Based on the novel by Marcus Clarke, this is a relatively faithful adaptation, though Moran (in his Guide to Australian TV Series), tracing the connections between this narrative and various other nineteenth-century works, suggests that
For the Term of His Natural Life ceases to have anything much to do with the convict cycle in the mini-series that extend from Against the Wind to The Fremantle Conspiracy. Instead it has a lot more to do with series such as Return to Eden. Indeed, in viewing the series, the viewer experiences a strong surge of pleasure not only in the narrative but in the handsomeness of the settings and costumes, and cinematography but most especially in the star/character recognitions.
The program used a number of international actors (largely, Moran suggests, to increase saleability to overseas markets), including Patrick McNee (The Avengers) and Anthony Perkins (Psycho). At a cost of $5.6 million, it was the most expensive mini-series so far produced for Australian television, but was comparatively well received in Australia and distributed overseas.