Luke's Kingdom: episode guide

A Sort of Gentleman

Episode 1.01
UK: Wednesday, March 31, 1976
Written by Keith Raine
Directed by Hugh David

It's 1829, Jason Firbeck, a retired naval Leiutenant, recently widowed arrives with his family — Samuel, his elder son, Luke, his second son and Jassy his daughter — in NSW, where land granted by influential friends, supposedly awaits him. The family disembark into a strange world — red-coated soldiers, yellow-jacketed convicts, tanned peasants, and sprawling thriving Sydney town spread fanwise into a sundrenched hinterland.

Guest artists: Barry Hill, et al

The Land Lovers

Episode 1.02
UK: April 07, 1976
Written by John Dorsman
Directed by Ken Hannan

Jason Firbeck, shocked to discover land assigned to him is occupied by another, tries to sort out the legal aspects of ownership. Because of Jason's reluctance to seek land elsewhere, he comes into conflict with his strong-willed son, Luke.

Guest artists: Gavin Hamilton, Faye Donaldson, Gayle Spence, Robert Newman

The Bait

Episode 1.03
UK: April 14, 1976
Written by
Directed by

Luke has taken control of the family and has occupied land in the wilderness. The family have thus become 'squatters', illegal tenants of crown land, who because they are outside the limits of the colony, are outside the protection of the colony's laws. Lawlessness is rampant as Luke soon learns.

Guest artists: Faye Donaldson, Gayle Spence, Walter Pym, Brian Barrie, Graham Ware

The Man From Home

Episode 1.04
UK: April 21, 1976
Written by Robert Wales
Directed by Peter Hammond

The Firbecks have been squatters for nearly two years. The building of a timber homestead is finished and an area of land has been cleared. The arrival of an uninvited guest causes complications for Luke because of an association he builds up with Jassy.

Guest artists: Chris Haywood as Arthur Cope

And: Redmond Phillips as Faulkner, Peter Collingwood as Governor

A Man Worse Than Cormac

Episode 1.05
UK: April 28, 1976
Written by Brian Wright
Directed by Peter Weir

In squatters territory it is law of the strong that prevails and Cormac Doyle, an English-hating Irishman, sets his sights on occupying Luke's kingdom. Doyle knows that settlers living outside the colony have no more legal right to the land than he has. He is also surrounded by a rougish band of hangers-on.

Guest artists: John Cousins as Cormac Doyle, Terry Camilleri as Trigger, Sean Kramer as Bugg, Redmond Phillips as Faulkner

A Woman Waiting

Episode 1.06
UK: May 05, 1976
Written by Donald Bull
Directed by Peter Hammond

In New South Wales in the 1830s convicts were granted "Tickets to Leave" to find employment on their own account. However one mistake, the slightest misdemeanor, and the ticket could be withdrawn, condemning the convict to the walls and chains of prison life again. Jack Skelton, a young convict, has obtained a ticket and falls foul of the law in his attempts to escape and return to his wife in England.

Guest artists: David Baxter as Skelton, Redmond Phillips as Faulkner, Bill Hunter as Barratt, Bernadette Hughson as Katey

The Surveyor

Episode 1.07
UK: May 12, 1976
Written by Keith Raine
Directed by Gareth Davies

For Jassy, life as a housekeeper to her squatting family has become unbearable. Jason watches anxiously as with each day she grows more tired, more depressed, and more listless. With Luke and Samuel away, a visit by two soldiers provides a change of scene for Jassy, however one proves too hard for her to handle.

Guest artists: Alfred Bell as Lt. Elliott, John Ewart as Captain Hopkins

The King's Gentleman

Episode 1.08
UK: May 19, 1976
Written by John Dorsman
Directed by Peter Hammond

The Governor has set up a committee to inquire into squatting and the possible granting of Tenancy Rights to the squatters. The inquiry is being held at Government House, Parramatta. Jason Firbeck goes to the conference and takes Samuel with him to find a female servant. Neither Jason or Samuel could conceive the trouble they encounter.

Guest artists: Don Barkham as Corporal Bailey, Peter Collingwood as Governor, John Krummel as Major Harwood, Don Reid as Surgeon-General, Martin Vaughan as Connolly, Neva Carr-Glyn as Superintendant

And: Elisabeth Crosby as Jassy

The Hypocrites

Episode 1.09
UK: May 26, 1976
Written by John Dorsman
Directed by Hugh David

In common with all squatters, Luke is finding the aboriginals troublesome. His sheep are being speared and anger against the aboriginals is growing. To quell the growing unrest, the army sets up patrols. The trouble for the Firbecks is twofold because the leader of one of the patrols is the same army officer Jason and Samuel had trouble with in Sydney.

Guest artists: Don Barkham as Corporal Bailey, Justine Saunders as Aborigine GIrl

And: Elisabeth Crosby as Jassy

The Dam and the Damned

Episode 1.10
UK: June 02, 1976
Written by Elizabeth Kata
Directed by Peter Weir

It has not rained for four months. Sheep and cattle are dying and settlers are facing ruin. Luke, taking advantage of the dry state of the river bed, is struggling to build an immense dam. However his ambitious plan is plagued by tragedy.

Guest artists: Peter Sumner as Karl Walthausen, John Morris as Finch

With: Kate FItzpatrick as Emily, Michael Aitkens as Brash, David Gulpilil as Aborigine Boy, Stan Roach as Aborigine Elder

The Devil's Man

Episode 1.11
UK: June 09, 1976
Written by Tony Morphett
Directed by Hugh David

In Lieutenant Elliot's command is a veteran corporal about to retire from the army. His wife is dead. His daughter, Charity, has been raped by notorius bushranger Frankie Wells and is pregnant. The corporal marries her off to a lad, and waits for retirement so that he can track down Frankie Wells and kill him. Luke agrees to accompany him.

Guest artists: John Meillon as Corporal Morris, Jack Thompson as Frankie Wells, Katy Wild as Charity, Jeff Ashby as Kelly, Clive Marshall as Jedd, Jack Fegan as The Priest

And: Elisabeth Crosby as Jassy

An Enemy Too Many

Episode 1.12
UK: June 16, 1976
Written by Elizabeth Kata
Directed by Gareth Davies

Luke has shot a bushranger, leaving his pregnant lover swearing vengeance upon him. She sets as a price ownership of Luke's land. As Luke, a squatter, has no legal right to the land, she sets about obtaining deeds for the land and sending a party of roughnecks to occupy Luke's kingdom.

Guest artists: Katy Wild as Charity, Kevin Miles as Wilmot, Rilla Scott as Mrs Wilmot, Enid Lorimer as Nanny, Robert Brunning as Crowdy

And: Elisabeth Crosby as Jassy

The Prisoner

Episode 1.13
UK: June 23, 1976
Written by Tony Morphett
Directed by Ken Hannan and Hugh David

Luke's brooding restlessness is apparent to all who know him with, perhaps the exception of his family who are accustomed to ignoring his many moods. Perhaps life at Firbeck is now too settled, perhaps the family is cramping him, perhaps he is missing Jassy, his sister, now married to the jealous Lieutnant Elliot.

Guest artists: Anthony Wheeler as Nipper, Donald Crosby as Dr. Harty, Phillip Ross as Doggett

And: Elisabeth Crosby as Jassy