Starring: Louise Caire Clark as Maggie Scott Rod Mullinar as Jack Taylor Liz Burch as Kate Wallace Michael Caton as Paddy Malone Priscilla Weems as Hannah Scott Martin Lewis as Sam Gus Mercurio as Ben Jones Jay Kerr as Con Madigan Peter Carroll as Charles Withers Nicole Kidman as Annie Shannon Presby as Matt Buckland
Special Features: None
Other Info: Fullscreen (1.33:1) Dolby Digital Mono Sound Running Time: 620 Minutes
Synopsis: This series originally aired in 1983-1984. The following is from the official description of the DVD:
“Journey back to the booming Australian gold rush of the 1860s, a wild Outback frontier, and the spirited pioneers who aim to tame it. Now for the first time on DVD, enjoy every episode of the trailblazing first season of Five Mile Creek, which chronicles a story of outlaw bushrangers, ruthless government troops, and the challenges of making an emerging stagecoach line a rip-roaring success. Filmed entirely on location — your whole family can experience the adventure, courage, and heart of these enterprising young settlers as they meet one incredible challenge after another.”
Five Mile Creek is not rated.
The Series: I had actually never heard of this series before the DVD arrived. Having viewed it, I’m not all that impressed. It’s essentially a Western set in Australia. (The ending credits even say it’s based on a Louis L’Amour book, but it’s not mentioned anywhere in the promotions for the DVD.) The only thing I can compare it to is Bonanza or Gunsmoke. Five Mile Creek has problems on several levels. First of all, the cast is only mediocre. In fact, the swaggering Texan in the series, Con Madigan, is kind of dopey looking. Then the stories are kind of silly and unrealistic. About the only thing it has going for it is a mystery about the fate of Maggie Scott’s husband which stretches through the first season. Finally, the production looks pretty cheesy at times. For example, in a scene where two characters are riding a stagecoach, you can tell they’re sitting still and someone’s shaking the coach. On the bright side, though, the Australian setting does throw in a unique twist that makes it a little more interesting than your standard western. But not by much.
The Extras: There are no bonus features included on this DVD.
The Bottom Line: I’d only recommend Five Mile Creek to fans of the series from when it first aired and fans of TV westerns.