'Ryan traces a missing person to "Warialda" - an unlikely and bizarre artists colony where creative people (and reluctant husbands) can get away from it all.
'Ryan discovers that the husband doesn't want to be found and that the colony is occupied by a group of hippies, whose main goal in life seems to be to make his life hell. He's ambushed, beaten and almost killed by a vicious man-trap, before he unravels the mystery of the colony. What he has taken to be sinister is, in fact, a simple and beautiful experiment. He is drawn to the young people, and especially to Bill Palmer, the backbone of the colony - the man he is hired to find. Ryan tries to help them protect their idyllic life-style, but Bill Palmer's past catches up with him in a way which has a tragic result for both Bill and the colony.'
Source: Synopsis held in the Crawford Collection in the AFI Research Collection (RMIT).
The script held in the Crawford Collection in the AFI Research Collection contains the following character notes (excluding regular characters):
'BILL PALMER: About thirty-five. Ryan is going to remember him for the rest of his life - he's that kind of man - he has an impact on you. He should be a big man, but even if he isn't, he has "presence". He's self-educated in the best and broadest sense - the sort of education which gives you self-knowledge, and in its turn, serenity. He's confident, competent, close to the earth - the salt of the earth. Very fit, moves well. Handles an axe and a crowbar well. A really beautiful man.
'JOAN PALMER: A suitable partner for Bill - even though they aren't partners. Early thirties, wealthy, well educated, very feminine. Bill left her two years ago, but she's still in love with him - she's that sort of person.
'NOTE: All the members of the "Tribe" are tanned and fit. Their wardrobes, attitudes, movements, combine to create a somewhat primitive air - that of a lost, and possibly dangerous, tribe. They aren't flower children, they're harder than that. They grow their own vegetables, hunt much of their own meat.
'TRICIA: 20, very attractive, lithe and competent - at least while she's in the colony. When we see her in the city we realise she's naive and child-like ... she's a bit the same whenever she's around Bill. She loves him - as do all the members of the tribe, especially ...
'HARRY: 25, strapping physique, simple-minded. A mental age of about twelve. Fantastic abilities as a hunter. To him, Bill is a God - it's as simple as that.
'BUCK: Mid twenties, a hard young man - something of the cowboy about him, a wild streak. In the end we like him.
'DON: Maybe thirty. Must be huge - and very fit. Bigger and stronger than Ryan. He's not intellectual giant, but the other members of the tribe respect his slow, well considered judgements - and his strength. He's not sinister. He has some of Bill's serenity. Must be able to fight.
'STEVE: Mid-twenties, not so wild as Buck, but you wouldn't like to go up against him in a brawl.
'NIKI: Mid twenties, a wild fawn.
'JAN: Similar to Niki.
'STAN KAMEN: About forty, handsome, makes a good impression when you first meet him - just a hint of his mean spirit and weakness. A solicitor.
'VINCE: A ratty little crim. Only one scene, but it should be an effective cameo.
'MAN IN CAR: Similar size, shape, colouring to Bill. (1 line).
'WOMAN IN CAR: A bit tarty, thirty. (No lines)