'The Circuit is set in the Kimberley region of North Western Australia. It is a place of two seasons; the wet and the dusty dry. Known for its beauty, vastness and hardship, this region is a land rich in history for its traditional owners, but now sits within the confines of white ownership and white law. This is the home of The Circuit, the Magistrate's Court, which visits far-flung communities several days a month, bringing conveyor-belt justice dealt swiftly and fairly. Working between two worlds and juggling white law with traditional lore, means that justice can be a slippery beast.'
Source: SBS website, http://www.sbs.com.au/
'New ALS Lawyer Drew Ellis is young, black, arrogant, good looking and in need of a decent serving of street credibility on his CV before he moves off on his fast-track to Canberra. As far as he's concerned, Broome and the Kimberley, is just the place to do it. Armed with a largely cushy white upbringing, a sexy car, and a sense of adventure, Drew makes his way to his new home, only to discover he may not know as much as he thought he did.
'His car is derailed by a camel, his arrogance is curtailed by a stint in the cop shop, and his sense of self-worth is slowly eroded by his right hand man - court liaison Sam. For Sam is a proud, complex and angry man. A man who serves his people 24/7 and he has Drew pegged right from day one. If Drew wants to come to the Kimberley to get his 'degree in Aboriginality', then Sam is only too happy to help, to a point.
'The heat, the flies and the intense workload of a sausage-factory court system offer Drew little respite. He may have been able to talk-the-talk when he arrived, but he's finding it increasingly hard to walk-the-walk. Drew fails to understand the nuances of cases, fails to argue to the best of his ability and he doesn't even know enough to stay out of 'women's places'. He's a man with no culture, no country and no language that count in the Kimberley. Still, Drew keeps a brave face on when he speaks to his wife, and tries not to notice that Bella, Clerk of Courts, is a very attractive young Aboriginal woman indeed.
'Eventually finding his feet a little, Drew comes to like and rely on his new-found friends: Peter, the Magistrate; Bella, Clerk of Courts; Ellie, Legal Aid Lawyer; Archie the Journo and his Aboriginal lover, Clarry (Bella's cousin). Even Sam and Drew have their shared moments.
'But when he must defend Debbie Pope against a heavy drug charge, things become more complicated. Drew is sure that Debbie's father-in-law has some undue influence over the woman but Harry Pope is a respected Elder who sits on the bench with Peter. No amount of cajoling can get Debbie to speak out against him. Nor can Drew risk getting Peter's back up any further. Drew loses the fight - and the resulting scene of wrenching Debbie from her children is an emotional one.
'Back in Broome everyone is shell shocked... most of all Drew. His expectations, turned upside down by his first tour of duty, make Drew realise that he has a lot to learn in his new environment and that he's a long way from home.'
Source: SBS Television website, http://www21.sbs.com.au/