UK writer explains lack of Indigenous characters in Banished

"Within seven episodes and with a story arc of two weeks there wasn't time to tell that story too in the way it deserved."


UK writer Jimmy McGovern has written an article in Fairfax elaborating on the reasons why there are no Indigenous characters depicted in BBC’s Banished, which premieres next Thursday on BBC First.

Here is an excerpt:

I have had the pleasure of working with a number of Indigenous writers over the years, including as story editor on Redfern Now, and I know how important their story is and how important it is to get the portrayal of Indigenous Australians right.

In the drama the action takes place during the first weeks of settlement before the characters have had any direct interaction with the Indigenous people. I chose not to include any Aboriginal characters as I was clear that story needed to be told properly, and that Indigenous people shouldn’t be included in a tokenistic way as simply background characters.

Within seven episodes and with a story arc of two weeks there wasn’t time to tell that story too in the way it deserved, however I was clear that any second series would tell the Aboriginal experience as the settlers expanded beyond the confines of the camp.

Sadly that isn’t going to happen – simply because BBC Two has cancelled the series.

6 Responses

  1. I’ve seen Banished and it’s a wonderful series, great acting, dramatic story and involving characters. I can’t believe the BBC aren’t doing a second series, apparently it rated it socks off in the UK, why wouldn’t they do another?

  2. Interesting that the BBC have cancelled Banished. It was one of BBC2’s highest ratings shows of recent years, so they can’t have expected better numbers. The drop in the $AUD would lower the cost of the location shooting for S2.

    Surely it has nothing to do with McGovern needing to convince the Twitterverse that he isn’t some White Redneck Racist?

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