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For the Term of His Natural Life - Complete Series - 2-DVD Set
Format: DVDChange
Price:£14.48+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2011
This was an "I saw it years ago, will I still like it now?" purchase. It is still a brilliant piece of dramatic story telling.

In the early part of the nineteenth century, Richard Devine learns a shameful (by 1800s standards) family secret and is forced to assume a new identity, Rufus Dawes. Unable to defend himself against a charge of robbery, he is transported to Van Dieman's land "For the term of his natural life". He soon makes enemies among prisoners and guards alike, and endures the brutal regime by holding on to hope, even if he knows it to be false hope, of justice being done. Having escaped against the odds, a selfless act once again plunges him into the hell of the penal colony. His only hope of salvation lies with a traumatised child and an ineffectual preacher.

Almost four and a half hours in length, presented in 3 parts with perfectly judged cliffhangers, this is thoroughly engrossing and the time flies by. Colin Friels heads a superb cast, largely unknown outside Australia, with a performance that never fails to convey Rufus' hope and frustration. Patrick Macnee is also excellent as the colony commandant, never once bringing Macnee's iconic role of Steed to mind with his pitch perfect performance.

Most viewers will be surprised, possibly alarmed, by a lucky charm in one part - but this story is set over a hundred years before the ancient Sanskrit symbol of the wheel of life was subverted to it's present association. It can sometimes still be found in it's original meaning on old carvings in cathedrals and other places of worship. It's just the filmmakers staying true to the original story published 1870 - 1872.

The grim regime of prison colonies is excellently depicted, but far from being just a reminder of the brutality of a previous era, this is also a belting adventure story, with plot twists, betrayals, sudden turns of fortune that will keep you glued to it. Above all it is a portrait of the power of hope to sustain a human being to endure the worst of hardship.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2011
What can I say! An amazing film that is moving, powerful, exciting and insightful of the experiences of the Australian convicts. Colin Friels gives an outstanding performance. Although made many years ago, this film has not dated. A brilliant film that will keep you gripped to your seat!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2013
Had this on video so was really pleased to own it on dvd.
A really good story.really good value for money
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2013
I have allways loved this film , but only had it on video tape , so now i have it on dvd , i my opinion i think this film is one of my favourite,s . second to none .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2014
Incredible production !!
What an amazing story.
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on 29 June 2015
Wanted this for a long time, haven't had time to watch it yet, only problem is it's made for America region 1 but I can use my x box to watch the program good price and quick delivery
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed this mini series and the scenery was lovely. A very sad story. 2 things spoiled it though and these were the convicts who were supposed to be English had Australian accents even before they were transported and, this story took place over approximately 25 years but the characters looked exactly the same after 25 years as they did on day 1 which was a bit weird.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2015
I bought this film as part of a four box set and I only hope the other three films are better than this rubbish. How anybody can rate this serial as 5 stars is beyond my understanding. The acting, dialogue and film editing is ridiculous and full of one dimensional stereotype characters.
Our hero Rufus something (played by Colin Friel) is wrongly convicted & sent to Australia, he hears of a plot by his fellow prisoners to mutiny and seize the ship but he tells the captain (Patrick McNee, who looks and acts remarkably like Terry Wogan) and lands himself a plum shore job, looking after the captain's garden. The captain's wife and 12 year old daughter take a shine to our hero but he is wrongly convicted again and sentenced to solitary confinement on a remote island, from which (unsurprisingly he escapes by leaping off a 200 foot cliff into the sea - despite wearing chains on his feet and hands.
He clings to a log and is washed up on an island, which is luckily inhabited by the captain's wife & daughter who have been dumped there by mutineers from another ship that they were sailing on - I can't be bothered to explain further.
He kills loads of goats on the next island builds a coracle from their skins & and they all sail off and are rescued by a passing ship - but he is wrongly convicted yet again. By this time I am thinking Rufus should be renamed Jonah.
Back on land ( I don't remember how he got there) he meets up again with the captain's daughter, who has remarkably aged 10 years whilst everyone else looks exactly the same. This took me to about halfway through episode 2 and I did not have the heart to watch the other 2 episodes. I will say though, the scenery is nice.
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on 24 July 2015
Excellent
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