The life and death drama of Banished

Ryan Corr stars as Corporal Matthew Macdonald in the TV series Banished.
Ryan Corr stars as Corporal Matthew Macdonald in the TV series Banished. Mark Rogers

AUSTRALIA is now the "lucky country" but it's doubtful the early convict settlers felt lucky to be sent here.

The challenges they and their overseers faced provide plenty of drama in the BBC's new mini-series.

Banished is the BBC's first Australian co-production and follows the struggles of the convict men and women and those who governed them in the first two weeks following the landing of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove.

"It throws up these ideas of what it would have been like to be in that time," actor Ryan Corr tells APN.

"When there's a social ladder and hierarchy, rank, particularly for my character, can dictate what you feel personally."

Corr plays Corporal Matthew Macdonald, who must enforce Governor Arthur Phillip's rules even if he doesn't agree with them.

"Your job and who you were within that society, this new system, was probably more important to my character than his love and what he wanted," he says.

Ryan Corr and Joanna Vanderham in a scene from Banished.
Ryan Corr and Joanna Vanderham in a scene from Banished. Mark Rogers

"A lot of the convict women during that time were essentially owned by the soldiers. Convict men and women didn't have a right to each other unless they were married."

The seven-part drama was the highest rating show of its timeslot when it aired in the UK earlier this year.

"A lot of that has to do with (writer/creator) Jimmy McGovern," Corr says.

"He writes these characters who are so fully-fledged and they reveal themselves in their dialogue so they don't need this huge set-up.

"As an actor when you're mining a script, and looking over episode to episode, and those things start to reveal themselves to you, it means you're on to someone who really knows what they're doing."

The mini-series also stars David Wenham, MyAnna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey.

Banished premieres tonight at 8.30pm on BBC First.

Topics:  bbc bbc first foxtel

Careers fair opens new options for Rocky students

rockhampton State High School students Gemma Roug, Molly Hartley and Tahlia Kiraly at the school's inaugural careers fair.

GALLERY: Students enjoy The Morning Bulletin's photo booth

Rocky court rejects line from drink driver 4 times limit

Jordan David Coles pleaded guilty in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on February 19 to one count of drink driving for when he was caught with a blood alcohol content of 0.195.

HE was busted drink driving twice in six months

premium_icon Revealed: Full list of Rocky region's top ranking schools

Rockhampton State High School principal Kirsten Dwyer.

Local underdog school takes out Rocky's best OP school ranking

Local Partners

Humiliating aftermath of affair

AS THE the damage is assessed following Dean and Davina’s affair on MAFS, the most humiliating detail is finally uncovered.

Heartbreaking way Shannon Noll lost Idol fortune

Shannon Noll in I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here!

NOLL spent post-Idol money, but not in typical rock star fashion.

Holtznagel: ‘I had to ID Charlotte Dawson’s body’

Simone Holtznagel broke down as she spoke out about one of her “best friends” and Australia’s Next Top Model mentor Charlotte Dawson.

Simone Holtznagel speaks out about Charlotte Dawson

Elsa Pataky turns snake wrangler

Elsa Pataky isn’t afraid of snakes. Picture: Supplied

Chris Hemsworth’s wife wrangles snake inside Byron Bay home.

Jilted MAFS spouses break silence

MAFS contestants Tracey and Dean break their silence.

Tracey and Ryan break silence after affair is exposed.

Kate Middleton’s BAFTAs dress slammed

Stars don black in again to show solidarity with the #MeToo and Time's up campaigns...

Date set for Gold Coast Logies

Samuel Johnson with the Best Actor award at the 2018 Logies. Picture: AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy

Nine has finally announced the date for 2018 awards.