The Timeless Land

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The Timeless Land (1941) is a work of historical fiction by Eleanor Dark (1901–1985). The novel The Timeless Land is the first of The Timeless Land trilogy of novels about European settlement and exploration of Australia.

Story and characters[edit]

The narrative is told from English and Aboriginal points of view. The novel begins with two Aboriginal men watching the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Harbour on 26 January 1788. The novel describes the first years of the colony and the vindictive diplomacy of captain Arthur Phillip, famine and the devastating effects of exotic disease on the previously unexposed Aboriginal population. The novel ends in a dramatic climax when troops encounter an escaped convict. Dark conducted her historical research at the Mitchell Library in Sydney. Watkin Tench, author of The Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson, is a key character in The Timeless Land. The book is regarded as a classic by fans of Australian literature and has been reprinted in 2002 and has a modest following. The novel was on the curriculum for high school students in Australia in the mid-twentieth century.

The subsequent books in The Timeless Land trilogy are Storm of Time (1948) and No Barrier (1953).

Television production[edit]

The Timeless Land
Genre mini-series
Written by Peter Yeldham
Directed by Rob Stewart
Michael Carson
Starring Michael Craig
Nicola Paget
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 8
Production
Producer(s) Ray Alchin
Running time 8 x 1 hour
Broadcast
Original channel ABC Television
Original airing 4 September 1980

A television series was produced and broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Commission, premiering on 4 September 1980. It was written by Peter Yeldham, based on the Eleanor Dark novels, and starred David Gulpilil as Bennelong and English actress Nicola Pagett (star of the British series Upstairs, Downstairs) as Mrs. Mannion. Other actors included: Bruce Smeaton and John Frawley.[1]

Production of the series had first been announced in 1976 but was postponed due to the large budget required.[2]

International rights to the series were sold to Paramount for $1 million.[3] Shooting took place in Kellyville.[4]

The 8 episodes of The Timeless Land commenced with a movie-length premiere:[5]

  1. A ship with white wings
  2. Unsuitable company
  3. The fabric of liberty
  4. Double standards
  5. Smell of rebellion
  6. A declaration of war
  7. Prisoner at the bar
  8. A new order

In 2006 the Australian Broadcasting Commission released the television series on 3 DVDs, the episodes totalling 424 minutes.[6]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Ed. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p241
  2. ^ "Government a hindrance: ABC head.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 23 November 1978. p. 3. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "ABC show sold for $lm.". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (ACT: National Library of Australia). 30 April 1980. p. 3. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "REBELLION AND RUM!.". The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) (1933 - 1982: National Library of Australia). 14 May 1980. p. 242 Supplement: TV Weekly. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Timess Land.". The Australian Women's Weekly (1933–1982) (1933–1982: National Library of Australia). 3 September 1980. p. 6 Supplement: Your TV Magazine. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Dark, Eleanor, 1901-1985. Timeless land; Alchin, Ray. (Producer); Stewart, Rob. (Director); Carson, Michael. (Director); Yeldham, Peter. (Writer of accompanying material); Australian Broadcasting Commission (2006), The timeless land the early days of British settlement in Australia, Australian Broadcasting Commission : Roadshow Entertainment [distributor], retrieved 3 September 2013 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • The Timeless Land, Eleanor Dark. Introduction by Barbara Brooks and Humphrey McQueen. Pymble, NSW. HarperCollins Publishers Australia. 2002. ISBN 0-207-19877-2

External links[edit]