Ep. 1/7 -
New South Wales, 1788. Dawn is breaking over a ramshackle camp where the British convicts transported on the First Fleet are waking up to another sweltering hot day alongside their Royal Navy marine guards and their masters. In this fledgling penal colony anything can happen - and death stalks everybody.
Convict Elizabeth Quinn awakes screaming from a nightmare. She must get out of her beloved Tommy Barrett's bunk and the convict men's dorm fast, both are prohibited and punishable.
She runs, but Private Buckley the most loathed soldier, catches her. A scuffle ensues and Elizabeth is dragged before her social superiors: Governor Phillip; his trusted adviser the colony's judge advocate Captain Collins; Major Ross; Reverend Johnson and his wife Mary assigned to impose punishment. Resolute in refusing to expose the man she loves; knowing full well Tommy would hang for sleeping with her, Elizabeth is sentenced to 25 lashes.
But will her principled and headstrong Tommy be so enraged by this punitive decision that he intervenes? If he does he will hang.
Elsewhere the morning reveille has sounded and Elizabeth and Tommy's dearest friend, James Freeman finds himself in serious trouble. Menacing convict Marston the camp's indispensable blacksmith, is stealing James's food and without his paltry sustenance he will die.
With supplies running out, who can James turn to for help and justice - marooned as he is on this inhospitable shoreline between the impenetrable bush and the mighty Pacific Ocean? At nightfall torches are lit and banging is heard as the hangman's scaffold is erected. In the cold light of day will love and compassion prevail or will the iron fist triumph?
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