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Old 02-10-2019, 06:50 PM
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"Glitch", an Australian TV series on Netflix


I recently began watching this program and have really enjoyed it. In a nutshell, the story is about a group of people who have mysteriously risen from the local small-town cemetery. I'm partway through the first season. So far, no one knows why these people climbed out of their graves. They come from different eras and social strata. The oldest is the town's founder, who died in the 1840s, if I remember correctly. There is the woman who was a religious fundamentalist and died in a car accident in 1968. Another is a seventeen year old woman who was murdered in 1988. There is also a veteran of The Great War who appears to have died upon returning home from Europe. There is a guy who seems to be some sort of murderer, but we don't know for sure. Finally there is the young wife who died in 2013 from breast cancer. The series is set in 2015.

Anyway, I am quite enjoying this program so far, though I have some questions.
  1. There is a teenager (conventionally alive) boy whom the nineteenth century man calls a "native". At one point, he uses some word and the boy tells him never to use that word referring to him again. Is there some sort of pejorative used in Australia that would be beyond the pale today? I'm thinking of something like "the N-word" here in the USA.
  2. The small town in the story is Yoorana, Victoria. Does this town exist? I can find a Yoorana in NSW, but not Victoria. Is there any significance to the name "Yoorana"? What does this word mean?
  3. What is the proper, modern word for pre-European Australians? Are they a historically marginalized minority in Australia? Today, or in the past, do they tend to mingle (as in make babies) with Europeans? Are there many people who are both white and "native"?
  4. A central character is the town's police officer -- and husband of the cancer woman. He wears a uniform that indicates he is with the Victoria State Police, but he seems to be in charge of Yoorana. We've met one other local cop, but both seem to be supervised by a sergeant from another town. The sergeant, Vic, wears the same uniform but has more stripes on his epaulets. Are police departments organized on the state level to do local police work -- minor crimes, traffic tickets, barking dog disturbances, etc.? Why are the local cops supervised by someone who lives in another town?
  5. The nineteenth century guy really takes me out of the story. If someone moved suddenly from 1840s to the 21st century, I doubt he would be able to function very well. Even clothes made with modern fabrics and fasteners would be a mystery. Electric lights, cars and trucks, instant communication devices would all be simply magical. I think a nineteenth century person would be paralyzed with fear when confronted with ordinary modern objects. What do y'all think?

Anyway, I recommend the show. I seem to be on a bit of an Australia kick as I have recently completed Tidelands.

One day, I hope to visit Down Under. Unfortunately, the airline tickets from here are really expensive. Maybe someday.
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Old 02-10-2019, 07:49 PM
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You've found yourself a good little show here. Even the ending is not too bad (frequently a problem in supernatural mysteries).

To answer the questions

1. I can't remember what word he used, but there are a slew of racist terms for Aboriginal people that were common in the past but unacceptable today.

2. It's not a real town. I don't think there is any significance to the name, but it is a very typical sounding name for a country town.

3. Getting into a can of worms here (and I hope I don't make a mess of it). I usually call them Aboriginal people, but Indigenous Australians is probably the most modern term. Yes, extremely marginalised. In the past, they were seen as second-class citizens, maybe barely human. The women were often raped or just had liaisons with white men, but the children weren't accepted into white society. During the 20th century, there was a government policy to collect mixed race children and put them in homes, where they could learn to be servants or laborers (these children are sometimes called the Stolen Generation), as a way of integrating them into civilized society. Before that, they were most often left with their mother's family. There are a lot of 'mixed' Aboriginal people (and Torres Strait Islander, the other Indigenous group) now, and a lot of different ways of being Aboriginal. More traditional Aboriginal communities exist in remote areas, and there are also Aboriginal people living in cities and working in offices, and everything in between. But Indigenous Australians are only about 3% of the population.

4. The police are organised along State lines. The towns are small, and far apart, so they might only have 1 police officer, or even 1 between several towns. The supervising officer would be stationed in a larger town not too far away.

5. I agree with you that they glossed over a lot of all that. But I also think Paddy is pretty focussed on his goals, and just ignores everything that doesn't make sense to him. It would have been fun if they put a few more lines in about him adjusting to the modern world, like comments on the clothes or whatever.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:13 PM
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Not familiar with the show, but searching for "call" in the transcript of the first episode, you very likely mean a scene were someone is called "Abo."
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:19 PM
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1: Could be Abo, this was common when I was growing up but is like the N work today.

4: We have State Police and then Federal Police at a simple level, much like our court system. None of the positions are elected.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:14 PM
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Thanks for the link to that transcript. That was helpful. Yes, the offensive word was "Abo", which I assume is a disrespectful abbreviation for Aboriginal.

This relationship still interests me. Beaux seems to be from a working-class Aboriginal family. Sometime (before his death in 1864) Paddy had relations with an Aboriginal woman. He describes her quite fondly and appears to have been in love with her. Would this have been common? Paddy was mayor of the town. I gather that that might not have the cachet of mayor of a larger town, but he would have been the upper-crust of the community, such as it was. Would he have been able to publicly acknowledge his Aboriginal wife and progeny?

What is Dr. McKellar's role in the town? Is she a public employee? Why is her office called "the surgery"? Do people call on her there for just ordinary medical needs, but then go to the larger hospital in another town for more serious issues?

All I know of European colonization of Australia is that it was a penal colony. Given that, I would imagine that many of the original European inhabitants would be somewhat unsavory characters. Paddy, according to his statue, was born in Ireland. Is it likely that he was a criminal exiled to Australia? How does being settled by exiles affect modern Australian life? Or does it? (I ask because the USA was settled in part by Puritans. We still see the repressed Puritan ethic in many aspects of modern life and politics.) Seems like there would not be a lot of affection for the Motherland among Australians, yet they participated heavily in The Great War. Why didn't Australia tell the embattled Brits to just pound sand?

In Tidelands, there was a scene in which Tidelanders were gunned down. I got the impression that this sort of murder was common at some point in Australian history -- that the Tidelanders were being gunned down much like Aboriginals were?
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by sisu View Post

4: We have State Police and then Federal Police at a simple level, much like our court system. None of the positions are elected.
So municipalities don't have their own police departments? If you were to pick up the phone right now and call for help, who is going to show up at your door? Is he/she going to be someone from your community or might he be dispatched from some other place?
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:21 PM
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[*]The nineteenth century guy really takes me out of the story. If someone moved suddenly from 1840s to the 21st century, I doubt he would be able to function very well. Even clothes made with modern fabrics and fasteners would be a mystery. Electric lights, cars and trucks, instant communication devices would all be simply magical. I think a nineteenth century person would be paralyzed with fear when confronted with ordinary modern objects. What do y'all think?
Australia only started as "Australia" around 1790. Either he or his parents would have been migrants of one sort or another. They came from a civilized country to live somewhere in outer space. After that, I don't think 150 years would be a bigger step. In the 1840's, even native-born 'colonial' Australians still thought that they were living in a foreign country.

Last edited by Melbourne; 02-10-2019 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:29 PM
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If I drive north, south or west for 400 km the local police live in the local community but have the same uniform, are trained in the same Police Academy and ultimately are responsible to the same Commissioner in some distant city.
You generally don't have the situation like in the US were the local cops are all working to different rules and if they do the wrong thing the local Commissioners knows them personally and so stands by his team whatever they have done.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:49 PM
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So municipalities don't have their own police departments? If you were to pick up the phone right now and call for help, who is going to show up at your door? Is he/she going to be someone from your community or might he be dispatched from some other place?
It would be from the closest cop shop, so yes local unless there was a huge incident then Special Ops etc may be called in from far away but first responders are always fairly local. My closest station is about 10 minutes away, 5 if they floor it.

OH we do have specialised police as well like transit police and customs etc.
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Last edited by sisu; 02-10-2019 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:55 PM
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All I know of European colonization of Australia is that it was a penal colony. Given that, I would imagine that many of the original European inhabitants would be somewhat unsavory characters. Paddy, according to his statue, was born in Ireland. Is it likely that he was a criminal exiled to Australia? How does being settled by exiles affect modern Australian life? Or does it? (I ask because the USA was settled in part by Puritans. We still see the repressed Puritan ethic in many aspects of modern life and politics.) Seems like there would not be a lot of affection for the Motherland among Australians, yet they participated heavily in The Great
Couple of questions here:

Well Aussies as a generalisation are pretty laid back and suspicious of authority, have a look at the Mel Gibson move Gallipoli to get a bit of an overview. We are very suspicious of people getting above their station and giving everyone a far go.

This is in part to our convict heritage IMO.

We have remained loyal to the crown and back in the day we were British, we never saw the need to go to war with them and claim our Independence. We still sang God Save the Queen at school assembly in the 1970's.
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:49 AM
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...

What is Dr. McKellar's role in the town? Is she a public employee? Why is her office called "the surgery"? Do people call on her there for just ordinary medical needs, but then go to the larger hospital in another town for more serious issues?

All I know of European colonization of Australia is that it was a penal colony. Given that, I would imagine that many of the original European inhabitants would be somewhat unsavory characters. Paddy, according to his statue, was born in Ireland. Is it likely that he was a criminal exiled to Australia? How does being settled by exiles affect modern Australian life? Or does it? (I ask because the USA was settled in part by Puritans. We still see the repressed Puritan ethic in many aspects of modern life and politics.) Seems like there would not be a lot of affection for the Motherland among Australians, yet they participated heavily in The Great War. Why didn't Australia tell the embattled Brits to just pound sand?

In Tidelands, there was a scene in which Tidelanders were gunned down. I got the impression that this sort of murder was common at some point in Australian history -- that the Tidelanders were being gunned down much like Aboriginals were?
In some sort of order, the local doctor seems to be attached to a public clinic. Could be a government employee, but with a personal practise on the side. 'Surgery' is the general term for a doctors clinic. Following the British model doctors in this sort of set-up might be general practitioners, but also get training in routine surgical operation and other medical specialisations. [as an aside, in Australia we don't use the Brit term 'surgery' meaning a politician's local community consultation meetings].

Irish emigration was pretty big to Australia in the 19th century. Mixture of Irish people from Ireland or who had emigrated to Britain committing civil crime and transported as convicts, some politicals including key members of Young Ireland, later lots of free immigration for economic reasons.

Yes, lots of massacres as the pastoral and mining frontiers expanded. Generally suppressed at the time, but often with tacit support of local big-wigs and even people in government. Still an uncomfortable truth many unwilling to accept. But as others have said, Aboriginal people survived and some married into white society, but often conveniently this wasn't told to later generations, so family historians are finding lots of little surprises.

Oh, and while people call themselves Aboriginal or indigenous or increasingly First Nations people, they also use regional terms. Around Sydney and where Glitch is set the term is Koori, but elsewhere Murri, Noongar, Palawa etc.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:01 AM
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The show goes into more detail about Paddy's relationships in later episodes. He is not married to the Aboriginal woman though.

The doctor has her own practice in the town. It's a small town, only big enough for one doctor. She can refer people to the hospital in a bigger town if necessary. A surgery is just a name for a doctor's office. She gets paid in theory by her patients, except Australians are all covered by Medicare, which means you can claim a set amount as a refund from the government for doctor's visits. You can sign the refund over to the doctor, so the doctor is effectively being paid by the government, even though she is not a public employee.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:41 PM
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I don't think it would take that long for Paddy to adjust to the modern world. I mean, things would be pretty scary initially, obviously. But that's not so far back in time that an average person would have much trouble understanding that electric lights and cars and whatnot were merely technological advancements as opposed to witchcraft. And Paddy seems particularly adaptable. Stick a cell phone in his hand, explain how it works, and he's going to be a natural in no time.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:23 PM
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I love this show, cannot wait for Season 3 to show up on Netflix. It was weird that I didn't recognize any single actor from anything else, and then Long John Silver shows up in Season 2.

(Paddy was in Peaky Blinders, which I had not seen, and the doctor played Mon Mothma, but I didn't recognize her).
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:39 AM
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Great show--I am anxiously awaiting season 3 on Netflix. That season 2 finale was kinda crazy.
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Old 02-14-2019, 09:50 PM
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How many seasons does this series have? Only two are currently on Netflix.
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:55 PM
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Bumping this to mention that season 3 is on Netflix now. I've already watched all six episodes. I'll leave any spoilers to others (for now anyway).
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:00 PM
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I just finished season 3. I enjoyed it, though I have read some reviews online from other fans who didn't like the direction it took.

The story does make some major swerves early on, so that some 'good' characters become 'bad' and vice versa. But then it eventually kind of flips the whole perspective of what is right and wrong. In the end, many mysteries are left unanswered, and that is probably for the best, but the main characters' choices and destinies are clear.

I liked the ending--and that it was a definitive ending. I am also sad that it is over.
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