Eugénie Sandler, tracing the mysteries of her own past (such as her missing birth certificate and her unwitting possession of a false passport), finds that she is the lost heir to the decaying kingdom of Versovia, currently a Soviet-style dictatorship. She and her school friend Warwick find themselves dodging mysterious Versovians and murderous, corrupt police officers, while trying to find Eugénie's missing private-investigator father, Ray.
The program harks back to the genre of Ruritanian romances: swashbuckling adventure stories set in fictional Central or Eastern European countries (such as Anthony Hope's Ruritania), centering on the aristocracy or royalty, and usually culminating in the restoration of a lost heir. Although the popularity of pure Ruritanian romances declined after the nineteenth century, aspects of their form were transplanted into speculative fiction, particularly the sub-genres of alternate histories and fantasies of manners. In this instance, script-writer David McRobbie transplants the Ruritanian romance to late-twentieth-century Australia, and further filters it through the contemporary concern of the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
For McRobbie, Eugénie Sandler, PI followed his first children's television program, The Wayne Manifesto (1996-1997) and was followed in turn by Fergus McPhail (2004).
Australian Screen offers some content from episode two of Eugénie Sandler, PI online: http://aso.gov.au/titles/tv/eugenie-sandler-pi-episode-two/clip1/?nojs=. (Sighted: 17/2/2012)