'Lady Tichborne farewells her son Roger, as his ship prepares to sail for South America.
'This is London, 1854 and he is a foppish young English aristocrat, with a lisping French accent, and a sense of derring-do way beyond his abilities.
'Thirteen years later ... Wagga Wagga, 1867. Tom Castro, a lardy, filthy, uncouth and incompetent butcher, is in court on a misdemeanour charge. He's full of bluster and condescension, and hints darkly at having been born to higher things. Tom is hacking up pigs when a customer flies in with the Melbourne Age. In the Missing Persons column, a certain Dowager Lady Tichborne is asking for news of her son, lost at sea while headed for the colonies.
'Tom reacts mysteriously, which only confirms the customer's suspicions. "It is you, isn't it, Tom?"
'So begins Hilary Bell's retelling of one of the longest, most notorious and expensive cases in British legal history. The Tichborne case divided British society with "Tom Castro" cast as people's champion against the landed gentry, who are determined to ward off a fraudulent claim by a colonial upstart. Bell's comic melodrama takes us on a rollicking journey full of rogues, and preposterous characters engaged in a struggle for land, wealth, and title.'
Source: ABC Radio National website, http://www.abc.net.au/rn/airplay/stories/2006/1667073.htm