PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2002, 12:00am


Pearl, 11.50pm

This new, six-part drama series tells the story of six young Australian soldiers incarcerated in the infamous World War II prison camp Changi in Singapore. Over the 31/2 years that they are held there, Gordon, Curley, Eddie, Bill, David and Tom form a special friendship - a bond that could only be forged under such extremes of mental and physical torment. Though they lose almost everything important to them, they survive through the most unlikely means imaginable: laughter. Their ability to turn humour into a force as palpable as any weapon would bewilder and ultimately defeat their captors.

Each episode tells one of their stories, not just of their time together in the camp, but their life story. By pairing up some of Australia's finest young actors with industry veterans, we see these young soldiers as the old men they become, matured yet still defiant and, in different ways, forever affected by their wartime experience.

David Collins in his old age is a retired property developer. When he was a prisoner of the Japanese in Changi prison camp, he suffered a period of memory loss brought about by trauma. During this first episode, the older David pieces together what happened during this time and relates the story to his wife. This episode focuses on the early days of life in the camp, the Australians' first encounter with Lieutenant Aso and the realities of life as prisoners of war.