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on 10 January 2012
This is one of those period dramas (like Lorna Doone) that you can watch with your man... enough violence and action to keep him interested, while also satisfying your romantic period drama hungerings...
It really is an incredible journey - must go and find out exactly how much is true and how much is 'embellished'. I was worried about the rating that said 'contains scenes of sexual violence', but this was more implied than explicit. A damning indictment on Australia's convict past, and the Poms who sent them here.
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on 13 July 2012
I watched this series on TV when it was originally screened and then quite recently I bought the DVD. I then acquired a couple of books on the subject. That is when I was brought down to earth with a bump!

The film producers took extraordinary liberties with the story, understandably so because they were making a film and had to embellish the facts with a few exciting events that never occurred, to make it more entertaining. It started out well enough, Mary was arrested for robbery, tried, convicted and sentenced to death. This was commuted to transportation to Botany Bay. After several months on a Hulk she eventually sailed with the First Fleet. Thus after many long months of hardship, during which she became pregnant and had a baby girl, the Fleet eventually arrived at its destination. She 'married' Will Bryant who in turn became the colony's chief fisherman, because he had experience of handing a small boat. This experience he uses to good effect in the actual escape. So far so good. The story has broadly followed the facts. Unfortunately, it is downhill all the way from there. Suffice it to say that for the true facts there are a number of books on the subject. Other reviewers have listed a few, I can mention a couple more, both available cheaply on Amazon: 'Escape from Botany Bay' by Gerald and Loretta Hausman and 'To Brave Every Danger' by Judith Cook.

So, while the film is hugely entertaining, the details concerning the actual escape are a long way from the truth. The acting is top notch, The scenery is superb, the video quality is excellent, but if you want the details of the true story read the books!
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on 1 December 2013
Based on a true story one of the best films I have seen ,all characters convincing in parts they play. Starving Country girl gets caught stealing and sent in convict ship to Australia ,is raped in gaol before being shipped and strikes up a friend ship with fellow convict and is taken pity on by officer.When landing she marries other convict for convenience to better their prospects they have a baby of their own.The Officer still fancies Mary and she uses him to plan escape.They escape and after a long journey by sea they end up on Portuguese owned Island and mixin with gentry.The officer mean while gets next trip back to Uk to his wife but also lands on said island first and exposes them ,he shoots her husband in cold blood out of revenge but Mary escapes with the help of friends she had made.Both her children die of swamp fever on boat with 2 other felons looking after her.She is imprisoned in London before her case comes up .Officer is out for revenge but becomes the laughing stock and all three get let off.Mary returns to her Village as though nothing has happened ,no children ,no husband no nothing a very sad story all in the space of about 4/5 years.All actors were exceptional in parts they played ,not a predictable story ,very sad ,her husband and children were loves of her life ,and he gave his life for her so she could escape.One of the best films ever.
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on 23 March 2013
a movie with a storey its how the normal poor people are treated,slaves wipping posts much the same as the rich are unaware they still say let them eat cake if they have no bread, they were hung for stealing a loaf off bread even at ten years old by the only people who were judges the fat powderd smelly rich ,they still pay no taxes today the poor still pick up the bills for the fat cats,today money buys heath even the law today. its a fantastic storey told as it was about the English slaves,well done
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on 15 February 2015
not what I expected
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on 22 April 2006
I Like to watch any new Drama series that are coming onto the TV, the BBC are famous for their wonderful films, being myself a fan.

I saw it advertised in the TV mag for ITV and thought hmmm worth watching for Easter night, boy was i right to watch it!

Straight away you are put into the shoes of Mary Bryant(Romola Garai- 'Vanity Fair') no boring stuff at the beginning.

Through starvation is driven to steal to survive, unfortunately she is caught and ordered to be sent with other criminals of men and women to be part of and build the 'New South Wales' colony in Australia in 1788.

On the perilous 9 month journey on the ship Mary is thrown into the hands of Lt Ralph Clarke (Jack Davenport-'Pirates of the Carribean'), who manages to become attached to her affectionately even though he's no allowed to consider the criminals to be though of as an attachment, more a mere 'Woman' to give favours to the crew.

Mary however falls for a fellow criminal, and on arriving on the new land things do not turn out as promiced, famine and starvation is on the brink and any person who tries to escape including the soldiers, are shot or hanged.

Mary and her lover decide they cannot stay any longer or they will die, through help of some felllow criminals Mary her family and a few others manage to escape which leaves them out in the sea with only one journey in a small boat with a small amount of food starting to run out and the Soldiers quickly catching up to capture them it isnt an easy ride to escape, it become a matter of life and death trying to survive to reach the nearest colonised island...

Mary Bryant is a must see it had me on the edge of my seat you really feel for her and what she has to go through to survive. Some parts had me crying along with her. The acting performances are great but i can't tell you all the things that happen you must see it for yourself.

In two parts each consisting of two hours each part its a must see. Trust Me! Happy Watching...
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on 24 October 2009
If you're interested in the colonization of Australia and/or Alex O'Loughlin - buy the film. You won't be dissapointed.

Firstly because it really gives the whole "let's ship off our convicts"-thing a face - Mary Bryant. She was an impressive person, alright, even if you don't like her (I don't). For me it's also a way to see all the nautic and historical facilities people used back then. The way women were treated on these passages is also a topic of the film. Furthermore the first contacts with the Aboriginal people are shown. This is not a huge production so don't expect too much but it works on TV.

Secondly - Alex O'Loughlin is shown in one of his earlier works and he is shown a good deal. The character he plays is charming although he's a bit of a rascal as well. It is difficult for me to say anything on Romola Garai considering that I really don't like the character she's playing but Jack Davenport is great in his part. The supporting roles are well cast and the film works for me. I never really found out why other buyers mention that this film was ruined in the cutting room though.
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on 18 April 2009
When I watched this DVD I was disappointed. The director destroyed this incredible escape with the incredible love story between Mary Bryant with Lt. Ralph Clarke. He put two different persons together who met each other probably but never had a sexual relationship like shown in this series.
Before you watch this DVD please read the book "The Fatal Shore" by Robert Hughes. In this book you can read about Mary and William Bryant and about Ralph Clarke. If you read this book you can see that some events occured in another order.
I also advice you to watch another series - "The Timeless Land". In this series you can realy see what happend when the women landed on Australian soil on the 6th February 1788. On the 10th February 1788 Mary and William Bryant married. William Bryant died on another way that was shown in the series.
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on 3 December 2015
A great film based on a true story and if you must know what happened to Mary Bryant when upon arriving in the New World as a convict on a prison ship,then this is the film for you. It's rather long but is split into two dvds so you can leave the second part for another day. (If you can wait that long.)
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on 28 August 2014
If you like costume dramas with action, suspense, a storyline which your not sure how it ends, and life and death situations through out you will love this. I love this film because of all those reason but mostly because it's also a true story which I find boosts the entertainment quality. The acting is superb and very believable and also the picture quality is spot on. It arrived well packaged. Very pleased and would recommend to anyone.
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