Robert Hughes is dead, Clive James is dying, Barry Humphries is on his farewell tour with Dame Edna and Sir Les, and Germaine Greer is still upsetting the proverbial applecart. Now is the opportune moment to reflect on the titanic impact these four Australians made in the cultural milieu of London and New York. With this in his sights, author and unashamed Australia admirer Howard Jacobson, a Man Booker Prize winner who has met all four, sets out on a journey of discovery into how these pugnacious 'Wizards of Oz' left the backwater of Australia and became towering forces in the cultural epicentres of London and New York.
In episode one, Howard focuses on the background of the four rebels. The formation of their formidable intellects and extraordinary cultural knowledge, he argues, was only possible because of their distance from what they saw as the real home of culture - Europe. In intimate and revealing interviews with Clive, Germaine and Barry, he discusses the importance of their fathers, their craving to escape the confines of what they saw as a vulgar and cultureless place, and their time together as part of Sydney's 'Push' movement.