List of Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities episodes

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Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities is a thirteen-part Australian television mini-series covering the rise and fall of the Mr. Asia drug syndicate between 1976 and 1987. This second series in the Underbelly franchise, based on real events documented by Age journalists, John Silvester and Andrew Rule, also depicts the Great Bookie Robbery and the burgeoning corruption within the New South Wales police. (The latter storyline is continued in Underbelly: The Golden Mile.) A Tale of Two Cities began screening on 9 February 2009 on the Nine Network, with the first two episodes broadcast back-to-back as a telemovie. The series centres on the partnership between Robert "Aussie Bob" Trimbole and Terry Clark, who is often mistakenly referred to as "Mr. Asia", and their illicit activities, conducted mainly in Sydney and Melbourne. A Tale of Two Cities, produced in conjunction with Screen Australia, explicitly links itself to the original series by featuring a young Alphonse Gangitano and the narrating character's mother (Jacqui James and Liz Cruickshank, respectively). Following the success of the second series, the Nine Network commissioned a third – The Golden Mile, which was then followed by Underbelly: Razor.

In 2011, New Zealand's TV3 produced its own version of the Underbelly franchise, Land of the Long Green Cloud. The story, noted as a prequel to A Tale of Two Cities, centres on the 'real' "Mr. Asia", Marty Johnstone, and his doomed partnership with Terry Clark between the years 1972 and 1980. The six-part mini-series, scripted by John Banas and produced in conjunction with New Zealand On Air, began screening on 17 August 2011. Of note, A Tale of Two Cities was previously promoted in New Zealand as Underbelly: The Mr. Asia Story.

Episodes[edit]

No. in
total
No. in
series
Title Directed by Written by Original air date
14/15 1/2 "Aussie Bob & Kiwi Terry" / "Bad Habits" Ken Cameron Peter Gawler 9 February 2009 (2009-02-09)
In the debut double episode, drug dealers Terry Clark and Robert Trimbole form a partnership in the heroin trade. Trimbole orders a hit on local Griffith anti-drugs campaigner Donald Mackay. In Melbourne, Detective Liz Cruickshank is tipped off about the hit by standover man Les Kane, but her boss Inspector Messina doubts Kane's story.
Detective Warwick Mobbs suspects police corruption as his efforts to solve Mackay's murder are constantly frustrated. In the meantime, Melbourne armed robber Chuck Bennett masterminds the Great Bookie Robbery but snubs Kane and his brother Brian, provoking a turf war.
16 3 "Brave New World" Shawn Seet Felicity Packard 16 February 2009 (2009-02-16)
Allison Dine arrives in Sydney from New Zealand and begins working for Clark as a drug courier, soon becoming his lover. Mobbs endeavours to investigate George Freeman and shut down his illegal bookmaking activities, but is tharwted by high-level police corruption and reassigned to Wagga Wagga. Clark murders drug mule Pommy Lewis.
17 4 "Business As Usual" Shawn Seet Felicity Packard 23 February 2009 (2009-02-23)
The Kanes are now protectors for Trimbole's dealers in Melbourne. When two members of Bennett's gang steal from one of the dealers, the Kanes use it as an excuse for revenge. After several confrontations, Bennett and his associates machine-gun Les Kane to death in his home in front of his family in 1978. In Sydney, Allison devises a new way to smuggle Clark's drugs.
18 5 "A Tale of Two Hitmen" Tony Tilse Kris Mrksa 2 March 2009 (2009-03-02)
Chuck Bennett goes on trial for Les Kane's death, but in the absence of a body is acquitted. Brian Kane hires Chris Flannery to kill Bennett, but Bennett is immediately re-arrested on another charge. Wearing a disguise, Kane murders Bennett as he is taken to court. In Sydney, Terry and Allison's affair cools and Trimbole accidentally gets George Freeman arrested.
19 6 "Stranded" Tony Tilse Kris Mrksa 9 March 2009 (2009-03-09)
Clark is arrested on a minor charge in Queensland and extradited to New Zealand to face drug charges. His couriers the Wilsons carck under police pressure and the body of Pommy Lewis is discovered. After being acquitted, Clark returns to Australia. Trimbole convinces him to have the Wilsons killed.
20 7 "A Nice Little Earner" Tony Tilse Kris Mrksa 16 March 2009 (2009-03-16)
Terry decides to franchise his crime empire and expand into the UK market. Allison is promoted to a major role in the organisation.
21 8 "Diamonds" Shawn Seet Greg Haddrick 23 March 2009 (2009-03-23)
The Federal police team up with the Victorians to target the drug trade, while NSW's corrupt cops plan to seize control of organised crime. Allison questions her role in the syndicate after she is threatened by a corrupt Federal Narcotics Bureau agent. Meanwhile, George Freeman takes extreme action after police raid his illegal casinos and is shot outside his home.
22 9 "Judas Kiss" Shawn Seet Felicity Packard 30 March 2009 (2009-03-30)
Clark, paranoid and living in exile in the UK, pressures Trimbole to take out a contract on Allison. Trimbole hires Chris Flannery but Allison is arrested before he can act. She flees to the US with Trimbole's help. Meanwhile, Clark has his major supplier Marty Johnstone murdered when a deal goes wrong, and Freeman's would-be assassin is executed.
23/24 10/11 "The Reckoning" / "The Brotherhood" Grant Brown Felicity Packard / Kris Mrksa 20 April 2009 (2009-04-20)
Clark is arrested in the UK for Johnstone's murder. Allison is arrested by the FBI and turns star witness against the syndicate. With the heroin money drying up Trimbole plans to import an enormous cannabis shipment. The Feds see Brian Alexander as a weak link in the chain and lean on him.
The inquest into the deaths of the Wilsons commences. Trimbole learns he has cancer. As Allison's evidence inplicates everyone, a Royal Commission is convened and the Federal Narcotics Bureau is disbanded. Freeman tips off Trimbole, who flees overseas. Alexander is murdered by the cops on Freeman's payroll.
25 12 "O Lucky Man" Tony Tilse Peter Gawler 27 April 2009 (2009-04-27)
Clark is found guilty of murder and jailed. Trimbole uses Nick Paltos to bring his massive drug shipment to Australia. Chris Flannery moves to Sydney and links up with George Freeman, killing people almost at will to prove himself.
26 13 "The Loved Ones" Tony Tilse Peter Gawler 4 May 2009 (2009-05-04)
Terry Clark dies of a heart attack in prison. A dying Trimbole is arrested in Ireland, then flees to Spain after being released without charge. Freeman's police allies convince him that Flannery has become too dangerous to live. Paltos is arrested for trafficking but refuses to talk. Trimbole dies in a Spanish hospital.