Straight-ahead re-creation of a legal cause célèbre from South Australia at the fag end of the 1950s, when a half-caste worker with a travelling circus, Rupert Maxwell Stuart, was conveniently fingered for the rape and murder of a little white girl. Carlyle is the small town lawyer, a Scot, whose dogged defence was a constant irritant to the Establishment, exposing the racism and brutality of the police, and mobilising the court of public opinion with the help of a young newspaper owner named Rupert Murdoch. The treatment is TV standard, complete with competing flashbacks and Fox as explicatory mouthpiece, but Carlyle and Dance (as the Crown Prosecutor) deliver well-balanced performances, and there's mileage in the idea that this is where the old verities began to crumble.
Cast and crew
Robert Carlyle Kerry Fox Charles Dance David Ngoombujarra Colin Friels Ben Mendelsohn Max Stuart Billie Brown John Gregg Roy Billing