For the Term of His Natural Life (miniseries)
|For the Term of His Natural Life|
|Based on||novel by Marcus Clarke|
|Written by||Patricia Payne
|Directed by||Rob Stewart|
|Theme music composer||Simon Walker|
|Country of origin||Australia|
|No. of episodes||3 x 2 hours|
|Original network||Nine Network|
|Original release||23 May 1983|
For the Term of His Natural Life is a 1983 Australian mini-series based on the classic novel.
Richard Devine is convicted for robbery and sentenced to prison in Australia under the name Rufus Dawes.
- Colin Friels as Rufus Dawes
- Rod Mullinar as Lieutenant Frere
- Robert Coleby as John Rex
- Susan Lyons as Sarah Purfoy
- Penelope Stewart as Sylvia Vickers—As An Adult
- Anthony Perkins as Reverend North
- Patrick Macnee as Major Vickers
- Samantha Eggar as Julie Vickers
- Diane Cilento as Lady Ellinor
- Donald McDonald as Reverend Meekin
- Johnny Johnstone as Gabbett
- John Turnbull as Jemmy Vetch
- Rebe Taylor as Sylvia Vickers—As A Child
The mini-series was based on the original serialised version of the novel For the Term of His Natural Life, which meant it featured scenes of Rufus Dawes in the Australian Gold Rush and a happy ending where Dawes is reunited with Sylvia.
The mini series was a passion project for Patricia Payne, who had wanted to adapt the novel since she read it in high school. She spent eight years raising the $6.5 million budget, which consisted of private investment. Payne's co producer was Wilton Schiller, an American with extensive TV experience. Shooting began before the series had been sold to an Australian network.
It was shot partly in Adelaide, Victor Harbour, Macquarie Harbor and Port Arthur.
An interactive app based on the mini series was released in 2012.
- Ed. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p196
- "The Term of His Natural Life". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 13 January 1982. p. 96. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- For the Term of His Natural Life app accessed 14 July 2013
- "Fair stinkum". The Guardian [London]. 17 June 1985. p. 9.