Sara Dane is a 1982 Australian television miniseries about a woman transported from England to Australia for a crime she did not commit.[2]

Sara Dane
Based onnovel by Catherine Gaskin
Written byAlan Seymour
Directed byGary Conway
Rod Hardy
StarringJuliet Jordan
Harold Hopkins
Brenton Whittle
Ron Parry
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes2
ProducersJock Blair
John Barningham
CinematographyErnie Clark
EditorPhilip Reid
Running time248 mins
Budget$1.5 million[1]
Original networkNetwork Ten
Original release10 June 1982 (1982-06-10)

Original novelEdit

The mini-series was based on the best-selling 1954 novel of the same name by Catherine Gaskin. Gaskin had spent two years researching the book, which was inspired by the true story of Mary Reibey, a woman convict who married an officer while travelling to Australia, went on to become a successful businesswoman in her own right, and whose image has been featured since 1994 on the Australian $20 note.[3]

The novel was Gaskin's most successful, selling over two million copies.[4] Film rights were sold and Gaskin announced in 1955 that a movie version would be made at Elstree Studios the following year, but this did not occur.[5]


In 1980 it was announced the South Australian Film Corporation would make a mini-series of the novel for Network Ten, possibly starring Judy Davis and Sam Neill.[6] Eventually Juliet Jordan was cast.[7]

Gaskin later said that Juliet was "not at all what I expected in Sara... but I'm more than delighted Juliet was cast... My young Sara was supposed to be a very strong character. You would have had to have been, to have survived and succeeded in the early days of Australia. If anything, the television Sara is even stronger than the novel's leading character in the end."[8]


A soundtrack was released in 1982 by Cherry Pie.


Chart (1982) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[9] 86


  1. ^ "For 'Taurus Rising', success is in the stars". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 11 August 1982. p. 26. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  2. ^ Ed. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p231
  3. ^ "BOOKS AND AUTHORS". The Advertiser. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 11 September 1954. p. 11. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  4. ^ Obituary of Catherine Gaskin at The Age accessed 14 July 2013
  5. ^ "Writing is just a job to noted author". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 5 October 1955. p. 20. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  6. ^ "SOAPIE STAR'S ALL BOOKED UP". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 30 July 1980. p. 21 Supplement: FREE Your TV Magazine. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  7. ^ "'Sara Dane' opened new horizons for me". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 28 July 1982. p. 33. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Catherine Gaski[?]eets "Sara Dane"". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 5 May 1982. p. 8. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 283. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.

External linksEdit