Tale to get your teeth into

VAN DIEMEN’S LAND (High Fliers, cert 15, £12.99)

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Books & Dvds -

THIS is the grisly story of Aus­tralia’s most no­to­ri­ous con­vict, Alexan­der Pearce (Os­car Red­ding) and his es­cape into the sav­age ter­rain of the ti­tle, known to­day as Tas­ma­nia. Van Diemen’s Land was a feared and dreaded pe­nal set­tle­ment in the most un­ex­plored re­gion of the Bri­tish Em­pire where the pun­ish­ment cen­tre at Macquarie Har­bour was named Hell’s Gates by its pris­on­ers and fa­mously boasted a sign warn­ing “Aban­don all hope ye who en­ter here.” But in 1822 a group of eight con­victs made a dar­ing es­cape, only to face the per­ils of the wilder­ness with no sup­plies. Starv­ing, the strong­est be­gan to con­sider can­ni­bal­ism! It’s a chill­ing, mag­nif­i­cently filmed drama of sur­vival.

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