Journey back to the booming Australian gold rush of the 1860s, a wild Outback frontier, and the spirited pioneers who aim to tame it. Now for the first time on DVD, enjoy every episode of the trailblazing first season of FIVE MILE CREEK, which chronicles a story of outlaw bushrangers, ruthless government troops, and the challenges of making an emerging stagecoach line a rip-roaring success. Filmed entirely on location -- your whole family can experience the adventure, courage, and heart of these enterprising young settlers as they meet one incredible challenge after another.~~
A somewhat unusual but very fine drama series for the family, Five Mile Creek: The First Complete Season
gets under one's skin very quickly. A 19th century Western set in the wilds of Australia, the show concerns a small but international community of men and women whose lives revolve around the scrappy origins of a stagecoach line. The story begins when a headstrong American woman, Maggie Scott (Louise Caire Clark), arrives in New South Wales with her daughter, Hannah (Priscilla Weems), in search of her husband, Adam. The latter, an American prospector who came to make his fortune in Aussie goldfields, sent word to his family to meet him at a place called Five Mile Creek. When Maggie and Hannah arrive there, they find Adam isn't around and no one has heard of him.
Stuck in the deeply wooded outpost, which is halfway between two important port towns and plagued by highwaymen and violent squatters (two dangerous groups interested in preventing progress in the region), Maggie settles in at the Haven. A makeshift rest stop and lodging for travelers on the Australian Express stagecoach, the Haven becomes a domestic mecca for the series' other major characters. Among them are the Express' two enterprising partners, a chivalrous American, Con (Jay Kerr), and a mischievous Aussie, Jack (Rod Mullinar). Restless taskmaster Kate (Liz Burch), a lovely young woman who owns the Haven, rides herd over several colorful hands, including reformed scoundrel Paddy Malone (Michael Caton). The 13 episodes in the first (1983) season juggle several running storylines (including the dramatic appearance of Adam, played by Star Trek: The Next Generation's Jonathan Frakes) and introduce a host of guest stars conveniently supplied by Con and Jack's daily stagecoach runs. Five Mile Creek also imparts some interesting historical context, including native revulsion at England's brutal military presence, old battles between white settlers and indigenous blacks (similar to the American West's Indian wars), and a climate of lawlessness that makes pioneering a dangerous business. Despite these brushes with real seriousness, Five Mile Creek is a very entertaining show for school-age-and-up viewers. --Tom Keogh