Operation Buffalo: episode guide

1.01 | 1.02 | 1.03 | 1.04 | 1.05 | 1.06

Episode 1

Sun, May 31, 2020
555,000 viewers (10th)
Writer: Peter Duncan
Director: Peter Duncan

Inspired by true events, Operation Buffalo shines a spotlight on a controversial time in Australia’s modern history, the 1950s British nuclear testing in outback South Australia.

There is no more lethal cocktail than a combination of blind faith and paranoia. And it seems in 1956, everyone was drinking it. It’s the height of the Cold War. The Menzies Government has welcomed British atomic bomb testing at remote, ‘uninhabited’ Maralinga, in outback South Australia.

Charged with keeping the base functioning smoothly is Major Leo Carmichael (Leslie), an Australian Army Engineer and WWII hero. But testing the most dangerous weapon in the world is no easy task for Leo with a Commanding Officer (Cromwell) who is not fit for purpose; a new meteorologist, Dr Eva Lloyd-George (De Gouw) who starts asking questions; and the Government and press watching his every move. And as it turns out, the land of Maralinga may not be so uninhabited after all, when Leo’s faced with the arrival of a family of Indigenous Australians, curious about the giant clouds that explode occasionally…


  • Ewen Leslie as Leo Carmichael
  • Jessica De Gouw as Eva Lloyd-George
  • James Cromwell as Cranky [General The Lord Crankford]
  • Tony Martin as Richard Wilcox MP
  • Bojana Novakovic as Molly
  • Harry Greenwood as Baxter
  • Alan Dukes as Philip Lachlan MP
  • Sam Parsonson as Hilly
  • Alexander Bertrand as Murphy
  • Lucy Velik [Lucy Honigman] as Yvonne
  • Kevin Maclsaac as Bernie
  • Brenden Lovett as Dr. Williams
  • Philip Quast as Professor Quentin Ratchett
  • Dean Gould as Driver
  • Christina Sankari as Lydia
  • Benedict Wall as Jones
  • Merrick Watts as Captain Jack Allen
  • Michael Denkha as Doug
  • Adrienne Pickering as Nurse Corinne Syddell
  • Lucy Rawley as Carmen
  • William Zappa as Sir Rupert Edgely
  • Julian Garner as St. John Moore
  • Martin Broome as Henskens
  • Wakarra Gondarra as Tom
  • Brandon Walters as Billy
  • John Gaden as Swanny
  • Matthew Backer as Dr. Myer
  • Frances Djulibing as Ruby
  • Shantae Barnes-Cowan as Peggy
  • Shaka Cook as Sam
  • Nicholas Hope as Dr. Breston
  • Sean O'Shea as Dr. Lewis
  • Mackenzie Fearnley as Dave
  • Roland Powell as News Narrator
  • George the Goat as Himself