In the late eighteenth century, thousands of convicts were transported to the British penal colony of Botany Bay in Australia. Only one of them was brave enough to ever spearhead a successful escape. This is her inspiring true story.

England, 1786. Impoverished twenty-one-year-old Mary (Romola Garai, Vanity Fair) is no stranger to the criminal underclass—or the necessary risks one must take to break free from it. Arrested for petty theft, Mary is dispatched—with hundreds of hardcore convicts—to carry out a sentence in a new penal colony in Australia’s primitive Botany Bay. Embarking on a two-hundred-and-fifty-one-day journey by prison ship, Mary gives birth to a daughter and weds fellow prisoner William Bryant, a fisherman—and smuggler—by trade. Together under the blistering Australian sun, they brave an unimaginable future. Together, they dream of escape. Having given birth to another child and unequipped to deal with the gruelling conditions of the colony, Mary takes fate into her own hands.

Enlisting the help of her husband and five other convicts, she steals a cutter belonging to Governor Arthur Philip (Emmy nominee Sam Neill, Merlin), and with her family, escapes toward the Dutch community of Timor on an arduous ten-week journey across nearly four thousand miles of violent open sea. Passing themselves off as shipwreck survivors John and Elizabeth Parker, they become the toast of Timor, welcomed as luminaries into privileged society. Tracked by Governor Philip, their ruse is soon exposed. Facing a return to Botany Bay as a martyr to the gallows, Mary’s uncommon courage and resilience is challenged once again in a life-and-death struggle for freedom. It would become a tragic and triumphant worldwide cause of crime, punishment, redemption, and unparalleled heroism.

Filmed on location in Australia, directed by Peter Andrikidis (Jessica), and written by BAFTA Winner Peter Berry (Prime Suspect 6), The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant is the authentic, breathtaking, and landmark true saga of one of history’s most remarkable and fascinating unsung heroines.

Historical & Period Drama
2 Episodes
120 Mins