Changi: episode guide

Parts 1-3 | Parts 4-6

Curley

Anthony Hayes and Mark Priestley

Episode 4
November 04, 2001
Written by John Doyle
Directed by Kate Woods

In preparation for his upcoming driving test, Curley (Slim de Grey) is driving around the streets. Temporarily blinded by the sun, he takes a wrong turn and slows down to get his bearings, the car behind him beeps loudly as it overtakes with a roar. Curley is scared, bathed in perspiration and shaking. He is suddenly back in The Hole in Changi- a small, dank, underground chamber, the only light from a hole in the iron trapdoor above his head.

When Rowdy comes to the barracks to ask the boys to take part in a POW concert, Curley (Mark Priestley) cooks up a real showstopper. Backed up by Tom on piano, he and Gordon sing Side by Side, portraying Nakamura and Aso as a master and his dog. While the performance brings the house down, Aso is outraged, recognising he and Nakamura have been made fools of.

Aso doesn’t have to wait long for revenge—a few weeks later catching Curley stealing from the warehouse. He interrogates a terrified Curley and asks him to reveal the identity of "The Secret Nine". After threatening to shoot Curley, he throws him into the Hole, where he is left to rot.

Alone in the dark, Curley struggles to remain sane, surviving on whatever the guards choose to throw down to him. As the weeks go by, the rest of the Nine are desperate to contact Curley in some way to keep him alive. They devise a plan to distract the guards and manage to drop a comic drawn by Tom into the hole, smeared with strawberry jam. After six weeks, Aso opens the trap door. Almost blinded by the light, Curley begins to crawl towards his mates, laughing… a survivor.

With: Nicholas Hope as Guillaume, Gotaro Tsunashima as Lieutenant Aso, Shingo Misawa as Colonel Nakamura, Marie Armstrong as Older Vi, Rebecca Murphy as Young Vi, Sean Taylor as Colnel Smythe, William Upjohn as CSM Bryson, Joel McIlroy as Bertie Jenkins, Dean Atkinson as Bernie, Alan Morris as James, Andrew Mead as Captain Lovegrove, Alan Cinis as Joe, Ruth Caro as Rose, Nathan Sprake as Young Curley, Judy Madden as Mrs Cullen, Matilda Grimm as Baby Jean, Christopher Horsey as Shadow Dancer, Hugh Cann, Ian Swallow and Tony Butler as The Four Majors, Ted Nuss, James Perry, Steve Carlin as Jake Levy as Band, Ichiro Harada as Guard, Masa Yamaguchi as Guard, Lawrence Puang as Guard, Victor Ng as Guard, Scott Youll as Guard

Eddie’s Birthday

Stephen Curry

Episode 5
November 11, 2001
Written by John Doyle
Directed by Kate Woods

As he prepares to celebrate his 78th birthday, Old Eddie (Bill Kerr) finishes shaving, rubbing his cheek as he feels the old ache in his jaw. He is visited by his grandson Todd and girlfriend Lisa bearing Eddie’s birthday present—an electric toothbrush.

Into their fourth year of captivity in Changi, young Eddie (Stephen Curry) and his mates are on work detail in the vegetable garden, when he begins to develop a nagging toothache.

General Takanka’s morale officer, Captain Shindo, visits the camp to improve productivity and raise the morale of the Japanese soldiers. Criticising Nakamura and Aso for being too lenient on the prisoners, Shindo begins his own violent form of discipline. He takes a particular dislike to Eddie beating him severely and often. The beatings compound Eddie’s nagging toothache, which has now turned into the excruciating pain of an impacted wisdom tooth. Barely able to stand, let alone work in the garden, Eddie’s mates come to his rescue, pleading to take on his work so he can lie down.

Eddie’s tooth gets infected and he becomes dangerously ill. Rowdy is forced to operate without any anaesthetic, removing the tooth. Barely able to talk, Eddie asks the boys to shave him, as it’s his birthday.

When Shindo reveals to Nakamura the British have won at Rangoon, the Colonel accuses him of treachery and cowardness. Shindo, drunk on sake, walks to the prisoner’s barracks where he sees the boys singing Happy Birthday to Eddie. He forces them outside and begins to hit them, laying into Eddie with all his might. Rowdy demands the Captain stop—Shindo responds in a manner that no one expects.

With: Ishihara Tatsumi as Captain Shindo, Gotaro Tsunashima as Lieutenant Aso, Shingo Misawa as Colonel Nakamura, Simon Maiden as Todd, Nadine Garner as Lisa, Barbara Morton as Brenda, Anne Louise Lambert as Mary, John Sheerin as Clarrie, Simon Chilvers as Father Keogh, Sean Taylor as Colonel Smythe, William Upjohn as CSM Bryson, Ian Bolt as Father Paul, Joel McIlroy as Bertie Jenkins, Alan Morris as James, Bevan Wilson as Dr Russell, Owen McKenna as Leo, Bill Haydon as Danny, Ichiro Harada as Guard, Masa Yamaguchi as Guard, Lawrence Puang as Guard, Scott Youll as Guard

Pacifying the Angels

Matthew Whittet

Episode 6
November 18, 2001 (finale)
Written by John Doyle
Directed by Kate Woods

For Old Tom (Desmond Kelly), the prospect of the forthcoming reunion is a mixed blessing: sitting at his beloved piano, waiting for his friends to arrive, he is struck again by trepidation. He loves seeing his old mates, but hates where they take him—back to the last night of the war.

Young Tom (Matthew Whittet) is terrified. The Japanese have lost the war, but refuse to acknowledge it. Lieutenant Aso calls all the POWs into the compound. He tells them Japan has won the war and in the morning all prisoners will be shot. The men are then herded back to their barracks, while the Japanese try to organise a quick and inglorious retreat.

As night falls, panic erupts. The camp is filled with light as the Japanese begin burning files and other material. Some men break ranks and try to escape—many are shot. Eddie, Curley, David, Gordon, Bill and Tom stay in their barracks, watching the carnage.

While the others debate whether to make a run for it or not, Tom, in a daze, walks out of the barracks coming face to face with a Japanese guard. He is saved by two British POW’s but remains frozen, absolutely terrified as bullets fly around him. Having realised Tom is missing, David runs across the compound and picks up Tom, who is in total shock.

As daylight comes, the remaining POWs tentatively move outside to a deserted battlefield. The Japanese have gone: the war is over and the Secret Nine have survived.

At the RSL, Tom’s five best mates are gathered around him at the piano, singing the songs of old. They drink to all that has gone before them and to the men they saw die. They toast their friendship and what they know will be the last reunion of The Secret Nine.

With: Nicholas Hope as Guillaume, Gotaro Tsunashima as Lieutenant Aso, Judi Farr as Older Joyce, Jessamy Dyer as Young Molly, Eliza Logan as Young Joyce, Shingo Misawa as Colonel Nakamura, Sean Taylor as Colonel Smythe, Dean Atkinson as Bernie, Alan Morris as James, William Upjohn as CSM Bryson, Peter Carroll as Dr Hurrell, Christopher Baker as Loft Morgan, Joel McIlroy as Bertie Jenkins, Ian Bolt as Father Paul, Joon Joseph Park as Kim Sun, Ned Manning as John, Veronica Neave as Martha, Edmund Cinis as Young Tom, Alan McFadden as Alan, Vanessa Cruise as Dianne, Clive Marriott as Eric, Kendal Jones as Peoples Home Nurse, Jennifer Templeton as Old Molly, Ichiro Harada as Guard, Masa Yamaguchi as Guard, Lawrence Puang as Guard, Yutaka Izumihara as Guard, Douglas Fong as Guard, Peter Gow as Guard, Scott Youll as Guard; Dean Caufield and Gavin Wild: Stunts

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