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Rain Shadow: Series One

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Two women fight for the future of their outback community

After a decade of drought, a devastating sheep disease strikes the small Australian farming town of Paringa. Tough-minded veterinarian Kate McDonald (Golden Globe®-nominee Rachel Ward, The Thorn Birds) struggles to save her community with the help of a feisty new assistant (Victoria Thaine, The Caterpillar Wish) -- who is just as determined to unlock the mysteries of Kate’s past.

Filmed entirely on location in a natural rain shadow region in the Adelaide Hills, this poignant drama features stunningly stark vistas and exceptional performances. Hostility and hope, determination and despair mix in a combustible series that pits two strong women against the odds and, oftentimes, against each other.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE behind-the-scenes featurette, a Rachel Ward biography, and more.

Amazon.com

Think of Rain Shadow as All Creatures Great and Small, stripped of its leafy gentility. The gripping Australian miniseries follows the lives of two country veterinarians, but in this case they are two women (Rachel Ward and Victoria Thaine), living in the rugged bleakness of the Australian outback, their lives intertwined with the flinty farmers and ranchers they serve. Ward, who has been little seen on the screen as she has focused on directing and writing, makes a welcome return to acting as Dr. Kate McDonald--weatherworn, standoffish, perhaps hiding secret wounds surrounding the untimely death of her husband. Thaine plays Dr. Jill Blake, her new city-smart young assistant, the latest in a long line who have fled in succession, escaping the relentlessness of the harsh country--and their harsh employer. The viewer gets to learn about Kate, and the region around the fictional town of Paringa, through the eyes of Jill. Kate and Jill don't exactly spar, but they are both fearless and don't flinch in their confrontations. "You're all like the sun has baked all the life out of you," says Jill of the resident's regions. "Like prunes, then? Or roadkill?" deadpans Kate. "If you stay here, you'll end up like us." Jill is strangely drawn to the harsh countryside, and its peculiar inhabitants--and so, gradually, is the viewer. The plot revolves around a catastrophic sheep disease afflicting flocks in the region, and the perennial drought that is wearing down the stalwarts.

But the true story is about the harsh landscape, full of ragged, dry beauty and completely unforgiving--and how it can break a person--or become the best haven on the planet. As Jill learns the rules of the outback, she also tries to probe into the real story of her boss. She, along with the viewer, becomes more fascinated by the harsh landscape, and the ways it changes the rules for animals and humans alike. The DVD contains a biography of Ward, and an absorbing documentary on the making of the show, which was shot entirely on location in a true rain shadow outside Adelaide, Australia. --A.T. Hurley

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Directors: Shawn Seet, Fiona Banks
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: October 21, 2008
  • Run Time: 326 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001B43IVW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,710 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rain Shadow: Series One" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on October 3, 2008
Format: DVD
Six episodes are not enough. It's that good. The views of the rain shadow country alone make the viewer desire to experience the ruggedness, even overcome the hardships. This Australian drama was filmed in southern Australia, rain shadow country. A rain shadow is an arid region on the lee side of mountains allowing little rain to cross, like Nevada. It creates a setting as tough, as desperate, and as determined as the veterinarian Kate McDonald living in fictional Paringa.

Dr. Kate (widowed 10 years) is played by Rachel Ward. Ward turns from her more recent directing and writing activities to lead the cast with her superb acting portrayal of a woman who has taken charge of her life caught up in extreme harshness located an arid region and a struggling community. Driving into Paringa, is the newest arrival in a long string of attempts to secure an assistant, in the person of Dr. Jill Blake (Victoria Thaine). Her own extraordinary performance adds to the off-again, on-again, personal and professional relationship between the two vets that have a community animal health situation to deal with as well as their own secret lives. It's a powerful combination as intriguing as the interacting lives of the rest of Paringa's citizens.

Move aside, James Herriot, make room, as Rain Shadow has rekindled interest in a country veterinarian's life. Dr. Jill is new, not nearly as tough as Dr. Kate McDonald--YET! And the viewer is as confused about the history and personality exchanges of Paringa as Jill. The community seems to have it's own definitions for integrity and law. For example Larry Riley's (Gary Sweet) unexplained wealth in a struggling location. And, why were so many other newly arriving vet assistants driven off so fast?
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By TheTange on February 24, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I stumbled upon this series in late 2008 in the new releases section on Amazon. The two user reviews here convinced me that this would be a perfect birthday gift for a friend of mine - and it absolutely was. After she enjoyed the series, she let me borrow it.

The actors are excellent as is the story. The 6 episode story arch is paced perfectly, each building on the prior installment. After watching one episode, I couldn't wait to watch more. My only regret was that I wanted the series to continue (it wraps up perfectly, while still leaving room for future installments).

Since borrowing the set that I bought as a birthday gift, I have purchased my own copy of the set, and given yet another one as a Christmas present. I'm a bit surprised that this series hasn't gotten more attention - again, I stumbled on it by accident. The quality, in every respect, makes this set more like a six hour feature film than a television mini-series. It captures the beauty, lonelyness and isolation of life in a very accurate way that I think most people can relate to.

I hope this gets aired on PBS at some point because this quality series deserves a much larger audience. I'd sure love to see another 6 episodes.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 10, 2008
Format: DVD
Rain Shadow Series 1 collects the first six episodes of a dramatic series following the small Australian farming town of Paringa. Battered first by drought, then an outbreak of disease among its sheep, Paringa is on the verge of dissolving; veterinarian Kate McDonald (played by Golden Globe nominee Rachel Ward) and her plucky assistant (played by Victoria Thaine) fight to save their community. Filmed on location in the Adelaide Hills, Rain Shadow is a poignant drama of hope, and the determination to fight for one's way of life, as well as the strong wills of two women resisting the odds against them. An excellent gift for anyone who enjoys fine drama. 16:9 widescreen, 326 minutes, color.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Pipersfun on February 28, 2009
Format: DVD
simply put just watch or rent it, it is worth your time. If you are like me, it can not be made into a regular show soon enough. If you love McLeod's Daughter you will love this!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mtn. man on January 27, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Good story Line with interesting characters.
Keeps you guessing until the end. Holds your attention.
Well worth the price and the time to watch.
Only drawback is not enough episodes.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lorraine L Brooks on September 17, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I originally viewed this movie on a rented DVD.
I loved it so much, I purchased it as a gift for my adult daughter.
Anyone who likes a good movie will like this one!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Davis on April 27, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very fast shipping, great price for the shows. I am a huge Mcleods daughters fan and I was recommended this series It has more than meet my expectations. You will not be dissapointed in this seller or the show
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dorey E. Evans on February 24, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Excellent story of Aussie vets living in the rain shadow during a drought. Australia - where the men are men and the women go make some tea. Well worth watching, even so. Almost makes me want to move back downunder.
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Rain Shadows
This is a US release from Acorn Media (based near Washington DC). Acorn has an office is the UK, but this is released by the American division.
Mar 19, 2009 by DPK |  See all 2 posts
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