A drama series set during the height of the Vietnam War, You Can't See Round Corners revolves around Frankie McCoy, a lonely, somewhat aggressive non-conformist who has spent all his life living in the inner-city suburb of Newtown. As the series progresses, McCoy is called up for National Service and although he initially fulfils his duty, he later deserts and heads back home to hide with friends. Other main characters include his girlfriend Margie and enemy Terry Howlett, the twenty-year-old leader of a small gang of thugs.
The television adaptation was contemporised by producer John Walters and screenwriter Richard Lane. Cleary's original novel is set in the Sydney suburb of Paddington during World War II. After deciding to bring the temporal setting forward to the (then) current Vietnam era, they also had to change the physical setting. Although Paddington had been a working-class suburb in the 1940s, the demographic had changed considerably by the 1960s. Newtown was subsequently considered the most appropriate location for a narrative set in a working-class suburb. Richard Lane records in Take One (1972) that he and Walters also deliberately introduced other contemporary issues into the narrative, notably the inclusion of the Greek community, which by the late 1960s had had an enormous impact on the Newtown district (p. 52).
The series created some controversy when it aired due to the nature of some of the scenes. An example of this occurred when Frank and Margie (the two main characters) were involved in a love scene in which Frank ran his hand up Margie's skirt while the pair indulged in passionate kissing. Many stations around Australia cut the scene but several others, including Adelaide, allowed it to run, realising it was an important part of the development of the characters.
A film version of You Can't See Round Corners was released in 1969. A co-production between Universal and ATN (the first full-length feature film made by a local Australian TV station), the film involved most of the television series's principal cast.
The first episode of You Can't See Round Corners.1967