- While all the principal characters were based on real people, many, if not most, of them would have been unfamiliar to the average viewer, let alone people like me with a smidgin of knowledge about the era. For example Robert Menzies was otherwise well played by Bille Brown, an actor who looked nothing like him. Why couldn't each character have been introduced with a caption explaining who they were?
- Was everyone in high places, even political adversaries, on first name terms with each other in the 1940s? In my recollection that degree of familiarity (or artificiality) didn't come into common use until the late 60s - early 70s.
- Language. Was "step up to the plate" (meaning to assume responsibility) in common - or even uncommon - Australian use in the 1940s? What not "go into bat for" which has both cricket and baseball connotations?
- Terminology. The "Japanese Imperial Army"(shown in a caption near the end credits) should be "Imperial Japanese Army".
He makes some good points:
Curtin was a wartime leader who had no stomach for war. Neither by temperament nor knowledge or experience could he handle the business of how best to use armed men to win a war. He solved this problem by handing the control of Australia's forces to American Douglas MacArthur, the supreme commander of the Southwest Pacific.
We admire Curtin for keeping to the task that he knew he was not suited for. This becomes the drama rather than the old story of the good Curtin and the bad Menzies.
It is an oddity that Labor's best prime minister could remain in the job only because he was propped up by his wife, his daughter, Ben Chifley and Menzies.
McInnes plays John Curtin magnificently. The other actors do not resemble their subjects closely. McInnes has Curtin's body: the tormented face and limbs in private, and the thrusting energy in public. It is that contrast that makes Curtin so fascinating, even if he was not our best prime minister.W