Based on the book by Miles Franklin, this feature film tells the story of an Australian country girl who, at the end of the nineteenth century, wants to make her own way in the outside world.
Rejecting an offer of marriage from a wealthy suitor (who is also her childhood friend), she instead finds herself obligated to work off her father's debt to a neighbouring family, for whom she works as governess and housekeeper. Returning home, she again rejects her suitor's proposal, this time in favour of writing a novel based on her experiences.
'In Neutral ground Peter Sumner stars as Bruce Jefferson, an energetic advertising dynamo, and Cornelia Frances plays his estranged wife Joan, an equally dynamic magazine editor. They arrange to meet in a hotel suite, on Neutral Ground, to discuss the terms of their divorce.' ([Television guide], Canberra Times, 15 September 1978, p.34)
In 1980, a seven-episode series, Trial by Marriage was spun off from this television play: the series took place in the early days of the marriage.For best comedy program.