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Australian TV

Boney (Channel 7 1972-1973 with James Laurenson and Kate Fitzpatrick)



Australia / Channel 7 – Fauna / 26×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 27 July 1972 – 30 April 1973

Books: Arthur Upfield / Script Editor: Eric Paice / Producer: John McCallum / Executive Producers: Bob Austin, Lee Robinson

Crime drama series. The cases of Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, part aboriginal, part white carrying out his investigations throughout Australia. The show created a bit of a stir through its use of blacking up the lead actor to play the half-caste Boney.

In TV Week 14 August 1971 James Laurenson said of the problems that him (as a white man) playing Boney may cause “Boney is pretty fair, with blue eyes, He’s travelled a lot and had a university education, white people in the city rarely pick him as having aboriginal blood, but when he is in the bush the Aboriginals and the bushmen can pick him.”

Laurenson won a Logie for his performance in the episode Boney Meets the Daybreak Killer. Frank Hardy also won a Logie for best scriptwriter. Before filming Laurenson knew little about the Boney novels and had never even seen the Outback.

Transmission Dates: Season One: 27 July – 9 November 1972 / Season Two: 22 January – 30 April 1973

JAMES LAURENSON as Detective Inspector Napoleon ‘Boney’ Bonaparte
KATE FITZPATRICK as Constable Alice McGorr (season 2)