Like ‘Blue Murder’, this is one of the few Australian mini-series I’ve ever found worth watching. Also, like ‘Blue Murder’, I feel that It’s quality is so high that it even eclipses a lot of Australian films.
‘Changi’ tells the story of 6 Aussie WWII P.O.W.s who spent most of the war in the eponymous Japanese prison camp. Each of the 6 episodes tells the story of one of the P.O.W.s , starting from their viewpoint in the present as each one of them prepares for their upcoming reunion, and flashing back to a linked event back in Changi.
It’s not as complex as it might sound, owing mainly to writer John Doyle’s (better known to most as ‘H.G. and Roy’s Roy Slaven) talent for structure, and each episode alternates between the humourous and dramatic to great effect. Over the course of the 6 episodes we get more than a feel for each of the main characters, as well as various supporting characters such as the mad dutchman Guillaume (Nicholas Hope – Bad Boy Bubby himself!), the ironically named Australian captain ‘Rowdy’, and the Japanese lieutenant Aso (or Arsehole, as the prisoners prefer to call him).
Numerous familiar faces pop up throughout, and there’s not a bad actor amongst them. It wouldn’t be fair to call Changi ‘light-hearted’, considering the depth it affords it’s characters and their various plights, but it would be a great injustice for anyone to write this off as ‘another war drama’. A very natural (Australian) humour runs through the entire series, and you’ll be hard-pressed not to laugh at at least one time or another.