming – perhaps cut back to feature film length – the script and direction were above mid-soapie level, and the photography was superb. Never has the rugged Australian bush looked so inviting, and some of the remote locations were astonishing.
There’s a great deal of action and the stunts on the cattle station or around the exploration rigs are well performed. The fiery explosion, in which a rig and generator are blown up, would have delighted any Hollywood producer.
The working title for the miniseries was The Alcheringa Stone.