Banished begins in Australia on BBC First on 25th June at 8.30pm…and in New Zealand on UKTV New Zealand on 26th June at 8.30pm.
Banished is inspired by the events of the late 1780s when Britain deported its unwanted citizens to the very edge of the known world. The drama opens in New South Wales, Australia, in 1788. Tents are pitched and there is a scattering of timber buildings on a strip of land between the impenetrable bush and the mighty Pacific Ocean. It is here that the convicts transported on the First Fleet and their masters are waking up to another sweltering hot day in a place where anything can happen and death stalks everyone. With supplies running out and the group ill-equipped for life on this inhospitable shoreline, who will survive the next 10 days?
Anne Meredith ORLA BRADY
Reverend Johnson EWEN BREMNER
Elizabeth Quinn MYANNA BURING
Corporal MacDonald RYAN CORR
Captain Collins DAVID DAWSON
Letters Molloy NED DENNEHY
Housekeeper Deborah BROOKE HARMAN
Sergeant Timmins CAL MacANINCH
Marston RORY McCANN
Jefferson TIM McCUNN
Major Ross JOSEPH MILLSON
Spragg NICK MOSS
Private Buckley ADAM NAGAITIS
Mary Johnson GENEVIEVE O’REILLY
Private Mulrooney JORDAN PATRICK SMITH
James Freeman RUSSELL TOVEY
Tommy Barrett JULIAN RHIND TUTT
Kitty McVitie JOANNA VANDERHAM
Stubbins DAVID WALMSLEY
Governor Phillip DAVID WENHAM
David talks about his role as Captain David Collins in ‘Banished’
(courtesy of the BBC Media Centre):-
Describe your character
I play Captain David Collins, a young officer who has been sent to Australia as The First Fleet’s Judge Advocate. He is responsible for the colony’s entire legal establishment. He has to sit in court and together with Governor …Phillip decide on the best action to take on each matter and the level of punishment appropriate. He and Phillip also have the power to increase or shorten a convict’s stay.
How does Collins deal with the convicts?
He applies to the convicts the mantra he has for his own men – that they should be punished or rewarded in equal measure according to their behaviour. And so in Australia, he and Mrs Johnson begin a literacy class for those they decide worthy of bettering themselves. As far as punishment goes, whether it be flogging or worse, Collins (unlike Major Ross) believes that a convict guilty of a crime should receive only the necessary punishment that the law requires and no more.
How does he change as the story progresses?
He arrives in Australia thinking that the convicts under their control are simply criminals, bad people that England wishes to rid from its shores. The amazing thing through the series is that Collins begins to struggle with this belief and realises things are not so black and white and he starts to deal with the convicts as human beings.
What drew you to the role?
I took this job because I became fascinated with this man’s story. How do you cope with having to leave your wife and children and all that you know in England, being sent on an eight month voyage to the ends of the earth knowing it will be years until you see your family again? And then to arrive in unbearable heat and be told to keep control some 1,000 criminals indefinitely and with limited food. It is a unique story to tell, one of survival both physically, and of the human spirit. Each character does what they think best to survive, and Jimmy writes each character warts and all.
What did you learn about soldiers of this time?
On arriving in Australia all the actors had a week with a military advisor, Mark Koens, which was brilliant. We were taken through drills outside in the baking hot sun. Usefully Mark made both Joseph Millson [Major Ross] and I learn the hard way as privates before we became officers. The uniforms they wore are heavy – you realised how tough it would be in such scorching heat. Another challenge I relished was that as an officer you have a duty to show no emotion to your men, to show no doubt in a decision. I loved exploring the Captain Collins on duty in the camp as opposed to the personal man relaxed in his tent or in the Governor Phillip’s company.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/profiles/4Sj0z0NBTtXxrLB513NHYHQ/captain-david-collins…meet the characters on the BBC Banished profile page.
Here’s a link to the Banished Media Pack (courtesy of the BBC Media Centre): it includes cast and production credits and a detailed synopsis…BBC Banished Media Pack