Tony Robinson brings his inquisitive approach to storytelling to the streets as he takes a stroll down memory lane in Australia’s capital cities. In each episode we find a different postcode laden with stories. They’re all established walks that tourists and locals frequently do, but Tony digs deeper to draw out the drama of the past. He’ll roam through the laneways; divulging the tales of crimes; recounting acts of bravery; and notable showdowns that shaped the character of the area.
Part 1: Adelaide
City of Churches it may be but Adelaide has always been a strange mix of progressive politics and small town parochialism. From the infamous Bodyline series in the battle for the Ashes to the mass hysteria caused by a seers prediction of a tidal wave at Glenelg, Adelaide has had its share of drama too.
Part 2: Fremantle
The major port of Australias remote west coast, Fremantle began life as a place of punishment. The magnificently preserved sandstone prison conceals a thousand stories. But the ethnically diverse port city has since been the site of some of Australias greatest triumphs… and disappointments.
Part 3: Melbourne
The real story of Melbourne isnt found in the grand tree-lined boulevards or boomtown architecture. Its hidden down the lanes and alleyways. Utopian idealists, internationally celebrated art, class-war dressed up as teen-rebellion, youll find it all in The Lanes.
Part 4: Hobart
You need only scratch the surface to find evidence of Hobarts convict past – but dig a little deeper and even more fascinating history is revealed. From playing tennis with Errol Flynn to the original wax-cylinder voice recordings of “the last Tasmanian aboriginal”, Hobart has it all.
Part 5: Woolloomooloo
Tucked around a corner from the iconic sights of Sydney is a forgotten pocket-handkerchief sized suburb that contains hidden history from every era since settlement. From the Razor gangs of the 1930s to the Heritage Battles of the 1960s, Woolloomooloo has seen it all.
Part 6: Bendigo
It’s common knowledge that Bendigo was one of the biggest gold finds in history. Not everyone knows the city now sits atop a complex honeycomb of shafts and tunnels; its literally built on rivers of gold. Her grand hotels and theatres have played host to international celebrities… and some shady characters too.
Part 7: Newcastle
Taking its name from the English coastal mining town, Australias Newcastle also has a reputation for toughness and heavy toil that began when the convicts were first dropped there to collect coal from the beaches. But its also a town with a unique identity, a rich maritime history and more than its share of eccentric characters.
Part 8: Carlton
Before it was a suburb it was a cemetery to the original Port Phillip settlement. Its been known as the headquarters of generations of crime bosses; as the epicentre to a creative outpouring in the 60s and 70s that lead to the emergence of a uniquely Australian film and theatre culture. Carlton has grown into a suburb of incredible diversity. Its also home to Australias first world heritage listed building, the remarkable Exhibition Building.
Part 9: Brisbane
In 1941 sleepy tropical Brisbane found itself the nerve centre for the Pacific War effort, playing host to 100,000 US military personnel. The former convict colony found itself changing quickly, and the pace of progress has barely slowed since then. Yet politically Queensland is the most conservative state in Australia, even playing host to a white South African rugby team at the height of the apartheid era in the face of international condemnation.
Part 10: St Kilda
Once a seaside retreat for 19 Century yuppies escaping “Smell-bourne”, later a suburb completely defined by the heroin addicts who flocked there. St Kilda has endured a constant cycle of boom and bust – even carrying the label “Rock Capital of the World” for a few heady years in the 1980s. Today it is again one of Melbournes most desired addresses.