The complete first series of the cult Australian detective drama Boney has been digitally restored and is now available to enjoy once again courtesy of a new online streaming service being operated by Bonaparte Films. The complete second series will be added to the site in due course.
Boney initially came to life in the novels written by Arthur Upfield who became fascinated by Aboriginal culture after working in the harsh Australian outback. Producer John McCallum, who gave us the legendary Skippy series, secured the television rights to the books and cast James Laurenson in the central role of Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte. He then commissioned Sven Libaek to compose and conduct a stunning soundtrack to accompany the series.
Boney was a half-caste Aboriginal detective whose native tracking skills and knowledge of tribal customs made him the ideal man to bring outback murderers and wrongdoers to justice. He was accepted by the Aboriginal population but could also move in white man’s circles with ease.
Despite Australian television still broadcasting in black and white during the early 1970s, this series was recorded on colour film and was shot on location in the desolate outback in order to maximise overseas sales.
The programme was enjoyed all over the world and was particularly popular in the UK and Germany. It was equally successful on home soil with James Laurenson receiving the 1972 Logie Award for Best Individual Acting Performance and the Penguin for Leading Drama Talent.
In this first series Boney has to find a cop killer, he investigates the murder of a white woman whose daughter is then abducted, and finds himself the intended victim of a ritual killing. Meanwhile a wrongly convicted Aboriginal boxer is released from prison and is intend on revenge, he vows to punish the real killer of his tribal brother. A rapist is on the run, and two young girls are brutally murdered.
Amongst the stellar guest cast in series one are Alfred Sandor (from The Young Doctors), Honor Blackman, Willie Fennell, Googie Withers, Reg Gorman (from The Sullivans), and Rowena Wallace (from Sons & Daughters).
James Laurenson now lives in the UK where he has recently appeared on television in Father Brown and Wolf Hall. You can revisit the adventures of Boney by clicking here.
Pictured Top: James Laurenson as Boney. Pictured Middle: The cover to the Boney sountrack LP and The cover of one of the Boney books. Pictured Bottom: Alfred Sandor who guest stars in episode 5, Boney and the Payback Killer.